Travel Picks: Top 10 U.S. presidential retreats

Fri Jan 23, 2009 10:57am EST
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NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - When it's time for a break, U.S. presidents have always had a favoured getaway, ranging from cabins in the woods to sprawling estates on the coast. But newly inaugurated Barack Obama is expected to be slightly different.

Men's online magazine has come up with a list of the top 10 presidential retreats based on their intrigue, popularity, and notoriety. This list is not endorsed by Reuters:

1. Camp David, Catoctin Mountain Park, Maryland

Most associate the ultimate presidential retreat with President Eisenhower who named Camp David after his grandson. It was really Franklin D. Roosevelt who began hanging out here for his health, trying to beat Washington's summer heat and humidity. The camp was originally built for disabled children in the late 1930s. Through the years, from hosting dignitaries to serving as a secluded getaway, it continues to be the ultimate presidential retreat.

2. Kennedy Compound, Hyannisport, Massachusetts

So much infamous American history has taken place here but few outsiders granted entrance. It all began when Joseph P. Kennedy rented the Marchant Avenue summer cottage in 1926. A couple of years later, he purchased and enlarged it, and it became the family's summer retreat. Later, sons John and Robert bought neighboring homes, establishing what today makes up the compound.

3. Little White House, Key West, Florida

Beginning in 1946, President Truman began working and playing at Key West, setting the stage for other presidents to follow suit. Today, official functions have given way to public tours and private parties, but the Little White House has been preserved much as Truman left it.

4. Monticello, Charlottesville, Virginia   Continued...

<p>Thomas Jefferson's Monticello in Charlottesville, Virginia. REUTERS/Thomas Jefferson Foundation/Monticello</p>