At its core, a backyard is meant to be a private outdoor space for people to enjoy themselves in the privacy of their own home while being protected from unwanted intruders or neighbors. Though depending on the amount of space available, backyards can either be quite spacious or too small to really spend any time in.
Then there are some who get very creative with their backyards, though these tend to be in mansions. Whether they’re historically important or owned by famous celebrities, a mansion is considered by many to be the pinnacle of household living. Therefore, the backyard of a mansion should theoretically reflect the same principle. In fact, some of these backyards are so good they might make the average person jealous.
25 Cher’s Home
Regardless of how one feels about Cher’s appearance in Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, it’s unanimously agreed that Cher herself is one of the most popular female pop-stars out there. As such, one would expect her to have good taste in houses. Yet apparently, this Revival Tudor-style home in LA was too good for her as she listed it last year “For $2.499 million” according to Mansion Global. But how can anyone not like this house? It’s got a nice garden and is even said to have “A koi pond and meditation area” Mansion Global says.
24 LeBron James’ Home
With a consistent winning streak on the basketball courts and now an upcoming role in Space Jam 2 (which is currently in the pre-production stages), LeBron James is arguably the most popular sports star of today’s generation ranked up there with the likes of Michael Jordan and Shaquille O’Neal. So as expected, he’s got a pretty nice home that was purchased by him not too long ago. According to Forbes, it boasts having “A pool, cabana, deck, and two backyard patios” which are partially visible in the above picture. Too bad the house doesn’t have a basketball court, though.
23 Jordan Spieth’s Home
While he’s no Tiger Woods when it comes to famous golfers, Jordan Speith did manage to tie with Woods’ record during the 2015 Masters Tournament and was one of its youngest participants. Still, he managed to land himself a sweet home that’s got a “Glass mosaic infinity pool” Forbes states and a fire pit which are both visible in the above picture. Then in combination with the brick walls and red roof tiles, it looks almost Mediterranean in terms of design with the pool and fire pit serving as the contrasting modern elements that still fit nicely with the house.
22 Steph Curry’s Home
Now compared to the previous home, this one has a stronger modern feel despite its obvious Mediterranean influence. But this seems to suit Wardell Stephen “Steph” Curry II just fine, who’s another up-and-coming basketball star that was given the MVP (Most Valuable Player) title by the NBA in the 2014-15 season. As for the house itself, it’s said to include an outdoor kitchen and “An 800-square-foot casita guest house” according to Forbes. While the guest house isn’t apparent in the above picture, the kitchen is partially visible as it’s presumably where the tall chairs are.
21 Michael Jordan’s Home
While Michael “MJ” Jordan's home in Space Jam was relatively modest in size, his real home is a lot fancier and bigger by comparison. Plus, he actually has two homes: While one is in Florida, the other is in Chicago. However, he’s currently the process of selling his Chicago home though no one has bought it in the six years it’s been on the market as of 2018 according to Business Insider. As the above picture shows, it has a pool in the backyard with a small green island at its center which is accessible via a small bridge.
20 Wayne Gretzky’s Home
When one pictures a home that belongs to a hockey player, it might seem like they would prefer somewhere outdoorsy that’s up in the mountains with big trees surrounding the property and maybe a private ice rink or two. But in Wayne Gretzky’s case, he apparently preferred a Tuscan-style home in sunny California. Like Speith's home, it too has a nice pool in the backyard and an outdoor deck by the house. However, he’s had this house listed “On the market since 2014” Business Insider says having gone down from $10.5 million to $8.2 million. Talk about frozen assets!
19 Serena Williams’ Home
One of the most prominent female tennis players in recent history, let alone female athletes in general, Serena Williams has racked up quite a number of awards in her career. Namely, “21 career Grand Slam titles” and “Four Olympic gold medals” according to Forbes. She even owns a number of estates including the one in the above picture. Located in Florida, it includes “1.25 acres with tennis court and pool” Forbes states. So here, we not only have the luxury of a house pool but also the additional feature of something related to what the owner does for a living.
18 Shaquille O’Neal’s Home
When it comes to the biggest mansion pools, the one at Shaquille “Shaq” O’Neal’s place in Florida is probably up there. As the above picture demonstrates, the “Shaqapulco” as it is apparently nicknamed is pretty long in terms of length though not as much as the actual house which is 70,000 square feet in total according to Forbes. Additionally, Shaq’s home also includes a “20,000-square-foot indoor basketball court” Forbes states which are nearly half the length of the entire house. Though MJ has a basketball court at his Chicago home too, it’s probably not as long compared to Shaq’s.
