Anna Maria Island vacation rentals
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Your guide to Anna Maria Island
With its beautiful beaches and brilliant blue waters, this seven-mile barrier island offers a nostalgic idyll on the Gulf of Mexico. Over the years, residents have proudly resisted development, so Anna Maria’s vibe is decidedly low-key, with thatched-roof open-air bars and fresh fish restaurants dotting the waterfront. Here, where the island-wide speed limit is 35 miles per hour, the pace of life is literally slower. There are three small towns on the island — Bradenton Beach in the south, Holmes Beach in the middle, and the largest, Anna Maria, in the north — each with its own charms.
The best time to stay in a vacation rental in Anna Maria Island
January through April and October through December are popular months to visit as they offer temperatures between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. April and May bring temperatures in the high 80s, and June through September can be quite hot, with temperatures in the 90s. If you opt to book one of the area’s vacation rentals for a winter holiday, make sure to pack a layer for cooler evenings.
Top things to do in Anna Maria Island
You won’t have trouble finding a spot for your towel on this serene beach with sand dunes and waving beach grass. Although more sedate than nearby Manatee Public Beach, which draws more crowds, Coquina Beach doesn’t scrimp on amenities. There are picnic tables, bathrooms, and a lifeguard, making it an ideal spot for families. Bring a picnic, or fuel up at the Coquina Beach Cafe, which serves breakfast, fish tacos, and — for the grown-ups — frozen drinks at its tiki bar.
Get acquainted with the island’s unique ecosystem on this short walk through Leffis Key Preserve on an elevated wooden walkway. You’ll see mangrove trees alongside thousands of native plant species. You’re also likely to spot local wildlife such as geckos, crabs, stingrays, and birds — including the remarkable frigatebird, famous for showboating males who inflate an enormous red pouch under their beaks when courting.
Bean Point Beach
If you’re yearning for that Robinson Crusoe feel, Bean Point Beach is your best bet. Located on the northern tip of the island, this gorgeous stretch of sand is where the island’s founding family, chose to build their estate in 1892. Their homestead is long gone, but the beauty that drew them to the land is very much present. Off the beaten path, this public beach has no parking lots or lifeguard. What it does have is scenic splendor, a calming sense of privacy, and unobstructed sunset views.