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“A Beautiful Experience”
Review of Sunnylands

Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Sunnylands, a 200-acre midcentury modern estate, opened March 2012 for high-level retreats of leaders seeking solutions. The Annenberg Retreat at Sunnylands is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization devoted to building international understanding, advancing world peace, improving the functioning of government and other purposes through high-level retreats for global leaders from a spectrum of fields.The Annenberg Retreat at Sunnylands welcomes national and international leaders for high-level retreats and meetings that address and seek solutions to serious issues facing the nation and world. Sunnylands, the former winter residence of Ambassadors Walter and Leonore Annenberg, is available also for limited public tours with purchase of a ticket. The adjacent Sunnylands Center & Gardens, open free to the public, features exhibitions, films, and educational programs; and visitors can enjoy a nine-acre garden. The historic house and Sunnylands Center & Gardens opened March 1, 2012. Sunnylands Center & Gardens is closed June 5 through September 13, 2017. Reopens September 14, 2017.
Bellevue, WA
Level 6 Contributor
157 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
“A Beautiful Experience”
Reviewed 12 November 2013

My wife was insistent that we should visit Sunnylands, the Annenberg Estate in Palm Springs, which now provides regular public tours. I'm very happy with her persistence; it was well worth the time and expense. The Annenbergs were a very wealthy and politically connected couple, and they built a large estate in Palm Springs, professionally designed, elegantly furnished, and containing their extensive art collection. Not to mention the 9-hole golf course. It became the center for many important meetings and conferences. Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan frequently stayed at Sunnylands; Nixon went there immediately after his resignation. Democrats frequented Sunnylands too. President Obama recently met the Chinese premier there. The guided tour requires advance reservations, which can be accomplished on-line. They take small groups on a walking tour through the estate and then drive them around the golf course. There are countless historical memorabilia throughout, which the guides explain thoroughly. The one drawback is that we were not taken to the "downstairs areas" -- we would have loved to see the kitchen. But you do get to see the Annenberg's bedroom and huge master bath and most of the other living spaces. The Annenbergs were major art collectors, but I learned elsewhere that they willed most of their art to the NY Metropolitan Museum; the artworks on the walls are apparently digital copies, but they sure look like the real thing. The tour takes about 90 minutes; well worth the time. I think there may be restrictions on young children but you can check this out. There are a cafeteria and restrooms in the adjoining waiting area, which also has an excellent desert garden. There are public restrooms on site.

Visited November 2013
Thank SenorGregorio
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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493 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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English first
Dana Point, California
Level 5 Contributor
59 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Sunnylands in Rancho Mirage: A high priority when in Palm Springs!!”
Reviewed 10 November 2013 via mobile

Sunnylands, home of Walter and Leonore Annenberg, now restored by the Foundation as a historic place and a retreat and Conference Center. Tour of the home requires advance reservation thru website. Without reservations one can visit and view a spectacular desert garden and select artifacts on display in the Garden Center. A nice morning or late afternoon outing. Parking is free.

Visited November 2013
Thank fwaffarn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mountainside, New Jersey
Level 6 Contributor
148 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
“As their quote, "Heaven in the desert"”
Reviewed 9 November 2013

We were staying in Rancho Mirage for a business meeting and came across Sunnyland. It was beautiful. Extremely well kept and gardens were beautiful. Anyone who has some time to stop at this beautiful facility should. I highly recommend.

The staff were wonderful. As soon as we entered, the staff greeted us and were available immediately to answer any questions we may have.

Visited November 2013
Thank Daniel B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bedminster, New Jersey
Level 5 Contributor
55 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“History, Architecture, Landscape”
Reviewed 9 November 2013

We visited Sunnylands but couldn't do the house tour as it was closed for an event. However, you can go to their website and reserve tickets in advance, which I suggest you do. I believe it is free. So we visited the Center & Gardens, which is also free. They have small exhibitions and gave a brief (20 minute) tour of the center and the surrounding grounds. You'll learn about the Annenbergs and their ties to politics and celebrities starting in the 60s. Very interesting. Looking forward to seeing the house on our next visit.

Visited October 2013
Thank John S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Los Angeles, California
Level 6 Contributor
124 reviews
49 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“The Annenberg Estate...Sunnylands!”
Reviewed 7 November 2013

For years, we wondered what was behind the pink wall and now we know. It is the estate of Walter and Leonor Annenberg, Sunnylands, which is now open and available for tours. It is a spectacular 200 acre estate complete with a nine hole golf course and a beautiful mid-century home designed by A. Quincy Jones. Book your tour on the Sunnylands website early to avoid disappointment. Tour spots fill up quickly. If you miss out on a tour of the grounds and home, you can still walk around the gardens at no charge. Don't miss this...

Visited October 2013
Thank terrieerlich
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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