Rubbing elbows with A-list celebrities like Ricky Martin and Jennifer Lopez who call Miami home is easier than you might think, even if your budget is more suited for a Miami hostel. With a little detection work and street savvy you can manage to “bump into” some of the hottest stars and maybe even grab an autograph or picture.
High profile couples like the recently split Courteney Cox-Arquette and David Arquette can sometimes be seen acting out their frustrations at local hot spots like Fountainebleau while happy couples like Reggie Bush and Kim Kardashian can be spotted dancing the night away at Prime 112, Miami’s coolest place to see and be seen.
But even if you don’t have the clothes, cash or connections to get into the exclusive venues where you can bump into Christian Slater, that doesn’t mean you can’t get a little face time with dazzling international couples like Shareef Malnik and Gabrielle Anwar who regularly attend charity functions at the Intercontinental Miami Hotel.
Find them in hotels
One the most obvious ways to catch a glimpse of the rich and famous is to just wander around the luxury hotels they frequent like the Mandarin Oriental where Jennifer Aniston retreats for her recuperation and quiet time. Musical celebrities from Madonna to Britney Spears are often caught hanging out by the pool at the only hotel to also have its own music studio — the Setai — sometimes with their kids in tow enjoying a splash in the pool.
Miami hotels with boutiques are great places to window shop even if you’re on a Miami hostel budget — cruising through the Gansevoort you might find Brooke Shields or Gisele Bundchen buying bathing suits.
Or check out the Hotel Webster where trendy European fashions that appeal to the likes of Gloria Esteban and Cameron Diaz are bargain priced — relatively speaking. Try your luck with the rowdy crowd on a team night at the Miami hotel the Sagamore, where big names like Maxim Magazine hang out with their buddies Taye Diggs and Tony Romo during the Miami Dolphin games.
Seek them out at charity events
Visit Miami in February and you can hit the “see a celebrity for free” jackpot at the annual DIRECTV Celebrity Beach Bowl on Collins Avenue between 21st and 22nd Street. Of course, to be part of the scene you’ll want to get there early to have an excellent view to watch former NFL players like Merril Hoge compete with fit celebrities like Chace Crawford, Michael Clarke Duncan and Taylor Lautner.
During the summer, the Miami Dolphins’ Fins Weekend give celebrities a chance to golf, fish and hang out with their NFL heroes at Miami hotels like with the Dolphin’s quarterback Chad Henne and even the legendary former quarterback Dan Marino.
Another great place to spot celebs doing the good work is at the Sunday brunch Craft Table at the Forge Restaurant and Wine Bar where notables like Bruce Campbell are goaded into helping the kids make non-toxic craft projects by Gabrielle Anwar.
Show up at the late night hangouts
To the in crowd Club Deuce Bar is simply known as The Deuce – a notorious club that’s literally crawling with celebritie,s even though there’s no velvet rope and it’s a bit of a dive. Nonetheless, everyone from Kate Moss to Matt Damon and pals have been spotted there for after hours merrymaking, especially during the South Beach Food and Wine Festival.
In the older part of town where Miami hostels on South Beach are often located, you’ll find the oldest remaining establishment – Cheeseburger Baby, which also turns out to be Jay-Z and Beyonce’s mandatory stop during any Miami visit. Apparently many hip-hoppers agree — if you spend some time hanging around the backyard patio you might even bump into Kanye West or Dwyane Wade chillin’ after their latest performance.
Check out the islands
Although celebrities take helicopters and chartered boats to Fisher Island, luckily there’s a ferry that makes the trip to this “fantasy island” to get a sneak peek at bigwigs like Prince Charles, Bill and Hillary Clinton or even funny man Mel Brooks kicking back to the island lifestyle.
Wandering around bookstores Casey Key you might run into horror writer Stephen King or Fat Boy Slim sipping lattes the morning after his gig at the Arkadia nightclub. You can even drive in and walk around the man-made Star Island to check out neighborhoods where the truly exclusive Miamians reside – from Don Johnson to Shaquille O’Neal, Will Smith to Rosie O’Donnell – they all hang their hats here.
Don’t let the guardhouse intimidate you, this is a public access road, just be respectful and cool and you might find yourself chatting with P. Diddy about the weather or telling Naomi Campbell about the joys of staying in a Miami hostel.
Check out cheap hotels in Miami
Any other tips for celeb spotting in Miami? Let us know in the comments box below…