15 Things That Perplex Me About the Temecula Valley


Let me start by saying that I love Temecula. I really do.

The town which we once considered a starter neighborhood, before somehow earning enough money to inevitably move back down to North San Diego County, has cultivated the ideal soil in which to plant our proverbial roots. My husband and I own a house here. We are raising two kids here. I even started an online magazine specializing in the area’s events. I love Temecula and I never want to leave.

But, like every community with a storied history such as ours, there exists what I call, for argument’s sake, a few “quirks” that have had me scratching my head for the past few years.

So, today I give you what I affectionately call “15 Things that Perplex Me About the Temecula Valley.” Please note that I emphasize the word “affectionately” as these eccentricities only add to Temecula’s distinctive character and undeniable charm.

  1. Why are we considered non-San Diego enough to NOT get Padres games, but San Diego enough to have Charger games blacked out?
  2. You see this sign after you exit on Temecula Parkway from the 15 North. I know I live to the right. Most of the neighborhoods in South Temecula are to the right. Yes, technically Old Town is to the left, but only after you have passed the Shell Station with the world’s last remaining Hungry Howie’s. So, if most of the development is to the right of the freeway exit, why does the sign say Temecula is a mile to the left?Temecula, one mile to the left
  3. Why does Temecula Dance Company have their (totally awesome) recitals in North Lake Elsinore?
  4. I’m sure a lot of you have seen this building in Old Town, across the street from Pennypickle’s Workshop. Will somebody please tell me what it is? Considering the premiere location, shouldn’t someone buy this property and turn it into the Old Town Boutique Hotel and Spa?What is the purpose of this building
  5. Do we really need so many nail salons and frozen yogurt places? (I know this was in my first column, but I think it bears repeating.)
  6. I’d love to hear the history of the pioneers who chose to build their settlement between Kohl’s and Famous Footwear.Temecula historical ruins
  7. Why does Refuge Brewery have a giant painting of Dick Dale over the bar?Painting of Dick Dale hanging in Refuge Brewery
  8. Weren’t we supposed to get a water park at some point?
  9. Why are so many street names different, depending on if you go left or right off the main street? It makes it impossible to use Google Maps.Why are the street names different on each side of Temecula Parkway?
  10. On the same topic as #9, why is there a 79 North and a 79 South, but they don’t connect?
  11. Shouldn’t it be El Banco?The Bank of Mexican Food
  12. Why does Walmart staff the photo department on weekday afternoons, when the place is empty, but have it closed on busy weekends? Those electronics guys are never thrilled to come help you find your prints.
  13. I know there are many horse owners in Temecula, but this button is on the corner of Meadows Parkway and De Portola in Paseo Del Sol. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I haven’t seen too many people taking their kids to Abby Reinke on horseback.Horse crossing in Paseo del Sol
  14. Why does my Facebook page think I’m always posting “near Temecula Ranchos?”
  15. Don’t the traffic circles in wine country remind you of that scene from European Vacation? Look kids, Wilson Creek! Faulkner!European Vacation

I know this is probably just the tip of the iceberg, so I want to hear from you! Is there anything about where you live that makes you think “what the…?” What about other cities in the Inland Empire? Leave a comment and let us know!

Like this column? Click here for Part 1 of the follow-up article.

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Holly Herndon

Holly Herndon

Holly has been covering arts & entertainment in the Temecula Valley for as long as she has been a part of the community. She loves San Diego sports almost as much as she loves her family.


  1. Becky Reilly
    August 28, 2014 at 4:02 am — Reply


  2. Casey Holland
    August 28, 2014 at 4:26 am — Reply

    Good points all of them!

  3. Darin Pearcy
    August 28, 2014 at 4:56 am — Reply

    Good ones. I have always wondered about Temecula Ranchos.

  4. Sheryl Cohen
    August 28, 2014 at 5:45 am — Reply

    I can relate to #9. We have the same issue in Sun City West, AZ. The street names change off the main streets right in the middle of the city. Also, there are several streets with the same name that don’t connect. Sun City West is a retirement community, full of elderly and already confused people. This is not a good combination! lol

  5. Adrienne Martinez Zobro
    August 28, 2014 at 5:49 am — Reply

    Thanks I enjoyed that

  6. Crystal Jacobs
    August 28, 2014 at 6:18 am — Reply

    I just moved here and figured Temecula Ranchos when I post was bc half the neighborhoods in my area are Rancho Alamos or something like that. But really Idk!
    These were pretty good, most I’ve wondered the same thing too!

