Anna Maria Island, Florida's white sand, Gulf Coast paradise near Tampa Bay, is a wonderland for kooky, odd and terrifically tacky items. Many artistic, antique and salvage shops such as Ginny & Jane E's, Restless Natives and the Hive are loaded with items sure to inspire your fascination for off-the-wall ideas.
The shops are reflective of the island's belief that weird can be oh so wonderful. This embrace of the oddities of life can be found all around AMI. Here are a few of the strangest sites you're likely to see on your next Anna Maria Island beach getaway:
- Anna Maria Jail: The City of Anna Maria sprang up during the early part of the 20th century. The city formed a Main St. along Pine Ave. complete with a police station and a city jail. When drunkards at the town hall made trouble, they were rewarded for their mischief with a night in the town jail. But a storm-caused fire brought most of the jail down in the 1940's. Since there wasn't any substantial need for a jail, Anna Maria officials decided not to rebuild. Now the remnants serve as a unique photo opportunity for tourists with the painted-on slogan "Anna Maria Jail: No roof. No doors. No windows. No bars. No guests for yrs n' yrs!"
- Pirate Ship Drive By: Don't be alarmed, but from time to time Anna Maria Island is overrun by pirates. Well, privateers to be more specific. The Anna Maria Privateers organization is a nonprofit collaboration of area businessmen and businesswomen who sponsor island youth programs. In the spirit of fun, they dawn their finest eye patches and swing their wooden swords while driving their pirate ship (a retro fitted truck) right down Gulf Drive. When it's not in use, the Privateer's full-scale ship is docked (parked) near a Holmes Beach park on Marina Dr.
- Floating Church: AMI is one of the premier beach wedding destinations in North America. The predictable sunny weather, white sand and beautiful Gulf waters make an ideal setting for making a lifelong commitment and lifelong memories at the same time. Of course, it can be difficult to decide between a traditional church wedding and beach ceremony. Never fear. Anna Maria Island has the solution for the indecisive brides and grooms. Weddings on Water has a full-size wedding chapel boat! A church literally floating on the water is a strange site that's sure to be different than anything you've experienced before. Weddings on Water also uses the church to host a weekend nondenominational worship ceremony every Sunday.
BOOK EXTERIOR: Laminate Hardcover w/ UV Coating; BOOK INTERIOR; Ultra-thick 135 lb paper w/ UV coating; ISBN: 978-0-9860427-0-6