Constitution Daily

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Vacation with VIPs: Top 10 presidential escapes

August 22, 2012 by Anita Dumas


If you are feeling overly stressed lately, take a hint from U.S. presidents past and present, and know when you need to take a vacation.

If your reason for not getting out of the house or the office yet is that you can’t think of anywhere to go, don’t fret. We’ve compiled a list of 10 of the presidents’ best holiday spots to inspire you.

10. Little White House, Key West, Florida: President Harry Truman’s winter White House where he spent 11 working vacations. Suggested by his doctor after an exhausting year and a half in office, we think it couldn’t hurt our health either.

9. Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts: A favorite summer destination of President Clinton and, as of late, President Obama, The Vineyard is a well-known holiday tourist spot and is popular with celebrities, political or not.

8. Prairie Chapel Ranch, Texas: A famous retreat of President George W. Bush, located in Crawford, Texas. It was notably the spot where Cindy Sheehan protested the Iraq War for several months.

7. Glenwood Springs, Colorado: President Theodore Roosevelt’s infamous hunting parties took place here, most notably his three-week-long, bear-hunting trip during his presidency. Luckily, you won’t have to worry about leaving a vice-president behind to keep charge of the country – though you might need to have someone come in to feed the fish.

6. LBJ Ranch, Texas: The Lyndon B. Johnson National Historic Park holds the birthplace, home, ranch, and final resting place of President Johnson. You can also visit the Texas White House here.

5. Warm Springs, Georgia: Home to FDR’s Little White House and the Roosevelt Warm Springs Institute for Rehabilitation. And while the warm springs for which the town was named are not available to the public, this little countryside town still has very soothing properties.

4. Camp David, Maryland: While you probably don’t have access to the presidents’ high-security military base Camp David, you can still enjoy the surrounding area at the Catoctin Mountain Park that provides extensive trails with some incredible views.

3. Mount Vernon Estate, Virginia: A favorite location, and home, of President Washington, he made a point to be here whenever he could. While the comforts of home and beauty of his estate and gardens contributed to this – having his own distillery there probably didn’t hurt either.

2. Kennedy Compound, Hyannis Port, Massachusetts: Cape Cod is known for its summer splendor and popularity with seasonal visitors, and this holds particularly true for the Kennedy family. While you might not be admitted to the Kennedy home here, you can still enjoy the Cape’s beautiful beaches …and sharks.

1. California “Western White House(s)”: While there were several presidential getaways entitled “Western White House,” both Presidents Nixon and Reagan had vacation homes in San Clemente and Santa Barbara County, respectively. The Golden State’s perfect weather probably makes it a little hard to concentrate though.

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