Guide To Exploring Valle De Guadalupe (Baja California MX’s, Wine Region)

Viva Valle

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Lately I’ve been seeing a lot more friends venture into Valle De Guadalupe and it makes me so happy. I’ve managed to plan epic wine tasting adventures in Valle and show the beauty this area possesses to people who may have never had an opportunity to get down there. Visiting Vinicolas (Wineries in Spanish), has become a fun adventure as we get older, and I live for going to the wineries in Mexico (especially if I get lobster at Puerto Nuevo on the way down)/

Please for the love of God, come with a passport! I cannot stress this enough, border patrol agents and people in your car do not want to deal with any issues. Avoid any mishaps and pack your passport or make sure you get one before coming down.

If you live in Southern California, the drive is manageable and quick, especially if you are coming from Temecula or San Diego.

Driving Tip 1: Set your GPS to your location before driving into Mexico. Make sure your GPS works down there or someone else’s in the car, typically T-Mobile gives the best coverage in Mexico.

Driving Tip 2: Bring Cash and Change for the Toll Roads. When driving on the 1D you will make 3 toll stops which can only be paid in cash dollars or pesos.

Driving Tip 3: Drive safely, follow road directions that you would in the U.S, and be cognizant of speed when driving.

Driving Tip 4: If you don’t feel comfortable driving/staying down there, there are tour companies that pick you up at the border and take you back. There are also tour companies that pick you up at your hotel or airbnb and take you back. I have a reputable company I have used on two occasions, once for 17 guests and then another trip with  12 guests. They provide excellent service and go above and beyond, bring cash to pay and tip your driver 🙂

 

Valle De Guadalupe Tour Recommendation: Ruta Del Vino Tour

https://www.yelp.com/biz/ruta-del-vino-tours-valle-de-guadalupe-4

  +52 646 113 8246

I prefer to contact them through WhatsApp! I have had Carlos and Jacinto as drivers and they were both amazing. You contact them, let them know how many people are in your group and what wineries you want to visit. If you don’t care which wineries, they can plan the day for you. They also plan a spot for you to stop and eat at (Typically Finca Altozano which I dream about going to constantly). Once you figure out how many people are in your group, and how many hours you want to be driven for, they will give you a rate.

You can also drive from winery to winery if you would like, your GPS typically works and you can map your day out. If you plan on getting tipsy I would recommend booking the private driver through Ruta Del Vino, save yourself the hassle and enjoy more of the day.

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Favorite Spots to Visit

 

1.Cuatro Cuatros

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Location:El Tigre, carretera libre
Tijuana-Ensenada Km. 89 s/n
El Sauzal de Rodriguez,
Ensenada B.C., México

 Phone Number: 646) 174 6789

This is one of the most beautiful locations I have ever been to, its so dreamy and you feel like you are transported to another side of the globe. I’ll start out by saying that if you want to go to the top for the view and bar, you have to make a reservation. You can take your chances and put your name down when you arrive, or if you do not make a reservation try getting there when they open. My favorite time to visit is an hour before sunset. The most magical views happen at the top when the sun goes down. You can order food at the top and drink from a wide menu of cocktails and beers. If you want to do wine tasting, that is downstairs when you park and wait for the bus that takes you to the top. You also get a complimentary beer, water or soda when going to the top.

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Had to include a picture of the bathroom, the most magical pee ever taken.

 

2. Finca Altozano

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Location: Carretera Tecate – Ensenada Km 83 Ejido,  Francisco Zarco, 22750 Valle de Guadalupe, B.C., Mexico

Phone Number +52 646 156 8045

Whatever you do, save your appetite and make this your lunch stop. Whether you are driving there yourself, or request it as a stop on your tour, this is one of my favorite stops for lunch. The restaurant is GORGEOUS, wooden accents and open, you feel like you are on an hacienda in Mexico. Reservations are required, but you can always put your name down and wait. If you wait, there is a lot to entertain, from the wood barrel photo ops, to the livestock that lives on the property, to the ice cream shop. Another one of my favorite quirks about this restaurant, is the dogs that live on the property. There are about 9 dogs who live at Finca and spend their day lazily roaming the restaurant, you can find their name out on the menu. We’ve been here about 4 times, one time with a group of 17! The service is phenomenal and the food is delicious. We love the Oysters, Lengua Tacos, Sea Bass Chicharones, and Octopus. Be careful ordering uuuuun taco because you will get the whole cut of the meat which is 5 tacos (lol Aura).

