Anna Maria Island includes the cities of Anna Maria, Holmes Beach, and Bradenton Beach. It has an abundance of accommodations. For you the challenge is simply finding the place that suits your needs. You have a wide choice of accommodations, from small hotels or motels to beautiful beach houses or condominiums. You can find a place right on the beach or on the bay. Anna Maria Island does not have the high-rise condominiums, big beach resorts or chain hotels that you will find on Longboat Key, Siesta Key, or on the Pinellas County beaches to the north. That is part of the reason that Anna Maria is so attractive. On the other hand, Anna Maria Island doesn't have the night life either. Things pretty much shut down at night on the island, except for some restaurants which stay open until 10pm or so. But it's a fairly short drive to Sarasota, where you will find some night life if you need it. I'd prefer a quiet dinner and a walk on the beach myself. Anna Maria is perfect for that.
If you're looking for a place to stay down in the Bradenton Beach area, Terry Whyte has a great condo right across the street from the beach. It's so close to everything you could probably get by without needing to drive your car. And, it's got a heated pool for those few days when the Gulf might be a little too chilly or a little to rough. Photos and info below:
This is a gorgeous contemporary built and elegantly furnished Anna Maria Island vacation rental beach condo surrounded by four of the most beautiful beaches in all of Florida. It offers 7 miles of white sand beach, private beach access, heated pool and FREE trolley service on Anna Maria Island. This private condo has been completely updated with HIGH-SPEED INTERNET, new leather living room furniture, a 50" flat screen HD television with over 170 channels, a new DVD player, new master bedroom suite with King-size bed and new mattresses, a 40" TV. It has all new state-of-the-art LG appliances with a glass top stove and convection oven, new lighting and ceiling fans, an in-suite washroom in the master bedroom, walk-in closets, air conditioning, 2 balconies (east & west), phone, dining room, full kitchen, dishwasher, microwave, washer & dryer, balcony overlooking the heated pool. You can view the pool, Gulf of Mexico or Intracoastal Waterway from every room of this conveniently located beach condo on Anna Maria Island. Visit website: absoluteannamaria.com or call 289-660-2331
Anna Maria Island Vacation Rental Condominium - Located in Bradenton Beach. Heated pool.
Anna Maria Island Value Vacation Rentals private vacation rental homes, villas, condos, & apts.
Anna Maria Beach Cottages - not beach front, but just steps away.
Anna Maria Motel - Beautiful Old Florida motel on the north end, across street from beach.
The Blue Dolphin Inn - on the beautiful, quiet, and exclusive north end of Anna Maria.
Cedar Cove Resort and Cottages - Very popular and right on the beach. Nice web site.
White Sands Resort Apartment/Motel - right on the beach for the right price!
Harrington House - A highly recommended Bed & Breakfast right on the beach!
Shelina Martin's Anna Maria Island Vacation Rentals - Shelina lives right in Bradenton and owns several vacation properties on the island including properties on the quiet north end.For more photos and detailed info, visit her website at http://www.annamariavacationrentals.com/ or call her at 941-713-8676.
Anna Maria: One Island, Three Cities
That's right, Anna Maria Island is made up of three cities, each with its own government (for now) and its own character. When you choose a place to stay on the Island, pay attention to the city your accommodations are located in. A rental may be advertised as an "Anna Maria" property, but may actually be located in Bradenton Beach. This is not a bad thing, but each city is different.
City of Anna Maria
The city of Anna Maria is located on the northern, and widest, third of the island. It is generally the quietest and more upscale part of the island and is mostly residential. The bay side of Anna Maria has two fishing piers, the Rod & Reel Pier and the City Pier. Both have restaurants on them. There are some outstanding small restaurants in Anna Maria, a few pubs, and some very nice gift, art, and souvenir shops. You will absolutely fall in love with the tropical greenery and foliage. There are no traffic lights in this city. Most streets have beach access paths, though few have parking. That isn't a problem if you are staying here. Even if you don't have a place right on the beach, walking even 2 or 3 blocks to the beach is an enjoyable experience. Although if you have children, my advice is to at least get a place on the west side of Gulf Drive so the children don't have to cross the busy Gulf Drive to get to the beach. That advice applies most anywhere on the island.
City of Holmes Beach
The city of Holmes Beach occupies the middle third of the island and is also mostly residential. Holmes Beach has a few condominiums on the beach, although they are not very tall. There are three traffic lights in the city, and the Manatee County Public Beach is located in Holmes Beach, where Manatee Avenue (SR 64) connects to Gulf Drive. Holmes Beach has quite a lot of small and medium-sized motels and beach houses and small condominiums on the beach. You can find some very good prices, even right on the beach. And I must say the beach is outstanding.
City of Bradenton Beach
Bradenton Beach is located on the southern third of the island which gets very narrow toward the south end ( a few hundred yards wide in some places). Cortez road, from Bradenton, connects to Gulf Drive in Bradenton Beach. When I was a child and a teenager, I always found it exciting to come over the Cortez Bridge and descend onto the island. The road dead-ends at the Gulf, which is literally right in front of you at the stop-light. This is when you find out if the water is smooth and clear, or rough and all stirred up. Now the beach is much wider than when I was a child because of the beach re-nourishment efforts, so the water is further away. Bradenton Beach is home to Bridge Street and the Bradenton Beach City Pier. It is called Bridge Street because the only bridge to the island used to connect here. It was a narrow wooden bridge that my parents traveled many times in their youth.
Bridge Street was once known for its tough biker bars, but is now becoming quite upscale (almost). Part of Bradenton Beach has homes and small condominiums for rent right on the beach, but the southern part has nothing on the beach. Everything is on the east side of Gulf Drive, so you have to cross the fairly busy Gulf Drive to get to the beach. So...if you rent something in Bradenton Beach, be sure to find out if you are right on the beach, or across the street from the beach if this matters to you. Bradenton Beach has some very fine restaurants, a nature park on the bay (Leffis Key), Coquina Public Beach and Cortez Beach. It connects to Longboat Key via a draw bridge.