At the Beach, Travel and Leisure — June 10, 2016 at 5:00 am

Why You Should Visit Anna Maria Island

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©istockphoto/EyeMark

©istockphoto/Mark Winfrey

A far cry from the densely populated tourist hot spots that one often associates with Florida, Anna Maria Island is an idyllic gem on the Gulf that is perfectly suited for those seeking total and utter relaxation. From fine dining to postcard-worthy beaches, a guide to visiting Anna Maria Island.

Because it’s Beautiful
This barrier island straddles the Gulf of Mexico and peninsular Florida and is resplendent with bright, white sand beaches and crystal clear water. Gently swaying palms and the sweet Florida sunshine just add to the idyllic atmosphere.

Because its Beaches are Award-Winning
7 miles of gorgeous seashore stretch along the island, each beach more stunning than the last. It’s no surprise that Anna Maria’s beaches have been ranked as some of the best in the nation. Featured on lists such as “Top 10 Island Beaches for Perfect Sand” and “Prettiest Cities in the Country” it’s not hard to see why vacationers find themselves coming back to Anna Maria again and again.

Because the Food is Amazing
Whether you opt to dine at an upscale ocean front restaurant or grab a fish sandwich featuring the catch of the day en route to the beach, you won’t be disappointed with Anna Maria’s culinary offerings. Seafood shacks, ice cream shops, even creperies- Anna Maria Island has something to suit every taste and palate.

Because There is Plenty to Do
Biking, fishing, golfing, kayaking.. the list goes on (and on, and on…) Whether you’re looking for a quiet escape from reality and prefer to live life on the edge, there’s something for you on the island. Head over to Anna Maria Historic Green Village for a blast from the past, head out on a guided whale watching boat tour, or just unwind at a luxurious day spa. You’ll find yourself feeling many things while on Anna Maria Island but boredom isn’t one of them.

Because it’s a Wildlife Hotspot
Anna Maria Island plays host to a very special group of guests from May to October each year: sea turtles coming ashore to nest. As if this weren’t cool enough, the island is also considered a bird sanctuary and provides a safe space for a dazzling array of feathered friends, including wild parrots, ospreys, vultures, and the ubiquitous seagull.

©istockphoto/EyeMark

©istockphoto/EyeMark

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