Winchester lies to the east of Menifee and northeast of Murrieta. The town is a census-designated place (CDP) that was founded in 1886 when the surrounding area was still known as Pleasant Valley and part of San Diego County. It was named after Amy Winchester, a widow who was among the first to purchase 320 acres of land that would eventually become Winchester.
Winchester’s beautiful natural setting amidst the mountains, valleys and rolling terrain made it ideal for large-scale agricultural operations like farms, dairies, and ranches. During the mid-2000s, Winchester experienced rapid growth, particularly to the south where Winchester Road or Highway 79 starts to turn southwest in the region known as the French Valley.
Numerous planned communities and neighborhoods were developed, which continues to attract residents who prefer its ideal location and close proximity to Murrieta and the Temecula Wine Country.
A diverse selection of real estate can be found in Winchester, which includes single-family residences, townhouses, condos, and sprawling estates, along with farms, ranches, and equestrian properties. Those who prefer to build their own custom can also avail of vacant land and lots suitable for new construction.
Most of the single-family homes offer amazing views of the nearby mountains and valley, and have Spanish and Mediterranean design influences in the open floor plans and tiled roofs. They are nicely laid out on landscaped streets with occasional cul-de-sacs. Prices start at around $300,000 for a 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom starter home with attached 3-car garage, and can go all the way to the millions for estate properties with plenty of acreage.
Areas of interest
Lake Skinner is a reservoir that was created in 1973 to feed a filtration plant that provides treated water to many residents of Riverside and San Diego Counties. It’s also a popular recreation area, offering camping, hiking, horseback riding, picnicking, and sailing.
Fishing is also one of the lake’s biggest attractions, as the lake is home to carp, bluegill, largemouth bass, and striped bass all year round, plus catfish in the summer and trout in the winter.
The Lake Skinner Recreation Area is also well known for hosting the award-winning annual Temecula Valley Balloon and Wine Festival, featuring hot air balloon launches, wine competitions and tastings, plus live music performances.
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