Location- Anna Maria Island
Anna Maria Island sits in the Gulf of Mexico about 55 miles southwest of Tampa, 35 miles due south of St. Petersburg, and 25 miles north of Sarasota making it’s location easily accessible by car or boat. Located on the north end of a long row of barrier islands, Anna Maria Island encompasses seven miles of pure fun and relaxation. Unlike its surrounding islands like Long Boat Key and Siesta Key, AMI is known for it’s relaxing and quiet “Old Florida” feel.
Located just an hour’s drive south of Tampa International Airport, Anna Maria Island is a quaint island on Florida’s gulf coast that is a perfect place for family vacationers and retirees alike. Quieter than most other Florida vacation spots, AMI offers plenty of great beaches, sunrises and sunsets, and restaurants. Let’s take a closer look at this overlooked Florida paradise.
Anna Maria Island
The island is divided into three sections: Anna Maria City, Holmes Beach, and Bradenton Beach.
Anna Maria City
Anna Maria City takes up the northern section of the island and is where the island is the widest (though, at its widest point, it is still less than a mile full). Here, you will find single-family homes alongside condos, many of which sit on one of the many canals dug between the streets, allowing most of the houses in Anna Maria City to have a boat in their backyard.
You will also find a small, pleasant downtown area with shops, restaurants, and snack stands next to Anna Maria Pier. While the Pier is undergoing reconstruction, having been damaged in 2017 by Hurricane Irma, the city plans to open it this year, and the area around the Pier still offers many attractions.
The central shopping district lies on Pine Avenue. Pine Avenue offers local shops selling everything from art to olive oil. Near the middle of the strip, you can visit the old AMI jail. Built-in the 1920s to house the overserved coming home from the island’s bars, although the jail had not housed any criminals since the 40s when a fire destroyed the roof. Today, the small roofless building still sits on Pine Avenue, inviting those who want to take a picture.
South of Anna Maria City is Holmes Beach. Holmes Beach is more residential than Anna Maria City, though it does offer the only chain supermarket on the island. Many of the homes in Holmes Beach have a view of both the Gulf of Mexico to the west and Anna Maria Sound to the east, so the residents get both fantastic sunrises over the sound and sunsets over the gulf. Even better, the towns that make up the island have prohibited high-rise apartment buildings anywhere on the island. Hence, you never have to worry about your sunset being blocked out by new development. These building restrictions have allowed the island to remain a quaint piece of “old Florida,” with plenty of beach cottages and palm trees.
South of Holmes Beach is Bradenton Beach. Bradenton Beach has many condos with some single-family homes. It also offers many restaurants and bars, including in its retail district on Bridge Street.
The island operates a free trolley that runs from Anna Maria Pier to the sound end of the island and serves many of its attractions. The cart runs frequently and is an excellent way to get around the island.
Combined, the three towns on the island feature about 8,000 full-time residents. But the island is not merely a retirement community: the average age of an island resident is 52, and enough families live on the island to support a large elementary school. These residents enjoy the miles of quiet, white-sand beaches and amazing restaurants that the island offers.
Buying a Piece of the Island
Anna Maria Island offers real estate for every budget. AMI has plenty to offer, whether looking for a condo, beach cottage, or a luxury waterfront.
AMI’s diverse housing stock, along with its leniency of rental restrictions, makes the island an investor’s dream. A two-bedroom condo can easily fetch $3,000 per month as a rental, and more during the peak vacation months. A larger house can rent for twice that. AMI is a perfect choice for families that want a place to go on vacation but also want an investment.
Building restrictions put in place by the municipalities on the island mean that your investment (and your view!) is protected. The island has no significant high-rise developments, and will not have any for the foreseeable future. The island prides itself on maintaining its “old Florida” feel, so there is no push to build-up. As the island becomes more popular, prices for buyers and enters both likely will rise.
Don’t Wait — Call Today.
If you are looking to invest in some vacation real estate or looking for a place to call home, AMI is a fantastic opportunity. Rent a boat, tour the island on a bike, or drop a chair on the beach and relax. If that sounds like paradise to you, call Chelsea Oelker at Michael Saunders AMI Branch. Chelsea knows everything there is to know about AMI real estate and can guide you in finding the perfect investment property, vacation home, or full-time residence.
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