It’s no secret President Donald Trump favors a jet-setting lifestyle — provided that he’s going to one of his own properties. And the president loves to golf. In fact, he went golfing nine times during his first seven weeks in office. And in the same period, he made several visits to Mar-a-Lago, his historic estate in Palm Beach, Florida. But Trump isn’t the first president to enjoy a good vacation. In fact, many U.S. presidents have had favorite vacation spots, where they go to clear their heads.
The Washington Post reported a few years ago that many people believe persistent myths about presidential vacations. When they go on vacation, presidents have to take about 200 people with them. They continue to receive intelligence and security briefings on vacation. They also make major decisions and hold news conferences while away from the White House. Presidents pay for their own lodging, food, and incidental expenses. However, taxpayers pay for travel expenses, such as the use of Air Force One and ground transportation. Curious where Trump, former President Barack Obama, and other U.S. presidents like to vacation? Read on to find out.
1. Mar-a-Lago, Florida
Trump famously retreats to Mar-a-Lago on his weekends. Vanity Fair reports that the Palm Beach estate was built by breakfast-cereal heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post in the 1920s. Before her death in 1972, Post left Mar-a-Lago to the U.S. government as a presidential retreat. But former Presidents Richard Nixon and Jimmy Carter preferred other vacation spots. And Carter’s administration, looking at the tax burden and maintenance costs, gave it back to the Post Foundation in 1981. The foundation then put it on the market for $20 million. And Trump offered $25 million for the house, land, and furnishings. Post’s daughters said no.
So Trump went through a third party to buy the beachfront lot in front of Mar-a-Lago and threatened to put up a huge home to block Mar-a-Lago’s view. Eventually, he bought Mar-a-Lago for less than $8 million. He proposed subdividing the property to build mini-mansions — a plan Palm Beach’s town council rejected. Private clubs dominated the town’s social landscape. So Trump opened the Mar-a-Lago Club, fighting the town over ordinances, fines, and lawsuits all the way. And now, Mar-a-Lago has become Trump’s “winter White House.”