Photo: Jack Elka
It’s true most North Americans visit Florida in the winter to escape the grey and cold, but Europeans and locals love to visit Anna Maria Island in the summer! What do they know that we don’t know?
1. The Gulf is Warm
We’re talking bath tub warm here. June’s average is 83 F and July’s average is 85 F. And August, ahhhh August, you could literally float for hours!
2. Uncrowded Beaches
It’s not that we don’t like sharing, but how glorious it is to sun, swim, walk and watch the sunset with so few other people. Of course we don’t mind sharing the beach with a few birds.
Caveat: This scene may not be as serene on the weekends when the locals come to enjoy the beach and get some respite from the heat.
3. It’s Cheaper
Yay! You can save money on everything and have your dream holiday. Just like any tourist destination rates go down when it’s not peak season.
That car that you rent to get to and around the island? It’ll probably be less than half the price than the high-season. The same goes for accommodations, hotels, motels, Inns and Vacation Rentals – all will be significantly discounted. Want to go out somewhere to dine? They’ll be glad to see you and their prices will reflect that.
4. No Traffic Jams
During “Season” it can take awhile to get anywhere! Some have no choice but to travel at certain times of the year, but if your vacation time is flexible the lack of vehicular traffic on the island makes life easier (and faster!). Not only will you breeze around the island, but you won’t have to perform a search and seek mission every time you need to park at the Publix or your favorite restaurant.
5. It’s Turtle Nesting Season
Turtle nesting season starts May 1 and goes to October 31. Early in the season you can see the tracks of the turtles that come up on to the beach at night to lay their eggs. When the Turtle Watch volunteers find a nest they will mark and tape it off. As the season gets going you can see more and more nests. You can even adopt a nest and will receive the turtle shaped plaque with all the nest’s stats after the season is done! During the later part of nesting season the nests start hatching and thousands of baby turtles make their way in to the ocean.
Turtles are protected in Florida, and on Anna Maria Island. If you visit during the 6 months of nesting season please turn out your outdoor lights at night if you’re on the beach, and leave no trace when you leave the beach ~ take away furniture and garbage, fill in holes, and knock down sand castles.
Michele Totino is a vacation rental owner on Anna Maria Island. She loves the everything AMI (Anna Maria Island) and writes on many different island topics. Please feel free to comment or contact with questions.
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