There are many choices for condos on beach but of course it is a busy holiday. We like Anna Maria Island because of the "old Florida" feel. Both islands have beautiful powdery white sandy beaches, but Anna Maria has a height restriction on the island for condos and such....therefore you get the "old Florida" feel but along with that perk for us is the fact that this equates to less populated beaches. We don't like to going to a beach where you don't feel like you have your personal space.( Maybe that is the country girl coming out of me). There are many more attributes to Anna Maria that I could go on all day long. But we love the charm of Anna Maria best.
One major difference is in the dining. Siesta key has no dining on the gulf..whereas Anna Maria has plenty of places on the gulf and bay side.
We stayed on Siesta Key (Crescent Beach area) in a condo several years ago and felt that the beach itself was the best EVER; super white, soft, plenty of it, and gradual entry into the water. But we didn't enjoy the overall location nearly as much as Anna Maria. I have trouble explaining it, but Anna Maria seems so RIGHT. We love that there are no high rises,no super big resorts, and no chain restaurants..There IS a nice Publix! We also like to be right on the beach, not several blocks away, and there are plenty of places to choose from. The 4th of July weekend might be busier, but I expect the same would be true for Siesta Key. Lorilyn is right that there are several good restaurants right on the gulf (Beachhouse, Sandbar) and fun little shops to go in, but the pace is leisurely. You can always take a pretty drive down through Longboat Key to St. Armands Circle if you desire a more happening vibe in the evening. We prefer the laid back charm of Anna Maria!
Uk to Paradise ! Anyone playing table tennis on the Island ? Very keen to practice , anytime in May ! Cheers.
Would agree with all above comments. We had been visiting Siesta Key for years and really loved it and it will always have a special place in our hearts. We always tried to get near the beach and near the village so we didn't need to drive at night. We were introduced to Anna Maria a few years ago and totally fell in love with the "old florida" charm that has been mentioned. The beaches are lovely in AMI but nowhere in the world I have seen has sand like Siesta Key - just like powdered sugar! Anna Maria has just such a quaint, laid back feel and a great choice of restaurants some of which are right on the beach - which you just don't get on SK. Depending on where you stay on the island there may be rental opportunities on the beach. Opposite Tortuga Inn on Bradenton Beach there are kayaks, paddle boards, jet skis, etc for rent so plenty to do if you like the water. There is a free shuttle bus which runs the length of the island until about 10.30pm so great if you want a drink with dinner and want to go a bit further afield. No matter where you go you will love it but I have say AMI is just something else. Happy travels!
My wife and I had a split vacation last June, spent time at both, would give the edge to Anna Maria. Siesta Key is a lot more congested with people, traffic, and although a great beach it's quite shallow for a long distance. If partying is the goal then I would pick Siesta Key but we were a middle aged couple that really liked Anna Maria. Anna Maria is more laid back and better suited to us.
It should be noted though that given a choice this June we didn't decide on either and chose Casey Key.
We have stayed at Anna Maria Island Inn a few times. They have some units right on the beach and some across the street. We have stayed at units on the beach and have been really pleased. It is great having your morning coffee with that beach view. My kids are all young adults now but my youngest was around the age of your son when we first took them to Anna Maria. They loved it there too. They spent hours with snorkel masks on and diving in waist deep water for sand dollars. Being Midwesterners all of our lives this was quite a treasure for them. But there are many nice condos right on the beach.
Hi, I'm just looking to book 3 nights in anna Maria but I'm struggling to choose somewhere to stay as ideally we'd like to stay on the Beach. Do you have any recommendations ? There are 2 adults and a teenager :) thanksEdited: 05 May 2013, 19:37
Having stayed on both islands, I agree with all the above. The sand on Siesta Key is softer, but I would always in the future stay on AMI for all the above reasons, especially the oceanside dining. I've only stayed at La Costa, but I can hardly imagine a better place--highly recommended.
-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-
This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.
To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html
We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.