Anna Maria Island (AMI), located between Tampa and Sarasota off Florida’s Gulf Coast, is perfectly suited for those longing an island retreat. The island stretches along the Manatee County coast and is connected to the mainland by two bridges (Palma Sola Causeway and Cortez Road) with an additional bridge to Longboat Key to the south.
And while there, don’t miss the chance to visit the charming and historic fishing village of Cortez, off the island, but convenient to AMI.
Park Your Flip Flops
Begin your stay on AMI at the Bamboo Apartments near the public beach mid-island. This collection of five cottages and apartments overlooks sea oat covered sand dunes and the pure white beaches of Anna Maria. The property was originally owned and operated by Carmen and Avelino Torres who immigrated from Spain to Tampa in the 1920’s, worked in the cigar industry and managed to acquire property on the island. Their granddaughter Alice Torres Sutton now manages the authentic property, and while this “slice of old Florida” is one thing to appreciate, Alice’s warm hospitality also keeps folks coming back. Ask, and she will even share her family scrapbook of vintage island photos dating to 1912 with plenty of historic 1930’s-40’s snapshots of her grandparent’s time on the island.