By the "Anna Maria Area", we mean the towns of Anna Maria, Holmes Beach and Bradenton Beach. Anna Maria Island is connected by a bridge to Longboat Key, which is covered in our Sarasota Area section.
There is a live webcam showing the beach on Anna Maria Island, it is located at Harrington House Beachfront Bed & Breakfast.
Above Left: Some of Anna Maria Island's beautiful coastline. Right: Aerial view of the island.
Anna Maria Island still has a small-town feel to it unlike many other places in Florida. From north to south, it is only seven miles, but it divided into three separate towns: City of Anna Maria (approx. 1,900 residents), the City of Holmes Beach (approx. 5,000 residents) and the City of Bradenton Beach (approx. 1,700 residents).
At the south end of the island, you will find Coquina Beach County Park, a mile-long public park with free parking and lifeguards. Great for travelers on a budget, who can't afford beach-front accommodations, and great for those who perhaps feel reassured by the presence of lifeguards.
We have to also tell you about the new Village of the Arts in Bradenton. It is a small area in downtown Bradenton where over 30 artists can be found within walking distance of each other. There is a once-a-month Art Fest, but you can visit at any time. Village of the Arts is a true grass-roots effort that is worth seeing and appreciating.
Desoto National Memorial: the mission of De Soto National Memorial, a National Park, is to commemorate Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto. With an army of 600 soldiers, Soto came to the new world with a license from the King of Spain to explore, colonize and pacify the Indians of the area known as "La Florida". Programs at the park explain the prevailing 16th century Spanish cultural values and the inevitable clash with the native cultures the expedition encountered.
Bishop Planetarium: Located on the Manatee River waterfront and taking up an entire city block in downtown Bradenton, the South Florida Museum, Bishop Planetarium, and Parker Manatee Aquarium is a unique educational and entertainment resource where you can experience Florida from "Astronomy to Zoology" all under one roof! Attendance to the Museum, Planetarium, and Aquarium grew from 30,000 visitors in 1979 to nearly 200,000 in 1995.
For information on attractions, see the Anna Maria / Sarasota section of our attractions page for more information.
You can obtain a printed vacation guide by contacting the Anna Maria Chamber of Commerce (Beachdirectory.Com is a member).
Please refer to the Beach Directory accommodations section for some excellent lodging providers.