When you visit a famous wine region like Temecula, wine tastings are by far the main event. But as immersive and exciting as wine tours are, it’s a good idea to take a break from the tastings during your visit and experience everything else Temecula has to offer. Even if your trip lasts a single day, there’s plenty to do. Here’s a guideline for how to plan the perfect day trip to Temecula.

Early morning

Start the day off by “visiting” all of Temecula’s vineyards at once, from the unique bird’s-eye view of a hot air balloon ride. Compass Balloons offers both private and shared sunrise flights, with unparalleled views of the rolling hills and gorgeous Temecula backcountry. 

Late morning

After your morning hot air balloon flight, grab some breakfast and peruse the eclectic shops in Temecula’s historic Old Town. The old-fashioned buildings and attractions will transport you back in time to the late 19th century, when Temecula was a major railroad hub during the gold rush. These days, you can dine at a wide variety of restaurants and shop at unique stores like the Temecula Olive Oil Company and the Temecula Lavender Company. There’s also Pennypickle’s Workshop, an award-winning children’s museum that’s fun for folks of all ages.


You can either grab a bite at an Old Town restaurant or head over to one of Temecula’s dozens of wineries, many of which feature restaurants or tours that include small meals. Once you’re finished, you can start planning out your winery tour schedule to occupy the remainder of the afternoon.


From smaller boutique wineries like Danza del Sol to the 300-acre Ponte Winery, you can find a vineyard or two (or three!) that specializes in your favorite wine variety or offers your preferred winery tour experience. If you arrive on a weekend, you can expect a lively, social atmosphere full of fellow wine fans. If you plan your tours on a weekday, you’ll enjoy more attention from the wine experts to ask all your wine-related questions.

Early evening

Work off some of those wine calories with a hike around gorgeous Vail Lake, which offers a variety of other activities like fishing, mountain biking, and camping. Or you can simply bring along some of the wine your purchased during your wine tours to enjoy on the shore while watching the sunset. If the early hour of the sunrise flight scared you off, take advantage of the evening hours with a sunset hot air balloon tour. 


Return to the winery of your choice for a delicious dinner, or select one of the many options available in Temecula’s Old Town. After dinner, you can take in a show at the Temecula Valley Symphony. Or if your music tastes trend a little more casual, check out the Temecula Stampede, the largest country-western music venue on the West Coast.

Temecula welcomes you for a day trip, weekend getaway, or full vacation!

There’s too much to do in Temecula to limit your trip to one day, but if there’s one must-do activity aside from wine tours, it’s a sunrise or sunset hot air balloon ride with Compass Balloons. Nothing can match the spectacular views of Temecula’s wine country from above. Call us today at (760) 704-7407 to schedule your flight.