Located at a distance of an hour north of San Diego and an hour southeast of Los Angeles, Temecula is the perfect destination for a day trip for many in South California. There are so many things to do in Temecula that it has become a top choice for weekend getaways.
There is no doubt that Temecula wine tasting remains a focal point of most visits in Temecula but for good reason. Since there are more than 50 wineries around the rolling hills in the region, it is a perfect destination for wine lovers.
It would be inappropriate to write off the destination as one only suitable for wine lovers. It is a shame to leave the beautiful place without experiencing some of its other attractions.
No matter your personality type, there is a lot to see and do here. Whether you like shopping, gambling, hiking, or golfing, there is everything to keep you busy. You will never get bored in Temecula no matter how old you are or what you like to do.
The destination has built a reputation over the past few years as a wine tasting destination but that is not all. If you visit for a different purpose, you will be surprised to see other adventures that you can have here.
There are many activities to supplement the wine tasting holiday which makes it an ideal location for a quick family getaway. Let’s take a look at them.
Table of Contents
- Top things to do in Temecula
- 1. Tasting tour
- 2. Sugarplum farm
- 3. Gem mining
- 4. Axe throwing
- 5. Hot air balloon ride
- 6. Visit the Old Town
- 7. Go horseback riding
- 8. Visit Alpaca Hacienda
- 9. Enjoy cycling
- 10. Hike the Springs Trail
- 11. Enjoy a relaxing spa
- 12. Camp and fish at Vail Lake
- 13. Visit Children’s Museum
- 14. Pick strawberries and pumpkins
- 15. Temecula Valley Museum
- 16. Santa Rosa Plateau
- 17. Head to the Old Town Temecula Community Theatre
- 18. Line Dancing
- 19. Head to Promenade Temecula
- 20. Take a stroll around Harveston Lake Park
Top things to do in Temecula
1. Tasting tour
A trip to Temecula remains incomplete without a tasting tour in the old town. It is a specialty in the town but it is not restricted to wine.
The Old Town area is very popular and has many tasting tours at different restaurants which are complete with insights into the history and heritage of Temecula’s Old Town. The tour will take you through the tourist must-sees and the cultural spots.
Looking to hit all the hot vineyards? Check out these best wineries in Temecula.
2. Sugarplum farm
Temecula is a unique place where you will find an animal zoo and an artisan chocolatier right in one place. The Sugarplum Farm has the best of both. Here you can get close with camels, zebras, horses, and many more animals.
You can also enjoy a wide range of chocolates and honey. The farm store has the best farm-fresh eggs, honey, as well as handmade soap.
3. Gem mining
The mining heritage in California does not stop at gold. There are many gem deposits across the state, including Temecula.
Head to the Oceanview Mine to find gems and you keep whatever you find. It is a chance to find kunzites, tourmalines, and morganites.
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4. Axe throwing
One of the most popular sports in the old times has become popular again. Axe throwing is in demand and a session helps build strength while having a lot of fun. There is a competitive atmosphere at SoCal Axe and once done, you can enjoy a local brew at a brewery next door.
This is not an everyday kind of activity but you will be able to channel your inner lumberjack for a great day or evening activity. You will get an axe to throw at a wooden board and even if you are not an expert, it is a great place for beginners to enter the world of hand throwing. It is one of the off-beaten things to do in Temecula.
Professionals will also give you pointers on how to throw and score some points. It is one of the more unique things to do in Temecula.
5. Hot air balloon ride
Fly over the Wine Country in balloons. Hot Air Balloon rides in Temecula are a must. They are very popular and ideal for all occasions including birthdays. Soak in the most stunning view of the destination with sunrise or a sunset ride.
There are private rides as well as group rides for you to choose from.
During the ride, the pilots will point out the landmarks and give insights into the history of the area. You will find several hotels in Temecula to book your stay.
Your visit will remain incomplete without a ride in a hot air balloon in Temecula.
It is one of the best things to do in Temecula.
6. Visit the Old Town
You must visit the Old Town in Temecula for the antique restaurants, shops, brewpubs, and galleries. There are 12 blocks you can explore with your family.
You will see water towers, frontier-style storefronts, and wooden sidewalks that create a charming Western look and pay homage to the railroading past of the town.
When in Old Town, do visit the Temecula Valley Museum and head to the Temecula Olive Oil Company to try the artisan olive oils in unique flavors like citrusy blood orange. Whether you have visited Temecula in the past or are visiting for the first time, it is important to visit the Old Town at least once.
7. Go horseback riding
Tour the gorgeous destination with a horseback ride and explore the wineries and the scenic beauty. It is a lot of fun to take a horseback ride and soak in the beauty of the place.
You do not need any riding experience and you can take 90-minute rides near the vineyards. Horseback riding in Temecula during the sunset is very popular and also very romantic. Horseback riding is one of the top things to do in Temecula.
If you do not want to ride the horse, you can also take a private horse-drawn vehicle that will take you across 4 wineries over 3 hours. For couples, there is a private carriage ride that includes a bottle of wine.
No matter who you are traveling with, a horseback ride will be a lot of fun and it will give a unique perspective about the areas surrounding Temecula.
8. Visit Alpaca Hacienda
Enjoy an animal encounter by visiting the alpacas at Alpaca Hacienda. This is where you will get to learn all about the creatures and also feed them treats from your hand.
You will also enjoy an entertaining seminar about Alpacas and visit the shoppe where you will find many items made from Alpaca fleece. It is one of the most fun things to do with kids in Temecula.
