Anna Maria Island
“Southwestern Florida’s Hidden Gem”
One of Southwestern Florida’s best kept secrets is the seven mile long barrier island situated between the city of Bradenton, FL and the salubrious Gulf of Mexico – Anna Maria Island. A laid back region, and home to just shy of 10,000 full-time residents, Anna Maria has all of the attractive seaside charm missing in some of the area’s more developed regions. This luxurious coastal village offers a breathtaking landscape, easy to access to entertainment and nightlife in Sarasota Bradenton, and the opportunities for long days in the sun and sand.
Named for the Queen of Spain during the reign of Charles II, Anna Maria Island was populated predominantly by indigenous peoples and local fishermen up until the end of the 19th century. Developed by the Bean family at the beginning of the 20th century, Anna Maria Island is divided into three separate regions, or “cities,” – Bradenton Beach in the South, Anna Maria in the North, and Holmes Beach in the middle. Today, a trolley connects the three cities, allowing visitors to enjoy the scope of the island paradise in comfort.
Attractions and Activities
Anna Maria Island is a paradise in the sun, and one thing all paradises have in common are access to beautiful beaches. Coquina Beach, located on the south end of the island, is a crowd favorite, as it contains the largest stretch of sand on Anna Maria. At the other end of the island, Bean Point Beach – named for the island’s historic founding family – is the image of tranquility.
Fishing and Boating
With sun-kissed summers and mild winters, the Florida Gulf Coast is prime real estate for fisherman, boaters, and recreation-seekers. The region’s lengthy coastline, coupled with countless inlets, bays, and tidal creeks make a day on the water an appealing idea. Regardless of experience, visitors and residents can enjoy time on the open water fishing – game fish like spotted sea trout, snook, and tarpon are in abundance – snorkeling, diving, parasailing, and much more.
The wonder of Anna Maria Island isn’t limited to its beaches, as it’s also home to a diversity of plant and wildlife. The small nature park of Coquina Baywalk offers visitors a chance to view these wonders up close.