Lifestyle

What It's Like To Vacation As The President of The United States

Published On 04/23/2015 Published On 04/23/2015

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. 

Wikimedia Commons

George Bush Sr.'s party pad

Kennebunkport, Maine
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.

NPS.gov

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. 

NYDailyNews.com

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. 

Zillow

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.

Wikimedia Commons

Rutherford B. Hayes' Hangout

Fremont, Ohio
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.

TrumanBlog.com

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.

FatKot.wordpress.com

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.

VineyardGazette.com

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. 

WheresTheGos.com

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.

Curbed.com

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.

TopCelebrityHomes.com

Obama's Home State Hideaway

Honolulu, Hawaii
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.

Architectural Digest

Dubya's Ranch/Watercolor Studio

Crawford, Texas
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

Wikimedia Commons

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.
 

NPS.gov

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. 

Vault217.gmu.edu

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.

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