Planning a trip to Palm Springs? Here's how to make the most of a visit to the Sunnylands Center and Gardens in nearby Rancho Mirage.

Sunnylands Center and Gardens are part of the former winter estate of Walter and Leonore Annenberg. The estate serves as a high-profile retreat. 

The desert gardens at Sunnylands were inspired by the Annenbergs' collection of Impressionist paintings, and include formal plantings as well as more natural areas. 

The gardens include more than 50,000 plants of several different varieties. The arid-adapted plants come from many parts of the world. 

Just behind the Center at Sunnylands is an impressive water feature, twin rectangular reflecting pools. There's also a labyrinth, and benches for contemplation. 

The Center has a large lounge with a glass back that looks out onto the mountains. In the Center, you will find sculptures from the Annenbergs' collection, and multimedia panels. 

Sunnylands Center and Gardens are free to visit. For a fee, and with advance reservations, you can also tour the historic house on the estate. 

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