Anna Maria Island - A Hidden Paradise on Florida’s Gulf Coast
With temperature of 84 /26 degrees and 361 days of sunshine per year, you’d be forgiven for thinking such as place doesn’t exist. But it does. With a rustic charm, a laid-back Floridian style and unhurried tropical living, your worries will be far away. The locals want to get to know you and local businesses welcome you with signs that say ‘come as you are’ promising to ‘feed your soul’; a truly indicative symbol of the wonderful culture that is Anna Maria Island.
Anna Maria Island is part of Florida's Gulf Islands, which includes Longboat Key, Bradenton and Longboat Ranch. Tucked away on Florida’s Gulf coast in Manatee County and nestled between Tampa and Sarasota, the Gulf Islands is only 2 hours’ drive from Orlando, and can be a perfect way to spend a few extra days winding down from a busy theme-park filled adventure at any of Florida’s famous Universal or Disney parks.
The Island consists of three town communities. Anna Maria City is at the north end of the island, where most of the Pinapplefish vacation rentals can be found, amongst some of the largest residential homes on the island. Holmes beach is in the centre and Bradenton Beach in the south, with its fun shops and restaurants. However with only 8000 inhabitants on the Island, it is far from being crowded.
Most people visit Anna Maria Island for the exquisite Anna Maria beach. But the island also plays host to wonderful wildlife, including an array of birds and the rare sea turtles that come to nest each year. River and Sea Fishing are also a popular pastime. There is nothing quite like casting a line from either City Pier or the Rod and Reel Pier, both historic landmarks on the island, where the scene is set to watch the manatees and dolphins meander past, or to fish at dusk, when the island proudly displays some of the most magnificent sunsets to rival anywhere in the world.
Unsurprisingly, Anna Maria Island Weddings are becoming increasingly popular as couples begin to discover the idyllic setting and romantic sunsets that make it the perfect backdrop for a beach-wedding dream. So much is the interest in the Anna Maria Island for weddings; it is being heralded as the No.1 Wedding Destination in Florida.
There are so many things to do on Anna Maria Island, as well as fantastic restaurants and great places to eat and fabulous shops, but whatever you choose; you will only want to do it at a slow pace. The best way to explore the Island is to hire a bike, or take the free trolley service, which travels daily from Anna Maria Pier in the north to Coquina Beach on the south.
Winding down on this island is instant, as you settle in to a taste of Florida’s very own yesteryear paradise.
Welcome to Anna Maria Island!