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3. Bruma

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Location: Carretera Avinicola La Cetto fraccionamiento A-B P74, 22760 Valle de Guadalupe, B.C., Mexico

Phone Number: +52 646 116 8031

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I found this winery through Instagram (typical), and it was such a tranquil experience. One of the most thought out and detailed wineries I’ve been to. What’s crazy, is that the roots and body of the tree go down to a room down under. The roots and body of the tree are enclosed in a glass cage and you do your wine tasting down there. Bruma also has a restaurant called Fauna. Make reservations for tastings, you won’t regret it!

4. Villa De Frannes

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Location: Camino Vecinal al rancho Cañada del trigo, 22750 Valle de Guadalupe, B.C., Mexico

+52 646 688 1955

It’s extremely accommodating for large groups. They have an indoor and outdoor tasting section. The outdoor section is so picturesque and serene, definitely one of my favorite views and a good spot to admire nature’s beauty.

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We will be going back to Valle for Valentine’s Day this year and I will share the experience. This time I am eager to see Casa Frida Valle De Guadalupe, and also Vinicola Adobe Guadalupe. We will also be staying at a new location located in the heart of Valle De Guadalupe, and I am so excited to show you guys the new location.

I truly hope everyone finds a way to come down and visit Valle, the hospitality is so great and the aesthetics of the locations are so beautiful. This is a great birthday trip or anniversary trip, also a good idea if you want a tranquil and cute bachelorette.

 

Do you have any favorites or recommendations in Valle De Guadalupe? I would love to know, Share them Below ❤

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I love the Baja California region and frequent it often, so keep an eye out for more future blogs on the area!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Things To Do on A Weekend Trip To Temecula

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Temecula, a beautiful valley nestled in Riverside County, and a place I’ve been fortunate to call home for the past 26 years. When I first left for college in 2011, Temecula was very unknown. When asked where I was from, people would respond to my answer with a sense of confusion. I would reply, it’s between San Diego and Los Angeles. Fast-forward to today and you will find many people now know where Temecula is, and might have even visited.

Temecula is home to over 40 wineries with stunning views, this is what draws many tourists in. Not only does Temecula have wineries, but there are also breweries, speakeasies, and even an Old Town that has an effervescent scene day and night, basically a lot of opportunities to get drunk. Temecula is the perfect location for your next girls trip or couples get away. Recently, there has also been a surge in the presence of bachelorette parties in town. One of my favorite parts about living in Temecula, is the endless opportunities of food selection, I will include my favorite restaurants in this blog post as well.  I’m going to break this article down on three areas to visit in town that are popular. Look out for a later blog post on my favorite wineries in town.

 

Wine Country

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The possibilities are endless in Wine Country, with over 40 wineries to choose from. Each winery has something different, whether it’s the views, wine, food, or decor, you will find something unique in every location.

If you go wine tasting, I highly recommend, ubering around town. If it is a group of you, look into booking a limo/transportation service. For group transportation I recommend Vineyard Coast Transportation, contact Hugo at (951)-303-4923. Having transportation figured out is key, to allow yourself to have a great time worry free.

There are a couple wineries that offer brunch, I suggest starting there to ensure a smooth day of day drinking. My favorite winery that has a brunch is Miramonte Winery. Two other ones to note are Leoness Cellars and Lorimar Winery.

The wineries typically close around 5-6 pm so plan to come early. There are a couple that are open later and many of them have live music to enjoy. Check out the winery’s calendars as well to see if there are any special events while you are in town, such as Salsa dancing or cover bands.

Here is a link to a comprehensive website, which lists all the wineries in alphabetical order and gives you their hours and costs on tastings.

https://www.temeculawines.org/taste/winery-listing.php

 

Old Town Temecula

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Old Town Temecula has grown and changed so much. When I was a kid, I remember it being a small strip with country style buildings. Some of those buildings are still up today which give it its old town flair. However, there has been so much new added to Temecula that has made it vibrant and exciting. From the countless restaurants to unique bars, there is something for everyone. I’m going to list some of my favorites and go-to’s.

Food & Drink

1909

1909 has an eclectic menu and is best known for their weekend brunch. They are also known for having exquisite bloody marys. The restaurant is spacious and has indoor and outdoor setting, they also have a ton of beers on tap. If it is your first time visiting Temecula, I would pick this as a food stop.

