“Wonderful Smugglers Cove & Gulf Stream Resort on the paradise island of Anna Maria, Florida.”
Smuggler's Cove together with its on-site sister resort Gulf Stream offer both quiet, peaceful, laid back vacation retreats that have both timeshare and general rental accommodation available. They have their own private beach access across the slow trafficked road plus a private fishing and boat dock on the intra-coastal bay side. Gulf Stream resort looks towards the beach and over the pool areas and Smugglers overlooks the car park and the intra-coastal waterway bay.
Smuggler's itself is an older 1-bed unit resort which lies alongside its newer larger 2 bed/2 bath resort called Gulf Stream, both share the same site and common facilities and both offer excellent accommodation to suit a variety of cost budgets and unit size preferences. Smugglers Cove offers studios and one bedroom units, some of which overlook the bay-side gardens and inland waterway. Gulf Stream offers larger 2 bed 2 bath units with in-situ laundry in each unit. Both Smugglers and Gulf Stream units have fully equipped kitchens and extra supplies are available from the front desk.
There is a good sized heated pool and an excellent hot tub on site. Books, DVDs, videos, games and much more are all freely available to borrow from the front desk. Beautiful bayside gardens where BBQs, tables, chairs and loungers are set out and along the fishing/boat dock. Free WIFI is also available at the resorts.
The whole resort offers seasonal activities and a weekly welcome breakfast where the week's activities are explained. Most activities are free or at very little cost and are good fun for all ages. Tables and loungers are already provided on the beach and beach umbrellas, folding chairs, bicycles and other items are freely available from the front desk office.
The Island's free trolley bus (which also has a bike rack on the front of each bus, so you can cycle one way and bus back) stops very close by, two or three times an hour every day, so although a car is essential for trips further afield, the trolley is a free and fun way to travel round the island, hop-on/hop-off whenever you like. The island has several shopping and interesting areas and piers laid along its length and is itself linked to the mainland by two main bridges and causeways towards the north and south. At the far southern tip at Coquina beach it is linked by another bridge to the neighbouring island of Longboat Key, which in turn is linked at its southern tip to Sarasota and fashionable St Armands Circle.
We started going to Smugglers and Gulf Stream (from England/U.K.) for part of a two week Florida holiday, including the Orlando parks for one week and the beautiful Gulf Coast for a second week, many years ago and kept coming back until eventually we bought into the timeshare offered (very low key sales, the resorts are pretty well sold out and there is no heavy sales pressure at all, it doesn't need it) as it suited our vacation plans. Since becoming retired and having more time available, we have added extra weeks so we can enjoy this little piece of paradise for longer vacations. But equally many folk just book a unit in the normal rental way, whenever there is space available.
We have known this quiet part of Florida ever since we spent our honeymoon on Longboat Key island a long time ago and can happily recommend this part of the world to anyone seeking a gentle, peaceful, relaxing vacation with beautiful sunsets, and free trolley transport to all the island shops, other beaches and places of interest, and to be close enough to visit the wider cultural attractions of Sarasota, Tampa and of course Orlando, any of which are within a day's outing.
Ask if there is a Bayside Smuggler's unit available and chose one of those, only because of the...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.