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Temecula< CA

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Feb 27th, 2014, 05:55 PM
  #1
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Temecula< CA

Currently we're planning on spending 3 nights in Temecula, 2 full days, as part of our 2 week journey around San Diego County and deserts. We're wondering if we should only stay 2 nights in Temecula and add another one on to the 3 we're staying in Torrey Pines before we head back to the east coast. Do you feel there's enough to do in Temecula to fill the time?

Any suggestions for good wineries or wineries with great picnic spots? Plan to visit Idyllwild on our way from Palm Desert to Temecula. Hope it's not under snow.

On the way to Torrey Pines, we plan to visit San Juan Capistrano (see other thread). Will be visiting La Jolla on a Sunday as we have dinner reservations at Georges. Then will criss cross the area seeing other sights such as flower fields in Encinitas, maybe Quail Botanical Gardens, definitely Scripps Aquarium and Torrey Pines Preserve, beaches. Definitely not Legoland.

Originally thought that spending time in Temecula would be just a low key place to relax, but now think there's probably too much to see on the coast in the time we have.

Your thoughts?
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Feb 27th, 2014, 06:32 PM
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Many of the wineries will give you a free map of the Temecula Wineries. There are quite a few that you could do in two days. But I recommend using the Vineyard Shuttle or a local shared limousine if you will be wine tasting. My favorite place for lunch is Thornton Winery, but there are several high end restaurants such as Wilson Creek. Cin cin!
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Mar 2nd, 2014, 11:53 AM
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Any more suggestions of best wineries to visit in Temecula area? Do any have nice places to picnic?
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Mar 2nd, 2014, 02:42 PM
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Temecula is nice - but I rate the wineries as just ok - but I am spoiled having started wine tasting long ago in Napa and Sonoma.

I think the Orfelia winery by Escondido is just as good - which you could stop at on the way to/from Safari Park.

For me - I would definitely spend the extra day in the San Diego - maybe seeing the Zoo and one or more of the many museums in Balboa Park.
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Mar 2nd, 2014, 03:02 PM
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Are you going from Palm Desert to Idyllwild and then Temecula? If this is the case, then I am assuming you will be driving Highway 74? Also are you going to Torrey Pines before or after Temecula?

Depending on your driving route, I think 2 nights in Temecula is enough. I live very close to Temecula and go to the wineries there all the time. Will you be going to the wineries on the weekend or during the week? Some of them are very crowded on the weekends. Let me know what days you will be there and I will give suggestions based on that.

Used to be that you could picnic at most of the wineries but more and more of them have restaurants on-site so don't allow picnics. Weins Winery will allow you to picnic. They have tables on the front patio area and other tables in a courtyard area. You don't even have to buy their wine, last time we were there just sat and ate on the patio. Wilson Creek has a small picnic area and although they have a restaurant, I think you can picnic there. It is usually very crowded. Robert Renzoni has a nice picnic area although I've never been there. I think they have a pretty good view. There are also picnic tables at Maurice Carrie but I think they have a deli now so might be a problem to bring in food. Seems like most of the wineries either have a restaurant or a deli so you'd need to call and check with them. Some of the restaurants are only open Fri-Sun so if you are there during the week, I don't imagine it would be a problem to bring in food.
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Mar 2nd, 2014, 06:16 PM
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Paula:
"Are you going from Palm Desert to Idyllwild and then Temecula?"
Yes. Idyllwild will just be a drive through, maybe lunch, on our way to Temecula and we hope to take 74. Any chance that is closed due to the recent storm?

We would be in Temecula on a Thursday/Friday or if only staying 2 nights, just Thursday.

"Also are you going to Torrey Pines before or after Temecula?"
From Temecula, we'll visit San Juan Capistrono for a few hours on our way to Torrey Pines.

Tom:
We're spending 3 nights inSan Diego at the start of out trip and plan to visit the zoo then before making a loop through the desert and back down the coast. But it does seem as though just spending extra time along the coast and poking around the towns would be nice. Plan to spend a Sunday in La Jolla.
We also have really enjoyed the wineries further north and wondered how these compared. The first time we visited Sonoma Valley in the mid 70's many of the wineries were just getting started, too.
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Mar 2nd, 2014, 06:36 PM
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Yes I would spend the extra time in SD. We are just leaving here after a month and there are still things I want to do-for me I would trade off the the time in Temecula.

A place we didn't get was Julian which is supposed to be a cute little town with famous apple pie (they make others too but I think apple was the original)

http://www.julianpie.com/piemenu/index.html

oh well-next trip for us before we get there!
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Mar 3rd, 2014, 06:30 AM
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Julian is a fun place to get to - an hour or so from SD.

