Jackie Kennedy Would Have Turned 91 Today — Here's Where She Spent Her Summers
Celebrate the fascinating life of Jackie Kennedy by visiting her favorite summer spots — which may just be a drive away.
Editor's Note: Travel might be complicated right now, but use our inspirational trip ideas to plan ahead for your next bucket list adventure.
Jackie Kennedy may have been known for captivating the world as both a fashion and cultural icon, but when it comes to travel, it's easier to follow in her footsteps than one might think. The places the former first lady chose to spend her summers don't even require a passport.
Despite the swarm of press and fans vying to get a glimpse of Jackie and her famous family, she was a private person and enjoyed time with loved ones at their secluded estates — although she was known to occasionally step out to restaurants around New York City, Newport, and Boston.
Born into a wealthy family as Jacqueline Bouvier, she grew up in multiple homes throughout the Northeast. Her reach only expanded when she married then-Massachusetts Sen. John F. Kennedy.
In honor of what would be her 91st birthday, here are the locations where Jackie spent many of her life's milestones.
The Hamptons, New York
Born in Southampton, NY, in 1929, Jackie Bouvier grew to love horseback riding and rode competitively at a young age. She would spend summers at her family's Southampton estate, named Lasata, which was owned by her grandfather and has been sold numerous times over the years, according to real estate site Curbed.
According to the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, the family split their time between New York City, East Hampton, and Southampton.
Hamptons.com reported that the young equestrian would often ride her horse on Majors Path Road and Further Lane in Southampton and competed (and won) at Madison Square Garden in New York City. She also participated in competitions all throughout Long Island, NY.
Jackie's early education took place in New York City, but throughout the years she also went to school in Connecticut and Maryland. She attended Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, NY, and spent her junior year in France before coming home and finishing college in Washington, D.C.
After her parents' divorce in 1940, she also spent time in Virginia with her father, John "Jack" Bouvier.
Newport, Rhode Island
Jackie married Senator Kennedy at St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church in Newport, RI on Sept. 12, 1953.
Paying tribute to the famed couple, the church holds a standing exhibit, “Return to Camelot: The Kennedy Wedding Remembered,” which consists of video footage and a live musical performance that was played at their ceremony and their reception. The exhibit is currently closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Their reception was held at another one of Jackie's childhood homes, Hammersmith Farm in Newport, where her family lived after her mother remarried the heir to Standard Oil, Hugh D. Auchincloss, in 1942.
According to the Kennedys' daily schedules, archived by the JFK Library, the couple attended the church at St. Mary's and would spend time at Hammersmith Farm with their children, Caroline and John Jr., while living in the White House. Schedules show that the family would also spend time at Bailey's Beach in Newport, a private beach that is still frequented today.
Archives show that the president and first lady would play golf at the Newport Country Club, which is also still in existence.
Hyannis Port, Massachusetts
Before and after JFK became president in 1960, Jackie spent her summers in Hyannis Port, MA, at her in-laws' compound. Although she wasn’t one to be spotted around town, the mother of two spent her time painting, reading, water skiing, and cruising on their boat, The Marlin.
Every Friday during the summer the president would fly up from Washington D.C. to Otis Air Force Base and then helicopter or be driven to the compound where Jackie would be waiting.
"Once the president arrived from Washington for weekends in Hyannis Port, she was the first one to greet him, [and would be] so happy to see him," founder of the John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum, Rebecca Pierce-Merrick, told Travel + Leisure.
We're told residents of the village on Cape Cod were "thrilled" that the president and his family spent their summers in Hyannis Port and would line the streets whenever there was buzz that JFK was stepping off their premises.
"It was a big deal every time the president was around," Pierce-Merrick told T+L. "Not just press, but local residents who really just were thrilled that the president of the United States spent so much time in Hyannis Port, which he always considered his real home."
However, Jackie didn't love the fanfare and kept her activities limited to the compound.
"She did lots of things there," Pierce-Merrick said. "She was a fantastic water skier, she loved doing slalom water skiing out on the ocean, and she was always looking for someone who wanted to water ski with her and occasionally, people who were not really that good at it, would say — just because it was Jackie — ‘Oh sure I’ll go with you.' She was very athletic, things like that she loved."
Pierce-Merrick also told T+L that JFK would take his kids and their many cousins to Four Seas ice cream and candy store, which still sells treats today.
"He still had his suit on and he’d say, 'OK kids, let's go for penny candy,' and as many kids that could [would] climb on the golf cart [and] go, but Jackie would stay home."
After JFK was assassinated in November of 1963, Jackie only spent one more summer there before moving on to New York City. She remarried in 1968, to shipping tycoon Aristotle Onassis, earning the nickname Jackie O. They wed on a yacht in Greece.
The Kennedy compound is not open to visitors as members of the family still spend time there, but history buffs can visit the John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum (which is currently open with health precautions in place due to COVID-19), or the John F. Kennedy Memorial in Veterans Memorial Park. Visitors who may be looking to channel Jackie's adventurous side can rent a boat for a day and test out their own water skiing skills.
Caroline also got married in Hyannis Port on July 19, 1986, at Lady of Victory Roman Catholic Church to Edwin Schlossberg.
Later in life, Jackie owned an estate, named Red Gate Farm, on nearby Martha's Vineyard that hit the market for $65 million, according to Christie's Real Estate.
New York City
Jackie spent her remaining years living in New York City on Manhattan's Upper East Side.
Continuing to lead her life in a private way, she left her mark on iconic attractions around the city, including Grand Central Terminal. She led the initiative to save the historic transportation hub from destruction and then have it renovated. The 42nd Street entrance of the terminal was named The Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Foyer in 2014.
And although Jackie's travels, which spanned from Europe to India, are awe-inspiring, she knew there was no place like New York.
"Going back to our childhood days, she always loved New York and everything about it — the museums, the parks, the people," Nancy Tuckerman, Jackie's lifelong friend and White House secretary told The New York Times in 1994. "She was always drawn back to New York."
She continued to keep a low profile later in life — despite photographers managing to snap the socialite once in a while — but we're told she did manage to go visit the now-shuttered but still iconic eatery Serendipity 3 and enjoy their signature frozen hot chocolate. She also enjoyed Broadway and ballet.
Jackie spent time jogging and bike riding in Central Park, which is now home to the Jackie Kennedy Onassis Reservoir. Built in the 19th century, it was named for her after she died and is a popular jogging spot today.
Jackie passed away on May 19, 1994, at her Fifth Avenue apartment after a battle with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma.
"She was a very elegant, quiet woman," Pierce-Merrick told T+L. "There will never be another Jackie, she really was quite extraordinary, and an amazing first lady."