Learn about Temecula, California, by reading Temecula,
California – A Step Back in Time and a Step Into Luxury
by Sandy Zimmerman, Travel Writer and WTA Member. It
features a mini, but thorough tour of the destination, plus
all you'll need to know to plan your trip including getting
there, objective information on places to stay and eat, and
things to do. At the end of the article, we've provided a
summary of the contact information for your easy reference.
Temecula, California – A Step Back in Time and a Step Into Luxury
by Sandy Zimmerman,
Travel Writer and WTA Member
When I take a
trip, I like to have choices of things to do, attractions, hotels, spas,
golf, shops, nightclubs, discos, casinos, and restaurants. Temecula,
California, and the surrounding towns fit the bill. They offer something
for the whole family.
Temecula has so
much to offer! The Old West suddenly comes alive when we drive through
the gate into Old Town Temecula’s historical preservation district and
see many original buildings dating from the 1800’s. The Romona Inn
(1897) is home of the “Blind Pig Saloon” where prize-fighters Jefferies,
Sharkey and Dempsey trained in the upstairs’ gym. The Machado Store
(1892) has changed from a general store to a post office, saloon, and is
now an antique mall. Old Town’s businesses offer a wide range of unique
gifts, jewelry, restaurants, clothing, furniture, pottery, a day spa,
Temecula Stage Stop wine/beer garden, art, Temecula Stampede country
western nightclub, old jail, museums, colorful murals, and what they
call “cool stuff.”
Western Days celebration, the streets are filled with bank robberies and
old western-style gunfights staged by several local gun fighters clubs.
There’s also “Street Painting” and other festivals throughout the year.
All events are free.
The Old Town
Temecula Greeters offer guided walking tours of the old town. Guides Bob
& Bea Taylor tell stories about Kit Carson, Erle Stanley Gardner (who
wrote the Perry Mason stories) and many of the other early visitors to
this historic area. Temecula began as a stop on the Butterfield Overland
Stage Line and in 1882 the California Southern Railroad connected
Temecula to the rest of the United States. With 58,000 people, Temecula
has both a “small town feeling” along with a large number of vacation
Wine lovers will
be thrilled to find over 18 award winning wineries along the
vineyard-dotted countryside. Drive yourself or take the wine country
shuttle. Tasting fees range from $1-5, and are slightly higher for an
elegant sit-down champagne tasting. Whether you are a novice or wine
aficionado, spend a few hours, a day, or a week touring the wineries to
savor some of California’s finest wines. Each winery is different.
In a beautiful
French-country setting, Thorton Winery has a line-up of year-round
events- grape stomp, winemaker dinners, murder mystery dinner theater
(October), jazz concerts, and dances. Thorton’s Cafe Champagne won the
Gold Award for contemporary cuisine for eleven consecutive years.
Dinners include- peppered filet mignon medallions, caramelized Atlantic
salmon, marinated boneless lamb loin, duck with ginger-lavender honey
sauce, and other delights.
Car’rie Winery invites you to sit in their picnic area, gazebo, or
Southern Victorian-style farmhouse for complementary tastings. Enjoy
sourdough bread and baked brie along with the wine.
largest winery, Callaway Coastal offers crisp, fruit forward, food
friendly wines. Callaway schedules an Autumn Celebration
(October) and a Holiday Candlelight Dinner (December).
directly from the barrel at Hart Winery. They specialize in handcrafted,
barrel-aged red wines and dry, full-bodied white wines with an emphasis
on Mediterranean varietals.
All of the
wineries participate in The Harvest Wine Celebration in November.
numerous lodging choices available in Temecula. You will be sure to find
one that fits your budget and suits your needs.
Resort, Casino & Spa is a Native American owned, AAA Four Diamond Resort
that has everything to tempt your palate, keep you entertained, and
re-kindle the sparks of romance. Choosing where to eat will be
difficult! There are 7 exciting restaurants on the property.
The Great Oak
Steakhouse matches the quality of other well-known steak houses. Cuts
are available in a variety of sizes to please the smallest to the
Restaurant is different! Chef Robert Minor offers 22 different oysters
from the Pacific and 21 from the Atlantic. If you can’t decide, try a
mix from a few regions. Grotto’s delightful atmosphere gives you the
feeling of being inside an oyster’s shell under the sea.
Take a trip to
Italy at Paisano’s Italian Ristorante. Chef Kevin Hendrickson prepares
taste-tempting cuisine in a Trattoria setting.
Noodles Restaurant combines recipes from Thailand, China, Japan, and
India. Talk about choices!
entertainment in Pechanga’s Cabaret Lounge or Eagle’s Nest Rooftop
Lounge. The Cabaret features live entertainment on most nights. Needless
to say, the view from Eagle’s is reason enough to visit, but add in the
entertainment options (salsa, blues, and jazz, to name a few) and there
is no excuse not to visit. The showroom features headliner concerts (Tom
Jones, Julio Iglesias, etc.), Broadway productions, professional boxing,
pool at Temecula Creek Inn
One of the
beauty spots of Temecula is the Temecula Creek Inn. It is set within 300
acres of rolling hills which give you room to roam and explore! Seldom
is such a large resort found within a city, so close to everything and
yet still its own secluded haven. Golf enthusiasts will feel they have
found their own golfer’s paradise with 3 championship courses rated 4
stars by Golf Digest. Golfers can even play “Glowball” golf in
the dark. Paths take you around the golf courses, waterfalls, pool, and
beautifully landscaped grounds. The Inn has all of the elegance of a
country estate. Relax, play golf or tennis, take a swim in the heated
pool, or indulge your appetite. Nature is all around!
Dining is an
event at the Temecula Creek Inn’s Temet Grill! Beyond the usual
breakfast fare, choose- an avocado, scrambled eggs, and green chile
burrito; or croissant with scrambled eggs, Gruyere cheese and Canadian
bacon. Enjoy a light lunch in the lounge by the fireplace. Dinner brings
more selections of Mediterranean, Mexican, continental, California and
Each of the
Temecula Creek Inn’s oversized hotel rooms has breathtaking views and a
feeling of luxury. The private patios, plush bedding, imported oatmeal
soaps, shampoos, conditioners, and lotions give you the extras that
In addition to
touring the area by car, take a hot air balloon ride to really
appreciate the beauty of Temecula Valley.
How to get there
California is a 1-hour car ride from San Diego, 1-1/2 hours
from Los Angeles, and 4-1/2 hours from Las Vegas, Nevada.
Where to stay
Resort, Casino, & Spa: For information about their monthly
gourmet cooking classes, wine maker dinners, spa, room
packages, or for a schedule of entertainment and events,
call 877-711-2WIN or visit
http://www.pechanga.com/. 45000 Pechanga Parkway,
(formerly Pala Road).
Creek Inn & Golf Course: The Inn offers special “Stay and
Play,” “Wine Country Escape,” “Golf Getaway,” “Retreat and
Re-charge,” “Unlimited Golf” and “Soft Adventure” packages.
For information about packages, dining, golf, or
accommodations call the Temecula Creek Inn 800-698-9295 or
http://www.temeculacreekinn.com/. 44501 Rainbow Canyon
If you are
interested in any of the winery tours, call 800-801-WINE or
Balloon Rides: A Grape Escape Balloon Adventure, Wilson
Creek Winery and Vineyard, 800-965-2122
information about Old Town Temecula, attractions, wineries,
hotels, restaurants, spas, and festivals of Temecula, call
the Temecula Valley Chamber of Commerce, 909-676-5090 or
Notice: This information is current as of Spring 2005. It is recommended
that you contact the numbers, and/or visit the web sites above to
determine any changes to the information.