Temecula: Sippin, Swingin and Wilderness Lakes

I have to admit that we’ve been to this area before, even stayed at the same campground but wow, we totally missed Temecula and what a mistake! We missed out on some serious sippin’ and swingin’!


Two years ago we found ourselves at the Wilderness Lakes RV Resort and Campground in Menifee, CA and made the mistake of just exploring about a 5 mile radius. In our defense, we were only staying for two days, still new to full time travel and entirely too anxious to get to the next BIG destination.

Now that we have learned a thing or two about road tripping, we expanded our horizons and were greatly rewarded with undisturbed greens and more wine than even our experienced tolerances could handle.  Temecula is only a mere 15 miles from Menifee and yet feels so very different. It’s your quintessential small town with a big emphasis on wine and hiding (maybe even purposefully) some really great golfing. Ok, maybe they are not hiding the golf; it just takes a back seat to the wine scene.

downtown temecula

One of the tastiest of our stops was Leoness Cellars. It had a very formal and elegant feel and yet it was founded by two farmers who had been growing grapes in Temecula for over twenty years, so it wasn’t pretentious. If you are going on some tastings, this one should be on your short list.

leoness cellars


Doffo Wines definitely takes the cake for one of the most interesting wineries we have ever been to! The wine is good (we suggest the bubbly) but the motorbikes and the Argentinean/Italian family that owns and runs the place is what made this stop one we will never forget.


Yes, I said motorbikes. Marcelo Doffo (AKA Dad) has long had an obsession with vintage motorbikes and has amassed an amazing collection that is prominently displayed thought the property. He is a proud man and loves to gush on his bike collection, wine and even his children.  After spending a couple of hours with Marcelo and his son/winemaker Damian we had to remind ourselves that we were in California and not Europe. If you make your way there and you own pink shoes, wear them and please tell Marcelo Jason and Nikki sent you. Marcelo couldn’t get over Jason’s pink PF Flyer shoes. We couldn’t believe that the European was shocked by pink shoes! It’s just a lighter shade of red and we thought all Argentinean/Italians loved red?

marcelo doffo

Now, about that golf we mentioned. We don’t always take the time (or want to spend the money) to hit many golf courses along our way but we do love to play. We were told by several people that cross creek golf course is one we shouldn’t miss. They were right.

jason teeing off

Their tag line is, “No Homes, No Freeways, No Noise… Come Experience Pristine Golf” and it was all true. It was a bit of a drive to get out there but once we were there, it was beautiful!

cross creek golf course


We tried to pass off our Smart car as a golf car, but they weren’t having it.  Maybe if we switched to the all electric they would let us… may be an idea worth exploring, don’t you think?

smart car golf car

So, if you haven’t gathered, we enjoyed exploring Temecula and had we not gone back to Thousand Trails Wilderness Lakes campground, we would have missed it!  Here is the video we shot for the campground…you will notice we didn’t have any fun (or maybe too much) filming this one.

I should mention that we did really enjoy our stay at the campground. We ran into some familiar faces and got to know some new ones too! There were a few different families camping from the group Fulltime Families that would have group hang outs. It was fun getting to know some of the young families and hearing their stories about traveling the country, living life, and raising children on the go. If you are considering full time travel with kids, get yourselves a Thousand Trails membership and check out Fulltime Families.

fulltime families

Ok, your turn. Have you been to Temecula or Wilderness Lakes Campground? If so, tell us your favorite finds in the comments below!

Disclaimer: While we were compensated to film the campground (thanks Thousand Trails!)…all of our experiences and opinions are not purchased and are still our own.

Hello there! I honestly don’t know what to say, so I am going to tell you a bunch of random facts instead. I'm a fish eating vegetarian who hates spiders and loves snakes. I almost never took vacations growing up. I wanted to be Pippi Longstocking (still do). I misspell about every other word I write and still struggle with grammar. I love splurging on a good high tea (which is really hard to find these days). And whatever you do, don’t tell me I can’t do something, because then I'll HAVE to do it!

Comments (7)

  • Cody

    First off Temecula is great, the wineries and balloon festivals are great. That being said, do not under any circumstances stay at Wilderness Lakes, first off it’s in menifee not temecula which is like staying in Compton because it’s close to Manhattan Beach. We went by here and wouldn’t even park, it’s like a trailer park full of drug dealers and people you wouldn’t want your son or daughter to come home with.

  • Fred and Toni Floyd

    You are right about Temecula. We relocated from Seattle to SoCal to be near grandkids. The Temecula wine country has become our home. There are many things to see and do — Wineries, beer gardens, lots of history. Did you know that Temecula was a stage coach stop back in the early days?

  • Karri

    My hubby and I were married (almost 18 years ago) in Temecula at Thornton Winery. It was a pretty magical place then:)

  • LOVE Temecula! Great pictures and video guys!


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