Anna Maria Island is a friendly barrier island located in the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. The island residents are proud of their unique island charm and the relaxed style of ‘island time’.
The island was originally used as a hunting and fishing ground for the original Timucan and Caloosan American Indian tribes. The Spanish explorers, including Hernando DeSoto, later discovered Anna Maria Island in the name of the Spanish Crown.
Anna Maria Island first appeared on unofficial map of the area in 1848. The in 1892, George Emerson Bean, the name sake of the northern tip Bean Point, became the first permanent resident of the island. George and his son Will along with John Roser were the first to develop the island creating streets and a permanent water system for the new homes. The famous Anna Maria Island jail located on Pine Ave to this day, was built in 1927 to house the drunk and disorderly visitors to the island.
John Roser went on to build the Roser Memorial Community Church in memory of his mother. Mr Roser was also the inventor of the Fig Newton!
The Anna Maria Island City Pier celebrated its official centennial in 2011 and the first wooden bridge that linked the island to the historical fishing village of Cortez was completed in 1921.
Today the 3 cities of Anna Maria, Holmes Beach and Bradenton Beach stretch the length of the 7-mile island. Anna Maria at the north end has a population of just over 1800, the population of Holmes Beach is approximately 5000 and the southern city of Bradenton Beach has a population of 2000. The island community is made up of families of all ages, singles & retirees.
You will find quaint shops, local eateries as well as the amazing view of the turquoise water of the Gulf of Mexico. Be sure to check out where the locals hang to absorb some of that old school Florida Vibe.
The island offers many community facilities, including an Elementary School, child care facilities, library, many restaurants and music venues.