Interesting Facts About Anna Maria Island
For the past century, visitors from all over the globe have vacationed on Florida’s beautiful Anna Maria Island. Located in the Gulf of Mexico, just off of the west coast of Florida, Anna Maria Island is visited by more than 100,000 visitors each and every year. The island is a perfect vacation getaway due to its seven long miles of sunny, serene beaches, warm, fresh air, and it’s peaceful and welcoming atmosphere. This is truly the ideal place to go for all of those who want to relax, soak up some sun, and forget about their busy and hectic lives for their precious few weeks of vacation.
Although the island is known for its mild weather and relaxed way of life, Anna Maria Island is anything but boring. There are many interesting facts and tidbits of history that are unique to the island, and each one of them contributes to the island’s charm and grace. The following are a few of Anna Maria Island interesting facts that make the island so popular to tourists and locals alike.
Anna Maria is not exactly a young island. According to the University of Florida science department, carbon dating and soil samples have labeled to the island to be around 3,000 years old. Anna Maria is a barrier island, which means that is formed from sediment that comes off of the main land. This means that the island is continually growing due to constant sediment being added to its stature, and the youngest parts of the island were formed only 200 years ago.
One of the most unique attributes of Anna Maria Island is the fine, powdery, crystal white sand that is covering the islands’ beaches. This white powder is actually a mixture of pulverized quartz and crushed up seashells that have settled on the beaches over time. The quartz comes from mountain streams that slowly trickle down to the ocean, and eventually settles on the beaches of Anna Maria Island. Because quartz is not the best conductor of heat, it serves to keep the beaches slightly cooler than other beaches.
Like many island and land bodies, Anna Maria’s Bean Point was named for its earliest known settler, George Bean. Bean and his partner transported tourists from St. Petersburg who wanted to experience the secluded and restful atmosphere of the island. Bean Point offers a spectacular view of Tampa Bay, as well as the Gulf of Mexico. On a good day, 270 degrees of paradise are visible to tourists.
Anna Maria is also home to many a sea turtles looking for nesting grounds. Each year, millions of green sea turtles and loggerhead sea turtles search the area for a suitable home to lay their eggs. Approximately 200 of them find homes on Anna Maria for their nests, which contain anywhere from 60 to 100 eggs.
Aside from warm, sandy beaches and tranquil ocean breezes, the island of Anna Maria is a welcoming destination for tourists and travelers seeking some rest and relaxation from everyday life. Far enough away from big city chaos, yet close enough to home to be a spur of the moment trip, Anna Maria Island has something to offer people who want a little bit of everything to do, or a little bit of nothing to do during their vacation.