Other than S's house and the new BJ's Pizzeria in Temecula, there aren't a lot of cultural gems in Southern Riverside County. But there is a natural delight there called the Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve. It's a massive natural space just off the 15 in Murrieta, hidden behind the hills west of the freeway. There are all sorts of different hiking trails that take you over undulating hills, past little creeks lined with tiny wildflowers, and across acres and acres of old ranch land. (I haven't fact checked that it was actual ranch land at one time. But there's a ranch house. And it sounds good.)
When S and I feel motivated, we like to try and get there early in the morning for a little hike. We've lucked out in spotting wildlife: coyotes, hawks, snakes, and the teeeeeniest little frogs you've ever seen. Pull out a dime (go ahead, I'll wait)...that's how big the froggies are. They hang out by the vernal pools. The best part of the hike is when we reach the historic old ranch house about 2.5 miles into the reserve. We realize a) that there STILL isn't a bathroom there even though we learned that the last time we came here, and b) we now have to hike BACK to the car.
I have since discovered that there is a Foundation that supports the Plateau, and they have a Cowboy Jubilee! Somebody's found the theme to her next birthday party!