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The Northern Tip of Anna Maria Island - Orlando / Florida Guide

Florida Guide > Places to Visit

On our previous trips out to the Gulf of Mexico we had tended to gravitate towards Clearwater and St Petersburg and enjoy many of the water activities on offer.

On this occasion we decided to venture a little further south and head for the white sands of Anna Maria Island which looked absolutely idyllic from the research we had done prior to starting our journey from Orlando.

Around an hour and a half later after a trouble free drive along the I-4 and I-75 we were sat in a lovely restaurant in Bradenton overlooking the marina. Following a hearty lunch the paved promenade provided the perfect means to walk off any excesses and admire some of the amazing yachts moored close by.

Just a fifteen minute drive along US64, brought us to the end of Manatee Avenue and into a beach car park on Anna Maria Island. It boasts plenty of facilities for the visitor including, changing rooms, barbeques and a resident lifeguard. After a very brief stop we headed north where, en route, we passed the Sandbar Restaurant which is a top wedding venue, mainly due to the amazing sunsets from its verandah.

Towards the tip of the Island we stopped by the City Pier and walked along its rickety boardwalk above the crystal clear waters of the Gulf, and sat awhile watching the fishermen cast their lines. There is also a small restaurant here, albeit rather rustic, as well as a small tackle shop and the obligatory restrooms.

Upon returning to the shore we couldn’t resist a stroll along the beach with the warm sugar white sand between our toes tempered by the cool water lapping around our feet and the sun beating down…. absolutely fantastic.

For those more energetic amongst you the bike shop just a couple of hundred yards away on Pine Avenue offers day rentals giving you the opportunity explore the extreme northern tip of the island at Bean Point and then cycle down to Holmes Beach before returning to the area around the City Pier.

Across the road from the pier is “Soft Scoops” an ice cream parlor extraordinaire and after burning off a few calories why not indulge in a Butter Pecan waffle cone… it’s not to be missed.

Our first impressions of Anna Maria Island were that it was far more far more relaxed and far less busy than the main Gulf Coast resorts a little further north.

It’s beaches were exquisite and some of the beach front homes were to die for.

And of course you get those fantastic sunsets.

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