Though the beaches are the best thing about Anna Maria Island, there are also a lot of other fun things to do. We spent Sunday just driving around, shopping, people watching and strolling about. Anna Maria Island is a mere seven miles long and has three small towns- Bradenton Beach, Holmes Beach and Anna Maria.
We walked down Bridge Street on Bradenton Beach...
The first bridge from the mainland to the island connected to the historic Bridge Street, though the current bridge now connects to Gulf Avenue several blocks north of Bridge Street.
*Note- to see photos full size right click, then click open in new window*
After browsing through the shops on Bridge Street we drove to the northern end of the island to visit some of our favorite shops in the city of Anna Maria. Our first stop was at Ginny’s & Jane E’s which is a combination cafe, bakery and shop. They have some original art by local artists and lots of interesting resale items, a great little cafe and amazing baked goods. They have some of the best cookies I've ever tasted from a bakery. We always bring home a bag cookies for ourselves plus a few peanut butter and molasses cookies for the dogs.
Another favorite shop of ours is the Sand Dollar which is also located in the city of Anna Maria.
So many pretty items with a beachy theme...
I didn't notice the woman in this photo when I took it. But when I was editing the photos after we got home I had to do a double take because she looked so much like my mom a few years before she died.
Before we headed home at the end of the day we stopped at the Anna Maria City Pier to take some photos. Anna Maria City Pier was first built in 1911. Though the buildings built on it have long ago disappeared, the pier has been repaired and rebuilt several times after being damaged by numerous tropical storms over the years. The restaurant and bait shop on the pier has changed hands many times, but have long been a favorite of locals and visitors alike. The first time I was on the island was when I came down to visit my mom and we ate at the pier restaurant. Their grouper sandwiches were her absolute favorite. Her ashes were spread several miles out from Anna Maria Pier.
And that's how we spent our Sunday. We have a simple life, but damn, I love it!