Why do I love Anna-Maria island? What makes this place so special? I thought I would show you that today.
Anna Maria Island, sometimes called Anna Maria Key, is a barrier island. It is bounded on the west by the Gulf of Mexico, on the south by Longboat Pass connecting it to Long boat Key, on the east by Anna Maria Sound, and on the north by Tampa Bay. Anna Maria Island is approximately seven miles long north to south. It is not very large and has about 8,000 inhabitants.Laid-back and natural, located about 45 minutes south of Tampa.
It is connected to the main land by a bridge. As you drive to and from Tampa you pass a number of bridges that connect the barrier islands to the main land. It is just so beautiful with all of this open clear water and scattered coastal islands.
The old city pier. Picture taken on a pretty windy and cloudy day.
This island still has many of those cute and original places to shop or eat that are so much nicer than the big chains that you see everywhere else. This ice cream store was to die for. Hand made ice cream in so many yummy flavors.
It is just so pretty and relaxing here.This large tree with all the orange flowers was sitting on the yard next to our house. I have no idea what it is or what it is called but I loved the flowers.
The neighbors house on the street. Huge and beautiful! They had the most gorgeous front porch with a hanging bed. I would really love to live in a house with a fire place and a front porch something I dream about.
From this angle it almost looks like two houses but it is just one place.
This was the house that we rented. There is no lack of rental homes and rental agencies on Anna-Maria island. During peak season which is February through April one should make reservations well in advance.
A long the northern edge of the island there is no lack of large and beautiful homes such as these ones.
Another kind of flowering tree that I have no idea what it is.
A perfect way to get around the island and see more is to rent a bike. As the island itself is not so large it is ideal for a bike ride and there are also bike lanes which make you feel secure. One day I took the bike for a ride and started documenting pretty mail boxes.
The end of our street, picture taken from our drive way. By the end of the street where you can see the crack among the bushes is a small path that leads to the beach. Another thing that I love about Anna-Maria island is that there is beach access for everyone everywhere. No parts that are closed off or private.
A seven-mile strip of beautiful white-sand beaches line this barrier island between the turquoise Gulf of Mexico and peninsular Florida. There is no limit when it comes to pretty beaches on this island.
Our street view from our drive way taken from the other side.
On our very last day we had a real down pour. Love those kinds of tropical rain storms when the sky opens up completely.
Now we have been here for two years in a row so it is time to go somewhere else next time but would I consider coming back again? Yes, why not later on when some years have passed. There is also plenty to see and do in the area around Anna-Maria. Aquariums, museums, state parks and cities like Tampa, Sarasota, St.Petersburg. Several other barrier islands to visit. A perfect place that offers beautiful beaches but also so much more if you tire of the beach and need a break. Excellent dining and great seafood - a hidden Gem and place that still takes you back to Old Florida. Hopefully it stays that way. It feels like it is becoming harder and harder all the time to find tucked away genuine places like this. I am sure this is not for everyone but these are the kind of places that I love anyway.