Roughly 20 miles northeast of Camp Pendleton’s mainside lies Southern California’s Wine Country, and Temecula is the haven for all that happiness. Temecula is the only city in California that has retained the name given to the land by the native Luiseño—Temecunga—which translates to “where the sun breaks through the mist.” Old Town Temecula still celebrates its history, dating back to 1882, as a stop on the Southern California Railroad. Greater Temecula, however, is much newer and was incorporated in 1989 as a bedroom community in Southwest Riverside County.

A morning fog hangs on the orchard-capped hills surrounding Valley, and coastal breezes occasionally waft through. Being farther inland, it is much warmer here and the summers are hot. A visit to one of the 35-plus area wineries is a favorite pastime. For some added adventure you can even hop in a hot air balloon. There are equestrian sports, the largest casino in California, festivals galore, golf courses, parks, trails, skate parks, and a recreational lake for fishing or camping.

If you or your spouse will be working on the eastern side of Camp Pendleton, Temecula is an easy commute and a popular choice for military families. The tight-knit neighborhoods and close neighbors give it an “on post feel” and an atmosphere that is familiar to military families. Everything in Temecula seems very new and clean.


Temecula is home to a lot of families, who are well-served by the local amenities, schools, and city services. You’ll find decent military representation here, as well as farmers, retirees, and a few vintners. A gracious, friendly vibe exudes throughout the city.

Neighborhood Feel

Temecula is where you’ll find the “bang for your buck” when purchasing a home. There are all ranges of homes here, and you can even find larger (four or more bedrooms) homes, whereas two to three bedrooms are the norm for most of the region. The hotter temperatures also means most homes have central A/C and pools. The subdivisions are shiny, new, and bursting with amenities.

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Neighborhood Location

Camp Pendleton – Fallbrook Gate
Drive Time to Gate
35 minutes
By Transit

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Neighborhood Info

Temecula - Camp Pendleton, CA - gomillie.com

Points of Interest

Old Town Temecula

Ronald Reagan Sports Park

Almost 40 Wineries

Galway Downs

Temecula Valley Balloon and Wine Festival

Pechanga Resort and Casino

Pennypickle’s Workshop – Temecula Children’s Museum

Big Plus

Homes in Temecula are affordable and tend to be a bit larger than in other areas of Southern California. You can find homes with four or more bedrooms here, and most have reasonably sized, if not large, yards.

Though considered to be a bit far out by San Diego standards, where everyone’s timetable revolves around the distance to the beach, it’s only a 40-minute drive to the sand and 90 minutes to the snow!

Temecula Unified School District boasts test scores that rank in the top 20 percent of schools in California and are popular among the military spouses we spoke with.

Though warmer than the beach, Temecula has a fantastic climate. The northern areas of town can get hot (100 degrees or more), but the southern regions are slightly cooler. Also, most homes have pools.

Things to Consider

The traffic in Temecula can be a little hectic. The population has exploded over the last 20 years, and the commercial districts can be quite busy. We’ve heard the nickname “Trafficula.” Just be aware of traffic patterns and allow for extra time when commuting during rush hour.

Every chain restaurant and big box store you can think of has a home in Temecula, but the mom-and-pop scene is markedly lacking.   

Be sure to identify whether or not your potential home has air conditioning. The home cooling situation applies to both on and off post housing, so just keep in mind that utility bills for homes off post can routinely exceed $300. The low foothills in Temecula allow for some coastal breezes. Try to look for homes with nothing blocking their western windows to capture nature’s cooling system. Otherwise, be on the lookout for A/C and account for that in your housing budget. Pools are also common.

How’s the Market?

The median home value for single family homes in Temecula is $423,000 according to Zillow Home Value Index.

Home Values are forecasted to increase by 5% in the coming year.

According to Zillow’s Rental Index, the median rental rate for single-family homes in Temecula is $2,123.

There is a tax called Mello-Roos, that you’ll need to get acquainted with if you’ll be buying a home in California. Long story short, some communities have the designation of being a Community Facility District (CFD), and they impose an additional property tax to help pay for schools, roads, utilities, and services like police and fire protection. This Mello-Roos tax is above and beyond your typical property tax, and pair that with potentially multiple HOAs, and you could be priced out of some neighborhoods before you know it. Not all neighborhoods are CFDs and HOAs can be for the neighborhood and the city as well. Do your research before you set your heart on a house! The fees add up, and you could be spending well above what BAH allows. An experienced AgentHero can help tremendously.

School Scoop

Temecula contains 36 schools. One of the best schools is Paloma Elementary School, which has a rating of 9 according to GreatSchools.org. The public schools in Temecula are in Temecula Valley Unified School District, and the district’s overall rating is 8.

Temecula Preparatory School is a public classical charter school that was opened in 2000 for grades K through 12. The curriculum focuses on the four classical virtues articulated by Plato: Justice, Prudence, Temperance, and Fortitude. Enrollment is based on a lottery system, and the waiting list can be pretty long.

The California Department of Education offers open enrollment and intradistrict choice, meaning your child can attend any school inside or outside their district upon approval and space availability. Students at low-performing schools can attend a different school in their district. Children can also attend any of the highly sought after charter or magnet schools.

Temecula Valley Unified School District  is a part of a consortium of four other school districts created by the University of Southern California for an initiative called Welcoming Practices. The program recognizes the unique needs of military children in school transitions and has the stated goal of ensuring “that district and school staff members have access to the tools they need to create welcoming and effective transition procedures that give students a successful start at their new school.” We think this deserves massive kudos!  

Highlighted Areas

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Morgan Hill

Roripaugh Ranch

Crowne Hill