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About Anna Maria Island
Anna Maria Island is located on Florida’s southern coast, just south of Tampa Bay. The island is known for world class beaches, welcoming people and a laid-back lifestyle. It has 3 main towns including, The City of Anna Maria, which is located in the north of the island and is a friendly residential community. The largest city is Holmes Beach and is located in the centre; it is the commercial centre of the island and has three miles of gorgeous white, sandy beaches. Lastly, Bradenton Beach boasts old Florida charm, calm docks and stretches to the southern tip of the island.
The Island is easily accessible by car, over 2 bridges from the mainland, as well as having two major airports. With year round sunshine and a warm tropical climate Anna Maria Island is a stunning place to visit.
Anna Maria Island is a quaint Barrier Island nestled in the Gulf of Mexico. Beautiful turquoise waters and white sandy beaches are the main attraction here. It is a place where "old" Florida charm can still be found, flip flops are a way of life and the speed limit never exceeds 35mph. High rise condos and fast food restaurants are pleasantly absent from our pristine "get away from it all" island. Our accommodations and restaurants offer something for everyone. From quaint cottages by the sea to deluxe suites, from million-dollar villas to rustic cottages to own, one visit to Anna Maria Island and you will be calling it, "My island in the sun".
Anna Maria Island: Low-key pleasures rule on this slice of Old Florida
Written By: Diane Bair and Pamela Wright
...Even by Sunshine State standards, Anna Maria is one mellow joint. There is exactly one high-rise building here, which somehow sneaked past the town planners, but otherwise, three stories is the limit. Fast-food franchises are few. Mom-and-pop-type motels and cottage colonies rule. Stores sell such vacation necessities as inflatable alligators and purple Slurpees. “This island is 40 years behind the times,’’ resident Linda Haack told us. “It’s like the rest of Florida used to be, just beaches, palm trees, and pelicans.’’
True. Once you’ve crossed the drawbridge from Bradenton to Anna Maria, you feel the decades fall away. And stress? What stress? Within minutes of squishing our toes in the sand, we were seduced by the slo-mo rhythm of this easygoing island.
Hit the beach. It’s all about the beach. Luxuriously wide, and fringed by sea oats and Australian pines, Anna Maria’s crushed-coral beach is as soft as powdered sugar.
Strictly by accident, while looking for a place called Beer Can Island, we discovered a great walk: the Coquina Baywalk at Leffis Key. A rustic footbridge and boardwalk traverse tidal lagoons and shallows rich with birdlife (it’s one of the spots along the Great Florida Birding Trail). A closer look reveals a medley of sea creatures such as blue and fiddler crabs, whelks, and ruffled, snail-like mollusks called ragged sea hares.
Dining out was a happy surprise. Who knew this tiny islet would have some of the best fine dining in the state? We splurged on great meals at the widely-acclaimed Beach Bistro, and at Euphemia Haye, on Longboat Key, but the island’s casual, cheaper restaurants won us over, too.