Forty miles south of Tampa, Anna Maria is a paradise island, just seven miles west of Bradenton. With the Gulf of Mexico to the west, Tampa Bay and Anna Maria Sound to the east and Sarasota Bay to the south, the seven-mile-long tropical island is an undiscovered gem with beautiful sandy beaches on all sides and a year-round population of about 7000. The island was originally discovered by local indian tribes the Timucan and Caloosan Indians and then by Spanish explorers. At first only accessible by boat, the first bridge was built in 1921, connecting the island and mainland, today three bridges provide access. Dubbed the "island in the sun," Anna Maria has been the setting for multiple Hollywood movies.

The film "On An Island With You," starring Esther Williams and Peter Lawford, was filmed on the island in 1948.  In 1998 Woody Harrelson and Elizabeth Shue came to the island to film “Palmetto”. About the same time, Denzel Washington and George Clooney came to the area to film “The Perfect Storm”.

The three cities that make up the island, Anna Maria, Holmes Beach, and Bradenton Beach, are known for their narrow winding streets and lush tropical plants. Boating, fishing, and relaxing on the many beaches are favorite activites for island visitors.