Seven Indoor Activities in Temecula

The glorious, sun-drenched vineyards of the Temecula Valley, and of course the incredible wines they yield, are the top enticement for visitors to Southern California’s wine country. Yet, there is so much more to Temecula’s appeal besides its scenery and award-winning wineries.

A full-bodied, well-balanced experience in Temecula includes a range of indoor activities along with outdoor adventures, all tailored to fit your personal vacation style. Among the many enjoyable things to do indoors in Temecula are indispensable wine- and food-themed activities, delving into the region’s rich local history, and reveling in the nightlife and entertainment options. If you’re looking to round out your itinerary with fun things to do indoors in Temecula, here are seven top-notch suggestions.

Wine Tasting in the Temecula Valley

Planning a wine country vacation evokes images of rolling hills covered in endless rows of vineyards. The actual wine-tasting experience is typically an indoor activity, albeit one with gorgeous views and patio seating options. With over 40 wineries in the Temecula Valley AVA producing wines from 50-plus varietals, it’s no wonder wine-tasting is one of the top things to do indoors in Temecula. In fact, “Wine Enthusiast” magazine named Temecula one of its 10 Best Wine Travel Destinations in 2019. 

The wine-tasting experience in Temecula is approachable to novices as well as long-time wine aficionados. It’s suitable for day trips, weekend getaways and longer vacations alike. Do a little research to see what is included with a wine tasting, as experiences vary. Some, such as wine tastings at the new Sweet Oaks tasting room, include extras such as charcuterie pairings with every wine sample. They also feature a behind-the-scenes tour of the winery. You might plan a comprehensive self-guided tour of the valley, book a group tour, or just visit one or two local tasting rooms that catch your eye. Reservations are recommended, especially on weekends. 

Local History at the Temecula Valley Museum

While its contemporary vibe as a wine country destination is relatively new, dating only to the 1960s, Temecula is actually one of the most historic communities in Southern California. The city was founded in 1859, and this is the era evoked by the wooden sidewalks and old-west storefronts of Old Town. But the valley was inhabited by Native peoples as early as 900 A.D. You can learn all about the long and rich history of the area at the Temecula Valley Museum in Old Town. Permanent exhibits detail the changing face of Temecula through its different cultures and eras. Take in stories of the Luiseño Indians, the mission period, ranchos, and the stagecoach and railroad eras. There’s also an exhibit dedicated to Erle Stanley Gardner, author of the popular “Perry Mason” mystery series. Gardner lived on his own rancho in Temecula from 1937 to 1970. Younger visitors love to step back in time to the 1880s at the hands-on Children’s Touch History Exhibit. 

Country-style Nightlife at the Temecula Stampede

For visitors who enjoy country and western music, or just like to dance and socialize with a drink or two, The Temecula Stampede is probably the number one thing to do indoors in Temecula. The largest country and western venue on the West Coast, the Old Town hot spot boasts a 4,000-square-foot dance floor. Stop in for line dancing, a buckin’ bronco ride, gift store and dining options along with a full bar. The stampede is open until 2 a.m. on Wednesdays through Saturdays. 

Fun for the Kids at the Temecula Children’s Museum

If you’re vacationing in Temecula with kids, be sure to take them to the Temecula Children’s Museum, a.k.a. Pennypickle’s Workshop, in Old Town. Explore the workshop and laboratory of Professor Phineas T. Pennypickle and his field-mouse friend Beaker to discover science through play. There are gadgets and gizmos galore, including a time machine that takes you to meet famous inventors and scientists of the past. There’s a PB&J sandwich-making machine, a hydroelectric-generating toilet, a fireplace that’s really a secret passageway, and even a hot-air balloon in the foyer! 

Farm-to-Table Cuisine

Wine grapes aren’t the only agricultural bounty from the Temecula region, and many local chefs take full advantage of the incredible seasonal produce that grows nearby. You have more than 100 dining options across Temecula to consider. They range from casual Old Town gastropubs to romantic wine country fine dining with vineyard views. Just a few stand-out eateries include Devilicious Eatery in Old Town, which started as a food truck featured on Food Network and the Cooking Channel. It offers an all-day menu of comfort-food shareables. A locals’ favorite spot for brunch is Toast, known for its eclectic drinks menu featuring giant mimosas and elaborate bloody Marys. Many wineries offer their own excellent restaurants as well, allowing you to combing wine-tasting and dining—two of the best indoor things to do in Temecula. 

Indoor Entertainment at Pechanga 

Temecula’s major indoor entertainment venue is Pechanga Resort and Casino, which features the largest casino floor on the West Coast. Along with all the gaming action, the resort hosts five entertainment venues including the 12,000-seat Pechanga Theater and The Comedy Club at Pechanga. Check the schedule for the time of your visit and you might catch a show by a big-name performer across all genres including comedy, music and Broadway shows. 

Temecula’s Top Shopping Destinations

Temecula offers a range of shopping options from Old Town with its artisan boutiques, gift shops and antiques stores, to the major mall destination, Promenade Temecula. Here, find over 160 stores including big-brand to high-end names offering clothing, jewelry, home and housewares, health and beauty products and much more. The mall also hosts a weekly farmers market, and has a multi-screen movie theater with IMAX as well as a bowling alley. A little farther afield, 20 miles north of Temecula, are the Outlets at Lake Elsinore. The venue’s 40-plus retailers offer great bargains on name brands. 

Ready for a Taste of Temecula?

Whether you’re getting ready to take a trip to Temecula to see Southern California’s wine country for yourself, or you’d like a taste of its delicious wines from the comfort of your couch, be sure to check out Sweet Oaks wines.

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