The Goat & Vine

This is currently the highest rated restaurant in Old Town Temecula. I have never been, and don’t know why but it will be high on my list for our next date night out.

Espadin

Espadin is more new to Old Town Temecula, but it has made its presence known. It has some of the best Mexican food for a nice sit down and has festive cocktails. They also have Mezcal in house.

Devilicious

It originated as a food-truck and now has its own restaurant location. They have an array of crafted foods with bold flavors. Their taproom is also impressive and they often have live music or events throughout the week.

 

Nightlife

The nightlife in Old Town Temecula is lax, but can get pretty turnt depending on who you’re with. Most of the bigger places do charge a cash cover so be prepared.

Blackbirds’ Tavern

This is our go to for going out when we want chill vibes. I say chill vibes because the whole outdoor area feels like a backyard kickback there are several fire pits you can sit around and talk. There is also corn hole and benches to sit at. Ideally this place is best to socialize and grab a drink. But then again there is also a D.J spinning in an interior part of blackbirds. They play hip hop and top 40 so it definitely gets fun!

Bailey’s

Baileys is much bigger than Blackbirds. They have two levels of dancing, the bottom floor is hip hop and top 40 while the top floor is Latin, you’ll hear anything from cumbia, to bachata, etc. There is also a huge outdoor patio area to socialize and grab drinks.

Pub & Grub

I haven’t been to pub & grub in years, it used to always be our go-to. I have some friends who prefer going here over any others but I haven’t found myself wanting to go back.

Here are other locations worth noting and visiting. The great thing is that Old Town Temecula is all on one strip so it is super easy to walk from location to location. Check out; Lukes on Front, Temecula Beer & Wine Garden, Public House, and The Bank. If you like country music Stampede is a good option however it is 18 and up so be warned.

 

Speakeasies

There are two in Temecula. One is called Thompson and Twain and it is located inside Crush and Brew. Show up and put your name down and they will text you when your spot is available.

The other speakeasy is located inside Devilicious and it is called Apparition Room. You can reserve a spot for up to 8 by texting (951)514-6332.

Both speakeasies have amazing cocktails and are an immersive experience into the prohibition era.

 

 

Pechanga Casino & Resort

One of the biggest reasons why people became familiar with Temecula, was because of the casino. My dad worked there as a security guard when I was a kid, and since then I have seen the casino double in size. They are constantly expanding it, they just recently unveiled their new pool resort. If you are not a guest of the casino, you can purchase day passes for their pool resort. You can also rent cabanas and make a whole day of it.

Pechanga offers a lot more than gambling, if thats not your thing. There is a spa, comedy club, and a ton of restaurants to choose from. The restaurants range from a fancy steakhouse, buffet, food court, and everything in between. The nightlife in Pechanga is also plentiful, from the round bar to the Eagle’s Nest Club, you can spend a good amount of time exploring the casino.

 

Those are the big three attractions in Temecula, the wineries, old town Temecula, and Pechanga casino. Growing up, I always said there was nothing to do in Temecula, as an adult there is plenty to do. We love having out of town friends visit us and show them around our beautiful valley.

As a Local, I’m going to list some of my favorite restaurants if you want other options outside of the three locations mentioned.

 

Food Recommendations

Mexican Food- Aztek Tacos, hands down. Before I ever worked there, this was the only place I ever ate Mexican food at, because lets face it nothing compares to mom’s.

Sushi- Firefish Sushi, 100% the best sushi. Ed and I have tried sushi in so many cities and at the end of the day we always end up comparing it to firefish.

Burgers- Burgers & Beer, duh!!!! If I could be sponsored by a restaurant it would be Burgers and beer. I love this place! It has a huge menu aside from their specialty burgers, and also has happy hour every day from 3pm-close. This is also the best place to watch sports, there is TVs everywhere!!!

American- Bushfire Grill. This place screams quality. Everything in here is delicious and fresh. There is so much to chose from, the food is on display too, so you can see some of what you are going to get before ordering.

Chinese- Chef K. I had given up on Chinese food in Temecula because the quality was so bad. We tried Chef K and all hope is restored. I’m craving their honey walnut shrimp now lol.

 

 

There is a lot more to do in Temecula that I didn’t mention, such as the Promenade Mall, Vail Headquarters, and Farmers Markets. I urge you all to visit because it took me leaving for four years to truly appreciate the beauty of my hometown.