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1st time to CA, staying in Temecula

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1st time to CA, staying in Temecula


This is our first time to CA. We are a family of 10 (ages 8-62). We are renting a home in Temecula. We would love to go horseback riding. Can you recommend somewhere nearby to go horseback riding? Also, we would like to visit downtown. We are staying over the Fourth of July holiday. Is there somewhere nearby that we can see the fireworks?

Thank you. All of the information I have looked at is quite overwhelming.

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11. Re: 1st time to CA, staying in Temecula

Fourth of July in Temecula is very family oriented. There is a very popular parade during the day in Old Town Temecula then activities switch to the Ronald Reagan Sports Park for the afternoon and evening.

There are a ton of family-related activities at the Sports Park. A kids area with inflatable bounce houses and such, contests, live bands and a D.J. , food booths, and families who have brought pop ups, umbrellas, beach blankets, lawn chairs, and food. In the evening the fireworks display is always very impressive, choreographed to patriotic music. The whole day will have an old-fashioned small town feel to it. The afternoon and evening events draw thousands, but the park is very large and you’ll be comfortable as long as you prepare for the sun. Temperatures will likely be in the mid to upper 90’s, but it’s a dry heat for eastern inhabitants:).


Regarding the San Diego and Anaheim activities, if you want a central “home base” to reach these places on different days you have chosen the location positioned perfectly in the midst.

Drive time to Anaheim is almost exactly one hour. This is the most unpredictable of your routes, as Highway 91 can be extremely congested and add 30 minutes to one hour, even at off-peak hours.

San Diego is much more consistent, with the Safari Park 40 minutes away, the zoo and SeaWorld 50 minutes to one hour, depending upon traffic level. Despite the nay-sayers, I am on Interstate 15 all the time at different hours. South from Temecula in the morning, congestion can be moderate during rush hour until about 9a, with the drive to Temecula in the evening slowest between 5p-6:30p, and even that is not bad, perhaps adding 20 minutes to the drive unless there is an accident. A high occupancy vehicle lane, free when there are two or more passengers stretches 24 miles along this route and really helps traffic flow.

For lots more about our area activities, visit www.Temeculacvb.com.

We look forward to having you visit Temecula!

Edited: 24 June 2013, 23:09
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12. Re: 1st time to CA, staying in Temecula

Again, thank you for all of your posts. I am glad for the good and no so good comments based on where we are staying. Are their any places closer to Temecula that perhaps we may visit? We are open to all suggestions.

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13. Re: 1st time to CA, staying in Temecula

Mount Palomar and the observatory are not too far from Temecula. Or if you wanted to head out Palm Springs way, you could ride the tram up the mountain.


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14. Re: 1st time to CA, staying in Temecula

Temecula has a scenic valley location, but be aware that the region mostly looks like a vast tract-house suburb. Nice place to live, but that's what it looks like. Developments, malls, etc.

It is going to be very hot in the summer, being way inland, with ocean breezes blocked by those pretty mountains. A more convenient location would have been one of the Orange County/North San Diego County towns along the 5 or 405 freeways.

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15. Re: 1st time to CA, staying in Temecula

"Highway 91 can be extremely congested"

Replace "can be" with "is", especially as you'll be driving with traffic. And you need a FasTrak account and transponder for the toll lanes, so no relief there.

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16. Re: 1st time to CA, staying in Temecula

Hello ShadowPittsburgh - let's get back to your original questions about horseback riding and 4th of July activities.

Yes, there's one horse back riding tour that I know of that has been around for a little bit. Here's the link:


I have not tried them, but they have reviews on Yelp that you can take a look at.

As to 4th of July activities - the Ronald Regan Sports Park (corner of Margarita and Rancho Vista) is where the celebration is held. Entry into the park is primarily along Rancho Vista. This park hosts the annual 4th of July celebration for the entire valley – well over 250,000 people! Needless to say, this place is crazy busy! Cars will start filling the parking lot at 5-6 a.m. and the motor homes will start lining Rancho Vista even earlier. Keep this in mind. If you arrive mid-morning to mid afternoon – be prepared for a substantial walk from your parking spot. Pack accordingly - because depending on your arrival time - you can walk as much as 1.5 miles from your parking spot into the park. There's a elementary school (Pauba and Via Rami entry is on Via Rami) where you can park if you want to walk to the celebration but that is usually filled by 1:00 p.m. The City shuts down Pauba Road between Margarita and Ynez early in the morning because they launch the fireworks on the vacant hill next to the fire station on Pauba Road.

The fire work display is very extensive and can be seen for miles around (my house is about 2 miles away and we watch it from there without issues). You do not need to be on the park premises to view the show as the show is up pretty high for the large majority of the show. They launch the fireworks from the vacant field on the hill next to the fire station (30650 Pauba Rd Temecula, CA 92592).

If you don't need/want to sit in the park for the show, you can park just about anywhere on any city street to watch the show. I suggest driving around on July 3, and look for streets within a mile radius that have a high advantage point (there's quite a few off of Santiago Road). About 90 minutes before the show (9:00), I would drive to my selected location. Keep in mind long time residents know about any spot you may pick so get there early! That little grassy knoll on the corner of Margarita and Pauba starts filling up mid day with 'savers' (people who 'save' their spot with their personal belongings).

Here's a insider's tip to the celebration - the fireworks are very loud if you sit below them in the parking lot or in the park itself. It scares the beezus out of the young kids/babies and many parents spend the majority of the time consoling screaming kids who are scared out of their minds rather than watching the show. If you have young ones, its best to view the display from one of the side streets about a mile or so away.

Since most of the vacation rental homes in Temecula area are in wine country, let me know which one you are staying at (I know where most are) and I'll give you some suggestions for viewing locations.

If you have any more questions, let me know and I’ll do my best to help you out.

Edited: 26 June 2013, 15:59
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17. Re: 1st time to CA, staying in Temecula

My favorite attraction in Temecula is Juan Pollo (27548 Ynez Rd Temecula, CA 92591)


It is a great way to feed a family of 10 with some of the best chicken you can imagine.

And not close, but two interesting drives are the Mission San Juan Capistrano using the Ortega Highway and the Mission San Luis Rey near Oceanside. You could visit either mission in the morning and take bathing suits to visit the beaches since Temecula will be blazing hot in July.

Not sure the ages of the kids, but if they are under 10, Legoland in Carlsbad could be fun.

There are also a ton of great golf courses in the area.

18. Re: 1st time to CA, staying in Temecula

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