  7. Jamie Hankins Morton
    August 28, 2014 at 6:18 am — Reply

    You haven’t lived here long enough to have known the history of some of them.

  8. Angela Burch
    August 28, 2014 at 6:30 am — Reply

    You must be a newbie. Go to the Temecula Museum, buy the Temecula and Murrieta history books, take a tour of Old Town. You’d know almost all those answers and it’s a fun thing to do on a weekend. 🙂

  9. M. Alex Spector
    August 28, 2014 at 6:31 am — Reply

    Great points. They’re more facts to wonder. Only in Temecula. Lol

  10. Bonnie Melton-Fowler
    August 28, 2014 at 6:43 am — Reply

    That was funny, and I’ve been in Temecula/Rancho California since 1975. Love your post cracked me up, I found myself shacking my head agreeing with all your points. Good Job

  11. Diane Henderson LaTulippe
    August 28, 2014 at 7:20 am — Reply

    #4 and 6. Check out Temecula Valley Historical Society FB. #4 the siblings just sold this old hotel furnishings and all to a couple that will fix up and preserve and open again. #6 Thanks to the developer and the farnbachs the Wolfcreek store and Vail ranch buildings were saved. Check out the big red barn on sundays and learn more about it.

  12. Diane Henderson LaTulippe
    August 28, 2014 at 7:24 am — Reply

    And El Banco was The Bank for Temecula – did you see the walk in bank safe. And the horses have been squeezed out by progress. Just over 20 yrs ago people could still ride their horses to Old Town. Oh Temecula Civic Center and Town Hall is in Old Town Temecula…so i guess that is the 1 mile marker?

  13. August 28, 2014 at 7:31 am — Reply

    Very cute. My family moved there in 1971. Lots of great history in that town, from the name of the streets To each of the buildings. When I was a kid there was an Indian bar and a cowboy bar. where the mall and Kmart is used to be heart horses were kept and on each corner there were 2 little houses, where my grandma lived. In my early teens we lived on the second story of the bank.

  14. Ashley Jeff Rowell
    August 28, 2014 at 8:03 am — Reply

    Temecula Ranchos is what Temecula was once called, if I’m not mistaken! Truly a funny read though, there are so many bizarre things here that make me scratch my head!

  15. Lydia Victorian Krajnik
    August 28, 2014 at 8:59 am — Reply

    You are spot on and so funny!

  16. Robert Bryan Coffy
    August 28, 2014 at 9:49 am — Reply

    Very funny. . Thank you

  17. Nicole Heater Garvito
    August 28, 2014 at 10:15 am — Reply

    TDC along with MOST dance studios use lakeside because it’s a gorgeous state of the art theater. Best out of all the schools. And gives the best price. 🙂 as for Temecula ranchos, that refers to the original 26000 acres of land granted to us in the 1800’s. also on Redfin or any other real estate site you can specifically look up Temecula ranchos real estate. So your probably within that area of land.

  18. Laura Reyna de Goldberg
    August 28, 2014 at 11:44 am — Reply

    Lol. This article truly made me laugh. And I don’t care how long you’ve lived here at one point or another I too have asked myself these questions…p.s. I would love to get the games too

  19. Laura Reyna de Goldberg
    August 28, 2014 at 11:45 am — Reply

    Cynthia Reyna Flores please read this.

  20. Tracey Walker Bennett
    August 28, 2014 at 1:35 pm — Reply

    Haha! So funny. And I totally don’t understand why we can’t get the Padres and SD news here!

  21. Michael
    August 28, 2014 at 3:13 pm — Reply

    The arrow pointing left is pointing to the civic center

  22. Steve
    August 29, 2014 at 10:47 pm — Reply

    These are great. I’d love to see someone answer them logically.

  23. Carol Bouman
    August 30, 2014 at 12:27 am — Reply


  24. Sheri
    August 30, 2014 at 9:26 am — Reply

    Things that make you go, hmmm…Why do the residents in DeLuz have a Temecula address, zip code and pay Temecula city taxes but are zoned for the Murrieta School District?

