Anna Maria Island Fl

Although Anna Maria Island Fl is not in Sarasota, do not miss an opportunity to visit this gorgeous island. It became one of our favourite places since the first visit. It has laid-back lifestyle and pace of life is slower there. One could describe it as a place where time has stood still.

There is height restriction on buildings which allows water, sand and blue skies to be seen from almost every vantage point.

Very conveniently, there is a free trolley driving around the island daily between 6am and 11pm. It stops every 4-5 blocks at designated beaches arriving every 20-30 minutes.

What a perfect way to explore Anna Maria. Leave your car on one of the public beaches free car parks, hop on the trolley and choose your favourite beach! If you prefer a different transport for exploring but did not bring your own, there are plenty of places to rent bicycles, boats and canoes.

This 7 miles long and 3 miles wide barrier island is located in Manatee County Florida, about 19 miles north from Sarasota Bradenton Airport. The island is divided into 3 cities: Anna Maria in the North, Holmes Beach in the middle and Bradenton Beach in the South.

You can take a couple different routes to get there. One is to drive via Longboat Key that is connected with Anna Maria by toll-free Longboat Pass Bridge. This way you can see both Longboat Key and Anna Maria. State Rd 789 (Gulf Drive) runs along the entire island.

Another way of getting there is via Bradenton. There are 2 toll-free bridges connecting the island with the mainland across Sarasota Bay: Manatee Avenue Bridge, if you take State Rd 64 you will get into Holmes Beach. Cortez Bridge, approached from State Rd 684 , brings you into Bradenton Beach.

Spending a day on Anna Maria Island Fl is a treat. For the first time we came to Anna Maria to celebrate our mum's birthday. It was a gorgeous April day and we brought some provisions for our lunch to the Manatee Beach. Glad that we came early we were able to reserve ourselves the BBQ pit and a picnic table not far from the ocean. Later on the beach filled up.

Apart from all its indescribable beauty we appreciated the cool shade from large pine trees fringing the beach. Some beaches do not have the trees. It may get too hot even under the umbrella and if you do not have one then it can be tough to bear all that Anna Maria Island sun even in April.

On Anna Maria Island Fl you are spoilt for choice with variety of public beaches to suit every taste. Starting from its South end, the 6 of them are:

Coquina Beach - one of the largest in the area, located on the South end of Anna Maria. Amenities include: free parking, lifeguards, playground, restrooms and showers, picnic tables, BBQ pits, covered pavilions and concessions. There is a boat launch across the street from the beach. Large trees provide plenty of shade. Coquina Bay Walk is a nature trail where you can get a feel of Florida wildlife.

Cortez Beach - is in Bradenton Beach, north of Coquina Beach. One of the nicest on Anna Maria. Its amenities are: free parking, restrooms and showers, picnic tables.

Bradenton Beach - is on the southernmost side of the island. Has great views and tropical trees. No facilities. There is limited parking and access to the beach is from the side streets.

Manatee Beach - the busiest on Anna Maria due to its facilities: beach shop, chair and umbrella rentals, picnic area, restrooms, showers, BBQ pits and tables, playground and lifeguards.

It has outstanding views and a restaurant serving 'all you can eat' pancakes.


Holmes Beach
- this one is quiet and located in the residential area and has no facilities. Parking is on side streets. Accessible from 30th, 33rd, 36th, 45th, 65th, 68th, 73rd and 81st streets.

Anna Maria Beach - stretches from Oak Ave. to Sycamore Ave. off Gulf Drive. There no facilities, it is completely unspoilt. Considered one of the best beaches on the Gulf of Mexico. Limited free parking is available on side streets and there is a free parking lot at Spring Ave. and Gulf Drive (1 block away from the beach).


From Anna Maria Beach you can view the most spectacular sunsets on the island. North point of Anna Maria is one of the most secluded beaches on the island. There are views from it on Sunshine Skyway Bridge.

Shopping:
Publix supermarket, many delis, pizza and speciality shops. There are shopping centres: Bayview Plaza in Anna Maria, Holmes Beach Shopping Centre on Marina Drive and Anna Maria Island Centre on East Bay Drive in Holmes Beach.

Weddings:
Did you know? Anna Maria Island Fl is nick named as "Beach Wedding Capital" of Florida. The Chamber of Commerce hosts an annual Wedding Festival. In 2009 the festival was on January 25th.

Anyone thinking about tying the knot soon? Anna Maria could become a perfect island for you dream beach wedding. Imagine Shell Girls (think Flower Girls) walking barefoot down the white sand aisle and the sun nearing its setting point is getting ready to congratulate the newly weds with spectacular show.

If you get interested to wed or renew your vows on Anna Maria Island Fl, then these website links may become useful.
www.amiweddings.com - official guide to Anna Maria Island Fl weddings.
www.annamariaislandweddingdirectory.com - Anna Maria Wedding directory.

Fishing:
Anna Maria Island is great for fishing! Choose to fish from one of the piers: Bridge Street Pier, Anna Maria City Pier or Rod and Reel Pier. If you feel more adventurous, you can arrange either half a day or a day fishing trip on a charter boat with one of the local captains. This website has information and contacts of the local captains.

For sports enthusiasts there are scuba diving, para sailing and tennis available on the island. Public courts are located in Anna Maria and Holmes Beach.

Apart from all above it is certainly worth mentioning thriving arts and theatre community on the island. Its natural beauty inspires many artists. During our last visit in February this year we came across a fair by Coquina Beach. We stopped and walked around the stalls selling local art, photographs, crafts, gorgeous jewellery and much more hand made produce so wonderful for unique gifts.

Anna Maria Island Fl has such personality and charm that one cannot fail to fall for it and we, as many of those who visited, are impatient to return there again.

Anna Maria Island Fl annual temperatures

Month

High

Low

Average

January

71.2

48.9

60.1

February

72.5

50.5

61.3

March

77.0

55.4

66.2

April

81.7

58.6

70.0

May

86.5

64.4

75.6

June

89.6

70.0

80.0

July

90.7

71.8

81.3

August

90.9

72.1

81.7

September

89.1

71.2

80.2

October

84.6

64.4

74.5

November

78.4

57.0

67.6

December

73.4

51.1

62.2

Annual

82.0

61.3

71.8


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