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Temecula

Listed under Wine Regions in California, United States.

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The name Temecula comes from the Luiseno Indian word "Temecunga" -"temet" meaning "sun" and "ngna" which means "place of". The Spanish spelled the word "Temecula" which translated to "Where the sun breaks through the mist".

The only city in California to retain its original Indian name, the city is a quiet, understated getaway with rolling hills, miles of vineyards and a picturesque landscape. A perfect SoCal road trip at only 90 miles from Los Angeles and 60 miles from San Diego, Temecula is the perfect weekend getaway for couples.

Start off your day bright and early with an activity that is on almost everyone’s bucket list; a hot air balloon ride from California Dreamin. Drift quietly over vineyards with your loved one with 11,500-foot mountains dotting the landscape, and cruise soundlessly in the sky. A peaceful escape from the ground, you actually get to watch the whole process of hot air ballooning from start to finish. The first step is the inflation of the balloon. After some quick instructions, your pilot loads you into the basket, and after a burst of hot air, you quickly float to the skies. With the wind as your guide, you can reach levels of 6,000 feet above sea level. From this birds eye view, the landscape is romantically breathtaking. The owners of California Dreamin, Dave and Gail Bradley, are ambassadors of Temecula. Not only do the own California Dreamin, but the also own La Vindemia, a winery, tasting room and Bed & Breakfast.

After the balloon ride, explore the award-winning wineries of the valley. Over 30 different wineries with year round tasting rooms are located in Temecula, all with its own individual charm and ambiance. In 2009, Temecula Valley received over 100 awards from different wine competitions. Start off your day of tasting at Palumbo Family Vineyards and follow up with a visit to the Ponte Family Estate Winery.

For dinner head to rustic Old Town Temecula. With history dating back to the 1880’s, you will enjoy the starry-eyed stroll over wooden sidewalks and you notice the old-world streetlights and traditional details. The Old Town Temecula Community Theater is a 263-seat theater that features top-notch theater and musical acts. Relive the times of the old west with a visit to the Temecula Valley Museum. Wander past the jail, and you will see mannequins doing their time. Depending on the time of year, Old Town is host to several events such as a bluegrass festival, Western Days, Street Painting Festival and Hot Summer Nights. Over 20 restaurants are located in Old Town, with varieties of cuisine ranging from American, Mexican, Italian and Mediterranean.

As your day comes to a close, rest your head at the AAA-rated Temecula Creek Inn. 130 rooms dot the scenic landscape, and feature an outdoor pool, golf course, state-of-the-art fitness facility, 2 elegant ballrooms and restaurant. The spacious quarters are more than roomy, with a cozy, comfy feel that lets you drift off into dreamland.

California Dreamin 1-800-373-3359

Temecula Creek Inn 44501 Rainbow Canyon Road 954-694-1000

Written by  KimberlyFisher.

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