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26 Best Things to do in Temecula, California

26 Best Things to do in Temecula, California

If you’re looking for things to do in Temecula, California, you’ve come to the right place. This charming Southern California town is home to a number of activities and attractions that are perfect for visitors of all ages.

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 to 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. There are many tourist attractions and 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.

Fun & Best Things to do in Temecula, California

1. Go on a vineyard and wine tasting tour

Empty Vineyards in Temecula, California
View from Hart Winery

A trip to Temecula remains incomplete without a tasting tour in the old town. It’s called Temecula Wine Country for a reason, and of course, it is a specialty in the town but it is not restricted to wine.

The best wine tours in Temecula take you away from the beaten path and into the backyards of the local winemakers.

Once you are there, you’ll get a chance to sample wines in a tasting room and get an authentic experience from the family cellars. You’ll get to learn about the wine-making process while sampling some of the best wines in the region.

These winery tours are the perfect opportunity to explore Temecula’s wine country and get a behind-the-scenes look at how the wines are made.

You don’t need to book a wine tour to see the vineyards or wineries, you can also show up at the tasting room to start sampling the wines or contact the vineyards directly to see if they offer private tours.

Some of our favorite vineyards and wineries to visit in Temecula are:

  • Wilson Creek Winery
  • Miramonte Winery
  • Thornton Winery
  • Vindemia Estate Winery
  • Wiens Family Cellars
  • South Coast Winery

Looking to hit all the best vineyards? Check out our full list of the best wineries in Temecula.

2. Go wine tasting

Wine tasting in Temecula

It’s basically impossible to visit all the vineyards in one day or even in a full weekend. But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy other wineries. While wine tours will provide the best opportunity to get up, close, and personal with some of the top vineyards.

It’s sometimes not the most time-effective or cost-effective way to make the most of a wine sampling tour. The good news is that you can find a tasting room or two in Old Town Temecula, at one of the many great restaurants, or wine shops.

There are many wine bars and restaurants that offer an extensive list of wines by the glass. It is a perfect way to sample some of the best wines from different vineyards without feeling the need to buy a bottle.

A wine tasting flight usually comprises six wines and gives you a decent chance to find a new favorite as well as variations of sparkling wines, reserve wines, and red and white wines.

3. 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 to 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. 

4. Gem mining at Oceanview Mine

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.

5. Axe throwing 

One of the most popular sports in the old times has become popular again. Ax 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 ax 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. 

See Related: Best Things to do in Scottsdale, Arizona

6. Go on a hot air balloon ride

Hot Air Balloon Flying Over Temecula Valley

Fly over Temecula Wine Country in a hot air balloon while taking in the beauty of Southern California. 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 Temecula Valley with sunrise or a sunset ride.

If you are looking for one of the most romantic things to do in Temecula, you can book a private hot air balloon tour or take a group ride with California Dreamin Balloon Adventures.

During your hot air balloon ride, the pilots will point out key Temecula attractions, 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.

7. Visit Old Town Temecula

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. 

8. Go horseback riding

Horseback riding in Temecula

Tour the gorgeous Temecula Valley with a horseback ride to explore the many excellent wineries and the scenic beauty of Southern California. It is a lot of fun to take a scenic 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, CA. 

See Related: Best Things to do in Guerneville, California

9. 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 shop 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. 

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10. Enjoy a day of cycling through the wine country trails

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. If you like the great outdoors, you will absolutely love the variety of wine country trails that offer excellent opportunities to get your exercise in while also taking in the beauty of the Temecula Valley.

11. 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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12. Enjoy a relaxing spa

Top things to do in Temecula

 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. 

See Related: Free California Travel Guide

13. 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. 

14. Visit Pennypickle’s Workshop – Temecula Children’s Museum

Looking for a great thing to do in Temecula with kids? The whimsical, interactive, and educational, Pennypickle’s Workshop is the perfect place to take your little ones. 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.

This unique children’s museum was founded by Dr. Phineas T. Pennypickle, a retired professor of Tick-Tockology (the study of time).

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.

With over 30 hands-on exhibits, there are plenty of activities to keep the little ones busy during their visit to Pennypickle’s Workshop. On Friday, the professor will take you on a guided tour.

15. Pick strawberries and pumpkins

Visit the Temecula Valley Strawberry Farms during the strawberry season which starts in 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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16. Temecula Valley Museum 

Temecula Valley Museum is a great place to learn about the rich history of Temecula Valley. You will get to learn a ton 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, the coming of railroads, and Mission San Luis Rey period.

The museum has exhibits covering all aspects of the history of Temecula from its discovery to today. It contains three permanent exhibits and includes agricultural antiques, handcrafted pieces, photographs, and old documentation.

Temecula Valley Museum offers family-oriented activities and has an interactive discovery space for children, picnic facilities, and playgrounds. This is a great place for locals and travelers alike to learn about the rich history of Temecula Valley.

17. 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 on the trails to vernal pools and adobes. There are some areas in the reserve where it is possible to bike or explore on horseback. 

18. 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. 

19. Spend a night out line dancing

This is one of the most unique things to do in Temecula. You will not see a lot of tourists around here doing line dancing but it makes for a great nightlife activity when you visit Temecula. 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 thing to do in Temecula.

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20. 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 you visit 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.

21. Take a stroll around Harveston Lake Park

Harveston Community Park is your go-to destination for relaxation, play, or a stroll. This park has a playground, picnic tables, basketball courts, and even a dog park. The park is open from sunrise to sunset and is open to the public. It’s located at the corner of Ynez and Harveston Road.

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. 

