"Old Traditions, New Opportunities"
Location in the United States
|Founded||April 22, 1859|
|Incorporated||December 1, 1989|
|• Type||Council-manager government|
|• City council||Mayor Maryann Edwards|
Mayor Pro Tem Matt Rahn
|• City manager||Aaron Adams|
|• Total||37.28 sq mi (96.55 km2)|
|• Land||37.27 sq mi (96.52 km2)|
|• Water||0.01 sq mi (0.02 km2) 0.05%|
|Elevation||1,017 ft (310 m)|
|• Rank||5th in Riverside County|
61st in California
281st in the United States
|• Density||2,950.72/sq mi (1,139.34/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−8 (Pacific)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−7 (PDT)|
|GNIS feature IDs||1652799, 2412044|
Temecula (//; Spanish: Temécula, [te'mekula]; Luiseño: Temeekunga) is a city in southwestern Riverside County, California, United States. The city is a tourist and resort destination, with the Temecula Valley Wine Country, Old Town Temecula, the Temecula Valley Balloon & Wine Festival, the Temecula Valley International Film Festival, championship golf courses, and resort accommodations for tourists which contribute to the city's economic profile. Although Temecula is geographically closer to downtown San Diego than downtown Los Angeles, it is considered part of the Greater Los Angeles area.
The city of Temecula, forming the southwestern anchor of the Inland Empire region, is approximately 58 miles (93 km) north of downtown San Diego and 85 miles (137 km) southeast of downtown Los Angeles. Temecula is bordered by the city of Murrieta to the north and the Pechanga Indian Reservation and San Diego County to the south. With a population of 110,003 during the 2020 census, Temecula is the 5th most populous city in Riverside County. It was incorporated on December 1, 1989.
The area was inhabited by the Temecula Indians for hundreds of years before their contact with the Spanish missionaries (the people are now generally known as the Luiseños, after the nearby Mission San Luis Rey de Francia). Seven bands of Luiseño Indians inhabited the Temecula valley pre-contact. They were made up of the Pechanga, La Jolla, Soboba, Pala, Rincon, Pauma, and San Luis Rey bands (presently, all of the bands except the San Luis Rey are federally recognized tribes). The Pechanga Band of Luiseño believe their ancestors have lived in the Temecula area for more than 10,000 years, though ethnologists think they arrived at a more recent date. In Pechanga history, life on Earth began in the Temecula Valley. They call it "'Éxva Temeéku", the place of the union of Sky-father, and Earth-mother ("Tuukumit'pi Tamaayowit"). The Temecula Indians ("Temeekuyam") lived at "Temeekunga", or "the place of the sun". Other popular interpretations of the name include "The sun that shines through the mist" or "Where the sun breaks through the mist".
The first recorded Spanish visit occurred in October 1797, with a Franciscan padre, Father Juan Norberto de Santiago, and Captain Pedro Lisalde. Father Santiago kept a journal in which he noted seeing "Temecula ... an Indian village". The trip included the Lake Elsinore area and the Temecula Valley.
Little is known about the early 1800’s because Temecula records were destroyed in the fire that followed the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.
In 1798, Spanish missionaries established the Mission of San Luis Rey de Francia and designated the Indians living in the region as "Sanluiseños", shortened to "Luiseños". In the 1820s, the nearby Mission San Antonio de Pala was built.
The Mexican land grants made in the Temecula area were Rancho Temecula, granted to Felix Valdez, and to the east Rancho Pauba, granted to Vicente Moraga in 1844. Rancho Little Temecula was made in 1845 to Luiseño Pablo Apis, one of the few former mission converts to be given a land grant. It was fertile well watered land at the southern end of the valley, which included the village of Temecula. A fourth grant, known as Rancho Santa Rosa, was made to Juan Moreno in 1846, and was in the hills to the west of Temecula.
