Base City: Tampa
1. Tampa, Florida
2. Anna Maria Island, Florida
3. Lido Key Beach, 400 Benjamin Franklin Dr, Sarasota, FL 34236
4. Siesta Key, Florida
5. Ellenton Premium Outlets, 5461 Factory Shops Blvd, Ellenton, FL 34222
6. Tampa, Florida
Car: Mercedes (GLC 300)
Est Total Miles: 151 miles
Est Total Time: 3 hours 23 minutes
Anna Maria Island is a barrier island on Florida’s Gulf Coast. It’s known for its broad beaches, like Manatee Beach Park. In the small resort city of Anna Maria, Pine Avenue is lined with shops, galleries and eateries. Anna Maria Island Historical Society Museum features a restored 1920 cottage. Nearby, the wooden City Pier dates from 1911. In Bradenton Beach City, Bridge Street Market sells food, art and jewelry. Laid-back and natural, Anna Maria Island awaits – a mere 20 minutes from Bradenton. A seven-mile strip of beautiful white-sand beaches line the barrier island of Anna Maria Island between the turquoise Gulf of Mexico and peninsular Florida. Also found in Anna Maria Island, at the southern mouth of Tampa Bay, are the cities of Bradenton Beach, Anna Maria and Holmes Beach. Strict regulations govern the type of buildings and businesses allowed on Anna Maria Island, but excellent dining – seafood, of course! – is very much encouraged. Do visit – you well might feel as though you have journeyed back in time.
Lido Key is a barrier island off the coast of Sarasota, Florida, in the United States. It is part of the city of Sarasota and is connected to mainland Sarasota by John Ringling Causeway. Lido Key is known for its eco-tourism and sunset cruises. It’s the place to go for deep sea fishing, dolphin watching and sailing. Fine and full-featured resorts welcome you to Lido Key, as do smaller hotels and time-share properties. The seafood is as fresh as it can be, and the sunsets are unbeatable. Also located on Lido Key is St. Armands Circle, a gentrified center of chic boutiques, fine dining establishments and snack bars.
The island features numerous sandy beaches facing the Gulf of Mexico, as well as a park called “South Lido Park”, which has a beach and a woodland trail. The island is well developed with a wide variety of luxury hotels and beach houses, and has a seasonal nightclub scene. While not as popular as Siesta Key Beach, Lido Key Beach is reviewed as a more private beach that is more relaxing for the tourists who come from around the world to visit it. Weddings and other private parties will often book a section of the beach for their guests.
In 1926, Lido Key opened to automobile traffic, the Lido Beach Casino opened, and John Ringling, Samuel Gumpertz, and Owen Burns built a $30,000 pavilion, dock, and bathhouses just south of where the Lido Beach park sits presently. However, by the 1950s, poor management resulted in the deterioration of the casino. It was demolished in 1969, and remodeled and modernized by 1970.
Siesta Beach (sometimes known as Siesta Key Beach) is a beach located on Siesta Key in the U.S. state of Florida. Unlike beaches elsewhere that are made up mostly of pulverized coral, Siesta Beach’s sand is 99% quartz, most of which comes from the Appalachian Mountains. Over time the feldspar and mica have been removed from the rock, leaving almost pure quartz. Even on the hottest days, the sand is so reflective that it feels cool underfoot. According to Harvard University geologists, it’s estimated that the sand on Siesta Beach and Crescent Beach on Siesta Key is millions of years old, having its origin in the Appalachians and flowing down the rivers from the mountains until it eventually was deposited on the shores of Siesta Key. Many people know that Siesta Key Beach was named the #1 beach in America in 2017 – but not too many know much more beyond the powder white sand, the weekly drum circle, great beach volleyball and the restaurants and shops in the village