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Nature & Wellness Things To Do

This Breathtaking Historic Hotel & Spa In Riverside Is Straight Out Of A Fairy Tale

By Ashlyn Davis

Step inside this storybook world steeped in history.

The Mission Inn Hotel & Spa will make you wonder whether why you ever thought you needed to whisk your special someone away to Europe for a romantic getaway when you have all this faraway charm on local shores. At this stunning landmark in Riverside, you can lose yourself in the myriad of dreamy architectural styles, indulge in some pampering at the Conde Nast award-winning Kelly’s Spa and dine on exquisite cuisine at acclaimed restaurants in spectacular courtyard settings.

In some ways, The Mission Inn has practically become a symbol of romance in Southern California. What began as a quaint boarding house in 1876 has been transformed into a jaw-dropping destination with castle-like towers, Mediterranean domes, sprawling arcades and a tradition of love at its core. Guests will have an entire block’s worth of various architectural styles to explore, including Spanish Colonial and Renaissance Revival, that will make you feel like you’ve just been on a Mediterranean getaway. It’s also recognized as the largest Mission Revival-style building in America and is part of the Historic Hotels of America, the official program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

It’s virtually impossible not to be captivated wandering through the labyrinth of galleries and passageways filled with rare antiquities collected by the original owner Frank Miller from around the world. One of the most photographed features is undoubtedly the five-story rotunda and spiral staircases with inspiring views from every floor.

Hungry visitors will have an array of award-winning restaurants with freshly sourced ingredients to choose from, which could satisfy every palate and mood. Brunch can be enjoyed under the red parasols in a sunny courtyard, dinner can be an intimate soirée on a private balcony and you can’t go wrong with champagne on a rooftop patio.

The lush courtyards with bright pops of red and pink flowers are perfect for moonlit strolls any time of the year.

As for tradition, the hotel is well-known for its annual Festival of Lights, where every facade is illuminated with twinkling lights. But along with that is the 27-year long tradition of Festa dell’ Amore, which, as the name implies, is a celebration of love. You’ll find incredible packages throughout February that involve delicious meals and treatments and stays in one of the 200-plus hotel rooms that are all unique.

Of course, no visit is complete without escaping into the lavish Tuscan-styled spa that has graced the top ten spots of Condé Nast Traveler’s “Top 50 Hotel Spas in the United States.”

Location: 3649 Mission Inn Ave, Riverside, California

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Featured Image: The Mission Inn Hotel & Spa