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Will we be happy on Anna Maria?

Minnesota
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104 posts
1 review
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Will we be happy on Anna Maria?

We've vacationed several times on Captiva, but this time we need a much larger rental for a family reunion (which is WAY too expensive on Captiva). We love the island feel on Captiva, walking sandy lanes from the village to the beach, and the all-over "vibe". Do you think we will like Anna Maria Island? We've stayed on Sanibel as well and didn't like it as well (more crowded, lots of traffic on Periwinkle, etc.). Thanks for your thoughts!

swansea
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445 posts
9 reviews
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1. Re: Will we be happy on Anna Maria?

We have stayed on Sanibel and Captiva several times and really like both of them,in our opinion Captiva has a more "village" feel about it ,as for Anna Maria we stayed there last September for 2 weeks ,and are returning this August for 2 more weeks.

I think it is fair to say that AM is a little more commercial,although not to many tourist trap type places ,there are many more restaurants on AM,from cheap eats to high end,the beach runs the whole length of the island [7 miles ,i think],if you decide to stay at the "north end"of the island ,i would say thats the most laid back area,we found the people on AM ,both locals and tourists to be the most friendly we have ever met ,and we have been travelling to Florida for the past 20yrs.

As for traffic i am sure it will depend when you visit,when we were there it was really quiet and nice.

Again ,like San/Cap no highrises ,no chain restaurants either [that i know of ],Personally we found the beaches and the water on AM were perfect.

I think its also fair to say AM is not quite as "green" as San/Cap ,but in our opinion a lovely piece of [old ? ] Florida it is

Hope this is of some help

Regards

Fishman UK

Sarasota, Florida
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for Sarasota, Longboat Key
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2. Re: Will we be happy on Anna Maria?

Captiva is a special place and will be hard to duplicate, but I agree with you about the pricing (and also the comparison to Sanibel). Fishman's response is an excellent description of what you can expect on Anna Maria and it may be as close as you can get to a Captiva-like alternate; especially if you focus on the North end. The other barrier islands off of Sarasota/Bradenton (Siesta and Longboat) might have one or two very small areas that give you that vibe, but AMI is your best bet.

The only other alternative might be to take a look at Boca Grande or, possibly Cedar Key.

UK
Destination Expert
for Florida
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46,646 posts
22 reviews
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3. Re: Will we be happy on Anna Maria?

Captiva is more remote, with less land. So is more expensive. It feels more remote/desert island.

AMi will differ in the experience depending on where on the island you stay. It is noticeably more residential and less busy in the north than further south There are two bridges to the mainland (captiva has none and is connected by one bridge to another island to the mainland.) But I feel it still feels like a small island community.

United States
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6,299 posts
34 reviews
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4. Re: Will we be happy on Anna Maria?

We have been going to Captiva for 20+ years and I prefer it to AMI. But, there is a lot more to do on AMI, and I do like it as well. What people said above is all correct so I won't re-hash. AMI is also more down home feel and less uppity.

Newark, Ohio
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127 posts
42 reviews
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5. Re: Will we be happy on Anna Maria?

Never been to Captiva or Sanibel, but I can't imagine them being nicer than AMI. Getting close to retirement and if I won the lottery I wouldn't even hesitate to move to AMI when I retire. Our favorite place in the whole world.

Ohio
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729 posts
32 reviews
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6. Re: Will we be happy on Anna Maria?

I've been to Sanibel, Captiva, and Anna Maria and like them all for different reasons BUT I've been all over Florida and have to say that AMI is my all-time favorite place in FL. The vibe is so much different than many other beach towns. I love the "old Florida" feel to the island and all of the funky beach houses. The beach itself is beautiful: wide white sandy beach; clear, calm water. AMI is simply....special.

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8 posts
45 reviews
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7. Re: Will we be happy on Anna Maria?

We love AMI. the north end is quiet, very relaxing. The beach is easy access, clean. Pine Street is great for window shopping or just meandering. Anna Maria City Pier is great for enjoying the fresh air, and watching people fish. All amenities are easy to get to, Publix is a great grocery store with friendly,helpful associates. Walgreen is close by with a liquor store and reasonable prices. Lots of good eating spots. AMI= A Magnificient Island!

Edited: 24 February 2013, 22:04
Sheffield(UK)
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63 posts
282 reviews
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8. Re: Will we be happy on Anna Maria?

No - you will be ecstatic, relaxed, chilled, laid back, stress free etc....etc......etc.

MANCHESTER
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123 posts
149 reviews
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9. Re: Will we be happy on Anna Maria?

You will absolutely love the island. We were there this day last year as part of a five week tour of Florida.We had stayed in a villa on Bimini Bay the previous year but last year stayed at Siver Surf resort for 5 days and it was fantastic. We also visited Sanibel and Captiva and both in there own way are just as nice. I don't think you can go far wrong with any of those South Florida isles. Just wish I was back there now away from this awful weather. Have to start looking again at flights!!

10. Re: Will we be happy on Anna Maria?

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