The President of the United States is constantly putting out fires. As soon as one problem is solved, there are 100 more waiting in the wings. Clearly, working in the Oval Office is no walk in the park, but luckily the Commander-in-Chief gets a little time off for some R&R.
From island excursions to adventures in the great outdoors, here are five destinations where you can vacation like a President.
Catch the Island Vibe — President Barack Obama
Presdient Obama’s “Winter White House.” (Photo: David Dunham)
President Barack Obama was born in Hawaii, so it’s no surprise that he returns there when he wants to get away from it all.
Last month, President Obama returned from a 15-day family vacation on Oahu. If you’re thinking of making a similar trip, the Obama itinerary is all you’ll need to have a great vacation. While there, the presidential family visited the Honolulu Zoo, went snorkeling at the Haauma Bay Nature Preserve, and dined at Buzz’s Original Steakhouse.
In addition to his daily 90-minute workout, Mr. and Mrs. Obama also took time to hike Kohelepelepe, or Koko Crater, a dormant cinder cone volcano on Oahu’s southeast side.
Where does the President stay on vacation? During the trip, the Obamas stayed at the Hale Reena Estate, a home that they rent every year. The Asian-inspired residence is located on the ocean, has a tropical lagoon, and a sprawling yard.
In past years, the Obama’s have stayed at the Winter White House at Paradise Point Estates in Kailua. It’s estimated that the rental price for this property ranges from $5,000 to $10,000 a night.
Channel Your Inner Cowboy — Ronald Reagan
Horseback riding is the perfect way to get on vacation time. (Photo: Santa Ynez Inn)
Ronald Reagan played a cowboy in movies, and he also played one in real-life. During the second term of his presidency, he bought “Rancho del Cielo” in California’s Santa Ynez Mountains, and vacationed there often.
Located just miles away from Reagan’s retreat is the Santa Ynez Inn, a chic hotel where you can hike, sip on wine, or go for a bike ride. The Rancho Oso Guest Ranch and Stables are just 20 minutes away, and are the perfect place to go horseback riding just like the 40th President of the United States.
The Perfect Summer Getaway — George H.W. Bush
President George H. Bush and Mrs. Barbara Bush on a boat trip up the Kennebunkport River. (Photo: AP)
Located in Kennebunkport, Maine is the prominent Bush compound. The estate was been in the family since 1902, and is the official summer home of former President George H.W. Bush, who spent many vacations at the property. Similarly, George W. Bush visited the home several times a year when he was in the White House.
While you can’t stay at the Bush compound, the Colony Hotel has that New England vibe that will make you feel like a part of the family. You can also grab some tasty clam chowder and crab cakes from Mabel’s Lobster Claw — a favorite of the Bush family.
If Maine isn’t your thing, Islamorada, Fla. can also be a great place for a summer getaway. President George H.W. Bush visited Islamorada, Fla. several times during his presidency to get far away from the stresses of Washington. In fact, he visited so many times that Cheeca Lodge started the “George Bush Cheeca Lodge Bonefish Tournament” in his honor.
Rest and Recreation — Bill Clinton
Edgar Harbor Light House Martha’s vineyard. (Photo: AP)
President Clinton might have been born in the South, but he went north when it was time for a vacation. For six of his eight presidential summers, Bill Clinton went to Martha’s Vineyard to get away from the political gridlock in Washington DC. Ditching the suit and tie, Clinton was regularly found playing a few rounds of golf at Farm Neck Golf Club.
While you’re in Martha’s Vineyard, stop by Espresso Love and grab the Presidential Muffin. The red, white, and blue pastry is a favorite of Clinton, who even took it to peace talks with Irish officials.
Explore the Great Outdoors — Teddy Roosevelt
Get in touch with nature at Hotel Colorado. (Photo: Hotel Colorado)
In 1905, President Theodore Roosevelt needed a vacation. Instead of the beach or a luxury resort, good ole’ Teddy went bear hunting in Glenwood Springs, Colorado. When he wasn’t hunting, he rested his feet at the Hotel Colorado. In fact, the teddy bear was thought to have originated here, after a hotel maid presented the President with a stuffed bear.
Today, the Hotel Colorado is still operating, and guests can enjoy the outdoors by hiking, biking, skiing or snowboarding. Not really the active type? Warm up in the world famous Glenwood Hot Springs pool.
African Adventure — Jimmy Carter
Experience the Kibo Hotel. (Photo: Kibo Hotel)
From the moment you walk into the Kibo Hotel, an hour and a half from the Kilimanjaro International Airport, at the foot of the mountain of the same name, you will think about just one thing – Jimmy Carter.
That’s because a large sign lingers over the doorway welcoming Mr Carter, the former president of the United States and his wife.
When a colleague of mine recently arrived at the hotel in anticipation of climbing the big mountain with Intrepid Travel she got very excited. “Is Jimmy Carter here?” she asked her husband. “I don’t think so he replied. “Jimmy Carter has not been to the Kibo hotel, a sprawling old German Lodge in the village of Marangu since 1988 when he climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro by helicopter.
Still, Jimmy remains a large part of the lodge’s identity. Pictures of him dot the walls of the dining room and everyone on staff of a certain age (which means everyone on the very small staff) has a story about meeting Mr. Carter nearly thirty years ago.