Temecula: Throughout wine country, miles of trails beckon hikers, cyclists and horseback riders to explore the rolling hills and vineyards that the city is famous for. Pack a picnic or grab take out from one of the town’s top tables to enjoy al fresco. The area is well known as one of California’s top hot air ballooning sites, making a gift card for a future sunrise or sunset flight perfect to have on hand when things reopen.
Murrieta: The 9,000-acre Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve is a treasure trove for nature lovers. There are 50 different plants and animals that call the reserve home, and a network of family-friendly trails affords the chance to see wildlife, rocky terrain and the 150-foot Tenaja Falls. The Moreno and Machado Adobes, the two oldest structures in the Reserve, have the perfect outdoor picnic spot. The town also boasts the best golf practice facility in Southern California. Buy a gift card for lessons to get your game back on track in the future.
Lake Elsinore: The city is home to the largest natural freshwater lake in California. The 3,000-acre lake gives outdoors lovers the chance to sail, fish, jet ski, water ski, paddle board, kayak or simply swim and sunbathe. If you’re more of a landlubber, head for Walker Canyon Trail or one of the city’s skate or dog parks. Adrenaline seekers can purchase a gift card for a future jump at Lake Elsinore’s world-class skydiving center.
San Jacinto: Known for its natural hot springs, San Jacinto also boasts scenic hikes like Massacre Canyon. Unlike its name, it’s a quiet spot with a pretty waterfall as the highlight. On Thursdays and Sundays head to the city’s farmers market for a fresh breakfast and culinary inspiration for next week’s meals. Pair a majestic view with a day on the greens at the Soboba Springs Golf Course. Located in the foothills of the San Jacinto mountain, with jaw-dropping views, Soboba offers a safe and fun way to get a golf game in.
Idyllwild: If you like the fresh mountain air but want to avoid the crowds at other popular spots, Idyllwild is your new mountain playground. Located in the San Jacinto Mountains, hike to Suicide Rock or Tahquitz Peak for great views. For an easier hike, walk along Lake Fulmor or grab a rod and reel and fish for rainbow trout. Idyllwild Regional Park offers five trails, a challenging rock climbing course, and perfect picnic spots in its 200 acres.
Lake Hemet: Lake Hemet is all about outdoor recreation, making it one of the state’s top spots for camping and fishing. Take a boat out on Diamond Valley Lake or Lake Hemet, cycle through Simpson Park or take the kids to Gibbel and Mary Henley Parks.
Canyon Lake: Take the opportunity to get a glimpse into the private, gated community of Canyon Lake by ironing out your golf game at its public driving range. The practice facility includes a large turf driving range, putting green, pitching area and sand bunker to work on every facet of your game.
Visit Temecula Valley is the region’s official tourism marketing organization and resource for visitors. The Visitors Center is located in Old Town Temecula. For visitor information and assistance, call (888) 363-2852 or go to VisitTemeculaValley.com. Visit Temecula Valley is a contracted partner with Riverside County for the implantation of the Riverside County Tourism Recovery Campaign for the Third and First District.