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Anna Maria Island: a Helpful Traveler’s Guide

Anna Maria Island
Source: flickr.com

Wish to time-travel to an old-time Florida? Well, Anna Maria Island is the place. You are invited here for a tropical and exotic escape, that too just in the United States.

This Island is far away from skyscrapers and fast food joints everywhere. Anna Maria Island stands firm on giving you a trip to the past.

The 7-mile long coast with beaches of heavenly looking white-sand surely makes Anna Maria Island a Paradise. Planning a week-long vacation or a weekend getaway, knowing what awaits you in Anna Maria Island, is important. From Renting Places to Things to do, it becomes evitable to know about where you’re planning to have a good time.

Don’t worry, here’s everything essential that you should know about what awaits you on the beautiful Island. Keep reading and start the virtual exploration of the magnificent and loved Anna Maria Island.

The Island, which lies sandwiched between the Gulf of Mexico and peninsular Florida, basically consists of 3 cities. To its south is the Bradenton Beach City, to the north is the city of Anna Maria, and Holmes Beach city lies at its center. Each city has a wide range of renting options, fun activities, places to explore, dining, and shopping variants to choose from.

But first, have this aerial tour of Anna Maria Island.

The Bradenton Beach City

This small and charming city signifies the Old Historic Florida town. A town that hosts multi-cultural and family-owned businesses instead of commercialization trap for tourists. The town is friendly and will make you feel at home and on a private island at the same time. 

The Gorgeous Renting Options

Anna Maria Island
Source: annamariaislandresorts.net

Here is a list of some exquisite rental properties for you, which will leave you astounded. Here you can find beachfront condos. You can find your perfect beach condo in any size you desire for your group, whether big or small.

  • Island Paradise 5 on Holmes Beach with three beds, two baths, a heated pool, a stocked kitchen, and other necessary facilities.
  • Bradenton Beach Club 245 is a Mediterranean style condo with a gulf front view and a luxury living experience.
  • LaPlage 2 on Holmes Beach is a large luxury condo with four beds, three baths, a heated pool, a Jacuzzi, marvelous architecture with 9ft. 6 high ceilings to give you a royal experience of Mediterranean times.
  • Summer Winds in Bradenton Area which is a ground-level condominium with ample amenities.
  • Beach Side Paradise is a beautiful seven-bed, six-bath home with extravagant facilities and is perfect for a family or large group vacation.
  • Mandalay Bay is a gorgeous home that also features a private boating, fishing dock, rooftop deck, two gourmet kitchens, private heated pools, and a lot more.
  • Summer Sunset, Runaway Bay, The Bayfront, Anna Maria Island Club are among the others with luxury stay and facilities.

Apart from this, you will find many small hotels and vacation rentals, providing basic facilities. You might get a beach cottage living experience too. So, find your vacation home before going.

Places to Explore and Things to Do

Anna Maria Island
Source: wikimedia.org

Among the fishing villages, Bradenton is one of the most loved ones. Apart from a great fishing experience, there are many places that you should visit. 

  • Enjoy the Bradenton Beach Sands and the splashing of azure waters. The beach is ideal for beach lovers and features fishing piers, shops, restaurants, and some traditional businesses. You can have a great picnic day with fun and lousy activities.
  • Segs by the Sea will provide you with some fun seg rides along the Coquina Beach or Longboat Key Bridge. On this self-balancing vehicle, you can explore the area and dive into its views, sunsets, wildlife, vacation homes, beach resort, and wave to the tourists on your way.
  • Island Scoops will serve you with some fresh and interesting items like Lickity Splits Ice Cream, Gourmet Sodas, Big Olaf, Hometown Desserts, and a lot more. Enjoy these scoops at the beachside, and have a good time.
  • If you’re a fishing enthusiast and wish to go fishing with a group, Snapper Addict Fishing Charter will be perfect. The boat tours can be customized as per your fishing experience, and on a smooth boat ride, you can enjoy 360 degrees fishing. 
  • Water Sports are quite famous around the area, and Coastal Watersports is a family-run service. You can enjoy jet-skiing across the Gulf of Mexico or surf on the paddleboards. You can even go kayaking or paddling to view wildlife and waters. 
  • Dolphin Watching Tour awaits you at Captain Fin’s Sightseeing and Boat Tours. 
  • Parasailing is also available here with YOLO adventures. Just soar above the beautiful waters and cherish the experience of a lifetime. 
  • Other fun activities include doing Yoga on a Paddleboard, browsing the crafts store at Coquina Beach Market, Golfing in the Fish Hole Miniature Golf, getting Ornamental Shells at local shops, and sea turtle watching. There are restaurants like Tender Inn and Dockside Bar, Gulf Drive Café, Oyster Bar on the Pier, Wicked Cantina, which serves fresh seafood, oysters, and custom-made margaritas.

