Being in Southern California means that Napa Valley is time consuming and expensive weekend get away, the 7+ hour drive or flight plus renting a car and still having a few hours to drive. Thankfully   Temecula Wine Country is less than two hours from downtown Los Angeles even closer to Orange County and the Inland Empire communities. 

Round Bar, Pechanga

I was invited out by the Pechanga Resort & Casino to check out some of their new restaurants and learn more about their expansion. Not only is it the largest hotel in the region, it is the largest casino floor on in the west. While there are a number of boutique hotels and resorts in Temecula Pechanga offers not only a great inclusive resort but is positioned perfectly for day trips into wine country. 

I checked into my room which was nicely appointed and had a great view of the Temecula valley. Not planning on spending a lot of time in the room I head out to check out some of the local wineries. There are several tours you can check out, Grapeline Wine Tours and Temecula Jeep & Wine Tours are popular options. There are tours for almost any interest from cigar and wine tours for guys to horseback tours for those looking to experience a little of Temecula's old west heritage while exploring the wine offerings. Or you can just explore over 35,000 rolling acres of vineyards with over 30 wineries offering tastings. 

Some of the more well known wineries in the are include, South Coast the largest winery in the area, the Ponte Winery which is home to a four diamond hotel, and Miramonte Winery offers amazing views from their hilltop tasting room and live entertainment every Friday and Saturday night.

Returning to Pechanga I head over to Umi Sushi & Oyster Bar for dinner, having so many dining options at the resorts nice after a long day of drinking wine and exploring. Because once you are done you can enjoy the casino or just head up to enjoy the room.

Umi Sushi & Oyster Bar also offers amazing Chicken and Beef dishes, I opted for roasted chicken.

Pechanga is also home to a world class PGA golf course and as a hotel guest you get discounted green fees. Depending on the time of day and the season you can play a round for under $40, but check with the clubhouse for current pricing. The course is landscaped using native plants and wraps around several historically significant sites, including ruins of the original adobe stage coach stop.

The clubhouse offers an excellent pro-shop as well as Journey's End, an upscale restaurant that overlooks the course and offers a diverse menu with Jamaican twist thanks to head chef Jerome O’Reggio. Chef O'Reggio has has introduced sweet potatoes, plantains, and Jamaican curry to menu items giving creating his own signature flavors.

For more information or to plan your trip visit