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Temecula in March - need a few recommendations

Boston...
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Temecula in March - need a few recommendations

Hello all...I'm just looking for a few recommendations on lodging and activities in Temecula at the end of March. I will be in town on business but would like to bring my wife along since it's her birthday that week. We're stuck on whether or not to rent a house for the week or stay at a B&B/Spa. If you had the budget what would would you choose?

Seeing that I'm going to be occupied during normal business hours I'm also looking for recommendations on entertainment during the day for my wife (Spa, Wine Tours, etc) as well as a few nice restaurants to explore.

Any help would be appreciated. I've read a lot of information on this site (as well as others) but haven't seen anything recent in terms of reviews or recommendations.

Thanx,

Josh

Menifee, California
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1. Re: Temecula in March - need a few recommendations

There are the standard motels in Temecula (HI, Embassy Suites, etc.) -- no great shakes. Old Town Temecula is full of restaurants and fun spots to visit. You might like to look at:

http://oldtowntemecula.com/

There is the historical hotel downtown (http://palomarinntemecula.com/), but that might not be your cup 'o tea. Nearby (basically across the freeway) is the Temecula Creek Inn. It's a golf resort:

http://www.temeculacreekinn.com/

There are a couple of accomodations in the Wine Country itself (which is only a few minutes off Interstate 15). Take a look at these websites:

For general area information:

http://www.temeculacvb.com/

For specific wine country information:

http://www.temeculawines.org/

winecountry.com/regions/temecula/index.html

Those will lead you to individual wineries -- lots of restaurants, tastings, spa visits even. The area is fabulous -- and compact! March should be an especially nice month, weather-wise. You'll be missing the rain and the heat (although all bets are kinda off with the crazy weather we just had in December).

Further re accommodations - www.VRBO.com has quite a few vacation rentals that are specifically in the wine country. That, IMO, is always a good way to go if you're looking at a week's worth of travel.

I hope this is enough to get you started.

Boston...
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2. Re: Temecula in March - need a few recommendations

Thanks. I was hoping more for specific recommendations though. I have already looked at all the websites you mention and gotten a general overview of what Temecula offers.

Fremont, California
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3. Re: Temecula in March - need a few recommendations

For the Spa, Pechanga has one of the nicest spas in the area - very relaxing, good service.

www.pechanga.com/Resort/SpaPechanga.aspx

For Wineries, if you have a car, I would do your own tour. Unlike some wine regions such as Napa/Sonoma, Temecula is about a 10 minute drive from one end of the wineries to the other. As such, its easy to do on your own. We liked Thorton Winery and they also have a place there for lunch.

http://www.thorntonwine.com/cafe.html

We enjoyed the food there - note: Its more up and up so lunch will take an hour or so if you do lunch here. Reservations sometimes needed especially on the week-ends.

If your wife wants a tour, then any of them are fine.

If you want a winery tour (i.e. different options to enjoy the winery), try Leonese Cellar - see their web site for options.

…ewinerysolutions.com/index.cfm…

For lodging, we really enjoyed the suites at the Pechanga. Note - yes, it is a casino hotel - but the room was fantastic. Large, enjoyable, and easy in and out of the hotel. We were very happy with the lodging there and also easy access to things. It is about a 10 minute drive from there to the wineries. It also has a reasonable comedy club there, spa services, and so forth. You can enjoy the place even if you prefer not to game. Swimming pool area is very nice and scenic. Note: We had the one bedroom suite. Also, if your wife is ok with buffet while you are at work, good place to enjoy by oneself.

http://www.pechanga.com/Resort/Rooms.aspx

Also, one other option would be to stay at the LW Resort if you have access to get to your work. (note: You will need a car.). The thing about that resort is that there is a theater on site; big villa rooms; golf course; and a whole range of activities. For example, your wife could take day tours or get involved with events at the resort while you are at work. We have stayed there multiple times and the swimming pools are very nice. It is quick distance to Temecula - about a 10 minute drive. We are thinking about another stay there. Note: It is a place you will want a car - but its a wonderful resort. The range of activities during the day are amazing.

http://www.welksandiego.com/

For restaurants, there are ones in Temecula. If you have an hour or so head south however to La Jolla and enjoy her birthday dinner by the ocean. Georges is very nice.

http://www.georgesatthecove.com/

or Marine Room is truly amazing.

