Mission Inn: Back In Time With The Frasers Venue

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In a previous blog, we shared about our experience at the Back In Time With The Frasers event held at The Mission Inn in Riverside, California. Here we will go into more detail about this beautiful and historical hotel.

Plaque photo taken by Sass3 at Mission Inn.

Getting There

The Mission Inn is located at 3649 Mission Inn Avenue, Riverside.  It is very close to the 10, 91, and 215 freeways.  From 215, take exit  34B for 91 W/Riverside toward Beach Cities.  Then take exit 64 for Mission Inn Avenue toward Downtown.  The hotel will be on the right. You can use their valet parking services from the entrance on Mission Inn Ave.

To self park,  go to the Mission Inn parking garage: from Mission Inn Ave turn right on Orange St. and then left on Sixth St.  The garage is on the right.

You may be able to find free parking in several lots a few blocks in any direction from The Mission Inn.

As you walk up the path to the lobby, you immediately start seeing things from the past- a bell, cannons, and a well. Just off this walkway is also where you’ll find a statue of Frank A. Miller and a timeline of events for the hotel.

Sidewalk along Mission Inn Ave from Orange St.
Walkway to lobby.
Cannons and National Historic Landmark plaques.
St. Catherine Well

The Hotel

The exterior of The Mission Inn is beautiful. One can notice slight variations in the architectural styles as there were a few different architects that worked on the hotel over the years including Arthur B. Benton, Myron Hunt and G. Stanley Wilson.

On a walk around the block, one will discover a foot bridge, carvings, and stained glass windows.

Footbridge crossing Sixth St. near the Mission Inn parking garage.

The Tour

There is so much to see at The Mission Inn that you must really visit and take the tour. The cost is $14 ($12 for AAA members) and lasts approximately 75 minutes.

The docent begins the tour in the museum with a model of the hotel and explains the hotel’s beginnings. The original face of the Anton Clock is in the museum. A new face is on the current clock, but the working mechanisms are still the original pieces!

Also in the museum they have a large Mission Inn trademark cross and bell.

This cross and bell became the trademark for The Mission Inn.

From the museum, the docent leads the guests around the hotel grounds explaining the many different pieces of art and antiques as well as sharing historical facts. We took a plethora of photos around the hotel so visit our Mission Inn Flickr album here to see more. 

There are many influences of the original owner, Frank A. Miller, through-out the hotel. He loved items from Asia, so there are quite a few inside and out.

Nanjing Bell

Although Frank wasn’t Catholic, there are many references to Catholicism within stained glass images and statues of monks and saints.

As one walks the hallways of The Mission Inn, antiques, paintings, and stained glass windows can be found. There is even a lounging area on one of the upper floors. We didn’t venture onto all floors so there may be several of these areas through-out the hotel. There is one hallway that spans the length of the entire block!

A portion of the block-long hall with antique benches.
Antique display.

There are many places to wander outdoors, including the St. Francis of Assissi chapel in the Atrio.

Looking down into the Atria and St. Francis of Assissi chapel.
Mid-eighteenth century 18 kt. gold leaf Rayas altarpiece in St. Francis of Assissi chapel.

Also, in the Atrio is the Fliers’ Wall on which are names of special airmen and airwomen who have been honored and given Wings to be placed on the Wall. There is also a plaque honoring all recipients of the Medal of Honor and another honoring The Aero Policewomen’s Association of California. It’s wonderful knowing our service men and women have a place of distinction at The Mission Inn.

Fliers’ Wall in the Atria.

The views and pathways all around the hotel are beautiful. There is even a spiral staircase that replicates that of the one in the Statue of Liberty. Frank A. Miller wanted the staircase from the statue, but of course he couldn’t have it, so he had a replica made.

Replica of Statue of Liberty staircase.

Many rooms are available for events and meetings. One we were able to visit was the Ho-O-Kan room in which more Asian-inspired figures were on display.

Amitaba Buddha in the Ho-O-Kan room.
Dragon sculpture in the Ho-O-Kan room.

Frank. A Miller had two macaws – Napoleon and Joseph. Today the hotel brings out macaws that resemble the original ones. A sign is posted with exclamations the birds will make.

Macaw plaque photo taken by Sass3 at The Mission Inn.
The current macaws at The Mission Inn.

Where To Eat

The Mission Inn has many restaurants ranging from a steak house to Casey’s Cupcakes and Cappuccino.

List of restaurants taken by Sass3 at The Mission Inn.

The Presidential Lounge features portraits of United States Presidents that have visited and/or stayed at the hotel.

Chart of Presidential guests taken by Sass3 at The Mission Inn.
A portion of the Presidential Lounge.

President Taft’s chair from a banquet in 1909 sits in the lobby. There is a story to go along with the chair: It is said that President Taft was so large that he got stuck in the bathtub. The large banquet chair was made specifically for him so he would be more comfortable.  Apparently he didn’t like it, stating that he was not that large. Instead of taking the chair with him, he left it at the hotel.

President Taft’s banquet chair.

Las Campanas Mexican Cuisine and Cantina is housed in the garden while the Mission Inn Restaurant has indoor seating as well as tables in the open Spanish Patio.

Las Campanas Mexican Cuisine and Cantina.
Looking down at The Mission Inn Restaurant patio in the Spanish Patio.

Duane’s Prime Steaks and Seafood Restaurant and 54 Degrees at Duane’s are both located off the lobby.

Entrace to both of Duane’s eateries and the entrance to The Mission Inn Restaurant to the right.
Part of the wine storage and display at 54 Degrees at Duane’s.

Although we haven’t stayed at The Mission Inn, we do have friends who have, and they say it was a wonderful experience. Heck, if Presidents have spent time here, it must be nice.

At the time of our visit, they were taking down the Christmas light displays to put up Valentine displays.  At Christmas they have over a million lights. Unfortunately, we didn’t stay late enough to see this new display.

All photos from our blogs are owned by Timeless Sass3nach Journeys, unless noted or attributed. The use of our photos is not permitted unless consent is given.

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