Presidential Relaxation: Memorable Vacations Past

PHOTO: President Jimmy Carter carries a peanut plant as he follows his wife Rosalynn from the field at their Webster County, Ga., farm on Aug. 19, 1978.
Jim Wells/AP Photo

It's that time of year again in Washington, when the president trades in his suit for a pair of shorts and heads out of town for some R&R.

What does the commander-in-chief do during his time off? Most presidents relieve stress on the golf course, some host foreign leaders, and one president got a little adventurous by hunting bears and coyotes.

Take a glimpse at the world of presidential relaxation by checking out some past vacations.

PHOTO: President Theodore Roosevelt poses for a portrait on Glacier Point, Yosemite Valley, Calif, May 1903.
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Theodore Roosevelt

Popularly remembered as one of America's most outdoorsy leaders, Theodore Roosevelt is cited by the White House Historical Association as the president who made the presidential vacation into what it is today.

Unlike his predecessors who would travel with a few clerks, Roosevelt moved his White House staff members into rented offices when he went on vacation in Oyster Bay, N.Y. The offices had full communication with Washington, allowing the president to be available in the case of national emergencies.

When Roosevelt wasn't checking in with the Oval Office, he could be found hunting some unusual game including bears, elk and coyotes.

PHOTO: President George W. Bush (R) applauds as Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) catches a striped bass on July 2, 2007 while fishing in the Atlantic Ocean off of the Bush family compound in Kennebunkport, Maine.
Mmikhail Klementyev/AFP/Getty Images
George W. Bush

With two former presidents in one family, members of the Bush clan are no strangers to the presidential vacation, but that doesn't mean work can't fit into the mix.

In 2007, President George W. Bush invited Russian President Vladimir Putin to visit his Kennebunkport, Maine, summer retreat. The two leaders were accompanied by former President George H.W. Bush on a fishing trip.

Putin made the only catch of the day, a striped bass, which was displayed for White House photographers before being released back into the water, as per Bush tradition in Kennebunkport.

PHOTO: President Howard Taft on the green at Chevy Chase, Md., July, 1909.
Library of Congress
William Howard Taft

It seems like every president enjoys playing a round of golf, but President William Howard Taft was the first to bring the sport to the White House.

While on vacation, Taft could usually be found on the golf course, and, according to the University of Virginia's Miller Center, his love for the game even led to a golfing boom across the country.

Taft enjoyed playing golf so much that his critics would say he would be better off spending "less time on the links" and more time at the White House.

PHOTO: President Bill Clinton (C) and daughter Chelsea (L) paddle while rafting down the Snake River on Aug. 22, 1995 in Bridger-Teton National Forest, Wyo.
Luke Frazza/AFP/Getty Images
Bill Clinton

After spending two vacations in Martha's Vineyard, the Clintons traded in views of the Atlantic Ocean for Snake River Rapids in Jackson, Wy., for their 1995 summer vacation.

The trip was action-packed for President Bill Clinton, who rode horses, hiked, and capped it off with a family rafting trip down Kahuna rapids.

The vacation coincided with Clinton's 49th birthday, which the former President celebrated alongside famous Wyoming neighbors like then World Bank president, James D. Wolfensohn.

PHOTO: President Jimmy Carter carries a peanut plant as he follows his wife Rosalynn from the field at their Webster County, Ga., farm on Aug. 19, 1978.
Jim Wells/AP Photo
Jimmy Carter

Jimmy Carter rapped up only 79 vacation days during his four year tenure, the fewest on modern record.

When he did get a chance to slip away, Carter's ideal vacation included getting back to his Southern roots in Plains, Ga.

Today, the former president's hometown is more than just a quiet vacation destination, the town also serves as a National Historical Site that Americans can visit themselves.

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