The Personal Residences Of US Presidents Are Lavish And Extraordinary

Have you ever wondered where US presidents live when they’re not in the Oval Office? Their private houses are not small or modest. Sometimes they’re the size of resorts. Other times they’re hidden away in the mountains where peace can finally be achieved. And of course, the commander in chief spends plenty of time there during their presidency. Here are our favorite presidential residences. Can you guess which president called his the “Little White House?”

Lincoln’s Home Is A Historical Landmark

Photo Credit: Jeffrey Greenberg/UIG via Getty Images
Photo Credit: Jeffrey Greenberg/UIG via Getty Images

Abraham Lincoln purchased his residence in 1844. Located 200 miles south of Chicago, the house was built with 12 rooms in a Greek style. Lincoln and his wife, Mary Todd, lived in the decadent home for 17 years before moving to Washinton D.C.

In 1887, 22 years after the president’s assassination, the house was opened to the public. Tours led by park rangers take visitors through the children’s rooms, the formal parlor, sitting rooms, the kitchen, various outbuildings, and the couple’s separate bedrooms. Hundreds of thousands of curious tourists visit the historically recognized landmark every year.

Mar-a-Lago Is One Of Trump’s Homes

Photo Credit: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images
Photo Credit: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images

Donald Trump was a very wealthy businessman before being elected President of the United States. Because of that, he owned several residences, although we wouldn’t call them private. Mar-a-Lago, for example, is a vacation resort purchased by Trump in 1985.

Trump regularly visits Palm Beach to stay at his private quarters located on the grounds. Asked about his favorite getaway spot with the press, he nicknamed it the “Southern White House.” It’s currently ranked as the 20th largest mansion in the country. Next up, George W. Bush’s life on the prairie is revealed.

George W. Bush Spends His Time At The “Western White House”

Photo Credit: Charles Ommanney/Getty Images
Photo Credit: Charles Ommanney/Getty Images

In 1999, George W. Bush purchased the Prairie Chapel Ranch. During his presidency, he would spend his vacation time at the 1,583-acre property located in McLennan County, Texas. He also hosted many dignitaries at the ranch, teaching them about the little pleasures in life.

Bush bought the property with money he earned from selling the Texas Rangers for $14.3 million. The original owners used the land to raise turkeys and dogs. The scope of the residence is so vast it contains three miles of frontage and seven canyons. Bush also had a lake made so he could go fishing at his leisure.

Lyndon Johnson’s House Is Surrounded By A National Park

Photo Credit: Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket via Getty Images
Photo Credit: Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket via Getty Images

Correction, Lyndon Johnson’s house is a national park. The Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park is located in Texas 50 miles west of Austin. The park grounds surround and protect Johnson’s home, his ranch, and his final resting place. During his life, it’s estimated Johnson spent 20 percent of his time here.

Visitors can take self-guided tours through the park after purchasing a permit. On the tour, you’ll see Johnson’s first school, the Texas White House, the Johnson Family Cemetary, and a reconstruction of his birth home. In just two more slides, the answer to which President lived in the “Little White House” is revealed.

The Kennedy Compound Loved To Play Football

Photo Credit: Tim Gray/Getty Images
Photo Credit: Tim Gray/Getty Images

Before President John F. Kennedy’s assassination in 1963, he would spend his summers with his family at the Kennedy Compound. During these times, the family would come together and play touch football games, among other activities.

Features of the main house (there are three houses on the compound) include a sunroom, bedrooms, utility rooms, four servant’s bedrooms, a full attic, a wine cellar, and a movie theater. Since the Kennedy’s bought the property in 1928, minimal remodeling has occurred. In 2012 the main house was donated to the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate.

Harry Truman Owned The “Little White House”

Photo Credit: Jeffrey Greenberg/UIG via Getty Images
Photo Credit: Jeffrey Greenberg/UIG via Getty Images

Harry Truman hated Washington D.C.’s cold winters. To solve his problem, Truman, along with key members of his staff, would relocate to Key West, Florida until the Nation’s capital warmed back up.

The house, located on a naval base, served the President for 175 days of his presidency and became known as the “Little White House.”After his death in 1972, the home opened up as a vacation home for several subsequent presidents like Jimm Carter and Bill Clinton.

Mount Vernon Is The Original Presidential Residence

Photo Credit: Carol M. Highsmith/Buyenlarge/Getty Images
Photo Credit: Carol M. Highsmith/Buyenlarge/Getty Images

Before George Washington was president, he lived at his Mount Vernon plantation house. He became the owner of the property in 1761 and gave up growing tobacco in 1766 to focus on other, less labor-intensive crops. During his two terms as President, it’s estimated Washington spent 434 days at his home.

Upon his death, Washington stipulated in his will that all of his slaves be emancipated. In 1799 a funeral for Washington was held at Mount Vernon, where he was buried. In 1801, all 318 slaves at Mount Vernon were given their freedom. Up next, Ronald Reagan takes us to California for a sunny getaway.

Ronald Reagan Preferred A Southern California Lifestyle

Photo Credit: Jean-Louis Atlan/Sygma via Getty Images
Photo Credit: Jean-Louis Atlan/Sygma via Getty Images

Built in 1871, Ronald Reagan bought Rancho del Cielo in 1974 for half a million dollars. The purchase came near the end of his second term as Governor of California. During his presidency, it became his vacation home, although sometimes business was held at the Southern California estate.

In 1981, Reagan signed the Economic Recovery Tax Act at the ranch. He also hosted Margaret Thatcher, Mikhail Gorbachev, and Queen Elizabeth II there. By the late ’90s, the ranch wasn’t being used and was sold to Young America’s Foundation, who keep it maintained as a monument to President Reagan today. Just ahead, Richard Nixon finds his happy place in Orange County.

Nixon Kept A Mansion In Orange County

Photo Credit: Gail Fisher/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images
Photo Credit: Gail Fisher/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Richard Nixon bought La Casa Pacifica in 1969 during his first term as President. The residence was quickly named the “Western White House.” Once in his possession, the property underwent massive remodeling, some of which was to accommodate the secret service.

After resigning as President, Nixon and his wife retired to the mansion. Nixon spent his newly free time writing his memoirs. By 1980, he tired of the residence and moved to New Jersey. Unlike many homes on this list, La Casa Pacifica is not open to the public and remains a private residence today.

Thomas Jefferson Built Monticello From The Ground Up

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Photo by Norm Shafer/ For The Washington Post via Getty Images
Photo by Norm Shafer/ For The Washington Post via Getty Images

At 26-years-old, Thomas Jefferson broke ground on Monticello. He designed the property himself after inheriting a large chunk of land from his father. Located in Virginia, Monticello operated as a tobacco and wheat plantation in the 1700s.

Falling into ruins since his death, a $35 million restoration project was launched in 2017. Through this project, some darker aspects of Jefferson’s life have been unearthed, including his relationship with Sally Hawkins, a slave who was given a private room and preferential treatment.