Sunnylands Center and Gardens, Rancho Mirage, California

This is another location of some notoriety that was unknown to us prior to going full-time traveling.  Traveling full-time has been such an education for us.   It has broadened our view on many levels.

Presidents, past and present have visited Sunnylands Estate as a retreat, golfing on the 9-hole course on-site and relaxing in the luxurious desert winter home of Walter and Lenore Annenberg.

It is considered a West Coast Camp David where Presidents could host global leaders to discuss International issues in hopes of advancing to agreements.  Many political leaders and others trying to find solutions to current problems and issues that affect us all, have visited and continue to visit Sunnylands and many have testified to the significance of such a serene place to tackle difficult issues.

It is a desert oasis, lush with native greenery as well as some non-native trees and vegetation.  It was designed to represent an impressionist’s canvas painting.   We visited the center, walked the Labyrinth and toured the gardens where water features, artwork and greenery was designed to soothe the soul.  There were movie films which we watched, artwork on the walls which we admired and even a lunch cafe with outdoor seating.

I was especially impressed with their work on environmental sustainability.  They have a large solar system which they recharge back to the main grid any excess electricity.   It is raised off the ground and used as a carport giving dual usage to the surface area of the land.

They monitor, record and  conserve their water usage and recharge unused water to the aquifer below. They installed a separate piping system to connect to the public recycling water distribution system once the municipal water recycling system is complete. That is proactive!  They use state of the art techniques to manage and document their activities and monitor the success or not and publish the findings.

Local high school students get field experience learning to tag butterflies, collect and log data on plant and insect species.  The Center is an active and productive member of the community providing  a location of educational and progressive meetings on matters important to us all.

We only toured the center and the grounds.  The home does provide guided pre-scheduled tours, but those tickets are hard to get.  We enjoyed the garden and center and left content with knowing that others making serious decisions have a retreat in which allows them to gather their thoughts and find a place of peace while they do so.

This was another beautiful afternoon in Southern California!