Florida misses some of the elements associated with the Christmas spirit, but for every thing that is lacking, there is something that more than makes up for it on Anna Maria Island. The fine white sand of our beaches is a great substitute for snow. Boat parades are as festive and full of holiday cheer as any parades or groups of carolers up north. On days we want to stay snugly at home, there often is real reason to light a fire, as temperatures can dip low enough to make that the perfect way to warm the house for just a few hours. When it’s time to head out to buy gifts, there is no shortage of good Christmas shopping, in all three of the island’s cities.
Anna Maria’s Pine Avenue, and Bradenton Beach’s Bridge Street, are picturesque main streets that become festivals of lights and good cheer during the holidays. Shops, boutiques and restaurants of all kinds beckon. These lovely shopping areas are ideal places to take visiting family and friends, for last minute presents and enjoyable meals and snacks along the way.
Holmes Beach has not yet become as tourist-oriented, in terms of providing a charming centralized street of shops that are easily accessible on foot. From the resident’s point of view, in some ways this is good. There is much to be said for what Holmes Beach does offer.