A Guide to the Presidential Candidates' Hometowns

What to see and do in the Whitehouse hopefuls' hometowns.

This election year has created so much buzz ( and this campaign has been so acrimonious) that we thought we'd take a breather today, on New York State's primary, to spotlight the candidates' current hometowns. Inspired by this man who hit the election trail with the mission to photograph as many White House hopefuls as possible next to his favorite stuffed animal, travel can be a fun, positive way to learn more about the candidates and the election as a whole. Ladies and gentlemen, here is the hometown lowdown in no particular order.

The Candidate: Hillary Clinton

The Party: Democratic

Current Hometown: Chappaqua, New York

Why Visit: Chappaqua is less than an hour's train ride from New York City, making it a perfect destination for residents or tourists who want to get out of the city for a day.

Plan Your Trip: Chappaqua is a great place to visit in the summer, as its woodsy setting makes it much cooler than the city. It is close to many wilderness areas and hiking trails, allowing you to take full advantage of the nature that you just can't find in the city.

If you're looking to do a little shopping or pick up something to eat, head to the small but incredibly quaint downtown, centered around South Greeley Avenue, where you'll find unique boutiques and peaceful cafes. If you want a fancier meal, head to Crabtree's Kittle House, an upscale restaurant that is also attached to an inn (you might decide that you like it so much that you want to spend the night.

 

The Candidate: Bernie Sanders

The Party: Democratic

Current Hometown: Burlington, Vermont

Why Visit: Burlington represents everything that's great about New England, as it is a charming small town that is minutes away from gorgeous rural areas.

Plan Your Trip: Vermont is definitely best visited in the fall, as the leaves begin to change color, making the forests that cover nearly all the state even more picturesque. You may see some changing leaves in Burlington, but driving outside the city to less developed areas you'll be surrounded in trees that are ablaze with orange, yellow, and red. There's plenty to do in the city when you return, though. Make sure to visit Main Street, an all-brick pedestrian mall in the center of the city that is closed off to cars and surrounded by a church and other historical gems.

In addition to the restaurants and boutiques that maintain permanent residence, every weekend the area plays host to Church Street Marketplace, where vendors set up temporary stalls, increasing the likelihood that you'll leave with a full belly and some great souvenirs.

 

The Candidate: Donald Trump

The Party: Republican

Current Hometown: New York, New York

Why Visit: New York City is one of the world's most iconic, and has activities for all types of travelers. 

Plan Your Trip: While there are endless things to do and places to stay and eat, many visitors don't think to venture outside Manhattan, which is a shame because the other four boroughs, while sometimes a little rough around the edges, offer tons of quirky and less-crowded attractions. One of these in Queens, where Trump actually grew up. The LIC Flea & Food, an open-air market located in Queens' Long Island City neighborhood, is only a few subway stops from Midtown Manhattan. At the market, you'll find row after row of vendors selling quirky vintage and handmade jewelry, clothing, and furniture.

The real draw, though, is the food, as the city's multicultural heritage is represented by everything from Turkish "chewy" ice cream to Chinese bao buns. Once you've made the difficult decision of what to get, you can walk with your food on a path set along the nearby waterfront, which contains benches and lounge chairs that look like modern art; playing fields; and picture-perfect views of the Manhattan skyline.

 

The Candidate: Ted Cruz

The Party: Republican

Current Hometown: Houston, Texas

Why Visit: Houston has everything from art galleries to amusement parks. What sets it apart, though, is that the people and places have a low key, friendly vibe despite being a bustling big city.

Plan Your Trip: Houston boasts countless activities for kids and adults, but something that people of all ages will enjoy is the The Houston Museum of Natural Science. You'll learn about and interact with everything from dinosaurs to space. The museum is so unique that even people who think they're not interested in science or have already been to similar museums have said that it still impressed them.

Since Houston is located in a state with a strong identity, though, you will definitely want to do something traditionally "Texan" before you leave. One option is the Houston Barbecue Festival, which takes place during the last week of May. 

 

The Candidate: John Kasich

The Party: Republican

Current Hometown: Columbus, Ohio

Why Visit: Columbus isn't exactly a tourist mecca--which a good thing in that you have full access to tons of attractions and will get an up close and personal taste of the Midwestern warmth that Ohioans pride themselves on. 

Plan Your Trip: Columbus is the home of Ohio State University, which is known for its football team. If you really want to get a feel for this college town, visit in the fall, when the team plays in the massive stadium, known as "the shoe." If you can't make it then, other events, such as concerts, also take place there, and some people even reported being let onto the field when visiting in the off season.  

There's plenty to do for travelers who couldn't care less about football, though. Topping the list is Easton Town Center, an enclosed outdoor "shopping village" that boasts over 100 of shops and restaurants. You're apt to find a delicious meal, some gifts for others, and probably even something for yourself.