17 Rumsey-Harriman Estate
For those who are familiar with US literature, it might be interesting to point out that the house in the above picture may have been the influence for Jay Gatsby’s home in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. Once owned by “Junior League founder Mary Harriman Rumsey,” according to 6sqft, this “French Normandy-style residence on Sands Point” village in Long Island, New York, was one of the places Fitzgerald visited pretty frequently along with the many other parties he attended which inspired the book. Apart from its vintage exterior, it currently includes many modern conveniences and a tennis court.
16 Carolands Chateau
Like the Rumsey-Harriman Estate, this place also has an interesting history behind it. According to Best Life magazine, it was “Dreamt up by Harriett Pullman Carolan, daughter of industrialist George Pullman” who was famous in America during the Nineteenth Century. Built in California, it’s registered as a historic landmark despite the years of decay and it being the site of a bad incident in the 80s. Fortunately, the chateau has been properly restored with tour groups that occur “Once a week” in small numbers Best Life says. Now, who wouldn’t want to visit this place, based on the backyard alone?
15 Biltmore Estate
While most people tend to associate large aristocratic mansions with sprawling lawns and gardens with Britain, America had its fair share of such mansions in the Nineteenth and early Twentieth century as Rumsey-Harriman and Carolands demonstrate. In another example, we have Biltmore Estate which resides in North Carolina. Originally built in 1889 “By George Vanderbilt” according to Best Life, who was an entrepreneur that came from a rich family, it’s still owned by the Vanderbilts to this day. Though like Carolands, they offer select tours of the estate which includes large gardens like the one in the above picture.
14 Beverly House Estate
Once owned by William Randolph Hearst, a newspaper tycoon whom the Orson Welles classic film Citizen Kane is largely based on, this place is known for its stunning beauty but also its historical significance. Apart from being Hearst’s former home, it was where JFK and his wife spent their honeymoon. It has also appeared in several movies, from The Godfather where the infamous horse scene happened to The Bodyguard starring Whitney Houston. But how can anyone not use this house? “Set on a knoll” according to Forbes, it has “Cascading waterfalls to the pool” and Venetian-style columns too.
Now given how fancy a magnate for newspapers had it in the 40s, imagine what today’s tycoons have in terms of luxurious homes. For instance, the above picture shows Sandcastle which is the “Home of Joe Farrell, owner of a building company that turns out multi-million dollar Hamptons shingle-style mansions” as stated by Forbes. So as one might imagine, this guy’s pretty rich and the house certainly shows it. In the backyard alone, this house is reputed to have a “60-foot swimming pool” spa and a “Sunken tennis court with viewing pergola” among other features Forbes states.
12 Fair Field (Hamptons)
Located in the Hamptons area of Long Island, New York, the Fair Field estate is not only recognized for being one of the biggest properties in the entire world but it’s also notorious. Owned by Ira Rennert, who has acquired a number of businesses including AM General, this place of his is reportedly 110,000 square feet according to Digital Trends with “A $150,000 hot tub” and “Indoor basketball court”. Yet the neighbors aren’t particularly happy about the constant expansions to this property, and it didn’t help that Rennert himself got accused of secretly taking money to fund the house’s construction.
As bad as it is having a house that may have been funded through illegal means, it can also be a pain to deal with a house that’s been under construction for 15 years. Known as Versailles, this Floridian palace is owned by David and Jacqueline Siegel, the husband-and-wife duo who own the Westgate Resorts company. Supposedly once it’s done, the place will include such features as six pools (which are visible in the above picture). There were even “Scrapped plans for an indoor ice skating rink” according to Digital Trends that will be a roller one instead.
10 Villa Leopolda
Compared to the Beverly House Estate that Hearst owned, this place has a much longer history behind it. Located in the French Riviera, which is the southern region of France that rests along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, it was “Constructed by King Leopold II of Belgium and was later bestowed upon one of his mistresses as a gift” according to Digital Trends. Now owned by Lily Safra, who’s one of the richest women in the world, it includes “A commercial greenhouse” Digital Trends says along with a sizable pool and nice-looking garden as the above picture shows.
