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Explore Sunnylands, an Iconic Desert Attraction

Join podcast host Soterios Johnson as he embarks on a history-filled audio tour of the "Camp David of the West"

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Posted 2 years agoby John Godfrey

Episode 18 of the California Now Podcast begins in the epicenter of Mid-Century Modern design: Sunnylands. The center’s director, Janice Lyle, guides host Soterios Johnson through a tour of the Annenberg estate’s rich history and artistic treasures. Learn why Sunnylands is known as the “Camp David of the West” and discover the best way to experience the “surprisingly intimate, aesthetically satisfying” 25,000-square-foot home.

"During the Annenbergs’ lifetime, seven presidents of the United States visited Sunnylands," Lyle notes, adding that some "presidents came simply for a social event but others, particularly President Nixon and President Reagan, came often. President Reagan brought his kitchen cabinet, if you will, and actually did government business at Sunnylands during his eight-year tenure."

After the Sunnylands segment, Johnson breaks out the horseradish and lemon wedges for an oyster-themed lightning round with Hunter Lewis, Editor in Chief of Food & Wine. From picnic tables to high-end restaurants, Lewis dishes on the best spots to enjoy bivalves.

The episode ends with travel insider Pauline Frommer highlighting her favorite free—and nearly free—activities in California. Learn tips for landing a front-row seat on a taping of your favorite television show, where to take a self-guided elephant seal safari, how to snag a free tour of San Francisco, and much more.

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