So, what are you waiting for? Bradenton Beach of Anna Maria Island might be the island vacation that you were waiting for. 

Anna Maria Beach City

The city area has a climate that attracts visitors all year round. Anna Maria got its name from Ponce de Leon in honor of his mother, Anne, and the Virgin Mary. If you’re choosing this city as a base for your Anna Maria Island vacation, you must know about its rentals and places to explore. Here you go.

Cozy and Comforting Rentals

Anna Maria Island
Source: annamariaislandresorts.net

On Anna Maria Island, to enrich your family vacation, there are availabilities for intimate villas, beachfront condos, bayfront property rentals, large villa with a pool, and also luxury stays. You decide your experience and choose your place as the place has something for everyone and every budget. 

  • Anna Maria Island Beach Resort has Gulf views and a luxury resort pool.
  • The Reefs Edge has a direct beachfront and is just on the sand’s edge with a private walkway on the balcony that leads you to the beach.
  • The Blue Horizon is one of the best luxury homes with two buildings just at the direct Gulf Front. You can get multiple panoramic views from 6 bedrooms in the main house and 3 in the guest house. It also has a private heated pool and a hot tub. The beachfront deck at the 2nd level adds to the experience.
  • Island Paradise is a condominium that has views of the gulf from each of its rooms. The complex has six condos, each having two beds and baths with a shared heated pool.
  • Shell Haven is a private romantic space of 1 bed and bath with a covered patio. It also provides a stocked kitchen and BBQ Grill.
  • The Blue Bay View is a gorgeous home giving panoramic views of the mouth of Tampa Bay. This waterfront home features a private beach that will provide you with an experience of a personal oasis. 
  • The other luxury homes and condos that you might search for are Sunchase Villa, Island Sunset, Gulf Sands, Breakaway, Turtle Watch, and many more. Remember to go through the room detailing and views from the room to find your perfect, romantic, and homey room.

Places to Explore and Things to Do

Anna Maria Island
Source: xinhaidude.files.wordpress.com

The northernmost city of Anna Maria Island, the Anna Maria Island beach city, is an interesting spot for fun and adventure. You can go through the Chamber of Commerce site of Anna Maria Island to get an idea about their local businesses and restaurants. Other amazing things that you shouldn’t miss are,

  • The City of Anna Maria is famous for its pristine beaches. You can tag along any of the coastal lines that seem attractive to you and go for a walk, dip, or swim. 
  • There are lots of Coastal Birds along with frequent sightings of Dolphins and Manatees. You can view them in their natural habitat and just have some sole time. 
  • If you’re a shopaholic, Pine Avenue is for you. There are lots of local shops and boutiques. Fashion, art, coastal apparel, jewelry, and many more things are available amid the locals. Pink and Navy Boutique, The Island Cabana, Shiny Fish are among the places to explore for top fashion trends. 
  • Bella by the Sea Home Boutique is a place where you can pocket and take home some Anna Maria Island. Browse through their collection and get yourself a souvenir. 
  • There are 2 piers in the City of Anna Maria Island that offer Tampa Bay and Skyway’s divine views. From there you can see some dolphins, stingray, sea critters, and manatees. These piers are Rod n Reel Pier and Anna Maria Island City Pier. These spots are also perfect for fishing.
Anna Maria Island
Source: mikkelgramhansen.files.wordpress.com
  • The Island Bean Point is the most loved beach spot as it is the Island’s northernmost point. Here, the gulf meets the bay, and the white beaches are at the peak of its beauty. You can go biking or collect shells here.
  • Bean Point was home to the founder of the Island, George Bean. The area is off the track, but the trail gives you a glimpse of its history.
  • For a peek of the area’s cultural heritage, enjoy the live theatre and live music performances by The Island Players. 
  • The Anna Maria Island Historical Museum and Park will put in your platter some historical tales. You can hear old stories and take a walk/bike tour of the Historic Area of the Island. 

