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HomeFood & DrinkInsider Tips to Temecula: Less than 2 hrs from Los Angeles

Insider Tips to Temecula: Less than 2 hrs from Los Angeles

Temecula is less than two hours South of Los Angeles — but it might as well be a whole other world.   Slow life is celebrated.  The surprising culinary scene, eye candy with rolling hills lined with vineyards

40-plus vineyards, dozens of tasting rooms, and friendly folks (they actually are glad you’re visiting).

Plan to make it a weekend — there’s plenty to do: wine-tasting, golfing, balloon rides, and more.

Visit Old Town

Meander.  Go ahead.  Explore Old Town Temecula’s 12 blocks of antique shops, galleries, brewpubs, and restaurants.  Head over for samples at the delicious Temecula Olive Oil Company, where you can taste artisan olive oils in bold flavor profiles like roasted garlic or citrusy blood orange, and then browse for lavender lotions and bath soaps at Temecula Lavender Company.

Into country?  Check out who’s playing at the Temecula Stampede, the West Coast’s largest country and western music venue (they offer free dance lessons on weekends.)

Discover the Views in a Hot Air Balloon

Just before dawn join the party of hot-air balloons rising 1,500 feet above Temecula’s vineyards.

Book a spot with California Dreamin’ Balloon AdventuresMagical Adventure Balloon Rides, or A Grape Escape, then go up, up, and away.

Enjoy amazing views of fruit groves, vineyards, and the distant mountains. After touching back down to earth, celebrate with a sparkling wine toast.

Taste at Wilson Creek Winery

The Temecula Valley was once known for Chardonnay grapes, but today’s winemakers have branched out into Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Cabernet Franc, and dessert wines.

(Check out the Temecula Valley Winegrowers Association website for tasting coupons and discounts.)

For a fun tasting experience, head straight to Wilson Creek Winery.  Expand your horizons with a sip of Wilson Creek’s signature almond sparkling wine. Live bands play on the lawn most summer weekends, and an outdoor bar serves wine slushies.

Enjoy E.A.T Marketplace

Lunch time! Farm-fresh sandwiches and homemade coconut milk at E.A.T Marketplace (EAT stands for “Extraordinary Artisan Table”), and be sure to save room for turtle cheesecake. Chef Leah Delyte makes inventive dishes — plenty of gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, and paleo choices — with grass-fed beef and local Temecula edibles.

Stay at Temecula Creek Inn

Stay over at the Temecula Creek Inn, where you’ll sleep well on a comfortable bed with a view of the Santa Ana Mountains and Temecula Creek’s 27-hole championship course.



Maria Seville
Maria Sevilla is a Waukesha, WI native. She moved west to study media at UCLA. Her husband is a sports freak, while she prefers mimosas an anywhere her puppy is allowed on the patio. Right now she's writing a romance thriller and excited to attend her next concert!


  1. 2 hours from LA? Dream on. Maybe if you hit road Saturday or Sunday morning about 5:00 am.
    It takes a half hour just to get across town, as long as you do not get hit my one of the locals running
    ‘a red light while they are speeding around “enjoying the slow life”. Even though most of the wine in the valley is of average quality; the only one you mention by name is a poor representation of local product. It is pretty much just Lodi Thompson seedless grapes with artificial almond extract poured in! Not a direction anyone with even a minute knowledge of wine would want to expand their horizon to. I’m wondering if you have actually toured Temecula wine country.

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