Palm Springs: A Presidential Size Oasis


With news that President Obama and his family arrived in Palm Springs Saturday for a quick vacation after the inauguration, it bears mention that American Presidents have a historical affinity for this desert resort town and its surrounding region. It’s noted that six of the last seven presidents have visited the Palm Springs area after leaving the White House, and the Coachella Valley is known as “The playground of the Presidents”.


The Sunnylands House, with its iconic Mayan roofline, where its owners, the Annenbergs have hosted 7 U.S. presidents. Photo credit: sunnylands.org


The Desert Sun reports, “Gerald Ford moved to Thunderbird Country Club after leaving office. He, Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan frequently visited Sunnylands. Bill Clinton and George H. W. Bush met on the golf course during the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic throughout the 1990s.”

The Coachella Valley region is rife with infamous golf courses, which have drawn most of our modern presidents to the region.  Saturday, it was reported that President Obama began his vacation with golf at Porcupine Creek, Larry Ellison’s Rancho Mirage Estate.  President Obama and his family are reportedly staying at the home of the U.S. Ambassador to Spain, James Costos and designer Michael S. Smith located in Thunderbird Heights, an exclusive, hillside, gated community located in Rancho Mirage.  Thunderbird Heights is touted as one of Southern California’s most historical and oldest developments and is located across from Thunderbird Country Club, a par- 71 classic course. Thunderbird Heights connects residents to the country club via an underground tunnel located under Highway 111.  Check out the full tour of this presidential worthy mid-century modern retreat.



The Rancho Mirage home of Ambassador James Costos and designer Michael S. Smith, where the Obamas are staying during their vacation. Photo credit: architecturaldigest.com


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