Anna Maria Island and Bradenton
By Maria Thermann

Anna Maria Island and Bradenton

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Beautiful Anna Maria Island is just a 20-minute drive from the city of Bradenton and Bradenton Beach. The nearest airport is Tampa International - the city of Tampa lies to the north of Bradenton and Anna Maria Island. The island's seven-mile-long, white-sand beach is the main reason why Anna Maria Island is so popular with tourists. Located between the Gulf of Mexico and the Florida mainland, Anna Maria Island is home to luxury boutique hotels, historic holiday villas, shops and seafood restaurants.

Tight building regulations apply, and the type of business you can open on the island is also restricted, but on the mainland, in the three nearest cities of Anna Maria, Bradenton and Holmes Beach, it is possible to invest in real estate that can be rented out for most of the year, producing good yields on your investment.

Tourist attractions include the Bishop Planetarium, the region's premier astronomy education facility, which also has a multimedia theatre. It hosts digital performances, live music and theatre performances. Parker Manatee Aquarium, South Florida Museum and De Soto National Park, which lies five miles west of Bradenton, are also attracting large numbers of visitors throughout the year.

A condo or town-house doesn't come cheap - expect to pay between $108,000 and $350,000 for a Bradenton property with two bedrooms and two bathrooms. However, with a little research it's possible to find building plots for around $11,000 to $15,000 on which you can build your own dream home. Holmes Beach is more expensive. Here condos and town-houses range in price from $270,000 to $380,000 for two-bedroomed Holmes Beach properties.

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