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Anna Maria Island in Florida

Anna Maria Island is a barrier island along the Gulf Coast of Florida, about an hour from Tampa Airport. Families from all over the world come here to enjoy the beaches, atmosphere and weather.

Photo of the beach on the island of Anna Maria in Florida - American ButlerStory

The island was first settled in 1893 by George Bean, who settled with his family on the northern point of the island. This was the starting point for the development of the island. Soon after, George’s sons began to develop plans for the construction of the resort.

In 1907, a man named Jack Holmes arrived on the island. He worked on the construction of the East Coast Railway. This visit has had a great impact on the community. By 1911 The first brochures promoting the island as a resort town were created. Built a hotel, restaurant, bath and freshwater artesian wells with "healing properties".

To get to the island, at that time it took two trips by ferry, from Tampa it would take a day. By 1922, the first bridge was built from the fishing village of Cortes, and in 1926 - the bridge connecting Anna-Maria with the town of Longboat Key.

By 1934, Jack Holmes returned to the island of Anne-Maria, to live there permanently. Jack began to manage personal residences and collected rent payments.

After World War II, Jack acquired 350 acres of land. for the development of the beach community Holmes Beach. By 1951, Holmes Beach had grown into a full-fledged city, where 180 houses were built in a year.

The rapid pace of development of the city continued during the 50s and 60s. By 1965, Holmes Beach had 3,000 inhabitants living here.

Things to do

  • Ride your bike.

This is the best way to discover the island in all its glory. Calm areas, immaculate landscaping and massive majestic trees immerse themselves in the island’s slow lifestyle.

In addition, due to the influx of tourists, on some days you can get from one side of the island to the other faster by bike than by car. Another great alternative is to rent a golf cart.

  • Walk down the beach at night.

Walking along the beach at night is as amazing as daytime. Since the island of Anna Maria has very little urban light, at night you can easily see the starry sky. Take a blanket or towel with you, make yourself comfortable and look for constellations you didn’t suspect.

  • Explore Bean Point.

What is a bean point you ask? This is the northernmost part of Anna Maria, where the Gulf of Mexico meets the Tampa Bay, and the observation deck overlooks the endless miles of turquoise waters.

  • Dine overlooking the pier in Rod and Reel.

While dining outside on the porch of Rod and Reel, you can see dolphins, stingrays, and schools of fish. On the food side, this is also a curious restaurant. Among the dishes: a giant fillet of fresh grouper, cooked to your taste on a toasted bun, served with a side dish and clam soup.

This is a crowded place, popular with tourists and locals, so you have to stand in line. I do not like to wait? Then visit this place during off-hours for a better impression.

  • Go shopping on Pine Avenue.

What you will find: Olive oils, spices and fine cheeses are sold in Olive Oil Outpost. And in the Pink and Navy clothing store you will find both new and used wardrobe items.

What you will not find: low-grade tourist shops, full of tasteless beach clothes or kitschy souvenirs.

  • Take pictures in the old prison of Anna Maria.

The old city prison was used as a place where the islanders, drunk in a local tavern, went to sober up. The fire destroyed the wooden roof in the 1940s, so it was no longer used, but the rest of the structure was preserved.

  • Guess the time of sunset in the restaurant Sandbar.

This is a good way to add some friendly competition to your trip. Every evening in the restaurant there is a competition for someone who can guess the exact time of the sunset. The winner leaves with a bottle of champagne.

Do you want to visit the island of Anna Maria? Then contact American Butler - we will arrange a tour for you and organize a vacation.
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