The city of Murrieta is situated just 100 miles outside of Los Angeles and is well loved by residents for its gorgeous surrounding vineyards and idyllic scenery. Not just known for its grapes, the area around the city is said to be some of the most picturesque in the region, and for anyone who likes to get outdoors then this is not to be missed.
Of particular note in the region is the Santa Rose Plateau Ecological Reserve where you can spend an afternoon taking in the majesty of this ancient plateau, or indeed stay for several days if you want to explore in more depth. Whatever you choose to do, Murrieta prides itself on being ‘The future of Southern California’, so come now to see everything this region has to offer.
Lets explore the best things to do in Murrieta:
1. Copper Canyon Park
Covering nine acres of land, Copper Canyon Park is one of the best loved outdoor areas in Murrieta. The park is covered in open grassy knolls that are perfect for sunbathing or relaxing, and there are also picnic tables where you can stop for a bite to eat and take in the views. There are playgrounds for younger visitors and trails that run all over the park. These include walking and biking paths so that you can choose which terrain suits you better.
2. Susie Q Ranch
If you want to try your hand at something different in Murrieta then a trip to the Susie Q Ranch is the place to start. Here you can learn how to horseback ride if you have never done so before, or you can just get out and about on a local steed if you are an experienced rider. You can take in the best of the Southern California landscape from the vantage point of a horse, and this offers a relaxing and engaging way to enjoy the countryside here. The ranch also includes a farm and you can feed and help to groom the horses after a lesson or riding tour.
3. Pole Position Raceway
For some adventure in Murrieta head to the Pole Position Raceway where you can try out the electric go-karts that will whizz you around the track at speeds of up to 45 miles per hour. The track stretches for over a quarter of a mile and the route is changed every three to four months so that if you go frequently you will find something different and challenging each time. After you have finished racing, you can also enjoy some of the arcade games on offer here and there is also a range of racing memorabilia for purchase. Helmets and other equipment are provided so that you can cruise around in a comfortable and safe environment.
4. Ray’s Murrieta Cafe
Ray’s Murrieta Cafe started out as an ice cream parlor in the days of old and the building actually dates from 1912. The ornate portico which still stands on the front of the property was added in 1915 even though the original ice cream parlor closed in 1947, and you can still get a bite to eat here in this historic setting.
5. Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve
The Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve is one of the big reasons that many visitors make the trip to this area of Southern California, as the reserve is a truly stunning sight. The reserve spans 9,000 acres of land and was set up to preserve 49 different species of plants and animals that are now sadly endangered in the area. The ecosystem here is unique as it is made up of Englemann oaks, and you can take in these woodlands on foot via the numerous trails that run all over the reserve. There are different trails whether you are a novice or experienced hiker, and there are rest spots and picnic areas here so that you can stop and take in the spectacular beauty of this reserve.
6. Moreno and Machado Adobes
Located three miles inside the Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve stand the two oldest surviving structures in Riverside County. These two adobes would have previously been used as rustic bunkhouses for cowboys back in the days of old, and the Moreno and Machado adobes are thought to date from around 1846. The buildings are not the only historical sight here however, and the tree under which the adobes sit is also 400 years old in its own right.
7. Tenaja Falls
One of the most dramatic natural phenomena in the area, Tenaja Falls is a five tiered waterfall that has a drop of over 150 feet, leading to a spectacular result for those who make the trip here. You can choose to either hike to the falls or there are horseback riding options available for something a little less strenuous. If you happen to be here in the winter months then the falls are fuller than at other times of year and visitors liken the sound of the water hitting the rocks to a special kind of music.
8. Frangipani Winery
The area around Murrieta is known as some of Southern California’s premium wine country, so with that in mind head out to explore the many wineries that dot this part of the United States. One of these is Frangipani Winery that was started in 2006 and which is part of the DePortola Wine Trail. Here you will be treated to stunning views across the vineyard and you can enjoy a wine tasting experience in the boutique onsite tasting room. The Frangipani Winery is known for its French blends such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec, so if you fancy a tipple this is the place to find it.
9. First Baptist Church
For a piece of historical Murrieta head to First Baptist Church, which has stood here since 1929, and is a proud and beautiful example of period architecture in the city. The site used to be the Women’s Clubhouse when it was first commissioned in the 1920s, before being turned into the local church. The history of the church was rather patchy for several years, but recently it has seen a revival and services now run here regularly.
10. Mulligan Family Fun Center
The Mulligan Family Fun Center offers you a great day out if you are looking for something to do with younger visitors, especially on a rainy day. The center is an indoor facility and features an arcade where you can indulge in a range of old-school games like shoot ‘em ups and claw games. For something more active you can have a go at go-carting here, or there is a laser tag center and even a rock climbing wall.
11. Aces Comedy Club
The Aces Comedy club was originally formed in order to help to nurture comedy artists and has an open mic night to promote budding comedians. Come here if you are looking for some of the best standup in the area, and you might just be lucky and catch a performance from a famous face, as several well know comedians have performed here in the past. Other events held here are karaoke and live music nights.
12. Firefighters Park
If you like games then Firefighters Park is the park for you in Murrieta. The park has a volleyball court made of sand so that you can feel like you are paying on the beach, of you can play pee-wee football on one of the grassy fields. There is also a mini-water park in Firefighters Park which is perfect when the temperatures rise and you want to cool off. This is more of an active park than many of the others in the vicinity so if you have children or are part of a group the this can be a great choice.
13. Skinner Reservoir
Outside of Murrieta lies Skinner Reservoir or Lake Skinner as it is also known. The lake is popular with visitors and locals alike and spans 1,400 acres of water and 300 acres of land within the park. Things to do here include horseback riding, swimming in the lake, fishing, and you can even camp in the area if you fancy staying more than just one day.
14. Aerosports Trampoline Parks
For those who love to trampoline or who want to work out some energy, Aerosports Trampoline Parks is the place to come. There are a variety of trampoline related attractions here which include games like dodge ball and basketball, or you can do open jumping next to the foam pits for safety. There are also classes if you want some help with the trampoline and there are also arcade games on site as well as a snack bar.
15. Old Town Temecula
California was famous for the ‘Gold Rush’ days when everyone flooded this area to try their luck and get rich. As such, towns sprang up overnight as the settlers arrived, and now many of these have been preserved. One such example just outside of Murrieta is Old Town Temecula which stands to educate visitors on this exciting and dynamic period in history. You can walk all over the Old Town on foot and sample some of the delicious delights on offer here such as the local olive oil and wine. There is a vintage hotel here if you feel like staying longer and there are other attractions such as Old Town Temecula Community Theater that are also not to be missed. If you want to bring home a souvenir then you can pick up some period memorabilia in one of the antique shops dotted all over the town.