Anna Maria Island is the perfect barrier island for a family beach getaway or a special place to call home. 7 miles of powder white beach coupled with lots of activities, such as fishing, sailing, parasailing, stand-up-paddle board, biking, bird-watching, as well as many great beach and waterside restaurants and quaint shops, makes Anna Maria Island a very unique place on Florida’s Gulf Coast.
The locals on Anna Maria island like to have a good time. With an abundance of arts and crafts festivals, parades (especially parades!), sand sculpting competitions, surfing contests and many other great annual events, there is always something going on “on the Island.”
If communing with nature is more your speed, you will enjoy seeing the abundance of wildlife. It is very common to see dolphins and manatees playing in the water. There are many species of beautiful birds and butterflies and during certain times of the year you might even see the loggerhead turtles on the beach!
Besides the active social life the Island lifestyle provides, Anna Maria Island still retains its small beach town feel. You won’t find a single high-rise or the crowded city life here. It’s all about relaxing and enjoying the Gulf Coast lifestyle with family and friends. It is truly an exceptional place to call home.
Anna Maria Island in the News
- Charlotte Parent – “Anna Maria Island – a gem of a getaway that boasts crystal-blue water, sugar-white sand and spectacular pink-and-orange sunsets.”
- Coastal Living magazine – “coastal dream town”
- Dreamscapes Travel and Lifestyle magazine – “Florida’s pearl in the sun”
- Family Circle – #5 on “Top Family Vacationn Destinations, ahead of Washington, DC., Paris and London.
- Forbes – #3 on list of “America’s Prettiest Towns”
- FlipKey – #5 on top 10 list for best Florida destinations for families
- Islands Magazine – named as “Top Island in the World” for family vacations
- Luxury Travel magazine – “With a seven mile coast line of exquisite sugar-white sand, an average daily temperature of 84 degrees and 361 days of sunshine per year, you’d be forgiven for thinking such a place doesn’t exist,” but it does..
- National Geographic – “This area of Florida, just west of Bradenton, is famous for its beaches, But there’s another side: the miles of canals, flats, and estuaries on the other side of Anna Maria Island that offer unparalleled opportunities to see wildlife…and to go horse surfing.”
- Parents magazine – named as one of top 10 Best Beaches for Families
- Southern Living – “perfect getaway”
- TripAdvisor – #3 (in 2014) and #4 (in 2013) on “Top 10 US Islands” list, described as absolute slice of laid-back paradise,” and named as “one of top 10 most romantic destinations in the world”
- Weddings – considered “wedding capital of Florida,” picked for The Knot’s “best of weddings,” wedding wire.com “Bride’s Choice” award.
- World Fishing Network – Cortez Histroic Fishing Village ranked #7 out of nearly 700 US and Canadian communities and #3 in Southeast on “Ultimate Fishing Town” list
- Forbes Magazine – Just south of Tampa, Anna Maria is a Gulf Coast beach town that has managed to avoid the sort of overdevelopment that plagues similar areas nearby – so it retains a certain small-town coastal Florida charm.
- The Wall Street Journal – THE SPARE KEY OF FLORIDA! This town on a slim barrier island about an hour south of Tampa has no grand-dame hotel, no sprawling wildlife preserve, no historic waterfront. And that’s part of what makes it appealing.
- The Conde Nast Traveler –The readers of Conde Nast Traveler magazine have picked Anna Maria Island as the 26th best island in the world. “A narrow band off Florida’s west coast, this barrier island has some of the softest, whitest sand on the East Coast..”
In 2013, TripAdvisor once again named Anna Maria Island a Traveler’s Choice Destination winner and Forbes named it the third-prettiest city in the country for a reason: The Gulf-front community retains its old-fashioned Florida charm. A free trolley that runs the length of the seven-mile island is an excellent way to get a feel for the “sand in your shoes” sensibility of the three little cities, Anna Maria, Holmes Beach and Bradenton Beach. No big developments here, but remodeling and new construction are taking place. Just off the island on Anna Maria Sound, Minto Communities is creating Harbour Isle, a gated community of Southern coastal resort-style homes.