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President Obama traveled well over a million miles during his eight years in office. Then there were the family vacations to Martha’s Vineyard, Yellowstone, Bar Harbor, Maine, Rome, Cuba, Argentina, Ghana, London, Spain, Italy, Hawaii, Morocco, Chicago, Los Angeles, Dublin, New York City and Palm Springs—and that’s not even half of the list. But now that the Obamas will have more free time, and no doubt are in much need of R&R, we came up with a list of serene alternatives to some of the places they’ve already ventured. Here is our guide to the Obama’s road to relaxation.

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For sure, Italy is beautiful, but it can also be bustling. About an hour away by plane is Malta. It’s sunny, with beaches to die for, and of much importance, quiet. There are plenty of historical sites and nearby Comino Island is home to the Blue Lagoon. Comino is car-free, and ideal for tranquil walks. If the Obamas wish, they can take a ferry to Gozo and enjoy the small town, rural life there.


Chatham, MA

The family spent many summer vacations on Martha’s Vineyard. This summer perhaps they’ll do well to visit Chatham, a seaside town on the southeastern tip of Cape Cod. There are pristine beaches and great places for hiking and biking like the Old Colony Trail, the Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge and Morris Island. In the heart of town there’s a mile of unique shops, galleries and restaurants.

The bioluminescent bay | Photo courtesy of @aeliusmeek

Vieques, Puerto Rico

There is so much buzz around Cuba with the easing of travel restrictions, but a quieter alternative is Vieques, with its serene beaches and wild horses. There’s nothing quite like an evening winding through the waters of Mosquito Bay, one of five bioluminescent bays in the world. When they’re through playing, there are accommodations like the W Retreat & Spa-Vieques and El Blok Hotel to choose from. Or, if the Obamas so desire, they can rent their own villa for more privacy.


Cardiff, Wales

For a much quieter option to the ever-lively London, the Obamas should check out Cardiff a few hours away by train. There are castles and an ever-growing culinary scene. The food and walking tours are a must-do for the family. The St. Fagan’s National Museum of History is another notable spot. Cardiff Bay’s wharf has shops, boutiques and cafes. It’s quite a different vibe than the English capital.



It’s no surprise that the Obamas spent much time on the president’s home turf of Hawaii, especially Kailua, but Kauai is serenity for sure. The Obamas can enjoy 50 miles of beaches, rainforests, waterfalls, and an abundance of lush greenery. They can relax by horseback riding on the beach or walking through the National Tropical Botanical Garden’s, Allerton Garden, which is one of the 50 Places of a Lifetime by National Geographic.

ALSO: Imagine how much money the Obamas would save if they signed up for Orbitz Rewards!

Galena | Flickr CC: Tomcio77

Galena, IL

Chi-town will always be home sweet home for the Obamas who were frequent visitors throughout the presidency, but the city is also all hustle and bustle. Meanwhile, 2-3 hours away is Galena, filled with rolling hills, shops and bed and breakfasts. One lodging favorite is the Aldrich Guest House built in 1845. The Obamas can kick back with a glass of wine in the parlor or on the screened in porch. and when they’re ready, take a five-minute walk to Main Street with its shops and restaurants. This is the America of yesteryear.

Taughannock Falls in the Finger Lakes region

Finger Lakes, NY

The first family made headlines when they came to New York City and hit Broadway and numerous museums. Manhattan is far from the quiet, calm they’re likely craving about now. For that, they can visit upstate New York. The Finger Lakes region is home to 11 lakes, plus skiing, hiking and biking trails. But what is most surprising is the food. They take farm-to-table seriously. The grub is good; more sophisticated than visitors might think. There are wine, cheese and beer trails, plus antique shopping and a slow, country pace.

Laguna Beach

Laguna Beach, CA

It’s no wonder Los Angeles was among their vacation choices. There’s no shortage of things to do and see in this international city. But the chill groove they might be seeking post presidency lies in Laguna Beach. Half way between San Diego and Los Angeles is this playground that is seven miles of sand and surf. In particular, they might enjoy exploring the coves tucked underneath the cliffs and hillsides. Laguna is also known for its boutique fitness studios, whale watching adventures and great California cuisine.

County Wicklow

County Wicklow

Some 40 minutes from the heart of Dublin’s city center is County Wicklow, a residential area touted for its serene hills and proximity to the sea. Wide open spaces are the norm. Wicklow is called a walker’s paradise. It’s so amazing, Wicklow is a Hollywood favorite when it comes to depicting Ireland. The waterfalls and mountains surely will work their magic on the Obamas.

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Tagged: California, Caribbean, Europe, Family time, Hawaii

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Sheryl Nance-Nash

Sheryl Nance-Nash

Sheryl is a writer and editor, specializing in travel, personal finance, business and career topics. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Newsday, Money,,,, Upscale Magazine, Essence, Black Enterprise and others.

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