On 6 December 1846, at the Battle of San Pasqual, Andrés Pico lead Californios to kill over twenty of U.S. General Stephen W. Kearny's men. Subsequently, in January 1847, José Lugo with Cahuilla Indians came to the Temecula Valley in pursuit of the Luiseño Indians and killed an unknown number, about 40-100 of them, reportedly, in the canyon just west of the current Vail Lake Dam.
As American settlers moved into the area after the war, conflict with the native tribes increased. A treaty was signed in the Magee Store in Temecula in 1852, but was never ratified by the United States Senate. In addition, the Luiseños challenged the Mexican land grant claims, as, under Mexican law, the land was held in trust to be distributed to the local Indian tribes after becoming subjects. They challenged the Apis claim to the Little Temecula Rancho by taking the case to the 1851 California Land Commission. On November 15, 1853, the commission rejected the Luiseño claim; an appeal in 1856 to the district court was found to be in favor of the heirs of Pablo Apis (he had died in late 1853 or early 1854). The Luiseño of Temecula village remained on the south side of Temecula Creek when the Apis grant was acquired by Louis Wolf in 1872; they were evicted in 1875.
A stagecoach line started a local route from Warner Ranch to Colton in 1857 that passed through the Temecula Valley. Within a year, the Butterfield Overland Mail stagecoach line, with a route between St. Louis, Missouri, and San Francisco, stopped at Temecula's Magee Store. On April 22, 1859, the first inland Southern California post office was established in Temecula in the Magee Store. This was the second post office in the state, the first being located in San Francisco. The Temecula post office was moved in the ensuing years; its present locations are the seventh and eighth sites occupied. The American Civil War put an end to the Butterfield Overland Stage Service, but stage service continued on the route under other stage companies until the railroad reached Fort Yuma in 1877.
In 1862, Louis Wolf, a Temecula merchant and postmaster, married Ramona Place, who was mixed-race and half Indian. Author Helen Hunt Jackson spent time with Louis and Ramona Wolf in 1882 and again in 1883. Wolf's store became an inspiration for Jackson's fictional "Hartsel's store" in her 1884 novel, Ramona.
In 1882, the United States government established the Pechanga Indian Reservation of approximately 4,000 acres (16 km2) some 6 miles (9.7 km) from downtown Temecula. Also in 1882, the California Southern Railroad, a subsidiary of the Santa Fe Railroad completed construction of the section from National City to Temecula. In 1883, the line was extended to San Bernardino. In the late 1880s, a series of floods washed out the tracks and the section of the railroad through the canyon was finally abandoned. The old Temecula station was used as a barn and later demolished.
In the 1890s, with the operation of granite stone quarries, Temecula granite was shaped into fence and hitching posts, curbstones, courthouse steps, and building blocks. At the turn of the 20th century, Temecula became an important shipping point for grain and cattle.
In 1904, Walter L. Vail, who had come to the United States with his parents from Nova Scotia, migrated to California. Along with various partners, he began buying land in Southern California. Vail bought ranchland in the Temecula Valley, buying 38,000 acres (154 km2) of Rancho Temecula and Rancho Pauba, along with the northern half of Rancho Little Temecula. Vail was killed by a streetcar in Los Angeles in 1906; his son, Mahlon Vail, took over the family ranch. In 1914, financed by Mahlon Vail and local ranchers, the First National Bank of Temecula opened on Front Street. In 1915, the first paved, two-lane county road was built through Temecula.
By 1947, the Vail Ranch contained over 87,500 acres (354 km2). In 1948, the Vail family built a dam to catch the Temecula Creek water and created Vail Lake. Through the mid-1960s, the economy of the Temecula Valley centered around the Vail Ranch; the cattle business and agriculture were the stimuli for most business ventures.
In 1964, the Vail Ranch was sold to the Kaiser—Aetna partnership. A later purchase by the group brought the total area to 97,500 acres (395 km2), and the area became known as Rancho California.
In 1970, Temecula Town Association, a non-profit, charitable organization, incorporates.
In the 1970 census, the United States Census Bureau enumerated the population of the entire Murrieta-Rancho California-Temecula area at 2,769. In the 1980 census, 10,215 people were enumerated, a 269 percent increase.