  25. Sheri
    August 30, 2014 at 2:11 pm — Reply

    In addition to the reference of Temecula Ranchos, back in the day (I moved here in the 80’s), depending on what side of the freeway you lived on, your city name was either Rancho California, CA or Temecula, Ca. It wasn’t until the late 80’s that residents voted on “Temecula” as the permanent city name.

  26. Rick
    September 23, 2014 at 10:33 am — Reply

    My 2 cents…
    #2, the new southbound exit north of winchester road is named “French Valley Parkway”, but you can’t get to French Valley from there without a few detours.

    #6, my grandfather and several other relatives worked there with horses by day, and slept there by night.

  27. Robby
    September 23, 2014 at 7:04 pm — Reply

    We can totally relate to #3! We were at TDC when they made the change from the amazing theater at St. Jeans (Catholic Church) to the Public School in Elsinore. I liked the Catholic Church better myself as it was more intimate and local, but for musical theater the one in Elsinore has more perks I think. And Jimmy LOVES musical theater! As do we of course! 🙂

  28. angela
    September 25, 2014 at 9:00 am — Reply

    Most of these questions have answers rooted in temecula history. The building was once the temecula hotel and quarantined those with small pox. The settlement is the site I of the temecula massacre where seytlers killed The native luiseños. The bank is named so because it was temecula’s first bank and concrete building. Ive lived in temecula for 25 years before, margarine connected through solana and people used to ride their horses places, in fact target center has horse ties long long long ago. 79 north and 79 south do connect over in french balley/hemet and 79 south was renamed because people, like you got confused. All of these answers can be found at the Temecula museum and can answer many of your questions and give you answers to many more.

  29. Drew
    September 27, 2014 at 11:40 pm — Reply

    I’ve lived here for 6 years now, and we’ll I decided to follow a few signs last week. I ended up doing 1 1/2 laps around temecula and ended up somewhere in the new developments off Butterfield looking for the infamous Dr Hortons.
    This guy must be a Co founder of something great because his signs and arrows are every where.

  30. lori
    May 19, 2015 at 2:40 pm — Reply

    TDC needs move performances to TVHS” It accommodates more people and it isn’t a half hour drive for rehearsals and performances.Not to mention it’s a much nicer, newer venue!

  31. Dalamar Jareth
    May 19, 2015 at 5:41 pm — Reply

    Ok as a 38 year resident of Temecula, I was pretty much born here I can answer all of your questions, which actually all irritate me given what you say about yourself:
    1.We are still Riverside county, but too many people have moved here from San Diego and Orange county, but the San Diego people want Chargers more than Padres, its a bigger market.
    2. Temecula is technically to the left. Old Town is TEMECULA. Plus tourists dont want to go to your house they come for Old Town if they are exiting there. Everything to the right is add on to Temecula.
    3. This one, dont know dont care. Moving on.
    4. This IS the Temecula Hotel built in late 1800’s. Across the Main Street Bridge is where the train station and the Wells Fargo stop was and this was where people first came into. I have photos of Temecula from around that time which shows a much different Old Town Temec. The Temecula museum used to have a model showing all this. BTW that building the museum is in used to be St Catherines Church
    5. I agree on this, get rid of them and starbucks.
    6. Temecula used to be horse ranches and cattle land. The wolf family along with the Vails were the major land hilders in this valley in the late 1800’s that buildong along with many others, like the Temecula Hotel are historical buildings and nothing can be done with them.
    7. Thats just odd.
    8. Zev Buffman was in works to build a western entertainment center just south of old town off Pujol. It was to be a sort of theme park to turn Temecula into Branson. It was strongly voted against.
    9. You havent lived here long enough to know that alot of those roads to which you speak never existed, whilst the connecter did. So the developer building up the new area connected to it and gave it a new name. Margarita Rd usd to be General Kearny, but seeing as the Civil War general was a homicidal lunatic who used to hunt indians for target practice, a main thoroughfare named after him is not such a good idea.
    10. 79n and 79s did connect, its called Front/Jefferson. Or to get really technical, SR 395 or what is now I15
    11. No, it was Temeculas first bank and brick building. Thats why its The Bank of (crappy) Mexican food, I miss Mexico Chiquito.
    12. Because walmart management is stupis, go to Costco.
    13. Well alot more people used to ride horses, this used to he a big horse town, Jack Klugman had a huge Thoroughbred farm out off of Anza and DePortola. My family had 18 acre quarter horse ranch, and all through High School I would go on trail rides after school by myself to unwind until I graduated in 95.
    14. Temecula Ranchos goes way way back to early development stages when the are was designated for development. Kaiser steel was behind it and wanted the whole area called Rancho California because of the way it sounded, like Rancho Bernardo, Rancho Penasquitos, Rancho Mirage etc.But when ccity hood was acheved in 89 Temecula was voted as its name as it has always been Temecula.
    15. You cant even see Wilson or really even Faulkner from the circle. Its only been there a few years. Its there only to class up wine country and mess with all the drunks, there were alot of accidents around Rancho and Anza roads. I used to work in what is now the dwindling orange groves.
    My mother was a docent at the Temecula museum back when it was in the old Sears catalog store. I have learned alot though from our people whose families have lived here sincebefore the turn of the last century. Sadly to find the greatest amount of history of my beloved valley you need to go to the Main Library in San Diego in the gaslamp district or the Western heritage museum by Victorville, they stole most of Temeculas History for their museum. Ours used to be in what is now Ranco Army Navy.

