5 Presidents' Favorite Vacation Destinations

5 Presidents' Favorite Vacation Destinations

Vacations 2024-03-05 ParkingNearAirports.io

Everyone enjoys a nice escape – even the President of the United States. Holding the highest office in the country is no easy task, and taking breaks is crucial for spending quality time with loved ones, hosting foreign dignitaries, and unwinding from the stresses of politics. Former First Lady Nancy Reagan famously stated, "Presidents don't take vacations – they simply change their surroundings." This is true as modern Presidents travel with sizable staff to swiftly address any emergencies that may occur during their time away. Despite the responsibilities, a change of scenery can be invigorating, offering the chance to partake in activities outside of the nation's capital.

George Washington was the initial President to embrace leisure travel, journeying through all 13 colonies across several road trips to bolster national unity. However, for many Presidents, the ultimate retreat is the comfort of their own homes. John F. Kennedy relaxed at his family retreat in Hyannis Port, navigating the waters near Cape Cod and enjoying gatherings with his brother Ted. George W. Bush favored spending time at his expansive ranch in Crawford, Texas, while Jimmy Carter sought solace at his peanut farm in Plains, Georgia, reconnecting with his Southern roots.

An exclusive benefit of the presidency is the access to Camp David, the official "country estate" for POTUS. Nestled in Maryland's Catoctin Mountain Park, this 200-acre retreat equipped with 11 cabins, a bowling alley, and a pool, is a short helicopter ride away from Washington, D.C. Camp David has hosted numerous world leaders, including Soviet Union Premier Nikita Khrushchev during the Cold War.

Aside from Camp David and their personal residences, here are some of the favorite getaway locations of our Presidents.

1. Hotel Colorado (Glenwood Springs, Colorado)

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Colorado has attracted many Presidents, with Gerald Ford being a keen skier who frequented the back bowls of Vail accompanied by Secret Service agents. He and his wife Betty retired in nearby Beaver Creek. Meanwhile, the luxurious Hotel Colorado in Glenwood Springs, known as the "Little White House of the West," welcomed Theodore Roosevelt on seven occasions during his presidency. One memorable six-week trip allowed the avid outdoorsman to hunt bears, relish the fresh mountain air, and relax in the hotel's renowned hot springs pool from 1893.

2. Martha's Vineyard (Massachusetts)

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The Cape Cod area in Massachusetts becomes particularly inviting during the summer season – with the Kennedy compound just an hour away by ferry. The affluent Martha's Vineyard has been a preferred destination for dignitaries since Ulysses S. Grant's visit for relaxation in 1874. Although President Joe Biden prefers a beach in Delaware, his Democratic predecessors, Clinton and Obama, frequently chose private getaways on Martha's Vineyard for activities like cycling, shopping, and savoring the renowned fresh seafood the area offers – often ending the day with an ice cream treat.

3. Sunnylands (Rancho Mirage, California)

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The Annenbergs, publisher and former ambassador to the UK, built the magnificent Sunnylands estate in the Coachella Valley. Completed in 1966, the 25,000-square-foot mid-century modern property quickly became known as the "West Coast Camp David." Over the years, Sunnylands has hosted notable figures, such as Dwight D. Eisenhower, eight Presidents, Queen Elizabeth, Prince Philip, Bill Gates, Bob Hope, Frank Sinatra, Richard Nixon, and Ronald Reagan. Following Nixon's resignation, he found solace at Sunnylands, while Reagan celebrated the new year there 18 times. This prestigious estate continues to welcome important figures and has been open to the public since 2012.

4. Bedford Springs Resort (Bedford Springs, Pennsylvania)

Source: Google Search

No one requires a calming bath more than the President of the United States, which might explain why James Buchanan was drawn to the mineral-rich waters of the Bedford Springs Resort in 1821. As soon as the 15th President arrived, he designated Bedford as his "Summer White House," a tradition he upheld for the following four decades. This exquisite resort housed one of the nation's earliest golf courses and indoor pools, and its guest list boasts the names of past Presidents, such as Andrew Jackson, John Tyler, James K. Polk, Zachary Taylor, James Garfield, and William H. Taft.

5. Little White House (Key West, Florida)

Source: Google Search

Harry S. Truman spent a total of 175 days over 11 working vacations at this naval officer's residence in Key West's Old Town, affectionately naming it his "Little White House." The residence, built in 1890, played a significant role in hosting discussions vital to post-World War II developments, such as the Marshall Plan. It was here that Truman famously stated "The buck stops here," and visitors today can view the sign bearing this slogan on the desk where he conducted his work. Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Clinton also paid visits to the Little White House, which now functions as a state historic site and museum.

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In addition to our ultimate travel guide, we would also like to provide you with some more useful information on traveling, which will be handy for those who prefer doing this by air.

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