Things to See in Old Town Temecula

Old Town Temecula is better than ever!

Last Saturday I decided to take a visit to one of my favorite local attractions, Old Town Temecula.  It had been a while since I had been there, and boy have things changed!  The city of Temecula has done a major restoration and redevelopment project in Old Town Temecula and now it is just better than ever!

History of Old Town Temecula

Established in 1859, Old Town Temecula gets its name from the Luiseno Indians who lived in the area during the 1700’s. They originally called it “Temecunga” which means “the place of the sun.” When the Spaniards, through Father Juan Norberto de Santiago, arrived in the area in 1797, while looking for a site for a new mission, interpreted the name to be “Temecula”, the name just stuck. Temecula means “The City That Shines Through The Mist.”

Temecula was one of the stops on the Butterfield Stage route in the 1800’s, and soon became a place where the United States established their seventh post office in California. Walter Vail, a cattle rancher purchased 87,500 acres in the area and drove 1,000 head of cattle here from Arizona. The area became a working cattle ranch for the next 60 years. But it wasn’t until the Santa Fe Railway made its way through the valley that the real Old Town Temecula was actually established. Developers have tried to change the name through the years to Rancho California, but the city voters made the decision to make the name Temecula permanent.

Some of the same old buildings that were built during the late 1800’s and early 1900’s still stand in Old Town Temecula today.

Welcome to Old Town Temecula

Old Town Temecula is a family fun adventure.

Old Town Temecula is the perfect place to take your family on an “Old West” adventure.  There are tons of restaurants, shops, and attractions to satisfy all ages. There are also seasonal activities that make visiting Old Town Temecula unique and educational, as well as, fun!

Antique Stores are every where in Old Town Temecula

Fourth Street Antiques is one of my favorite places to shop!
Fourth Street Antiques is one of my favorite places to shop!

Old Town Temecula Shopping

In Old Town Temecula you can find some of the finest Antiques Shops in Southern California. With over 15 different antique shops and antique malls to choose from, you could spend the entire day doing just that alone. The antique shops carry everything from furniture to glassware, from old time comics to antique trains. You name it; the antique shops in Old Town Temecula will have it, believe me! Even if you are not looking for anything in particular, just browsing around the shops at all the vintage items will give you a jog down memory lane. The Old Town antique dealers are experienced and knowledgeable, and more than willing to help you find whatever you are looking for.

Not only are there several antique shops in Old Town Temecula, but there are a ton of specialty shops to visit there too. There are apparel shops that carry one of a kind fashion items, or designer clothing if that is more your cup of tea. If you love art, there are several art galleries that have different, unique, collections to choose from. Old Town Temecula is also a crafters paradise. Experience everything from Native American art, to Americana, to folk-art in a wide variety of different venues.

Rooster Creek

A craft store filled with vintage home decor.
A craft store filled with vintage home décor.

Rooster Creek, part of the flavor of Old Town Temecula.

One of my favorite specialty shops is called Rooster Creek. Rooster Creek is located in The Emporium, which was built in 1901 and was used as a meat market. Rooster Creek is decorated with a darling vintage flair and sells home furnishings that will make any house a home.

Rooster Creek is two floors of handmade creations, plus a stitchery shop for you to make some creations of your very own. In the back of the shop is an area that belongs to “The Wool Lady”, Ruth Molina. Ruth Molina stocks all kinds of fabrics, threads, yarns, and everything you could ever need to create needle working or quilting projects. She specializes in wool products that she painstakingly hand dyes in her home.

The Temecula Lavender Company

Feel the healing power of the herb Lavender as you shop in Old Town Temecula.
Feel the healing power of the herb Lavender as you shop in Old Town Temecula.

The Temecula Lavender Company in Old Town.

Another specialty shop that is fun to visit is called The Temecula Lavender Company. This darling shop sells soaps, lotions, bath scrubs, massage oils, shampoos, sachets, candles, and even dried Lavender bunches, everything is inspired by Lavender. All the Lavender products that are sold in the store are grown at Solidago Farms, in Temecula. The herb Lavender, is the herb for peace, happiness, purification, sleep, love, devotion, and longevity. You can feel the influence Lavender has on your body just by entering the shop.

Madison's Manor

Fine french decor with a "shabby chic" flare in Old Town Temecula.
Fine french décor with a "shabby chic" flare in Old Town Temecula.

Madison's Manor

A new shop to come to the Old Town Temecula area is one called Madison’s Manor.  Madison’s Manor is a collection of cottage, French apartment, and shabby styles of adornment.  I guess I would call the vintage romantic items in Madison’s Manor “shabby chic”.  Although new to the Old Town area, Madison’s Manor is a family run store that has been in operation for over ten years.  Filled with candelabras, crystals, pillars, and everything French, the store is warm and inviting and beautifully decorated.

