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Cruising the Miami Millionaires’ Row

by Silke Elzner

I think I have realised by now that I will probably never be a prima ballerina. Or a film star. Or any kind of star, for that matter. I will never be a millionaire with so much money that I would be struggling to find ways to spend it.

But lucky for me, there are others out there who love to spend their money on property. As I was soon to find out, in Miami there are TONS.

Note: This article may contain some clearly labelled* affiliate links.

Millionaires’ Row in Miami: The Stars Love the Waterfront Lifestyle

I may probably never own a mansion, but this doesn’t mean that I cannot daydream just a little bit.

Take our trip to Miami, for example: It is no big secret that there are dozens of millionaires’ mansions in Miami. I just wasn’t prepared for the sheer number of size of these houses.

On our sightseeing cruise of the Miami Millionaires’ Row we explored the many islands in Biscayne Bay. This is the body of water which separates the mainland from the island of Miami Beach. A very exclusive area with very private islands, some of which only accessible by boat (or rather, by yacht).

This is where Miami’s Rich and Famous live and spend their holidays. In contrast to the millionaires’ homes in nearby Fort Lauderdale, however, many of these people are world-renown stars.

The islands with millionaires’ mansions in Miami are called Star, Palm and Hibiscus Islands as well as Venetian Islands. The most exclusive island is called Fisher Island and it is only accessible by boat. The community here is so independent, they don’t even have to leave the island to go to school, shop for groceries or see a doctor.

The Who is Who of Millionaire’s Homes in Miami

Let me show you some of the houses that you can find on Miami’s Millionaires’ Row and which you will see when you join one of the many cruises.

Just beware that most of these houses are mere holiday homes to the stars. It seems that there are hardly any permanent residents. This means that it is highly unlikely that you will ever get to see a Hollywood star when joining a boat cruise. And no surprises here: the boats come very close to these properties and they blast their information and music scores at full volume.

But to me it didn’t really matter whether I would get to see a famous person or not. Most of these Miami mansions are just really beautiful to look at and a pleasure to explore.

Also the yachts parked in front of these properties are mind-blowing and worth to see.

By the way, if you are thinking of buying one of these mansions, expect to fork out at least 30-40 million USD. Of course, if you have more money to spend there are even bigger places to buy.

Who owns the biggest mansion in Miami’s Millionaires’ Row, you may ask? Let me give you the answer as you read on – you may be surprised!

The following photos will show you some of the star homes in Miami which you get to see on a Biscayne Bay boat tour. Enjoy this short list of Millionaires’ Row residents!

Will Smith

The mansion of Will Smith in Miami.
The mansion of Will Smith in Miami.

Shakira

On our sightseeing cruise we were told that this was the house of Shakira, but apparently there is a lot of work to be done.
On our sightseeing cruise we were told that this was the house of Shakira, but apparently there is a lot of work to be done.

Ricky Martin

Ricky Martins whirlpool is said to be under the white rooftop cupola.
Ricky Martin’s whirlpool is said to be under the white rooftop cupola.

Julio Iglesias

Spanish singer Julio Iglesias may call this abode his holiday home.
Spanish singer Julio Iglesias may call this abode his holiday home.

Alicia Keys

Alicia Keys' yacht is parked right in front and is also called "Alicia"
Alicia Keys’ yacht is parked right in front and is also called “Alicia”.

Carmen Electra

Carmen Electra also gave her boat the same name. She is called "Electra"
Carmen Electra also gave her boat the same name. She is called “Electra”.

Star Condos and Homes on Fisher Island

Many well-known stars have bought condos on Fisher Island. Among them such unlikely neighbours like Justin Bieber and Tom Cruise.
Many well-known stars have bought condos on Fisher Island. Among them such unlikely neighbours like Justin Bieber and Tom Cruise.

The Most Expensive Mansion in Miami’s Millionaires’ Row: Billionaire Philip Frost

On our boat tour we learned that Philip Frost owns the biggest mansion in Miami's Millionaires' Row. On the property you can find tennis courts, a glasshouse, guest accommodation, staff quarters,... Who is Philip Frost? Just one word only: Viagra.
On our boat tour we learned that Philip Frost owns the biggest mansion in Miami’s Millionaires’ Row. On the property you can find tennis courts, a glasshouse, guest accommodation, staff quarters,… Who is Philip Frost? Let me answer this with one word only: Viagra.

More Miami Millionaire Homes

When writing this article I was very careful to find the correct owners for each mansion that we saw on our boat tour. However, since I couldn’t take notes and the answers by Google are a little bit sketchy, there are quite a few houses where I am not sure of ownership.

There were many more stars and celebrities with homes in Miami’s Biscayne Bay, but I am struggling to find their homes from the wealth of photos that are in my archives.

At least I remember that there were names such as Matt Damon, Jackie Chan, Gloria Estefan & Emilio Esteves, Al Capone, Antonio Banderas, Frank Sinatra, Ben Affleck, Jennifer Lopez, Shaquille O’Neale, and Rihanna.

But you know what: It doesn’t really matter which celebrity owns which of the houses. No matter who owns these places, they are still absolutely stunning and make for a great sightseeing experience. Therefore, the following beautiful Miami mansions get listed unnamed.

Celebrity Map Miami: This is Where the Stars Live

Celebrities do not only own mansions on the islands of Miami. There are many more houses of stars which you can explore on you Miami trip, if that’s your thing.

Madonna, for example, is said to own or have owned a property in Coconut Grove on the mainland (as well as Silvester Stallone and Serena Williams), and fashion designer Gianni Versace famously lived on Ocean Drive in Miami Beach where he got shot on the front steps of his Italianate villa.

While doing my research for this article I found an interesting map of Miami celebrity homes which I want to share with you.

Mind you, whether these celebrities really own any of these properties is debatable. I am sure most of them would rather not have it known if they owned a holiday house in Miami, and I am sure houses also change ownership quite frequently.

This does not mean that tour guides would immediately update their tour information, so visitors might receive quite outdated information, also because this is what sells the tours. You may want to read this article which looks into this issue rather critically.

How to Book a Miami Millionaires’ Row Cruise

Cruises to Miami’s Millionaires’ Row take about one hour. We had great weather on our boat tour and could spend the full tour on the open deck under the shady canopy.

The tour guide was fluent in English and Spanish and would explain each sight in both languages. Very often, the loudspeakers would blast a theme song, a music score or a greatest hit to go with the house that we just looked at. Overall, the cruise was very energised and good fun.

Our cruise started just outside Bayside Marketplace Mall near Downtown Miami. Since Biscayne Bay is not just home to Millionaires’ Row we got to see many other waterfront Miami sights such as a number of marinas (with even bigger yachts), the Port of Miami with the docked cruise ships and some of the historic bridges.

Tip: Bevor or after you hit the boat, stop by Largo Bar und Grill Restaurant at Bayside Marketplace and order some ceviche. It may not be on the menu but ask for it anyway. It’s delicious and refreshing and just perfect in the Miami heat!

You can also pre-book your Miami Millionaires’ Row Cruise online. Since it is only about an hour, it’s best combined with a bus tour to see the other sights of Miami as well. Click here*!

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