Located about an hour north of downtown San Diego, Temecula is steeped in history and has become a modern destination resort community.  It’s home to several world-class resorts and golf courses, a thriving and award-winning wine culture, and several sports and recreation options for adventuresome visitors.

The word Temecula was derived from the Lucano Indian language and literally translates to “Valley of the Sun.”  Modern-day Temecula owes much of its current claim to fame as a popular resort destination to sun-based activities, making the name Temecula and its origins as relevant as ever. 

Here are some highlights of what you need to know before you go.

Temecula Valley Wineries

The Temecula Valley is Southern California's wine country. Nearly 50 wineries dot the region’s rolling hills and sprawling valleys, producing award-winning varietals, including Cabernet Sauvignons, Zinfandels, Chardonnays, and Pinot Noirs.  The prestigious Wine Enthusiast has named the area a Top 10 Wine Destination.

The wineries are a popular destination for guided tours or guests who on their own to sip and sample some of the finest offerings in the world.  Most wineries offer tasting rooms and property tours that are available and open to the public.  Some require reservations, and it is best to check in advance to see what each winery’s policies are.

Great wines demand equally great pairings with exciting culinary offerings.  Maverick chefs keep exploring new avenues featuring locally raised farm-to-table, artisanal, and fresh takes on classic cuisine that make for memorable dining experiences.  

Year-round outdoor dining means fantastic sunset views are common.  Your best bet for spectacular hilltop wine, food, and an evening sky is at Callaway Vineyard and Winery, Bel Vino Winery, and Avensole Winery.  It won’t take long for you to fall in line with the relaxed and unpretentious atmosphere the region offers after you experience an evening like this.

September is California Wine Month, a perfect time to visit and enjoy onsite tastings, demonstrations, tours, and live entertainment. Visitors can also crush grapes underfoot while marveling at the sight of colorful hot air balloons floating over the vineyards. 

Old Town Temecula

Old Town Temecula combines the region’s historical past and a unique blend of shops, restaurants, hotels, entertainment, and event in one walkable, easy-to-navigate hub for visitors to explore.  Visitors will enjoy Temecula’s rustic and original 1880s wild west architecture and antique specialties, outdoor art, museums, and boutique stores celebrating a rustic and bygone western era.  

You can also enjoy Temecula-made artisan goods, or explore the up-to-date trends, including sampling pints at craft breweries, attending outdoor festivals, or dancing to live music at bars and unique outdoor venues with artists ranging from classical music and honky-tonk to rhythm and blues. 

Hot Air Ballooning

Imagine drifting gently above Temecula Valley, taking in panoramic views of vineyards, citrus groves, beautiful estates, and more.

Temecula is a hot air ballooning mecca with year-round beautiful blue skies, gentle breezes, and dramatic sunrises and sunsets that will excite your senses like few other things can when you float across the valley floor.

Temecula celebrates its two most famous attractions with the annual Temecula Valley Balloon & Wine Festival featuring top-name entertainment, wine tasting in the Wine Garden, Kids Faire, arts & crafts, and extensive food offerings.  Wine tasting features premium wines from numerous Temecula Valley wineries and others from Southern California.


It’s always tee time at one of Temecula’s premier golf courses, including three courses that are open to the public.  Visitors to the region can hit the links at any of the valley’s six courses.  If you’re looking for a game with a view, your best bets are to play a round at Temecula Creek Golf Club, CrossCreek Golf Club, and Journey at Pechanga.

Courses weave throughout the surrounding mature oak trees and natural streams and creeks. Most feature elevation changes and expansive views. All have inspiring course designs and are popular with golfers of all skill levels for perfectly challenging, year-round play for golfers of every level and handicap. 

Pechanga Resort and Casino

When you’re ready to cut loose, head to Pechanga Resort & Casino.  You’ll try your luck at Vegas-style games, including blackjack, poker, roulette, craps, and slots.

Whether you’re a player of modest means or a high roller, you can enjoy stakes for every budget.  Don’t forget about the fabulous food at 13 onsite restaurants and entertainment too.  

Pechanga is the largest casino in the western United States, Pechanga, and is the winner of AAA's Four Diamond award six years running. 

Guests can stay in more than 1,000 luxurious guest rooms and suites amid 24/7, non-stop gaming excitement. Nightly entertainment includes world-class musical acts, Broadway productions, and more. 

Temecula Visitor Questions

A great place to start is by contacting Visit Temecula Valley, the region’s official tourist bureau.  If you’re in town, stop by offices at 28690 Mercedes Street, Monday through Saturday, from 9 am to 3 pm.

You can also call (951) 491-6085 or (888) 363-2852 or email info@visittemeculavalley.com.