We've just returned from a fantastic, wonderful week on Anna Maria Island (Bean point). We only had one rainy day which we used to do our shopping for souvenirs etc... with the remaining 6 days being absolutely perfect beach weather.
We stayed at the Blue Dolpin Inn (Heron Suite)....I have mixed feelings about this place.... It's the perfect location..one block from the gulf and 2 blocks to the bay (Rod and Reel pier). The area is just breathtaking....but I just feel that the Inn has become a little run down. The pool was dirty the whole time we were there so we usually went to the beach instead....we never saw anyone there maintaining it...and it was pretty small, especially when sharing it with 4 other units. The suite itself was really nice, but like I said, just getting a little run down. It had wonderful old Florida charm and we loved the tree house feel to it. Amazing dense vegetation surrounding the Inn...very pretty!!
We rented bikes for the week and had so much fun exploring the Island. It's so beautiful and clean and you just feel so safe there...
We ate out at 3 different restaurants:
Rod and Reel: Excellent blackened grouper sandwich and really fun atmosphere...but very busy and had one hour wait both times we ate there..but we enjoyed watching the dolphins while waiting.
Sandbar: Nice beach location/view but awful, awful food!! Very disappointed...
Sign of the Mermaid: I can't say enough good things about this restaurant. The 4 of us (two couples) both agreed it was one of the best meals we've EVER eaten...and reasonably priced. The atmosphere was wonderful and service also fantastic. It really was the highlight of our trip!!
And what can I say about the beach...the softest, whitest sand we've ever walked on. The most beautiful sunsets we've ever seen. And all the birds (herons, pelicans, egrets (sp?)) walking alongside you on the beach. Truly breathtaking!!! We saw a large seaturtle (10 feet from us) in the water...about 8 ft long...what an amazing site that was!! We also saw lots of dolphins really close to shore!!
We will be back again next year for sure!!!