As much as Floridians want to enjoy our last official summer weekend at the beach, it looks like the red tide, which is toxic algae that has been leaving marine life dead at the shore, has ruined it for us. However, we really appreciate all the efforts that all beach personnel and the government has done to clean up our beaches in the last few weeks. And may I remind you that, this is FLORIDA! Once this passes, you can go to the beach in the fall! So when the beaches are ready, you can use my guide to take the family to the beautiful beaches of Anna Maria Island!
Anna Maria Island is about 2 ½ hours from Orlando south of Tampa on the beautiful Gulf Coast. This is not a super busy or highly touristic area like Clearwater for example, which I love. You will find that is quite and somewhat secluded, which means there are plenty of open spaces to enjoy and relax, and for the kids to run around and play Frisbee or football. And if you love Florida nature, you will love this beach. My favorite part of this island are the colorful bungalows and beach homes! You will not find any high-rise condos or hotels, only a beautiful cozy beach scenery.
What to do:
NOTHING! Have you seen this beach?! Bring your umbrella, towels and floaties, and just lazy it out at the beach! That’s it! You don’t want to do anything else. There are technically three beaches along the island, Anna Maria Island Beach in the north, and if you drive a few minutes south there is Holmes Beach, and Bradenton Beach further down. You will find a public parking with restrooms in Holmes Beach. Don’t forget to bring your camera, when you are cruising around town. The homes and the colors are beautiful.
Where to stay:
Since our trip was for my husband’s business, we didn’t stay in the island. We had to stay inland near downtown Bradenton. However, with so many gorgeous beach and bungalows, I recommend to check their website www.annamaria.com for beachfront vacation rentals.
Where to eat:
Most dining options are very casual and family oriented. These three eateries are on the way from the beach to the super cute ice cream shop.
Wicked Cantina – Go here for the Mexican grub, beer and margarita specials.
Oma Pizza – For the picky eater in the house, and there is always one, you can never go wrong with pizza.
Island Time Bar & Grill –You will really get that vacation feeling with the beachy laid back atmosphere, open-air bar, entertainment, seafood and cocktails.
Joe’s Eats and Sweets – As you drive down to Bradenton Beach, you will find this super cute shop! I fell in love with it!! They serve all ice cream flavors, fudge, candy and chocolate covered everything! By far, it’s my favorite place to visit on the island other than the beach itself.
I hope you can use my Family guide to Anna Maria Island Beach and enjoy this beautiful cozy town. Please leave in my comments your experience and feedback! And don’t forget to live the cake life!