About Anna Maria Island
Anna Maria Island, sometimes called Anna Maria Key, is a barrier island on the coast of Manatee County, Florida in the United States. It is bounded on the west by the Gulf of Mexico, on the south by Longboat Pass (which separates it from Longboat Key), on the east by Anna Maria Sound, and on the north by Tampa Bay. Anna Maria Island is approximately seven miles long north to south.
Ponce de Leon was said to have named the island for Maria Anna von der Pfalz-Neuburg, the queen of Charles II of Spain, the sponsor of his expedition.
Anna Maria Island today is divided into the three cities of Anna Maria in the north, Holmes Beach in the middle, and Bradenton Beach to the south. In 2005 the United States Census Bureau estimated the combined population of the three cities at approximately 8,500.
There are two bridges across Sarasota Bay from the mainland in Bradenton: the Cortez Bridge, which brings State Road 684 into Bradenton Beach from Cortez, and the Manatee Avenue Bridge, which brings State Road 64 into Holmes Beach from the Palma Sola section of Bradenton.