Presidents, celebrities, and even royalty have entered through the front doors of Sunnylands in Rancho Mirage. The 29,000-square foot estate, built in 1966 by U.S. Ambassador Walter Annenberg and his wife, Leonore, has hosted the likes of Frank Sinatra, Nancy and Ronald Reagan, and Queen Elizabeth II and is still considered a neutral meeting place for diplomats and world leaders today.
Of all the things to do in Greater Palm Springs, nothing combines history, architecture and the outdoors quite like Sunnylands. Visitors can step inside this modernist time capsule and marvel at the inspiring midcentury modern design, serene garden spaces and breathtaking views. When not in use, the estate welcomes visitors by guided tours only, while the Center & Gardens is open to the public at no cost. Can’t-miss Sunnylands experiences include:
- Birding on the Estate: Bring your binoculars and try to spot the several bird species (such as the vermilion flycatcher) that migrate here during the spring and fall.
- The Historic House Tour: Learn about the influences behind the building’s stunning architecture and interior design, from the pink pyramid-shaped roof and Mexican lava stone walls to color-themed guest rooms where even the bedside bowl of jellybeans match.
- Nature Walks: Explore 9 acres of meandering pathways, reflecting pools and lush desert flora.
- Art Exhibits: Check out the latest rotating art exhibition, located inside, then grab a light lunch at the café (the patio offers unparalleled mountain views!).
Other free events and family-friendly activities, including yoga on the Great Lawn and outdoor movie screenings, occur throughout the year—be sure to check their Schedule of Upcoming Events. And thanks to Sunnylands’ central location in the valley, it’s just a short drive from many Greater Palm Springs hotels and restaurants for when you’re ready to travel back to the present.