President Obama and his family spend their Christmas/New Year’s vacations on the island of Oahu where the President resided as a youth. Where does he go? What are his favorite haunts? Where does he stay?
The Obamas enjoy their time on the island soaking up the sun, snorkeling, surfing and playing plenty of golf. A favorite spot to snorkel is Hanauma Bay. The President also enjoys biking with his daughters, as well as hiking.
The nearby Marine Corps Base Hawaii facility provides a secure spot for the President and his family to enjoy the beach, work out at the gym, golf and even enjoy a game of bowling. One of the reasons the President spends so much time on the military base is it’s secure and provides a level of seclusion.
Like anyone on vacation, enjoying some good food goes hand in hand with have an enjoyable experience. Favorite haunts of the Obama family include a variety of family-friendly spots. A favorite of the President is the local “Plate Lunch”, which is available at the Rainbow Drive Inn as well as Zippy’s. Unimaginable as it may seem, spam is a popular item for plate lunches and the President has been known to enjoy a spam musubi, which consists of a rice ball accompanied by a slice of cooked spam and wrapped with dried seaweed. Excuse me, Mr. President, but I get nauseous even thinking about that concoction!
The First Family enjoys their visit to Island Snow where they can enjoy a variety of flavored, shaved ice. President Obama is said to be particularly fond of a lime, cherry and passionfruit mixture that they have named the “Snowbama”. Fortunately, the Obamas, also, enjoy some of the island’s best restaurants. One of their favorites is Alan Wong’s, one of the very best on the entire island. It features a menu of regional cuisine. Another favorite haunt of the President and First Lady is the upscale Japanese restaurant, Nobu, which is located in Waikiki. During the Obama’s most recent visit, they enjoyed their first dinner of 2015 at the exclusive Vintage Cave in Waikiki where the prix fixe menu starts at $295/per person. The Cave is so exclusive that they even offer memberships for $500,000 which include a private wine cellar, discounts on meals and even an investment stake. No official word on whether or not the Obama’s purchased a membership.
President Obama and his family always stay in a private beachfront home with a private pool. One of the villas that he has rented on several occasions is the luxurious Plantation Paradise. Plantation Paradise consists of an enclave of homes located in the exclusive beachside neighborhood of Kailua. Plantation Paradise is the perfect spot for the President, valued at 11 million dollars, and features over 5,000 square feet of indoor living space and an additional 1,900 square feet of outdoor living areas. Outside, the First Family can enjoy the lagoon-style private swimming pool, complete with a waterfall and a hot tub. The interiors are stunning and showcase Italian marble floors and luxurious furnishings and appointments. The villa has also hosted the likes of Angelina Jolie and Bradley Cooper.
Obviously, security is very tight in the neighborhood when the President is in-residence and it’s closed to all except its residents and their registered guests. To ensure the President’s safety, gun boats are stationed in the Kawainui Canal and the Coast Guard sets up a security zone in the waters around the Paradise Point Estates peninsula. Outsiders are forbidden for around a half mile around the canal and a small portion of Kailua Bay where Obama likes to surf. Violators can be punished with fines over $30,000 and up to 10 years in prison.
For those hoping to vacation like President Obama, you can rent the Plantation or you can choose from several other equally exclusive private homes. Swaying Palms villa is a spectacular home located on the sands of the gorgeous Kailua Beach. The home is built around its private pool and lava rock courtyard. It offers six luxurious bedrooms and an exquisite private pool and spa. Grand Kailua Beachside Estate is a home that provides new meaning to the term “luxurious”, with its polished wood floors and exquisite furnishings and appointments. Royal Beach Estate is another exquisite estate located on the Kailua Beach. The home features impressive architecture and sumptous interiors.
Staying in such exclusive villas in the Kailua area, it’s not surprising that the Obamas would want to pay a visit to a neighbor. The rocker Eddie Vedder from the Pearl Jam group owns a home in the same area and on a recent trip, the President and his daughters paid a surprise visit to the rocker. The musician has been a prominent supporter of the President during both of his campaigns. In 2012, he headlined a $20,000 per person fundraiser for the President that helped raise close to $2 million.
While it’s possible to rent magnificent estates, some of which the Obama family have rented, and visit the popular sightseeing spots and enjoy the beaches and even the same restaurants as the President, please note that you most likely won’t be able to bring your dog as the Obamas bring theirs. But then again, neither will you be arriving on Air Force One.