|“Paradise without an attitude” is a phrase that has been used to describe Anna Maria Island.
About an hour’s drive south of Tampa, Anna Maria Island is widely recognized as a bit of unspoiled perfection. There are no high rises on the Island – the maximum allowable building height by law is three stories. The chain restaurants have stayed on the mainland, not the Island. The speed limit is never more than 35 mph and the sun shines an average of 361 days a year with an average temperature of 84 degrees. With beach cottages and canal homes, the Island has a relaxed charm reminiscent of the Florida of yesteryear.
The seven miles of un-crowded gulf coast beach are perfect for soaking up the sun during the day and watching breath taking sunsets in the evening. For those hankering to drop a line, the island has three fishing piers. There are also fishing charters for the more adventurous.
Dining options on the Island are plentiful with many restaurants offering a picturesque view of the water along with the meal. There are plenty of local shops to explore offering beach supplies, crafts and souvenirs. Visitors can stroll as they search for a memento of their stay made by one of the local artists and artisans.
A free trolley service runs the length of the Island and is a convenient way to get around.