37977 Bob Hope Dr
Rancho Mirage, CA 92270-2008
Phone: (760) 202-2283
Classic mid-century modern masterpiece and glorious gardens are open to all.
With landscaped gardens, artwork, and newly opened main residence, the Annenberg Retreat at Sunnylands gives mere mortals a peek at the sumptuous life of the late ambassador Walter Annenberg. The 200-acre former estate, just outside Palm Springs, was the wintertime residence of the ambassador and his wife, Leonore. Today, it serves as an important retreat for high-level decision makers; in fact, it’s nicknamed the “West Coast Camp David.”
Fortunately, when retreats are not scheduled, you can join a guided tour to step inside the sleekly elegant main residence, a mid-century modern masterpiece designed by the A. Quincy Jones, known for signature walls of glass and dramatic “statement roofs” with deep overhangs. Tickets must be purchased in advance, and are currently offered Thursdays through Sundays.
Even when the residence is in use, you can visit the 9 acres of gardens on the same days, free of charge. The garden includes areas landscaped to evoke Impressionist art, as well as solar-powered glass buildings housing a museum, a theater, and an indoor-outdoor cafe with glorious views of the San Jacinto Mountains.
The house and gardens are closed the entire month of August.
Photo by Harriot Manley/Sunset Publishing