Top 30 Things to Do in Temecula – California Dreamin'

Top 30 Things to Do in Temecula

Whether you are planning a weekend couple’s getaway, a get-together with friends, a day trip to a local winery, or a family vacation, Temecula offers abundant opportunities for adventure. From taking a wine tasting tour through the rolling hills of Temecula wine country to horseback riding and sightseeing, there are always fun things to do. Below we have compiled a list of 30 of the top things you should do while in Temecula. So, pack your bag and have a fabulous time!

Best Things to Do with Kids

Interact with Alpacas at the Alpaca Hacienda

Image source: The Alpaca Hacienda

Description: Take a tour of The Alpaca Hacienda, a family-friendly alpaca farm where you can enjoy hands-on interaction with alpacas and even give them treats. You can also learn interesting facts about alpacas at an educational seminar. The tour also includes a visit to The Alpaca Shoppe, an alpaca-themed store that features items made from alpaca fleece, such as hats and scarves.

Best time of year: spring through fall

Quote from Yelp review: “The alpacas are so cute and it’s just a nice way to spend a few hours. Loved Julie, our tour guide for the day!.” – Thuy P., Anaheim, CA

Visit the Ricardo Breceda Gallery & Sculpture Garden


Image source: The_Roaming_Raven on TripAdvisor

Description: Artist Ricardo Breceda created these metal sculptures that are gathered in the open-air Ricardo Breceda Gallery & Sculpture Garden. These sculptures include prehistoric mammals, a serpent, horses and cowboys from the Old West, birds, tarantulas, and other wildlife.

Best time of year: anytime

Quote from TripAdvisor review: “You will notice more detail each time you look at his art pieces.” – Shakuroo, Dana Point, CA

Learn About the Area’s History at the Temecula Valley Museum

Temecula Valley Museum

Image source: Temecula Valley Museum

Description: The Temecula Valley Museum features a variety of exhibits that reflect life in the Temecula Valley throughout different eras. Displays include ranching and farming equipment, photographs, documents, handcrafted artifacts, and exhibits that provide insight into the lives of the indigenous Luiseno Indians who once lived in the area.

Best time of year: anytime

Quote from Google review: “Great little local museum; a must for Temecula residents and anyone interested in the area’s history. The docent staff is very knowledgeable and friendly.” – Jose Ramirez, Local Guide

Experience a Living Historic Park at Vail Headquarters

Living Historic Park at Vail Headquarters

Image source: Vail Headquarters

Description: Vail Headquarters is a living historic park that was originally an 80,000-acre cattle ranch. It features specialty restaurants, shops, curated historic displays, and family-friendly activities, including games, movie nights, a Family Fun Day every Sunday, special events, and a guided history tour that features a working blacksmith shop.

Best time of year: anytime

Quote from Google review: “Love Vail Headquarters! The Sunday flea market is great. Coffee is delicious. Ice cream is also incredible. Tons of stuff to do with the kids outside in the courtyard, and we even stopped in to the Temecula Pottery Co. to do some craft projects.” – Lisa Ines, Local Guide

Have a Family Adventure at the Pennypickle’s WorkshopTemecula Children’s Museum

Pennypickle's Workshop – Temecula Children’s Museum

Image source: Pennypickle’s WorkshopTemecula Children’s Museum                                 

Description: Pennypickle’s Workshop is the home of Professor Phineas T. Pickle, a time-traveling genius who claims to have conspired with the likes of Albert Einstein, Leonardo da Vinci, and Charles Lindberg. Kids can enjoy tons of educational and fun hands-on activities and experiments at this museum, which has received multiple awards, including the Nickelodeon Networks’ Parents’ Pick Award for Best Museum and Best Birthday Party Place.

Best time of year: anytime

Quote from Yelp review: “There are tons of hands-on gadgets and gizmos for kids to play with. Virtually nothing is off-limits, so the kids can play with everything. You can crawl through little hallways and secret passageways, which is fun for adults…Highly recommended and would definitely visit again.” – Kent C., Los Angeles, CA

Relax, Play, or Take a Stroll at the Harveston Community Park

Harveston Community Park

Image source: City of Temecula

Description: Harveston Community Park offers 17 acres of sports fields, a children’s play area, and picnic areas. The community park connects to Lake Harveston Park via a trail, so after you visit the park, you can take a leisurely stroll around the perimeter of the lake on the scenic, one-mile walking route.

