Anna Maria Island is a seven-mile-long island off Florida’s West Coast, world-famous for its spectacular sunsets. It is also famous for its laid-back lifestyle typical of Florida, magnificent beaches. The island-wide speed limit never tops 35 mph, instead of a car, it’s more likely you’ll use your bike, kayak, flip-flops, or ride the islandwide free trolley bus, golf carts are also a fun way to get around the island.
There are no high-rise condos with many local family-owned businesses. Gulf Drive cuts down the center, and canals branch off from the interior, creating a plethora of water-accessed homes. You know the nights are quiet when turtles choose your beach to lay their eggs.
There’s only one golf course on the island, the private Key Royale Club, but this is Florida after all, so there’s plenty of public and semiprivate golf to be had up to a half-hour away on the mainland. Anna Maria’s vibe is decidedly more artsy paddleboard-and-cruiser bike than an exclusive yacht club. If you decide to do absolutely nothing but lie on the beach in the shade of your umbrella, don’t feel guilty – that is the island’s most popular sport.