By Cindy Lane | sun staff writer
“Quaint,” according to Webster, means “marked by beauty or elegance, unusual or different in character or appearance, pleasingly or strikingly old-fashioned.”
That’s Anna Maria Island, according to the November issue of Islands magazine, which names it the Best Quaint Island in the world for family vacations.
The Island is ranked alongside 13 others as exotic as Tahiti’s Bora Bora and Hawaii’s Kauai.
While selecting family-friendly island vacation destinations, the magazine considered factors such as opportunities for discovery and family bonding, easy accessibility, fun amenities and roomy accommodations.
At the top of its checklist for quaintness is the absence of large resorts and chain restaurants on Anna Maria Island.
“Big resorts? No. Chain restaurants? No. Miles-long beach? Oh yes,” says the Islands magazine article. “All that makes for beautifully charming days on Anna Maria Island, just a drawbridge removed from the Florida mainland.”
While the main attractions listed are the beach and the warm Gulf of Mexico, others include crème brûlée French toast at Ginny and Jane E’s at the Old IGA in Anna Maria, the Sandbar restaurant’s beachfront dining, jerk grouper sandwiches from the Banana Cabana, perfect for a sunset picnic at Coquina Beach, and the in-room massages at the Tortuga Inn Beach Resort in Bradenton Beach.
The other islands mentioned in the article are: best for learning, Barbados; best back-to-nature trip, Heron Island, Australia; best for family reunions, Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands; best all-American escape, Duck Key, Fla.; best for history lessons, Capri, Italy; best swimming pool, Bora Bora, Tahiti; best unplugged vacation, Kauai, Hawaii; best easy exotic, Castaway Island, Fiji; best family compound, Jumby Bay, Antigua; best off-road fun, Green Turtle Cay, Bahamas; best eco exploration, Maui, Hawaii; best direct flight surprise, Tenerife, Canary Islands; and best quick weekend trip, Catalina, Calif.
See the story online at http://blog.islands.com/2009/10/worlds-14-best-islands-for-families/.
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