Temecula was a pleasant surprise for us. It has been on our radar for some time and we knew it would be a great place to visit. Since Napa Valley and Solvang are a few of our favorite places in California, Temecula seemed like a perfect match. With its various wineries, old town, and festivals this place is a must-see. Even during the pandemic, it was packed and you had to make reservations to most of the restaurants and practically all wineries.
The city of Temecula is approximately 58 miles (93 km) north of downtown San Diego and 85 miles (137 km) southeast of downtown Los Angeles. Temecula is bordered by the city of Murrieta to the north and the Pechanga Indian Reservation and San Diego County to the south. Temecula had a population of 100,097 during the 2010 census and an estimated population of 114,761 as of July 1, 2019. It was incorporated on December 1, 1989
We wanted to make sure we stayed at the wine county close to the wineries and the old town. We chose the South Coast Winery Resort and Spa and we loved the location. Great views as well not to mention the close proximity to more than a few other wineries as well. Right at the entrance of the resort, there is also a large grapefruit tree nursery which looked amazing. The hotel (and the wine county itself) during the winter season is not as beautiful as during the summer so have that in mind when planning. You definitely want to come and visit when everything is green! The resort looks great. They also offer balloon rides and various other unique experiences.
The resort is also about 15 minutes from Old Town and about 10 from various shopping plazas etc. Since we made our first visit during the winter season we are now planning another trip during the summer for that balloon ride and the green vistas :).
The resort food was not great during our stay. We did not like most of the dishes we tried. Their filet mignon was the only thing we actually liked. For breakfast, we did the Le Coffee Shop in the old town which was awesome. Great food and coffee. We did try the recommended Toast breakfast place but it was not nearly as good as Le Coffee in our opinion. For dinner, we loved the Hana Sushi #6. Probably one of the best sushi we have had in a long time. Here is a list of the resturants and breweries in the region.
Things To See
The main destinations for us in Temecula were the Old Town, the wine country wineries, and the Ricardo Breceda Gallery & Sculpture Garden. We did want to also do the balloon ride but postponed it for our next visit during the summer. We would do breakfast and lunch chilling in the Old Town and then spend some time in the wineries. Our stay felt short since we really enjoyed the relaxing atmosphere and the beautiful views.
You can spend a few days wine tasting at the various beautiful wineries. A good amount of them have “transformed” to resorts and offer lodging and various other amenities as well. We visited during the winter season and all the great views were brown and dull vs green and beautiful. During the summer the wine country looks completely different. The wines we tried were pretty good and the atmosphere is very relaxing and great for a family getaway. For a list of the wineries and local shops click here.
The Old Town
We loved this place. Every breakfast during out stay at Temecula was in there. It gets very busy in the afternoon and the main street gets packed. Various old school bikers and classic rides can also be found traversing the city. Many buildings have that wild wild west look which we loved. You can walk across the town in about 30 mins. Overall it is a great to see place and we loved our time there.
Ricardo Breceda Gallery & Sculpture Garden
During our travels in California we started noticing these scrap metal statues at various locations. We found quite a few of them during our road trip to Anza Borego. It turns out in Temecula Ricardo Breceda (the sculptor) has his main gallery and office. That was an awesome surprise for us since we are big fans of his work. His gallery was about twenty minutes from our resort so it was no brainer to explore it. We also met him there. Very nice and humble artist. If you have a chance to visit his gallery do so you wound not be disappointed. It is an awesome place for kids as well.
Overall we truly enjoyed our stay in Temecula. The old town and the wine country are great places to relax and enjoy some time with family and loved ones. With the number of wineries there, it is certain you will find the right cup of wine for any occasion. Don’t forget also to try the balloon ride which this region is also known for.