WOW! I've found a new favorite beach destination & look forward to returning some day. May seems to be a great time to visit: no crowds anywhere, no bugs, weather pleasant & ocean warm (of course, I'm used to beaches north of Florida!)
We stayed in a rental by owner: 103 Gulf Sands - 2 BR condo in Holmes Beach (condo complex was ocean front) balcony ocean views. It was an excellent place: pool, clean, beach supplies provided, nice decor, comfortable. Highly reccommend this place.
Enjoyed the beach every day from morning walks to evening sunsets. Went out on 2 hour boat ride on bay (left from Star Fish Co.), visited DeSoto National Monuement (1/2 hour drive from AMI). It was quite interesting & we enjoyed the history/nature trail along the bay.
Enjoyed several AMI restaurants: Rod & Reel Pier, Waterfront Restaurant, Mr. Bones BBQ. Also, Seafood Shack & Star Fish Co., both in Cortez. Liked them all. Shopped a bit - Pine St. & Bridge St. - not a lot of shopping here but we were all about the water & the beach. Loved the many sea birds all over the island.
So... when can we return to Anna Maria Island?!? :)