Best time of year: spring through fall

Quote from Yelp review: “What a beautiful park! Came here to watch my nephew’s soccer practice and had some time to kill…Definitely worth visiting and revisiting! If I lived in the area, I’d definitely take advantage of this park.” – Lynn S., Los Angeles, CA

Pet the Zonkey at the Sugarplum Farm of Temecula

Sugarplum Farm of Temecula

Image source: Sugarplum Farm of Temecula

Description: Sugarplum Farm of Temecula features a therapy zoo, which is a hands-on petting zoo, full of rescued and rehomed animals. You can also see exotic animals there, such as a zonkey – part zebra and part donkey. This farm was originally established to serve those with special needs and is now open to the general public. It is also home to an artisan chocolate company, so you can stop by and pick up some chocolate treats while you are there.

Best time of year: spring through fall

Quote from Yelp review: “So amazing! Probably one of the best petting zoos I’ve been to. Every single staff member was friendly and told us how to pet and feed the animals.” – Hayley J., Los Angeles, CA

Best Activities for Adults

Have a Wine Tasting Experience at Vindemia Estate Winery

Vindemia Estate Winery

Description: Located in Southern California’s Wine Country, Temecula offers abundant opportunities for touring vineyards and wine tasting. The Vindemia Estate Winery offers some of the best varietals of handcrafted wines, which are farmed with sustainable winegrowing practices. Other highly rated nearby wineries and vineyards to check out include Leoness Cellars, Miramonte Winery, Callaway Vineyard & Winery, Ponte Winery, and Wilson Creek Winery.

Best time of year: spring and summer

Quote from Google review of Vindemia Estate Winery: “This is my go-to winery when folks come out to visit. Not only are the wines great, but the views and ambiance are even better… They also offer hot air ballooning, which I did on my first visit early in the morning. It was one of the most serene experiences I have ever had.” — KG

Visit Old Town Temecula

Old Town Temecula

Image source: Visit Temecula Valley

Description: Old Town Temecula offers unique shopping, dining, and entertainment opportunities as you walk along its wooden boardwalks and take in the sights of the rustic buildings and storefronts. Visit antique shops, specialty boutiques, craft breweries, and restaurants that offer farm-to-table dining, or attend outdoor festivals while you are there.

Best time of year: anytime

Quote from TripAdvisor review:Old Town Temecula is a fantastic place to walk around, eat, shop, and just watch people.” – dnaleciz, Moreno Valley, CA

Tour Three Wineries with So-Cal Wine Tours

So-Cal Wine Tours

Image source: SoCal Wine Tours                                                 

Description: Take a guided tour through the rolling hills and vineyards in wine country while you have 18 wine tastings at three different wineries with SoCal Wine Tours. Itineraries will vary according to which wineries are releasing the best tasting wines and which have scored points at wine competitions. Specialty tours are available for birthdays, bridal showers, and other events.

Best time of year: spring and summer

Quote from TripAdvisor review: “So much fun! Visited great wineries and had a great host! Would definitely do it again! Would recommend to everyone!” – Nadine A., West Covina, CA

Get Spooked at the Haunted Temecula Ghost Tour Pub Crawl

Haunted Temecula Ghost Tour Pub Crawl

Image source: Nightly Spirits

Description: Take a nighttime guided tour on this combination of a ghost tour and a pub crawl through Old Town Temecula with your tour guide from Nightly Spirits. Your costumed guide will share haunted tales of saloon debauchery, murder, and mayhem as you walk along the one-mile route, and you’ll make stops at bars along the way to enjoy drinks and hear ghostly stories.

Best time of year: spring through fall

Quote from TripAdvisor review: “My friends and I booked this tour for a ladies’ night out… I definitely recommend this tour if your spirits need a little pick-me-up!” – Jenny D.