  32. Travis Brock
    May 20, 2015 at 12:28 am — Reply

    Im 32, grew up in Temecula and have moved in and out if this town a few times over the years.

    When i was in kindergarten or 1st grade i was friends with the family who had the ranch that was part of the barn by Khols. There kids names were Levi and Shilo. I vaguely remember going over there a few times when i was younger

    Your post made me think if this. wish i could shed some more light on it for you… maybe I’ll ask my parents and dig i to it a bit deeper next time i see them

  33. Asia
    June 7, 2015 at 12:35 am — Reply

    I enjoyed the article. To all the people who “answered” the questions, you don’t understand some peoples humor.
    Of course there is an answer to each question, it’s the humor of the statement that she is referring to. Ie she knows why there is a piece of land between kohls and famous footwear, it’s just odd they would build around it like they did. and I’m also sure she knows the bank of Mexico was a bank, she is referring to the name as why it’s called the Bank and not “el banco” because most Mexican restaurants use the Spanish language for the names. SMH people these days can’t enjoy a nice funny article.

  34. Asia
    June 7, 2015 at 12:38 am — Reply

    Oh ya, and the point of the crosswalk sign with the horse on it, is that the sign is NEW. That’s why it doesn’t make much sense.

  35. July 31, 2015 at 8:40 am — Reply

    #4: Someone did buy that hotel, and is turning it into just what you suggest; a historical hotel which will host weddings and parties. There were developers bidding on the hotel and property to tear it down and build a small mall there.
    The people who bought the building care deeply about the fabric of old town Temecula and promised the previous owner that they would keep everything in tact.

  36. May 12, 2016 at 1:32 pm — Reply

    #4 is old news because it is a boutique hotel recently restored and reopened. Very impressive!!!

  37. May 12, 2016 at 4:44 pm — Reply

    Refuge brewery has that painting as they held art shows in their brewery. The artist that hosted the art shows painted that and gave it to the brewery to put on the wall.

    The art shows are awesome. So is that brewery!

  38. Mandy Capen
    May 14, 2016 at 9:10 am — Reply

    I’ve lived here since ’79 when everything outside of Old Town was considered Rancho California, (BTW, I voted for that name). There was not much here besides The Swing In, The Bank, Mexico Chiquito, a KFC, a motel on Ynez and Rancho California Rd. that flooded whenever the duck pond overflowed, one traffic light, Rancho Fruit Market on 79 South and a few gas stations. Even though I know tons of history surrounding this area, I still got a kick out of everything you pointed out. Yes, the circle drive in wine country, and the one behind Richie’s Diner, are both annoying as heck. And really, the ‘Temecula – 1’ sign should really say ‘Old Town Temecula – 1’ to avoid the confusion since the majority of the ‘city’ is to the right of the sign.

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