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(2021 - Fall/Winter Issue)


As Florida destinations go, it doesn’t get any more whimsical than this: A collection of charming bungalows, each a little different than the others, nestled on the white-sand beach of a small island surrounded by the emerald and turquoise waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Anna Maria Island is a barrier island, a strip of landform and dune system that runs adjacent to the mainland and protects the coastline. Here, no skyscraper hotels and condominiums poke the sky, trollies replace tour buses, and visitors are more likely to saddle up to a booth at the farmers’ market than they are at a resort’s buffet.

Built in the 1930s and owned by the same family for the past 25 years, Bungalow Beach Resort lets guests unwind in an atmosphere that transports them back in time. The resort features 15 charming bungalows, wooden cottage-like structures that have been restored with the aim of preserving their “Old Florida” heritage in mind. The positioning of the bungalows themselves has been grandfathered in, for today’s building codes would not permit the building of any accommodation directly into the sand. Fourteen bungalows are situated on the beach with five boasting stunning, frontal views of the Gulf. Tastefully decorated with minimalist furnishing and understated tones, the bungalows serve as an oasis, when guests are not out roaming the island or playing in the sea.

What to do with your time here? Nothing at all is highly recommended, but so too is a casual day soaking up the fun in the sun, and local atmosphere.


Time is not really a tangible thing at Bungalow Beach Resort, so let your own internal clock awaken you. Regardless of the hour, a tropical breeze will likely escort you as you make your way to your kitchenette or gourmet kitchen, depending on the size of your accommodation. Although some of the bungalows are small, all are self-contained, and outdoor grills in the courtyard encourage relaxing barbecues. Local markets and grocery stores make at-home snacks and meals convenient.

If you have an itch to do something other than relax poolside or on the private beach, getting around Anna Maria Island is easy. Bikes, golf carts and scooters are available for rent, or you can take advantage of the island’s free hop-on-hop-off trolley system. Bridge Street has a downtown feel. Culture creatures will want to check out the island’s galleries and museums. Tour companies offer horseback riding, parasailing and scuba-diving while outfitters provide rentals for kayaks, paddleboards, jet skis and boats. Golfers can enjoy a few hours at the golf course, or those who are feeling a Hemingway-vibe can go fishing. Happily, some local restaurants will cook your catch.

Flush with adventure, the best is yet to come. At the end of the day, you can return to Bungalow Beach Resort, take in a spectacular sunset, and then later, enjoy the wonder and whimsy of a starry sky and the waves lulling you to sleep.


•          Intimate, unique accommodation offering complete privacy

•          Self-contained bungalow for convenient, dine-in options

•          Low-key, laid-back decor for stress-free lollygagging

•          No planned activities (whereas some might see this as a miss, they don’t!)



•          No cable TV (some streaming services, however)

•          No central AC (except for deluxe bungalow #116), only window air-conditioner units

•          No daily housekeeping, only towel service

•          Spotty Wi-Fi

Travel Planner

For more resort information: bungalowbeach.com

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