Anna Maria Island Information

Anna Maria Island: A Little History

Surrounded by the Gulf of Mexico, Tampa Bay, and the Intracoastal Waterway, Anna Maria Island is an easy 1 1/2-hour drive from Tampa.

Boasting arguably the whitest and most pristine seven miles of beach in the US, Anna Maria Island on the west coast of Florida just south of Tampa is a coveted destination for Floridians and global travelers alike.

Able to rival many popular international beach destinations the island’s natural beauty and commitment to restricted development (no building is over three stories) have proven tasty and satisfying to those who cross Florida’s intercoastal waterway to visit the island.  Unlike many Florida beach communities Anna Maria Island appears to be unaffected by the unrelenting commercialism typically associated with beach communities.  This is predominantly due to an island wide commitment to restricted and limited development which has a major impact on its visual beauty and natural scale, leaving travelers with a refreshingly relaxed visit.

Once a sleepy beach community with little national or international recognition, Anna Maria Island has now become commonplace for the discerning traveler who is looking to unplug from a world often running at high speed.  You will not find fast food, wi-fi hotspots or familiar chain establishments on the island, instead locally owned and operated conveniences ranging from shabby to chic all retaining a unique island flair that is sure to intrigue and satisfy. If you are interested in unwinding on a romantic getaway or family beach vacation, without spending a fortune on international travel, you have found the spot. Get off the grid and come and enjoy.

Articles on Anna Maria Island:

USA Today

http://www.usatoday.com/travel/destinations/2008-12-11-anna-maria-island_n.htm

New York Times

http://travel.nytimes.com/2009/07/26/travel/26choice.html

Southern Living
http://www.southernliving.com/travel/south-east/guide-anna-maria-island-florida-00400000040633/

Three Cities

Anna Maria Island’s seven miles consist of three distinct municipalities, the City of Bradenton Beach, Holmes Beach of Anna Maria.  Although when traveling along the island one might not recognize one community from the other, they each have distinguishing characteristics which differentiate them from one another all with one thing in common: the seven miles of uninterrupted amazing white sand beach.

Bradenton Beach, the narrowest and the southernmost town on the island, has recently taken seriously its downtown atmosphere and created a foot friendly Bridge Street: the heart of the town.  Although only a few blocks wide the outdoor restaurants and shops offer nice charm and character worthy of an afternoon or evening visit.  The City Pier at one end of the Historic Bridge Street is a calming and quiet way to see the inland waters.  Of all sections of the island Bradenton Beach offers more attractions and recreation opportunities for the active traveler.

Holmes Beach in the central part of the island is the largest of the three cities and host to most festivals and larger island activities.  A bit wider than the other cities Holmes Beach has a good mix of hotels and residential areas, and offers both secluded private homes and larger condo rentals.  Although not a true town center a large outdoor shopping complex hosts many retail and dining spots.

The City of Anna Maria on the north end of the island is by far the quietest and most residential community on the island, with little retail and hotel lodging most visitors stay in vacation rental homes or condos.  This adds to the tranquility and peacefulness of the north end of the island, however the trade off is that most conveniences are driving distance away. For everyone not wanting to leave their beach chair for a week or two this is the spot.

Although subtlety unique in their own way all three island communities offer and array of dining and lodging experiences sure to please each individual palate.

Getting Here

There are many airports within a 3 to 4 hour radius of Manatee County and Anna Maria Island; however the two typically used are Tampa International and Sarasota-Bradenton International.

Depending on one’s tolerance for travel inconvenience, Tampa is a one-hour car ride with no specific deals on taxis and Sarasota-Bradenton is 30 minutes with normal taxi service.

Depending on where you stay on the island, North, Central, or South, a vehicle is not absolutely necessary but recommended.

Statistics and Demographics

Anna Maria

Population in July 2008: 1,829. Population change since 2000: +0.8%

Males: 868
Females: 961
Median resident age: 55.5 years
Florida median age: 38.7 years

Estimated median household income in 2007:

Anna Maria: $51,093
Florida: $47,804

Estimated per capita income in 2007: $35,968

Anna Maria: $35,968
Florida: $26,696

Estimated median house or condo value in 2007: $637,414

Anna Maria: $637,414
Florida: $230,400

Holmes Beach

Population in July 2008: 5,017.

Males: 2,380 (47.4%)
Females: 2,637 (52.6%)
Median resident age: 53.9 years
Florida median age: 38.7 years

Estimated median household income in 2007: $57,087

Holmes Beach: $57,087
Florida: $47,804

Estimated per capita income in 2007: $39,191

Holmes Beach: $39,191
Florida: $26,696

Estimated median house or condo value in 2007: $510,179

Holmes Beach: $510,179
Florida: $230,400

Bradenton Beach

Population in July 2008: 1,553

Males: 786 (50.7%)
Females: 767 (49.3%)
Median resident age: 50.2 years
Florida median age: 38.7 years

Estimated median household income in 2007: $40,931

Bradenton Beach: $40,931
Florida: $47,804

Estimated per capita income in 2007: $28,570

Bradenton Beach: $28,570
Florida: $26,696

Estimated median house or condo value in 2007: $315,234

Bradenton Beach: $315,234
Florida: $230,400

Climate

The island has a typical central west coast Florida climate with hot summers and mild winters, with absolutely glorious weather in early spring and late fall.

The island’s annual temperature is 75 degrees with winters highs ranging from 75 to 50 and summers from 75 to 90.

 

 

Other Resources

www.Islander.org

www.amisun.com

www.annamariaislandchamber.org

www.annamariaisland-longboatkey.com

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