At ABC Action News, we know it's the combination of all the communities that make Tampa Bay great to live in. That's why we've started a new series of reporting highlighting good things happening around town, discovering cool gems you may not know about, and uncovering the big news events impacting those areas.
On Friday, the Good Morning Tampa Bay team focused on Anna Maria.
Welcome to Cortez, one of the last coastal fishing villages in Florida right on Anna Maria Island.
A memorial is placed for fishermen who worked tirelessly to catch the product that kept this town alive, some of whom were portrayed in the Hollywood blockbuster "The Perfect Storm."
The Historical Green Village on Anna Maria Island is also worth a visit.
Built close to 10 years ago, it's one of the first net-zero energy commercial developments in Florida.
One thing is for sure. When you ask people what they love about Anna Maria Island, it's the quaint, small-town feel.
While it's definitely changed over the years, that feeling has never wandered.
The Anna Maria City Pier was damaged by Hurricane Irma but, in the midst of the pandemic several years later, it's reopened.
The Pier has some important history behind it, too. It was first used to drop people off visiting the island for the day by steamboat.
Take a stroll on the Bradenton Riverwalk this weekend! You’ll find no shortage of things to do or see. Plus, exciting plans for the Riverwalk are in the works!
It’s hard to visit a beach getaway like Anna Maria Island without bringing home a memento or two. There is one family-owned business that doesn’t just sell souvenirs, they encourage families to make their own.
From San Diego to Long Island to Kansas City, families from across the map can be found painting sand dollars at the Shiny Fish Emporium seven days a week.
There is a slice of paradise in the Tampa Bay area most people know about: Anna Maria Island.
Every year the island draws tens of thousands of visitors to its sandy beaches and cotton candy skies. With that comes copious amounts of vehicles.
The owner of a restaurant on Holmes Beach is asking for all customers to be vaccinated before eating at his restaurant.
Sean Murphy, the owner of Beach Bistro, said he wants to create the safest atmosphere for customers and staff.
A restaurant owner on Anna Maria Island is looking to hire more than a dozen employees.
The Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association said restaurants across the state of Florida are having trouble hiring new employees.
Thousands of people come to Anna Maria Island every day for the feel of old Florida.
Instead of high-rise hotels, greenery lines the white sand beaches and aqua water, and residents want to keep it that way.
Despite still being in a pandemic, Manatee County is seeing some of the highest numbers of tourists ever and a lot of it is thanks to people coming to Anna Maria Island.
"We absolutely love the island. The sand is supers soft, the water is so calm, and the quaintness of the island," said Amanda Paddock, visiting from Indiana.
With more people than ever visiting Anna Maria Island, local leaders want tourists to get involved in keeping the area beautiful.
Leaders say the new “Love It Like a Local” campaign will encourage visitors who are planning to come to Anna Maria Island to visit responsibly.