Anna Maria Island Beaches
STEP BACK IN TIME to OLD FLORIDA CHARM
South of Tampa Bay on the west coast of Florida lies Anna Maria Island, just off the shoreline of Bradenton. Old Florida charm is the essence of Anna Maria’s seven mile stretch of pristine living… with every location literally a walk or bike ride away. The entire island is surrounded by a sugar-white coastline where loggerhead turtles like to nest and exceptional emerald water where dolphins and manatees are often spotted. Sans the High-rises, theme parks and water slides, this little island is a fishing birding, kayaking paradise.
The City of Anna Maria is located at the northern tip. This is a quiet residential community with an abundance of rental homes and cottages. Most residents prefer to ride their bikes, as the “City of Anna Maria” is not a City but, a quaint little village. Pine Street serves as the main thoroughfare from bay to beach where charming family stores and cafes are housed in quaint Florida cottages as well as “one” unobtrusive shopping center featuring novelty shops, clothing and ice cream. Many artists reside in the area where the fruits of their efforts can be found in nearby galleries.
Anna Maria Beach is accessible by traveling the side streets along Gulf Drive. This magnificent beach has expansive views of the Gulf of Mexico, St. Petersburg and the Skyway Bridge.
Holmes Beach is at the center of Anna Maria Island. This is the busiest section of the island as traffic is crossing the bridge from the city of Bradenton. The public beach, known as Manatee Beach, is a direct shot from the bridge featuring a concession stand, volley ball courts, water sport rentals and play yard. Nearby restaurants, shops and boutiques make this a vibrant active community.
Heading south, the village of Bradenton Beach is a community featuring historic Bridge Street for interesting shopping and a great seafood restaurant at the end of the pier overlooking Sarasota Bay. There are regular Bridge Street special events such as “Movie Night”, “Mardi Gras”, Art Shows, Car Shows, etc. – Its a fun place to be. You can pamper yourself at a day spa as well as enjoy fine dining and nightly entertainment. Across from Bridge Street and heading south is Cortez Beach followed by Coquina Beach, a 96- acre Australian pine shaded oasis of beauty. At the southern most point, on the bay side of Anna Maria Island, are sandy paths lined with lush foliage leading to Sarasota Bay for viewing many species of shore birds like spoonbills, osprey, least terns, oyster catchers and more.
While staying on Anna Maria Island, leave your car and ride the “FREE trolleys” that travel daily from Manatee Beach, Coquina Beach, Anna Maria Pier, Longboat, St. Armand’s Circle and Sarasota. Service begins at 6:00a.m. till 10:30p.m.; arriving every 20-30 minutes.
Planning to stay a while? Recommended Accommodations
Anna Maria offers a variety of accommodations from beachside cottages and quaint hotels, motels, luxury homes, condos, spacious villas or full service resorts; this is the place to relax and get away from it all.