Old Town Temecula has great food.

Old Town Temecula is a great place to come for any type of food experience you could ask for.  From fine dining, to backyard BBQ, Old Town Temecula satisfies all your cravings in the food department.

Old Town Root Beer Company

One of the best places to “wet your whistle” is the Old Town Root Beer Company.   The Old Town Root Beer Company serves 185 varieties of nostalgic drinks, lined up neatly on shelves just waiting for you to pop the top and drink.  They not only sell classic soda, they have home brewed Root Beer too.  Old Town Root Beer 66 is a little bit spicy, while the smooth taste of the DNA Root Beer, which is named after the owner’s grandchildren, is classic.  The Old Town Root Beer Company also makes a mean Root Beer Float.  This is a great place to take the entire family!

Old Town Root Beer Company

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Mad Madeline's Grill

Mad Madeline's Grill

Another great place to eat is called Mad Madeline’s Grill. Mad Madeline’s is a burger joint extraordinaire. Not only do they serve 18 different varieties of hamburgers, they smoke up BBQ Ribs every Friday night. The outside Dog-friendly patio is always packed with people as they grab a bite to eat and watch the Front Street attractions. This is a favorite spot for "Harley Riders" to come to and eat, so you know the food has to be good!

Hours of operation are:

  • Monday-Thursday, 11-5
  • Friday- Saturday, 11-9
  • Sunday, 11-7



The Edge Restaurant and Lounge

The Edge Restaurant and Lounge

For an upscale dining experience in Old Town Temecula try The Edge Restaurant and Lounge. 

Hours of operation:

  • Monday- Thursday, 5pm-2am
  • Friday, 11am-2am
  • Saturday and Sunday, 9am-2am

The Edge has a wide variety of entrees to choose from that are all incredible.  Some of the specialties are The Cuban Cristo, which is BBQ pork, hot ham, Havarti, pickled cucumber, dipped in egg and fried with whole grain mustard.  Another favorite on the menu is the Grilled New Zealand Lamb Chops.

If you are in the area for breakfast, they make fresh baked scones and a house specialty called Chipotle Benedict. 

If you are a chocolate dessert lover like me, then the Bittersweet Deep Dish Chocolate Pie, which is a family recipe, is divine! They also have a fun dessert called Holes, which are made to order fresh doughnut holes served with a variety of dips and glazes.  Oh yeah, I have to mention the Red Velvet Soufflé which is to die for!

The Lounge has entertainment nightly under the direction of Monty Seward.

Visit Old Town Temecula

show route and directions
A markerFarmers Market -
Mercedes St & 6th St, Temecula, CA 92590, USA
[get directions]

Every Saturday 7:30 am - 12:30 pm

B markerThe Temecula Lavender Company -
42072 5th St, Temecula, CA 92590, USA
[get directions]

(951) 676-1931

C markerRooster Creek -
42050 Main St, Temecula, CA 92590, USA
[get directions]

(951) 694-9918

D markerMadison's Manor -
42050 Main St, Temecula, CA 92590, USA
[get directions]

(951) 225-8590

E markerOld Town Rootbeer Company -
28545 Old Town Front St, Temecula, CA 92590, USA
[get directions]

(951) 676-5088

F markerMad Madeline's Grill -
28495 Old Town Front St, Temecula, CA 92590, USA
[get directions]

(951) 699-3776

G markerThe Edge Restaurant and Lounge -
28544 Old Town Front St, Temecula, CA 92590, USA
[get directions]

(951) 506-3343

H markerThe Bank -
28645 Old Town Front St, Temecula, CA 92590, USA
[get directions]

(866) 713-3881

I markerRosa's Cantina -
28638 Old Town Front St, Temecula, CA 92590, USA
[get directions]

(951) 695-2428

Mexican Food in Old Town Temecula.

There are two great places for Mexican food in Old Town Temecula, both are right across the street from one another. 

The Bank of Mexican Food

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The Bank

The first Mexican restaurant is called The Bank. The Bank is the oldest Mexican Restaurant in the Temecula Valley. It offers authentic Mexican food with either indoor or outdoor dining in a converted building that was the historic First National Bank of Temecula.

The building itself was constructed in 1913 and took over a year to complete. This two story building has walls made of cement that are 18 inches thick. The first bank robbery in the history of Riverside County occurred at “The Bank”, now it serves up Mexican food specials every night of the week for a steal!

