Obamas' Vineyard Vacation Spot a Secluded Private Estate

The Obama family will spend the last week of August on Martha's Vineyard.

ByKaren Travers
July 24, 2009, 10:51 AM

July 24, 2009— -- Washington, D.C., in August is like a ghost town. Congress is in recess, most work comes to a halt and, as a result, politicians, their staff and the reporters who cover them use the break to escape the capital's swamp for less-humid locales.

Count the Obamas as part of the exodus.

The first family will be jetting out of town for some R&R on the Massachusetts island of Martha's Vineyard the last week in August.

The Obamas will spend their vacation at the Blue Heron Farm, a private estate in Chilmark, the Martha's Vineyard Times reported Thursday.

The estate sold for more than $20 million in 2005, boasts a renovated 10,000-plus-square-foot historic farmhouse and has more than 30 acres of privacy, according to the Boston Herald, a bonus for the Secret Service and aides who want to keep away paparazzi and curious onlookers.

The Vineyard Gazette reported that the property features a pool, golf practice tee and a small basketball court, everything a sports-loving president needs to unwind on vacation.

The Gazette also noted that while rental rates for the property are not publicly available, similar properties in the area go for $35,000 to 50,000 per week.

Unlike his predecessor, George W. Bush, who had a sprawling ranch in Texas, Obama does not have a vacation home that he can escape to with his family. "My Kennebunkport is on the South Side of Chicago," he told the Chicago Tribune last year, referring to the Bush family's compound in Maine.

Obama and his family vacationed in Hawaii in December, during the transition period before Inauguration Day. The family and close friends stayed at a private house on the beach but were unable to fully escape photographers who captured images of the Obamas in their beach gear.

One of those pictures, of the president shirtless in swim trunks, ended up on the cover of a Washington D.C., style magazine.

The Vineyard Knows Presidents

The Vineyard has experience hosting presidents and their entourages: The Clintons famously vacationed there with their daughter Chelsea. President Bill Clinton threw himself into the island's social scene while there, attending dinner and cocktail parties thrown by residents.

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