Visit Hemet: It’s More Than Just A Little Town In The Valley


Ramona Bowl in Hemet

Places to Go in Southern California: Visit Hemet It's More Than Just A Little Town In The Valley

Visit Hemet: It’s More Than Just A Little Town In The Valley

I’ll always consider Southern California my second home. I’ve made annual trips out west since I was a kid, sometimes 3-4 times per year. As I prepared for my third trip to Southern California this year, I had no clue of what to expect about this destination.

When I was informed I would be staying at an RV Resort in Hemet, California, I had to google where in the world was Hemet. #truestory

Then I thought, “what is there to do in Hemet?”

I grew up in a small town, so I am used to the “small town, everyone knows everyone, there’s nothing to do but head to the local grocery store or hang out on Michigan Ave on a Saturday night” feel.

And when I told my other SoCal family and friends I was going to Hemet, they were like, “What? Why?”

However, I need to tell Y’all about Hemet.

I went to Hemet for a press trip knowing absolutely nothing about this little town nor the San Jacinto Valley. After spending six days here, I left with the feeling of gratitude and peace.

Hemet is a place where you can find yourself. A place where you learn the REAL sense of community. You get to slow down from the fast-pace of everyday life and breathe the fresh air and inhale some gorgeous views.

Things To Do in Hemet

You see, in a small town, it’s easy to get overlooked when bigger cities surround you. Hemet sits comfortably between San Diego and L.A. So, it’s easy to get lost in the shuffle when you’re just a small fry off I-5.

I’ve traveled quite a bit in my young life and I have seen and stayed in some impressive places. However, the community of Hemet and all the hidden jewels of the San Jacinto Valley has left quite the impression on me. And even weeks later as I write this post, it still has that same effect on me.

Golden Palms RV Resort In Hemet

I recently talked about where we stayed in Hemet, at the Golden Village Palms RV Resort, which is a gem and a small community in itself within Hemet. With an excellent staff, comfortable cottages and a full events calendar and amenities, this RV Resort lives up to the definition of a resort.

We covered a lot of ground in a few days, and I’m going to do my best to highlight everything and my favorite locations!

*Be sure to check out the post on my scenic tour of Hemet.

Things To Do

Things To Do in Hemet

The Ramona Bowl

First, I want to mention I am already planning a trip back to Hemet so I can attend a live performance. Unfortunately, we visited during their off-season. However, I was able to learn about the history of “America’s longest running drama since 1923.” Lori VanArsdale, President, graciously gave us a tour of the Museum and Amphitheater.

Ramona Bowl in Hemet

The way she spoke so passionately about Helen Hunt Jackson (author of the novel “Ramona”), I felt as if she personally knew Helen and was there when it all started many, many years ago. The Ramona Bowl seats an audience up to 5,000 people and demands the manpower of volunteers to pull this off.

Ramona Bowl in Hemet

This drama is more than just a love story. History happened, and it’s played out live on the hills of San Jacinto Valley. If you’re not familiar with the novel Ramona, Helen brings attention to the plight of the Native Americans. {one of my favorite things to do}

Get more information on their website: http://ramonabowl.com/

Things To Do in Hemet

Western Science Museum

This museum is small, but it packs a punch. It opened in 2006 to initially house the fossils found in Diamond Valley, and over time expanded to carry more artifacts. This museum has a 270-degree movie screen to share more history and facts with visitors. Once you’re finished, you can spend more time exploring each area, including the hands-on exhibits.

Things To Do in Hemet

And don’t forget to check out their mastodons discovered during the excavations, affectionately known as Max, Xena and Little Stevie.

Get more information on their website: http://www.westerncentermuseum.org/

Things To Do in Hemet

Victorian Bridal Museum

Eve Faulkner is the sweetest little lady you will ever meet. I couldn’t get enough of her and her beautiful gowns. I’ve always been fascinated by the Victorian Era. Eve started hosting Victorian themed weddings in her home in the early 1980’s. Brides started coming to her for advice on how to decorate, what to wear, how to style their hair, etc. They would pull out all the stops to accommodate brides on their wedding day. Over time, her collection of Victorian wedding gowns and memorabilia grew and grew. Her collection is so well-known it was used in the “Samantha, American Girl Holiday” movie.

Things To Do in Hemet

When I stepped into her shop, it was if I stepped back into the Victorian Era. When nothing but beautiful dresses surrounds you, it’s easy to imagine yourself being dressed in layers of wedding gowns and awaiting to your meet your groom. Ladies, you will love this one!

Get more information by visiting their website: http://www.victorianbridalmuseum.com/

 

Touring Hemet in a 2015 Kia Optima

Additional museums to check out:

Hemet Museum at the Historic Train Depot – This Depot is one of the oldest structures in the area, with artifacts and exhibits about the Native Americans, local history, and even a Thomas Kinkaid print.

