Anna Maria Island
Florida, United States of America
Best for; city-goers seeking a weekend by the coastline.
Where to Stay
112 Oak Avenue
419 Pine Avenue
101 66th Street
512 Spring Avenue
Where to Eat
507 Pine Avenue
212c Pine Avenue
210c Pine Avenue
100 Spring Avenue
111 South Bay Boulevard
What to Do
316 North Bay Boulevard
427 Pine Avenue
793 North Shore Drive
4000 State Road 64 and Gulf Drive
There’s nothing quite like time on Anna Maria Island. Just 20 minutes from Bradenton, 34 minutes from Sarasota or 2 hours from Orlando, the island is anything but difficult to get to. Seven miles of pristine, white sand beaches bordering the turquoise waters of the Gulf of Mexico, Anna Maria has everything from small-town charm to the big city connections that bordering Bradenton and Sarasota allows.
My jaw dropped the moment I stepped foot onto Anna Maria Island. On Anna Maria, your only priority is to keep topped up with suncream. And, of course, to pick from the incredible array of beach-side restaurants to dine from for your dinner. At The Sand Bar, a favourite spot among locals, there’s a nightly competition to guess where the sun will set on the horizon. The winner eats free of charge.
Palm trees sway in the breeze, and you can spot groups of manatees playing just off the coastline.
The island itself has an eclectic mix of places to enjoy. From cocktail bars in renovated doctor’s offices (The Doctor’s Office), to streetfood stops (Poppos Taqueria) and many mercantiles to frequent along the way. You’ll find most of what you need along Pine Avenue, the main shopping stretch of the island. From hand-stitched clothing bazaars (The Island Cabana) to studio stores of local artwork (Emerson’s Studio Store), there’s something for everyone.
Personally, my favourite way to get around is to rent bicycles from Beach Bums Rentals and take off on two wheels. The wide roads that are frequented by more golf buggies than cars are what lends this island to being a cyclists dream. You won’t need to worry about heavy traffic here, as the roads are the quietest you’ll see during your Florida escape.
And if you don’t fancy cycling? Not to worry, there’s a free of charge tram that runs the length of the island as well. Simply hop on and hop off as you wish.
“Palm trees sway in the breeze, and you can spot aggregations of manatees playing just off the shoreline.”
Mile in My Glasses’ Favourite Spot
793 North Shore Drive
My favourite place on the island, without a doubt, is Bean Point Beach. A quiet spot to relax, with crystal clear water and white sand. You’ll think you’re somewhere in the Bahamas, rather than just off the coast of Florida.
Close to all the island amenities you could need, Bean Point Beach is the perfect place to relax.
For more island travel guides, read The Island Guide to Corralejo, Fuerteventura.
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