As a small boy growing up in this area, I fell in love with its sunny, “sugar sand” beaches in the summer and the contented feeling that comes from floating in the warm, gentle waters of the Gulf of Mexico. So when I could finally afford it, I bought this little cottage in the small, modest town of Holmes Beach on a barrier island called Anna Maria. With it came my very own beach on the Gulf with lots of that wonderful sugar sand – a very fine, powdery, brilliantly white sand that audibly “squishes” between your toes when you walk on it. To catch even more of it (one can never have too much sugar sand), I planted interwoven rows of sea oats that have now created dunes. Through these dunes and the swaying stalks of oats, you will take a winding little path to the beach and those balmy, caressing waves of the Gulf that are guaranteed to wash your stress away. Then ... when you come back in the winter, you will enjoy an invigorating walk along that same beach in cool, crisp sunshine.
The Cottage: Built in 1936, my wood-frame beach cottage was originally part of 6-8 cottages and a lodge house. It is the only surviving cottage, many having been taken by hurricanes. (Forward of the cottage’s beach, a street and an entire city block of the old subdivision are submerged beneath the Gulf of Mexico.) The cottage is a peach color on the outside with green awnings and is also decorated Key West – Caribbean style inside. The front faces the street where it dead-ends, so it is private from the public, and the rear faces the Gulf, but there is a home between the cottage & the Gulf. However, the cottage’s land wraps around this home to the right, where the sea oats are, connecting it to the beach. Also, there is a beach view from the cottage’s left end. From this view & the beach, if you are vigilant mornings & evenings, you will see 2 or more dolphins close in, patrolling the shallows. Then every evening, you will be treated to the sun setting into the Gulf’s sparkling blue waters.
Activities and Restaurants: As already indicated, there are many activities to enjoy at the beach, on the island, and in the surrounding cities. I have an Activity & Restaurant Guide that I will attempt to email or mail you before your arrival. The guide already has a list of 50 restaurants and 75 activities & locations to enjoy, and I am still adding! I inserted the address, telephone number, & travel distance for each restaurant & activity. I also added the website address where available for each activity, so you can obtain more information. For each restaurant, there is the food type and whether the cost is lower, moderate, or higher. Activity categories include: Boating Excursions for Sightseeing & Snorkeling, Botanical Gardens, Comedy Clubs, Gambling, Golf, Movie Theaters, Museums & Planetariums, Parasailing, Parks (national, state & private), Performing Arts Halls & Theaters, Saltwater Fishing Charters, Shopping, Sport Teams, Tennis Courts, Theme Parks, Winery, and Zoo & Aquariums.
What's Provided and Things to Bring: Sheets, comforters, towels, pots, pans, dishes, silverware, glasses, coffee filters, paper napkins, paper towels, dish soap, dishwasher soap, Lysol spray cleaner, laundry detergent, large Ivory soap bars, liquid hand soap, Kleenex, kitchen garbage bags, & toilet paper are provided. Bring your clothes, hair dryers, personal grooming items, swim suits, sun glasses, sun hats, sandals to protect your feet (if tender) from shells, light jacket in the summer (for any cool night beach breezes), and heavy jackets, robes & sweaters in the winter. Also remember good books & magazines. Reading on the beach while listening to the seagulls & the waves is so relaxing, or, if you tire, simply watching the water & the sunlight glinting off of it. Buy your sunscreen, food & drink at the Publix supermarket only a half-mile away. Finally, bring your binoculars to watch for dolphins, distant cruise ships, faraway freighters, and, if allowed by your significant other, wandering bikinis &, um, speedos.