Along with all these, dining experiences are always available at many cafes and restaurants. You can choose from Flop Shop and Candy Stop, Poppo’s Taqueria, Spice Merchants of Anna Maria Island, Hometown Desserts, The Sandbar, Village Café, Waterfront Restaurant, Slim’s Place, and many others.

Holmes Beach City

Anna Maria Island
Source: annamaria.com

In 1896, Sam and Annie Cobb homesteaded a region of 160 acres on Anna Maria Island. Today, that area is the favorite of Holmes Beach. The name Holmes was given after a developer who came here at the end of WW2 and created a community that lives on 600 acres of the area, the Holmes Beach.

This city has relatively less history but is equally beautiful and filling. It is easy to find your vacation rental and luxury stay.

Rentals Available

  • Blue Water View property with multiple balconies, wrap-around Porch, Ping Pong Table, Bocce Ball, Cornhole Court, and also rejuvenating facilities like a heated pool, spa, swim-up tiki hut, BBQ grill and poolside lanai with bar.
  • Under The Tuscan Sun is a Mediterranean design home which will provide you with ample luxury you desire
  • A.M. Beach Resort Luxury Site is a Resort Unit with gulf views that will provide amenities as per your need.
  • AMI Life, Gulf Front Paradise, Castaway Cottage, A Bean Point Paradise, Tiki Sunrise, Sunset Paradise, Views of the Gulf, Tropical Oasis, Absolute Paradise, Anna Maria Hideaway are among the others.

Places to Explore and Things to Do

  • If you want to explore and have fun on your own, Fun and More Rentals will come to your aid. They provide many things on rent to have maximum fun at the beach.                                 
  • You can rent bikes, beach essentials like umbrellas, beach chairs, life jackets, boggle boards, snorkel gear, skimboards, baby supplies like cribs, changing tables, walkers, baths, golf cart rentals, and many more vacation supplies. The Holmes Beach Public Library holds many events that are children and adult-friendly. There are classes, readings, gaming activities, and more.
  • If you love art, Island Gallery West is your spot. Many art pieces are exhibited here, including paintings, ceramics, mixed media, jewelry, photographs, and glass mosaics with a pleasant gallery setting.
  • There is a Public Beach, a hotspot for tourists where you can have a friendly volleyball game and let your kids play in the sand.
  • Starfish Yoga offers a variety of Beach Yoga. You can try Paddleboard Yoga and add something different to your activity list.
Anna Maria Island
Source: i.ytimg.com
  • There are lots of dining variations available, which will make you fall in love with the local space. Skinny’s Place is a local favorite and listed as a must-visit, which is a mom and pop burger shop. There are fine-dining and grab on the go, both options available on Holmes Beach. 
  • There are a variety of shops that feature fine art stores, jewelry shops, souvenir boutiques, home décor, and more. 

Anna Maria Island is a place where even a month would feel less. But you should know beforehand how much time and budget you have and how you wish to spend your dream island vacation. Apart from the beauty of the Island, there are some spots that have histories to call them haunted. You can explore such spots and know about the stories from the locals.

So, start deciding what you have to fit in your vacation schedule. Been here? How did you spend your time? Comment and let others know about your experience.

 

Nandini Raveshiya

Written by Nandini Raveshiya

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