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About Temecula, CA
California's Inland Empire, a region traditionally rich with agriculture and now home to commercial, industrial and tourist interests, is anchored by the affluent and historic city of Temecula. Set in sunny southwestern San Bernardino County, Temecula -- its name means "the place of the sun" -- holds a reputation as an arts-oriented community with plentiful access to wine tasting, golf and culture. Temecula also is known as a host for several well-known annual events in Southern California, including the Temecula Valley Balloon & Wine Festival, the Temecula Valley International Jazz Festival and the Temecula Bluegrass Festival.
The Community of Temecula
Temecula is home to more than 113,000 residents, having grown in recent years due to its prime location near both the Los Angeles and San Diego metro areas. Its downtown, known as Old Town, gives off a funky vibe with its many restaurants, antique stores and historic buildings. The rest of the city is comprised of 21 unique neighborhoods, with the bulk of residential areas clustered near the downtown area west of I-15 and to the east of town in the Scout Vision neighborhood.
What to Do in Temecula
Wineries are abundant in the Temecula Valley; take a tour of several sites clustered to the east of the city or focus on one of the largest, like Wilson Creek Winery and Vineyards. At Wilson Creek, you can have lunch at the renowned on-site Creekside Grill restaurant, attend a concert or even take a horseback ride through the vineyard's grounds.
Old Town can't be beat for its collection of eclectic shops and restaurants that combine to create a pleasant and fun atmosphere. The often-ideal weather makes the historic streets perfect for strolling and people watching. Weekends can get crowded, but the extensive Farmer's Market on Saturday mornings makes getting out worthwhile. If you have kids, don't miss Pennypickle's Workshop, a children's museum right on Main Street that allows visitors to play with crazy inventor Professor Phineas T. Pennypickle's experiments.
One Place You Shouldn't Miss in Temecula
The Temecula Valley Museum may look small, but it's a well-curated introduction to the extensive history of the area. The museum also features regularly rotating exhibits with local artists. Upstairs, a kids area attracts the young ones with fun, interactive projects and exhibits.
Dining in Temecula
The regularly top-ranked The Goat & Vine features some of the best pizza, sandwiches and salads anywhere. Handmade dough, sauce and dressings highlight the menu that blends simple and unique. A stellar wine and beer list features local favorite bottles and brews. Meatballs and pretzels consistently top the list of reviewers' favorites.
Throughout the downtown area, you'll find a variety of pubs with excellent burgers and brews. One of the most unique is Devilicious, which serves a variety of sandwiches like the Butter Poached Lobster Grilled Cheese as well as small "sharable" plates. Served before 1 p.m., the brunch menu includes special eats like several varieties of Eggs Benedict and Nutella and Bacon Stuffed French Toast. Stop by the attached speakeasy, the Apparition Room, for exceptional cocktails.