There is no other way to describe 2 days/1night in Anna Maria Island, completely in relaxation mode.
Anna Maria Island is not a party place or the typical spot for ‘Spring Break’, it is a town to enjoy the beach, dine and relax. Obviously, there are some bars to visit and with the help of the trolley that goes around the town, free of charge and from 6am to 10pm, it helps with drinking and not driving. Of course… don’t drink everything and then get on the trolley completely drunk 😆.
We stayed at Haley’s at Anna Maria Island Inn (at the time, the name was still Haley’s Couples Retreat). I don’t know if it was that we were still in the middle of the pandemic (July 2021) or that new owners had just taken over the place, or I don’t know… but the ‘check in’ was a bit disorganized.
However, we loved the room, very clean and spacious. Our room was right next to the reception office, but because of the time (pandemic) there was no one in the office, everything was by phone, including the code to enter the room. Let me explain a bit more… when making the reservation, one day before arrival we received the door code and room number by email. Well, the room number did not match what it said on the door, we spent few minutes trying to find it and with no one in the office, it was more difficult. We finally found one lady from house keeping and she took us to our room. BUT… the code they gave us didn’t work. We had to call the front desk (who weren’t on property) and they changed the code. We were able to enter the room, but we couldn’t be opening and closing so often because otherwise we wouldn’t be able to go in for a while. We found it a bit confusing indeed. But overall the place was good. With a small but perfect pool, just steps away from the beach and in general it was very comfortable. It was also few steps away from a tram stop.
Besides enjoying the beach, we also visited Anna Maria Island City Pier. From there you can enjoy a good view of Tampa Bay and the famous Sunshine Skyway Bridge.
About food?… after a year, I’m trying to remember where we ate. I have no photos of restaurants or dishes. Weird. If I remember well, we tried going to 2 restaurants, one was closing when we arrived and the other was super full and we had to wait a long time, so at the end we went to a nearby Irish Pub. We really did not have a good experience with food. But the beach… a beauty of a place.
We only spent 1 night in Anna Maria Island. We had stayed first in Sarasota and on our way back we decided to spend the night here, even though it is not on the road to Orlando, but it is always good to discover a new place. (read also: 6 places to visit while in Sarasota)
I don’t know if I’ll come back again. I would prefer to go to a new place and since I like to do more activities, if I had to choose, I would go to a beach city with more places to visit like Sarasota or St. Pete Beach. But to spend 1 or 2 nights of relaxation, just to go to the beach, have an early dinner and sleep, or maybe I’d go with a group of friends or family where we may stay in an AirBnB, in front of the beach and after waking up, prepare something breakfast, relax on the beach and return to take a shower, have dinner and spend the rest of the night listening to music, playing some games and enjoying some drinks without worrying about anything else… That’s how I would return.