Dream Island Escapes

Craving an island vacation? Get inspired by these exotic destinations.

Anna Maria Island, Florida

With views of Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, this little island is replete with great scenery.

Dream Towns: Anna Maria Island, Florida
Photo: Jack Elka

Anna Maria Island, Florida

The island-wide speed limit never tops 35 mph, so bicyclists sometimes move at too fast a pace for this town on a tiny, white-sand sliver about 50 miles south of Tampa. Anna Maria, on the north end of the 7- by 2-mile island, holds 1,800 people on its quaint seaside point. (The entire island has only 8,500 residents.)

There are no high-rise condos or greasy golden arches. Gulf Drive cuts down the center, and canals branch off from the interior, creating a plethora of water-accessed homes. Instead of a car, it’s more likely you’ll use your bike, kayak, or flip-flops. You know the nights are quiet when turtles choose your beach to lay their eggs.

There’s only one course on the island, the private Key Royale Club, but this is Florida after all, so there’s plenty of public and semiprivate golf to be had up to a half hour away on the mainland. Anna Maria’s vibe is decidedly more artsy paddleboard-and-cruiser bike than exclusive yacht club.

More Ways To Get Coastal Living

Advertisement

 

JavaScript must be enabled to use this Calendar module.

MOST POPULAR
1
100 Comfy Cottage Rooms 

Develop your coastal cottage’s style by following these simple tricks.

Lacy curtains, fresh florals, and plenty of monogrammed pillows are just a few of the feminine touches that give this room its calming and sweet mood. Pieces scored at thrift stores and flea markets were refreshed with paint, then artfully applied to achieve the shabby-chic distressed look.