Anna Maria Island
Manatee County, Florida, United States of America
Every time we visit Florida, my friends and I love to explore a part of the state that we wouldn’t traditionally visit. Last year, we took a trip to Crystal River to swim with manatees on a friend’s recommendation (which you can read about here), and then when that same friend mentioned Anna Maria Island to me in the midst of planning earlier this year, we couldn’t resist figuring out a trip to the water.
On the west coast of Florida, just south of Tampa sits Anna Maria Island – accessible by a driveable bridge on the 684. I was entranced by how gorgeous the Gulf of Mexico was – with the beautiful blue-green water splashing against the shore. It was so warm, too! Which was great since it gave some relief to the intense heat. The beach stretches across the entirety of the island – starting at the northern tip of Bean Point and finishing south with Bradenton Beach.
The white sand makes you feel like you’re in the Caribbean and the beachy foliage definitely made me think we weren’t just a 2 hours drive from Orlando.
The Island is made up of a mix of concrete and dirt roads and where you’d usually find that the weather closer to the shore is cooler than inland, the day that we visited just so happened to be an absolute scorcher, and even though it was October, the heat mixed with the humidity put the temperature towards 40 Celsius – which was balmy, especially for an Englander who’s lucky to get 15 degrees during Autumn!
We explored the retail stretches of Anna Maria – picking up cute tees from Two Sides of Nature and visiting the local convenience stores. I loved how the outside of the stores looked – and the houses, too. Part of me would love to live in a beach community like this one, it just looks so much fun!
During our time on the Island, we grabbed lunch at a restaurant called The Waterfront, which overlooks Anna Maria City Pier. I can’t even begin to explain how delicious the food here was – I grabbed garlic bread to start and then the garden risotto for my main – while Clare and Kim both ate seafood!
The staff were absolutely lovely and dining on the porch watching the world tick by was a brilliant way to spend time on Anna Maria without the worry of getting sunburnt (also, I’m forever grateful of America’s unlimited refills perks, so having liquids constantly topped up while you were at the restaurant meant that you didn’t have to worry about dehydrating!)
In total, I absolutely loved every second spent on Anna Maria Island, and have already raved about it to Scott so much that he’s said we should revisit when we return to the Sunshine State in March! Eek! I hope you’ve had a lovely week, I can’t wait to tell you guys all about my other adventures while in one of my favourite places in the entire world!