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Getaway Guide: Temecula

Getaway Guide: Temecula

Here's our getaway guide to Temecula. This beautiful spot, halfway between San Diego and Los Angeles, is a great offbeat destination.

Roubina Al Abashian


4 min read

January 12, 2022

Located between San Diego and Los Angeles, the spectacular Temecula invites you to embark on exciting adventures. The gorgeous Riverside County city is as attractive as Northern California’s Wine Country. You might think that Temecula is all about vino, but the truth is it’s much more—the city is a tourist magnet with world-class resorts, a charming historic district, and championship golf courses. Get ready for the experience of a lifetime as you check off every fun thing to do in this SoCal weekend getaway itinerary.

Considered part of the Greater Los Angeles area, Temecula is a popular tourist destination boasting plenty of recreational opportunities.

Day 1


San Diego, Palm Springs, and Los Angeles are all less than an hour and a half drive from Temecula, meaning if you head out early, you’ll have a full day to enjoy the city. Considering the trip is a short one, it’s best to have your stay planned ahead of time. If not, we have a few options for you.

When it comes to accommodation, our number one pick is the Carter Estate Winery and Resort. Here, you’ll spend the night in Mediterranean-style bungalows, take a dip in the pool, dine at the on-site restaurant, work out at the fitness center, and admire the vineyards—life has never been this luxurious.   

If this Temecula resort isn’t your cup of tea, check out Springhill Suites by Marriott.  This relatively affordable Temecula hotel option will not fail to impress you. With cozy suites, indoor and outdoor pools, and a well-equipped gym, you can rest assured that you’ll be pampered to the max. 

Championship golf courses and acres of lush vineyards dot the city of Temecula, attracting visitors in the thousands.


With accommodation out of the way, it’s time to explore Temecula. We’re not surprised if food is the only thing on your mind, so make your way to The Pinnacle Restaurant at Falkner Winery. Sitting on a 1,500-foot hilltop, the place offers panoramic views of the area and boasts Mediterranean-inspired cuisine. Ask for the crispy Brussels sprouts for a light lunch—it comes with sliced almonds, goat cheese crumbles, dried cranberries, fried eggs, and finished with hibiscus drizzle.

It’s still early in the afternoon, so head to Old Town Temecula to experience the city in its best way. Take a step back in time as you stroll along the wooden boardwalks. The rustic buildings, sidewalks, and Old Town Temecula shops will remind you of the Wild West. Make sure to stop by the Temecula Olive Oil Company; the family-owned business produces some of the finest olive oil in Southern California. Next, visit the Temecula Valley Museum, where you’ll learn about the history of the city through handcrafted artifacts, documents, and photographs.

Espadín is a popular Mexican restaurant in Temecula. This eatery offers everything from tacos and burritos to shrimp ceviche and fried avocados.


Don’t leave Old Town Temecula just yet; head to the local favorite restaurant Espadín for a fantastic dining experience. The traditional Mexican dishes will be the highlight of your day—make sure to give their carne asada chimichanga and carne asada burritos a try.

There’s one more thing to do before you wrap up your first day: throwing axes at SoCal Axe—this even makes for a unique date idea. Whether you’re new to axe throwing or an expert, you’re going to have lots of fun engaging in an unexpected activity. 

It goes without saying that Temecula is a hot air ballooning paradise. Just imagine the views from the top!

Day 2

It’s a new day in the Temecula Valley and the sun is rising—grab a cup of coffee because you don’t want to be late for your next adventure. This morning, you’re going to see Temecula from 1,500 feet above with A Grape Escape. The city is known as one of the best places for hot air balloon rides in California, so get ready to watch the sunrise as you enjoy the beautiful Wine Country views.

Hungry yet? Walk to Downtown Temecula for an all-American breakfast at Penfold’s Cafe and Bakery. The bacon and egg platter is precisely what you need in the morning, and their most popular breakfast item, Penfold’s omelette, comes smothered with country gravy—yum.

Have a one-of-a-kind horseback riding experience in Southern California's Wine Country exploring the beauty of Temecula.


How do you feel about meeting animals this afternoon? Do that at one of the best zoos in Southern California, Sugarplum Zoo and Chocolates. You’ll be surprised at all the exotic animals you’ll find here; you’ll even get to meet a zonkey—that’s right, it’s half zebra and half donkey. As for lunch, head to Bolero Restaurante at Europa Village, where you’ll enjoy delicious Spanish food with unbeatable views. Ask for the chef-inspired small plates and charcuterie platters to cure all your cravings. 

With so much natural beauty and adventures to unpack, Temecula remains a top getaway destination to Southern California residents.


If you thought you were done with animals earlier, think again—you’re about to explore Temecula's vineyards on horseback. Wine Country Trails by Horseback will give you a 90-minute tour of Temecula’s best and most beautiful as the sun disappears into the horizon.

Before you call it a day and head back home, make one final stop at Bluewater Grill Seafood Restaurant. This is one of the few places in Temecula to serve high-quality seafood. Treat yourself to a crab cake and any of the fresh salads—your tastebuds will be pleasantly surprised.

As much as you want to stay longer, it’s time to wrap up your getaway in Temecula. Maybe you didn’t get to see everything on your itinerary, but that’s more reason to plan another getaway soon—you know you’ll be back in no time, so until then, Temecula!  

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