Try their spicy enchiladas, or the crispy chicken flautas, they are both great! They also serve breakfast every day of the week.

Hours of operation:

Monday – Thursday, 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.

Friday - 11 a.m. - 11 p.m.
Saturday 8 a.m. – 11 p.m.

Sunday - 8 a.m. - 9 p.m.
Breakfast Served Saturday & Sunday
8 a.m. – 11 a.m.

Some of the best Mexican food in the Temecula Valley.


The Bank

Rosa's Cantina

Rosa's Cantina

The other choice for good Mexican food in Old Town Temecula is Rosa’s Cantina.  Rosa’s Cantina is more of a casual family dining establishment; in fact, Rosa’s Cantina is probably where the locals really go to eat! 

Offering a wide variety of special Mexican Plates, which include your choice of an entrée served with rice and beans, Rosa’s Cantina also provides free soda refills.  Rosa’s Cantina also offers party platters and other great catering options if you decide you want a party with great Mexican Food at home, or for a large crowd. 

On Sunday’s they have an all you can eat breakfast buffet from 8am-12pm, which is $9.95 for adults and $5.95 for children under 12. Whether you are in Old Town Temecula for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, Rosa’s Cantina is the place for family Mexican dining.

Old Town Temecula Community Theater

Entertainment in Old Town Temecula

There is a lot to do by way of entertainment in Old Town Temecula too.  One of the newest renovations to happen in the entertainment industry in Old Town Temecula is the Old Town Temecula Community Theater.  The theater has a state of the art sound and staging system and offers great seating.  Located in the heart of Old Town Temecula the main theater hosts all kinds of different performances including magic shows, live music, musicals, and plays.

Another venue for entertainment is called The MERC.  The MERC is really The Mercantile building on Main Street in Old Town Temecula that has been restored as an intimate setting for musical performances.  Every Thursday they present Jazz, Friday they present homegrown talent, and Saturday it is Country Music at the MERC.  The Cost is $15 for adults. 

Bailey's

If you are looking for some night life, Old Town Temecula has it for you!

Eleven after Dark is the hottest, upscale, sophisticated, fun, trendy, energetic, Nightclub in Temecula and it is located in Old Town.   Baily’s Dining center, which is also another great place to experience fine California/Continental cuisine in Temecula, is the home of Eleven after Dark.  Bailey’s offers not only this great dancing experience but houses two different restaurants, Front Street Bar and Grill, and Baily’s

Eleven after Dark is a 21 and over club, with an incredible DJ that plays nightly.  There is no cover charge, so dress to impress.

  • Friday Night- 10pm - Close; Resident DJ,  DJ Vince West playing the hottest music weekly!  Come see why people are talking about Friday nights at Eleven After Dark! Spinning the best of Mashup, Classic Rocks, Old School, and Top 40 music!
  • Saturday Night-10pm - Close: Features Resident DJ, Kid Jay from 99.1 KGGI and the DJ for the Los Angeles Lakers!  Come party with your friends and enjoy the hottest club in the Inland Empire/North San Diego County at Eleven After Dark!  Kid Jay is mixing the very best music from old to new with a touch of your favorite classics!  Don't be left out!

Temecula Stampede

The Temecula Stampede

Further down Front Street you will find the Temecula Stampede.  The Temecula Stampede is a country western dance venue where you can go to do some boot scootin’.  Every Friday and Saturday night from 6pm to 8pm the Stampede offers dance lessons just so you can learn how to country line dance.  This is an 18 and over club.  On Wednesday nights they take a break from country and offer hip hop dancing instead.

They are open Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday nights from 6pm to 1:30am.  The price is $10 for patrons 21 and over, and $15 for patrons 18-20.  Come early from 6-7pm and get in for ½ price. On Wednesday the cover charge is $5.00.

Dress Code:

  1. No vulgar or offensive words, slogans or designs.
  2. No "wife beater" T-shirts.
  3. No "Metal Mulisha" gear.
  4. No Colors.
  5. No wallet chains.
  6. No pocket knives.
  7. No bandanas or headscarves.
  8. No studded clothing.
  9. No spurs.
  10. No bathing suit tops.
  11. Ball caps must be worn forward.

Shoes must be worn at all times in the Stampede.

Temecula's Childrens Museum

Temecula Children's Museum Pennypickles Workshop.

A great attraction, especially for children is Pennypickles Workshop at the Temecula Children’s Museum. The Museum is open in sessions to provide a more intimate experience for each child.

