The state of California has no shortage of wineries and vineyards. However, some wine towns are less known than others.
Tucked away in the southern part of the state is Temecula, CA, a small town hidden gem when it comes to wineries, especially compared to popular hotspots like Napa and Sonoma Valley — but it's entirely worth the visit.
The area is home to gorgeous rolling landscapes and seemingly endless rustic vineyards, making it seem like you've somehow traveled to charming Tuscany in Italy.
Temecula is about 90 miles from L.A. and roughly 60 from San Diego. So, it's a great escape from the fast-paced real world where you can simply take in the stunning surroundings of the quiet valley.
Wine enthusiasts will be happy to know there are about 50 wineries in the area — like Akash Winery or Europa Village Wineries & Resort, — that offer award-winning wines you can sip while enjoying breathtaking views.
Not only is Temecula full of wineries, but there is also an adorable "old town" area with a "wild west" vibe where you can walk around through the local shops and restaurants.
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Another unique and awe-inspiring way to experience this dreamy California valley is by taking a hot air balloon ride, which gives you a 360° view of the green grassy hills and golden sunshine.
There is just so much to explore here, so however you plan your time in Temecula, you are certainly in for a great experience.
Before you get going, check out our Responsible Travel Guide so you can be informed, be safe, be smart, and most of all, be respectful on your adventure.