On 5 November 1979, KRTM 88.9 FM went on the air in Temecula.
In 1985, the completion, of Interstate 15 between the Greater Los Angeles area and San Diego, began a subdivision land boom, because it made it possible to own a new home in Temecula and have a manageable work commute to San Diego County.
In December 1989, Temecula incorporated as a city. In 1990, the first United States Census Bureau count, of Temecula, the city, enumerated 27,099 people.
The 1990s brought rapid growth to the Temecula Valley. Many families began moving to the area from San Diego, Los Angeles, and Orange County, drawn by the affordable housing prices and the popular wine country.
From 1993 to 1998, Zev Buffman, and later with Dusty Rogers, son of Roy Rogers, promoted an historic district entertainment venue project renamed RogersDale U.S.A..
In 1995, the Pechanga Pow Wow began.
On October 27, 1999, the Promenade Mall opened in Temecula.
In 2005, Temecula annexed the master-planned community of Redhawk, bringing the population to 90,000. After a period of rapid population growth and home construction, the 2007 subprime mortgage financial crisis and the resultant United States housing market correction caused a sharp rise in home foreclosures in the Temecula-Murrieta region.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 37.28 square miles (96.6 km2), of which 37.27 square miles (96.5 km2) of it is land and 0.012 square miles (0.031 km2) of it (0.03%) is water. South of the city, Murrieta Creek and Temecula Creek join to form the Santa Margarita River.
Temecula has a warm Mediterranean climate (Köppen:Csa). August is typically the hottest month of the year with December being the coldest month. Most precipitation occurs from November to March with February being the wettest month. Winter storms generally bring moderate precipitation, but strong winter storms are not uncommon especially during "El Niño" years. The driest month is June. Annual precipitation is 14.14 inches (359 mm). Morning marine layer is common during May and June. From July to September, Temecula experiences hot, dry weather with the occasional North American monsoonal flow that increases the humidity and brings isolated thunderstorms. Most of the storms tend to be short-lived with little rainfall. During late fall into winter, Temecula experiences dry, windy northeastern Santa Ana winds. Snowfall is rare, but Temecula has experienced traces of snowfall on occasion, some as recently as December 2014. A rare F1 tornado touched down in a Temecula neighborhood on February 19, 2005.
|Climate data for Temecula, California|
|Record high °F (°C)||90
|Average high °F (°C)||69
|Average low °F (°C)||41
|Record low °F (°C)||14
|Average precipitation inches (mm)||2.50
|Source 1: weathercurrents.com|
|Source 2: weather.com|
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the 2020 United States census, Temecula had a population of 110,003. The city's racial makeup was 55.6% (61,192) white (49.3% non-Hispanic white), 11.3% (12,458) Asian American, 4.7% (5,171) black or African American, 0.4% (472) Pacific Islander, 1.5% (1,643) Native American, 10.2% (11,179) of other races, and 16.3% (17,888) from two or more races. 27.6% (30,366) of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
The 2010 United States Census reported that Temecula had a population of 100,097. The population density was 3,318.0 people per square mile (1,281.1/km2). The racial makeup of Temecula was 70,880 (70.8%) White (57.2% Non-Hispanic White), 4,132 (4.1%) African American, 1,079 (1.1%) Native American, 9,765 (9.8%) Asian, 368 (0.4%) Pacific Islander, 7,928 (7.9%) from other races, and 5,945 (5.9%) from two or more races. There were 24,727 people of Hispanic or Latino origin, of any race (24.7%).
The Census reported that 99,968 people (99.9% of the population) lived in households, 121 (0.1%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and eight (0%) were institutionalized.
There were 31,781 households, out of which 15,958 (50.2%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 20,483 (64.5%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 3,763 (11.8%) had a female householder with no husband present, 1,580 (5.0%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 1,463 (4.6%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 186 (0.6%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 4,400 households (13.8%) were made up of individuals, and 1,387 (4.4%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.15. There were 25,826 families (81.3% of all households); the average family size was 3.46.
