I know. This is my buzzillionth post about the Mission Inn in Riverside. But seriously… you can’t possibly be tired of hearing how stunningly magical it is. My Most Favorite Place is all lit up for the holidays.

It’s always beautiful. Especially this time of year. From the day after Thanksgiving through the first weekend in January, The Mission Inn hosts its Festival of Lights. As over 3,600,000 lights light up the block-sized Resort, the sidewalks fill with a crowd that would challenge New York City during Rush Hour. Street venders peddle their wares. The aromas of roasted chestnuts, kettle corn and hot chocolate waft on the light breeze. Neon everything illuminates the surroundings. Performers serenade the immense crowd with guitars and voices.

And if you want to really partake in the Festival of Lights extravaganza, you have to get in line. Way down there. No, keep going. That’s it. There. Around the building. Down the block. Yup. There ya’ go. It takes about an hour to navigate the winding around, into, and out of the Lobby where Santa awaits and the tall Tree is displayed. It’s worth it.

But if long lines aren’t your cup of tea, stop in at Casey’s Cupcakes for a cupcake instead. Or wait two hours to be seated at the Bella Trattoria next door.

The best view of the Festival of Lights is from opposite sidewalks. There’s nothing quite like the scene lighting up against the night sky, with the clip-clop sounds of passing Cinderella carriages and wagons.

You can see as much or as little as you like; and do as much or as little. Stroll in the crowds and hum Christmas Caroles. Sit on a bench and enjoy people-watching. Revel in the flavors and noises of being thrown into another World. A World where history and celebration combine to bring Festivity to all to enjoy.

These are just a sampling of the Merriment you’ll find at
The Mission Inn’s Festival of Lights

Lobby Tree

Glamorous Gingerbread Cupcake and Gingerbread Coffee

Main Entrance

Around the Block

The Bella Trattoria

Sidewalk Lights

Stories Tall

Horse-Drawn Carriage

Fairy Tale Atmosphere

Gifts of Light

Festival of Lights

3500 Market Street. I just love this photo.

Fallen Leaves to Play In.

And Frankly, My Dear… that’s all she wrote!

You may also enjoy reading:
My Personal History of Coffee (and a Keurig Review)
Destination: Mission Inn, Riverside, CA
Destination: Mission Inn [“Tell ‘Em Tony Sent Ya”]
Destination: Grand Hotel, Mackinac Island, Michigan
Dear Casey’s Cupcakes… Thanks For Being So Sweet!

Word of Mouth Advertising
"What's the Word?" Wednesday: December 12, 2012
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