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Anna Maria Island Florida: My Favorite Florida Beach!

by Jacquie
(Atlanta, GA)

My favorite Florida beach vacation was when we went to Anna Maria Island Florida. It is a small island located off the coast of the Bradenton/Sarasota area, on the west coast of Florida.

It is a quiet area with the prettiest beaches I've ever seen. The sand is pure white and the water is very clear with a blue-green tint. We visited the beach in the late summer so the temperatures were still quite hot, during the day.

There were lots of things to do in Sarasota. We had planned on staying five days, so we had plenty of time to check out the local activities. We rented a beach vacation cottage on the north end of the island, from one of the local realtors. The prices were reasonable for the location we had chosen, so close to the beach.

Our first afternoon, at Anna Maria Island FL, after we settled in, we went for a swim and a walked down to the beach. As it was off-season, there weren't many people around. It was like having our own private beach. For dinner, we went to The Sandbar Restaurant which sits right on the beach. They have a large outside deck where you sit ten feet from the shore and watch the fantastic sunset! They also have an inside dining area, but we chose to enjoy the spectacular view outside and listen to the live music. The food was very good and reasonably priced, too.

After dinner, we walked down the deck steps to the shoreline and took a leisurely stroll. The breeze carried the sounds of the music along with us and it was the perfect end to a great day. The next day we went to the Mote Marine Laboratory Aquarium where we saw many exhibits of local marine life and learned a lot about their conservation efforts.

It was a nice drive down the entire length of the island and through Longboat Key to Sarasota, about a twelve mile ride with little traffic and gorgeous scenery. Afterwards, we drove to St. Armand's Circle and had lunch at the upscale Cafe' L' Europe, then spent the afternoon browsing the circle of unique shops.

The next day we stayed close to the cottage and just enjoyed the beach. We went back to The Sandbar Restaurant for dinner because we loved the setting and the great choices of delicious seafood. The following day we went to the bay side of the island to check out the fishing piers. We didn't fish, but instead took in the view. From the bay you have a good view of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, off in the distance.

We ate lunch across the street from the City Pier at the Village Cafe at Rosedale and then picked up some great souvenirs and t-shirts in the nearby shops. On our last morning, we went to the south end of the island again to Wavesplash Watersports and took their two hour wave runner tour out to Egmont Key, a wildlife refuge island, way out in the bay and only accessible by boat. This was the most expensive thing we did, but it was so much fun, it was worth every penny. That night after dinner we walked down to the beach to watch our last, gorgeous sunset and say goodbye to a beautiful place.

Anna Maria Island Florida, is the perfect spot for a beach vacation in Florida, with something to do for everyone. With its peaceful setting, it is perfect for a family vacation as well as couples seeking a romantic getaway. Young and old alike will find this destination a paradise. I've already started to plan my next visit to Anna Maria Island!



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