Friday, June 20, 2008

The Mission Inn - Things to Do in Orange County 39

Historic Hotel & Magical Event: Festival of Lights at the Mission Inn

About an hour away North East from Orange County, the Mission Inn stands tall in the City of Riverside. The Mission Inn is a historic hotel where celebrities and royalties have stayed.

Mission Inn opened its doors in the year 1876. With so much history, its courtyard, clock tower, and other architectural buildings in the hotel are now deemed California’s historic architecture. Inside the Mission Inn is like a maze where you can walk around to discover its beauty. The hotel will make you feel like you are in a European castle.

The courtyard in the hotel is an absolute beauty with well maintained flowers. The furniture and the stained glass are all antique-like and you can’t help but to appreciate it. You will feel like a royalty when visiting this hotel.

Some of the famous people who have been at the Mission Inn are President Nixon who had his wedding ceremony here, and President Regan who stayed at the Mission Inn for his honeymoon. There are about ten other Presidents of the United States who have stayed at the Mission Inn as well. Other famous people who stayed here include Albert Einstein, Helen Keller, Henry Ford, as well as Kings and Queens from other countries.

The Mission Inn is famous for its annual tradition during Thanksgiving Weekend where they hold the Festival of Lights event. On the opening day of the event, people line up to see the Mission Inn get lit up with thousands of Christmas lights. There are fireworks that come up, and it’s a whole festival with people celebrating everywhere. It’s a true gem to see the entire hotel light up all at once.

When staying at the Mission Inn, make it one of your priority to explore the entire hotel. Just walking around and exploring the courtyard, the floors, and the rooftop is a fun activity. If you have kids, they will surely enjoy the magic the Mission Inn creates. Even if you do not have reservations, there is a hotel tour that is conducted occasionally for you to explore the hotel.

The best time to visit the Mission Inn is during the Thanksgiving Weekend through Christmas. If you have the opportunity, the Festival of Lights event is highly recommended!

Aside from the hotel, there are restaurants and antique stores near the hotel, and you can enjoy its relaxing atmosphere by the Mission Inn. The Mission Inn is a very nice, mini vacation you can take out of Orange County!

Mission Inn 
3649 Mission Inn Ave.
Riverside, CA 92501
(909) 784- 0300

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Royal Caribbean - Things to Do in Orange County 38

Go on a Luxury Cruise from OC to Mexico!

From Orange County, you can enjoy a luxury cruise very easily. With only about a half an hour drive from OC, you can get to the port of San Pedro where you can board a luxury cruise line every week. The most popular cruise is the 3 night 4 day cruise that departs on Friday evening and arrives back at the port on Monday morning. You can also set sail on a 4 night 5 day cruise that departs every Monday, or the 7 day cruise that depart every Sunday.

Cruises can be awfully cheap when you go during the off season. On some of the cheapest months, it’s not rare to find a cruise that goes for only $199 per person for an interior room. Even during the peak season, cruises can go for $300 per person as long as you book ahead of time. It’s usually recommended to reserve your room 3-6 months before the cruise. Considering that the fare includes your stay, travel, and all-you-can-eat food, it’s a pretty good deal. You can bring in your own alcohol if you want to save even more too. Only thing not included in the fare are the optional excursion tours, tip, alcohol, and tax.

The cool thing about a cruise is that most activities on the ship are free. There are some activities, such as the wine tasting event, where you need to pay to participate. You just need to pick up a copy of the activity schedule, and go to the area of the ship to participate in it. They are always very fun. And of course, all meals on cruises are free. It’s a pretty amazing concept, but you eat as much as you want, whenever you want on a cruise. It’s no wonder that after a cruise, many of us come back 5-10 lbs., overweight.

On the cruise, you’ll see a lot of newlyweds, couples, families, and retirees enjoying their well earned vacation. You can meet and mingle with all sorts of people on a cruise ship.

On the destinations that you arrive at, you have the option to participate in an excursion tour where you can explore cool areas of Ensenada, Cabo, San Diego, or Catalina Island. The tours are optional, and there is a fee to participate in one. You can choose to do your own tour or hang out by the cruise ship to just relax and enjoy the atmosphere. There’s always something to do on a cruise.

Cruise ships are well equipped with its own casino, theater, shops, restaurant, bar, pool, spa, basketball court, gym, and many other things. It is a truly amazing place. I recommend you try out a cruise for your next vacation in Orange County. It’s definitely going to be an experience you’ll never forget! Highly recommended!

Royal Caribbean Home Page

4 Nights, 5 Days
Depart at 5PM on Monday from San Pedro > San Diego > Catalina Island > Mexico (Ensenada) > Arrive at 7AM on Friday

3 Nights, 4 Days
Depart on 5PM on Friday from San Pedro > Mexico (Ensanada) > Day in the Sea > Arrive at 7AM on Monday << For Reservations


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