Day Trip: Hop the Ferry to Fisher Island

January 20, 2012 | by —Maria Argüello | Homepage

If you’re contemplating time away from Miami, consider instead a day trip to Fisher Island. Situated just off the coast of Miami Beach, the island allures with storied exclusivity and extravagance.

How did this small, triangular patch of land become such a coveted destination? In the early 1920s, real estate developer Carl Fisher, the then owner of the Fisher Island, offered the island to William K. Vanderbilt II in exchange for Vanderbilt’s prized 250-foot yacht. Having fallen under the siren spell of the island while yachting to the Florida Keys, Vanderbilt happily agreed to the trade. In 1925, Vanderbilt went about constructing a Mediterranean-style winter mansion that now serves as the focal point and landmark of the highly exclusive Fisher Island Club.

Though the property made the transition from private residence to flourishing resort community, the Fisher Island Club retains plenty of early 20th century charm. Exclusivity continues to reign supreme: One can only access the island via boat or helicopter and amenities now include a championship golf course, world-class spa, 18-court tennis facility, gourmet dining and a private white Bahamian sand beach. One of the biggest treats you’ll find is a bevy of five-star dining options from casual to upscale helmed by Fisher Island Club executive chef Stephane Caporal.

Evolution is continuous at the island hideaway, which is nearing the end of its latest “Renaissance Project”. Now in its final phase, the project encompasses a total transformation of the club’s spa and the addition of a town center and community magazine. And yet, the island maintains a soothing sense of calm. (It's not out of the ordinary to see peacocks strutting around.)

Offering a private and posh hotel experience, the Fisher Island Club suites, villas and luxury residences provide guests the opportunity to luxuriate in the island’s extraordinary lifestyle. Here’s how we suggest spending a day at the iconic club.

  • Settle in with a Fisher Island Sunrise (a frozen pina colada with light rum, mango and a splash of Midori) at the Beach Club bar.
  • Schedule a spa treatment and enjoy a leisurely lunch at the waterfront restaurant.
  • Take a dip in the pool or ocean and then jump in a golf cart and spend some time exploring the island. If you're an animal lover, the aviary a nice stop.
  • Settle in for dinner at the Sardinian-inspired Café Porto Cervo and dine on fennel pollen-dusted branzino and fennel risotto with blood orange sabayon.
  • Cap the night with a moonlit stroll on the beach.

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