What makes a perfect getaway? How can you elevate your vacation from a visit to an adventure?
Murrieta’s small-town feel, set within the vibrancy of Southern California, provides an element of escape and deeper community connection. You might get lost in the hills, but you’ll never get lost in a crowd. Imagine craft breweries without the lines and wine straight from the vine. Murrieta’s breeze-swept grasses, surrounding lakes and a vast network of hiking trails strikes a flawless balance between nature and culture.
That’s exactly what Jonathan Lee—a professional cyclist, coach and marketer—and his wife Sara experienced as they touched down in Murrieta for the weekend. Follow their itinerary below… then hit the road and dream up an adventure of your own.
It was a beautiful, bluebird day at the Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Preserve. Jonathan and Sara made a relaxed hike along the Vernal Pool Trail to visit the preserve’s ephemeral wetlands which happened to be full, thanks to a reviving series of storms over the winter.
But Jonathan and Sara weren’t alone at the vernal pools. Resurrected from the mud for the first time in almost a decade was an elusive and glorious population of fairy shrimp. (Yes, we got that right.)
The vernal pool fairy shrimp, or Branchinecta lynchi, are a species endemic to the states of Oregon and California, and can only be found in the vernal pools of these regions. Often tiny enough that it’s difficult to see a single specimen with the naked eye, these shrimp resemble sparkling fairy light on the surface of the wetland water. Hence the name.
Jonathan and Sara were fascinated by the manifestation of nature’s beauty, and grateful to have experienced Murrieta during a wet year. Of course, the Santa Rosa Plateau isn’t the only ecological point of interest in the area. Curious travelers looking for scenic trails might also set their sights on the roaring falls along the 2.2 mile long Tenaja Falls trail (this one’s dog-friendly, too); or, if you want to experience Murrieta on two wheels, check out the Sylvan Meadows.
Now … let’s grab a bite!
After a morning of hiking through Murrieta’s surrounding flora, Jonathan and Sara headed to DownTown PUBlic— a trendy, innovative gastropub that represents a change in the Downtown Murrieta area.
Murrieta’s value-forward amenities, convenience, and natural beauty have catalyzed an influx of restaurateurs. DownTown PUBlic creates lip-smacking menus that showcase Southern California agriculture, home-grown products and curated wine lists from the Temecula Valley.
Jonathan and Sara clinked a couple of refreshing cocktails from property’s patio— decorated with family-style tables, chic fire pits, and trees wrapped in twinkle lights.
To compliment the drinks, they enjoyed a handful of tasty appetizers, including Asian-flavor infused Brussels Sprouts, Euro Fries and an Heirloom tomato salad. When it came time for the main course, the couple opted for flavorful Kobe beef burgers, followed by a magic bar for dessert.
Hungry and thirsty explorers can enjoy a variety of other cuisines throughout the region as well—including delicious pizza and wine at the Goat and Vine, and robust brews at the Electric Brewing Company.
In less than 24 hours, Jonathan and Sara Lee got to experience significant swathes of Murrieta’s natural habitat and cultural offerings. They caught a precious and increasingly rare manifestation of nature’s beauty at the Santa Rosa Plateau’s Vernal Pools, then tasted flavors from all around the world as interpreted by regional restaurateurs.
That’s what Murrieta is all about: experiencing the diversity of sights, sensations, flavors and community connection in a laid-back vibe. So—why not come explore Murrieta with a perfect pairing of your own? Book your stay today!