IE Grapevine Updates

Williams-Chambers: Temecula needs to be more tourist-friendly


Keandre Williams-Chambers

Temecula has kept a sparkling appearance in the last decade and a half, remaining the green patch of fertile land amid a sea of dry and spaced-out cities.

Aside from signs, you can pinpoint the moment you enter and the moment you leave, as the green embraces you or gets left behind.

But with the beauty and grace that Temecula has, residents and tourists alike can almost grab ahold of the lackluster amusements and the less-than-humble nature of the many other residents here.

Let’s be a bit honest; what does Temecula have to offer in terms of tourist attractions?

Sure, there are the vineyards and wineries, the occasional festivals, Old Town, and the constantly-evolving Promenade Mall, but how long do these places keep visitors interested? And just how well do they satisfy individuals looking to get the most bang for their buck on vacation?

Honestly, Temecula hasn’t been a great tourist site. It has grown every year with more and more plans to expand, but expansion is not synonymous with excellence.

The city still seems more like a place to start families and businesses than a place to visit for a great time. While it is a safe city, there isn’t much to be said about its level of excitement.

From an insider perspective, Temecula doesn’t exactly match up to some of the larger cities, such as San Diego and Riverside. It can make that level of comparison given its rapid growth over the years, but it seems that much of Temecula lacks what makes the other cities so popular.

I know that comparing Temecula to such large areas is a bit of a stretch, but a city should always aim to be a lot greater than it is without adopting the pride that usually comes with it. Of course, a bit of pride is desirable, but let’s not let it get to our heads.

Temecula could also use a bit of an attitude adjustment.

Though small, Temecula has a heavy atmosphere, as if everyone is locked in some sort of unspoken competition with each other. Conversation is laden down with remarks of superiority and heavy expectations of keeping up appearances. People are cautious of their actions and interactions, much to the point where they almost adopt an air of dryness to themselves.

When all of these things are weighed, visitors have developed certain opinions and perceptions of this place that are not always positive.

Non-residents usually have one of  three reasons for coming here.

One would be to settle down and start a family, since Temecula has the feeling of being away from it all.

The second reason coincides with that, as many people come here to visit residents who are their friends, family and business associates.

The last reason, unfortunately, is to pass through unexpectedly.

Tourism should be one of the primary focuses in a growing city like this. And, from what travels along the grapevine, it is.

Obvious examples of the city’s attempt to be an up and coming tourist local are the inclusion of trolley-like buses and a plethora of new events in Wine Country and Old Town.

However, this focus on tourism just isn’t as evident as it could be sometimes.

My suggestion? Let’s get a bit more creative and wide-spread with our events and spread them across the city. Let’s ditch the holier-than-thou front we all have and get a bit more personable. Tourists really aren’t something to grumble about, and even the tackiest group can bring a bit of a brightening feel to Temecula.

For all the sun we have, do we have to treat every day like it’s overcast?

Temecula may be on the map, but let’s make it more than an occasional radar blip. Shall we?

5 Comments on Williams-Chambers: Temecula needs to be more tourist-friendly

  1. Maybe check in with the following websites, they are full of things to do for residents and visitors alike:

    Temecula Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau

    Temecula Valley Winegrowers Association

    As well as the City of Temecula’s site filled with tons of stuff to do!

    The Temecula Valley Balloon & Wine Festival Celebrated 30 Years in 2013 and draws over 75,000 people

  2. Have you heard of Pechanga(sarcasm).People come here to gamble and get drunk.

  3. We love our tourists. Not certain what to make of the “holier then thou” statement. Still, we are first and foremost a family community. If you want to raise your family or retire in a safe friendly, honest community, then temecula is where you want to be. If your visiting, welcome. Obey the speed limit, don’t run red lights, don’t drive intoxicated, and wear a smile and I guaranty you will feel the warmth of our residents and have a good time. …Mayor Mike

  4. Keandre Williams-Chambers // September 8, 2013 at 11:53 pm // Reply

    I do appreciate all of your comments and would like the opportunity to address them.

    For the first comment, I do appreciate that addition. Even as a resident here in Temecula for the past 13 years, I haven’t been very aware of such websites aside from the City of Temecula website, and I must give credit to Temecula’s size in comparison to other large metropolitan areas that we have yet to evolve into. I do recognize the Balloon & Wine Festival for its amazing work in the past 30 years, and yet, at the risk of sounding a bit like a choosy beggar, it is possible that we can add a bit more that could appeal to a greater mass of people. It would certainly be nice to have Temecula be a bit more than a blip on the map.

    For the second comment, Pechanga is a fetching attraction, with its wide selection of eateries and activities that can cater to a wide variety of individuals and groups alike, even with its areas that are more family-friendly. It does, however, seem to distract from a lot of what Temecula could possibly offer if the focus is in that area of Temecula.

    For the third comment, I do understand where you are coming from on that area. Temecula does have the atmosphere of a place to settle down and raise a family, and even retire. It is a very easy-going place and does have a bright vibe to it. I have noticed, however, that some residents of Temecula do carry the “holier than thou” behavior, although I believe it can be in a way that siblings have some feeling of superiority over another. Thank you for the comment, Mayor Naggar.

  5. The Visitor Center in Old Town had 369 visitors from California, 201 from out of state and 64 internationals in the month of August; and that was down from July. The comment I hear most from visitors is “I had no idea” once they arrive. We are a small destination but some people love that. We expect from a one to three nights stay and that could be filled with shopping, golfing, hiking, fishing, wine tasting, horseback riding, hot air ballooning, museums, theater, gaming, entertainment, and more. We have over 300 events listed at Stop by the Visitors Center, I’d love to meet you and show you all there is to do. Unfortunately, many of our residents have yet to experience all there is to do and see here.

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