What It's Like To Vacation As The President of The United States
Can you imagine President Obama booking a random Airbnb like one us regular schlubs every time he felt like getting away? Not a chance. It's no surprise that vacationing is a little more complicated when you're running the Free World, but what's it really like?
Here are 15 of the most impressive homes Commanders In Chiefs have retreated to for some good ol' R&R over the past couple hundred years.
George Bush Sr.'s party pad
When he wasn't puking on Japanese prime ministers or lounging in his Houston home, ol' Georgie kicked back with the fam at this coastal Maine compound, which has been in the Bush family since H.W.'s great grandfather purchased the property in the late 19th Century.
LBJ's Cool Ranch
Blanco County, Texas
Lyndon B. had a knack for mixing business with pleasure, and was the first president to create a functioning White House outside of Washington. He kept it casual, and would often conduct staff meetings in lawn chairs outside. To make it easier to get to and fro, he even had a runway and airplane hanger installed.
The Clintons' Steven Spielberg Special
East Hampton, New York
When the Clintons weren't gallivanting on Martha's Vineyard during their summer vacations, they decamped to Georgica Pond in the Hamptons at the sprawling estate of Steven Spielberg, who offered up his place for the President and first lady at least twice, in '98 and '99.
Gerald Ford's Castle In The Snow
Beaver Creek, Colorado
Referred to simply as The Lodge, Ford's posh ski chalet served as base of operations for quite a bit while he was in office. And if you've got a spare $8.5 million, it could also be yours.
Rutherford B. Hayes' Hangout
This 10,000-square-foot two-story brick mansion boasts a whopping 30 rooms—befitting for a man with one of the greatest beards and names to ever hold the nation's highest office.
Truman's Little White House In The Sun
Key West, Florida
Harry first visited The Little White House in 1946 on doctor's orders to chill the hell out after working himself to the point of exhaustion during his first 19 months in office. He loved it so much that he went on to stay a total of 175 days there over the course of 11 trips while Commander-in-Chief, hosting cabinet meetings and foreign dignitaries all the while. It's since been turned into a museum, though over the years its also been the site of a number of high-level official meetings between U.S. and foreign officials.
The Kennedy Compound
Hyannis Port, Massachusetts
When he wasn't frantically preventing nuclear war or knocking boots with Marilyn Monroe, JFK and his family retreated to this six-acre waterfront compound on Cape Cod, where his brother Ted and father Joe also owned homes. To this day it functions as a vacation home for the extended Kennedy clan and their famous friends.
Obama's East Coast Basketball Camp
Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts
On the same idyllic island visited by the vacationing Clinton family throughout the '90s, this 28-acre property has hosted the Obamas most summers since '09. In addition to the sprawling yard for Bo, the $50,000-per-week rental comes with a state-of-the-art media room, wine cellar, three-hole golf course, pool, as well as courts to play both basketball tennis.
FDR's Forever Home
Hyde Park, New York
Mr. New Deal was actually born on the second floor of the Springwood estate, and returned about 200 times over the course of his time in office. He used it to host all manner of big shots, including Queen Elizabeth and King George, whose visit was the first from a reigning British Royal Monarch ever. FDR adored the place so much that he insisted he be buried by the sundial, which is also where his beloved pets and wife Eleanor were laid to rest.
Tricky Dick's Island Escape
Key Biscayne, Florida
Nixon visited his elegant Florida retreat a whopping 50 times while in office, particularly often while the Watergate Scandal was unfolding. In order to accommodate his frequent getaways, the Department Of Defense even coughed up $400,000 to build a special helipad nearby. Coincidentally, in keeping with its connection to criminal behavior, some scenes from Scarface were filmed here.
Obama's Home State Hideaway
Every December, the Obamas like to take over this tropical spread—known as Plantation Estate—to unwind over the holidays. Considering the 5,000-square-foot crib comes with a grotto-esque pool and Hawaiian temperatures, it's easy to understand why Chicago never stood a chance.
Dubya's Ranch/Watercolor Studio
To escape the day-to-day stress as leader of the Free World and master of the malaprop, George W. Bush would head down south to the 1,500-acre ranch he purchased just before taking the oath of office. He also hosted a long list of foreign leaders there, from Vladimir Putin and Silvio Berlusconi, to Angela Merkel and Tony Blair. These days though, it functions mainly as a place to paint watercolors of his dogs.
The Gipper's Getaway
San Clemente, California
Ronald Reagan's 668-acre Rancho Del Cielo in the Santa Ynez mountain range quickly became known as the Western White House, and played host to a number of dignitaries including Gorbachev and his BFF Margaret Thatcher.
Teddy's Classy Backcountry Camp
Cove Neck, New York
As president, Teddy Roosevelt spent seven summers at this stately 22-room Queen Anne-style crib on Long Island, which he built on 83 acres for approximately $450,000 in today's dollars.
Nixon's Other Other Vacation Home
San Clemente, California
Not content with just one place to hide out and watch his political legacy implode, Nixon's west coast retreat was a Spanish-style beachfront mansion complete with a huge office overlooking the water and an "entertainer's pavillion," for...wait. What?
Joe McGauley is a senior editor at Supercompressor, and would love to watch George W. paint something.