Whether you’re looking for a honeymoon destination, a retirement dream vacation, or a getaway with family and friends, Florida is packed full of great destinations.
Unfortunately, many of them are full of tourists, chain restaurants, or are bustling cities.
If you’re looking to unwind on your next getaway, you need a destination that offers beautiful beaches, relaxing activities, and a slower pace.
Anna Maria Island is just the place.
With seven miles of white sand beaches and sparkling turquoise waters, this Gulf Coast getaway offers a mix of Old Florida charm and modern amenities.
It’s even often named one of the best beaches in Florida.
If you’re looking for the perfect getaway from work and the stress of daily life, keep reading to learn why Anna Maria is the perfect vacation destination for you.
Experience “Old Florida”
Every year, more than 110 million tourists flock to the sunshine state. Over half of those tourists visit Orlando for the theme parks, high rises, shopping malls, and other tourist attractions.
But those attractions are far from a real Florida experience.
Tranquil white sand beaches, gorgeous sunsets, and beautiful, unique natural attractions are what drew the original tourists to the state. Decades later, those same attractions still exist, but you’ll need to get out of the big cities to experience them.
Getting away from the hustle and bustle means a chance to experience the so-called “Old Florida.” Along the Gulf Coast, you’ll enjoy beach towns full of tasty mom-and-pop restaurants and shops, without any high-rises to block your view of the ocean.
Anna Maria Island is one such beach town.
Florida is home to more than 1,200 miles of sandy beaches.
Unfortunately, many of those beaches are situated in the state’s population centers, like Panama City, Miami, or Punta Gorda. That means that even during offseasons, the beaches are often packed full of locals and tourists alike.
But that’s far from the case on Anna Maria Island.
Relax and unwind without the crowds. You even have your choice of seven different public beaches on the island, including Coquina Beach, Manatee Beach, Bradenton Beach, Holmes Beach, Cortez Beach, Bayfront Park, Bean Point, and Anna Maria Beach.
If you’re visiting with your family and want the security of lifeguards and facilities like water toy or beach chair rentals, Coquina Beach is a great choice. It offers plenty of parking too, so you won’t have to worry about fighting for space, even during the busier summer months.
If you want something a bit more tranquil, Bean Point is the most secluded beach on Anna Maria Island. Visit early or later in the day or during the offseason, and you’re likely to have the beach all to yourself.
Escape from the Chain Restaurants
If you don’t mind crowded, noisy dining rooms and standard dishes made from frozen ingredients, you might not mind the many chain restaurants that fill most of Florida’s cities.
Or, you could enjoy delicious, fresh-cooked meals from one of the local restaurants that Anna Maria Island is known for.
Enjoy a taste of Germany at Old Hamburg Schnitzelhaus. Turn any night into a romantic one by watching the sunset while you dine at the Sandbar Restaurant.
Many of the restaurants in Anna Maria offer dishes made from fresh-caught seafood, caught by local fisherman in the same Gulf waters you’re there to enjoy.
Start off your day of fun on the beach, in the water, or on land by filling up on all-you-can-eat pancakes at Anna Maria Island Beach Caf?. Then, be sure to end your day -or take a break from it- with a stop for ice cream at Two Scoops.
If you decide that you need a break from the beach, don’t worry. Anna Maria Island offers plenty of other opportunities for fun. One is the local shopping scene.
With quaint stores offering everything from local art to handmade goods, you could spend an entire day strolling the sunny streets.
You can even hop on the free trolley for a ride to Bridge Street, where most of the island’s shops are.
Shop for clothing ranging from simple and classic to quirky and fun at Sea-renity Beach Spa & Eco Boutique. Bring a bit of the beach home with you by choosing some new home decor at The White Egret.
Or, customize a fun gift to bring back to your friends at home at Your Personal Touch Apparel and Accessories.
Year-Round Gorgeous Weather
Florida is always a great choice for a summer getaway. While the heat can get sweltering in busy theme parks or cities, choosing a destination like Anna Maria Island gives you the chance to beat the afternoon heat with a dip in a pool or the ocean.
But a visit to Anna Maria is great other parts of the year as well.
If you live in a region that gets cold weather all or part of the year, Anna Maria Island is the perfect winter getaway.
While the island experiences a few chilly days a year, they’re far from what most of the world would call “cold.” You’ll still enjoy plenty of sun, and won’t need anything close to a coat to be comfortable.
Fish the Gulf
One of the activities that Florida’s Gulf Coast is best known for is the world-class fishing. Book a charter or rent a boat and enjoy a day of laid-back casting or exciting sport-fishing.
You’ll get to take in the beautiful turquoise Gulf waters and the warm sun without interruption.
Don’t worry if you have zero experience with deep sea fishing. Local charters offer experiences for any skill level, from beginners to experienced anglers.
If fishing the Gulf is the number one must-do activity on your vacation list, make the most of your time on the island by choosing a beach home with a boat dock on site. That way you can enjoy a trip out on the water any time the urge strikes you.
