Anna Maria Island is a beautiful, well-kept, secret on Floridas West Coast. Discovered over 500 years ago by Spanish explorer Juan Ponce, the Island welcomed its first permanent resident in 1892, by renowned traveller George Emerson Bean, who developed much of what is now the City of Anna Maria Island.
An Anna Maria holiday is synonymous with paradise, fantastic average temperatures of 86F/26C, an average of 361 days of sunshine every year, exquisite beaches, warm and welcoming Gulf seas, and a laid-back attitude that suggests a Florida of years gone by. Anna Maria Island also has a very interesting history and, it is claimed a number of famous residents and celebrity holidaymakers.
1.Anna Maria Island has been the setting for a number of Hollywood films, including the 1948 Ester Williams film Island in the Sun, Palmetto staring Woody Harrelson and The Perfect Storm with George Clooney and Mark Whalberg.
2.The Historic County Jail was built for drunks to cool-off if they caused a disturbance, after visiting the local dance hall, which stood where, the Sandbar Restaurant is now. The Jail was built with only bars at the windows and doors, so the prisoners were constantly attacked by hundreds of mosquitoes! The most renowned visitor and unusual case, was Harry Ditmas, the City Clerk and Commissioner who once stayed 3 nights after he pleaded to be locked up when his wife went after him with an ice pick! The County Jail is now a tourist attraction on Anna Maria and reproductions of it have appeared in Ripleys Believe it or Not columns. The Great Cindini Cynthia Morris claims to have escaped from the Anna Maria County Gail. Cynthia Morris is an escapologist and member of the Houdini Historical Centre.
3.Anna Maria Island is being heralded as the No.1 beach wedding destination in Florida. An Anna Maria Island wedding, is the wedding of choice for about 1,000 couples each year. Its beautiful beaches, wonderful restaurants and reception venues, almost guaranteed sunshine and incredible sunsets, make it a perfect setting for both romantic, intimate weddings or large wedding celebrations, with the perfect Anna Maria rental available to suit every party size.
4.In 1979 a whopping 17ft, 1,386 pound Hammerhead Shark was caught off the Rod & Reel Pier, the world record Hammerhead Shark. It is the largest shark ever caught off a fishing pier.
5.Plenty of celebrities travel to Anna Maria Island, for its quiet, relaxed, get away from it all magic. It is claimed that the following celebs have wondered these shores Brad Pitt and Angela Jolie, Cameron Diaz, Denzel Washington, Jerry Springer and Tom Selleck.