The population was spread out, with 30,690 people (30.7%) under the age of 18, 9,317 people (9.3%) aged 18 to 24, 27,869 people (27.8%) aged 25 to 44, 24,416 people (24.4%) aged 45 to 64, and 7,805 people (7.8%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33.4 years. For every 100 females, there were 95.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.9 males.
There were 34,004 housing units at an average density of 1,127.2 per square mile (435.2/km2), of which 21,984 (69.2%) were owner-occupied, and 9,797 (30.8%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 2.7%; the rental vacancy rate was 7.1%. 69,929 people (69.9% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 30,039 people (30.0%) lived in rental housing units.
The U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey reported an estimated 1.5% of the population of Temecula's working force, or 1,085 individuals, were involved with the U.S. Armed Forces as of 2011. This figure is slightly higher than the 2011 estimated national average of 0.5%.
During 2013–2017, Temecula had a median household income of $87,115, with 6.8% of the population living below the federal poverty line. In 2017, Temecula had an estimated average household income of $97,573. According to the Temecula Office of Economic Development, the city has an actual average household income of $103,945 in 2019.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the percentage of city residents holding a bachelor's degree or higher during 2013-2017 was 32.1%.
As of the census of 2000, there were 57,716 people, 18,293 households, and 15,164 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,198.3 people per square mile (848.6/km2). There were 19,099 housing units at an average density of 727.4 per square mile (280.8/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 78.9% White, 3.4% African American, 0.9% Native American, 4.7% Asian, 0.3% Pacific Islander, 7.4% from other races, and 4.4% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 19.0% of the population.
There were 18,293 households, out of which 52.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 68.8% were married couples living together, 10.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 17.1% were non-families. 12.6% of all households were made up of individuals, and 3.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.2 and the average family size was 3.5.
In the city, the population was spread out, with 34.7% under the age of 18, 7.8% from 18 to 24, 33.3% from 25 to 44, 17.2% from 45 to 64, and 7.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. The above-average number of young people in Temecula was attributed to an influx of middle-class families came to buy homes in the 1990s real estate boom. For every 100 females, there were 97.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.2 males.
According to a 2007 estimate, the median income for a household in the city was $75,335, and the median income for a family was $80,836. Males had a median income of $47,113 (2000) versus $31,608 (2000) for females. The per capita income for the city was $24,312 (2003). About 5.6% of families and 6.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.1% of those under age 18 and 3.2% of those age 65 or over.
Supported by high median and mean income levels, the city is a prominent tourist destination, with the Temecula Valley Wine Country, Old Town Temecula, the Temecula Valley Polo Club, the Temecula Valley Balloon & Wine Festival, the Temecula Valley International Film Festival, championship golf courses, and resort accommodations attracting a significant number of tourists which appreciably contributes to the city's economic profile. In addition to the tourism sector, the educational, leisure, professional, finance, and retail sectors contribute to the city's economy.
According to Visit Temecula Valley's 2018 economic impact report, there was a 26% increase in tourism spending, reaching $1.1 billion spent, up from nearly $900 million spent in 2017.
As of June 2021[update], the top employers in the city were:
|#||Employer||# of Employees|
|1||Temecula Valley Unified School District||3,000|
|2||Abbott Laboratories (aka Guidant)||1,500|
|3||Temecula Valley Hospital||1,045|
|4||Infineon Technologies (aka International Rectifier)||566|
|7||Southwest Traders, Inc.||484|
|8||Milgard Manufacturing Inc. (DBA Milgard Windows & Doors)||468|
|9||The Scotts Company||456|
|10||FFF Enterprises Inc.||366|
|11||EMD Millipore (DBA Milliporesigma)||350|
|13||Temecula Valley Winery Management||274|
|14||The Home Depot||268|
|15||Paradise Chevrolet Cadillac||210|
The Temecula Valley Wine Country, whose first commercial winegrapes were planted in 1967, features over 40 wineries, a variety of tasting rooms, and more than 3,500 acres (14 km2) of producing vineyards. The wine country is a few miles east of Old Town Temecula. The annual Temecula Valley Balloon & Wine Festival, held at nearby Lake Skinner, offers live entertainment, hot air balloon rides, and wine tasting.
