Sunnylands-Rancho-Mirage

Most of we fortunate enough to live in or visit the Palm Springs Valley know of Rancho Mirage’s Sunnylands—the former estate of the late Walter and Leonore Annenberg—as the location of high-level diplomatic retreats (AKA President Barack Obama’s desert home). But in truth, Sunnylands is all that and so much more. It’s a place that belongs to all of us, in a sense…a five-star community center!

To wit, there are autumnal public programs that have just begun, and that will continue throughout the season. One of my two very favorites are Tai Chi on the Great Lawn (every Saturday from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m.) and Yoga on the Great Lawn with Kristin Olson of Urban Yoga in Palm Springs (every Friday from noon to 1:00 p.m.). These two classes are free, suitable for all ages and experience levels, and no reservations are required.

Also new at Sunnylands this season is a 45-minute tour that provides participants access “behind the pink wall.” As opposed to the classic, 90-minute tour of the house and grounds, there is no walking and no interior itinerary for this open-air experience, which focuses on various exterior views of the house, golf course, and architecture with an emphasis on landscape and sustainability. The best news is that purchasing tickets for this is easier than for the classic tour. Visitors just walk up on the desired day of the tour, paying for admittance in person. This abbreviated tour costs just $20 and departs at 9:00 a.m. Thursday through Sunday.

And there’s more: Center and gardens walks, estate bird tours, visitors center bird walks. Please go to www.sunnylands.org to learn more about everything Sunnylands Center & Gardens has to offer visitors and residents alike. So serene is this oasis in the midst of us that I often find myself going there just to stop, sit, breathe, and give thanks that I am fortunate enough to live in such a splendid city. “Om…”

Sunnylands-Rancho-Mirage