It was an old mining town - replete with some cave exploring - and yes, famed for their apple pies - and other good dining.

They also have a cute/small winery outside of town - and a tasting room the other direction - along the road toward the fabled Dudley's bakery.
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Mar 3rd, 2014, 08:38 AM
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We will be passing through Julian on our way from Coronado to Borrego Springs. Will have to stop for pie for our 11's.
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Mar 3rd, 2014, 12:35 PM
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You can't really compare Temecula wines to Napa or Sonoma but there are some good ones and getting better.

Clouise - As far as weather on 74, you should be fine. I take that road a lot to get from the Temecula area to Palm Desert. Have only seen snow on it a couple of times and it has to pretty cold to get that. Don't sure when you are visiting.

I think staying in Temecula 2 nights is plenty. After driving from Palm Desert via Idyllwild, Temecula is a good stopping off point. Then the next day to your wine tasting, spend the evening in Temecula and then head back to San Diego. Some of the wineries I like are Ponte, Weins, Wilson Creek for the Almond Champagne. There are a lot of smaller wineries now on De Portolo Rd and I'd maybe hit up a few of them. The older, bigger wineries are on Rancho California. I'd do a little research to see what people recommend.

The only thing comment I have about your itinerary is that you are going to be in San Diego for a few days, leave San Diego for the desert and Temecula, and then go back to San Diego. I know for me, I'd prefer to see all of San Diego at once, then do the desert route. Seems like a lot of checking in and out of hotels. Not sure when you are heading home and from where. Just a thought.
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Mar 3rd, 2014, 12:38 PM
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Yeah I would agree-the freeways there are all kind of tiring so the less time spent going back and forth the better IMO
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Mar 3rd, 2014, 02:54 PM
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jpie - Not sure where you are from. I had to laugh a little about your phrase "the freeways there are all kind of tiring". Never thought of it that way. Guess I'm just used to it and drive a lot in LA, too, so San Diego is not as "tiring". Very cute.
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Mar 3rd, 2014, 05:00 PM
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Ack! We're from the east coast so, as we do here, often try to work our way around "Interstates" (our term for freeways)

Having said that, to clarify Paula's comments, here is our itinerary. Don't think this requires too much criss-crossing.
3 nights Coronado: visit zoo and Cabrillo area
3 nights Borrego Springs: visit Anza Borrego/Salton Sea
3 nights Palm Dessert: visit Joshua Tree NP, Indian Canyons, Tramway
2 nights Temucula: wineiers
4 nights Torrey Pines: north coast, going only as far south as La Jolla so really not going back into San Diego

Open to any suggestions of places to see. Getting excited. BTW: trip is in March.

We're flying in and out of San Diego.
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Mar 3rd, 2014, 06:03 PM
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To each their own - but I am not a big fan of Borrego Springs - and think two days is more than enuff. As Gertrude Stein said about Oakland: There is no there there.

And compared to time at the Pacific Ocean - the Salton Sea is also not a hot button for moi.

I would spend a night in Julian and then drive down the hill the next morning, or add another night someplace else - vis a vis Borrego Springs.

And from Palm Desert on the way to Temecula - drive the 10? miles from the Anza turnoff - into Idyllwyld - a laid back artists colony - and a beautiful place for lunch, walking around, etc.
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Mar 3rd, 2014, 06:04 PM
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see: www.idyllwild.com
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Mar 3rd, 2014, 08:59 PM
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Yes, tom, as mentioned way back in my first post, we do plan to visit Idyllwild. Sounds like a quaint place.
Main reason we're going to Borrego Springs to to hike at Anza Borrego. Had originally hoped the desert may be blooming, but given the dryness this winter, guess that won't be happening.
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Mar 3rd, 2014, 09:02 PM
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Any suggestions for lunch in Idyllwind?
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Mar 4th, 2014, 02:58 AM
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It's been a while since my in-law's lived in Idyllwyld - but if you want around the main part of town/the little village area - you can probably find something you like.

You can also drive up the main street for a few blocks and find other choices.
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Mar 4th, 2014, 10:12 AM
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Since you have to back to San Diego to fly home, that itinerary works. I do agree that 3 nights in Borrego Springs is a lot. It's a very small place but if you like to hike then I'm sure you could spend a day or two there. I guess if you've never seen it, then the Salton Sea would be interesting. Lots of abandoned buildings and it can be smelly. I am guessing you will go by there on your drive to Palm Desert? I'd probably add one of my Borrego Springs nights to Palm Desert but overall looks like a good plan.
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Mar 4th, 2014, 01:29 PM
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I like Temecula Creek Inn if it is in your budget or you can get a good package rate. Nice and set out in the countryside although they do have a golf course. Food is pretty good in their restaurant.
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