As native Floridians, my boyfriend Stephen and I have grown up going to Anna Maria Island. We were looking for a beach getaway that was a little further than St. Pete, but still close to home. These Gulf beaches have endless amounts soft white sand and crystal clear blue waters. *Cue sigh of relaxation.*
Anna Maria and Longboat Key are known for their stunning beaches and small town community feel on Florida's west coast. We stayed on Bradenton Beach but made the journey to Holmes Beach most evenings for dinner, ice cream & of course lunch at Duffy's. (Although we learned the hard way to n e v e r go during Spring Break season as it was PACKED with snow birds and parties of 6-8 anywhere you went.)
Instead of giving you a rundown of every detail like my usual posts, I'll highlight a few spots we went too and share these incredible photo's that I feel cannot be described with words.
- The Sandbar Restaurant: but be prepared to wait!
- Oma's Pizza (solid pizza but staff is 'eh')
- Duffy's for a great burger. P.S. Cash only!
FOR THE SWEET TOOTH:
There are plenty of ice cream shops, but the must see spots are:
- Dips Ice Cream: plaza across the street from The Sandbar
- Cream Ice Cream
- Joe's Ice Cream
Basically any beach is a dream - but if you're looking for a beach away from the Public Beaches, or Coquina Park, head to the tip of the island, 'The Point' as we call it, or to the end of any street on the Gulf side with the least amount of hotels lining the road. These beaches will be quieter and less crowded. Parking may be a bit more difficult but you can parallel anywhere you see the green 'Park In Between these Signs' posts.
All this to say, if you're looking for an island getaway feel on the west coast of Florida, Anna Maria Island is your spot.