Knowing the tour information like the back of your hand is beneficial to inquiring guest and you. Guest frequently ask about purchasing tickets, tour times, and other information. Be sure to always answer to the best of your knowledge and refer them to the website.
Information regarding individual and group tours
We are, first and foremost, a retreat center, so all of our public access is planned around the retreat schedule. Wednesdays are the only days that have been designated for groups; we are able to pre-book that day only because retreats will not be planned for Wednesdays.
I am providing the following information to assist you with plans to visit in the future:
Sunnylands Center & Gardens
September—May, Wednesday—Sunday, 8:30 am to 4:00 pm
At the Center, guests are encouraged to walk the garden paths (approx. 1.25 miles), view the 20-minute orientation film A Place Called Sunnylands and experience the sculpture and current exhibition. If you are traveling with a party of ten or more, please submit an online registration form (available on our website, www.sunnylands.org, under Visit the Center & Gardens).
The 90-minute tour of the historic estate requires advanced reservations and the purchase of a ticket.
Individual reservations will be accepted on the 15th of every month via registration on our website at 9:00 am (PST). Cost per person is $48. Each electric tour vehicle will accommodate seven guests along with their guide. All sales are final; no refunds or exchanges.
Group tours are on a hiatus for the season.
Due to the unique mission of Sunnylands, public access may be limited or prevented during high-level retreats, thus requiring the cancellation of scheduled tours—even those already ticketed. In these rare cases, refunds will be made promptly.
What guests need to know for historic estate tours
- House and bird tours offered by Sunnylands require RESERVED tickets.
- Open-Air Experience tickets are available from November through April on the same day on a first-come, first-served basis.
- All passengers on tour shuttles must be at least 10 YEARS OLD.
- Taking WATER on tours is encouraged. Water is available for purchase at the café.
- Water containers can be filled at the drinking fountains.
- No other food or drink is allowed on tours.
- House tour guests: Please be advised that there is 90 MINUTES OF WALKING AND STANDING while on the house tour.
- Walking is not required for the Open-Air Experience and bird tours.
- Purses and/or bags larger than 12” x 14” are not allowed on tours.
- Please store personal items in the LOCKERS provided near the restrooms.
- PHOTOGRAPHY for personal (non-commercial) use is allowed on the grounds but is prohibited in the house. Commercial usage requires special permission from the Trust.
- Videotaping or sound recording devices are not permitted.
- CELL PHONES must be silenced during all tours.
- Sunnylands is a NON-SMOKING facility.
Shuttle policy & procedures
Individuals utilizing shuttles on Sunnylands property are expected to operate them in a safe and courteous manner. Shuttle guides found in violation of these safety procedures and/or misusing golf cart equipment may be subject to disciplinary action.
Procedures for safety operations of shuttles
The following are basic rules of operating and maintaining tour shuttles used for work transportation on the Sunnylands estate.
Shuttles should be operated only by authorized employees and driven on the designated tour route and estate roadways.
- On the Sunnylands estate the pedestrian always has the right-of-way. Operators of shuttles will permit this right-of-way.
- Most of the shuttles used on this property are designed to carry a driver and seven passengers.
- No shuttle is to be operated with more passengers than seating is provided. Drivers and passengers must remain seated while the vehicle is moving.
- Shuttle driver must confirm that all passengers are seated before starting cart. Shuttle driver must be the last person to board the shuttle.
- All occupants in the shuttle shall keep hands, arms, legs and feet within the confines of the shuttle at all times when the cart is in motion.
- Never back up without making sure there is no person or obstructions behind the shuttle.
- Never shift gears in reverse or forward while the vehicle is in motion.
- A shuttle should be operated on property at a speed equivalent to a well-paced walk and no faster than fifteen miles per hour on estate tour ( no faster than 10 miles per hour at the Center and on road ways to north campus etc). This maximum speed may be subject to the terrain over which it is being driven, the weather conditions, and the total weight of the golf cart and passengers and any equipment being carried.
- Shuttle operators shall possess a valid driver’s license and observe all California vehicle traffic laws such as stop signs, legal passing of other vehicles, etc.
- Slow down at all intersections.
- Do not operate a shuttle on the golf course greens.
- Reduce speed to compensate for declines, pedestrians, and weather conditions.
- Maintain adequate distance between vehicles and pedestrians and/or vehicles.
- Approach sharp or blind corners with CAUTION and REDUCE SPEED.
- Use extreme care at building entrances and upon entering/exiting enclosed areas.
- Use parking areas designated for shuttles. At the end of the day, plug in the charging unit.
- Confirm that the shuttle is charging by checking the reader on the charger.
- When the golf cart is not in use the operator must place the golf cart control lever in the park or neutral position, turn the key to the off position, and set the parking pedal brake.
- Anyone involved in a shuttle accident should report it to their supervisor as soon as possible. If guest injury is involved, radio security immediately.