Old Town Temecula

Most everyone has heard of Temecula Valley wine country, but a less-known area of Temecula, is Old Town Temecula.

I had the pleasure of spending a few hours on Front Street in Old Town Temecula, on a visit with my Mom this past weekend. I had been there briefly, to celebrate my 25th wedding anniversary with my husband at Pechanga Casino, but my husband is definitely NOT a shopping person. So the minute I saw all there was to do in this fun and hip little area of Temecula, I knew I had to come back with a shopping partner in crime!

A bit of History

The first residents of the valley were the Temecula Indians. Archeologists have found evidence of the tribe inhabiting the area since about 900 A.D. These Temecula Indians are also known as the Pechanga Indians.

Between September 20 and September 23, 1875 the Pechanga people were stripped of their land and they were forced to abandon their crops and livestock. They had been horribly mistreated.

But in 1882, Helen Hunt Jackson, who worked for the Bureau of Indian Affairs, visited the Temecula people and interviewed people about what had happened. She sent “the story of the eviction and the evictees’ appalling living conditions to the U.S. Government. Her reports helped convince Congress to set aside land for the Pechanga Reservation, which was established by Executive Order on June 27, 1882 by President Chester A. Arthur.” Source: Pechanga Band of Indians

Thanks to Butterfield Overland Stage, who ran the mail delivery coaches in Southern California, the Temecula post office was established and thus established Old Town Temecula in 1859. (However, the city of Temecula was not incorporated until over 100 years later, in November of 1989.) With its establishment it became one of only seven post offices in California south of the Tehachapi Mountains.

Old town Front Street

As you drive onto Old Town Front Street, you immediately feel the quaintness of the town. There are beautiful wrought iron arches at both ends of the street. Front Street is only about a half mile long and we were lucky enough to be able to park right on the street all three times we visited. However, there are plenty of signs for parking off of Main St. and the surrounding areas.

The street is lined with tons of restaurants, shops, pubs, beer and wine tasting and more shops! Just park your car and start walking. You can’t go wrong stopping at any and all of the establishments and restaurants.

On our first trip for my anniversary, we had an amazing breakfast at 1909 Gastropub. We sat on the outside porch and enjoyed our meal. It was very busy, but the service was excellent and they even treated us to a glass of bubbles.

On a separate trip, we didn’t realize how far the street went down, so we stopped at the first place we could park and ate at Devilicious . I had the Honey Stung Chicken sandwich and WOW… it was so good! I enjoyed it with a glass of wine because, after all, it was the middle of the day. But I noticed they had quite an extensive spirits list. I’m a whiskey lover, so I need to go back and try out some of the whiskey on their list!

Last weekend, we had already had our lunch, so our trip was mostly a shopping excursion. There are so many cute little boutiques, and eclectic shops to choose from. We went into many of the shops to browse and we bought some silly souvenir gifts for the kids. I especially enjoyed The Gardener’s Cottage with all of its adorable garden items and fun little gifts. We also stopped in Temecula Lavender Company, which smelled like heaven and has everything lavender you could ever want! We then wandered into a wonderful soap store called Au Savon De Provence, which sells natural soaps, candles, laundry detergents, room sprays, fluffy natural sea sponges and so much more. This store also smells like heaven! But by far my favorite shop was Wild Skyes. They have the cutest clothing and shoes for everyone. It’s a country store, so there were a lot of western jeans, skirts, tops, dresses and jewelry for women. They also had a lot of men’s clothing and a full wall of darling baby clothing! My Mom found and bought me the most adorable pair of boots. Now that I’m a “country girl”, I wanted a second pair of boots to wear to my concerts. I can’t wait to wear them and get a little bit of dirt on them.

We finished our day off with a cocktail at the local pub, aptly named Old Town Pub. The outdoor patio was packed, and as we sat inside around 5:00 pm, the inside was starting to get busy as well. The drinks were good and strong and they had great (but loud) music playing. It’s definitely a place where I could have stayed longer to play some tunes on the jukebox and try out the food, which also looked amazing. Next trip with the hubs, we’ll be sure to visit, as their beer choices looked satisfactory for my beer-snobby guy!

We arrived in Old Town around 3 pm and we didn’t head out of there until about 5:45, and that’s without having lunch! So if you’re going to visit, plan on spending a good portion of your day there. Especially if you like to shop, eat and drink! We had a great ladies day hanging out on Old Front Street, and I can’t wait to go back and check out some of the shops and many restaurants we didn’t get to visit this trip!

Have you been to Old Town Temecula? If so, what was your favorite part. Feel free to reach out!


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