When you think about Temecula, what is the first thing that comes to mind? I am willing to bet that Wine Country might be at the top of your list, am I right? Well, yes, that is true, Temecula is definitely known for their beautiful acres of Wine Country. However, when you step back and take a second look at Temecula, you will come to realize that this town is actually layered with character, history and storytelling that can be found throughout the city. Having the fortunate opportunity to have grown up in Temecula, I was able to appreciate the strong history that defines the town in almost every corner – one of the historical gems of Temecula is called Vail Headquarters. Vail Headquarters is located on Temecula Parkway and has been the heart of Temecula since 1867. Thanks to decades of preservation and restoration efforts, it is now a living historic park filled with specialty restaurants, boutique stores and a host to many special events.
In 1867, Vail Headquarters was built next to Temecula Creek and served as a saloon, livery stable, legal services, hotel, general store, stagecoach stop, post office, school and employment agency for the Temecula community. Vail Ranch became one of the largest cattle operations in California as well, stretching from Camp Pendleton to Vail Lake in Murrieta. If you are interested in learning more about the rich history of Vail Headquarters you can read more on their website here.
Vail Headquarters has awakened from dormancy after all these years to be sprung back to life unto the original four acres and the seven historic building that have stood the test of time. All of this happened due to the courageous efforts of a group of people who were passionate about the lush history of Vail Headquarters and the desire to restore and present it to the new generations of Temecula to be experienced and enjoyed.
Today, Vail Headquarters intertwines the rich history of Temecula’s past with the current pleasures of the present. Vail HQ has welcomed dozens of artisans to inhabit these historic buildings making this historic location appealing to not just a historical enthusiast but also to the experience seekers, seeking a venue layered with storytelling and present-day culture.
Vail HQ is the home for many different businesses; like their restaurants: Vail Pizzeria, Cheflavor, Juice it Up, A La Minute (organic ice cream), Augie’s Coffee Roasters and coming soon, which I am excited to experience, the Cookhouse Food Hall. The Cookhouse Food Hall will showcase the following restaurants: Amo Nakatl, Smok’d Hog and The Daisy Neighborhood Bar, La Isla Ceviche, Wingman and Super Mix Mercantile I cannot wait to experience the Cookhouse and write about it soon. Stay tuned!
Vail HQ also features boutique stores like Beacon Home, Buffalo Co. Salon, Nectar Clothing, Winchester Western and Rust Vintage Denim. In addition, they offer experiences and services like Temecula Clay, Oak Creek Farm, and Back Alley Escape (escape room).
Lastly, to top it all off, Vail HQ hosts events for the community and visitors. Every Tuesday they host the Vail HQ certified Farmers Market (which is what we were able to experience this last Tuesday! So much fun!) On Sunday they offer “Sunday Funday” which is an event for the whole family and includes activities like arts and crafts, train and/or stagecoach rides, picnic games, historical displays and more. Lastly, which I still need to experience, is The Starlight Bazaar, which is hosted on the last Friday of each month from May through October which is a night market with 40 vendors, local music performances, interactive art and live painting, food trucks and much more.
It is an understatement to say that Vail Headquarters is just a historical venue; it is filled with story, events and experiences that will bring memories to your family that will last a lifetime.
I cannot end this post, without giving appreciation and recognition to the Vail Headquarters Team, specifically Toni who walked us around to tell the story of Vail HQ with her adorable companion Hannah, who my Son, Donovan, became friends with.
Vail Headquarters is truly a wonderful experience, perfect for any family looking for a fun educational venue for the day – OR for families desiring to make memories during the Vail HQ events! Overall, Vail Headquarters is truly a Temecula gem and should not be missed during your visit!
“We didn’t realize we were making memories, we just knew we were having fun!” – Unknown