Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Florida’s best kept secret

The trouble with coastline is that, as with land generally, God stopped making it a long time ago. This is why prime waterfront properties usually command premium prices over similar residences inland. Nowhere is this more of a fact of life than in Florida where tourists and retirees flock to its shores. There doesn’t seem to be quite so much demand for properties in the state’s interior.
The city of St. Petersburg occupies a peninsular forming the northern side of the entrance to Tampa Bay on the Gulf of Mexico and is a prime example of the magnetic pull of the ocean. Apart from having shoreline on 3 sides, it claims to enjoy sunshine for an average of 360 days a year ( yes, that only leaves 5 days for more inclement weather ! ). Not surprisingly nicknamed The Sunshine City, it is home to some 250,000 souls but is unlikely to grow much further since its location is effectively built out with only the inland option available for further development.
Needless to say, the area is a big draw for visitors, particularly from northern climes, looking for guaranteed sunshine by a warm sea. There are plenty of big name hotels such as Loews Don Cesar but savvy vacationers usually opt to stay on the much less developed island of Anna Maria which lies just across the mouth of the bay from “St. Pete”. This 15 mile long finger of sand is connected to the mainland by 3 bridges and is often referred to as Florida’s best kept secret. It has a plethora of very high quality, low rise properties available for rental and most have direct access to the water via the beach or dock. We found the best selection on www.annamaria.com.

Why so many Europeans opt for follow up visits to Florida

There aren’t many British families under a certain age who haven’t already enjoyed at least one holiday in Florida. Today’s love affair between Brits and the Sunshine State originally started off when Walt Disney decided to build a new Disney World entertainment complex on over 40 square miles of orange groves outside Orlando in the center of the state. The park’s 1971 opening brought Disney’s unique offering coupled with reliably benign weather much nearer to Europeans who had previously only gone in small numbers to the California complex.
Fortunately for Disney and its prospective customers across the Atlantic, the opening coincided with a boom in cheap charter flights and packaged holidays provided by companies such as Virgin and Thompson. The relentless growth in visitors to Florida from the UK and other European countries has since been fueled by the expansion of the Disney complex and the creation of several other major attractions in the area.

British and other European vacationers in Florida invariably go for ” Fly-Drive ” holidays spending a few days in the Orlando area before driving off to explore other destinations such as Busch Gardens, the Everglades and Cape Kennedy. However, it’s not long before first time visitors start to realize that Florida is bigger than many countries in Europe and that it is impossible to cover everything in the space of a week or two.

This is why a very large number return to enjoy a more leisurely stay in the State having already ” done ” the busy Orlando scene. Most tend to go for the relatively sheltered Gulf of Mexico coastline which boasts a long chain of attractive destinations stretching from Clearwater in the North to the Keys in the far South. While the majority head for the obvious big name resorts, an inquiring minority will seek out closely guarded secrets like Anna Maria Island.

Whitecaps

Anna Maria Island Accommodations

Whitecaps

Whitecaps is a luxury tropical island style 5 bedroom, 3.5 bathroom home located at the prestigous north end of Anna Maria Island...

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Casa on the Beach

Casa on the Beach

Casa on the Beach

Newly renovated! This gorgeous "Old Florida" styled elevated cottage faces the Bay with it's own private beach area...

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Tuna Cottage

Anna Maria Island Rentals

Tuna Cottage

Tuna Cottage is a quaint 1 bedroom and 1 bathroom bungalow located in the fishing village of Cortez. Tucked away...

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