See U.S. Presidents’ Favorite Vacation Spots Slideshow
FDR liked to soak in the warm springs in aptly named Warm Springs, Ga. He believed the springs alleviated the symptoms of his polio-related paralysis. Visitors can no longer soak in the springs, but they can still visit the area, which has a touch pool. FDR’s six-room home, nicknamed the Little White House, is open for visitors who can view the kitchen, living room, and bedrooms just as they were left on the day Roosevelt died of a stroke while sitting for a portrait.
Wiki / Polarlys
Many presidents have flown to Florida for their vacations. Warren Harding was the first to vacation in the Sunshine State, but former President Harry Truman also enjoyed his time in Key West, Fla. When in the "Conch Republic," Truman stayed at the Little White House. His chief cook J. Sevilla, of the U.S.S. Williamsburg, went along for a trip in November 1946, which included daily 20-minute swim sessions at a nearby pool and a fishing trip in which the president caught a Spanish mackerel, a barracuda, and a grouper.
Wiki / Deror avi
Former President Kennedy often vacationed at the Kennedy Compound, a cluster of white clapboard homes on Cape Cod. While it was hard to catch a glimpse of JFK during his vacation, the family often visited a small general store on Wachusett Avenue and Four Seas Ice Cream in Centerville. Travelers can visit the John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum on Main Street, which has a statue of the late president out front.
Wiki / US National Archives bot
Nixon visited the ranch-style home with a floating heliport at 500 Bay Lane in Key Biscayne, a Miami island suburb, at least 50 times during his presidency. Dubbed the "Winter White House," it was reportedly where plans for Watergate were discussed. Although the home was razed in February 2009 to make way for a new home, during Nixon's time, the U.S. government spent $625,000 to fix up the home, including putting in a new icemaker because Nixon reportedly did not like ice with holes in it.
Flickr - Plex
Vail was a favorite spot for the Fords, so much so that parts of the town are named for the former president and first lady, including the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater, an outdoor performance space perfect for a picnic, and the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens.
Wiki / Ncsakany
Jimmy Carter only took 79 days off for vacation during his four-year term, the least of any president. He often headed to his peanut farm in Plains, Ga. His parents had once owned the farm and when Carter was a boy, he sold produce from the farm from a wagon he hauled into town.
Flickr / Richard Elzey
Reagan spent 436 days away from the White House during his turn as president and he often retreated to Rancho del Cielo, his 688-acre ranch in the Santa Ynez Mountains in California. While there, he rarely left his ranch, which he used both as a vacation home and a diplomatic retreat where he welcomed world leaders like former Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev and his wife Raisa, Margaret Thatcher, and Queen Elizabeth II for lunches and dinners. The ranch included a grazing pasture for horses and deer.
Wiki / Happyme22
The Bushes enjoyed many rounds of golf, walks on the beach, and fishing in the Atlantic in Kennebunkport, Maine. One of Bush's favorite restaurants is Mabel’s Lobster Claw,which serves a baked lobster stuffed with scallops, bread stuffing, and bacon; steamed lobsters; and clam chowder.
iStockphoto / Thinkstock
Former President Clinton spent six of his eight summers as president on Martha’s Vineyard off Cape Cod, where he went sailing with folks like Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Walter Cronkite. The Clintons could often be seen enjoying the Presidential Muffin at Espresso Love (a red, white, and blue treat of cream cheese, blueberry, and strawberry). Another Clinton family favorite spot for sweet treats is Mad Martha’s, where Chelsea liked to order mocha chip yogurt and former President Clinton ordered orange pineapple ice cream, according to Ross Babbit, senior vice president of programming at the Travel Channel, which documented presidential travel in Travel Like a President.
iStockphoto / Thinkstock
The town with only one stoplight was the favorite retreat for former President George W. Bush, who spent many weeks on his Crawford Ranch. While he enjoyed eating out at local restaurants, his aides always had a stash of his favorite snack, Tex-Mex Chex, by his side, according Babbit. Bush’s aides have even joked that there were always two things within 10 feet of the president at all times: the nuclear football and a bag of Tex-Mex Chex. Former White House chef Walter Scheib prepared the snack of Chex cereal with hot sauce, pretzels, pistachios, and Mexican pumpkin seeds.
Flickr / bfelice
Since taking office in 2009, the Obamas have taken several trips to Kailua, Hawaii. During a Christmas trip in 2010, President Obama visited troops during Christmas dinner at Anderson Hall on Marine Corps Base Hawaii and enjoyed shaved ice at Island Snow at Kailua Beach Center.
Official White House Photo by Pete Souza