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Anna Maria Island-our day trip - Orlando / Florida Guide

Florida Guide > Other Florida

If you would like a change from the hustle and bustle of the theme parks I would suggest a day trip to the coast. The closest coast to our villa at Orange Tree is the west coast, with its lovely white sands and tropical beaches. I have visited Clearwater which is lovely, but wanted to try somewhere different

We decided visit we decided to go to Anna Maria Island on the recommendation of a friend. The island is on the west coast of Florida near Bradenton and it took us about an hour and a half to drive there. It was an easy drive and on reaching the bridge over to the island the children were getting excited. We parked up close to a beautiful white sandy beach, the sand so soft and white it was almost like flour. The sea was so blue and calm, absolutely beautiful.

We explored the island, which is not very big, and has lots of character, and we found a lovely place, again recommended by a friend, for lunch called “The Sandbar” We chose a table on the edge of the beach so the girls could play in the sand while we pondered over what to eat. The food was perfectly cooked and delicious, and it was so relaxing looking out over the sea, clear blue skies and perfect weather. This was early December, and it did not seem like Christmas was so close, although there was a giant inflated snowman on the roof of the restaurant and I just couldn’t resist taking a photo!

After lunch we made castles in the sand, buried the kids, and they buried us. The beach was uncrowded and it was easy to keep an eye on the girls as the paddled at the waters edge. It was a fabulous relaxing day.

It got dark fairly early, so we headed back to our villa around tea time, but happened to see an outlet shopping centre on the way home. Well, a car full of females and the car seemed to know its way into the car park, and who was I to try to stop it. We found some amazing bargains, and it made a good ending to the day.

The trip home was good, little ones asleep, and us mums thrilled with our purchases, shoes, perfume, and lots of other goodies. What more could we ask for, apart from a glass of wine when we get back to the villa, and put our feet up in the lovely hot bubbling spa, and plan where to take the girls the next day!

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