The locals best kept secret beaches on Anna Maria Island
This small stretch of beach location at the northern tip of Longboat Key Island near Bradenton, which is part of Anna Maria Island, offers sands so white they are almost blinding to the naked eye. This makes for a beautiful contrast against the crisp turquoise and green colored water that surrounds the small barrier island of Longboat Key.
There are no amenities available at Holmes Beach because its sits nearby a residential area but there is still room for visitors on this nearly secluded beach. The positive attributes of feeling alone and enjoying the peaceful view surrounded by large enclosing trees and sand dunes, definitely overshadows the fact that there are no amenities available. If you are with a large group or small children this may not be the best place for you, since there is not much to keep idle an abundance of people entertained, but this is a great place for a quiet afternoon reading a book or for a romantic picnic with a sunset view!
Parking is only available on the side streets in front of Holmes Beach, but there are always spots available and the parked cars do not bother laid-back Holmes Beach residents. There are plenty of shops and restaurants nearby if you get hungry or thirsty during your visit to Holmes Beach, but it is best to bring your own supply of food and beverages, so you can kick back and bask in the sun without any worries.
Right down the road to the south is Manatee Beach, the larger public beach that offers amenities. This may be the best bet to enjoy the beautiful northern beaches of Anna Maria Island. Manatee Beach offers parking, year round lifeguards, picnic benches, concession stands, and a shower and restroom area. The beach here is just as beautiful and serene as Holmes Beach, but may be a bit more crowded than Holmes Beach, although both beaches are always quiet and usually the favorite of only the locals.
It’s easiest to find the two beaches by taking US-41 North from Venice until it ends right past Bradenton. Turn left onto Cortez Road, which will take you out to Longboat Key Island. Take a right in front of Cortez Beach and right up the road you will run into Manatee Beach at the corner of Manatee Avenue. A few miles north will be Holmes Beach.