Golfers can use one of several local golf courses, including Pechanga's Journey, Redhawk, Temecula Creek Inn, The Legends Golf Club at Temeku Hills, CrossCreek, Pala Mesa Resort (near Fallbrook) and The Golf Club at Rancho California, formerly SCGA Member's Course (in nearby Murrieta).
Old Town Temecula, the city's downtown district, is a collection of historic buildings, hotels, museums, event centers, specialty food stores, restaurants, boutiques, gift and collectible stores, and antique dealers. On Saturdays, Old Town has an outdoor farmers' market featuring approximately 70 to 80 local vendors. Old Town is also home to special events like the Rod Run car show, Art and Street Painting Festival, Santa's Electric Parade Show, western days, and summer entertainment. Old Town also hosts a growing nightlife.
Old Town is also home to the Temecula Valley Museum, which features exhibits about the local band of Native Americans and the local natural history and city development. The City Hall is located in the center of Old Town.
Old Town has the Old Town Temecula Community Theater, a 354-seat proscenium theater as well as The Merc, a 48-seat blackbox performance venue adjacent to the main theater.
In 2002, the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians opened the $262 million Pechanga Resort & Casino complex. Although it is not located within the city limits, it is the Temecula Valley's largest employer, with approximately 5,000 people employed.
Temecula is home to the Temecula Valley Inline Hockey Association (TVIHA), a local inline hockey organization that provides school and recreational programs.
Temecula is also known as the home for the Freestyle Motocross group Metal Mulisha with members such as Brian Deegan, Jeremy "Twitch" Stenberg, and Ronnie Faisst living in or near Temecula.
Since 2012, Temecula has also been home to the Wine Town Rollers (WTR) roller derby league.
Currently, Temecula is home to a semi-pro soccer team, Temecula FC (a.k.a. the Quails). The area used to have another semi-pro soccer team, the Murrieta Bandits, in the 2000s.
Boxing and Mixed martial arts fight cards are held at Pechanga Resort & Casino.
Temecula has 39 parks, 22 miles (35 km) of trails and 11 major community facilities. In 2013, it was named a Bronze Level Bicycle Friendly Community and it was named a Playful City USA. Temecula's Pennypickle's Workshop was a winner of Nickelodeon's Parents' Picks Award for "Best Museum" and "Best Kids' Party Place".
Temecula's sports parks include the Ronald Reagan Sports Park (formerly the Rancho California Sports Park) and the Patricia H. Birdsall Sports Park.
Temecula offers various sport options as youth's extra-curricular activities such as football (both flag and Pop Warner), cheerleading, roller hockey, wrestling, basketball, baseball, soccer, and lacrosse. In 2010, the Temecula Mountain Lions Rugby Club was started. The club offers men's, women's, and youth teams. In their first season, the Temecula Mountain Lions Rugby Club's men's team won the SCRFU Open Division Championship.
Public schools in Temecula are operated by the Temecula Valley Unified School District (TVUSD), whose schools are consistently ranked as having the highest Academic Performance Indices within Riverside County. Great Oak, Chaparral, and Temecula Valley high schools have all received silver medals in the U.S. News Best High Schools rankings awarded by U.S. News & World Report.
The district's general boundaries extend north to French Valley, south to the Riverside/San Diego county line, east to Vail Lake, and west to the Temecula city limit. The district covers approximately 148 square miles (383 km2), with an enrollment of over 28,000 students.
Temecula is home to Mt. San Jacinto College, a community college which offers classes at the Temecula Higher Education Center on Business Park Drive. In March 2018, Mt. San Jacinto College purchased two five-story buildings from Abbott Vascular to open a larger campus, comprising approximately 350,000 square feet. It is expected to open in 2021.
