14 Best Things to Do in Temecula

03/20/2024 | by Fieldtrip Staff Writer | Temecula

Descend into the lush Temecula Valley for a vacation full of exciting things to do in Temecula. Our luxury vacation homes in Temecula are perfect for visitors to SoCal, and you won’t have to stray too far to find fun.

With a world-class wine country and historical sites reminiscing on the days of the old west and everything in between, Temecula is a charming destination you’ll love exploring.

These are our picks for the best 14 things to do in Temecula.


1. Adventure Through Temecula Wine Country

Calling all wine connoisseurs for a spirited getaway to one of California’s favorite wine countries!

The lush Temecula Valley was named one of the “Top 10 Wine Travel Destinations” by the Wine Enthusiasts platform. More than 50 wineries dot the region, offering visitors wine tasting tours and learning the history to learn what makes each one special.

Wine Varieties

The rolling hills basking in Temecula Valley’s Mediterranean climate make the region ripe with savory grapes used to make distinct wines you’ll only taste here. The region is famous for its robust Cabernet Sauvignon, smooth Merlots, and crisp Chardonnays.

When to Visit

The best time to visit wineries in Temecula is between August and October, during the grape harvest season.

The De Portola Wine Trail, one of the premier wine country trails, is one of the top things to do in Temecula for winery tours and sample flights in tasting rooms. Don’t forget to purchase a bottle of your favorite to enjoy back at your Temecula vacation rental!

The Best Temecula Wineries

Here are a few of our favorite wineries to check out while visiting Temecula for a sip of the region’s award-winning wines and tours:


2. Visit Old Town Temecula

Established in the late 1800s, Old Town Temecula is a historic district frozen in time. Park your car and walk around this charming area for sightseeing, shopping, dining, and more.

Want to know what Temecula looked like in the past? Pass beneath the iconic street arch, and you’ll enter the world of yesteryear. Walk through time surrounded by rustic buildings and a retro ambiance throughout the district.

This is a popular district to spend the day. Grab a chai tea from one of the local cafes, then make your way past the storefronts lining Old Town Front Street. Browse vintage knick-knacks in antique shops, smell the aromatic Old Town Spice & Tea Merchants, and other shops.

Take a break from shopping and dine at some of our favorite restaurants in Temecula:

Enjoy nightlife in the Old Town at the Temecula Stampede. It’s the largest country music venue on the West Coast, with live music concerts, bull riding, and billiards.


3. Relive the Old West at Vail Headquarters

  • Address: 32115 Temecula Pkwy., Temecula, CA
  • Website: vailhq.com

Compare Old Town Temecula with Vail Headquarters, a former 80,000-acre cattle ranch that was also around during the 1800s. Today, it’s a living historic park with family-friendly activities for all ages. You’ll know you’ve arrived when you see the iconic water tower!

Plan for a few hours to see as much of this park as possible.

Take one of the guided tours to learn more about landmarks like the farm and aged ranch equipment. Wander past outdoor vendors selling refreshing drinks and snacks into 19th-century buildings featuring boutique shops, restaurants, and seasonal pop-ups. If you’re in town on a Tuesday, stop by the weekly Farmer’s Market.

Kids will have a blast with old western fun. Ride the tire swings, play cowboy rope games, and compete against your family on the bocce court.


4. Learn History at the Temecula Valley Museum

You’ll see tons of historical sights while exploring Temecula. Uncover stories of the past at the Temecula Valley Museum.

Thoughtful exhibitions retell the history of Temecula from the beginning. The permanent collection exhibits information about the Luiseno Indians who resided in Temecula Valley, the ranching culture that took over the region, and key people who helped found Temecula.

Experience what it’s like to walk through historic Temecula on the recreated street scene and saddle up for a photo at the ride-a-pony station.


5. Stop By Pennypickle’s Workshop

Step into the mind of a genius at Pennypickle’s Workshop. It’s one of the top kid-friendly things to do in Temecula, with tons of hands-on exhibitions to explore.

This award-winning children’s museum lets you explore the inner workings of Professor Pennypickle’s home workshop. The exhibitions are experiments gone right–or wrong—where you’ll learn a thing or two about gravity, flights, and more. Enter the kitchen for wacky science experiments and browse the shelves for quirky gizmos.

6. Indulge in the Local Craft Beer Scene

If you thought wine was the only way to have spirited fun in Temecula, think again! The local craft beer scene has exploded in recent years. The craft breweries here truly bring something new to your palate—taste flavors brewed with locally sourced ingredients, creative flavors inspired by Southern California, and unique themed concepts.

May is the perfect time to indulge in the savory suds with Craft Brew Month. Our local breweries showcase award-winning beers and host special events. You can even explore beer flavors soon to come.

Check out these popular Temecula Breweries:


7. Go on a Hot Air Balloon Ride

Get a bird’s eye view of Temecula Valley’s scenic hillsides on a hot air balloon ride. Soar high above the local vineyards for a vantage point that will take your breath away.

Lift off at sunrise and soar into the cloudless skies to see the sun slowly blanketing this verdant valley. Fly with Magical Adventure Balloon Rides or California Dreamin’ Balloon Adventures, offering different themed flights and packages. Plan a champagne toast at the top or dwell in the serenity of being so high up.

