The president, first lady Michelle Obama and daughters Sasha and Malia landed in Honolulu just before midnight local time.
Sunny and Bo, the Obama dogs, joined them on Air Force One.
The battle over the budget forced Obama to return to Washington the day after Christmas in 2012 but this year is likely to be different.
Obama does not have any public events scheduled but a lot of golf is likely on the agenda.
He spent Saturday golfing with friends after conferring with advisers on the situation in South Sudan.
He's scheduled to be in Honolulu through January 5.
It's been a tough year for the president, with budget fights, a government shutdown, the NSA revelations and a bungled roll out of the health care law that Obama admits his administration "screwed up."
Here are 18 reasons why Obama needed this vacation.