One of our goals at Lizzie Lu’s Island Retreat is to ensure that our guests each experience the best Anna Maria Island has to offer them. There are more beautiful, relaxing, unique experiences here then we are even aware of, so this should not be too hard to accomplish. As individual interests and abilities guide what creates a memorable visit, we recognize that the ‘best’ experience will be different for each guest and want to provide you with as much information as possible to ensure you enjoy your stay.
This page was created to help you plan a vacation that will include activities geared toward your interests and ensure that your time on Anna Maria Island is one you cherish and look forward to repeating. We have included some of our favorite activities along with others that are favorites on the island. Additionally, there are resources listed that will be helpful in becoming familiar with the island and will make your trip more enjoyable and relaxing!
Anna Maria Island consists of 3 cities – Anna Maria, Holmes Beach, and Bradenton Beach. All cities in the island contain bike friendly roads, trolley stops, and multiple access points to beautiful gulf beaches. Here is some additional info on each city.
The City of Anna Maria is located at the northern end of the island. It is the most residential area of the island – you will find that most of it is covered with single family homes, duplexes, and condos. Pine Street is where you will find most of the restaurants and shopping, although there are also a few good choices you will not want to miss along Gulf Drive as well. Anna Maria is home to Bean Point, the northern point of the island from which you can see Egmont Key. Bean Point was named after George Emerson Bean who homesteaded the City of Anna Maria island in 1892 and became the first permanent resident on the island. Other interesting landmarks in the City of Anna Maria include the City Pear, Rosar Community Church, and the Historical Society.
Holmes Beach makes up the central part of the island and is the largest city in square miles. It is accessed directly from the main land by Manatee Avenue and includes the only large supermarket (Publix) and 2 pharmacies on the island. The corner of Gulf Drive and Palm Ave is where most shopping can be done – including stopping at the Lizzie Lu’s Island Retreat Office and dropping into the only Public Library. Holmes Beach was first populated in 1896 and was the first city on the island to host a Post Office. Almost every weekend, a festival of some sort can be found on the green by city hall and the residents enjoy celebrating multiple holidays throughout the year with a parade.
Bradenton Beach, the smallest city in square miles, is located on the southern end of Anna Maria Island. It can be accessed from the main land by the Cortez Bridge and also has a Bridge to Long Boat Key (an island to the south). The main area of activity in this city is on Bridge Street, which includes many unique shops and restaurants along with a farmer’s market that operates through most of the year. Between 1921 and 1922, the first bridge access to the island was built from the city of Cortez to Bridge Street, giving Bridge Street much popularity that continues today. Bradenton Beach is also home to the Tingley Library, the Regina Shipwreck, and the Municipal Pier.
We have found that between the three cities, there is something on the Island for everyone! Use our Island Guide to learn more details on what is available to you in each community. Enjoy your planning and as always, if you have additional questions, please feel free to give us a call!