12,000 Pounds of Pumpkins: Mission Inn October

The Riverside landmark is known for its holiday lights, yes, but its pumpkin walk is adding fall charm.

A BULB, the kind that is round and twinkly and colorful, is a common feature come the holidays, especially when it is seen alongside many other bulbs that are also twinkly and colorful and bright. There are only a few places a person can see not just thousands of twinkly lights but millions, but a certain castle-esque hotel in Riverside is one such storied spot. It's the Mission Inn, one of California's most nook-filled, tower-dotted historic structures, and its annual Festival of Lights regularly makes national lists come Christmas, the lists that detail the most sparkly locations to get into into the seasonal spirit. But there's a season of holiday fun just ahead of Thanksgiving and Christmas, and while the bulbs don't shine and glow, there is another round sort of object that is as iconic to Halloween as a light is to the yuletide: the pumpkin. To honor this goodly gourd, and to add even further charm to the already charming and sizable structure, the Mission Inn has placed...

12,000 POUNDS OF PUMPKINS... along Duane's Walk, the pretty pathway in front of the hotel, the walkway that's nicely framed by that famous arch seen in so many postcards and photos. The pumpkins are on view through Tuesday, Oct. 31, but that isn't the only eeriely elegant happening around the hotel. There's a maple pumpkin bourbon pecan cheesecake on the menu, and, at Casey's Cupcakes, a pumpkin-y, ready-for-fall goodie is for sale. If you've posed for a photo under the Mission Inn arch at Christmas, with all of those tiny bulbs lit up, might it be time to add to your photo collection with a pumpkin picture, too? Stop by and see this seasonal sight, one that melds well with the fantasy towers and storybook touches of the historic hotel.

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