Walking the Beaches of Anna Maria Island

With seven miles of continuous Gulf of Mexico beaches, Anna Maria Island is a beachwalker’s paradise. Whether one walks at sunset or at dawn, the beauty is breath-taking, and ever-changing. Not only does the light change as the day progresses, but also as the weather changes. The wide-open horizon offers a vista in which every cloud for miles around can be seen.

Aside from the West Coast of the United States, there are no other places in the United States where one can watch the sun set over a body of water as large as the Gulf of Mexico. And not every Gulf barrier island has as terrific an aspect from which to view the sun set as Anna Maria Island. Perhaps even more stunning than the sun setting over the Gulf is the view of the full moonrise just before dawn.

Anna Maria Island sunset

In addition to the differences in light, there are many differences in how people can choose to walk the beach. It can be a solitary time for contemplation, or a social time for a good conversation with a friend. It can be a brisk walk or an easy stroll. Barefoot, wading, and walking slowly or with shoes on, avoiding the gentle rise and retreat of foam on the beach. Some walkers are focused on shells. Others are focused on birds. Some run to the beat of a different drum.

In the end, it’s a healthy experience, however it’s done. Even if the heart rate does not rise, blood circulation is stimulated, and the mind is at peace.

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