Another Top Pick for AMI

This time, it’s the Wall Street Journal, thinking there are four ‘authentic’ Old Florida destinations, all on the Gulf Coast.

The writer never got beyond the city of Anna Maria, which is a bit of a shame. But here’s the take, along with Appalachicola, Boca Grande and Sanibel.

Still, I like Anna Maria Island best.

AMI Makes Number Three

If local traffic is any reflection, maybe it’s just as well that Marco Island takes the first spot in Trip Advisor’s ranking of the top islands in the United States. When the sun is shining, it’s tough to get on in the morning and to get off in the afternoon.

But we’ll take the number three ranking, and joyfully! For those of us who live here on Anna Maria Island, it’s clearly number one. Most of the year, it’s quiet and calm, with a seven-mile stretch of mostly unpopulated white sand. February, March and April can get kinda crowded, though.

It’s not the kind of crowded that islands, like Marco, have from high-rises all along the beach. Even when AMI is crowded on the main drag, it’s not crowded on the beach. Heck, there are only two buildings taller than two-stories-over-parking on the entire shoreline. Plenty of room for vacationers AND day-trippers from the mainland.

Anyway, here’s a link to the story.

Flood Insurance Problems? Lift Your Home!

I couldn’t believe this article in yesterday’s Sarasota Herald-Tribune by Real Estate Editor Harold Bubil. Well, actually, I could.

Seems that some folks are just going ahead and lifting their homes out of the flood plain. In some cases, it may cost less than the first year’s increased flood insurance.

See what Harold has to say:

US House Moves Forward with Flood Bill

According to the Florida Association of Realtors, the House has decided to take up the matter of ‘fixing’ the drastic rate hikes seen by people who live in flood-prone areas, including Anna Maria Island.

They will not approve the Senate bill, according to the news report, but will craft their own legislation, which will likely then need to go into a conference committee before it is presented to President Obama for his signature.

But something is happening, and that’s GOOD!

Here’s the story:

Egmont Key Near AMI

Egmont lighthouseEgmont Key is found at the mouth of Tampa Bay.  The  lighthouse is still working, though no longer manned by the Coast Guard.

On the other hand, there are several trails through the Key, where there were several fortifications built for the Spanish American War. Once it was discovered that ‘modern’ artillery could blow up the brick forts, though, the place was no longer useful for that purpose.

So after more than 100 years, the island has suffered some erosion, and certainly some of the forts have toppled into the sea. But there are still lots of interesting sights there, including walkways, original brick streets. and the ubiquitous gophers.

Not the kind of gophers you have up north, but gopher tortoises. These good-sized critters have holes in the sand and are threatened in much of their range. But not so much on Egmont Key.

Boat at EgmontOne reason is because the only way to get there is by boat. Here we see our dainty craft on a very gentle day with hardly any swell.

And there are no pets allowed on the island. In part because of the gophers, but also because of the huge bird roost and nesting area on the south end. Definitely don’t want any happy mutts chasing the nesting terns, skimmers or plovers.

But it’s a trip worth taking. Here’s a link to the state website: