A fascinating docent-led walk about the 8,300 acre Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve can be arranged. Located on rolling topography at the southern end of the Santa Ana Mountains northwest of Temecula this shelf, 2,000 feet in elevation, hosts an amazing variety of animals including three different species of rattlesnake, coyote, bobcat, mountain lion, horned lizard, gray fox, mule deer, California quail, great-horned owl, badger, and over 180 species of bird including the red-shouldered hawk and golden eagle.
Pedestrian-friendly Old Town Temecula is located on the route followed by the Butterfield Overland Mail from Tipton, Missouri to San Francisco in the 1850's. Buildings are mandated to maintain the architectural style from the 1880's to 1920's when many were originally constructed. Now filled with curio shops, food-related purveyors, antique dealers, and wine tasting rooms, stores of special interest will include the Old Town Spice Merchants, Via di Calabro Olive Oil Tasting, the Temecula Valley Cheese Company, the Temecula House of Jerky, and The Sweet Shop, a number that offer free samples to DESTINATION TEMECULA guests.
Peruse the historic Vail Ranch headquarters and adjacent, fascinating Little Temecula History Center and relive how a huge cattle operation functioned. Common everyday implements of Temecula ranch life from the late 1880’s to the 1960’s are displayed from the original Vail Ranch, which at one time covered the entire valley floor. Wagons, buggies, plows and old Model-T vehicles are exhibited. A unique display is an early 20th century kitchen, with wood burning stove and an 'ice box'.
The Little Temecula History Center, located next to the renovated historic Vail Ranch headquarters, will resurrect warm childhood memories. See how a large cattle operation functioned. Common everyday Implements of Temecula ranch life from the late 1880’s to the mid 60’s are displayed, many from the original Vail Ranch, which at one time covered the entire valley floor. A replica 'chuck wagon' is stocked with utensils ‘Cookie’ had to work with making meals for cowboys on cattle drives. Wagons, buggies, plows and old Model-T vehicles are exhibited. Much of the center is hands on. Work a honey separator, crank an old blacksmith forge and make a rope out of twine. Descendants of early Temecula families provided the bulk of the artifacts. A truly unique display is items from an early 20th century kitchen, complete with wood burning stove and an 'ice box'. Memories of grandma’s house will vividly come alive for many senior visitors.
Pechanga Resort and Casino, located on the southeastern border of Temecula, is the largest of its kind in California, and one of the most popular. This beautiful facility boasts over 200,000 square feet of Las Vegas-style gaming, seven restaurants, and both smoking and non-smoking areas.
A very special private olive oil tasting can be arranged at Villa de Calabro, located in a beautifully restored historic home in the heart of Old Town Temecula . This 30 minute program hosted by Mike Calabro will encompass the fascinating process of creating olive oil, from cultivation to pressing, bottling of the finished product. Then tasting.
Tour the private groves on the ranch of a local olive oil producer. See the equipment utilized to extract the oil, how unique flavors are infused, then taste the results of the process standing in the exact location where it is made.
Visit a working produce ranch where a variety of vegetables, citrus, avocado and exotic fruits (bananas, cherimoyas, agave, macadamia nuts, guavas, persimmons, loquats and kumquats) are cultivated. Participants will learn about the growing process firsthand from the grower. Depending upon the product and the season, they can buy just-harvested items or potentially pick themselves.
Just north of Temecula, Diamond Valley Lake is southern California’s largest man-made reservoir. Learning about the scope of construction to complete this project and viewing the finished results astounds first time visitors. An interesting addition to this visit is a stop to explore the Western Center for Archeology and Paleontology, where a plethora of unearthed animal bones (including a reconstructed Mastodon skeleton), human artifacts, and images documenting the reservoir construction process will fascinate guests.
Ricardo Breceda is a sculpture who discovered his artistic talent with iron work by accident. His medium is sheet metal and welding equipment. His artistic focus is creating life-size figures, a vast majority horses and wild animals. His art has become popular within the Southern California region and his name is becoming known nationwide. His art is seen at his outdoor studio twenty minutes east of Temecula, throughout the Anza-Borrego Desert Park, an outdoor show area in Old Town Temecula, and in the yards of many private residences in our area.