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A brief visit to Anna Maria Island – Part 1
We had decided to visit Anna Maria Island on the recommendation of some friends, but had broken our trip down from Orange Tree with a visit to the South Florida Museum & Planetarium (see separate articles for details). After a late lunch at the Java Jazz café, just a block away from the museum, we were back on Manatee Avenue, heading west to Anna Maria Island.
After crossing the causeway and arriving on the island we continued along Manatee Ave until we reached a T junction and knowing that we wanted to get to the piers at the Northern end of the island we turned right onto Gulf Drive. After about three quarters of a mile we reached asset of traffic lights and had a choice of going straight on along Gulf Drive or turning right onto Marina Drive. Working from memory – having checked out the island on Google Earth - I opted to continue ahead, hoping perhaps for some glimpses of the ocean. Unfortunately the terrain and buildings did not allow any sea views from the car and soon we rejoined Marina Drive again! Again my memory came up trumps as on seeing a sign for Spring Avenue I took the next right and came out straight in front of the City Pier, and was lucky enough to spot a car pulling out of a space just to the left of the pier’s boardwalk.
As we got out of our car the view was quite stunning, amazing azure sea and pelicans diving for food just in front of us. My wife and I decided to take a stroll out to the end of the pier, where we could see a bar and restaurant. Although there was a breeze we found a sheltered spot at the end of the pier where we could sit and enjoy a beer in the sunshine while watching some of the locals, both men and women, fishing from the pier. Not only were there humans fishing, but also some diving birds and while I was peering over the side to see if anybody (human or bird) had been successful I was asked if we were geocashing! This was quite amazing as I had taken up the sport only recently, and, while I had my GPS with me in Florida, intending to find a couple of caches near to our home, I had left it in the villa, not thinking to see if there were any caches on the island. I will take it next time!
Although there was a small restaurant as well as the bar on the City Pier we decided to take a walk along the beach to the next pier. See part 2 for the remainder of our day.
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