A seven-mile strip of sugar-white beaches and clear turquoise waters, Anna Maria Island is a once-best-kept secret amongst locals. Tucked away in a paradise corner of the Gulf Coast, mornings here start with glorious sunsets overlooking Tampa Bay. A place to truly get away from it all, flop out on white sand backed by tropical foliage, watching dolphins play and manatees glide through the water. Walking around, you’re hit with an "old" Florida charm, stacked with brightly coloured wooden houses with no high-rise buildings in sight. The historic Bridge Street is packed with shops and galleries that showcase local artists inspired by the picturesque island landscapes. Restaurants and live music bars spill out over the pier overlooking emerald waves, where freshly caught seafood and tropical margaritas are on every menu. There’s even a free trolley taking you all across the island, where you can pop off and explore a hidden cove or two.