10 Best Things to Do in Temecula in the Summer

  • Dining
  • on MAY 24, 2017
  • 2454
  • 0
Share with your friends

As one of the few locations in the nation where you can both surf and ski in the same day, it shouldn’t be a surprise that southern California has a little something for everyone — including wine lovers. Temecula, a city located only 22 miles away from San Diego’s jewel like beaches, has become one of the largest wine producing regions by volume in California, even though only 1,300 acres of its 33,000 acre valley is planed with wine grapes. But don’t let its small size fool you. More than 70 growers call this valley home and have produced award winning varietals of syrah, zinfandel, and tempranillo, among others. So pack your bags, grab your sunscreen, and check out our picks for the top ten best ways to soak up the summer in sunny Temeculal.

south coast winery with ot air balloon in background
Image Source: Facebook
South Coast Winery Resort & Spa
34843 Rancho California Road
Temecula, CA 92591-4006
(951) 566-4622
TripAdvisor: 4.5 stars; 1,489 reviews

Situated on 38 lush acres of rolling vineyards illuminated by ample California sunshine, South Coast Winery Resort & Spa offers a breathtaking retreat for wine tours, romantic escapes, and picturesque events. Not only a full-service resort and spa, but also an award-winning working winery, their varietal selections feature intense flavors with soft, supple structure. Here they craft two labels, Wild Horse Peak Mountain and Carter Estates Reserve, with Wild Horse offering robust Cabs and bold Merlots, and Carter Estates focusing on wines aged in European oak barrels and released in limited quantities. The tasting room is not to be skipped.

Insider Tip: For an unforgettable photo opportunity, don’t miss their onsite Wisteria Arbor. Flowering in early spring and summer, their magnificent violet, foot-long blooms are something not to be overlooked.

Driving a jeep through vineyard
Image Source: Facebook
Temecula Valley Jeep & Wine Tours
32286 Via Arias
Temecula, CA 92592
(951) 240-6646
TripAdvisor: 5 stars; 105 reviews

There are few better ways to see the valley than riding in the back of a jeep, wind in your hair, and sunshine on your skin. With Temecula Valley Jeep and Wine Tours, you get all that plus a little something extra. Check out the open skies, grand mountains, and endless rows of vineyards while bumping along dirt roads and adventuring in the backcountry. Their signature tour includes a gourmet lunch, tastings at three award-winning wineries, crush pad and barrel room tours, and a surprise gift.

Insider Tip: If big groups aren’t your style, TVJ is the tour company for you. Their apple red jeeps only seat six, so be prepared to receive the very best personalized experience. Summer weekends can book up months in advance, so be sure to get a reservation early.

Image Source: Facebook
Temecula Valley Balloon and Wine Festival
Lake Skinner Recreation Area
37701 Warren Road
Winchester, CA 92596
(951) 676-6713

If you want a taste of valley history, get your tickets to the Temecula Valley Balloon and Wine Festival now! First started in 1983 by a commercial airline pilot and wine-loving event planner, the founders could hardly have dreamed that their tiny festival would have grown to such a prestigious event still going strong nearly 35 years later. While the theme of hot air balloons and wine have always served the event, it’s now a place where music lovers, foodies, and oenophiles can come together to enjoy summer. Not to mention, a portion of the proceeds from the event go to fund local charities like the 4-H Club, Boy Scouts, Boys & Girls Clubs of Southwest Riverside County, Rotary Club, Temecula Valley Art League, and Temecula Valley Wine Society.

Insider Tip: Set your alarm for sunrise, pick up some coffee and a pastry at Bean Coffee Roasters, and head to the venue. Sunrise is the best time to watch the balloons unpack, launch, and rise up in the morning sky before the summer heat hits its zenith.

Image Source: miramonet.com
Miramonte Winery
33410 Rancho California Rd.
Temecula, CA 92591
(951) 506-5500
TripAdvisor: 4 stars; 208 reviews

Well known for their stunning views and wrap around veranda, Miramonte Winery specializes in Rhone varietal wines and blends. Their beautiful outdoor location is perched on the top of a hill overlooking acres of rolling vines and a large sweeping lawn. In addition to the stunning view, Miramonte is also pet friendly. Well behaved four-legged friends are welcome with a responsible adult.

Insider Tip: Since 2001, every Friday & Saturday night Miramonte has been home to some of the finest live music in the Inland Empire. Offering great wine, beer, and live music from 7-10 PM, these weekend events have evolved into signature wine/music events in Temecula wine country.

Tasting Temecula bus
Image Source: tastintemecula.com
Tastin’ Temecula
41890 Enterprise Cir S Suite 297
Temecula, CA 92590
(951) 290-0269

Tastin’ Temecula is one of the few family owned and operated tour companies in the valley. Run by a brother and sister that have watched the valley grow from humble beginnings to wine covered hills, their tours embody the epitome of hospitality and luxury. There’s no one better than locals themselves to take you on an intimate and knowledgeable tour of the valley in which they grew up.

Insider Tip: For real treat, be sure to book one of their Epicurean Tours. In addition to transportation and a private lounge, this luxury experience also includes a champagne and charcuterie board, four course lunch with wine pairings, exclusive vineyard & barrel room tours, as well as a bottle to take home.

