Nestled among the vineyards and rolling hills of Southern California, Temecula is a dream to explore. The city is known for its romantic wedding venues and top-tier restaurants, but it’s the city’s vibrant culture and relaxed lifestyle that make it an enviable destination for international travellers too.
The city is in the Temecula Valley, which offers fun activities, such as hot air balloon tours and vineyard horseback tours. Featuring the largest country music venue on the West Coast and one of the largest casinos in the United States, Temecula is much more than a wine region, making it more than worthy of being a serious contender for your next California holiday destination. Here are the best things to do in Temecula.
- Temecula, California
- 20 Things To Do In Temecula
- 1- Stop By The Temecula Stampede
- 2- Visit Old Town Temecula
- 3- Go Shopping At Promenade Temecula
- 4- Have A Flutter At Pechanga Resort Casino
- 5- Join A Horseback Tour In Temecula Valley
- 6- See Temecula From A Hot Air Balloon
- 7- Attend A Temecula Valley Symphony Orchestra Concert
- 8- Shop At The Old Town Farmers’ Market
- 9- Hike The Dripping Springs Trail
- 10- Visit The Sugarplum Zoo
- 11- Visit The Ricardo Breceda Gallery and Sculpture Garden
- 12- Catch A Show At The Pechanga Theater
- 13- Plan a Day Trip to San Diego
- 14- Pick Strawberries At Kenny’s Strawberry Farm
- 15- Go Wine Tasting
- 16- Take The Kids to Pennypickle’s Workshop
- 17- Delve Into History At The Temecula Valley Museum
- 18- Celebrate Halloween At Peltzer Pumpkin Farm
- 19- Admire The Stunning Santa Rosa Plateau
- 20- Relax At Vail Lake
Planning a trip to Temecula?
Make sure you don’t miss out on the best deals by booking early. Here are some suggested tours and accommodation.
- Sunrise Temecula Balloon Flight – see the city from the sky.
- Private Sidecar Adventure Tour through Temecula – a fun adventure.
- Temecula’s Premier Wine Tasting Tour – lunch and wine tastings at three popular wineries.
Top Wine Country Accommodation
20 Things To Do In Temecula
1- Stop By The Temecula Stampede
The Temecula Stampede is a country music extravaganza and the largest venue solely dedicated to country music on the USA’s West Coast.
Regularly hosting special events catering to visitors of all ages, such as College Night Thursdays and Family Day on Sundays, the venue brings a little slice of Southern America to Temecula in spectacular fashion.
Whether you’re stopping by to sing, dance to country music, or ride the mechanical bull, the venue is among the liveliest places to visit in Temecula.
The Temecula Stampede is at 28721 Old Town Front St, Temecula, CA 92590.
2- Visit Old Town Temecula
Old Town Temecula is a 12-block section of the Temecula Valley featuring several antique and old-school bars, restaurants, shops and a unique Wild West theme with frontier-style storefronts and wooden sidewalks.
The venue is home to several attractions, such as the Temecula Valley Museum and the Temecula Olive Oil Company.
The entire area is perfectly preserved, just as it was when the railroad first arrived in Temecula in 1882.
With fantastic art galleries, boutique stores, and live music found all across this delightful area, it’s a great destination to visit every day of the year.
For a cool experience, try these tours:
3- Go Shopping At Promenade Temecula
First opened in 1999, the Promenade Temecula, formerly known as The Promenade in Temecula, is Temecula Valley’s shopping and dining hub.
The mall hosts a weekly farmer’s market and features a movie theatre, several unique restaurants and a variety of speciality shops found nowhere else.
Free to visit and pleasant to stroll around at, this indoor-outdoor mall/entertainment venue is among the most underrated places to visit in Temecula.
Promenade Temecula is at 40820 Winchester Rd, Temecula, CA 92591.
4- Have A Flutter At Pechanga Resort Casino
The Pechanga Resort Casino is the largest resort casino on the entire United States West Coast and features tons of amazing attractions and activities.
Providing guests with a distinct Las Vegas-like casino resort experience without the excessive lines and traffic, Pechanga comes complete with a 4.5-acre (2 ha) waterpark, a golf course and a multi-level spa.
With a total casino floor space of more than 200,000 square feet (18,581 m2), the Pechanga is larger than Las Vegas’ MGM Grand and is among the largest casinos in all of the United States.
Pechanga Resort Casino is at 45000 Pechanga Pkwy, Temecula, CA 92592.
5- Join A Horseback Tour In Temecula Valley
The Temecula Valley is among the most picturesque regions to explore in California.
Temecula Valley Horseback Tours take visitors on a fantastic tour of the entire valley and its attractions, starting at Temecula, with tours usually lasting between 90 minutes and three hours.
Several companies offer horseback tours through the Temecula Valley, each taking visitors to unique attractions and places.
