Florida's best kept secret, Anna Maria Island, features beautiful white sugar sand beaches, older Florida charm, award-winning restaurants, year-round golf courses, and pristine shopping all within easy walking and driving distance, or a ride aboard the free 'Anna Maria Island Trolley', which stops near your next vacation destination, the Gulf View Retreat. One of the few places in the world where the sunset is regularly applauded, this tiny slice of paradise stretches for 7 miles into the Gulf.
The Gulf View Retreat, the top floor of a 2-story home, offers everything you need for your beach stay! Beach toys for the kids are available in our outdoor shed. Dishes, pots, pans, linens, and towels are all provided - just bring your swimsuit, toiletries, food, and enjoy! The Gulf View Retreat features a split plan with the master bedroom having its own bathroom and on the other two bedrooms sharing one bath. There is an additional pull out sofa bed in the family room. Granite countertops throughout the unit provide luxury at your fingertips. Other amenities to perfect your stay include:
• Open decks with Gulf of Mexico views
• New Pool with large Sun Shelf and many Sitting Shelf's
• 2 Kayaks
• Paddle Board
• Fire Pit with lighted Areca Palms and comfortable chairs
• Big Yard
• Crows Nest third-floor balcony makes enjoying the sunsets and night-time stars an incredible experience
• High Speed Wireless Internet service with 72 MB per second speeds
• Cable on the high definition flat screen TV
• New Trane air conditioning unit
• 1,660 square feet living space
The Gulf View Retreat is the independent second floor of the home, while the first floor can be rented separately through the Pool Side Retreat listing (property # 614098). Each floor is a completely self-sustaining, independent unit with its own BBQ, patio furniture and entry way. Both floors can be combined for family reunions, retreats or multiple family vacations if you contact us, where both floors would include:
• Complete privacy for the entire home
• Sleeps 18 People
• 6 Bedrooms and 2 Sleeper-Sofas in common areas
• 12 Beds of differing sizes
• 5 Car Parking Spaces
• 6 Televisions
• 3 Bathrooms
• 2,600 square feet
• 2 Granite-Countertop Kitchens
• 2 Washers & 2 Dryers
• 2 Grills
• Private Crows Nest third-floor balcony makes enjoying the sunsets and night-time stars an incredible experience
• Private New Pool with large Sun Shelf and many Sitting Shelf's
• New Fire Pit with lighted Areca Palms and comfortable chairs surrounding it
• Open lanai and patio
• Big Yard
• Wireless Internet service with 20MB per second speeds
• 6 Bikes for riding around the neighborhood including kids bikes
• 2 New Trane air conditioning units
• 1 Paddleboard
• 2 Kayaks
• And much more...
Our home is much easier to navigate than 3-story duplexes on Anna Maria Island because our first floor is on the ground level and the second floor is one easy set of stairs. Other homes on the island tend to require climbing multiple flights of stairs up or taking elevators because their homes begin on the second floor and go up to the third floor.
If you rent just the Gulf View Retreat, then there are a few 'common' areas for the two floors including the pool, yard, fire-pit, toys and 3rd story 'Crow's Nest' deck. Contact us for a Reunion Retreat where you can rent both floors including the entire house for special occasions.
In less than 2 minutes, you will be spending your day on the beach at Sunset Park, or venture out a bit further and hang out fishing in one of the many great spots nearby. Sightings along the Gulf of Mexico beach and inter-coastal waterway include Manatees, Rays, Dolphins, many kinds of fish, a wide variety of birds, and other amazing creatures. Some people even get married at the Sunset Park beach area and stay in our home with family! Common sites along the beach areas include Sea Turtle nests and bird nesting sanctuaries during special times of the year.
While some prefer the isolation of the nearby beaches, others opt toward more people at the public beaches. If that is your desire, venture to Coquina Beach at the south end of Bradenton Beach and Anna Maria Island, or Manatee County Beach at the west end of Manatee Avenue in Holmes Beach, or Anna Maria Pier at the east end of Pine Avenue for the intercoastal/Tampa Bay access. Anna Maria Pier is a special place where many times you can see fish, rays, dolphins, and manatees swimming underneath you as well as fish from the dock and have a nice meal or an ice cream cone at Two Scoops Ice Cream Shop. (The Pier is currently under repair, Winter 2017.)
