There is simply nowhere to compare to Anna Maria Island for a relaxing family break, our 3 kids love it and so do we! We have visited the island several times now and having stayed in 'iris on spring' the last 3 times, we would not stay anywhere else. The house is in the perfect location for gulf and bay beaches, and our family love the amenities that are within walking or cycling distance. Our favourites include the Sandbar for calamaris and sunsets; Ginny and Jane E's for smoothies; the city pier for fishing; the rod and reel pier for breakfast; Two Scops for ice cream; shops on Pine avenue including a handy general store and the Italian Kitchen on pine which makes amazing food to order in huge portions!
The house is a 10 minute walk from the 'big' beach and that's walking with small children. There is a very handy beach trolley in the garage which can be loaded with beach gear AND children if you're feeling strong! You can hire bikes from beach bums just accross the block on Pine. This is a great way to see the island and really safe with the low speed limits. Our eldest learned to ride a bike here last summer!
The pool area is a good size and the pool excellent for children with a shallow area for little ones to sit on and play. In summer, we found that by 2/3pm most of the pool was in shade, which is a fantastic break from trailing around after kids with a bottle of factor 30 all day! There is a safety gate too so little ones can only access the pool with a grown up. As it is so peaceful, we let our older two children play out on the front drive while watching from the front deck. The deck itself is bug-netted and large enough to eat breakfast or lunch on or just sit and watch the world go by. It also makes a rather good playpen for toddlers!
In general the house is lovely, furnishings are clean and in good repair and each room has a nice style, the house was spotless each time we visited and the kitchen is well equipped. There are lots of books in the living area including childrens books and some games which are very handy. We have stayed here on our own, with family and with friends and the house is spacious enough to accommodate two families without feeling cramped. We have used the second bedroom and master bedroom and both beds are very comfortable and both have ensuites with huge showers, plus the master has a large bath.
In short a wonderful place and we will definitely be coming back!