July 20, 2002
Two bridges link Bradenton to Anna Maria Island, whose sandy shoreline, backed by dunes, is largely undeveloped but it is washed by breakers big enough to attract surfers. The largest of the Bradenton-Sarasota islands, Anna Maria has three distinct communities. Northernmost Anna Maria has a casual air about it, along with picturesque public fishing pier built in 1910. Bayfront Park rounds the tip of the island Gulf to bay offering picnic facilities, recreational opportunities, and a magnificent view of St. Petersburg’s Sunshine Skyway Bridge.
Holmes Beach, our favorite place on the island, is more upscale. It has beautiful, unspoiled beach. Manatee County Park has picnicking facilities, lifeguards, a snack bar and fishing pier.
Bradenton Beach, with its beach shops has some historic feel. Coquina Bach lies at the south end of the island and wraps around Gulf and bay. Here, beachers also enjoy picnic areas, boat ramps, good snorkeling and a lot of shady Australian pine trees.
A lovely, well heeled island, Longboat Key has little to offer in the way of sights but its public beaches are good.
From journal St Petersburg and the Gulf Beaches