If you're in the mood to tour around the rest of the island, catch the free trolley around the corner and it will take you to any of the beaches, restaurants, shops or grocery stores along Gulf Drive anywhere on Anna Maria Island. Take the trolley to the old historic Bridge Street area of Bradenton Beach to enjoy the Key West style restaurants and shops. If you enjoy painting or photography, the sunsets are among the best in the world.
Enjoy live music nightly and dinner at Manatee Public. If you time it right (usually 7pm), you can enjoy sea creature (fish, eel, and shark) feeding and Ice Cream at Holy Cow Ice Cream.
A lovely sunrise can be enjoyed along the Coquina Baywalk. Bean Point and Coquina Beach are great beaches to visit along with Sunset Park next to our home.
Just across the Cortez bridge on the south side of the island, is the old school Florida fishing village of Cortez, where restaurants have excellent seafood and some have live music. Swordfish Grill is our favorite on the dock.
Our kids love taking the free trolley around the corner up to Anna Maria Pier and looking for fish in the water (especially in the morning to early afternoon when you can see well through the clear water), talking to the fisherman, and eating at the restaurant or getting ice cream at Two Scoops. The Blueberry Pie ice cream is my favorite... Trolley stops by the home every 20 minutes from about 6am to 10pm.
We have 3 favorites for breakfasts: 1) Rod & Reel Pier, 2) Ginny's & Jane E's, and 3) The Donut Experiment (fun for the kids but not completely filling).
There is a small reef of rocks about 150 feet northwest from the Sunset Park Beach directly west of our home. I like to swim out to it and then dive down 8-10 feet to see colorful fish like the striped Sheepshead, etc.
The Herb Dolan Park, an easy five block walk or bike ride on 26th Street North and Avenue A, is an open park area with a terrific view of Sarasota Bay, Anna Maria Sound and Tampa Bay. The Herb Dolan Park features picnic areas, basketball court, playing field, swing set, play structure and a Kayak launch. If you're in the mood to tour around the rest of the island, catch the free trolley out the back door and it will take you to any of the beaches, restaurants, shops or grocery stores along Gulf Drive anywhere on Anna Maria Island. Take the trolley one stop down (or stroll along the beach the one mile) to the old historic Bridge Street area of Bradenton Beach to enjoy the Key West style restaurants and shops. If you enjoy painting or photography, the sunsets are among the best in the world.
After enjoying the beach or park, return home to use one of the two outdoor showers next to the beach toys or the pool to wash the beach sand off and jump in the pool waiting for you. Kick your feet in the water of the heated pool with a special sun shelf for toddlers or adults to sit on with Adirondack-style chairs. The pool, 5 feet deep at its deepest, includes two more sitting shelves on the that are around 18 inches deep. One of those extra sitting shelves on the far end has a soaker spout to massage sore backs. Enjoy the traditional landscaping of Florida with various palm trees of different sizes that increase your privacy including Areca Palms, Queen Palms, Fishtail Palms, and Palmetto Palms. A large Frangipani/Plumeria tree creates beautiful large flower blossom clusters usually in May or June, which smell ideal and are the basis for Hawaiian leis. Relax in the soft green grass of our Zoysia lawn next to the pool tossing a ball or playing a game of Corn Hole or Golf Toss. Head up to the Crow's Nest deck and watch the dolphins swim by in the Gulf of Mexico next to the beach.
Please see the listings on the VRBO website (using a slash and the listing number below) to see reviews from our properties:
977187 - Beach View Retreat - Anna Maria Island
557191 - Gulf View Retreat - Anna Maria Island
614098 - Pool Side Retreat - Anna Maria Island
933895 - Palm Isle Retreat - Anna Maria Island
1021349 - Dolphin Pool & Beach Home - Casey Key
1021417 - Sea Turtle Pool & Beach Home - Casey Key