Temecula, California
Temecula, California
Published July/August 2015

Touring Temecula

Savor southern California's wine country

BYAmanda Flatten
If your idea of paradise involves sipping amazing wines while enjoying vineyard views across rolling hills as far as the eye can see, the first place that comes to mind is probably Napa Valley. But consider venturing to one of southern California’s hidden gems, Temecula. 
 
About a five-hour drive from Phoenix and one hour north of San Diego, Temecula is a wine lover’s delight. It has a relaxed, small-town atmosphere and features more than 30 wineries, each with its own distinct personality. Many are small and family owned, while others are full-service wine resorts. Harvest, or “crush,” season occurs annually between August and October, providing visitors with the chance to see and possibly take part in the wine-harvesting process.
 
Craving a little adventure? A hot-air balloon ride over Temecula Valley provides the best views of the 3,000 acres of wine country. Flights typically last a little over an hour and are available year-round, weather permitting — the average daily temperature is in the mid-70s. 
 
Restored Old Town Temecula has retained its rustic Old West charm. Here you’ll find great restaurants and unique antique shops, art galleries, and exclusive boutiques with one-of-a-kind treasures. There is even a community theater if you want to take in a show. 
 
For golfers, the challenging greens of Temecula’s seven champion golf courses will beckon, and many of these courses are open to the public. For those who enjoy a bit of pampering, try one of the area’s many full-service spas.
 
From wine tasting and shopping to golfing and hot-air ballooning, Temecula is filled to the brim with surprises. 
AMANDA FLATTEN is the managing editor of Highroads.
Plan Now 
Learn more about a trip to Temecula at AAA.com, or call your local AAA Travel agent toll-free at 1-888-870-9392.  
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