Whether an experienced or a first-time vacation home renter, you’ll enjoy the many choices for beachside getaways on Anna Maria Island. Luxury gulf side villas, quaint beach cottages and canal front condos offer breathing-room space and countless amenities that traditional hotel stays can’t match. Beyond the advantage of preparing some meals at home, your beach rental allows you to slide right into islander life and feel very much at home.
Three small communities share Anna Maria Island – Bradenton Beach, Holmes Beach and Anna Maria. Each gathers along 7 miles of silky white beach overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. The island offers the village feel of Old Florida, with simple beach cottages and sandy lanes dipping under lazy Florida oaks and beachfront villas overlooking turquoise bays. There’s plenty to do on the family-friendly island, but nothing quite as important as simple relaxation. Rent a bike to roam the island or a kayak to explore the waterways. Fish, sail, comb the beaches for shells, and pack a little picnic for a sunset meal.
Shop names reveal that island boutiques are anything but ordinary. The Painted Gate, Egret’s Landing, Paper Panache and other local establishments offer everything from resort wear to arts and crafts. The free island trolley runs North and South, as a convenient way to explore. Ginny's and Jane E's at the old IGA is a popular spot, where vintage furniture mixes with home-baked quiches and brioches in an internet café setting. One restaurant you can’t miss is Rod & Reel located at the end of a wooden pier jutting out into the bay. Kick back, fish, eat and let that tropical seascape deliver complete relaxation.
Don your best resort wear and head south along Highway 789 that links Anna Maria Island to Longboat and St. Armand Keys. The gulf front drive leads you to famous St. Armand’s Circle, where elite shopping and pampered dining venues merge in an elegant European atmosphere. After a gourmet lunch, venture over to Sarasota for a visit to the cherished Ringling enclave, home to the Museum of Art and Ca d’Zan Mansion. Set in a lush 20-acre garden overlooking the water, the Venetian mansion is considered “the last of the Gilded Age mansions” built in America.
Spacious living areas, plenty of baths and bedrooms and every imaginable amenity explain why vacation homes are today’s most popular travel choices. From the comfort of your own island getaway, you’ll enjoy every pleasure Anna Maria Island offers.