A storied timeline

The History of Fisher Island

In the beginning, Fisher Island was a wedge of land with coconut palms and mangroves that sat in Biscayne Bay.

Miami Beach founder and developer Carl Fisher purchased it from Dana Dorsey, South Florida's first African American millionaire. When trying to expand the island and build deep-water docks, progress was delayed as Fisher experienced push back from the County. Later, construction of the Port of Miami served to separate the lush appendage from Miami Beach, creating an entirely distinctive island.

In 1905, Miami received government permission to cut through the barrier island known today as Miami Beach. The cut was created to provide direct access from the Atlantic Ocean to the Miami seaport, thus creating what would become Fisher Island. The land deed contained a clause stating the property could not be sold and could only be used for city purposes. Sand dredged from government cut was repurposed as landfill to expand the original 21-acre barrier island.

Fisher Island Facts

  • Fisher Island is 216 acres
  • 30% of residents live on the island year-round
  • Residents hail from more than 40 different countries
  • Approximately 800 residences have been constructed
  • More than 80 floor plans are available
  • Real estate prices range from $2 million to $40 million
  • Residences range from 789 to over 9,500 square feet
  • Carl Fisher traded Fisher Island to William K. Vanderbilt II in exchange for a 265-foot yacht named the “Eagle” in 1925
  • Building of the Vanderbilt Mansion was completed in 1936
  • Developer is Fisher Island Holdings, LLC
  • The Public Safety Officers currently staff numerous strategic posts 24 hours a day 7 days a week throughout the island
  • A fleet of four ferry boats, which transport cars and passengers, services the island 24-hours a day
  • Ferry ride is 7 minutes in duration, and ferries leave every 10 - 15 minutes
  • The Fisher Island Club Hotel & Resort has 15 hotel suites
  • 17 lighted tennis courts (2 grass, 3 Deco Cushion hard, 5 European red clay, and 7 Har-Tru clay) plus 4 pickleball courts
  • The Links Golf Course is a P.B. Dye-designed 9-hole, 3100-yard long, par 35 course
  • There are over 100 boat slips in our two marinas
  • The Vanderbilt Marina can accommodate yachts over 250 feet long
  • There are seven restaurants and lounges on the island as well as the Island Market
  • Over 400 employees serve the island’s 800 families
  • 12 miles and about 20 minutes from the Miami International Airport
  • Less than two miles from South Beach and downtown Miami
  • Main mode of transportation on the island is by golf cart
  • The island has its own UHealth Medical Clinic, fire & rescue station, pre-K – eighth grade school, car wash, dry cleaners, mail facility, playground and dog park
Quick facts about Fisher Island
The exclusive and private Island off the Miami Coast

A New Era of Luxury for an Iconic Legend

Today's Fisher Island is equally exclusive & private. At the heart of this exquisite tropical retreat is the incomparable Fisher Island Club. This Miami Beach resort alternative and luxury country club offers members and guests the finest residential and recreational amenities to be found anywhere in the world.


The original Vanderbilt Mansion now serves as the landmark centerpiece of the 15 luxury accommodations. The original property is composed of the mansion, pumphouse / Beach Club tower, Rosamund's Studio, Rosemary's Cottage, North & South Cottages, Guesthouse Suites, Vanderbilt Theater, and the airplane hangar (now Spa Internazionale).


In the summer of 2013, the Rebirth of Fisher Island was completed and included a thoughtful restoration and renovation of the Vanderbilt mansion, hotel accommodations, golf course, tennis center, spa, beach club and private marinas. The goal of the restoration initiative was to bring the iconic landmark up to the demanding standards of today’s discriminating resident, member and guest. Today’s Fisher Island is equally exclusive and private, and represents the wealthiest zip code in the U.S.

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