Food is good and watching the waves so close breaking by the restaurant is one of those amazing life time memories. Well worth the expense and drive to the restaurant.

http://www.marineroom.com/

If you have more questions, feel free to ask...Just some of the highlights of our trip there. Remember also that Wild Animal Park (Safari Park) is very close to Temecula area. It is actually closer to this area than to San Diego - car needed, but great place to go. I've enjoyed it with family and have also spent a day there by myself as you can enjoy seeing the animals and walking the grounds.

http://www.sandiegozoo.org/park/index2010

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4. Re: Temecula in March - need a few recommendations

Stayed with husband and another couple (who golf) at Temecula Creek Inn a couple of years ago, very nice and spacious rooms, there was a manager's wine and cheese reception the night we checked in also. We had a breakfast package and if you eat the stuffed french toast you probably will not need to eat for the rest of the day, it is so rich and filling.

Boston...
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5. Re: Temecula in March - need a few recommendations

Now that's what I'm talking about Mini! Great recommendations. We'll have a rental vehicle for the length of the trip that my wife can use so I'll look into the Welk Resorts a bit further. It sounds like a great solution!

I appreciate the restaurant recommendation as well. It's been a few years since we've been on the West Coast and a dinner by the ocean would be fantastic.

Edited: 06 January 2011, 20:24
Manhattan Beach...
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6. Re: Temecula in March - need a few recommendations

Another vote for the Temecula Creek Inn. We've stayed there twice now and just love it. March is a good time to visit Temecula. We enjoy the wineries, Old Town, Farmer's market, history museum and charm of the town.

Temecula, CA
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7. Re: Temecula in March - need a few recommendations

Hello Josh - Mini's recommendations for lodging and restaurants are quite a distance from Temecula - more in the San Diego area - so I'll focus on the area of Temecula for you. As I travel a lot with my husband, I know a little bit about the dilemma of keeping your wife occupied while you are busy with business :)

If I had the budget, I would definitely stay in one of the houses listed with vrbo as this is my preferred method of lodging. The only downside to staying in one of the homes is with eating in the morning. If your wife doesn't mind going to the local grocery stores (all within 10 minute drive) upon your arrival and picking up a few things, there's really nothing nicer than sitting on the porch or patio just taking in the scenery while having the morning coffee or watching the sunset looking over the valley. Some of the homeowners will offer to pick up things for you in advance so that the trip to the grocery is not necessary - ask if they offer this service. Otherwise, there are local places for breakfast, Richie's Diner and Penfold Cafe are my favorites - also the Banana Foster's Pancakes at South Coast are a must do. There are several homes located adjacent to or within the wine country that are in excellent locations. If you and your wife are into exercise, the country roads offer some nice walking/jogging opportunities. I know where each of the homes listed on vrbo.com are - so if you drop me a PM I'll let you know a little more about the location than what the photos depict if you desire.

Be aware that ALL of the hotels in Temecula (not wine country) back up against the freeway and are in the heart of town. One positive thing about this that there are many places to eat/do within walking distance of all. The downside is that you are staying in town - some people like busy, noisy places, others do not. If you decide to stay in one of the hotels in town, make sure that you ask for a quiet room away from the freeway, otherwise, you will hear freeway traffic all day and night.

South Coast Winery offers excellent facilities, the spa is inside the winery so there's no need to worry about transportation, but IMHO the snooty attitude of the staff both at the cottages and in the spa really bring the experience to a low level of satisfaction. There are a couple of B&B places - all excellent choices - with very good views as most sit up on a ridge. Keep in mind that South Coast sits down in the floor of the wine country; it doesn't offer much in the way of views of the valley such as some of the B&Bs.

