Anna Maria Island, FL
Nestled in the Gulf of Mexico, on the coast of Manatee County, Florida, is the quaint barrier island of Anna Maria. It’s beautiful turquoise waters, breathtaking sunsets and white sandy beaches add to the charm of the island and creates both an inviting and relaxing atmosphere. The Island extends for approximately 7 miles, north to south, and 8 blocks wide, and is comprised of three cities, which includes the cities of Anna Maria, Holmes Beach and Bradenton Beach.
The island was originally the farming, hunting and fishing ground of the Timucuan and Caloocan Native American peoples, who were the very first inhabitants of the area. Little trace of the existence of the Timucuan and Caloocan tribes remain today. During his 1521 expedition, Ponce De Leon is said to have named the island for Maria Anna von der Pfalz-Neuburg, the queen of Charles II of Spain, who sponsored his expedition. Still, legend has it that "a Spanish explorer" named the island "Ana Maria Cay" in honor of the Virgin Mary and her mother, Ann.
In 1892, George Emerson Bean became the first permanent resident on Anna Maria Island, settling on the northern tip of the island, now known as Bean Point, located in the City of Anna Maria. Charles Roser, the Father of the Fig Newton, also followed suit, and together with Bean and his son Will, they developed the area by adding streets, a water system and homes, hence Bean Point and Roser Church. Four years later, Sam and Annie Cobb became homesteaders in the City of Holmes Beach. In the late 1940s, developer Jack Holmes built a community center and a small airstrip on the island. The Cortez Bridge, built in 1921, still connects the island to the Mainland today, while Longboat Key and Manatee Avenue Bridge also serving as access points to the island.
Anna Maria Island is regarded as a bird sanctuary, boasting a variety of birds that nest and fill the air with cheerful sounds, including pelicans, cranes, herons, feral parrots, sandpipers, osprey, hawks, seagulls, crows, as well as bald eagles, roseate spoonbills, snowy egrets, and wood storks. The island is also a paradise for marine life, offering anglers the opportunity to reel in redfish, snapper, mackerel, black drum, snook, trout, and amberjack. Cortez Village and Historic Bridge Street are two jewels on the island as well. History, charm, and natural beauty are what make Anna Maria Island a special place.
All sizes are approximate.
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