The Mission Inn

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mission innMy first visit to the Mission Inn hotel and spa in Riverside, CA was this past fall.  I am so happy that I have been able to go back and visit a second time so that I could do more exploring of this fascinating place.  The Mission Inn has welcomed a variety of guests over the years including 10 different Presidents as well as celebrities like Cary Grant, Clark Gable and now me.  During my second visit I decided to stop inside the gift shop and museum where I found out that they offer a 75 minute walking tour for $13.  My Grandpa and I decided to take the tour so that we could learn more about this national landmark.

The tour ended up being such a blessing not only because we got to see things that we wouldn’t have been able to on our own but also because we were given so much interesting information.  I was surprised to learn that the Mission Inn had never served as a mission.  The Mission Inn started out as a boarding house in 1876 and has grown into a hotel with 238 rooms as well as a spa.  Our tour guide mentioned that no two rooms here are the same.  There are a few different places to eat with Duane’s Prime Steak and Seafood, the Mission Inn Restaurant, Las Campanas, and Bella Trattoria.  I highly recommend stopping by Casey’s Cupcakes for dessert.

PicMonkey CollageYou can order drinks at the Presidential Lounge which has portraits of the ten Presidents who visited the Mission Inn.  The Presidential Lounge used to be a suite and served as the location of Richard Nixon’s wedding.  Ronald and Nancy Reagan spent their wedding night in this hotel.  When William Taft came to visit Frank Miller, the owner of the Mission Inn, had a chair created especially for him.  News had traveled about Taft getting stuck in a bathtub, I have seen the bathtub he got stuck in which is in Tennessee, so Miller wanted a chair that would Taft be comfortable in.  Taft did agree to sit in the chair but refused to be photographed in it and declined when Miller offered to let Taft keep it.  Many have sat in the chair since including Robert Redford so of course I had to sit in it.
music roomWe got to step inside the music room which was being prepared for an event in the evening. This was one of my favorite parts of the tour because I thought the room was very lovely.  I wish I could have heard some music coming from the organ which has an impressive 2,000 pipes.  Now I just need for someone I know to have an event here so that I can attend.  Our tour guide did mention that in the near future they will be holding a movie night in here to raise money for the Mission Inn foundation.
Mission InnOn my previous visit to the Mission Inn I ate at Las Campanas in the front of the hotel and only saw the lobby inside.  Until I took the tour I had no idea how big this place is and little did I know that there was a beautiful chapel.  We were not able to go inside the chapel as they were preparing for a wedding.  The stain glass was created by Louis Comfort Tiffany who also created Tiffany & Co.  After the chapel we got to step inside the art gallery which has quite the collection of interesting pieces.  This is a special place to visit and stay if you have the opportunity.  If you have time you can take a short walk down the street and see the movie theatre where Gone With the Wind premiered.  I look forward to visiting the Mission Inn next year during the holidays for the festival of lights.

my belle elle

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34 thoughts on “The Mission Inn

  • Joely Smith

    I am in awe and in love with that music room! I would have sat in that chair too haha! I am so happy you get to experience things like this with your grandfather. I bet he has some added knowledge to share with you as well! I do love travel but I love it even more when I can learn while enjoying my vacation – like this! Thank you for sharing your experience.

  • Roberta

    Michelle! I nominated you for Liebester Award! Head over to my blog and look what I’m talking about. ( ) Have a great week! :)

  • Heather

    It looks beautiful. Looks like its a great place for a wedding. I love the archetectual design on the outside of the building.

  • Elizabeth O.

    How nice. It’s great to see a place grow from being a boarding house into a lovely hotel! The function room looks really beautiful, I love the set up! It’s cool that they have a lot of dining choices to offer to their guests too.

  • Edwin Lao

    Wow it really looks fun going there. It feels like to be in a castle with a modern look inside. Hope to visit this someday.

  • Paula

    Beautiful photos of such an interesting place! I have never been there but I have heard of the Mission Inn. Thank you for sharing more of the history and background on it.

  • Tamason Gamble

    What a fantastic place to visit, full of places to explore. Love the sound of ordering cocktails in the presidential lounge.

  • Rosey

    That would be interesting to take the walk where Gone With The Wind premiered. The pictures here are lovely.

  • Amber

    I love the Mission Inn. I love going there during the festival of lights though it is always super busy during that time. We live close to that area and the shops are so much fun to look at.

  • Dogvills

    What an amazing place to visit. I’ll be sure to visit this when I get the chance to go to California.

  • Nusrat

    Wow so much history at this place! I love how beautiful the details are. I wouldn’t mind checking this place out next time I’m in California. Favorite line: “….celebrities like Cary Grant, Clark Gable and now me.” Haha! Love it.