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“top 10 view in the world” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Sunnylands

Sunnylands
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
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 Hours: 8:30am - 4pm, Thursdays through Sundays.
Rancho Mirage, California
Level Contributor
288 reviews
54 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 105 helpful votes
“top 10 view in the world”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 9, 2013

Sunnylands has the most incredible views of the Rancho Mirage lush desert oasis to the snow capped mountains.
The grounds are open the public at anytime.
The tour is virtually impossible to book. You must be logged into the site at 859am the 1st and 15th of every month to purchase tickets for 16-30 days in advance.
By 901am it is sold out.
TRICK. get one ticket on the 10 am and one on the 1015 and meet your partner in the center.
The grounds and views are incredible. The over the top terrible decor and interior design violate the mid century modern design of the home and grounds. The history of wealth and power and politics of the 60s 70s 80s and 90s becomes an interesting back story to the history of this family.
The original small fortune of the Annenberg's came by way of a father who went to prison for tax fraud. The quest to become accepted by kings and queens and the money used to establish a name for generations, is fascinating. Had Walter not paid to restore the home in the UK for the ambassador, he might not have later been able to host the queen of England at this residence.
In any event, the grounds are beautiful, the history interesting, some of the decor so horrible that you cannot imagine who made the choices. All in all it is a very special half day in the Coachella valley.
If you cannot get a home tour ticket, then just go to the grounds for the view. You'll love that too.

Visited March 2013
Helpful?
3 Thank Irvinggetthecar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
St Albert
Level Contributor
34 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
“Almost impossible to get tickets”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 5, 2013

You can only book tickets at a very specific time and the tour is only on certain days and for a limited amount of participants and tours. I think it is fair to say that guided tours are not encouraged. We will visit the grounds.

Tickets are available online only and are released two weeks in advance on the first and fifteenth of every month at 9 a.m. (PST). Tickets released on the first are for the sixteenth through the end of the month; those released on the fifteenth of the month are for the first through the fifteenth of the following month. (For example: On January 1, tickets are released for tour dates January 16 - 31; on January 15, tickets are released for tour dates February 1 - 15.)

Visited March 2013
Helpful?
5 Thank DaveNStAlbert
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SarahLedesma, Public Relations Assistant at Sunnylands, responded to this review, March 8, 2013
We are sorry you had difficulty accessing tickets to Sunnylands. You are absolutely correct that booking tickets for tours—especially in high season—is difficult. However, our organization is first and foremost a retreat center so public access is limited to times when retreats are not in session.

Our guided tours, enjoyed during our first year by more than 16,000 guests, are small and personalized: only seven people go on each tour. We offer such limited size tours in hope that our guests experience the house as if they were guests of the Annenbergs and we believe that bringing large groups into the house will not only detract from the experience but put both the house and its objects at risk.

Keep in mind, too, tickets are much easier to obtain for dates in September through November and April through June. We also encourage you to visit Sunnylands Center & Gardens where admittance is always free and where we host bird and garden tours, and educational and family activities.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
29 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“WOW! Lovely gardens!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 21, 2013

Sunnylands is a fabulous free place to visit when you are in the Palm Springs area. What a very beautiful setting for such an important place in history. The movie that tells about this very important estate, property, and family that hosted presidents, royalty, and movie stars is a must! The gardens and are a nice way to spend some time. The cafe is a great place to have a cup of coffee or cool drink while enjoying the beautiful view. Next time we visit we will plan ahead to tour the home - ($35.00 per person).

Visited February 2013
Helpful?
Thank Tars2626
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
34 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Lovely Gardens”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 12, 2013

Lovely gardens and cafe. Unfortunately you cant see or enter the house without previously booking tickets online which were already sold out that weekend. Still nice place for a coffee though.

Visited February 2013
Helpful?
Thank LunaWest
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
20 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“Elegant, Historic, and Free”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 11, 2013

The clean lines of the visitor center at Sunnylands shelter a remarkable collection of photographs of the Annenbergs with other people of note, including political and entertainment figures. The exterior is a massive garden of geometrically designed cacti and some refreshing water features. The Annenbergs gave much philanthropy during their lifetimes through their foundation, and this park continues their legacy to the community.

Visited March 2012
Helpful?
Thank wineprincess44
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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