When I was there, I saw an award for the Best Historic Hotels in the U.S., so that seemed like a pretty big deal. Check out the semi-hidden secret Riverside has!
|Delicious birthday lunch!
The hotel is really giant and fancy. There are a few equally fancy restaurants in it, including a posh steak house I’ve never been to, and a Mexican restaurant I went to for my birthday this year.
In the lobby, there are a few bars – the Presidential Lounge and a sleek shiny cocktail bar. The cocktail bar isn’t cheap, but you do get “bang for your buck” – the one time I went, I drank one martini, tried to stand up, and walked directly into the table.
|The Presidential Lounge
The Mission Inn is famous in Riverside, but it doesn’t seem to be that famous outside of the Inland Empire. I went with a friend from L.A. who had no idea what it was. But famous people do go. Here’s a list of the famous people who’ve been there from Wikipedia. I knew a bunch of presidents had been there (Nixon even got married there), but I was surprised by some of them.
My absolute favorite thing in the whole hotel is thanks to a president – a special chair for President Taft. He was too fat to fit in any of the regular chairs, so they built him a special one. I laugh every time I see this.
| Looks normal….but two whole people fit in it with space to spare!
The Mission Inn also has a special Christmas lights display every year (the Festival of Lights), but I didn’t make it this year sadly. If you’re ever in southern California around Christmas, you should definitely go though! There are tons of special things around the holidays and at Halloween as well.
Basically, the Mission Inn is worth a visit, and I always have a really good time going around and looking at it. It’s special because not too many buildings in California look old, and this one does (even though it’s not that old).
It’s especially cool after being in Spain because it’s based on Spanish architecture. So the building is a mix of California and Spain, making me feel perfectly at home!
|One of the chapels.|
- Currently listening: “Rose Parade” by Elliott Smith and “California Waiting” by the Kings of Leon – two of my fave California songs.
- Currently reading: Moon Over Soho by Ben Aaronovitch. Magic murder story with a jazz plotline.