Things To Do in Hemet

Estudillo Mansion was built in 1884 and housed over 26 families. It was listed as a historic landmark in 2001. This is a hands-off exhibit with no cameras allowed. However, walking through the mansion, you can get a feel for what life was like in the late 1880’s. After leaving the museum, but sure to stop by the San Jacinto museum for a quick tour and check out more memorabilia from this era.

And stopping by their local wineries, should be a must-do item on your list:

Bel Vino Winery – You can stop in for live events, wine tasting and enjoy lunch with a view at their Bistro.

Bel Vino Winery

Things To Do in Hemet

The views around Wine Country are worth the drive out to the Monto De Oro Winery.

Things To Do in Hemet

And getting a tour of the Monte De Oro Winery which features a glass floor looking down to their barrel cellar was pretty cool.

Things To Do in Hemet

Moving on to my favorite thing to do, eat!

Places to Eat

Anywhere I go, I love to find non-chain restaurants recommended by the locals. Being a foodie at heart, I was not disappointed by the numerous places to eat in the San Jacinto Valley.

Places To Eat in Hemet

Sweet Baby Jane’s

Their Baby Back Ribs and Pork Ribs with BBQ sauce was delicious. The meat was cooked perfectly with pieces just falling off the bones. And the sauce had a mix of a sweet and tangy taste. Perfection. {one of my favorite locations}

Places To Eat in Hemet

I loved their food so much, we went back again for dinner the next night.

Find out more about Sweet Baby Jane’s by visiting their website: http://www.sbjbbq.com/

Places To Eat in Hemet

El Patron Mexican Grill & Cantina– If you love Mexican food, El Patron is the only place you should be eating at in this area.

Their fresh-right-in-front-of-you-avocado is amazing! Guests also come for their live music and their margaritas.

http://www.elpatronmexicangrillhemet.com/

Places To Eat In Hemet

Get more information by visiting their website: http://www.elpatronmexicangrillhemet.com/

 

Places To Eat In Hemet

The Downtown Deli and Coffee Co. is the place where everyone goes for lunch. It’s the hangout spot. The place to meet your girlfriends or a quick cup of coffee. It’s the place for a business meeting or first date.

Places To Eat In Hemet

And even their salads are the bomb.com

Get more information about them: https://www.facebook.com/downtownhemet/

https://www.facebook.com/downtownhemet/

The Anchor Restaurant recently changed owners about five years ago. The owner, Nicole created an environment for families and the community to enjoy each other, food and conversation. You will find no TV’s, and encouraged to put your cell phone down and talk to each other. I love her way of thinking!

Find more information on their website: http://anchorbcr.com/

Places to eat in Hemet

La Michoacana was another favorite spot for me. My body recently decided it can no longer digest a lot of dairy products, so I am unable to eat ice cream. My soul jumped for joy when I found out La Michocana makes dairy-free ice cream (made with water).

Places to eat in Hemet

The ice-cream is made with 100% natural ingredients. Juan, the owner, took great pride in telling us about how he got started and the variety of products. I would love to see him open franchises here in the Midwest (hint, hint).

You can find more information on their facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/La-Michoacana-100-Natural-891930194161656/

Places To Eat In Hemet

The Country Club at Soboba Springs is a great place for quiet, fine dining. And if you love golfing, this is the best place to go for a top-notch golfing experience. I had their Salmon and it was juicy, tender and seasoned to perfection. With over 8000 acres, this Country Club is located on the Indian Reservation. The Soboba Tribe has been very instrumental in helping the community of Hemet with their non-profit organization.

Things to do in Hemet{group of Travel Writers with members of the Soboba Tribe}

In Conclusion

It’s hard to express everything I experienced on this trip in one post. I’m not even sure if two or three posts could sum it all up. But here’s my takeaway from getting to know the people of Hemet and touring the San Jacinto Valley.

They value their community.

They are proud of their businesses, their contributions, and their people.

Each business owner we spoke with told us with pride and passion about their business. Many businesses have been in this area for years, passing it down from generation to generation.

Community of Hemet

When their hospital was about to close its doors due to lack of funding, the members of THIS community stepped up and did not let it happen. It took community members to fix the problems in THEIR community. We see communities crumble all the time. They blame the Federal Government for not giving them money, or wait until it’s too late to do something about THEIR community. The community of Hemet didn’t do that. We sat in a community meeting during our press trip, and it was an eye-opening experience. Most of the business owners I met over the first few days were at this meeting. I was able to get to know the Mayor of Hemet and the San Jacinto Valley. They talked about their community with pride. They shared with us all of the changes taking place in their community and the future of Hemet.

