ANNA MARIA FLORIDA
Anna Maria Florida sits between Sarasota and St. Petersburg.
Anna Maria is a small residential town on the north end of Anna Maria Island. It shares the island with two other small towns: Holmes Beach and Bradenton Beach. The population of this small town in 2010 was about 1500 permanent residents.
The population of all three towns has been declining in recent years as permanent residents sell their homes to investors who turn them into vacation rentals.
The entire island, especially Anna Maria, have been until recent years classic examples of “Old Florida”. Some of that ambiance has been lost because of the replacement of the old Florida houses with the modern new vacation rentals. But it still has a laid back feeling compared to many other Florida beach town
One of the prominent historic structures still standing in town is the City Pier. It was originally built in 1911 to receive wealthy tourists arriving from Tampa and St. Pete on steamers. Today the pier is still a great fishing spot and has a quaint restaurant with tempting seafood offerings.
The beaches on Anna Maria Florida are fantastic, clean and with soft white sand. The entire town is a bird sanctuary populated with many varieties of water and shore birds. Bottlenose dolphins and manatees are abundant in the waters surrounding the island, and fishing is great. The beaches are also important nesting grounds for loggerhead turtles; the town takes protection of these turtles very seriously.
The first “modern” settler was George Emerson Beach who homesteaded the north end of Anna Maria Florida. His descendants partnered with a real estate developer in the late 1800s and early 1900s to create the Anna Maria Beach Company. The company laid out streets, sidewalks, platted lots and built houses and a municipal water system
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Mike Miller is a long time Florida Resident.