Anna Maria Island earned a major official stamp of approval from TripAdvisor when the popular travel website compiled various lists of ratings and reviews from among its millions of travelers worldwide.
In the category of top island destinations in the United States, Anna Maria Island came in a well-deserved third. Marco Island placed second, though we prefer AMI's laid-back lifestyle and Old Florida look to Marco's towering resorts lining beaches where public access and parking are an unnerving challenge.
All in all, the Sunshine State is home to five of the top 10 beaches: Sanibel Island, No. 6; Amelia Island, 9, and Key West, 10.
Florida fared very well on Best Beaches, too, on a longer list -- with nine in the top 25. No surprise there, especially with No. 2 Siesta Key. Then there's Gulf Islands National Seashore, Pensacola Beach, 3; Fort De Soto Park, 4; St. Andrews State Park, Panama City, 11; Caladesi Island State Park, Dunedin, 12; Pass-a-Grille, Saint Pete Beach, 15; Clearwater Beach, 18; Pensacola Beach, 22; and finally, Canaveral National Seashore, Titusville, 23.