Image Source: danzadelsol.com

Danza Del Sol Winery
39050 De Portola rd.
Temecula, CA 92592
(951) 305-6363
TripAdvisor: 4.5 stars; 144 reviews

Tucked into an adobe building is the beautiful Danza Del Sol Winery. With an expansive patio, views of the rolling hills, and the friendliest tasting staff in the valley, Danza Del Sol is a must when visiting Southern California. Known for their impressive varietals of cabernet franc, tempranillo, gewürztraminer, sangiovese, syrah, viognier, orange muscat, cabernet sauvignon, and sauvignon blanc, they typically produce wines in a Mediterranean-style. Their wines are perfect for sharing with friends and family during lazy summer afternoons on the terrace.

Insider Tip: Temecula Valley isn’t only wine country, it’s horse country too. Danza Del Sol is one of the few wineries on the De Portola Wine Trail that is equestrian friendly, complete with hitching posts. Just be sure to give them a call to reserve parking for your steed before riding up cowboy style.

hot air balloon
Image Source: compasstours.com
Compass Balloon Tours
34225 Rancho California Road
Temecula, CA 92592
TripAdvisor: 5 stars; 7 reviews

Hot air ballooning is as much part of the valley history as the grapes themselves. With Compass Balloons, you can be sure that you’re getting a memorable and, above all, safe, view of the vineyards below. Hot air ballooning is one of the most unique attractions in Temecula. Experience serenity and peacefulness while soaring over lush vineyards, beautiful estates, and awe-inspiring scenery. On their Temecula hot air balloon rides, float effortlessly over some of California’s gorgeous, award-winning wineries for an experience of a lifetime. With the local mountains framing the beautiful scenic valley, it is the perfect place to embark on your next adventure.

Insider Tip: Their sunrise flight is a great way to start the day before hitting the tasting rooms below. Even though the call is early, you’ll beat the heat and be met on the ground after a safe landing with, you guessed it, mimosas and breakfast.

Pechanga Resort outdoor fountain
Image Source: pechenga.com
Pechanga Resort and Casino
45000 Pechanga Pkwy
Temecula, CA 92592
(951) 693-1819
TripAdvisor: 3.5 stars; 536 reviews

Don’t think you have to fly all the way to Vegas to get some of that gaming action. Pechanga Resort and Casino is wholly owned and operated by the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians. Opened in 2002, Pechanga is the largest resort casino in California and one of the largest in the country with 188,000 sq. ft. of gaming space. Nestled in the Temecula Valley’s picturesque Southern California wine country, Pechanga offers an unmatched destination, as well as the elevated comfort guests expect and deserve from an AAA Four Diamond Award-winning property since opening in 2002. In 2015, Pechanga was named “Best U.S. Casino” by USA Today.

Insider Tip: A great place to stay, play and dine, Pechanga Resort also offers an excellent Wine Tours Package. Leaving the hotel at 10AM each day, private groups can enjoy tastings at up to four wineries and get a behind the scenes look at the local winemaking process.

Leoness Cellars
Image Source: Facebook
Leoness Cellars
38311 De Portola Rd
Temecula, CA 92592
(951) 302-7601
TripAdvisor: 4.5 stars; 323 reviews

Enjoy some of the most beautiful views in wine country from Leoness Cellars’ unique vantage point, perched above the vineyards. Offering a variety of tours and exciting Temecula wine tasting, the winery has embraced a commitment to sustainable farming practices and award-winning wines. Rated #1 Winery Restaurant by USA Today’s 10 Best Reader’s Choice and Best Restaurant of the IE for four consecutive years, The Restaurant at Leoness Cellars provides an exceptional al fresco dining experience with a full-service menu featuring farm to table items crafted from scratch.

Insider Tip: Escape the summer heat with Leoness’ “Perfect Wine Experience.” This tour provides a comprehensive look at their Rolling Hills Estate Vineyard, gives insight into their farming practices, barrel aging, as well as a peek inside their winemaking facilities. It also includes a relaxed, sit-down tasting of their premium red blends and single vineyard varietals.

Europa Village sign
Image Source: Facebook
Europa Village
33475 La Serena Way
Temecula, CA 92591
(951) 506-1818
TripAdvisor: 4.5 Stars, 147 Reviews

Check out the aptly named Europa Village for an experience that will take you straight out of Southern California and into a Tuscan villa. Nestled on more than 45 acres of rolling hills and vintage terroir in the Temecula Wine Country, Europa Village is a unique destination for connoisseurs of fine wine and a relaxing atmosphere. Leave the urban, hustle and bustle behind, and savor the pastoral beauty and serenity of lush, rolling vineyards in their enchanting European courtyard all while sipping exquisite wines produced right on property. Specializing in varieties made in the styles of France, Italy, and Spain, an afternoon at the Village is unforgettable.

Insider Tip: Looking to keep that European vacation going? Stay at the Inn at Europa Village, a hilltop escape offering panoramic views of the valley and vineyards below.

BIO: Nicole McLaughlin is a food and lifestyle writer from California. When she’s not in the kitchen testing her latest recipes, you can find her out exploring the wonders of fermentation in San Diego’s vibrant craft beer scene.


WineCountry Staff


Join our newsletter for fresh articles, recipes, events,
and offers emailed every couple weeks.