Written by: Audrey Mischa Kirk
I love exploring and every once in a while I come across a gem. A place that speaks to me not only aestetically but emotionally as well.
I was in Riverside and I came across The Mission Inn, a beautiful resort that looks like an enchanted palace that belongs in Europe. The outer perimeter of this place was magical. I walked along the sidewalk with so much anticipation.
I learned that The Mission Inn began as a small cottage and was built by civil engineer Christopher Columbus Miller in 1876 (according to wika). As I got closer to the entrance I thought to myself. It should have been named something sexy, a French name perhaps. I wondered why it was name the “Mission Inn”. I later learned that it was built on an old mission and still retains parts from the original building.
How have I never heard of this place? I walked in and immediately was greeted with a smile and a butler. He smiled at me as I froze and realized I didn’t have a room here, nor was I planning on getting one. I stopped in on an impromptu detour while on my way back home. I smiled and walked in pretending I knew exactly where I was going. I instantly fell in love with the lobby. I have never seen anything quite like it. If I had to describe the decor it felt classic and chic. I could imagine a scene from an Audrey Hepburn movie being filmed here. The cherry wood lining along the elegant martini bar. I walked past the check in desk and straight to the elevators. Once I found the elevators I pushed top floor. The elevators felt old like the ones I’ve been in at the Hotel Del in Coronado. I am beyond excited to wander through this place after reading that “During it’s 30 year construction period civil engineer Christopher Columbus Miller traveled the world collecting treasures to bring back to the hotel for display. The museum quality artifacts value over $5 million.” I was so excited to see these artifacts for myself.
I can go on forever about all of the beautiful attention to details. Not a beat skipped. The 10 story staircase held up by monumental arches and pillars. The beautiful iron railings red tile mosaic steps and simply just the enormity of it all. The eclectic architectural collaborations were so beautifully pieced together. Spanish colonial, Renaissance, Mediterranean and Gothic styles amongst many more all blended together nicely as one.
I stumbled upon a rooftop rose garden! Those flowers were the happiest ones I have ever seen. They were in perfect rows dancing in the California sun and you could tell they were loved and cared and maybe even sang to by someone on a daily if not hourly basis. I found small wooden hobbit doors and still wonder what is behind them.
I love exploring and finding new places. I love sharing these places with people who will enjoy them as much as I did. I love hearing about places other people have been to as well. When I hear other people’s travel story it usually ignites a tiny spark both in my soul and in my heart.
If you do get a chance to go I highly recommend exploring and being a kid again. Dare yourself to have fun and reignite your imagination. Enjoy it’s timeless beauty and old world charm. I hope you truly get lost inside of this enchanting palace and have as much fun as I did.
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Photos by: Audrey Kirk