From the beaches in San Diego and Orange Counties to the museums in Los Angeles County and the mountains and deserts in San Bernardino County, residents of Lake Elsinore have the advantage of living in a centrally located area where they can enjoy the best that Southern California has to offer. The city of Temecula is just a few miles to the south. Temecula is known for its many vineyards and the annual Wine & Balloon Festival. Temecula offers a mix of "Old West" charm and modern amenities. Historic Front Street features shopping, restaurants, a myriad of antique malls and the city historical museum. The Promenade Mall is the anchor of a large retail and entertainment complex on the north end of the city.
The land now occupied by the city of Lake Elsinore was used by various Indian tribes, including the Kumeyaay, Luiseños, Cahuilla and Cupeño. Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo claimed the land for Spain and the land was divided into land grants. The land grants were divided and sold to land developers who built towns such as Lake Elsinore. The railroad, built in the early 1880s, brought the first visitors and residents to this area.