Rustic Inn with Golf Course Located near Wine Trail
Located about an hour north of San Diego, Temecula Valley is Southern California’s answer to the well-known wine countries of Napa and Sonoma. It got its name from the Luiseño tribe—_temecula_ means “sun shining through the sea mist." As a matter of fact, it’s precisely this long-lingering mist that helps the valley produce such high-quality grapes. Winemakers began to catch on to the land’s potential in the 1960s, establishing vineyards along the rolling hills and using sustainable farming practices to protect the landscape. Set just minutes from the wine trail, Temecula Creek Inn likewise shows respect for the integrity of the valley with its wood-and-stone buildings and golf courses incorporating native plants and natural land formations.
The hotel makes a good home base for touring the tasting rooms of Temecula. Third-party services such as the Grapeline, the official wine-country shuttle, which picks guests up right outside the lobby to take a guided excursion that includes a picnic lunch among the vineyards. With this Groupon, you’ll receive a bottle of local wine plucked from the cellars of the onsite Farmhouse Kitchen, which specializes in regional vintages and farm-to-table fare. The restaurant does a good job of channeling the valley’s rural setting—a fireplace roars in the adjacent cocktail lounge, and wooden chandeliers dangle from the vaulted wood-beam ceiling.
To work up an appetite, you can play a few rounds on Temecula Creek Inn’s 27-hole championship golf course, which has merited a four-star “Places to Play” rating from Golf Digest and hosted US Open qualifiers and Golden State tours. Beginners favor the Creek course, whereas the shifts in elevation and rocky outcroppings of the Ted Robinson–designed Stone House course present a challenge to more advanced players.
Rooms at the hotel overlook the tree-studded fairways, and most have private patios or balconies.
Temecula Valley, California: Rolling Vineyards and Small-Town Charm
Located in Southern California between Los Angeles and San Diego, Temecula feels like a small farm town compared to the metropolises it's sandwiched between. Temecula's landscape offers a relaxing contrast to its neighbors’ urban sprawl; here, you’ll find rolling vineyards that produce award-winning wines. Tours and tastings are a popular way to explore wineries, but Temecula's countryside can be best appreciated in a hot-air-balloon ride.
Enjoy another quaint mode of transportation by hitching a ride in a horse-drawn carriage through Old Town Temecula, which resembles an Old West town with its rustic windmill, decorative wagons, and historical buildings. Along the wooden boardwalks, you'll find saloons, antique shops, and boutiques selling handmade quilts, baked goods, and cuckoo clocks. If you’re in town on Saturday, visit the local farmers’ market for fresh flowers, fruits, and vegetables.