The annual Temecula Valley Balloon & Wine Festival is one of the most fun things to do every May to June, with tons of vibrant balloons that can be seen overhead the Lake Skinner Recreation Area.


8. Visit Harveston Lake Park

Temecula’s Old West scenery quickly turns into lakefront vistas once you arrive at Harveston Lake Park. It covers 17 acres around the lake and has tons to offer for outdoor fun.

Climb into a pontoon pedal boat and cruise past the picturesque lakefront gazebo and fountain. Go for a walk on the 0.8-mile loop trail around the lake on shaded trails. Later, see what books others left behind in the Little Free Library.

Pets are allowed in the park if you’re one of the lucky guests in our pet-friendly Temecula vacation rentals.

For even more lake fun, continue driving North on I-15 to reach Lake Elsinore or the local Temecula Duck Pond.


9. Go Hiking in the Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve

Get closer to nature at the Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve. If you’re visiting in the fall, this is the perfect activity for leaf peepers! Prepare for a day of hiking to elevated viewpoints overlooking the diverse landscape and trails that take you right through the best areas.

The Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve is 7,500 acres of protected land in the Santa Ana Mountains. Hope you like heights because this plateau sits 2,000 feet above sea level—and even higher when you reach the highest point at Monument Hill.

Enjoy the breeze while trekking through grasslands and cool off in the shade of Oak woodlands.

Popular hiking trails in the Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve:

  • Vernal Pool Trail: 3.3-mile loop trail ideal for beginners
  • Granite Loop Trail: Easy 1.1-mile trail
  • Waterline Road: Easy 1.7-mile trail near the visitor’s center
  • Santa Rosa Plateau Scenic Loop: Moderate 7-mile-long hike

If your feet get tired, continue exploring the reserve with horseback riding or mountain biking.


10. Test Your Luck at the Pechanga Casino

  • Address: 45000 Pechanga Pkwy, Temecula, CA
  • Website: pechanga.com

Did you know Temecula is home to the largest casino in the West? Pechanga Resort & Casino’s 200,000 square foot casino floor is larger than that of the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. So, if you can’t win here, gaming may not be your thing!

It’s all fun and games at the Pechanga Resort Casino. Try your luck on video poker machines and slots. Play your best hand in Blackjack and get a lucky roll in craps.

If you think the house always wins, you should know there have been nearly a dozen $1M+ jackpot winners. Will you be next?


11. Swing for the Hills on Scenic Golf Courses

Golfing is one of the favorite things to do in Temecula for locals and visitors. Temecula Valley is a prime location for finding some of the best golf courses in Southern California. Whether in town for leisure or hoping to close your next business deal, it’s always time for tee time in Temecula.

The scenic views are what makes golfing in Temecula so special. Every day is the perfect weather to spend the day on the course, surrounded by groomed lawns at each hole and mountain backdrops.

Some of our favorite local golf courses are:

Not ready for these championship-tier golf courses? Check out the Mulligan Family Fun Center nearby in Murrieta for mini golf fun.


12. Throw Your Heart Out at SoCal Axe

  • Address: 41493 Margarita Rd Suite G107, Temecula, CA
  •  Website: socalaxe.com

Aim. Lift. Toss! Axe-throwing is the latest hype in Temecula. It’s a must-try if you’ve never been. It’s popular for groups visiting Temecula and will happily host your entire party.

SoCal Axe has 16 throwing lanes. If it’s your first time, the expert staff will gladly give you a quick lesson for the perfect toss to fling a real axe towards the bullseye target. Play for 30 minutes for a warm-up or for 90 minutes to nail down your axe-throwing skills. And yes, it’s definitely a workout!

Ask about hosting a birthday party or corporate team-building event. If you had fun here, check out their second location in Escondido in the neighboring San Diego County.


13. Visit Sugarplum Zoo

A petting zoo and chocolate shop sounds like an unlikely pair. But the Sugarplum Zoo is one of Temecula’s hidden gems that makes it work! Just make sure to wash your hands after touching the animals before eating the sweets.

Follow Daisy, the tour guide pig, to see the various animals rescued and given a new home here in Temecula. Sugarplum Zoo has quite an exotic collection of animals—zebras, camels, mini horses, tortoises, alpacas, goats, and more. Visitors can step inside the animal pens and interact with the friendly animals.

The zoo owner is a chocolatier who shares her love of chocolate with everyone who visits. You can book a private chocolate tasting with her or check out different chocolate bars, seasonal truffles, and other chocolaty treats in the gift shop.


14. Check Out the Alpaca Hacienda

Make an appointment to tour The Alpaca Hacienda. This private farm gives tours to showcase their lovable residents—alpacas! These fluffy creatures will keep a smile on your face while you pet them, take selfies, and let them eat out the palm of your hand.

The center helps educate visitors on alpacas. There’s also a store where you can purchase your very own alpaca fleece or other quirky gifts.


Book Your Stay in Temecula

Book your stay at Edna Terrace

Whether you’re in town to explore the local wineries, check out Old Town, or make the most of the beautiful year-round weather, Temecula should be at the top of your list of places to visit in Southern California.

Book a stay in luxury vacation rentals in Temecula and enjoy everything we have to offer!