fb-pixel Skip to main content

Obamas returning to Martha’s Vineyard next weekend

President Obama greeted well-wishers at Nancy's on Martha's Vineyard in 2010.GLOBE STAFF/file

Just because he isn’t president anymore doesn’t mean Barack Obama won’t be vacationing on Martha’s Vineyard.

Word around the island is that Obama and his wife, Michelle, will return next weekend for their first visit since he left office in January. The couple vacationed on the Vineyard every summer but one during the eight years of his presidency.

It’s unclear how long the Obamas are staying — it’s typically been between 10 days and two weeks — but they’ll no doubt be keeping a low profile on the island. Though the former president does have Secret Service protection, there won’t be a fleet of armored SUVs and the attendant media like when he was commander in chief.


We’re guessing that Obama will spend most of his time on the golf course, as he has during past Vineyard vacations. While he plays at Vineyard Golf Club, Edgartown Golf Club, and Mink Meadows Golf Club, Obama seems to prefer Farm Neck Golf Club in Oak Bluffs, where his playing partners have included current and former NBA stars like Alonzo Mourning, Ray Allen, and Steph Curry, as well as comedian Larry David.

Islanders learned long ago to take presidential visits — and the temporary traffic delays they can cause — in stride. But unlike Bill Clinton, who used to take impromptu strolls through Edgartown, the Obamas stay very much to themselves while on the Vineyard, occasionally venturing out for dinner or to the homes of friends like Obama’s former adviser Valerie Jarrett or Harvard Law professor Charles Ogletree.

Don’t expect to see Obama enjoying a basil, tomato, and mozzarella sandwich on the porch of the Chilmark General Store, where the likes of Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz, millionaire malpractice lawyer Alex MacDonald, and restaurateur Patrick Lyons spend the lunch hour.

We don’t know exactly where the former president is staying, and that’s probably just fine with him. In the past, he and the first lady rented big homes in Chilmark, places with long private driveways that are far from the madding crowd in Edgartown and Oak Bluffs.