ANNA MARIA ISLAND
(Bradenton Beach, Holmes Beach, Cortez)
Anna Maria Island, the barrier island north of Longboat Key, located in Manatee County, contains 3 little cities; Bradenton Beach to the South, Holmes Beach in the Middle and Anna Maria to the north. The island has experienced a current boom in new construction waterfront condos and large 'Key West Styled' homes but also maintains quite a bit of "Old Florida." You can still buy a cozy bungalow nestled off the front strip across from the beach, to live in part time (renting it out to seasonal guests!) as well as a modern ranch spanning two sought after gulf front lots. Things move a little bit slower here and you cannot be in a hurry to get on and off the island during high season with two draw bridges! Grab your beach chair, a cold drink and head to the gorgeous beaches or visit the Old City Pier at the top of the island to watch pelicans eyeing a fisherman's catch! If you like snorkeling or diving, the beach access at 33rd Street on Gulf Drive North on Holmes Beach, where there is a locals' favorite called "Spanish Rocks" is a great place to see colorful sponges, tropical fish, tarpon and dolphin.