Temecula is also home to a satellite campus for California State University San Marcos (CSUSM), which offers several online and certificate programs. National University, University of Redlands, Concordia University, and San Joaquin Valley College also have education centers in Temecula, and Azusa Pacific University and University of Phoenix have locations nearby in Murrieta. Temecula is also home to Professional Golfers Career College, a vocational school for those wishing to enter the golf industry.
The Temecula area is served by two major highways: Interstate 15 and State Route 79.
Interstate 15 has three full interchanges in Temecula, and a fourth, French Valley Parkway, is partially constructed, with only the southbound off-ramp completed. Construction is expected to begin on a set of additional northbound lanes that would eliminate weaving near the planned interchange between Winchester Road and the I-15/I-215 split, but completion of the interchange itself, and the collector-distributor lane system that accompanies it, is not anticipated for several more years.
State Route 79 enters the Temecula area after passing Vail Lake, paralleling Temecula Creek for several miles, and it becomes a six-lane, city-maintained thoroughfare known as Temecula Parkway before it overlaps with Interstate 15. It leaves the freeway three miles later as Winchester Road (which is maintained by the city until it reaches the northern city limits) and continues north toward the cities of Hemet, San Jacinto, and Beaumont.
Major west-east thoroughfares in the city include Murrieta Hot Springs Road, Nicholas Road, Rancho California Road, Pauba Road, and Temecula Parkway. Major north-south thoroughfares include Jefferson Avenue, Ynez Road, Margarita Road, Meadows Parkway, and Butterfield Stage Road. Pechanga Parkway, which runs through the southwest portion of the city, carries the routing of County Route S16, although it is not signed as such within the city limits.
The Riverside Transit Agency bus system serves the Temecula area with Routes 23, 24, 55, 61, 79, 202, 205, 206, 208, and 217, as well as connections to Greyhound.
The possibility of extending Metrolink's 91/Perris Valley Line from South Perris to Temecula was considered in a 2005 feasibility study, along either Winchester Road or Interstate 215.
The French Valley Airport is located in the Temecula Valley. Temecula is also located within 60 miles (97 km) of both the Ontario International Airport and the San Diego International Airport.
The Temecula Cemetery is operated by the Temecula Public Cemetery District. Land for the cemetery was originally donated by Mercedes Pujol in 1884 from the estate of her husband, Domingo Pujol.
Temecula is home to Temecula Valley Hospital, a five-story, 140-bed hospital that opened in October 2013. Temecula Valley Hospital is a member of Universal Health Services.
Kaiser Permanente and UC San Diego Health both offer services in Temecula.
Temecula provides police service in cooperation with the Riverside County Sheriff's Department via a contract with the department fulfilled through its Southwest Sheriff's Station, located in the unincorporated community of French Valley, just north of the city of Temecula, east of State Route 79 (Winchester Road). The station is adjacent to the Riverside County Superior Court's Southwest Regional Judicial District Courthouse and Southwest Detention Center, one of the five regional jails in Riverside County. The sheriff's station is currently commanded by Captain Lisa McConnell, who also serves as Temecula's Chief of Police.
The city of Temecula contracts for fire and paramedic services with the Riverside County Fire Department through a cooperative agreement with CAL FIRE. Temecula currently has five fire stations with five paramedic engine companies, one truck company and two CAL FIRE wildland fire engines.
American Medical Response provides paramedic ambulance transport to an emergency department.
Temecula maintains international relations with Daisen, Tottori in Japan. Until 2019, the city also maintained international relations with Leidschendam-Voorburg in the Netherlands.
The city dedicated a Japanese Garden at the Temecula Duck Pond to honor the 10th anniversary of their relationship with sister city Daisen.
The Temecula Duck Pond is also home to an art piece entitled "Singing in the Rain". It was commissioned by the city of Leidschendam-Voorburg as a gift to the city to commemorate the resilient American spirit in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks. The piece depicts a mother and her children bravely pedaling a bicycle into the strong headwinds of a storm.