You will not have an experience like this at any other place. They offer private family and friends tours for you to choose from. You can also book a private tour and learn about the spices and feed them.
It is located in a beautiful countryside area and is only 10 minutes from Old Town. There is an onsite cafe where you can grab a bite if you feel hungry.
9. Enjoy cycling
Temecula has 90 miles of trails and the rolling hills are ideal for cycling. Head to the Own Town Temecula and its surrounding streets if you want something flat.
There are challenging rides as well. You can rent a bike and explore the easy and relaxing ride uphill.
10. Hike the Springs Trail
Get a closer view of the stunning flora of the popular 18-000 acre Agua Tibia Wilderness. You can hike the trail and enjoy a great day. It passes through untouched terrain and is close to Palomar Mountain.
On this hike, you will get to sight stately oaks, desert scrub, Coulter pines, and Douglas Firs with canyons and streams.
You must remember that setting off on the trail is a commitment because the trail is 14 miles long which will take 8 hours for the hike. You will have to plan a day in advance or take only a portion of the trail.
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11. Enjoy a relaxing spa
Soak in the slow pace of life at Temecula at one of the best spa facilities. It is a must-do when visiting Temecula. You can escape to a spa with luxury rooms, steam rooms, relaxation lounge, fitness facilities, saunas, outdoor patios, and whirlpools.
There is an extensive spa menu that offers services for couples as well as prenatal massages including treatments like waxing, hair and nail services, hydra facials, and a lot more. It is indeed one of the best things to do in Temecula.
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12. Camp and fish at Vail Lake
The lake was built in the 1940s and it was a great place to mountain bike over the lakeside trails, fish for bass, or even hike in the woods.
Those who love camping will discover several spots here. If you want to stay in Temecula for longer, you must spend a day at Vail Lake.
13. Visit Children’s Museum
Known as the Temecula Children’s Museum, you can take a look at the home of Phineas T. Pennypickke . It is an amazing place to teach children about music, science, and engineering through play.
There are thousands of crannies and nooks that are filled with gadgets, experiences, and inventions. It is best to visit the museum on a Friday night and is one of the top things to do at night in Temecula.
On Friday, the professor will take you on a guided tour. The Workshop remains closed on Mondays.
14. Pick strawberries and pumpkins
Visit the Temecula Valley Strawberry Farms in the strawberry season that starts from February and lasts through July.
The visit will be a great treat for children. You can go to the farm for free and only pay for the strawberries you pick. You can also pick pumpkins at the Peltzer Pumpkin Farm. It is one of the most fun things to do here.
The farm offers many activities for kids besides picking out pumpkins. Kids can enjoy a pony ride, watch pig races, pan for gold and gems, play carnival games and also drive mini tractors. It is one of the top free things to do in Temecula.
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15. Temecula Valley Museum
Learn about the rich history of Temecula valley at the museum.
It has a donation of $2 and you will get to learn a lot from the tour guides who will answer your questions about the Luiseno Indian era, handcrafted artifacts, historical photos of the area, old farming equipment, the establishment of ranges, coming of railroads and Mission San Luis Rey period.
It is one of the top things to do in Temecula.
16. Santa Rosa Plateau
Santa Rosa Plateau is a very popular attraction on 9,000 acres that is dedicated to the preservation of animals and plants. Here you will be able to see more than 45 species of engendered fauna and flora.
You can also take a hike to the trails to vernal pools and adobes. There are some areas in the reserve where it is possible to bike or explore on horseback.
17. Head to the Old Town Temecula Community Theatre
If you are tired of all the walking around town, you can simply sit and enjoy evening entertainment. There are ample things to do in Old Town Temecula CA. Head to Old Town Temecula Community Theatre for a show.
It is a relatively new addition to the town where you can watch anything from a musical performance to live music. The best thing about the theatre is that it seats only 500 people. It makes the venue pretty intimate for shows.
18. Line Dancing
This is one of the most unique things to do in Temecula. You will not see a lot of tourists around here. And line dancing is a more local experience you should go for.
It may not be for everyone but if you are into dancing and enjoy being social, then you have to make the most of the opportunity and head over to the Temecula Stampede venue for line dancing.
Even if you do not enjoy dancing, there are pool tables and a big bar for you to enjoy the evening. It remains the most fun things to do in Temecula.
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19. Head to Promenade Temecula
Walk around a huge shopping complex at Promenade Temecula. The part fringed shopping center has more than 170 shops including a food court and a cinema. You can choose from several places to have a bite.
When in Temecula, it is ideal to check out what the local mall scene looks like so hang out there and it will soon become your favorite free thing to do in Temecula.
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20. Take a stroll around Harveston Lake Park
You do not need to spend a lot of money to have fun in Temecula nor do you need to hit the top vineyards in the area. Head to Harveston Lake Park for a calm, relaxing evening.
It is one of the free things to do here. It has a duck pond where you can take a boat out and paddle around if you want to spend a little cash.
It is a perfect scenic spot where you can get a breath of fresh air and a change of scene from the vineyards.
Temecula is not Napa valley but it is a great place for great wine. It is certainly one reason to visit the beautiful town in South California but if you are not into wine, there are a ton of other things to do.
You can also visit the Temecula golf course for a golf session or the escape room in Temecula. This guide of all the things to do in Temecula will help you find something that works best for you.
If wine is not your thing, do not worry, you will not have a moment of boredom here. There is a lot more to the town than wine. No matter your traveler personality, you will have an excellent time in Temecula.