Visit The Historic and Beautiful Sunnylands Estate
A Rich History
While Sunnylands was once this famously philanthropic couple’s private winter home, the property has a rich history of hosting world leaders, artists, thinkers, and celebrities, who have long come together at the estate for such important events as international peace talks, and much more. Visitors to the estate have included the likes of eight U.S. presidents, from Eisenhower to Obama, Queen Elizabeth II, Margaret Thatcher, Chinese President Xi Jinping, and many celebrities of a bygone era, such as Bob Hope, Frank Sinatra, and even Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.
A Mission of Peace for All
The estate still frequently hosts significant charitable and political retreats and has even frequently been called the Camp David of the west. Since 2012, the grand and gorgeous home and grounds have been open to the public, according to the previous owner’s wishes, so that all interested parties can join the likes of the home’s many illustrious private guests, and learn about the important history and philanthropic mission of the trust.
Pick Your Pleasure
There are many things for visitors to see at Sunnylands, and just as many ways to view them. The visitor’s center and exterior garden is free and open to the public Wednesday through Sunday, and has plenty to entertain guests. From the vast sculpture and other visual art collections to rotating exhibits, and a film about the center’s history, to striking desert and garden views from the on-site café, even this surface-only level of visit will be worth your while.
If you want to have a truly unforgettable experience, however, you’ll want to sign up for a guided tour.
Three separate guided tour routes each require advanced ticketing and will give you an intimate look into different areas of the estate.
The Historic House Tour
The house tour is the only way to get a glimpse of the large house’s magnificent interior. The home itself was designed by renowned Mid-Century Modern architect, Archibald Quincy Jones, and is famous for its prominent pink roof. The interior design, however, is a masterpiece originally put together by the famed interior designer, William Haines and his assistant, Ted Graber.
The Bird Tour
As you may expect from the name, the Bird Tour consists of a delightful walk around the grounds that’s guided by an expert “birder” or bird-enthusiast who is knowledgeable about the local bird populations you might spot.
The Open-Air Experience
This outdoor event includes a 45-minute shuttle ride around the exterior of the home, gardens, and adjacent golf course, and focuses on educating the public about the home and trust’s rich history.