Holmes Beach Living

Holmes Beach is a small town on Anna Maria Island in the Gulf of Mexico just south of Tampa Bay. Holmes Beach boasts miles of gorgeous white, sandy beaches, emerald Gulf waters, and abundant sunshine.

Located on Anna Maria Island off the Gulf Coast of Florida, Holmes Beach is a small, friendly yet charming Old Florida town, with a wonderful all year climate and beautiful sunsets – ideal for your next dream home or a vacation home!

If you want to spend a day on the water, there is excellent fishing in the waters surrounding Anna Maria Island. Take a boat and head out in the Gulf for an exciting day of sport fishing. The grouper, snapper, or mackerel you catch can provide the ingredients for a delicious seafood dinner at your vacation rental. Inshore or backwater fishing is also very popular. There are water-based activities galore - swimming, jet skiing, sailing, parasailing, or fishing can easily be a part of a day's itinerary.

Enjoy a beach picnic with the locals under the Australian Pines, or find a secluded cove and enjoy some private sunbathing.

The community hosts many of the island's fine dining establishments, lodgings and shopping centers to delight your palette and soothe your soul. With tasty international cuisine prepared by chefs recognized locally and internationally, meals range from elegant to affordable, and always include a free view of one of Florida's famous Gulf sunsets.

The cultural and recreational offerings of Bradenton and Sarasota await just across the bay, while the attractions of St. Petersburg, Tampa, and Orlando are all a short drive away.

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Holmes Beach, Florida

The place to live with so much to do. Ride the Free trolley or just stroll on the beach to get to so many of the area attractions and vacation destinations on the island. The community hosts many of the island's fine dining establishments, lodgings and shopping centers. The cultural and recreational offerings of Bradenton and Sarasota await just across the bay, while the attractions of St. Petersburg, Tampa, and Orlando are all a short drive away.

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Pier Fishing on Anna Maria Island

Pier fishing is a popular pass time on Anna Maria Island, and does not require any sort of fishing license as long as the pier offers a blanket license. There are three piers to fish off of on Anna Maria Island including the Rod and Reel pier, Anna Maria City Pier and the Bradenton Beach City Pier. The Bradenton Beach city pier overlooks Sarasota Bay, Cortez Fishing Village, and the Bradenton Beach Anchorage where long term boats may reside.

Bradenton Beach City Pier

History of Holmes Beach

Sam and Annie Cobb first homesteaded 160 acres on Anna Maria Island in 1896 in the area now called Holmes Beach. John R. Jones and Jose Casanas soon joined the Cobbs. Jones piloted boats running between Tampa and Cuba. Casanas relocated from the Canary Islands in search of mullet fishing grounds.

The first island post office was established in 1902 in the home of the Cobbs.

The city derives its name from Jack Holmes, a developer who arrived on the island after World War II and created a 600-acre community. When the city was incorporated in 1950, Halsey T. Tichenor served as its first mayor.

A century’s worth of development may mask it, but early residents had to hack through dense jungle just to create a sandy washboard road. Back then, facing rattlesnakes, wildcats and panthers was a common occurrence.

In 1948, just two years before Holmes Beach was incorporated, Hollywood brought Esther Williams, Peter Lawford, Ricardo Montalban, Jimmy Durante and Cyd Charisse to community to film portions of On an Island with You.

Today, Holmes Beach remains a popular tourist destination with a wide array of vacation rentals, in addition to permanent and  winter residents. 

The preliminary population estimate as of 4/1/2020 by the Bureau of Economic and Business Research - University of Florida is 3,913.

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