Walshy Fire and Heidi Klum at a party during Art Basel Miami Beach in 2016.
Walshy Fire and Heidi Klum at a party during Art Basel Miami Beach in 2016.
World Red Eye

The Ten Best Places to Spot a Celebrity in Miami

If you want to spot a celebrity in Miami, follow the money trail. Imagine the life you’d lead with coffers of disposable income, and the gluten-free, zero-calorie bread crumbs will appear. Miami has always been a playground for famous folks, and with more gleaming one-percenter hotels towering in the skyline, odds are you’ll bump into a star who’s out and about getting stuck in traffic in the back seat of a Rolls.

Here are a few places in the Magic City where you might catch a glimpse of those denizens of the limelight.

The serene scene at Bal Harbour Shops.
The serene scene at Bal Harbour Shops.
Courtesy of Bal Harbour Shops

1. Bal Harbour Shops
Bal Harbour Shops is where ocean breezes mix with the rarified scent of money. Harry Winston meets the diamond needs of every girl, famous or otherwise, who also shops for silky thongs at La Perla and dines at the mall’s swanky eateries. Celebrity spotting is easy-peasy here, even if you can’t afford a single thread at Prada. Martha Stewart, Cindy Crawford, Kate Hudson, and Tyra Banks have all made appearances at Books and Books for signings.

The Ten Best Places to Spot a Celebrity in Miami
Photo by Gary James / Courtesy of Carma PR

2. Prime 112
The list of celebrity carnivores who’ve dined at South Beach’s Prime 112 is as long as the lines they all skip to chow down on aged USDA Prime beef and maybe grass-fed, free-range unicorn. (For the price, it had better be unicorn.) The likes of Oprah, Sofia Vergara, Jeremy Piven, Kim Kardashian, Justin Bieber and many more meat lovers have licked their chops over foie gras butters and white truffle fries at the popular steakhouse.

The Ten Best Places to Spot a Celebrity in Miami
Michele Eve Sandberg

3. The Miami Open
Every spring, the tennis world turns its gaze towards Key Biscayne, already a world-renowned tennis community, for the Miami Open tournament (a.k.a. Winter Wimbledon), where you’ll find elite athletes and the celebrity fans who love them, all in one court. This past March, Vogue editor Anna Wintour was just one of several celebrities who watched Roger Federer and other champions swing their rackets.

Model Nina Agdal on the South Beach sands.
Model Nina Agdal on the South Beach sands.
George Martinez

4. The beach
It’s safe to say that just about every celebrity on the planet has stuck their toes in the sand along the shores of Miami Beach, which even one-tenth of the one-percenters can’t privatize. The rich and famous have taken dips behind the dozens of posh hotels hugging the strand from South Pointe to North Beach. They’ve also shown some skin, of course. Who can forget shirtless Matthew McConaughey and Lance Armstrong running along the surf, or Lindsay Lohan’s newsworthy nipple slip?

Charlotte McKinney at Ocean Drive's February issue party.
Charlotte McKinney at Ocean Drive's February issue party.
World Red Eye

5. Ocean Drive parties
Ocean Drive Magazine is too sexy even for its namesake street, which in reality is a little too tacky for champagne tastes. The glossy coffee table favorite speaks to the high falutin’ of America’s Riviera, and reports on all that glitters in the good life. Its covers feature only the most fabulous, airbrushed into perfection, and its invite-only, monthly debut parties are legendary. Find out where they’re hosted, and you’ll know what spots are, in fact, sexy enough for famous hotties. Last month, model Adriana Lima showed up at trendy Komodo to show off the new cover displaying her supermodel mug. The Asian eatery, also a go-to place for hungry celebs, is owned by Dave Grutman, Miami’s nightlife kingpin and unofficial celebrity ambassador.

Rob Gronkowski and Steve Aoki at LIV.
Rob Gronkowski and Steve Aoki at LIV.
World Red Eye

6. LIV
So many celebrities show up to party or perform at Grutman’s LIV, it’s like they’re part of the furniture. The nightclub is the mecca of Miami’s disco world and attracts VIP revelers from all over the world. The Kardashians, Drake, Eva Longoria, Cuba Gooding Jr., and Flo Rida are just some of the many celebs who’ve attended bashes here. Last year, Justin Bieber and Skrillex welcomed in the New Year, with tickets starting at $500 just to walk in the door. The venue is located inside the Fontainebleau Hotel, itself a celebrity home away from home, where Lady Gaga once caught the lens of the paparazzi when she stood on the balcony wearing nothing but a blazer and panties.

Guy Fieri and Snoop Dogg at the 2017 South Beach Wine and Food Festival.EXPAND
Guy Fieri and Snoop Dogg at the 2017 South Beach Wine and Food Festival.
Monica McGivern

7. South Beach Wine & Food Festival
Surprise sightings are always delightful, but you can pay to gawk at Food Network celebrities at the annual South Beach Wine & Food Festival. Culinary demonstrations at the Grand Tasting Village keep your favorite chefs within spitting distance. Memories of festivals past include Guy Fieri getting pie face and Giada de Laurentiis answering audience questions, including one about how she could eat so well and be so skinny. Small portions, she said. All in good fun and spirits, of course, of which there’s plenty to sample at the foodie fandom event.

The Ten Best Places to Spot a Celebrity in Miami
Photo by Melissa Burley

8. Mac's Club Deuce
You’d never think to kick back a few cold ones with celebrities at Miami’s diviest and grittiest watering hole, but you’d be wrong. Oh, how the mighty fall off their bar stools at Mac’s Club Deuce, where the smell of stale beer and cigarette smoke hasn’t deterred the likes of Kate Moss, Anthony Bourdain, Cameron Diaz, Guy Fieri, Matt Damon, and many others who’ve proven that the thirst for a great buzz is the great equalizer.

Martha Stewart at Art Basel Miami Beach
Martha Stewart at Art Basel Miami Beach
Gmartnx

9. Art Basel Miami Beach (and the surrounding parties)
So many stars come to Art Basel in Miami, it’s dizzying. Parties and exhibits galore combine to create endless traffic jams and a massive assembly of A-listers you’re bound to bump into when they’re not behind the velvet rope. Did we mention they’re also here to see the world’s latest and greatest works of art? Past art-loving glitterati include party hosts A$AP Rocky, Rosario Dawson, and Heidi Klum. Katie Holmes was once spotted at Miami’s newest artsy-fartsy darling, Faena. Jay-Z showed up for more than the free-flowing champagne and actually bought a painting for $20,000.

SoulCycle South Beach.
SoulCycle South Beach.
Courtesy of SoulCycle

10. In the gym
To get fit and stay fab, celebrities hit workout spots that also bring on the sweat for regular Miamians. Recently, way, way off the beach near Kendall, new talk of the town couple J-Lo and A-Rod worked out together at SoMi Fitness after a trip to the Bahamas. The likes of John Legend and Jessica Alba have gone for a spin at 1 Hotel South Beach’s SoulCycle. And if you can’t join ‘em, at least look like ‘em by taking a class at Barry’s Bootcamp with popular celebrity trainer Derek DeGrazio, who helped Britney Spears pump and grunt her way to a comeback body in 2011. Ellie Goulding and Diplo have also stopped by the elite Miami Beach fitness studio to burn calories.

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