So whether you’re looking to experience the region’s many vineyards or stunning nature trails, Temecula has a horseback tour for you.
6- See Temecula From A Hot Air Balloon
To experience the Temecula Valley from a new vantage point, join one of the immensely popular Hot Air Balloon Tours.
The tours can accommodate up to 14 people and can last anywhere between 50 minutes to a couple of hours.
Hot air balloon tour operators organise sunset and sunrise balloon tours across the Temecula Valley and its vineyards. Here are some options:
7- Attend A Temecula Valley Symphony Orchestra Concert
The Temecula Valley Symphony Orchestra, or TVSO for short, is the region’s local orchestra that can regularly be found performing at Downtown Temecula’s McCallum Theatre.
First founded in 1978, the orchestra specialises in classical and pop music genres.
Known to perform songs from the likes of Neil Diamond and Barbara Streisand, as well as popular Broadway shows such as West Side Story, watching a performance is a lovely cultural attraction in the region.
Temecula Valley Symphony Orchestra is at 73000 Fred Waring Dr, Palm Desert, CA 92260.
8- Shop At The Old Town Farmers’ Market
Held in Old Town Temecula every Saturday morning, the popular Old Town Temecula Farmers’ Market is the go-to place in the entire valley for fresh produce and delectable homemade treats.
The market regularly draws well over 100 vendors weekly and combines great food with excellent live entertainment to make the market a fully-fledged Temecula attraction.
Whether you’re stopping by to shop or browse, the market has plenty to keep you coming back for more.
Old Town Temecula Farmers’ Market is at Old Town Front St & 6th St, Temecula, CA 92590.
9- Hike The Dripping Springs Trail
The Dripping Springs Trail is an incredibly scenic 13-mile long (21 km) nature trail inside the majestic Agua Tibia Wilderness near Downtown Temecula.
The trail features well-maintained paths and climbs to over 3,000 feet (914 m) above sea level.
The trail comes to life in spring and autumn with vivid colours, providing outdoor enthusiasts with some of the best scenery and natural beauty in Temecula Valley.
Moderate to climb and pet friendly, the trail is among the greatest outdoor attractions Temecula has to offer and comes complete with everything you’d expect from a world-class hiking trail.
Dripping Springs Trail is at Forest Rte. 8S07, Dripping Springs CG 38814, CA-79, Temecula, CA 92592.
10- Visit The Sugarplum Zoo
The Sugarplum Zoo is an incredibly unique attraction that can best be described as a petting zoo, chocolate shop and animal sanctuary all rolled into one attraction.
Spanning over 8 acres (3 ha), the venue cares for more than 50 rescued animals and sells handmade chocolate treats made by the venue’s founder Lani Rager, a former Master Chef semi-finalist.
The venue recently added a wine-tasting room, making a significant Temecula landmark much better to visit.
Sugarplum Zoo is at 39695 Berenda Rd, Temecula, CA 92591.
11- Visit The Ricardo Breceda Gallery and Sculpture Garden
Featuring 130 metal sculptures made by self-described ‘accidental artist’ Ricardo Breceda, the Ricardo Breceda Gallery and Sculpture Garden is among the most unexpected cultural attractions in the region.
The sculpture garden’s figures are all inspired by creatures and beings who once upon a time roamed the Temecula Valley, ranging from Native Americans and Wild West cowboys to dinosaurs that are millions of years old.
Ricardo Breceda Gallery and Sculpture Garden is at 44395 White Mountain Rd, Aguanga, CA 92536.
12- Catch A Show At The Pechanga Theater
Situated inside the Pechanga Resort and Casino, the Pechanga Theater is among the best venues in the Temecula Valley for live entertainment.
Opened in 2013, the theatre hosts several music concerts, theatrical performances and other special events throughout the year by some of the biggest names in entertainment.
The venue is near top restaurants and attractions of the resort, making it a great place to stop by before or after dinner.
The 1,200-seat theatre serves alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages and snacks in-between shows, which amplifies an already fantastic theatre experience.
Pechanga Theater is at 45000 Pechanga Parkway, Temecula, CA 92592.
13- Plan a Day Trip to San Diego
Situated less than 60 miles (97 km) from Downtown Temecula, San Diego is the perfect day-trip destination to take a break from the Temecula Valley’s sights and attractions.
Promising endless amounts of pristine beaches, a vibrant entertainment scene and some of the best attractions in Southern California, San Diego is a dream destination for many travellers.
Due to its proximity to Temecula, you don’t have to set up camp in San Diego to enjoy all it has in store for travellers.
Just hit the freeway from the Temecula Valley and you’ll be basking in the San Diego sun in less than an hour.
San Diego can be reached from Temecula via I-15 S.
