Image: President-elect Barack Obama
Gerald Herbert  /  AP
President-elect Barack Obama leaves the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools in Chicago on Friday. He was there to attend a party for two of his daughters' last day at school.
updated 12/19/2008 1:43:48 PM ET 2008-12-19T18:43:48

President-elect Barack Obama, his wife, Michelle, and their two daughters will spend the holidays in the Hawaiian islands, trading frozen Lake Michigan for warmer waters. They are planning a beachside vacation with friends at one of Oahu's most exclusive properties.

Obama last visited Hawaii in October to see his ailing grandmother, Madelyn Payne Dunham. Dunham died at the age of 86 on Nov. 2, two nights before her grandson won the presidential election.

A public memorial service was held for Dunham last month, but the family did not attend. Obama and his family are expected to pay tribute to his grandmother during the trip.

It's unclear what other activities the Obamas have planned.

On their last family vacation to the islands in August, Obama went bodysurfing and took his daughters, Malia, 10, and Sasha, 7, snorkeling at Hanauma Bay, a nature reserve that is one of Hawaii's most popular tourist destinations.

The family also visited the USS Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor, walked along the beach and ate shave ice.

The president-elect was born in Hawaii. His Kansas-born mother and Kenyan father met as college students there, but Dunham and her husband, Stanley, raised Obama for extended periods when his mother lived overseas. He attended junior high and high school at the Punahou School in Honolulu.

The Associated Press learned earlier this month that arrangements were being completed for the Obamas and the families of two or three friends to stay at a Kailua beachfront location with three modern, multimillion-dollar homes. Each wraps around a lagoon-style swimming pool, with palm trees, grassy lawns and retractable glass walls for postcard views of the white sand and windsurfers.

The property is located across the island from metropolitan Honolulu, in a residential section of trendy Kailua. The 2.5-mile beach is popular with local families as well as tourists, and has been rated by travel magazines among the best beaches in the world.

The Obamas and their guests won't have trouble finding entertainment or activities.

They can go kayaking or windsurfing off Kailua beach, where canoes are also for rent. Dinner options include the nearby Buzz's Original Steakhouse. The family friendly restaurant is a popular dinner spot. Former President Bill Clinton has dined there.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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