Located on the northernmost tip of the barrier island bearing the same name, the city of Anna Maria offers unparalleled beach community living set amidst the gorgeous emerald waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Anna Maria was established as early as 1892, when George Emerson Bean homesteaded more than a hundred acres of land on the island. Eventually, ownership was passed on to his son, George Emerson Bean, who further developed the area. The city was incorporated in 1925, and has become one of the more popular vacation and residential destinations in South Florida today.
A variety of truly exceptional homes await prospective residents and visitors in Anna Maria. Choices range from single-family residences, quaint beach cottages, cozy bungalows and elegant villas, as well as sprawling estate properties and low-rise turnkey condos, all neatly laid out on tree-lined streets and cul-de-sacs, with easy access to the beaches, which are only minutes away. Most homes provide either beachfront or bayside views, and homes situated near canals have their own private boat slips. Anna Maria has strict zoning laws which restrict the size and types of structures built in the city, ensuring that it retains its rustic, small-town coastal charm.
Anna Maria has its own modest shopping district, with its share of boutiques, cafés, and restaurants found along Gulf Drive to Pine Avenue and towards the City Pier at the end that provides magnificent views of Tampa Bay. Of course, nothing beats the powdery white sand of the beaches on the Gulf Coast, which stretches the entire length of the island southwards to Holmes Beach and Bradenton Beach.
Anna Maria Quick Facts
- Anna Maria Island was said to be named by the explorer Juan Ponce de Leon after Queen Maria Anna von der Pfalz-Neuburg of Spain, who sponsored his expedition.
- The entire city is a protected bird sanctuary, so it’s quite common to see exotic species of water and shore birds throughout the area.
- Main roads in Anna Maria include Gulf Drive, which merges with State Road 789 towards the southern portion heading to Holmes Beach; also North Bay and South Bay Blvd, which runs parallel to the Tampa Bay coast.
- Access to the city from the mainland is through State Road 64, which enters the island as Manatee Avenue and intersects with Gulf Drive towards Anna Maria.
- Anna Maria was named as one of “America’s Prettiest Towns” by Forbes Magazine in 2013.
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