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Trip Report Trip Report Anna Maria Island

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We had a wonderful escape to the beautiful laid back island. Anna Maria is rarely mentioned on fodors but is a real gem . The island is seven miles long and consists of three small communities, Bradenton Beach, Holmes Beach, and Anna Maria City., our favorite. There is no building taller than tree stories, most are two, and there are no chain hotels or restaurants. It is a very laid back place without gated communities and with easy welcoming access to beaches both on the Gulf and on Tampa Bay. The beaches have soft white sand; some are large long beaches with facilities; it is equally possible to find isolated stretches with hardly any people

Activities focus on the water. Shore birds abound, On out first afternoon we saw several great blue herons, millions of pelicans, oystercatchers, egrets, ibis, osprey, a wood stork, many of the little shore birds whose names I don't know. dolphins and manatees can be seen and I enjoy watching mullet jump out of the water.
Anna Maria Island, and especially anna Maria, is relatively uncrowded and affords an Old florida vibe.

We rented a cottage on the bay . It was a real treat as the hexagonal shape of the building afforded vast water views from almost every room. We spent our time walking on the beach, swimming in the bay, watching birds, biking around the island, cooking and eating fish at home and out,
exploring many beaches, staring at the sea and the gorgeous Sunshine Skyway bridge, always a presence in the distance Our favorite restaurant is the quirky Mr. Bones, a rib place that also offers Indian inspired rice dishes.

we had not been to AMI for eight years, and, happily, not much has changed. One great addition is the Anna Maria Fish MArket on Holmes Beach, which in addition to excellent fresh fish and shrimp offers excellent salads to go, such as scallop seviche or calamari salad.

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