Relax and Play at the Pechanga Resort and Casino

Pechanga Resort and Casino

Image source: Pechanga Resort and Casino

Description: Try your luck at the Pechanga Resort and Casino, California’s largest casino floor, with 188,000 square feet of space, more than 5,000 slot machines, and 158 table games. In addition to enjoying your time at the casino, you can take a dip in one of three pools, pamper yourself at the spa, play a game of golf at the Journey at Pechanga Golf Course, and spend the night in a AAA Four-Diamond deluxe room or suite. This venue is owned and operated by the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians.

Best time of year: anytime

Quote from Google review: “Clean rooms and casino with a staff that goes out of their way to make it a memorable day or night.” – Al Sciara

See Wine Country on Horseback with Wine Country Trails by Horseback

Wine Country Trails by Horseback

Image source: Wine Country Trails by Horseback

Description: Wine Country Trails by Horseback offers guided tours on horseback through scenic wine country, where you can experience breathtaking views of the Maurice Car’rie Winery vineyards. For safety reasons, wine tasting is not available during the tour. Proceeds from your visit will go to pay for food and medical care for rescued horses that were either abandoned or abused by their previous owners.

Best time of year: spring through fall

Quote from Yelp review: “I am so glad my husband surprised me with this during our anniversary celebrations!!!! I had the best time.” – Jacquie H., Santa Ana, CA

Take in a Performance of the Temecula Valley Symphony

Temecula Valley Symphony

Image source: Temecula Valley Symphony

Description: Take in a live performance at the Temecula Valley Symphony. You can choose from concerts that feature symphonic pops, traditional classics, or film scores. There are also youth symphony concerts and a variety of special events, including a Veterans Day performance and family concerts.

Best time of year: fall through spring

Quote from My Nonprofit Reviews: “This symphony is the best, the music is always wonderful, and each concert is well planned out.” Queendiva

Best Activities for a Unique Experience

Enjoy a Sunrise Hot Air Balloon Ride with California Dreamin

Hot Air Balloon Ride

Description: From birthdays to anniversaries to wedding engagements, we see it all here. The Temecula Valley’s location, rolling hills and vineyards, snow-capped mountains, and citrus groves, make it a prime location for a romantic hot air balloon ride. After your California Dreamin sunrise balloon ride, you will land at the Vindemia Winery. This is a private vineyard and winery in the heart of wine country, where you can enjoy sparkling wine or cider and a light, European breakfast after your ride.

Best time of year: spring through fall

Quote from TripAdvisor review: “I decided to celebrate my birthday like that! You feel a chill in your stomach and a lot of peace at the same time. And a mimosa when we landed made me feel even happier. Everyone should have this experience.” – Mario H., Irvine, CA

Try Your Hand at Axe Throwing at SoCal Axe

Axe Throwing at SoCal Axe

Image source: SoCal Axe

Description: At SoCal Axe, you can relieve some stress with a little axe throwing. This can be a fun way to spend a date or hang out with friends, and SoCal Axe can also accommodate birthday parties, bachelor and bachelorette parties, or corporate events, even with 20 or more participants.

Best time of year: anytime

Quote from Google review: “Tons of fun. Great staff, and they teach well. We didn’t feel any pressure or awkward about it being our first time. Went as a date, and it was a perfect idea. We will be going again.” – Dylan Shepperd

Tour a Working Ranch on Horseback at Green Acres Ranch

Horseback at Green Acres Ranch

Image source: Visit Temecula Valley

Description: For a fun, outdoor adventure, visit Green Acres Ranch, where you can tour their 50-acre working horse ranch on horseback with a trained guide. This ranch also offers riding lessons, youth horse camps, therapeutic riding, and facility rental for special occasions.

