Anna Maria Island:
A Year Round Destination
Over the last few years, Anna Maria has gone from a seasonal vacation community to a year round destination. Anna Maria Island has maintained its old Florida feel, with whispering pines, sea oats, and swaying palms. You won’t find towering condo buildings blocking your view or lines to fast food restaurants. Although we have major chain drug stores and a grocery store, we prefer to keep the cuisine local with boat loads of fresh sea food, smaller intimate culinary gems, and of course beachfront Pina Coladas with the best Grouper Sandwich you’ll ever have!
The Island in the Sun
Anna Maria Island is a quaint Barrier Island nestled in the Gulf of Mexico. Beautiful turquoise waters and white sandy beaches are the main attraction here. It is a place where “old” Florida charm can still be found, flip flops are a way of life and the speed limit never exceeds 35mph. High rise condos and fast food restaurants are pleasantly absent from our pristine “get away from it all” island. Our accommodations and restaurants offer something for everyone. From quaint cottages by the sea to deluxe suites, from million-dollar villas to rustic cottages to own, one visit to Anna Maria Island and you will be calling it, “My Island in the Sun”.
Anna Maria City
Anna Maria City to the north, is basically residential with the addition of sandwich shops, a few restaurants, and the Bay View Plaza on the bay-side of the island, with boutiques and the historic Anna Maria City Pier. Pine Avenue (running east to west from the city pier to the Gulf) is undergoing reconstruction to restore some of the historic island cottages to maintain the ‘old Florida’ look and feel.
One can shop for antiques jewelry and clothing, or enjoy the restaurants or visit the Anna Maria Historical Museum on Pine Avenue.
Anna Maria Island supports a very special ecology and “Old Florida” philosophy. The laid-back lifestyle allows time to step back from the hectic energies and just walk on the beach, or enjoy a picnic at sunset.
Holmes Beach, is the “business” center of the island. The island library, the banks and island grocery store are all in Holmes Beach along with a wide variety of shops and restaurants. Manatee County Beach greets the visitors to our island, where the Beach Cafe serves their guests on the beach patio right on the Gulf. One of the two bridges to the island, Manatee Bridge, brings the traveler into Holmes Beach at the end of SR 64, which ends on the island.
Bradenton Beach, at the southern end of the island, is home to many condominium units, luxurious resorts and gulf front rentals. Coquina beach stretches along the gulf shoreline and supports the largest beach parking area on the island.
Historic Bridge Street hosts a variety of festivals and from time to time, a farmer’s market that is a wonderful opportunity to purchase locally grown produce.
Cortez, on Sarasota Bay in Manatee County, is the last remaining fishing village on Florida’s Sun coast. Cortez, originally known as Hunter’s Point, probably wouldn’t exist today if not for fishing and for mullet especially.
Native Americans fished the area long before the U.S. Fish Commission in 1879 declared the “Hunter’s Point Fishery” to be one of the most important suppliers of seafood on the west coast of Florida. Before 1857, due to lack of refrigeration, most of the mullet caught from the area was salted and shipped to Cuba.