Weary taxpayers in need of a vacation can take some inspiration from U.S. presidents past and present by traveling to some of the same destinations as past commanders-in-chief. While you can’t book a stay at John F. Kennedy’s favorite spot — the Kennedy Compound in Cape Cod, Massachusetts — you can dine like the Clintons, who often frequented Martha’s Vineyard during their presidential years. As leaders of the country, many of the presidents knew which destinations within their nation were the best for a weekend getaway
It’s easy to dine like a U.S. president while on the road, as the presidential press corps has well documented the food cravings of former presidents. Bill Clinton was often seen at McDonald’s, and during his time in office, Barack Obama had been known to drop into Five Guys, where he insisted on ordering his hamburger himself. But to truly feel presidential, we suggest an escape to one of their favored spots across the country.
When the president plans a weekend away, it can involve as many as 200 hotel rooms, two jumbo 747s, two passenger jets, five helicopters, 35 motorcade vehicles, charter flights for the press, and a cast of hundreds of people involved in the preparation. To cut down on the number of hotel stays, many presidents have taken up second homes, including George W. Bush’s ranch in Crawford, Texas, Ronald Reagan’s Rancho del Cielo in Santa Barbara, California, and Richard Nixon’s now-demolished home in Key Biscayne, Florida. We recognize that the average citizen may not be able to afford doing so, however, so we suggest you get a little savvy with your hotel room savings so that you can unwind and dine like the Head of State at these 12 presidential hot spots.
Travel Editor Syjil Ashraf and Lauren Mack contributed to this article.