Sanibel Island vs. Anna Maria Island?

Old Feb 15th, 2005, 12:06 PM
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Sanibel Island vs. Anna Maria Island?

We have been to Sanibel and loved it. We are considering a visit to Anna Maria Island for a change...any opinions on the two islands? We are considering going to Disney World with our two kids and then spending 5-7 days on Anna Maria's closer than driving to Sanibel but I don't want to be too disapointed. Thank you!
alvarki is offline  
Old Feb 15th, 2005, 01:55 PM
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I will try to answer that question as best I can from my own perspective. Maybe others will have a different take on it.

Anna Maria is not as high-end as Sanibel. There is a feeling of a slower pace and a downhome-ness in Anna Maria that you won't find in Sanibel. The small town politics in Anna Maria are hilarious, and they plan to keep things that way. There are many "locals" living in Anna Maria while there are more outta towners in Sanibel. And the city of Anna Maria does not have high-rises all in a row, and only 4-story ones on neighboring Holmes Beach.
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Old Feb 17th, 2005, 02:03 AM
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I agree with Tandoori's description of Anna Maria Island. You won't find as many restaurant choices on the island as you do at Sanibel. I've stayed at both and like the quieter slower pace of Anna Maria Island.

Within driving distance is Longboat Key with lots of restaurants and St. Armand's circle with upscale and touristy shopping.

We always go to Mote Marine Aquarium on City Island, just over the bridge from Sarasota. They have nice displays including an interactive one with rays. You can also book a boat ride there where scientists bring ocean creatures up with a net and pass them around and tell about them before returning them to the ocean. We always spot dolphins on that ride also.

Go to, type in Anna Maria Island and scroll down to the links for articles about the island from various publications. They offer good descriptions.

BTW, I'm renting a house through on AMI this spring break. I think the website is more easy to navigate than most as you can type in # of bedrooms and oceanfront options.

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