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Is Holmes Beach a tourist trap?

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Level Contributor
38 posts
1 review
Is Holmes Beach a tourist trap?

Hi all,

We're planning a family vacation with two elderly parents and two young children (7 and 4) next summer. Looking for a place with options, but not a tourist trap like Panama City Beach/Destin. How does Holmes Beach compare? What about the views? Suggestions for a hotel or resort right on the water?

Cleveland, Ohio
Level Contributor
1,341 posts
84 reviews
1. Re: Is Holmes Beach a tourist trap?

what exactly do you mean by tourist trap?

AMI is very different from florida touristy places if thats what you mean. it is the kind of place where you just want to kick back. there are no amuesement parks. there is a puttputt place. icecream shops. the beach is awesome!

do some reading on this site and you will find all you need to know

Frankfurt, Germany
Level Contributor
164 posts
29 reviews
2. Re: Is Holmes Beach a tourist trap?

Holmes Beach is a beautiful place which we came across driving from Orlando to Fort Myers. Unfortunately we stayed on Fort Myers Beach Island, which IS a tourist trap. We will stay north in the Sarasota/Holmes Beach are on our next holiday in Florida. Really beautiful and with untouched/not overcrowded areas.

Bradenton, Florida
Destination Expert
for Bradenton, Anna Maria Island
Level Contributor
5,427 posts
29 reviews
3. Re: Is Holmes Beach a tourist trap?

Anna Maria Island (Holmes Bech is one of three cities on the island) is 7 miles of Old Florida. No high rise buildings, no chain restaurants (except a couple of very local chains). A trolley runs every 20 minutes, free, up and down the island. The island is close enough to the mainland (a few miles) that getting to Wal-Mart is easy, for groceries or water toys. There is also a store on the island. There are a lot of things to do right on the island, most water related, and nearby an aquarium, Ringling Museum, Jungle Gardens, and a good variety of shopping. Depending on the number of bedrooms you need, take a look at LaCosta. Beautiful property directly on the beach with a pool.

Leeds, United...
Level Contributor
352 posts
24 reviews
4. Re: Is Holmes Beach a tourist trap?

I agree with the previous posters, AMI is paradise, beautiful uncrowded beaches and no high rise buildings. It is not a tourist trap but an island where people live and work. I have been lucky enough to visit twice with extended family - my husband's parents, his brother, wife and their 2 girls plus our 2 children. We have stayed at the Gulf Watch Condos both times(booking 3 apartments). They are across the road from Bradenton Beach and are lovely with a heated pool and are cheaper than La Costa. No need to drive unless you wish to leave the island - bliss. Bradenton Beach is on a very narrow part of the island so you have the benefit of the Gulf and the bay, you can also walk to many restaurants. It doesn't really matter where you stay, as Kris says there is the free trolley bus and the island is only 7 miles long.

You will not find much if any 'resort' type accomodation on AMI, this really is a low key destination. There are holiday resort places and chain hotels on Longboat Key if that is what you are looking for but you will be looking at small hotels and condo complexes on AMI. I suppose your options are whether to go to the pool or the beach (take your own beach chairs and umbrellas). As I recall there are not a great deal of places to stay right on the ocean but plenty across the beach road which is easy to cross. La Costa mentioned by Kris is one of those directly on the beach.

Cleveland, Ohio
Level Contributor
1,341 posts
84 reviews
5. Re: Is Holmes Beach a tourist trap?

i must say, after having travelled to lots of beach destinations, AMI is not so touristy..thus, the love of it

Level Contributor
305 posts
6 reviews
6. Re: Is Holmes Beach a tourist trap?

Please take a look at this website www.awesomeannamaria.com this is an over head view of the island and should give you an overview of what the island looks like.

AMI is not like Panama City City or Destin. They will never film MTV springbreak on AMI.

Arlington, TX
Destination Expert
for Fort Worth
Level Contributor
2,417 posts
424 reviews
7. Re: Is Holmes Beach a tourist trap?

We're looking at AMI for a trip next year and we have friends who adore it. If you're driving from the midwest and are wanting a shorter drive you could consider the Beaches of South Walton County. This area is between Destin and Panama City and is a 17 mile stretch of great beach with only one highrise, 1 midrise, and lots of low rise condo's and houses to choose from. We stay 2 weeks in the middle of this area, Seagrove Beach, and we love it. The beaches aren't crowded and the there's no traffic jams like in Destin. Just thought I'd throw it out there to you. check out www.sowal.com for the local scoop on the area as they're not active on TA there.

Happy travels!

8. Re: Is Holmes Beach a tourist trap?

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