Jeff Bezos, Scott Baio, Guy Fieri: Celebrities who went viral in 2023 for moving to Florida

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Of all the places to live in the U.S., Florida remains a popular destination. But a select few made very loud waves when they announced their big moves to the Sunshine State.

Here's a roundup of three celebrities who went viral in 2023 for moving to or buying a house in Florida.

'Exit stage right.' Actor Scott Baio moves to Florida from California, cites 'homelessness issue'

Sorry, West Coast. In the spring, actor Scott Baio left California for Florida − to apparently live his best life on the East Coast.

On April 20, 2023, the 63-year-old retired actor tweeted a photo of himself and wife, Renee Baio, at the beach with the caption "Living our best life in Florida." On May 3, 2023, he tweeted about why he left California for Florida, and went viral.

"A longtime California resident, the 'Happy Days' and 'Charles in Charge' star announced on Twitter last week that he was moving out of California, due to what he described as the state’s homelessness issue," USA TODAY reported May 10.

“After 45 years, I’m making my way to finally ‘exit stage right’ from California,” Baio wrote May 3 on Twitter, citing statistics from a 2022 report by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority. “The most recent survey … found approximately 69,000 people experiencing homelessness in L.A. County and 41,000 in the city in 2022.”

On May 3, Baio also tweeted that he had two homes in Florida and wrote "love them both!"

Not long after the actor reportedly left the Golden State for the Sunshine State, on account of California's homelessness issue, his wife, Renee Baio, bought a home in Bradenton, according to Manatee County property records. In a May 2023 phone interview with the Herald-Tribune, Renee Baio said the couple had been living in a condo until their house nearby was completed.

"I chose Manatee County for various reasons," Renee Baio, a former stuntwoman and business woman, told the Herald-Tribune. "It's close to Anna Maria Island, Siesta Key, and I love the small town feel and values of Manatee County and I support mom-and-pop businesses and would like to keep them thriving."

Who lives here? Most famous celebrities with homes in Sarasota and Bradenton area

Renee Baio is the founder and president of the Bailey Baio Angel Foundation, a nonprofit that helps children with glutaric aciduria type 1 (GA-1) and other organic acidurias.

Scott Baio is best known for playing Chachi Arcola in "Happy Days" alongside Ron Howard as Richie Cunningham and Henry Winkler as The Fonz from 1977-84. He had a catchphrase, too: "Wah wah wah." His character's storyline with love interest Joanie, played by actress Erin Moran, inspired the spin-off "Joanie Loves Chachi," which briefly aired from 1982 to 1983.

After "Happy Days," Baio starred in "Charles in Charge." His character was a college student-slash-nanny to three children. That show, which co-starred Willie Aames ("Eight is Enough") and Ellen Travolta (John's sister), was on the air from 1984-90. Other TV credits include "Diagnosis: Murder" with Dick Van Dyke from 1993-95 and the Nickelodeon series "See Dad Run" from 2012-15.

Before going viral for moving to Florida from California, Scott Baio gained international attention for supporting former president Donald Trump ahead of the 2016 presidential election.

On July 18, 2016, Scott Baio said he was asked by Trump to speak at the Republican National Convention. In his 2016 speech, Baio said: "Folks, our country right now is in a very bad spot. You can feel it. You can see it everywhere. There's no stability. Nothing seems right. And all the things that we hold dear are being attacked every single day. We cannot go down this road anymore. We need to stop. We need Donald Trump to fix this. Is Donald Trump a messiah? No. He's just a man. A man who wants to give back to his country, America."

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos left Seattle for Miami and bought 2 homes in Billionaire Bunker in Florida

Owning a home in Indian Creek Village, Florida, aka Billionaire Bunker is so luxe. Owning two homes there? That's rich.

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos recently did that.

In October 2023, the billionaire and Blue Origin CEO reportedly paid $79 million for a seven-bedroom, 14-bathroom mansion set on 1.84 acres in Indian Creek Village, according to Bloomberg. The ultra luxe, ultra private neighborhood is near Miami Beach and earned the nickname Billionaire Bunker for its residents. In August 2023, Bezos reportedly bought a waterfront estate there for $68 million. He has famous neighbors, too: Tom Brady, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, and Spanish singer Julio Iglesias.

Buying two homes in one of the richest neighborhoods around is viral material, but Bezos' announcement of leaving his beloved Seattle, Washington, for South Florida caused a stir online. Like the Baios, Bezos traded West Coast life for East Coast living.

