Thoughts about Anna Maria Island
Anna Maria Island is a seven mile long barrier island on the west coast of Florida surrounded by the Gulf of Mexico to the west, Tampa Bay to the north, Anna Maria Sound and Sarasota Bay to the east, and Longboat pass to the south. It is the northern most Barrier Island along the Suncoast with Longboat Key to the south and Lido Key connecting to Longboat Key. The Ringling Bridge leads from St. Armands Circle on Lido Key to downtown Sarasota where you can see world class entertainment at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Center or the Sarasota Symphony and enjoy the seasonal arts festivals Sarasota is known for around the globe.
Anna Maria Island offers you the option to slow down and totally chill and at the same time have all the adventure you could want at your doorstep. Anna Maria Island was originally settled in 1892 by George Bean, and since then the residents have preserved the low key ambiance that makes the island the intersection of paradise and joy.
When you arrive on Anna Maria Island you’re about to begin the experience of a lifetime. From this unique subtropical location you can enjoy easy access to gorgeous beaches along the Gulf of Mexico and Tampa Bay. The Gulf and Bay beaches offer the opportunity to witness spectacular sunsets after you relax or play on the sugar sand beaches or return on your boat after a day catching your limit of natures bounty in the Gulf or Bay.
The Island is comprised of three municipalities: Anna Maria on the northside, Holmes Beach in the middle, and Bradenton Beach on the south end and all three offer many unique and friendly places where you can eat, drink, toss a line in the water to catch native fish species, or watch pelicans, porpoise, and manatees play in their natural habitat.
In the village of Anna Maria, beachfront dining awaits you at the Sandbar Restaurant on the Gulf side or bayside dining at The Waterfront Restaurant. The village of Anna Maria is also home to a choice of entertaining bar and grill cafes. The Beach Bistro at 77th and Gulf Drive in Holmes Beach offers award winning cuisine and sunset views too. Bridge Street in Bradenton Beach is the closest you’ll come to an entertainment district on the island with live music and local delicacies served in the restaurants along Gulf Drive and Bridge Street. You’ll never need to cook, although if you want to, the historic fishing village of Cortez across the bridge offers fresh fish daily.
Shops along Pine Avenue and Gulf Drive in Anna Maria offer a variety of food, artwork, clothes, antiques, and you can rent bikes, kayaks, and just about anything for fun on the beach or in the water from Beach Bums. Fishing and Sailing Charters are available nearby and Bean Point is known for some of the best in-shore fishing in Florida waters.
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