Inside the secretive waterfront town that's home to Bill Gates' $125 million 'Xanadu 2.0' and Jeff Bezos' $91 million estate

Forget about the Upper East Side of New York or Atherton, California, as bastions for the ultrarich.

The tiny waterfront city of Medina, Washington, is where several of the world's wealthiest people live.

Located just outside Seattle, Medina is home to the world's two richest people: Microsoft founder Bill Gates and Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos.

But they are far from the only moneyed residents. The town's inhabitants include numerous other Microsoft bigwigs, tech entrepreneurs, and telecom magnates.

We visited to see why the sleepy town has become a haven for the 1%:

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Inside the secretive waterfront town home to the world's richest
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Inside the secretive waterfront town home to the world's richest

Most of the town is equipped with surveillance cameras.

Photo credit: Harrison Jacobs/Business Insider

Medina is located on a peninsula just across Lake Washington from Seattle, and it has long been a haven for tech bigwigs in the area. 

Photo credit: GoogleMaps

Visitors enter the town from the Evergreen Point Floating Bridge. Measuring 7,708 feet in length, it is the longest floating bridge in the world. 

Photo credit: Harrison Jacobs/Business Insider

Medina is a city of about 3,000 people. The Medina Beach Park doubles as the city hall and police station. 

Photo credit: Harrison Jacobs/Business Insider

The city has a spectacular view of Seattle, Lake Washington, and the surrounding area. You feel miles away from Seattle's bustling downtown from here. 

Photo credit: Harrison Jacobs/Business Insider

Almost all of the houses on the water in Medina have a dock and a small private beach. Lake Washington is a popular place for swimming, water sports, and boating in the summer. 

Photo credit: Harrison Jacobs/Business Insider

The town is filled with evergreens. Medina was designated as a Tree City by the Arbor Day Foundation in 2006. 

Photo credit: Harrison Jacobs/Business Insider

While the roads are lined with evergreens and shrubs, the houses tend have their own distinct vegetation and landscaping. This property was dotted with palms. 

Photo credit: Harrison Jacobs/Business Insider

Evergreen Point Road, like most of Medina, was very quiet. A car passed here or there, but for the most part the neighborhood was eerily peaceful. 

Photo credit: Harrison Jacobs/Business Insider

The town is almost entirely residential. The Medina Grocery & Deli and this post office appear to be the only sources of commercial activity.

Photo credit: Harrison Jacobs/Business Insider

There is a mural on the side of the post office recounting the incorporation of Medina in 1955. The city was first settled in 1891 and named after a city in Saudi Arabia.

Photo credit: Harrison Jacobs/Business Insider

The Wells Medina Nursery, a plant store about a mile from the post office, is the only other store in town. Most shopping can be done in nearby Bellevue.

Photo credit: Harrison Jacobs/Business Insider

The houses on the waterfront side of Evergreen Point Road were all blocked by high gates. The mansions looked massive, but it was hard to see inside. 

Photo credit: Harrison Jacobs/Business Insider

The landscaping on most of the properties was impeccable. 

Photo credit: Harrison Jacobs/Business Insider

These "lending libraries" were dotted on some of the streets, and the town is filled with expansive and beautiful parks.

Photo credit: Harrison Jacobs/Business Insider

Cameras, motion sensors, and other forms of surveillance are outside every house on the waterfront side.

Photo credit: Harrison Jacobs/Business Insider

The houses on the other side of Evergreen Point Road are still elaborate, but not on the same level as the waterfront properties.

Photo credit: Harrison Jacobs/Business Insider

Bill Gates lives about a half mile up the road from Bezos in this $125 million compound he nicknamed "Xanadu 2.0." The 66,000-square-foot house is brimming with state-of-the-art technology. 

Photo credit: Harrison Jacobs/Business Insider

Of course, it has a spectacular view of Lake Washington. The house has a 23-car garage, six kitchens, 24 bathrooms, and a reception hall that can accommodate 200 guests. 

An outside deck seen at Gates' home in Medina in 2006.

Photo credit: AP 

The Overlake Country Club in Medina has been open since 1927. Membership to the club is only by invitation.

Photo credit: Harrison Jacobs/Business Insider

If you think you'd like to move to Medina, this house just off the second fairway of the country club is listed for $7.2 million. It has seven bedrooms, nine bathrooms, and a "brilliant open floor plan."

Photo credit: Harrison Jacobs/Business Insider

This 6,120-square-foot house is also on the market. A cool $7.56 million buys you a five-bedroom, six-bath designed by the famed interior decorator Nate Berkus.

Photo credit: Harrison Jacobs/Business Insider

The median home value in Medina is $1.56 million, and the median household income is $174,000. But not all the houses in Medina are extravagant. There are many simpler abodes, like the one pictured here.

Photo credit: Harrison Jacobs/Business Insider

The town adjacent to Medina, Hunts Point, isn't anything to sneeze at either. With about 500 residents, its median household income is slightly higher at $180,000. The median property value is $2 million.

Photo credit: Harrison Jacobs/Business Insider

The entire town is a single evergreen-lined road called Hunts Point Road.

Photo credit: Harrison Jacobs/Business Insider

Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, who owns the Los Angeles Clippers, lives in Hunts Point. The relatively modest house has only four bedrooms and is located on 2 acres.

Photo credit: Harrison Jacobs/Business Insider

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