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“Not your usual home and garden”
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.
Reviewed November 18, 2013

We had not reserved space to visit the house at the Annenberg estate but did tour the gardens and new visitor center, which anyone can visit free and without reservations Thursday through Sunday. Visitors can walk through the gardens (primarily cactus) at leisure. A video film in the visitor center introduces the Annenbergs who in their lifetime entertained presidents and prominent world leaders at the estate. We will try to reserve space to visit the house in the future that you can only do online and at a cost of $35 per person. It is fun to wander though the gardens although we got sated with cactus after a while. Very worth while visit.

Thank reneeimc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed November 18, 2013

Very beautiful desert garden and for free. There is a 20 minute video of the Annenbergs's estate. Wasn't able to make reservations as you do have to book in advance. They have free yoga on Fridays at noon in their center lawn area.

Thank foodandwine28
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 14, 2013

The gounds and visitor center is free to the public and worth visiting if in the area. The gardens are very beautiful and they let you wonder around the garden area all you like. The visitor center is also very lovely and the view of the mountains from the large glass windows in the center is breathtaking. It is a nice place to sip coffee and read since tables and chairs are provided in the lovely gardens near the babbling fountains. You will be disappointed if you expect to see the estate or the golf course from the visitor area. It is very well hidden. You can catch a quick peek of the golf course between the trees of the gardens, but this is about it.

An interesting movie about the building of the estate and about the Annenbergs is also free in the visitor center. Although these people did donate much money to charity and to the city of Palm Springs, they come off as the richy-rich type that liked to be in the limelight and be seen with famous people. Maybe if that was me I would be the same. I understand the estate tours are hard to come by and expensive. I felt the staff was very nice and eager to give info about the estate and the Annenbergs.

A nice place to stop if you are in the area.

Thank lynn s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 12, 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.

Thank SenorGregorio
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 10, 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.

Thank fwaffarn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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