Recently renovated beachfront resort boasts a heated outdoor pool and private beach with free chairs and umbrellas
Hotel at a Glance: Silver Surf Gulf Beach Resort
Silver Surf Gulf Beach Resort overlooks a stretch of private beach on the gulf side of Anna Maria Island; guests can borrow beach towels, chairs, and umbrellas free of charge. Rent a jet ski, catamaran, paddleboard, or kayak right on the resort’s shore or schedule a massage on the hotel’s private beach. Studio suites feature tropical decor and mini-kitchens.
- Direct beach access: From this hotel’s doors, it’s only a short trek to the private beach.
- Take a dip: The heated outdoor pool is surrounded by lounge chairs and dwarf palms.
- Start the day right with a Grab & Go continental breakfast each morning.
- Sleep like a baby: Triple-sheeted beds have 3-inch foam mattress toppers.
- Schedule some “me time” with SeaRenity Spa, which performs massages along the beach.
- Recent accolade: TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence award for 2018
Bradenton Beach, Florida: Barrier-Island Beaches with a Free Trolley
Bradenton Beach’s sugary white sands stretch for miles along the Gulf of Mexico. The beachfront community sits on Anna Maria Island, a thin barrier island right off the Florida coast near Sarasota. Beaches here are great for swimming and shelling, thanks to the gulf’s warm, calm waters. Rent kayaks and bicycles from local shops to explore Anna Maria Island.
You can also get around on the free beach trolley that runs from the Anna Maria City Pier to Coquina Beach. The trolley stops at popular beaches and shopping along the way, including Pine Avenue, where you’ll find shops selling French-milled soaps, specialty olive oils, and handmade clothing. The trolley also finds its way down Bridge Street, which is lined with quaint shops and restaurants, most with live music. Local restaurants are abundant here, too, but no drive-thrus—they’re prohibited on the island.