In November 2023, Bezos announced the news via a throwback video on Instagram, showing him inside his Seattle garage where he founded Amazon, the multinational tech trillion-dollar company in 1994.

"This is my desk here... this is the fax machine," Bezos, 59, said in the video while giving a tour of his "office." "That’s my dad behind the camera in this video," he wrote in the post.

Aside from the pair of homes in Billionaire Bunker, Bezos has many ties to Florida. He graduated from Palmetto High School in Miami. His company, Blue Origin, has a facility in Cape Canaveral next to Kennedy Space Center and SpaceX. The owner of the Washington Post reportedly said he was moving to Miami to be closer to his parents and his Blue Origin operations.

"I've lived in Seattle longer than I have lived anywhere else," Bezos wrote in the social media post. "As exciting as the move is, it's an emotional decision for me. Seattle, you will always have a place in my heart."

For years, Bezos has been included on several "world's richest" lists.

In April 2023, Forbes ranked billionaire Jeff Bezos as the "top tech mogul" and ranked him the third richest man in the world with an estimated fortune of $180 billion. In April 2022, Forbes reported Bezos was the second richest man in the world with an estimated fortune of $171 billion. In 2021, Forbes ranked the Amazon founder No. 1 as the world's richest man.

Indian Creek Village, a 300-acre island in Biscayne Bay with about 30 homes, an ultra-exclusive country club and golf course, is one of the richest neighborhoods in the United States.

Food Network star Guy Fieri buys two homes in Palm Beach County, Florida, within two years

The Mayor of Flavortown has two homes in Florida.

In 2021, Food Network star Guy Fieri bought a lakefront home in Palm Beach County. Fieri paid $3.9 million for a house on secluded Bella Vista Avenue in Lake Worth Beach under the limited liability company Gus Ritchie 1 — a possible play on the names Gus Ferrari and Guy Ritchie, who Fieri has said fans have called him by mistake, the Palm Beach Post reported.

The 7,400-square-foot property in an exclusive seven-home gated community was built in 2001, but a description on real estate site Movoto said there was a $1.2 million renovation in 2010. Fieri's lakefront home has five bedrooms, 4 1/2 bathrooms, pool, outdoor kitchen, fireplace elevator, and a dock that can accommodate a 100-foot yacht.

This year, the same LLC name − Gus Ritchie 1 − and mailing address were used to buy a home on Singer Island in June 2023, according to Palm Beach County Property Appraiser records and a deed filed in official records on July 6.

Lake Worth Beach and Singer Island are about 20 miles from each other.

View of lakefront home purchased recently by Guy Fieri, Thursday in Lake Worth Beach.
View of lakefront home purchased recently by Guy Fieri, Thursday in Lake Worth Beach.

Fieri's $7.3 million Mediterranean-style house is on a coveted corner lot on Singer Island in Riviera Beach less than 2 miles from the Lake Worth Inlet, also called the Palm Beach Inlet. The home is not in a gated community but is located on the dead-end street Coral Way. It has 230 feet of water frontage on the Intracoastal Waterway and a canal.

Built in 2008, it has a total of 9,870 square feet with 6,620 under air-conditioning, the Palm Beach Post reported, adding there is a three-car garage, pool, summer kitchen, five bedrooms, hand-carved coral stone fireplaces, and, like the Lake Worth Beach property, there's room for a 100-foot yacht.

Fieri, 55, has many ties to Florida.

Numerous Food Network shows, including "Guy's Grocery Games" and "Diners, Drive-ins and Dives," have featured Florida hotspots or chefs from the Sunshine State. Fieri also is a regular host and celebrity chef at South Beach Wine and Food Festival in Miami Beach, and he opened Chicken Guy! fried chicken restaurants in Central Florida, including a site at Disney Springs.

The host of Food Network's “Tournament of Champions" has long held the nickname "the Mayor of Flavortown." Within the past five years, at least 50,000 people signed a petition to change the name of Columbus, Ohio, to Flavortown in his honor. The celebrity chef, who earned a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles in 2019, was born in Columbus.

Contributing: Victoria Hernandez and Camille Fine, USA TODAY; Alexandra Clough, Palm Beach Post; AP

Sangalang is a lead producer and trending reporter for USA TODAY Network-Florida. Follow her on Twitter or Instagram at @byjensangalang. Support local journalism. Consider subscribing to a Florida newspaper.

This article originally appeared on Florida Today: Amazon founder, Happy Days actor, Food Network star buy Florida homes