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Mission Inn Riverside: Land of 4 Million Lights

The annual "Festival of Lights" at the historic Mission Inn in Riverside is a holiday tradition for many people. The inn is decked with more than 4 million colorful lights!

The annual “Festival of Lights” at the Mission Inn in Riverside is a holiday tradition. The historic inn is decked with more than 4 million colorful lights!

Looking for a fun & festive place to bring the family over the holidays? Visit the Mission Inn Hotel & Spa in downtown Riverside. This time of year the historic inn, which resembles a Medieval castle, is decked out with an array of holiday displays illuminated with more than four million colorful lights!

The annual Festival of Lights is a holiday tradition for many families, who come from all across Southern California to ooh-and-ah at all of the colorful lights and beautiful decorations. A tall Christmas tree lights up the wood-paneled lobby not far from wall portraits of several US presidents, all visitors to the historic Mission Inn over the years.

Outside, the gardens at this national historic landmark feature an array of holiday displays, showing elves at work, or children from around the world celebrating the holidays. Santa Claus is on site, happily taking toy orders for kids of all ages.

Festival of Lights at the Mission Inn Riverside

The annual Festival of Lights at the Mission Inn in Riverside is a holiday tradition. The historic inn is decked with more than 4 million colorful lights! (Photos Traffic411)

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The Christmas tree at the Mission Inn is so giant - it wouldn't fit in a single photo! (Photo Traffic411)
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Festive bears welcome visitors to the historic Mission Inn in Riverside during the 21st Annual Festival of Lights. (Photo Traffic411)
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Portraits of several US presidents who have visited the Mission Inn adorn the wood paneled walls in the lobby. (Photo Traffic411)
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(Photo Traffic411)
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This elf gets ready to shoot a cannonball at visitors in the garden of the Mission Inn in Riverside. There is something magical about these little dolls, they seem almost real! (Photo Traffic411)
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(Photo Traffic411)
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The historic Mission Inn in Riverside's Festival of Lights is a holiday tradition for many families. (Photo Traffic411)
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View of the courtyard at the historic Mission Inn in Riverside, which opened in 1876 as a two story adobe guest house. (Photo Traffic411)

The colorful lights are most spectacular at night, but there is a lot to see in the daytime. I visited for their decadently delicious (and apparently famous) Sunday champagne brunch, and the inn was crowded with lookie-loos, but not nearly as crowded as it is at night. The 21st Annual Festival of Lights continues through January 5, 2014.

Traffic411 Insider’s Tip:  Take Amtrak or Metrolink to the Riverside-Downtown station. The Mission Inn is about a half mile (15 minute walk) away. Or, valet parking is available at the Inn, starting at $10.

Distance from LAX: 69 miles


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