Introduction to Temecula, California
Temecula is a city located in the southwestern part of Riverside County, California. Situated near the junction of Interstates I-15 and I-215, and also serviced by California State Highway 79, Temecula lies about 86 miles southeast of Los Angeles and 60 miles north of San Diego. It is bordered by its neighboring city of Murrieta on the northwest.
The name Temecula comes from an alternative spelling of the Luiseño word “Temecunga,” roughly translated to mean, “Where the sun breaks through the mist.” Early settlement in the area was boosted by the 1859 establishment of the first inland Southern California post office in Temecula, to which stagecoach deliveries were regular occurrences. Rail service arrived in the late 19th century, and by the turn of the century Temecula had gained prominence as a shipping point for grain and cattle. The community’s growth continued through the 20th century, with dramatic changes taking place in the 1970s with the onset of large-scale subdivision and development of real estate. In 1989, Temecula became incorporated as a city. Temecula today is the site of one of California’s oldest wineries, and the Temecula Valley serves as one of the state’s relatively small but significant wine producing regions.
Arts and Entertainment in Temecula
Temecula’s Old Town district contains a mix of old historic buildings, antique stores, shops and restaurants. The Temecula Valley Museum chronicles life in the Temecula Valley through different periods of time and different cultures. On display are handcrafted artifacts, cultural items, ranching and farming equipment, documents and photographs. Also part of the district is the Imagination Workshop Children’s Museum. This award-winning site features interactive displays and hands-on inventions and gadgets. The 358-seat Old Town Temecula Community Theater is a state-of-the-art facility located in the heart of Old Town Temecula. The historic 1890 Mercantile Building houses the ticket office, a visual art gallery, and an intimate performance space. The Temecula Valley International Film and Music Festival is an annual September event which draws filmmakers and musicians from across the nation and around the globe. Nearby Winchester is the site of the Temecula Valley Balloon & Wine Festival, a July event which offers top-name entertainment, wine tasting, arts and crafts and a food court. Just south of Temecula is the Pechanga Resort and Casino complex, owned and operated by the Pechanga Tribe of Luiseño Indians. The resort, Temecula Valley’s number one employer, includes a large , bingo hall, hotel, convention center, showroom, cabaret lounge and seven restaurants.