Now richness is a concept that isn’t defined by a region or nationality. Hence, why there are rich people anywhere from America all the way to China. Thus, there are amazing mansions in China that are similar to the ones in America in terms of scale though not necessarily design as is the case with Taohuayuan. According to Digital Trends, “The landscaping is modeled on the Classical Gardens of Suzhou” which is located near Shanghai and is known worldwide for having various canals and gardens that are similar to the kind shown in the above picture of the house itself.
8 Hearst Castle
As if having an estate in Beverly Hills wasn’t enough, Hearst also had a majestic home dubbed the “Hearst Castle” near San Simeon which is a town along the Pacific coast. Nowadays, though, it’s a historic site with tours that are offered. Still, the Hearst Castle is quite the spectacle as the above picture demonstrates. Apparently, “A Roman temple imported from Europe was reconstructed at the castle’s outdoor Neptune Pool, which has a waterfall, impressive classical sculptures and sweeping views of the estate’s 127 acres” as described by Forbes. So this guy clearly had a lot of money to burn.
7 Windsor Castle
Compared to the Hearst Castle, which was nothing more than a nickname for a ridiculously large mansion, this is a real one. Designated as “The oldest inhabited castle in the world” according to Top5.com, it was originally built by William the Conquerer “In the 11th century as a fortress”. Then eventually, the castle became a royal residence that is still used to this day by the current family. But like many other royal residences of historical importance, there are tours available. Consisting of “484,000 square feet,” Top5.com says, it clearly shows in the above picture with the garden.
6 Tiger Woods’ Home
While the mansions featured in this article so far have been beautiful and even eccentric in some cases, we’ve never really touched upon the truly outrageous ones. Well, that’s about to change as we start things off with Tiger Woods’ ridiculously large estate. Located on Jupiter Island, which lies slightly off the coast of Florida, this place owned by one of the most famous pro-golfers in the world is naturally equipped with a “Four-green golf course” according to Forbes which is pretty big as the above picture shows. Some additional features include two pools and a sports court.
5 Brian Deegan’s Home
As part of the extreme sports craze during the 90s, freestyle motocross (or FMX) was one such sport that became popular at that time. Consisting of a motorbike rider who must make crazy leaps in the air while riding their bike across a dirt-filled track, it was popularized further in the early 2000s when clothing brands like Metal Mulisha took off. Co-founded by Brian Deegan, who’s an FMX rider himself, he naturally got enough money to live in Temecula, California. Though as the above picture shows, he’s got a “Multiple motocross tracks” on his property according to ESPN.
4 Dallas Mansion
If this looks like a water theme park, prepare to be surprised! It’s actually the backyard of a mansion in Dallas, Texas, that’s owned by a dentist named Richard Malouf. Though three years ago, it was listed on the market. Cosmopolitan magazine claims “It may have something to do with the several lawsuits” Malouf was dealing with relating to fraud and slandering. Still, that doesn’t take away how neat this mansion is. As the above picture shows, its main feature is a water park that includes “Three giant water slides that spill into a 750,000-gallon pool” according to CNBC.
3 John Travolta’s Home
Also known as “The ‘Jett-Bleu’ estate,” according to StarMap.com, this place actually belongs to John Travolta. Known for many popular movies such as Saturday Night Fever and Grease, as well as infamously bad films like Battlefield Earth, Travolta himself is actually a big fan of aviation. Hence, “The 6,400 square foot mansion designed to resemble an airport terminal sits at the end of a private 1.4-mile runway” StarMap.com states. With a private jet parked as well as a genuine Boeing 747, as seen in the above picture, there’s also a pool and mini-golf course too.
2 Villa Mille Rose
When it comes to Napa Valley, California, most people tend to picture lots of grape vineyards since the area is known for producing many of the world’s best-selling wines. So to add to that region’s beauty, we have this authentic Italian-style abode known as the Villa Mille Rose. Currently owned by Maria Manetti Farrow who is “Known for bringing Gucci franchises from Italy to the United States” according to Forbes magazine, it was intentionally designed to be similar to the villas in Tuscany (which is a region in Italy). As such, it has an amazing garden as seen above.
1 Jeff Gordon’s Home
Though gardens are certainly a nice feature to have at any given house, whether they’re a mansion or not, they’re arguably not as widely appealing compared to having a pool. Because regardless of age and gender, almost everyone loves houses that have pools because they’re a fun and relaxing feature to have. Even former NASCAR racers such as Jeff Gordon have a pool at their house, as the above picture shows. But that’s not the only thing he has as there is also “An extraordinary wine cellar” and “A life-sized playhouse for his kids” among other features Forbes says.