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Differences between the communities

Littleton, Colorado
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1,557 posts
32 reviews
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Differences between the communities

We are looking at a rental in Holmes Beach. (Near 5th Ave and 35th St) We've never been to Anna Maria Island and I understand there are 2 other communities on the island-Anna Maria and Bradenton Beach. Can someone explain prominent difference among the 3 in terms of the towns (shopping/restaurants) and beaches? Thanks!

United States
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6,553 posts
17 reviews
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1. Re: Differences between the communities

The length of the island is small enough that it doesn't matter which part you choose to stay, but people have their favorite. Generally, it is thought of as the city of Anna Maria (north part) being the most quiet, Holmes Beach (middle part) being the medium quiet, and Bradenton Beach (southern part) being the busiest. We like Holmes Beach, but more to the northern part of it. We like the beach best there, and there are some newer, updated homes, in which we prefer to stay. We like upscale, even though AMI is known for being "Old Florida". There is more going on, entertainment wise, in Bradenton Beach. If you are looking for that, I would stay there.

The north part has some shopping on Pine, but although some of the regular posters for AMI keep recommending that people stay there, I don't like that location for renting, only shopping. My opinion, of course.

United States
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6,553 posts
17 reviews
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2. Re: Differences between the communities

Forgot to say that I consider where you are talking about staying, the southern part of Holmes Beach. I think you will like it there. Close enough to everything; Publix, Walgreens, some restaurants, etc.

Akron, Ohio
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3. Re: Differences between the communities

The area in Holmes Beach that you are considering is a very walkable area. All your basic necessities are right there. Groceries, liquor store, coffee/bagel shop, and several restaurants are all within a block or two. The beach is nice in that area as well. If you prefer to not use your car, this area would work well for you. There is a trolley stop in front of Publix for when you want to go to restaurants/shops on the north end or Bridge Street. If you have found a rental that you like, you will be fine. There is not a huge difference between the areas. If you ask three people their preference between the areas, you may possibly get three different answers. :)

Littleton, Colorado
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1,557 posts
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4. Re: Differences between the communities

A saw that another poster thought Longboat Key and Siesta Key were nicer in her opinion- more upscale. Are they just newer and more expensive? Or are there some not- so- pleasant areas on Anna Maria?

United States
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5. Re: Differences between the communities

I think all areas of AMI are pleasant. It does have some small bungalows and some less updated rentals in places. It also has some nice big houses and very nice condos for rent. It doesn't have the ritzy or resort feeling that some other places like Naples, Sanibel, and Captiva have become known for. That's why it has a reputation for being laid back and "Old Florida". It all depends on what you want. The atmosphere is more casual, I think, than some other vacation destinations in Florida. I happen to like upscale, so we choose to stay in the newer places on the island. No big deal. There is nowhere on the island where I would not feel safe, if that's what you mean.

6. Re: Differences between the communities

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