Stay and Experience’s New, Midweek, Old Town Temecula Top 10 in Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country

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Old Town Temecula’s New Top 10 includes intriguing history, dining, culture, and shopping. Stay and experience midweek for appealing savings on guestrooms and group rates.

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An intriguing combination of history, dining, culture, and shopping contributes to newest recommendations for the midweek, Old Town Temecula Top-10

“New perspective from unique, Temecula Valley experiences is transforming to individuals, couples, family, friends; tour/travel, business, corporate, and association groups. An intriguing combination of history, dining, culture, and shopping contributes to newest recommendations for the midweek, Old Town Temecula Top-10,” shares Kimberly Adams, Temecula Valley Convention & Visitors Bureau president and CEO. “With special, Sunday-through-Thursday (better-than-weekend) hotel-motel-resort guestroom- and group-rates, visitors enjoy appealing savings that can become additional resources for Old Town activities.” The casual, picturesque valley is 1-hour from San Diego, Orange County, Palm Desert; 1½-hours from Los Angeles. With natural gifts of climate and geography, bolstered by Pu’eska Mountain, Temecula hotels-motels-and-resorts are conveniently located minutes from Downtown Old Town Temecula; Temecula Valley Wine Country; Pechanga Resort & Casino.

1-Walk Historic Old Town Temecula
Southern Emigrant Trail’s first travelers to Temecula were trappers-hunters, explorers, gold-prospectors. In 1858, Temecula became a Butterfield Stage-stop. In 1882, first railroad-line was completed; new town-site established (Old Town dining-shopping-entertainment district-location today). Some ‘railroad years’ structures still exist. Visitors Center (Third Street/Mercedes) provides ‘free’ Old Town Historic Walking-Tour maps/brochures. 1890 Welty Building was hotel with bar, pool tables, boxing-ring (heavyweight-champions Jack Dempsey, Jack Sharkey reportedly sparred); structure today: Temecula Olive Oil. 1891 Mercantile is The MERC (art-displays, live-music). 1914 First National Temecula Bank is Bank Mexican Restaurant. First Temecula church (1917) is wedding Chapel of Memories. Walking-tour brochure includes additional historic-properties. Old Town’s locally quarried, 150-ton-granite “They Passed This Way” monument reveres early explorers/pioneers (legendary-scout Kit Carson, mountain-man Jedediah Smith). Nearby, Temecula Valley Museum honors history with exhibits (Luiseño Indians to modern-day); docent-guided Old Town walking-tours (oldest landmarks, most-colorful characters; 10+ people by advance-reservation).

2-Savor the Old Town Temecula Tasting Trail
‘Midweek’ means potential conversations with talented merchants/artisans/vineyard-and-winery-owners at palate-pleasing family-owned-and-operated, artisan-food and Temecula Valley wine-tasting establishments. At Temecula Olive Oil’s complimentary-daily-tasting-bar, visitors experience fresh, 100%-California, 100%-extra-virgin; hand-blends. Also tempting: Old Town Spice Merchants’ herbs, spices, sea-salts, teas; Old Town Sweet Shop’s fresh-homemade fudge, caramel-apples; Old Town Root Beer’s family-recipe/namesake-beverage, crazy-variety classic/nostalgic-sodas; trendy-friendly-relaxed Lorimar wine-tasting room’s premium, handcrafted-wines.

3-Shop Old Town Temecula
Less-busy weekdays mean more-personalized attention at 60+ independently owned, specialty-stores, like Temecula Lavender Company (pure, small-batch, signature-products); Old California Lavender (pet-products); Granny’s Attic (one-of-a-kind collectibles/antiques); Farmer’s Wife (classic-knits, accessories, journals).

4-Marry, Elope, Renew Commitment
Old Town’s Wine Country Wedding Chapel is newest testament to romance. The advance-appointment-24-7, wedding-cottage provides same-day marriage licenses, ceremonies.