Plenty of Other Water Sport Options
If fishing isn’t your thing, or if you’re just looking for another fun activity, there are plenty of other water sports to enjoy on Anna Maria Island.
Rent a kayak or paddleboard and explore the coast from a different angle. Dive beneath the waves with a snorkeling tour. Or, if you’re scuba certified, take a dive tour of Passage Key or Egmont Key. You could see manatees, sharks, stingrays, and more.
Take in the beauty of the island and the surrounding water by taking a parasailing adventure high above the coast.
On land, enjoy bicycle rentals and zip lines, or simply relax and enjoy building sand castles or hunting for shells in the soft white sand.
A quick drive over to the mainland will give you access to several world-class golf courses, including Timber Creek or Pinebrook Ironwood.
Experience Sea Life Up-Close and Personal
A fishing excursion is far from the only chance you’ll get to experience the sea life of the Gulf of Mexico.
Dolphins and manatees are also known to frequent the coast off the shores of Anna Maria Island.
You may get the chance to catch a sight of dolphins surfacing or jumping right from one of Anna Maria’s beaches. To see manatees, you’ll need to visit the land-side of the island.
Increase your chances of sighting dolphins, manatees, and other sea life with a nature tour.
Catch a Sunset Over the Gulf
The lower peninsula of Florida gets to experience both sunrises and sunsets over the ocean. While both are beautiful, unless you want to wake up at dawn every day of your vacation, it’s best to choose the Gulf side of the state for your next trip.
End every day of your vacation at Anna Maria Island by taking in a breathtaking sunset.
With so much to do right on the coast, you can spend each day’s sunset differently. Stroll the beach one night while taking it in. Then spend the next enjoying fresh-caught seafood in a beachside restaurant or relaxing by a driftwood fire at your beach house rental.
No matter how you choose to enjoy it, you’ll go home with incredible memories-and maybe even a few breathtaking photos to share with friends and family back home!
A Slower Pace
From afternoons spent enjoying the beach or walking the town, to evenings spent enjoying a sunset, one of the best things about a trip to Anna Maria Island is the slower pace.
A vacation should be a chance for you to escape the demands of your busy life. Whether you’re retired and looking for a chance to relax, or you have a family that’s constantly rushing from one activity to the next, and looking for a way to spend some quality time together, there’s no better destination.
In fact, if you’re looking for a truly relaxing, slow-pace escape, ditch your car. Anna Maria is small enough that you can get around on foot or with a bicycle with ease.
If you opt to enjoy your stay at a luxurious beach home, you may choose to enjoy Anna Maria Island without ever leaving the property.
With sparkling pools, beach access, and more, all on site, you can escape the demands of your busy life and soak in the sunshine without ever leaving your temporary home!
The Perfect Place for a Family or Friends Getaway
If you’re planning a trip with your family or friends, the last thing you want to do is to plan a trip with a jam-packed schedule. With too many things on your to-do list, you’ll end up spending more time rushing around than you will catching up or enjoying each others company.
That’s what makes a beach getaway a great choice. But the first thing you’ll need is the perfect beach house.
Make sure that your trip is the best it can be by choosing a property that has something for everyone. Anna Maria Island is full of awesome beach houses that offer everything from private beach access to boat slips, pools, fire pits, and more.
Choosing one of Anna Maria’s luxurious beach houses for your next getaway is a great way to ensure that no one will need to venture far for some fun.
You’ll get to spend more time enjoying each other’s company-and some fun-leaving you with memories that will last a lifetime.
Whether you’re planning a trip for just you and your significant other, or for the entire extended family, Anna Maria is the perfect destination.
It’s Closer than it Seems
The tranquil privacy of Anna Maria Island will seem like it’s a world away once you arrive. But you may be surprised at just how easy it is to get there.
Anna Maria is located just 20 miles from Sarasota Bradenton International Airport. With daily flights arriving from all over the country, and even some destinations around the world, you can get to Sarasota from just about anywhere.
Once there, you can rent a car and drive to Anna Maria, or catch a taxi or shuttle to the island. After all, you can get around the island on foot, by shuttle or on a bicycle, which means you won’t have much need for a car once you’re there.
Plan Your Next Trip to Anna Maria Island Today
Whether you’re planning a quick weekend trip or a long vacation, a getaway with your spouse or a reunion with all of your family, Anna Maria Island is the perfect destination.
Spend your days relaxing and unwinding on the beach. Explore breathtaking reefs with a snorkel or dive tour. Glide along the coastline on a kayak or paddleboard.
Spot dolphins and manatees off the beach with a nature tour. Enjoy fresh-caught seafood from local restaurants. Shop til you drop at locally owned stores.
However you choose to spend your trip, you’ll get to end every day with a beautiful sunset.
Planning the perfect Anna Maria Island getaway starts with finding the perfect beach house for your trip. Check out our selection of luxurious rentals today to start planning your next vacation!
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