Some first-rate places to stay on Florida's Anna Maria Island

There’s no shortage of charming, laid-back places to stay on or near Anna Maria Island on Florida’s Gulf Coast, whether your looking for a waterfront resort or a beachy cottage.

Here are just a few of the choices:

Compass by Margaritaville, Anna Maria Sound. When a dog greets you at the reception desk, you know you are staying at a laid-back hotel. Another clue is the Jimmy Buffett music drifting through the 123-room property. This is a smaller, quieter version of the musician’s Margaritaville resorts. With a large, oval-shaped pool near the hotel bar and rooms overlooking a marina or a nature preserve, the Compass is just a drawbridge away from Anna Maria Island.

Anna Maria Beach Resort. Most rooms and suites at this Holmes Beach property near the center of the island offer glorious views of the Gulf of Mexico. A recent renovation upgraded the property’s 31 suites and rooms, all of which now have private balconies or patios. The oversize pool along with private cabanas and complimentary beach set-ups with food and drinks ensure guests maximize their relaxation time.

Waterline Villas & Marina, Autograph Collection. The condo-style hotel accommodations at the Waterline include units with gourmet kitchens and a marina where guests can tie up their whalers or sailboats. Rooms with balconies offer tranquil bay views; the white sand of Holmes Beach is just steps away. Pets are welcome, and bicycles are available for guests to this boutique hotel by Marriott.

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