People considering moving to Florida have several incredible cities and villages to choose from, both on the Gulf Coast and Atlantic Coast. Many are right on the water, offering an unmatched lifestyle in great year-round weather. One of the best places to live in the Sunshine State is Anna Maria Island, which has three small resort towns with a combined population of about 6,500 residents.
Anna Maria Island is situated just off Bradenton and Sarasota and not far south of Tampa and St. Petersburg. That puts residents within an easy drive of anything they might need in the bigger cities while providing a paradise-like setting for the relaxing lifestyle Florida is known for.
Anna Maria Island is perfect for retirees, people looking to own vacation homes, families, and young professionals who enjoy working remotely. Many consider Anna Maria Island a great example of “Old Florida.”
Imagine the stunning views of clear blue skies, palm trees gently swaying in the breeze, and dazzling tropical beaches along the Gulf of Mexico, and you’ve pictured Anna Maria Island. Residents enjoy comfortable single-family homes, including luxury waterfront residences and private boat docks. For those who want to downsize, there are luxury condos, many right on the beach, which offer wonderful amenities. Once new homeowners get settled, it’s time to discover Anna Maria Island things to do.
Enjoy the nation’s best beaches
While there are many beaches to choose from, one of the major Anna Maria Island attractions is Manatee Beach Park toward the island's northern end. Besides the beach, there are grills and picnic tables, a playground, showers, and a restroom. Any of the island’s beaches are great for sunbathing, swimming, and surfing. Many residents love to walk along the beaches to get their daily exercise. And then there’s that simple pleasure of heading to the beach to watch a brilliant sunset night after night.
The historic Anna Maria Island City Pier on the northeastern tip of the island is excellent for newcomers to get their bearings. Locals and visitors head to the pier for a stroll to enjoy the sights, especially the majestic Sunshine Skyway Bridge, off in the distance. It’s also a great place to watch brilliant sunsets. Admission is free, and there’s a restaurant and gift shop at the end of the pier.
Fishing, sailing, and other seaside recreation
Many activities beyond the shoreline will keep residents busy day after day. These include deep sea fishing out on the Gulf, sailing through a stunning bay, and taking in the picturesque coastline. With water activities such a vital part of daily life, Ann Maria Island has many docks, ramps, and marinas where enthusiastic sailors and power boaters can set off every morning out onto the shimmering waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
Even better is purchasing a luxury waterfront home with a private dock, making it easy to walk out your door and onto your boat for a fun day on the water. Then there are times when you might want to charter a boat to take you and your friends or family members on a tour of the winding estuaries in Sarasota Bay, located along Anna Maria Island’s eastern coast. If you are an avid fisherman, you will surely waste no time getting your line in the water from the piers and beaches that offer some of the best fishing spots in town. Or head out onto the open water on your boat or a charter for a private fishing adventure.
Enjoying fine dining to go along with your comfortable coastal lifestyle is as easy as heading to the best restaurants in Anna Maria Island. One of the favorites is Sandbar Seafood and Spirits, where diners love to order finely grilled steak or freshly caught fish. Or they head down to Beach House Waterfront Restaurant to enjoy an upscale and delicious dinner with sprawling views of the beach and gulf. Many residents and visitors alike love sitting on the beach and enjoying some of Anna Maria Island’s finest seafood dining at Beach Bistro.
Enjoy a round of golf at Key Royale Club
Those looking for an Anna Maria Island country club will delight in playing the Key Royale Club, the only golf club on the island that is perfect for golfers of all skill levels. Key Royale Club features a nine-hole, par-32 layout that overlooks Tampa Bay, which makes the view as enthralling as the golf. The club is located at the north end of Anna Maria Island and will surely become one of your favorite places to relax in style.
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