Now that Riverside County has reopened more venues, Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country offers 10 convincing reasons to book a spring staycation.
© Shutterstock / David Tonelson Family-friendly and very welcoming, the region has reopened for locals and tourists alike.
"Whether it be a treat for mom to escape and relax, or family to celebrate Easter, or just to take in the outdoor beauty, picturesque Temecula Valley is an ideal wine-plus destination to enjoy the spring season," according to the region’s official tourism marketing organization, Visit Temecula Valley.
So here they are — top 10 reasons to visit, according to the VTV:
1. Colorful Blossoms
In addition to bud break on the grapevines, every spring the flower blossoms are spectacular with an array of colors. Must-see locations for selfies, picnics, and colorful scenery are Briar Rose Winery, Lumiere Winery, Vitagliano Winery, and Mount Palomar Winery. Beautiful rose gardens include the winery at Europa Village and The Rose Haven Heritage Garden. Wisteria fragrance and blossoms can be found at Lorimar Winery, Miramonte Winery, Palumbo Winery, Somerset Winery, and South Coast Winery Resort. Hikers at Lake Skinner, Vail Lake, and Santa Rosa Plateau discover fields of wildflowers throughout the season.
2. Outdoor Recreation
There are several ways for travelers to play under the open skies and scenic backdrops. Whether up in a hot air balloon or on the ground, the options are plenty. From hiking to golfing, horseback riding to cycling, fishing to bird watching; outdoor recreation can easily fill several days.
Temecula Valley features miles of trails for hiking, biking, horseback riding, and birdwatching. In particular, the Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve meanders through the Santa Ana Mountains above the Temecula Valley offering hikers 9,000 acres to explore. Just south of the reserve is the Cleveland National Forest and the start of the path to Tenaja Falls. Dripping Springs, affords breathtaking views, rivers, waterfalls, woodlands, and trails for novice and experienced hikers.
Bird-watching and fishing are featured at Lake Skinner and Vail Lake in addition to horseback riding. Mountain biking and horseback riding are welcome on most hiking trails and e-bike cruising is available in Wine Country and Old Town Temecula.
Visitors can tee up at one of Temecula’s top golf courses: Temecula Creek Golf Club, Journey at Pechanga, and CrossCreek Golf Club. Journey features a 300-foot drop down to the green and Native American artifacts along the course. Not more than five minutes down the road is the Temecula Creek Golf Club with 27 approachable links and park-style holes suitable for any level of player. CrossCreek Golf Club stands out for its play and secluded natural environment.
3. Health & Wellness
A little pampering, pain or tension relief, and a dip in the pool are available at three full-service spas: Grapeseed Spa, Murrieta Day Spa, and Spa Pechanga. Grapeseed Spa pairs its treatments with a glass of wine and a vineyard view, Murrieta Day Spa includes dining and drink options, and Spa Pechanga includes a choice of indoor and outdoor pool settings. All of them provide luxury amenities and an unforgettable experience.
4. Wine Country
Wine culture began in Temecula Valley back in 1968 when the first commercial vineyards were planted. Today, it’s an American Viticultural Area characterized by rolling, Tuscan-like hills, and an ideal Mediterranean climate. Wine lovers can plan an entire getaway around visiting nearly 50 boutique, rustic, and luxurious amenities-driven wineries. Visitors can download a winery map and explore on their own or join fellow wine enthusiasts on a guided tour to sample hand-crafted wines grown from the dozens of grape varieties, including well-known favorites like Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and Chardonnay, as well as offbeat Mediterranean varieties like Sangiovese, Grenache, Tempranillo, and Vermentino.
This Easter, Temecula Carriage Company is offering a visit to Peter Rabbit’s Wine Country Veggie Garden. A private horse-drawn carriage will take a family down the vineyard bunny trial, through a barnyard to visit Peter Rabbit. Peter will guide the children through a timed private hunt in his veggie garden for springtime treats, and there is a socially distanced photo opportunity with Peter Rabbit.
Easter brunches can be found at several winery restaurants as well as restaurants in Old Town Temecula. Small Barn will serve an Easter brunch and dinner that includes many of its signature items while E.A.T. Marketplace offers dinner bundles, a la carte, and Easter sides ready for hosts to serve at their table. Winery restaurants offer special brunches and dinners for Easter and Mother’s Day. The Bouquet Restaurant at Ponte Vineyard Inn will feature chef specials and popular dishes for its Easter brunch and Mother’s Day brunch. Pinnacle Restaurant at Falkner Winery will offer its popular Easter Champagne Brunch plated with an a la carte Mediterranean style menu. The Vineyard Rose at South Coast Winery Resort & Spa also celebrates with an a la carte brunch and dinner, and the Easter Bunny will be available for socially distanced photos. The Vineyard Rose will also be serving a Mother’s Day brunch with a rose for every mother. Pechanga Resort Casino offers a traditional Easter feast to go, ideal for families staying in a vacation rental for the holiday. For a unique experience, families can take A Mother’s Day Brunch Carriage Ride. Brunch is on board a horse-drawn carriage.
If not visiting on a holiday, check out the great restaurants in Old Town Temecula and Temecula Valley Wine Country. The outdoor dining vibe in Old Town is epic with tables safely spaced in the open air. Dining with a Wine Country view alfresco is a memorable and delicious experience.
The shopping scene in Temecula Valley is plenty with several areas to choose from: Old Town Temecula, Temecula Valley Wine Country, Vail Headquarters, Promenade Temecula, and Pechanga Resort Casino. Whatever the shopper is looking for: souvenirs, handmade products, antiques, wine-centric items, name brands, and high-end merchandise, it can all be found in Temecula Valley.
7. Places to Stay
Resorts, villas, cabanas, casitas, inns, and vacation rentals are found in Wine Country among the rolling hills of vineyards. Visitors can also choose to stay in Downtown Old Town Temecula within walking distance of the historic district or Uptown at their favorite brand hotel, or in the peaceful canyon nestled in the foothills at Pechanga Resort Casino or Temecula Creek Inn. Accommodations can match any traveler's needs and budget.
8. Safe & Clean
Temecula Valley businesses meet and exceed all CDC and state requirements to ensure everyone's health and safety during the COVID-19 pandemic. The community is committed to safety first for both visitors and businesses. Face masks and social distancing are required when visiting. COVID-19 FAQs can be found at VisitTemeculaValley.com/info.
With natural gifts of climate and geography, Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country is recognized for scenic vineyards, award-winning wines and craft beers, and outdoor recreation. The boutique destination includes the Temecula Valley American Viticulture Area, Historic Downtown Old Town Temecula, and Pechanga Resort & Casino — all within minutes of each other.
Temecula Valley is about 60 minutes from San Diego, Orange County, and the desert; and 90 minutes from Los Angeles. Surrounded by mountains on every side with a wind tunnel carrying in the ocean breeze, cool mornings and evenings surround warm afternoons. This popular Southern California escape is slower-paced Mondays through Thursdays, so for a quieter experience with less people, mid-week visits are encouraged.
Temecula Valley has accommodation options for every budget while enjoying everything the destination has to offer. Experience Wine Country atmosphere with all of its amenities or stay in hip Downtown Old Town, walking distance to shopping and dining. Monday through Thursday stays offer lower rates and special packages for lodging, as well as many of the activities like hot air ballooning, wine tasting, and golf. Check hotel rates and book your stay.
Start planning your trip at VisitTemeculaValley.com.