Obama heads to swanky island for summer break

President Barack Obama waves from the door of Air Force One for his return to Washington, after a two-day swing through Southern California, at Los Angeles International Airport on Aug 7, 2013. Mr Obama is headed to swanky Martha's Vineyard on Saturd
President Barack Obama waves from the door of Air Force One for his return to Washington, after a two-day swing through Southern California, at Los Angeles International Airport on Aug 7, 2013. Mr Obama is headed to swanky Martha's Vineyard on Saturday for a week-long vacation. -- FILE PHOTO: AP

WASHINGTON, DC (AFP) - United States (US) President Barack Obama is headed to swanky Martha's Vineyard on Saturday for a week-long vacation.

"The president very much looks forward to being able to spend a few days with his family," spokesman Jay Carney said.

Martha's Vineyard, located in Massachusetts, is known as an exclusive summer spot for the well-heeled.

Mr Carney was quick to add that Mr Obama was "President of the United States and will be dedicating a portion of his day to being briefed and working on all the issues that are on the table in front of him."

Mr Obama is due to hold a news conference on Friday on the eve of his departure, which comes amid a terror alert affecting a slew of diplomatic missions abroad and a dip in US-Russian relations linked to intelligence leaker Edward Snowden.

"He'll be regularly updated on issues going on around the world, in the country," Mr Carney said. "But with any luck, he'll also have some time to, you know, relax with his family."

Mr Obama's last vacation, over Christmas, was ruined by the so-called fiscal cliff fight with Congress, which forced the president to cut short his stay in Hawaii and head back to Washington.

Mr Obama and his family plan to stay on Martha's Vineyard August 10 to 18, according to a senior administration official.

The exclusive island, located off the coast of Cape Cod, has also been frequented by ex-president Bill Clinton and former first lady Jackie Kennedy Onassis.