Sunday, June 24, 2007

Mission Inn

Sunday, desiring an afternoon drive and something to do we headed out to Riverside to see the famed Mission Inn.

A glorious relic of Spanish architecture the Mission Inn was originally built to be a single family home in 1880, the simple adobe home was soon used to generate extra income for its owners, the Miller family. As money permitted additions were made to make room for more guests.

We signed up for a Mission Inn Museum tour ($12), which is a 75 minute walking tour of the hotel. Be advised you are not allowed to take photos. I was highly disappointed. But we were escorted through the extensive grounds and into many areas that were for guests only. After the tour we got permission from staff to go back through and take photos.

The Inn felt a bit like the Winchester Mystery House as we saw steps and doors that no longer led anywhere and outside walls that were now inside and allies that became an indoor hallway. It is an odd dichotomy of grandeur and areas that seem a bit out of date. The latest owners are working hard to remodel and update the hotel. I imagine its a bit like keeping up with a castle.

The Inn is beautiful and is a character in and of itself. It has presidential connections, art collections from around the world and beautiful Tiffany stained glass in the chapel.

Unless you're an avid architecture fan or photoholic I can't imagine you'd make the trek out to Riverside to see the Mission Inn, but if you're in the area I highly recommend it. It has a great story.

We did not eat there but the hotel boasts of 5 different restaurants. There is a Sunday brunch for $32.

Mission Inn: 3649 Mission Inn Ave., Riverside, CA 92501

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