22. Pechanga Theater

Pechanga Resort and Casino is one of the largest casinos in California and it’s a great place to visit if you’re looking for some fun and excitement. Pechanga Arena is a popular venue for concerts and other special events. The theater is located in Temecula, CA, and has been open since 2013. Pechanga Theater is the perfect place to see a show if you love live music.

Many different types of performers come through here each year. If you want to see some amazing performances by top artists then this is definitely one venue that should be on your list. Pechanga Resort and Casino also has a spa if you’re looking to relax and rejuvenate during your stay.

There are plenty of restaurants to choose from if you get hungry, so you’re sure to find something to your liking. Whether you’re looking to gamble, enjoy live entertainment, or just relax, Pechanga Resort and Casino is a great place to visit.

23. Visit the Temecula Farmers Market

Temecula Farmers Market is the perfect place to find fresh produce, handmade goods, and local food vendors every Saturday morning in Old Town Temecula. You can also enjoy live music and entertainment while strolling through the market.

With over 100 vendors, there’s something for everyone at the Temecula Farmers Market. So whether you’re looking for a delicious breakfast, lunch, or snack, you’re sure to find it here.

And if you’re looking for a unique gift, you’ll be sure to find that too. So come on down to Old Town Temecula and enjoy all that the Temecula Farmers Market has to offer.

24. Temecula Valley Symphony Orchestra

Temecula Valley Symphony Orchestra (TVSO) is the resident orchestra of the McCallum Theatre in Downtown Temecula and has been operating since 1978. They are a full symphonic orchestra, comprised of professional musicians who perform classical and popular music for the public.

The mission of TVSO is to foster an appreciation of live symphonic performing arts through performances at McCallum Theatre, educational outreach programs, and community concerts.

The history of TVSO began with four local musicians who wanted to bring classical music back into their community after budget cuts had caused it to be eliminated from local schools.

They formed an ad hoc group called “Symphony on Ice” which performed at ice rinks throughout Riverside County during the winter months when school wasn’t in session.

This group eventually became known as “Temecula Valley Symphonette” after adding more performers and expanding its repertoire including popular music from Broadway shows like West Side Story as well as contemporary pop songs from artists such as Barbra Streisand & Neil Diamond.

25. Take a day trip to San Diego

San Diego Bay

If you are looking for more action when you visit Temecula, consider taking a day trip to San Diego where you’ll find some of the most popular tourist attractions in the entire United States. Whale watching, LEGOLAND, the San Diego Zoo, and SeaWorld are just a few of the many things you can do in San Diego.

Whether you’re looking for an educational experience or just want to have some fun, a day trip to San Diego is sure to be a memorable experience.

26. Stay and play at the Temecula Creek Inn

Hotel View in Temecula, California

Temecula Creek Inn is a luxury hotel located in Temecula, California. The hotel is located in the heart of Old Town Temecula and offers a variety of amenities for guests to enjoy during their stay.

The hotel is also a popular wedding venue and has been featured on several food shows including “Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives” and “Best Thing I Ever Ate”. What’s more, Temecula Creek Inn is home to the award-winning Cork Fire Kitchen restaurant which serves up farm-to-table cuisine using ingredients sourced from local farms.

So whether you’re looking for a place to stay during your visit to Temecula or a place to host your next event, Temecula Creek Inn is a great way to make the most of your experience on the west coast.

See Related: Best Places to Visit in San Francisco

What is Temecula Known For?

As you probably already know, Temecula is known for its beautiful vineyards and wineries. You may think that’s the only thing to do in this area, but there are so many other things to enjoy.

If you love wine tasting, then this is a great place for you! There are over 100 wineries in the region and many of them offer free wine tastings. If that isn’t exciting enough for you, don’t worry; there are also plenty of places where you can enjoy live music and delicious food as well!

If golfing is your thing (and who doesn’t like hitting a little white ball around?), then Temecula has some of the best golf courses available anywhere in Southern California. They have everything from small 9-hole courses all the way up to 18-hole championship layouts where even pros will find themselves challenged on every hole they play…and maybe even beat some records while they’re at it!

For those looking for something more active or adventurous on their next trip out here – hiking! There’s nothing better than getting out into nature and doing something different than just sitting around drinking wine all day long (although we wouldn’t necessarily complain about that either!).

Is Temecula Worth Visiting?

You’re going to love Temecula, California. It’s one of the most beautiful places in America and has something for everyone. Whether you want to visit wineries, take a hike in the mountains, or sample some great food, you’ll find it here.

If you are looking for something fun and adventurous but still relaxing at the same time, then Temecula is a great choice. Located between San Diego and Los Angeles (about an hour from each) makes this area is perfect for a weekend getaway or even longer trip if that is what you are looking for.

Final Thoughts

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 Southern 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 on 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, California.

FAQs

Is Temecula worth visiting?

Temecula is definitely worth visiting if you’re looking for a great wine country experience, as well as plenty of other activities to keep you busy. With its close proximity to both San Diego and Los Angeles, it’s the perfect place for a weekend getaway or longer trip.

Why is Temecula so popular?

Riverside County’s Temecula Valley is one of Southern California’s most popular tourist destinations. The valley is home to more than 30,000 acres of vineyards and is known for its world-class wines. Not only do you have some great wineries to visit, but there are also plenty of fun things to do in the area. There are many golf courses in Temecula Valley, making it one of the most popular destinations for golfers.

What are the best things to do in Temecula with kids?

There are plenty of fun things to do in Temecula with kids! Some popular options include going to the zoo, playing at the park, or exploring Old Town Temecula.

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