The following content is created in consultation with Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country. It does not reflect the work or opinions of NBC Los Angeles's editorial staff. To learn more about Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country, visit visittemeculavalley.com
With its host of award-winning winneries, breathtaking geography and beautiful weather, Temecula Valley is an ideal year-round getaway and vacation destination located only 60 minutes from Los Angeles.
And there's no better weekend to experience the area than during the annual Temecula Valley Balloon & Wine Festival, taking place May 30-June 1, 2014. One of Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country's signature events, this colorful festival attracts over 40,000 attendees in three days to enjoy dramatic hot air balloon ascensions and to savor Temecula Valley award winning wines, exceptional live music and entertainment.
This year's festival will feature awe-inspiring hot air balloon launches, evening glows and rides, while festival-goers can also enjoy local wine and craft beer tastings as well as delicious food. The entertainment is equally fun, featuring musical performances from Justin Moore, Frankie Ballard, 3 Doors Down, Gin Blossoms, Nelson and Warrant. For more information and tickets, click here.
Of course Temecula Valley is an ideal escape for Angelinos any time of the year. Located within minutes of each other are three compelling destinations to build a full, robust Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country getaway. Downtown Old Town Temecula, Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country, and Pechanga Resort & Casino each have unique, premium varietal character that invites exploration. All are sincerely committed to the local lifestyle of celebrating the richness of the valley with others.
DOWNTOWN OLD TOWN TEMECULA: CONTEMPORARY AND INDEPENDENT
With a backdrop of untouched hillsides that bloom with lilac in spring, vibrant Downtown Old Town Temecula is Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country's popular, arts-entertainment-shopping-and-dining district. The historic, pedestrian-friendly neighborhood melds Old Town Temecula's legacy with casual and contemporary style and architecture. Visitors love everything from its art and entertainment, to its welcoming wine-tasting rooms, to a collection of unique specialty stores and charming boutiques.
But Old Town Temecula's burgeoning culinary scene truly stands out. From relaxed restaurants to upscale bistros, these independently-owned eateries offer delicious, one-of-a-kind meals bursting with local, farm-fresh ingredients. You'll also love the Old Town Temecula Tasting Trail, which is lined with artisanal food emporiums and wine tasting rooms. Local, artisan food shops like Temecula Olive Oil Company garner an exceptional following for their sustainable practices and quality products. Old Town's wine tasting rooms are popular for swirling, sniffing, and sipping some of the many award-winning, premium varietal and proprietary blended, award-winning wines of Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country.
TEMECULA VALLEY SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA WINE COUNTRY: ENGAGING AND APPROACHABLE
With its ideal ocean climate and sunny, Southern Californian spirit, Temecula Valley Wine Country is not only one of California’s best wine regions, but also one of its most engaging and approachable. More than 40 wineries prosper in the significant and diverse Temecula Valley AVA (American Viticultural Area), considered to be the major AVA in Southern California. The wine region continues to gain recognition for its award-winning, premium varietal and proprietary blended wines, and for its talented winemakers. It is home to three-time, award-winning California State Winery of the Year, South Coast Winery, as well as three certified sustainable wine estates.
Visitors will love the learning experiences and wine education programs at the welcoming wineries, not to mention dining in excellent winery restaurants with vineyard views. Elsewhere, concerts and signature wine-and-live-music events abound, while you can keep busy with the region's myriad outdoor activities. Or, unwind by treating your mind, body and soul to the innovative vine-based treatments available at the The GrapeSeed Spa.
PECHANGA RESORT & CASINO: LUXURY AND INDULGENCE
An ideal getaway and vacation destination, Pechanga Resort & Casino offers everything visitors could want and more, including the ultimate in luxury and indulgence. The 517-room luxury resort provides the largest and most expansive resort-casino experience anywhere in California. Luxuriously appointed rooms and suites feature grand master baths, and includes complimentary concierge service. Stylish comfort extends to Spa Pechanga and the oversized sundeck with private cabanas, swimming pool, and pool-side bar. The dining options at Pechanga include three fine dining establishments -- Great Oak Steakhouse, Paisano’s Ristorante (showcasing dishes from Italy’s best culinary regions), and the new Umi Sushi & Oyster Bar.
Pechanga is recognized as one of Southern California's premier live venues for concerts and entertainment; and the highly rated Journey at Pechanga golf course is widely recognized as one of the finest courses in California. Pechanga's elite venues host world-class entertainment including A-list performers in the Pechanga Theater. The intimate, Comedy Club at Pechanga features stand-up comedians. Designed by Arthur Hills and open to the public and Pechanga guests alike, the 7,219-yard, links-style Journey at Pechanga golf course is rated as one of the Top 20 courses in California by GolfWeek magazine. Journey snakes across the dry ravine of the Pechanga River, over rustic wooden bridges and takes full advantage of the simply awe-inspiring terrain which rises and falls a breathtaking 300 feet often with majestic views of the Temecula Valley.
To learn more about Temecula Valley and all this breathtaking region has to offer, head over to visittemeculavalley.com