Trekking Through Temecula’s Wine Country

Temecula means “Where the sun breaks through the mist,” in the language of the Luiseño, a Native American tribe from the area. 

Little could they foresee how much the rural earth and sunny clime would dazzle the urban dwellers of San Diego and Los Angeles, an hour and an hour and half away respectively, who venture regularly to the Temecula Valley in search of fun.

Fun they shall have. The Pechanga Resort and Casino (run by the Pechanga band of Luiseño), is packed not only with games to play but a jam-packed schedule of music and comedy concerts, boxing championships and high-end shops.

And then there’s golf, a Temecula specialty. Journey at Pechanga, a challenging 18-hole course by Arthur Hills, unfurls around native oak trees and sacred rock outcroppings. The Temecula Golf Resort at Temecula Creek Inn has 27 holes on 300 acres of spectacular scenery. At Legends Golf Club each hole is named for a famous player.

The region’s calm, warm climate ideally is suited to soaring in a hot-air balloon—a memorable way to see the scope of the vineyards and defining landscape. California Dreamin’ takes folks up in both balloons and biplanes.

Others come to Temecula simply to relax. The Grapeseed Spa at South Coast Winery and Resort gives grapeseed renewal scrubs and Moor mud and seaweed body wraps.


And Don’t Miss

California Restaurant Month, month of January
World of Wine Winter Barrel Tasting, first weekend of March
Old Town Temecula Bluegrass Festival, third weekend of March
Taste of Temecula Valley, late April
Temecula Wine & Music Festival, early May
Temecula Valley Balloon & Wine Festival, first weekend of June
California Wine Month—SIP Passport, month of September
Temecula Valley CRUSH— A Wine & Culinary Showcase, mid-September
Harvest Celebration Barrel Tasting Weekend, first weekend of November
Great Temecula Grape Drop, New Year’s Eve

Published on November 25, 2015
Topics: California Travel Guide
About the Author
Virginie Boone
Contributing Editor

Reviews wines from California.

Contributing Editor Virginie Boone has been with Wine Enthusiast since 2010, and reviews the wines of Napa and Sonoma. Boone began her writing career with Lonely Planet travel guides, which eventually led to California-focused wine coverage. She contributes to the Santa Rosa Press Democrat and Sonoma Magazine, and is a regular panelist and speaker on wine topics in California and beyond. Email:

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