There's an excellent day spa in Murrieta - Murrieta Day Spa. They have a website and offer special day packages - your wife could spend the day there, have lunch and come back completely relaxed for a great evening. The spa's location isn't much to look at from the outside, but get inside and it's really nice! There is another place about a 40 minute drive north on the I-15 called Glen Ivy Hot Springs - this is another all day trip - excellent experience - there's a website as well you can check out - have her try the Grotto if she decides to go there. Otherwise, Temecula is full of locally owned and operated day spas (nearly one on every major corner).

As to wine country trips, there are several local shuttles that offer an excellent experience - Sunrider Jeep and Wine Tours and the Grapevine both offer excellent tours from what I'm told. Both of these tour company's have websites.

Down next to the mall, you will find nearly every chain restaurant that any other major city in California has. There are a couple of individually owned places. The downside is that they are located in town, not much of a romantic view, but they have excellent food choices. Scarcellas (Italian) is a local favorite and Frankies (steak/seafood), as well as Lucilles' BBQ (requires a hearty appetite!). If you eat down at the mall, the restaurants there have a deal with the local movie theater at the mall that offers movie tickets at discount with every entree you order. I also like La Cocina (Mexican), Kilarney's (Irish Pub), Francesca's (Italian) and Sushi Boat. These are located on Temecula Parkway - about 10 minutes from wine country. If you like a grab and go experience to eat at home, definitely try Juan Pollo - it's a hole in the wall place that offers this amazing Mexican rotisserie chicken or Goldilocks (across from Juan Pollo) that has grab and go Filipino food. No trip to California is complete without visiting In-N-Out Burger (a Brad Pitt favorite!). There's one on Temecula Parkway as well as Jefferson.

Best romantic location for dinner would be Temecula Creek Inn (has a hotel too, but very remote location away from anything to do). Their food is great, but a bit pricey. Another choice for lunch would be either Ponte or Wilson Creek Winery. Great food, but watch for the crowds on weekends.

A word about the wine country - it can get a bit crazy out here on the weekends. It can be a bit harrowing at times on the roads. Because of that, I can't suggest strongly enough that your wife use one of the shuttle tours to get around for wine country tour. If she wants an intimate personal experience, there are several small wineries that accept reservations only (see the temeculawines.org website) and can make the wine tasting experience a little nicer than the hustle and bustle of the corporate owned places. I'm told that the Grapevine can tailor a semi-private trip to the individual wineries if she desires.

As to Pechanga, our local Indian reservation - yes it offers a day spa and gambling opportunities for the day. There are several restaurants. I have tried them all. IMHO it's not a place I would stay as there are better food choices out in town and in the wine country - and I don't care for the smoking that saturates the entire place regardless of where you are. Another downside to Pechanga is that it's in the southwest portion of Temecula and you will need to take a drive to get anywhere. There's not much to do down in that portion of the city as Pechanga is surrounded by dense residential areas. Pechanga has regular shows (comedians, bands, individual singers) at its theater though, and you can check out their shows in March at their website.

If you need any further specific information, let me know and I'll do my best to help you out.

Boston...
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8. Re: Temecula in March - need a few recommendations

Thank you for all the feedback Meadowlark. I'm sorry I didn't see the post earlier! After hours of scouring this site and others we decided to stay at Loma Vista for the week. The B&B route I feel will work best for us. Most of the hotels seem to be hit or miss and we don't enjoy the chaos and lack of personalized service you tend to get at them.

It seems that everyone thinks highly of the Grapevine tours so we'll explore that as well. I hadn't heard that they could arrange semi-private tours though so that's very encouraging.

Great recommendations on the local food scene as well. It seems like there won't be a shortage of great meals that week.

Temecula, CA
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9. Re: Temecula in March - need a few recommendations

I've heard very good reviews about Loma Vista. The view is one of the best in the area - they sit up on a ridge. It's located at the 'start' of wine country so you will be fairly close to Temecula's restaurants and activities without having to make a long drive on a dark road at night. Have a great time!

10. Re: Temecula in March - need a few recommendations

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