Pennypickle's Workshop - Temecula Children's Museum hours:
Closed Mondays
Tuesday - Saturday:
Session I - 10 am to noon
Session II - 12:30 - 2:30 pm
Session III - 3 - 5:00 pm
Science Adventures - 5:30 - 7:30 pm (Fridays only)
Sunday:
Session I - 12:30 - 2:30 pm
Session II - 3 - 5:00 pm

Seasonal Events in Old Town Temecula

  • Quilt Show- Come peruse homemade quilts hand crafted by America's Best quilt artisans.
  • Temecula Rod Run- Classic cars, vendors, entertainment and more.
  • Christmas in Old Town- Holiday lights, Santa, Ice Rink and more!
  • Holiday Light Parade- Big community parade with floats and marching bands
  • Street painting- Over 100 muralists and visual artists create giant pastel murals.
  • Western Days- Old west exhibits, western music, chili cook off and calf roping demonstrations.
  • Temecula Bluegrass Festival- Workshops on the mandolin, fiddle, guitar and banjo, along with daily entertainment. Lots of  pickin'.

Temecula Boot Hill

Come See The Old Town Temecula Gunfighters

Old Town Temecula was a hopping place in the 1920’s and 1930’s. It had its fair share of bank robberies, murders, and even visits from Hollywood Stars. Now, every 4th Saturday of the month the Old Town Temecula Gunfighters shoot it out in at High Noon and 2:00pm, on the corner of 4th Street and Front Street. These performances include shootouts, staged fights, gun safety shows, and other fun stuff.

I went back lot to grab these cool photos of the crew cleaning their guns and getting ready for the show.

Make sure you also visit Temecula Boot Hill and see the remains of the famous Temecula outlaws.

Old Town Temecula Gunfighters

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Shop at the Farmers Market in Old Town Temecula

Farmers Market

Behind the Temecula Stage Stop you will find the Temecula Farmers Market.  With over 50 vendors each week, the Farmers Market is open every Saturday from 7:30am to 12:30pm. You can find locally grown produce, flowers, honey, nuts, and other specialty items of the area.  You will also find hand crafted items and specialty foods to add to your shopping experience.

Visit the Temecula City Hall in Old Town Temecula

As part of the redevelopment of Old Town Temecula, the new Temecula City Hall is located in downtown Old Town Temecula. This three-story, 95,500 square foot structure with a mission-style architecture stands right in the middle of town. Scheduled to open in September, this building is one of the new pieces of artistic architecture that is being brought into the area to enhance the old.

Temecula City Hall

Old Town Garage

Public Parking available in Old Town Temecula

Transportation and Parking

Because of the many awesome events and experiences that can be had at Old Town Temecula, the problem of traffic control has had to be addressed. Just recently the city has constructed a 472 space. three story, parking garage next to the new Temecula City Hall, called the Old Town Garage. Just one block off of Front Street, at Mercedes and Third Streets, this structure offers public parking which is desperately needed in Old Town Temecula.

The parking structure itself is eye appealing and blends in with the other structures in the area. In fact, it is probably the best looking parking garage I have ever seen.

Parking is free.


Take the Trolley To Old Town Temecula

The Temecula Trolley

The city of Temecula, being aware of the transportation needs of the area, teamed up with RTA and instituted the Old Time Temecula Trolley.The Temecula Trolley has two routes, the Red Line and the Green LIne.

  • The Route 55 Green Line will provide weekday service between Harveston and the Promenade Mall.
  • The Route 57 Red Line will provide weekday and weekend service between the mall and Old Town.

The Temecula Trolley runs every 15 minutes and is absolutely free to ride.

Palomar Inn Hotel

Lodging in Old Town Temecula

One of the great places to stay that is located right in Old Town Temecula is the Palomar Inn Hotel. The Palomar Inn Hotel is a historical landmark which was built in the 1920’s. This 10 room Inn gives you the true ambiance of Old Town Temecula in a small family run inn atmosphere. There are two rooms with a private bathroom and kitchen, and the other ones come with a shared bathroom and kitchenette.

The Palomar Inn Hotel also houses the Temecula House of Wine. This wine shop offers a variety of wines from the Temecula Valley which is famous for their wonderful wineries. Get all the information and maps you need to take a tasting tour of the local Temecula wineries and learn of the other exciting events like the Temecula Balloon and Wine Festival, or Shakespeare in the Vines.

Palomar Inn Hotel room rates start at $45.95 on Sunday through Thursday for rooms with shared baths, and on Friday and Saturday the rate is $69.95. The two rooms with Kitchens and private baths are $69.95 on weekdays and $89.95 on weekends. Weekly rates start at $245 and $315 respectively.