Best time of year: Spring through fall

Quote from Google review: “Very friendly staff (both human and horse staff)! Had a great one-hour trail ride, which was perfect for beginners who have never really ridden horses before!” – Charles Breingan, Local Guide

Best Things to Do in the Fall and Winter

Get Some Retail Therapy at the Promenade Temecula

Promenade Temecula

Image source: Promenade Temecula

Description: Promenade Temecula is a shopping mall with 170 stores, including JC Penney, Macy’s, Edwards’ Cinemas, Forever 21, H&M, Sephora, Victoria’s Secret, and Apple. Fast-casual restaurants, sit-down restaurants, and snack and drink vendors provide a large variety of dining options if you get hungry while you’re shopping.

Best time of year: anytime

Quote from Google review: “This place is great to stop by before leaving Temecula. Antique shops, places to eat, and places to stop and have a cold beer, sit back, and relax.” – Lupe Quintero, Local Guide

Experience Christmas on the Farm at Peltzer Family Cellars

Christmas on the Farm at Peltzer Family Cellars

Image source: Valley News                                

Description: Peltzer Winery hosts their annual Christmas on the Farm, which is a six-week event in the winter. This event kicks off with the tree lighting event and features an ice skating rink, live music, food trucks, and of course, wine.

Best time of year: winter

Quote from Yelp review: “Such a fun experience! The tasting room is a barn! I would say the décor is farmhouse chic, but decked out for Christmas!” – Jim W., Henderson, NV

Kick off the Holidays at the South Coast Winery Tree Lighting Festival

South Coast Winery Tree Lighting Festival

Image source: Valley News

Description: South Coast Winery hosts the annual Tree Lighting Festival to kick off the Christmas season. This event is full of family-friendly activities, including a craft station, photo booth, tractor and horse-drawn carriage rides, carolers, cookie decorating, and a visit from Santa Claus.

Best time of year: winter

Quote from Google review: “We went for the Christmas tree lighting event, and it was beautiful.” – Ana Tasevski

Enjoy a Jingle Bell Sleigh Ride at Temecula Carriage Company

Jingle Bell Sleigh Ride at Temecula Carriage Company

Image source: Temecula Carriage Company

Description: The Temecula Carriage Company offers Jingle Bell Sleigh Rides during the holiday season. This horse-drawn carriage ride lasts about 25 minutes and takes you on a journey through more than 100,000 twinkling lights. You can have up to four people in your own private carriage. Rides are subject to availability, so be sure to make a reservation ahead of time.

Best time of year: winter

Quote from Yelp review: “Took the Christmas sleigh ride and it was wonderful. The driver was super sweet!” – Chanelle B.

Ring in the New Year with Old Town Temecula’s Grape Drop

Old Town Temecula’s Grape Drop

Image source: City of Temecula                                                

Description: You don’t have to go to New York City to enjoy New Year’s Eve. Instead, you can experience Temecula’s New Year’s Eve Grape Drop at the Civic Center Quad in Old Town Temecula. You’ll get to see a giant, illuminated cluster of decorated, fiberglass “grapes” drop from the third story of the building. Come early for ice skating, live music, and a free fun zone, with face painters, carnival games, and a huge slide.

Best time of year: Winter

Quote from Yelp review: “You can bring your kids, and you may bring your dog! It’s family-friendly!” – Elle N., Carlsbad, CA

Best Things to Do in the Spring

Take in the Sights and Smells at Rose Haven Heritage Garden

Rose Haven Heritage Garden

Image source: Visit Temecula Valley                                            

Description: You can see approximately 1,600 roses, including mini-roses, climbers, and hybrid teas, as well as a variety of succulents, at the Rose Haven Heritage Garden. The first blooms appear in April and May, and the garden becomes dormant in the fall. This garden is certified by the National Wildlife Federation as a wildlife sanctuary.

Best time of year: spring and summer

Quote from Google review: “It’s a wonderful, quiet, and beautiful space to walk around and take in the scenery.” – Sequoyha Pelletier

See Vintage Cars at the Temecula Rod Run

Temecula Rod Run

Image source: City of Temecula                                          

Description: The Temecula Rod Run is a car show that features more than 600 classic cars. This event is held annually in May, and it features a Friday Night Cruise, a Top Rod Awards show, food vendors, and live music.