5-Dine Old Town Temecula
Hip-and-historic district hosts two-dozen, family-owned-and-operated restaurants-bistros-cafés; many: advance-arrangement group-friendly. Baily’s fine-dining has ala-carte, uber-customizable prix-fixe, California/Continental cuisine; Front Street Bar & Grill, gourmet-burgers, salads, sandwiches; Palumbo’s Ristorante, truly authentic, homemade Italian-cuisine. Also recommended: Soro’s (hummus, kabobs); Texas Lil’s (original ranch-style steakhouse); Mad Madeline’s (cheeseburgers, porch seating); Sweet Lumpy’s BBQ (savory ribs); Gambling Cowboy (upscale, classic-steak-and-seafood menu); Nitza’s Pizza (cowboy-themed pizza, spaghetti); The Bank (albondigas-soup, carnitas; call-ahead: dine-in The Vault); Rosa’s (flame-grilled carné-asada); Robin’s Nest (fresh, made-from-scratch dessert).

6-Experience The MERC; Gallery at The MERC
With tall 19th-century brick-walls, The MERC’s intimate, club-style performance space has excellent acoustics; Sunday-afternoons, classical chamber-performances; Thursday-evenings, live jazz (artists like Delfeayo Marsalis, Peter Sprague). Gallery hosts artwork by talented, local artists.

7-Get Country-Western
Temecula Stampede is popular Old Town dancehall: music, dancing, bull riding; free-admission/no dance-cover nights: Mondays/Thursdays.

8-Picnic on Temecula Town Square
Campini’s is perfect for lunch-to-go (excellent sandwiches, fresh-baked rolls, fresh-made salads, authentic-Italian cookies). Ideal-picnic-destination is Temecula Town Square; westerly view, lawn, trees, Luiseño basketry-inspired fountain, benches.

9-Old Town Temecula Events: Arrive-Early/Extend-Your-Stay
Year-round, Old Town hosts festive, signature events. To better enjoy, visitors-in-the-know arrive days before/stay after; Temecula hotels-motels-resorts offer special, Sunday-through-Thursday (better-than-weekend) guestroom- and group-rates. Saturday mornings are California-certified Farmers Markets (fresh, seasonal fruits/vegetables, artisan-foods, fresh-baked goods). Spring (celebrated daily as Springfest), sees Spring Rod Run, Bluegrass Festival, Western Days. During Summerfest: Street Painting Festival, Plein Air Festival, 4th-of-July Parade, Hot Summer Nights. Autumnfest: Outdoor Quilt Show. Winterfest: Santa’s Electric Light Parade, Winter Wonderland (real-snow), Town Square ice-skating; Theater productions: Nutcracker ballet, Scrooge: The Musical. New Year’s Eve: live-music/entertainment, dinner-celebrations, Great Temecula Grape Drop.

10-Stay Conveniently Nearby
All Temecula hotels-motels-and-resorts are conveniently nearby vibrant, 12-block Old Town. Within walking-distance are Motel 6, Palomar Inn (circa 1927; low-rates), Rodeway (across from Stampede). Quarter-mile from northern Old Town Gateway Arch, are Hampton, Springhill; at primary Wine-Country route, Embassy Suites. Less than 5 minutes from Downtown, Old Town are (to the south) Ramada; (to the north, Uptown Temecula), Best Western, Holiday Inn, Extended Stay, Fairfield, La Quinta, Quality. Temecula Parkway leads to far-from-the-everyday (yet within 5-to-10 minutes) resorts: Temecula Creek and Pechanga.

*Information believed accurate but subject to change.

The Temecula Valley Convention & Visitors Bureau, the region’s official resource-for-visitors is online at; Facebook, “Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country”; and Twitter, @Visit_Temecula. The Temecula Valley Visitors Center (Old Town Temecula, Third Street/Mercedes, adjacent Temecula Civic Center) is open-7-days. For visitor information-and-assistance, call 888/363-2852, 951/491-6085.

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