Cottage Chic: Old School Elegance, Bungalow Beach Resort, Anna Maria Island, FL

Warding off the hungry maw of development that threatens to eat every shred of old Florida, Anna Maria Island clings to her legacy like a barnacle to a boat. A bygone era of easy beach living still rules on this sandy, seven-mile sliver off the Gulf Coast, especially at Bungalow Beach Resort on Bradenton Beach.

anna maria island cottage

Driving off the causeway (Manatee Ave.) onto the island, which floats between Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, I felt like I had entered a wormhole linked to a dreamy place where Beaver Cleaver’s parents might vacation.

The buildings were small, low-rise (max two stories), and painted a pleasing array of pastels. There were no fast food outlets or chain stores, only cute cottages, Mom and Pop motels, locally owned restaurants and gorgeous silky beaches.

“Cottage Chic�? and “Relaxed Elegance�? were the descriptors on the entrance sign to the resort. Painted a lemony yellow, topped with gabled roofs and laced with white, wooden walkways, the tiny constructions looked like lovingly restored child’s playhouses. Originally built in the 1930s, it was tweaked to 21st century standards by Floridians Bert and Gayle Luper who bought it in 1999. The 15 one-, two- and three-bedroom units (rates start around $200 per night) featured gleaming hardwood floors, wicker furniture, amenities like microwave ovens and hairdryers, and snow-white bed linens.

The beach was inches away, there were communal BBQs in the sandy courtyard, plus there was a fairy princess-sized pool.

I loved it. I’m sure the Cleavers would too.

T: 1-800-779-3601.
F: 1-941-778-1764.

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  1. wonderful find Maureen!

  2. This place looks fun – we generally like to stay in vacation rentals no matter where we vacation but sometimes you want a bit more pampering.

    Great website and good information

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