Many people are familiar with Northern California’s wine country but did you know that Southern California has just as great a selection of wine too? I recently visited Temecula and here are my suggestions for a fun, budget trip to Temecula!

Winery hopping and wine tastings are going to be an obvious activity in Temecula! My winery of choice was Wilson Creek Winery – known for their Almond Sparkling Wine and for good reason. It was tasty and a nice light drink for a hot summer day! My server also let me try some new sparkling flavors – Vanilla and Coconut. Oh, and if you go, be sure to also try their dessert wine – served in an edible chocolate shot glass!
Cost: Tasting $20 (If you’re traveling with someone, check their website as they sometimes have 2-for-1 discounts)

For something a little different, I attended the community theater Shakespeare in the Vines – a fun outdoor theater, next to Baily Vineyard & Winery. They did an enjoyable rendition of the Oscar Wilde classic “The Importance of Being Ernest”.
Cost: $14.75 via Groupon + Wine at the show $12.

I enjoyed a gorgeous sunset while waiting for the play to start!

The Hidden Gem of my trip was the Temecula Duck Pond. I was really surprised, it’s much more involved than I realized. Surrounded by artwork from Temecula’s sister cities of Voorburg, Netherlands & Nakayama, Japan and filled with ducks (naturally), this beautiful park is perfect for a morning walk.
Cost: Free

The Duck Pond is also home to one of the most beautiful Veteran’s Memorials I have ever seen. A soldier sits on a bench that is surrounded by letters written by other soldiers to their family and friends. The letters run the gamut of wars from the Revolution (the letter was dated June 12, 1779!) to current day. It’s quite stunning to see their words recreated in their own handwriting in the stone plaques.

Old Town Temecula is the touristy Main Street area, lined with stores, restaurants, and tasting rooms. It is a fun street to walk up and down. I stopped at Villa di Calabro to try their Peach Sangria and enjoy a delightful conversation with the owner. Then, I wandered thru a couple of shops and had a delicious lunch (cheese filled, bacon wrapped dates and red Sangria) on the patio at the Temecula Cheese Company.
Cost: $5 Peach Sangria / $25 Temecula Cheese Company

The Temecula Valley Museum houses a great historical exhibit of the city, including a panorama of the original city blocks. There’s also a ‘Touch & Feel’ area for kids, with a section to try on costumes and take pictures. Did you know that the author of Perry Mason, Erle Stanley Gardner, lived in Temecula? There’s a section of the museum dedicated to him, including a recreation of his office, photos, and autographed books.
Cost: $5 (suggested donation)

Here are my trip itinerary and budget:

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A reminder, all links are for your convenience only, I am not an affiliate of any company and do not make money off recommending them. I just want to make it easy for you to find them if you’re interested!

About Cynthia Graner

I’m always looking to travel, but don’t always have a lot of time or money, so started exploring ways to take more trips for 2 Days & (mostly) under $200 at a time!

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