Sips & Tips! Explore Temecula Valley

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Los Angeles is close to many weekend getaways, including scenic mountains, scenic beach destinations and of course wine country! Living in the most populous city in California, the occasional vacation is always a nice break from this fast-paced bustling city of Angels.

You may have heard of “California dreaming”, a laid-back lifestyle, palm trees, never ending sunshine, sitting by the beach soaking up the wonderful sea breeze and the glorious California sunshine, although we do enjoy some of those perks living in this state, it is not exactly the lifestyle the media has gloriously portrayed – It is in fact the financial, commercial and cultural center of Southern California famous and known for its ethnic diversity, exceptional climate almost year round, Hollywood and its sprawling metropolis which regretfully includes the infamous “LA Gridlock”-  Freeways that seems to have become a car park and Highways that crawls slower than a glacier which  majority of us LA residents have to deal with daily!

It comes to reason that from time to time when a getaway abroad is not in the forecast, a weekend getaway is definitely in the books and must be taken as often as we can. Even a short time away from LA’s Urban Jungle can truly help decompress and enjoy true quality time with family or friends, to relax, recharge and refresh.

For the wine lovers and those seeking a quiet time outdoors, Temecula Valley is such a great place to visit, it is a sensible alternative compared to a 6-7 hour drive to Napa Valley to get your wine loving palate have its wine fix. Temecula Valley is only an hour and a half’s drive from downtown LA in good traffic (though in LA, that’s usually rare) and offers plenty to do and to see, and it’s a lovely spot that’s hidden among lush, green hills.

There are quite a few activities you could do when visiting Temecula Valley Wine Country, below are some of the things for your picking

Discover Temecula via Hot Air Balloon

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For the ultimate airborne adventure, check a hot air balloon flight off of your bucket list while in the Temecula Valley. Visitors can take in a panoramic view of Southern California’s unique topography, beautiful estates, and awe-inspiring scenery with sunrise flights, available year-round (weather permitting) to explore the subtle seasonal changes that take place throughout the valley. Photo credit: Avensole Winery

Passengers float above the vineyards and citrus groves with the scent of fresh oranges filling the skies. It is one of the best ways to explore the beauty of the area is by rising above it in a hot-air balloon – you can find many types of flights leaving from Temecula.

The valley has dozens of wineries and amazing restaurants that serve extraordinary food as well, so after marveling the scenery from above, you can spoil your taste buds with the local culinary specialties. (Inset picture from Avensole Winery)

Amazing Wines! Here. There. Everywhere! Cheers!

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Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country features more than 40 local wineries, including boutique and full-service wine resorts, for a wine tasting bucket-list adventure to enjoy with friends, family, and for special occasions. The relaxed and unpretentious atmosphere of the region is matched by its delightful tasting experiences overlooking picturesque rolling hills of vineyards while sampling award-winning premium wines and Southern California cuisine. Unlike Napa and Sonoma Valley Temecula is still one of those Wine destinations visited not only by Angelino’s, Riverside and OC residents but also well-supported and loved by the locals – it is not as “touristy” (yet) compared to our Northern California neighbors so you can be assured of a fewer crowds, have a peaceful relaxing time while enjoying a full-bodied Cab or a crisp and refreshing glass of Chardonnay in your hand.

There are several Wineries you’ll pass by along the way as your get into town, some are open to the public, some require a reservation so I highly suggest planning ahead, a good source of information once you get into the Valley is to visit the Temecula Valley Visitor Center located in Old Town Temecula, they are a wealth of information regarding everything Temecula! Or if you decide to plan ahead and save some precious getaway time ( remember, it’s only a weekend getaway – so time is of the essence, I have provided a search link below so you can start searching and booking things to do and tours you may want to jump on board once you get in town!)

Effortlessly Pedal Through Endless Vineyards!

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Since the popularity of E-bikes, this has become a popular choice for groups to explore Temecula’s many Wineries and surrounding areas, you can rent a bike for a few hours or a day so you can take your time to park, unwind and enjoy the scenery or for a satisfying lunch or picnic! These e-bikes will give you the freedom to explore Temecula at your own pace, see and explore its beauty and charm, create amazing memories to remember until your next visit in town!Photo credits:

Is it difficult especially with varying terrains? Not really, Thank goodness to the magic and convenience of pedal-assist! Press this button and voila! You can effortlessly zip up the hills and glide down the other side to your next destination with minimal pedaling! Temecula Valley’s Wineries and surrounding areas are interconnected by paved and dirt roads which makes it a lot of fun to go from point A to point XYZ! (see Temecula Wine Map) Just always remember, ride with caution and don’t ride drunk and bike! This is for your safety and the people around you! – you know your body more than anyone else in your group, so please use your sensibility and common sense when riding these two-wheeled electric machines.

Walk Back In Time

Granny's Attic - Old Town Temecula

Old Town Temecula offers a glimpse of the town’s past, with its rustic buildings, sidewalks and cute stores reminding us of the old west back in the late 1800’s.

Old Town Temecula has the unique blend of rustic/western transported in the modern world. Don’t miss the shops that offers locally produced goods and antique shops filled with relics and curiosities from time’s past. The restaurant and food scene is not to be missed as they do have an array of dining options catered for your discriminating taste, from casual to fine dining, they have it all – and the food, simply fantastic!

Anyone For A Trolley Ride?

Photo Credit: Temecula Cable Car Wine Tours

So you arrived in Temecula and the last thing you want to do is to do a lot more driving. What to do? How about a 4-5 hours Trolley Ride? These trolley’s will take you into an immersive drive around Temecula Valley and stop at select wineries, this is the perfect option for a group as there will be no driving involved, Trolley tours often comes all-inclusive with your very own tour guide and chauffeur, wine tasting is inclusive so you can sip away merrily from the crisp whites, full-bodied reds until your cheeks turn pink as a rosé. Different services has different packages so make sure to book depending on your preference or your budget, one thing that is guaranteed with Trolley Wine Tours especially for a group is that everyone will have a merry ole’ time without the worries of getting a DUI! Sounds like a great deal to me!

Whatever you may decide to do during your weekend getaway I hope these simple tips help you find those simple little pleasures that will help your getaway much more pleasurable! Enjoy, have fun and always travel safe!

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