Whether you are a tent camper, hauling a trailer, or cruising the country in an RV, Lake Skinner is a must-stop. Tucked in between the San Jacinto Mountains and the Pacific Ocean, the broad sweeping campground is ripe with activities— both at the campground and in the city of Temecula, California — right around the bend.
RV Camping at Lake Skinner Recreation Area – Things to Know
The campground itself is split into three arms, all level, ideal for “drive through” set up. Full hook-ups, partial, or dry camping are all available, depending on your preference (accessible for reservation through the county of Riverside, California web site).
Full showers are available between campsites, as are washers and dryers up at the main camp center.
An aquifer, the lake has no body contact allowed. However, pontoon and skiffs can be rented for cruising the lake or fishing for bass, striper, or trout. Multiple hidden coves and inlets provide private beaches for shore fishing. Picnic tables surround, as do the broad, grassy hills.
Each separate campground borders on a large swath of grass, ideal for kite flying, bocce ball, volleyball, or tossing a Frisbee. The county has also provided an “all ages” jungle gym, with curling twisty-slide, climb-across stepping poles, elaborate enough to keep even pre-teens entertained. If that doesn’t suit, try renting bikes, a “four-seater bike car.” Then, there’s always the arcade or karaoke at Sweet Lu’s Barbecue (usually open on weekend nights) will surely please. Nights can be spent under the crystal clear, California sky—fire rings are present in each site, and if you forgot your firewood, you can pick some up at the well-stocked camp store.
Is Temecula City Worth Seeing?
If you choose to venture out, the city of Temecula is ripe with activities. The old town is filled with restaurants, boutique shops, and antique stores. You’ll dive into that old west feel, as you stroll down plank wood sidewalks and can even see a wild west show on a Saturday afternoon. On Saturday mornings, you’ll find the farmers market abuzz with activity. You can fill your basket with fresh produce and armfuls of growers bunches from area florists. Artisans display their wares, everything from jewelry to fine art.
Temecula is most famous for the plethora of wineries tucked into the rolling hillsides and valleys in between. Temecula is renowned for its similarity to the Piedmont region of northern Italy, and the ability to grow and harvest Italian red grapes. Wineries offer everything from five-star dining and spa treatments – such as those you’ll find at South Coast Winery – lunches under a cool patio, like you’ll find at Ponte Vineyard – or outdoor movie experiences you can enjoy at Miramonte. Most weekends offer jazz or blues bands playing on outdoor patios, where you can taste phenomenal area wines and take in excellent music while the sun sets out over the Pacific Ocean.
- The Pacific Ocean, and the city of San Diego—40 miles southwest
- Disneyland in the city of Anaheim—less than an hour’s drive to the north
- The city of Los Angeles, Hollywood, and Universal Studios — 90 miles northwest.
If you time your visit right, book a champagne breakfast ride on a hot air balloon. Early June is the annual Balloon and Wine Festival; hundreds of balloons take to the skies. (Dry RV camping for the event is booked months in advance, however, watch for sites such as Craigslist or eBay for spots for sale).
Main stage bands performing in 2009 include: James Otto, Chuck Wicks, Sugar Ray, Scandal (featuring Patty Smyth), and Starship. Every winery is represented, and for a meager entry fee, you can stroll through the fairgrounds. For slightly more, you can enjoy the feasts of food and wine pairings as prepared by award-winning chefs.
Here you can actually see whole Lake Skinner Recreation Area Campground area in 360 Video Tour.