The Roadway Inn Temecula

The Roadway Inn Temecula

The Roadway Inn Temecula is also another place to stay in Old Town Temecula itself.  Located at the very end of town The Roadway Inn is a bed and breakfast style hotel that offers conveniences like computer hook-ups, direct dial telephones, and access to copy and fax services.  The guest rooms include coffee makers and refrigerators, laundry facilities are also located on the property.  There are only 39 rooms available in this hotel so book reservations early.

Old Town Temecula is a great vacation get-away!

As you can see, Old Town Temecula has something for everyone.  I haven’t even covered half of the fun things to see, do and eat in Old Town Temecula, so I guess you will just have to make the trip and see for yourself.

Have fun enjoying the adventure of the Old West in Old Town Temecula.

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Comments 19 comments

stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 6 years ago from Bend, Oregon

Another great one, Diana! I feel like I am right there in Old Town Temecula!


LdsNana-AskMormon profile image

LdsNana-AskMormon 6 years ago from Southern California

Excellent Hub my friend! I was just in Old Town Temecula myself, last week. We visited and enjoyed many of the stores and eateries that you have covered in your article. We had a wonderful day, full of delightful finds. I must confess, I took home a few new treasures.


In The Doghouse profile image

In The Doghouse 6 years ago from California Author

Hi Steph- I bet you would love Old Town Temecula. It is such a darling little place with tons to see and do! Thanks.


In The Doghouse profile image

In The Doghouse 6 years ago from California Author

Kathryn- Can you believe how much Old Town Temecula has grown? We went for the day last week too, and I was astounded at the many new and fun things that Old Town had to offer! I love Farmer's Market... picked up some great produce!


Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

What a beautiful town with such a lot of variety. Thank you for showing us a round.


Simone Smith profile image

Simone Smith 6 years ago from San Francisco

FANTASTIC hub! The photos, video, and tips are great. Your formatting, also, is lovely and easy to follow- things are logically organized and easy to read through! Plus, I TOTALLY want to see the Old Town Temecula Gunfighters- how nifty!


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 6 years ago from South Africa

I really enjoyed this visit to the Old Town - thanks for the guided tour. The lavender place looks just wonderful!

Love and peace

Tony


RevLady profile image

RevLady 6 years ago from Lantana, Florida

WOW, I feel like I have been on a short vacation. What a delightful experience. Thank you for all the time and work you put into this hub ensuring we have a wonderful tour. I rejoice in your fun and relaxing getaway.

Love, peace and joy in Him.

Forever His,


In The Doghouse profile image

In The Doghouse 6 years ago from California Author

@Hello, hello- I am glad you liked your visit to Old Town Temecula!

@SimoneSmith- Thanks so much. It was fun to see the Temecula Gunfighters up close and personal! lol I did enjoy spending my day there.


In The Doghouse profile image

In The Doghouse 6 years ago from California Author

@Tonymac04- I am glad you enjoyed visiting Old Town Temecula. I love Love Love the Lavender shop! Can't you just smell it?

@RevLady-Thanks for taking my vacation to Old Town Temecula. I am so glad you liked the little tour! lol Blessings.


oceansnsunsets profile image

oceansnsunsets 6 years ago from The Midwest, USA

I would love the Lavender shop, thank you for sharing this hub, its great.


tweeter 6 years ago

Awesome blog, Diana. I work in Old Town and you educated me.


Les Trois Chenes profile image

Les Trois Chenes 6 years ago from Videix, Limousin, South West France

I have really enjoyed reading this hub. So many places to see and so little time. Thanks.


In The Doghouse profile image

In The Doghouse 6 years ago from California Author

@oceansnsunsets- The Lavender shop is really great! I love the smell of Lavender!

@Tweeter- That is totally funny... I would pig out everyday if I worked in Old Town Temecula.

@LesTrois Chenes- Thank you for stopping by and visiting.


Aunt Reenie 6 years ago

This is as good as any travel dialog I have ever read, and I have read many, many of them! Congradulations Dianna. You are a "natural" at this type of writing! Keep it up, girl!


Purple Perl profile image

Purple Perl 6 years ago from Bangalore,India

Quaint place! Thanks for the virtual tour!

Congrats too! Well deserved!


G-ma 6 years ago

You go girl! This is an utterly fantastic hub. If anyone wants to know about Old Town Temecula here's where to fine all about it.

Great job!


mydubaistay profile image

mydubaistay 6 years ago from Dubai

Nice one..your research on Temecula was fabulous and I already feel like visiting the place...Way to go!!


The Wool Lady 6 years ago

Wonderful little shop with yarn, needles, lovely wool and flannel fabric and many exciting items for purchase. They wrap your purchase up in a cute bag and tissue and the sales ladies are so kind and helpful, I can't wait to go back!

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