Photo by Gizelle Lau.
It's the picture of a perfect Mediterranean getaway - but on a recent visit to Miami, I discovered that there's much more to this island than just quiet beaches and luxury villas.
Located just a stone's throw from South Beach in Miami, Fisher Island is not only one of the most exclusive communities in Miami but it is also one of the wealthiest zip codes in the entire country. Forget 90210 - it's all about 33109.
With its own post office, fire station, 9-hole championship golf course, grocery store and market, restaurants, a private day school, world-class tennis facilities, two marinas, and a fitness/spa/salon building - there's little reason to leave the island - that is, if you can get on it.
A strict and exclusive members-only policy is in place, meaning that only residents, their guests, and hotel guests can travel to the island. Security guards posted on the island's private ferry service check guests in and out by name while others reach the island by private helicopter or boat. Regular public are not allowed on the island - but can admire the island's red Spanish-styled roofs from afar on the MacArthur Causeway or at the Smith & Wollensky Steakhouse at the southern tip of South Beach.
Once you step onto the island, you instantly feel hundreds of miles away from the busy, loud, crowded streets of Miami Beach. It's no wonder that millionaires, successful entrepreneurs, and celebs like Oprah Winfrey, Julia Roberts, Andre Agassi, Boris Becker, Mel Brooks, and even the Bush family, have been known to stay here.
For those who want to experience Fisher Island for all it's worth (and can afford it), you can book a stay at the Fisher Island Hotel & Resort (www.fisherislandclub.com) where a night starts at around $400 plus a daily $60 club membership fee to access the island's facilities. From bellhops to hotel staff and restaurant severs, the service is incredible and everyone is treated like a VIP.
Best of all - and one of my favourite parts about the island - is that guests of the resort are supplied with a golf cart to get around the island, a breezy 10-minute drive (at golf cart speed). With renovations taking place until 2012, Fisher Island is sprucing up its facilities to make them even better.
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Gizelle Lau is a freelance writer & photographer in Toronto, Canada with a passion for food and travel. Located:
cities, culture, food/wine, paths-less-travelled, photography, wildlifeWebsite: http://www.gizellelau.com/blog.htm
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