Best time of year: spring

Quote from Yelp review: “So cool! Hot rods and vintage classics abound… great family atmosphere… and it’s free!” – Chris W., Tustin, CA

Indulge at the Chocolate Decadence and Pechanga Wine Festival

Pechanga Wine Festival

Image source: Pechanga Resort Casino

Description: The Chocolate Decadence and Pechanga Wine Festival occurs annually in March. You can enjoy live music, participate in a silent auction, and choose from hundreds of wine varieties from dozens of wineries, spirits, gourmet food samples, and chocolate confections, at this two-day festival.  The Habitat for Humanity Inland Valley benefits from the proceeds brought in by this event.

Best time of year: spring

Quote from Yelp review: “This was certainly an amazing night out to get your sweets fix, explore great wines and spirits, and benefit Habitat for Humanity. The atmosphere was casual, and everyone seemed to be having a great time.” – Lynn, restaurant review blog

Listen to Some Blues Music at the Temecula Blues Festival

Temecula Blues Festival

Image source: Old Town Blues Club                                           

Description: The Temecula Blues Festival is held annually in April on the plaza in front of the Civic Center. This festival features a variety of live blues music from international, regional, or local blues bands. There are plenty of food and drink options for you to enjoy while you listen to the music and visit the merchandise markets.                                                                                                    

Best time of year: spring

Quote from Google review: “A group of 12 of us attended, and we all had a great time. The bands kept us dancing the whole time.” Tally Flotron

Have an Adventure at the Temecula Valley Balloon & Wine Festival

Temecula Valley Balloon & Wine Festival

Image source: Visit Temecula Valley                                           

Description: The Temecula Valley Balloon & Wine Festival is an annual, three-day event that takes place in May. You can enjoy live entertainment, wine barrel racing, wine and craft beer, tethered balloon rides, and a sunrise balloon launch with illuminated balloons.

Best time of year: spring

Quote from Yelp review: “Overall it was a wonderful experience. We are looking forward to attending again next year!” – Jamie M., Los Angeles, CA


Best Things to Do in the Summer

Pick Your Own Blueberries at the Temecula Berry Company

Temecula Berry Company

Image source: Temecula Berry Company

Description: Temecula Berry Company is a U-Pick blueberry farm where you can purchase and fill a one-time-use picking container with sweet, ripe blueberries. This is a great family activity, and it’s a fun way to spend a little time on a summer day. You can also purchase blueberry jam, blueberry syrup, blueberry pound cake, local honey, soy candles, and a variety of other treats. The U-Pick farm is open from mid-May to mid-July.

Best time of year: spring

Quote from TripAdvisor review: “What a lovely way to spend an afternoon! We just love this place! Go with family, go with friends, it doesn’t really matter.” – Michelle

Buy Something Fresh at the Old Town Temecula Farmers’ Market

Old Town Temecula Farmers’ Market

Image source: Old Town Temecula Farmers’ Market

Description: Choose farm-fresh, locally grown, organic produce from more than 70 farmers and vendors at the Old Town Temecula Farmers’ Market. You can find everything from fruits and vegetables and plants to cheeses and handmade soaps. This farmers’ market is every Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in Old Town Temecula, and it offers something for everyone.

Best time of year: spring through fall

Quote from Yelp review: “My wife and I happened to stop here on our way to San Diego, and it’s a pretty neat farmers’ market, with a variety of stalls from organic produce to cooked food to candles to plants.” – Derek W., Loma Linda, CA

See the Work of Local Artists at the Temecula Art & Street Painting Festival

Temecula Art & Street Painting Festival

Image source: The Press-Enterprise

Description: The Temecula Art & Street Painting Festival is a three-day event that occurs annually in June. It features many types of artwork, including fine art, ceramicists, photographers, and jewelry designers. Street painters also share their chalk art on the streets.

Best time of year: summer

Quote from TripAdvisor review: “Enjoyed walking around the Old Town art festival, especially the chalk drawings on the street. Found some great cupcakes!” – Nkeesee, Maumelle, AR

For the perfect weekend getaway or a day trip with friends or family, Temecula is waiting to welcome you. Why not hop in a car and take advantage of this opportunity and spend some time exploring one of Southern California’s hidden gems?


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