Have you ever gone through Old Town with someone who really knows the shopkeepers? Who can show you sights and tastes that you may never have enjoyed? That intimacy sparked the idea for Temecula’s Tastiest Tours, where business partners Marilyn Tipps and Trudy Angeloni hope to change the way visitors view the valley.
Marilyn Tipps paused in her event planning to chat with SWRNN about Temecula’s Tastiest Tours and discuss what they add to the Old Town Temecula tourism industry:
Q: What sparked the idea for Temecula’s Tastiest Tours?
A: Trudy and I began brainstorming earlier this year, putting the relationships we’ve both made in Old Town. We worked with Carrol Eristhee of The Branding Hive, who designed our website that is our hub for booking tours.
Q: Your tours, as I understand it, are quite unique. Can you describe a typical outing?
A: We are strictly tours of Old Town Temecula. Each outing is a personal, hosted tour, and is completely unique for that group. We meet at the Temecula Civic Center fountain, an ideal place to take pictures and is close to free parking for all. We make an average of seven stops, with wineries and specialty shops. It’s a walking tour, so (there is) plenty of fresh air for all. Fridays are a happy hour outing, followed by dinner and music. Saturday’s tour starts at 1 p.m., and is followed with dinner and dancing. The Sunday Walking Wine Tour is all about sampling wines and great food, as well as taking advantage of the many photo ops available in Old Town.
Q: Starting a new business can be a hurdle for many. What has been the hardest part thus far?
A: The challenge is exposure. Getting the word out is always the most important thing. We just want folks to know that our service exists for tourists interested in spending some quality time in Temecula, outside of the wine country. We are booking tours with women, primarily—maybe because women love wine! But our tours suit young and old. Couples, bridal parties, bachelorette events, especially for a Saturday tour that ends with dancing.
Q: What would be the difference between a walking wine tour of Old Town with Tastiest Tours, and winery hopping in wine country?
A: These are tours for people who love wine and food, and finding unique ways to spend the day, strolling the boardwalks of Old Town. It’s a walking tour, so when you get out in the fresh air, the sunshine or the cool mist of the evening, you get to see Old Town like only a local can.
Q: What is your favorite part of your tour business so far?
A: I love taking our visitors to out of the way shops, such as The Spice Merchant or the Lavender Company, where they might not otherwise have stopped. Especially when the owner adds a little flair of their own, it makes it fun for everyone. Perhaps it’s a spur of the moment sachet with a discount, or a special dip made on the fly for all to enjoy. Every tour varies based upon events and schedules, so you will never take the same tour twice.
To learn more, visit temeculastastiesttours.com.
Ashley Ludwig is a local writer and regular contributor to SWRNN.