We are back from taking a road trip through sunny Florida: Tampa, Sarasota, Anna Maria Island, St. Petersburg, Orlando, Boca Raton, Miami, and the Keys. An unforgettable vacation, because we had amazing days with good friends who live there. Traveling with them gave us the chance to see things through different eyes and to discover places we would not have reached otherwise. Certainly one of these highlights was Anna Maria Island (AMI) on the west coast (1h10 Tampa). A small island that is only 11 km (7 mi) long and 3 km (2 mi) wide.
I had never heard about AMI until my friend mentioned that she was going to celebrate her birthday there. She couldn’t have picked a better place. A 45-min drive from Sarasota took us to this wonderful, beach hideaway. If you are (like me) not familiar with the term “quaint,” you need to visit AMI to understand precisely what it is. Actually the whole island vibe is quaint!
The B&B my friend had booked for our stay was another gem: the Harrington House Beachfront. As soon as we arrived, we were enchanted by the location, setting, and atmosphere. Please note that this B&B will close its doors on April 30, 2020, as the owners will go into retirement. Sad to see places like this closing down …
We stayed in the “Birdsong Room,” which felt more like a birds’ nest. Behind that door, our cozy bedroom.
The room had a French door leading to a wooden balcony overlooking the beautiful, sandy beach.
Breakfast by the pool
Beach Bistro – My friend had chosen for her birthday celebration this wonderful, fine-dining restaurant, located right on the beach.
AMI, facing west, is the ideal spot to watch the sunsets over the Gulf of Mexico.
The table for four was waiting for us, and we were there in time for sundowners. The perfect Negroni matching with the stunning sunset; the best I have had.
The nice bar at the entrance
Appetizer and starters:
On the house:
The beautiful, sandy, Holmes Beach and the pleasant spring temperature invite to take long walks. There are like 3.5 km (2.1 mi) from the B&B to the northernmost tip of the island.
You can stop at The Sandbar Seafood & Spirits should you need a break, where you sip a drink outdoors, and enjoy the dolce far niente and the wonderful sea view.
If the island vibe is laid back and quaint, I would say that Ginny’s & Jane E’s is funky and eclectic. It is located in the historic part. What used to be a groceries’ is today a combined café and local store.
It has its own in-house bakery and offers specialty drinks from coffees/teas to smoothies. Besides there are also breakfast and lunch menus. Certainly a fun place to visit.
- You can use the Anna Maria Island Trolley, a free bus service that runs from 06:00 until 22:30 every 20 minutes from the Anna Maria City Pier on the north to Coquina Beach on the south. Stops are covered and are located every 2-4 blocks on the route.
Thank you P&D for the wonderful time together on charming Anna Maria Island!