Signs point to Obama family’s return to Martha’s Vineyard

President Barack Obama greeted well wishers during a brief stop at Nancy's Restaurant to pick up an order during the First Family's vacation in summer 2009. — File photo by Steve Myrick

While security precautions make it something less than official, there are plenty of clues that point to President Obama and his family returning to Martha’s Vineyard for a vacation again this summer.

Accommodations have already been reserved for the large contingent of White House staffers and Secret Service agents who accompany the president, according to knowledgable sources. Local police departments declined comment on any official notice, but police insiders said they expect the first family to return to the Island in August for vacation.

In August 2009, the president and his family spent about one week on Martha’s Vineyard. For the most part, the president’s vacation was a private affair spent interacting with family and friends from the sanctuary provided by the Blue Heron Farm in Chilmark.

The president played golf with friends at Farm Neck Golf Club in Oak Bluffs, Mink Meadows Golf Club in Tisbury, and the Vineyard Golf Club in Edgartown.

The Obamas returned to the Vineyard and Blue Heron Farm on August 19, 2010 for a 10-day visit. Vacation activities under tightly controlled security included a shopping trip to the Bunch of Grapes Bookstore, playing golf at the Vineyard Golf Club in Edgartown, Farm Neck Golf Club, and Mink Meadows Golf Club, a game of basketball at the Oak Bluffs School, dining out at The Sweet Life Café in Oak Bluffs, State Road Restaurant in West Tisbury, and the Beach Plum Inn in Chilmark, and a trip to the beach on their last full day on the Vineyard.

The Obama family’s favorite vacation rental in Chilmark is a sprawling 28-acre compound, owned by William and Mollie Van Devender of Mississippi, that overlooks Tisbury Great Pond.

The Obama family paid for its own share of the retreat, which includes a boathouse, basketball court, and pool. Taxpayers picked up the tab for Secret Service and White House staff based at Blue Heron Farm, as well as those who stayed at local hotels in Oak Bluffs, Edgartown, and Vineyard Haven.