14- Pick Strawberries At Kenny’s Strawberry Farm
Established in 1998, Kenny’s Strawberry Farm is a U-Pick strawberry farm where visitors are welcome to join friends and family to handpick their own strawberries.
Apart from being a fully-operational strawberry farm that harvests strawberries between December and July every year, the farm is a major tourist attraction in the Temecula Valley.
Head to the strawberry patches of this popular Temecula establishment for farm-fresh strawberries like you’ve never tasted before.
Kenny’s Strawberry Farm is at 953 Rainbow Valley Blvd, Fallbrook, CA 92028. Another option is to go tangerine or lemon picking at Sunmist Tangerine Farm.
15- Go Wine Tasting
Temecula is smack-bang in wine country, so you simply can’t visit without visiting a winery or several, such as Baily Vineyard and Winery, Briar Rose Winery, Callaway Vineyard and Winery or Churon Winery.
There are several tours you can join, including:
- Sidecar Adventure Tour
- Wine Tasting Tour of Six Wineries
- Winery Tour Lunch (Tastings Included) in An Open Air Trolley
- Rancho California Wine Tour
- Guided E-bike Tour of Temecula’s Wine Country
The Leoness Cellars was established in 2002 atop one of Temecula’s most scenic and fertile hills and has grown into an award-winning vineyard that produces over 20 acres (8 ha) of Cabernet Sauvignon grapes.
Apart from producing some of the best red wines in California, the vineyard also hosts popular wine tours for the public to get a rare behind-the-scenes look at the entire winemaking process from harvest to bottle.
Complete with an on-site gift shop and a restaurant, this unique Temecula vineyard stands out in a region renowned for its fantastic wineries.
Leoness Cellars is at 38311 De Portola Rd, Temecula, CA 92592. Or if you’d rather stay in or within walking distance of some wineries, try Ponte Vineyard Inn, Domaine Chardonnay and Peppertree Lane Ranch.
16- Take The Kids to Pennypickle’s Workshop
Pennypickle’s Workshop is a child-oriented museum/educative space dedicated to inspiring kids about all things science and engineering related in s fun and family-friendly atmosphere.
This whimsical venue is the home of Dr Phineas T. Pennypickle, a fictional Tick-Tockology professor, and his sidekick Beaker the field mouse, who take parents and children on a fantastic journey with the help of over 30 interactive exhibits.
With tons of interesting gadgets, inventions and displays to interact with, there’s never a dull moment at the professor’s workshop.
Pennypickle’s Workshop is at 42081 Main Street, Temecula, CA 92590.
17- Delve Into History At The Temecula Valley Museum
The Temecula Valley Museum is the go-to place in Temecula to learn all about this slice of California’s rich history and culture.
The venue features an extensive collection of photographs, books, manuscripts, handcrafted artefacts and even old farming equipment.
The museum is among the region’s most important historic venues to explore with period-specific exhibits that help tell the story of the valley from the Mission San Luis Rey days to the present.
Temecula Valley Museum is at 28314 Mercedes St, Temecula, CA 92590.
18- Celebrate Halloween At Peltzer Pumpkin Farm
Established in 2006 by fifth-generation farmers Charlie and Carrie Peltzer, the Peltzer Pumpkin Farm is a truly one-of-a-kind California attraction.
The venue offers guests a laundry list of fun and unique activities that range from pony rides and carnival games to a petting zoo and gold mining.
The farm is best known for its autumn pumpkin-picking opportunities, allowing visitors to handpick their own pumpkins for Halloween.
Perfect for the entire family, this Temecula pumpkin farm is one you’ll not want to miss out on.
Peltzer Pumpkin Farm is at 39925 Calle Contento, Temecula, CA 92591.
19- Admire The Stunning Santa Rosa Plateau
Comprising over 9,000 acres (3,642 ha) of pristine Temecula wilderness, the Santa Rosa Plateau is among California’s most remarkable ecological areas.
The park is home to over 49 endangered native plant and animal species and some of the best hiking trails in Temecula Valley.
Serenity and an amazing connection with nature are what you’ll experience at the plateau, making it an attraction worth putting on your travel itinerary.
Santa Rosa Plateau is at 39400 Clinton Keith Road, Murrieta, CA 92562.
20- Relax At Vail Lake
Temecula’s Vail Lake is a stunning 400-acre (162 ha) outdoor resort that offers visitors access to world-class mountain biking and hiking trails, not to mention a large freshwater lake right in the middle of Southern California’s desert landscape.
The man-made lake was formed in 1948 when the Vail Lake Dam was finished, creating what would become one of Temecula’s most popular outdoor attractions.
If you’re travelling around Temecula during the summer, there’s simply no better place to cool off than Vail Lake.
Vail Lake is at 38000 CA-79, Temecula, CA 92592.
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