Looking for a fun weekend getaway for you and your pup? Why not take a quick and easy drive along the I-15 to the pet friendly wineries of Temecula. If you can avoid the peak traffic hours on Friday and Sunday evening (nobody likes to sit in traffic – not even our pets), residents and visitors of Southern California can spend some quality outdoor time with their furry loved ones while enjoying a taste of Southern California.
Whether it’s a weekend trip or a quick day trip, packing for your pet is pretty simple; extra food and lots of treats! If it’s an overnight stay, don’t forget to bring their own dog bed so they feel safe, peaceful, and at home. If driving causes your pet to be anxious maybe bring calming Herbal supplements or a vet recommended Rx.
Once you exit I-15 and enter the Temecula Valley, it's as if you just landed in Italy. You will undoubtedly be impressed, if not mesmerized by the tall Italian Cypress trees that dot the countryside along the Rancho California trail as you make your way to some 19 wineries.
Our first stop, the Callaway vineyard. The property is set on 20 acres of estate vineyards. It was one of the most aesthetically pleasing vineyards that we visited. Super pet friendly! The vineyard had a larger Napa Valley feel with the charm of a cute Sonoma boutique winery.
A Word of Caution - When we arrived there was a large Red-tailed hawk that flew over our car and perched itself high above us on a light post. This is something that you need to be very mindful of when traveling with small dogs. There were a few hawks in the area looking for their own winery treats. At night, the hawks give way to the owls. If you are cautious and aware of your surroundings when going for a walk you will be fine.
Amy and Emily have been wine tasting in 10 different countries in places like Argentina, France, Portugal, and the US to name a few. In all those instances, we have never had to worry about overhead predators until this time. This should not dissuade your desire to visit the wineries or take away from your experience, it's just something to be aware of as you go about your day.
After sharing a small flight of wine and taking a few pictures to capture the moment, we decided it was time to check into our villa at the South Coast Winery Resort and Spa. Again, super pet friendly. After getting settled and giving the girls a chance to have a brief nap, we decided to head out on our own to the next winery on our map – Europa Village.
The Europa Village was an extremely cute, quaint property with gift shops and lots and lots of people outside on the Terrace enjoying the taste of the vineyard. Being first timers to Temecula, we did not realize how pet friendly the whole experience would be. This wine tasting experience was also quite different from the Callaway vineyard. The area was more enclosed and not as exposed to the elements as it was at the Callaway property. As we sampled our first wine, we took notice of the number of dogs that were around us. I said Amy and Emily must have the same experience. After very little discussion, we finished our glass and headed straight back to the hotel to wake them from their slumber. Little did they know they were about to be immersed in the Temecula wine experience. Off to the Baily winery we go.
The Baily winery was less than a mile away from the previous vineyard and low and behold, super dog friendly!! The girls were welcome in the wine tasting room and on the grounds. In fact, Sundays are reserved for Dog Day Sundays. Make sure to visit on Sunday and ask for their doggie menu. It will be a real treat for your pup! The wine was good and the ambiance was great. The view from Baily was very picturesque. We arrived just prior at golden hour and stayed until the sun went down. Great sunset photos from the property.
After leaving the Baily vineyard, we went back to the hotel to relax, put on the fireplace, order some room service for dinner and share a bottle of wine. The South Coast Winery Resort and Spa is surrounded by grass and vineyards. Our room was great – clean, spacious and comfortable. From a pet’s perspective, it was safe and a great place to enjoy some fresh green grass. The girls were very happy there (keep watch for those hawks and owls).
After a day of wine tasting, we all decided to do something we rarely do - sleep in on a Sunday! Amy and Emily were delighted with this. They both enjoy a good sleep, especially after the car ride and all the walking around from the day before. One thing is for sure, they are never in a hurry to go out in the morning.
Sunday was a day for brunch and to explore old town Temecula. It's a short 10-minute drive from the Rancho California wine trail. The town itself looks like it was taken right out of the wild west. There are plenty of outdoor dining options; all of which were within walking distance and were very pet friendly. Everywhere we went we were greeted with bowls of water and dog menus for our little ones. I cannot overstate how nice it is that the town is as friendly and welcoming as it is to dogs.
The people were exceedingly kind too. Fantastic experiences all-round. What a way to cap off a truly pleasant weekend getaway!
We will surely be back.
South Coast Winery Resort and Spa