I walked away with the feeling of gratitude. I am grateful for this experience. It has changed the way I view my community. In order to make changes, it starts within your community. You cannot wait for a hand-out, which 90% of the time never comes. In order to make changes, it starts with you. Each one of us can make a difference in our community. You get to know your neighbor, your council members, etc. Instead of trying to compete with each other, you find ways to work together.

As a community. Hemet is setting the bar for what it means to work together and get things done. Yes, I’m sure they have their problems like anyone else, but you resolve them and learn how to make action happen. That’s a lesson we all need to remember.

Things to do in Hemet

Hemet, you left me impressed and I want more. I’ll be back for round two, soon!

Find out more about Hemet by visiting their website: http://www.cityofhemet.org/

Find out more about the San Jacinto Valley by visiting their website: http://www.visitsanjacintovalley.com/

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30 Comments

  1. Hemet looks like a great place to visit. They certainly have a tone of things to do!

  2. January 12, 2016
    Reply

    I’d love to take the family to Hemet. I think the kids would love the museum.

  3. January 12, 2016
    Reply

    That looks like a beautiful place to visit sometime. I’m trying to get a list together of road trips and this might be close enough that we could use a road trip I would love it.

  4. Robin (Masshole Mommy)
    January 12, 2016
    Reply

    What a charming little town that is. I would LOVE to get there myself someday if I ever find myself on the west coast.

  5. January 12, 2016
    Reply

    I have never heard of Hemet, but it looks like a great place to visit. I would love to check out a lot of the places they have in Hemet.

  6. January 12, 2016
    Reply

    Oh wow there is so much to do there. I love towns that offer a lot for tourists and residents. I’d love to spend a day in the Victorian Bridal Museum.

  7. January 12, 2016
    Reply

    I will have to keep this location in mind when we ever get back out to CA. We have not been there in over a decade.

  8. January 12, 2016
    Reply

    I wish I lived close to California! There are so many fun things to do there. I have to take note of this place, Hemet, and make sure I drop by for a visit when I am in the area.

  9. January 12, 2016
    Reply

    Wow there is so much going on in Hemet. We will definitely have to check them out on our next swing through the area.

  10. January 12, 2016
    Reply

    This little gem sounds like a wonderful place to visit. I love traveling to lesser-known places like this.

  11. January 12, 2016
    Reply

    I’ve never been to that place before. Now that you reveal its beautiful gems, I would love to go there.

  12. January 12, 2016
    Reply

    Hemet is really a beautiful place and has grown so much since I was a little girl. My family did not live too far from there, so we visited often.

  13. January 12, 2016
    Reply

    It looks like there is a lot of fun things to do in Hemet. I will have to check it out the next time i am in the area.

  14. victoria
    January 13, 2016
    Reply

    I never been there but it looks like a lovely place to visit and their food was look amazing, love those photos

  15. January 13, 2016
    Reply

    Museum is one a place where my kids really do enjoy. It’s a great place to explore and learn history about so many things! Your photos are beautiful!

  16. January 13, 2016
    Reply

    My oh my, look at that barbecue! This looks like a wonderful place to visit.

  17. January 13, 2016
    Reply

    Hemet looks like a fun place to visit!! Great post!!

  18. January 13, 2016
    Reply

    Sounds like a great place to visit. I do want to do more traveling this year with my family.

  19. January 13, 2016
    Reply

    Hemet looks like an amazing place. I love how many cool towns there are in the US to visit. We do not really have much like that in Canada.

  20. January 13, 2016
    Reply

    This looks like a great place! We don’t travel a lot but this looks great for travelers!

  21. January 13, 2016
    Reply

    I don’t really know much about Hemet other than my grandpa lived there when I was younger. Thanks for sharing.

  22. January 14, 2016
    Reply

    I need to put this location on my bucket list. It looks so big and beautiful, an adventure waiting to happen for me.

  23. January 15, 2016
    Reply

    You know Hemet is a place I’ve always heard great things about and I think its definitely going to go on my ever growing place of places I need to go!

  24. I have never heard of Hemet, thanks for giving us such a complete flavor of what it is like! I would like to visit there someday!

  25. Flora
    March 23, 2016
    Reply

    Hemet is a great place to live as well! I’ve lived here for 50 years and still love it!

    • March 23, 2016
      Reply

      Thanks for stopping by Flora. It is a beautiful little town, and I will be back for a visit~

  26. Matt
    March 23, 2016
    Reply

    It is a nice place to visit. Visit. Just visit. 🙂 I live here. I’ll just say, enjoy the sights! Not that we don’t like company, but just visit 🙂

    • March 23, 2016
      Reply

      Thanks Matt, I will keep that in mind! you live in an awesome little town!

  27. Deb Olvey
    March 25, 2017
    Reply

    Thank you for capturing the spirit and flavor of our little town. Yes, we have a strong sense of community and we work hard for what we have. We love our little piece of heaven and are thankful you appreciate it also

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