It’s no secret that the Mission Inn in Riverside, CA is one of my family’s favorite destinations. Whether it’s just for an afternoon of strolling or a weekend getaway, this beautiful and historic location has much to offer people of all ages.
Three of my favorite photos were taken by either myself or my daughter during a Three-Generation Stay in April, 2011. It was the first time my mother, myself, and my daughter were on the same vacation.
The Miller family bought the Glenwood Cottage in the 1870s. In 1880, young Frank Miller purchased it from his father with the intent to develop it into a fine retreat; an oasis in the middle of the California desert. What originally began as a boarding house would later become the historically renowned Mission Inn, now owned by Duane Roberts who invested much time and money in restoring the Inn.
In the beautiful Riverside area, the Mission Inn has blossomed into an internationally renowned retreat. The list of famous guests continues to this day. Many authors have stayed at, and written about, the Mission Inn. Last year, our stay included the “Of Love and Evil” package, featuring an autographed copy of Anne Rice’s book of the same title. Noted singers, performers, authors, actors, political persons and Presidents have signed their names to the proverbial Guest Book.
Our room was one of the Glenwood Suites on the Third Floor. Tucked into one of the corners, our view encompassed the Clock Tower, Author’s Row, and overlooked the Spanish Patio. [The above photo, "Peaceful Morning", was taken from our doorway in the early morning.]The Mission Inn Museum offers a walking tour of the grounds each day. If you’re new to the Inn, even just for a day, I strongly suggest taking the tour. This was our first activity immediately after checking our bags. It began with an introduction to the museum/gift shop and then a tour around and through the immense Inn. We learned not only of its origins, but its historical significance. Mr. Miller copyrighted the Raincross design as the logo for his Inn. Later, since bells had become so symbolic of the Missions of California, the City of Riverside incorporated the two designs for its now-familiar symbol. Attached to the Inn are Kelly’s Boutique, Kelly’s Spa (which makes the entrance smell like wonderfully refreshing eucalyptus oils), and the award-winning original Casey’s Cupcakes. Each offers a delightful experience and are always on my Must-See/Smell/Do list. While there’s more than enough to keep a person peacefully occupied at the Mission Inn, stepping just off the property leads to even more activity. The University of Riverside’s Photography Museum offers exhibits by locals and current students. The Antiques Mall right across the street provides four levels of consignment goods ranging from penny papers to the most expensive dishes. The Riverside Farmers Market, Fox Performing Arts Center, March Air Field Museum, University Botanic Gardens, golfing, eating and shopping are all within a walk or short drive from the Mission Inn.
But what I really appreciate about the Mission Inn is that I never feel like a tourist there. I feel valued. It doesn’t matter if I’m reserving the cheapest room or Keeper of the Inn Suite [not that I've yet had that privilege... I'm saving that for my Best Seller Celebration]: the Mission Inn staff is always courteous, smiling, friendly, helpful, and appreciative. The grounds are always clean. And the food is always memorable. From a small bite of room service to the Veal Lasagna at the Bella Trattoria on the corner to the sweet desserts of Casey’s Cupcakes to the individual Keurig coffee personally blended in our rooms.
No morsel is mundane. No view is ordinary. No visit is just a memory. Each is an experience to be savored and shared. And, as much as possible, repeated.
And Frankly, My Dear… that’s all she wrote!
This post is linked up with Frankly, My Dear’s… Destination Station!