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Old 16 Sep 21, 06:16 PM  
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Mqt
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AMI After a 15 Night Layover, Day 3, 5th September 2021-Heading to the Beach

One of our favourite things to do on Anna Maria is to go for long beach walks. For those who don’t know the island, the beach stretches from the bottom of the island to the top, a whole 7 miles, and you can walk on the beach from one end to the other on the gulf side. The sand is beautifully soft in places, like talcum powder and the water is usually calm. When you get to the tip of the island, (Bean Point) the currents change and it is prone to rip tides but is nonetheless still beautiful. Once you get round Bean Point, you hit the bayside, which has breathtaking views, but less walkable. The whole island is narrow, so you can walk beachside to bayside in just minutes, even at the widest point.

So, today we decided to take an early morning walk from Holmes Beach, which is in the middle of the island, up to the tip at Bean point and back down via the bayside and inland pathways so we could see what had changed since our last visit.

As we set off at 8am, the temperature was already hitting the high 80’s. We made sure we had drinks with us and headed across the street to our beach entrance. There are a number of picturesque pathways which lead onto the beach and I couldn’t wait to get the morning view from ours, which is made up of arching trees which make a lovely ‘frame’.

Beach Entrance


It did not disappoint. As I stepped out of the shade of the trees, the sea was calm and a lovely turquoise colour, the sky was dotted with a few clouds and it looked glorious-there is no other word to describe it. I felt so happy at that moment.

The beach was very quiet, despite it being Sunday of Labour Day weekend so we enjoyed the relative tranquility as we wandered up, barefoot, paddling in and out of the water. We stopped once or twice to sit on the sand and just enjoy watching the pelicans swooping into the water. We also picked up a few shells as promised for our granddaughters back home.


We saw lots of birds….




Bean Point was just as breathtaking as usual…. The wide expanse of sand and the way the water changes colour as the depth changes as the currents from the gulf and the bay meet is wonderful.


If you look at the top of the shot, you can see Egmont Key, a small, pretty island you can visit by boat and on the next photo, you can just see the Sunshine Skyway Bridge which goes towards St Pete’s and also, Fort Desoto, an island just out of shot which we’ll be visiting next week.



Today I was especially looking forward to heading round the top of the island and visiting the 2 piers-The Rod and Reel Pier and The City Pier. Both provide great viewpoints for watching sea life and birds and are good places to eat but more to the point, the last time we were able to walk on the City Pier was the day before hurricane Irma. It was totally destroyed the day after we left Florida (we were under a mandatory evacuation order the day before we were due to fly home). Rebuilding took a long time and it finally reopened in 2020.

As we walked around Bean Point, the Rod and Reel Pier was the first to come into view.

There were a few dolphins nearby and I managed to get a couple of shots. Every time I moved my phone, one popped up We wandered up to the pier and sat on the benches on the boardwalk for a while, just taking it all in.

Rubbish Dolphin Shot


Rod and Reel Pier


We then walked along to the City Pier. The picture below is from a distance as we left Rod and Reel.


It was great to see the welcoming sign, rather than the menacing ‘Do Not Enter’ notice which has been there on our last few visits.


How it looked after Irma


The pier stretches out into the water far beyond the distance of the Rod and Reel Pier, so we walked out to the farthest point and sat on the benches, looking out to sea. We must have stayed there for an hour or two, just thoroughly enjoying the scenery and trying to spot more dolphins.

We then walked down Pine Avenue which is the road directly in front of the pier and checked out the shops and a couple of new cafes, making a mental note to visit them during our stay.

We’d spent the best part of the day out and so when we got back we were both starving as we’d missed lunch. A check of my Apple Watch indicated we’d done over 25,000 steps. Mindful again of the fact it was now prime eating out time and Labour Day Sunday, we did a Publix Instacart shop for salmon and vegetables. This arrived within the hour (amazing!) and I cooked up salmon with spicy potato wedges and veg with lemon garlic sauce which we ate outside.

A quick dash over the road to the beach for sunset (which didn’t materialise due to cloud on the horizon!) followed by stargazing from the hot tub (we love the starfinding apps #geeks) and rounded off the day perfectly with a bar of chocolate, a cup of tea and maybe an odd glass of wine.
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Old 18 Sep 21, 09:54 PM  
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Lola
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Great to read tour reports and especially to see the restored pier. Our 2020 trip to AM had to be cancelled but hopefully we can be back soon. Your pictures are great to see
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Old 19 Sep 21, 01:03 PM  
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MrsGrumpy
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Brought back some very happy memories, thank you My son and family live on Tierra Verde, loved the shot of the Skyway, he crosses that to get to work. Have you been to the Waterfront restaurant? One of our favourites on the island x
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Old 19 Sep 21, 02:57 PM  
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mick
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What a lovely walk and great photos

Joan
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Old 19 Sep 21, 05:04 PM  
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Mqt
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Originally Posted by MrsGrumpy View Post
Brought back some very happy memories, thank you My son and family live on Tierra Verde, loved the shot of the Skyway, he crosses that to get to work. Have you been to the Waterfront restaurant? One of our favourites on the island x
Hi. We drove through Tierra Verde to get to Fort Desoto on this visit. Looks like a lovely place. Yes we’ve been to The Waterfront a few times-really nice food and we’ve sat at the newer part round the corner from the main outdoor seating when they’ve had the heating on in winter. Still outdoors but very cosy! Indeed we are heading there at some point this visit.

Edited at 05:10 PM.
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Old 19 Sep 21, 05:06 PM  
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Mqt
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Originally Posted by Lola View Post
Great to read tour reports and especially to see the restored pier. Our 2020 trip to AM had to be cancelled but hopefully we can be back soon. Your pictures are great to see
Thank you. Hope you get there in the not too distant future.
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Old 19 Sep 21, 05:47 PM  
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MrsGrumpy
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Originally Posted by Mqt View Post
Hi. We drove through Tierra Verde to get to Fort Desoto on this visit. Looks like a lovely place. Yes we’ve been to The Waterfront a few times-really nice food and we’ve sat at the newer part round the corner from the main outdoor seating when they’ve had the heating on in winter. Still outdoors but very cosy! Indeed we are heading there at some point this visit.
Enjoy!
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Old 10 Oct 21, 09:40 AM  
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flo-tinka
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What a great day, you are so fortunate to be able to wander the island like that and thanks for sharing with us
Just hoping we can have a day in our fave place this December 🤞🏼🤞🏼
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