We just spent a week at the beach in Florida. Hence the need for the road trip mix that I recently shared. It was gorgeous weather and a huge blast. My youngest has finally reached the age where he just has a ball at the beach, so the whole trip was that much more fun since the boys played so well. I actually got a tan, and according to Suzanne Fawsett from high school, “tan fat is better than pale fat.” So right Suzanne….so right.
I thought I’d share a few of my favorite pictures with you, as well as a couple of MUST-GO places should you ever find yourself on Anna Maria Island, Florida.
The Star Fish Company is a hole-in-the-wall fishmarket with an open air restaurant along the fishing docks outside. They serve up the freshest seafood there, and the blackened grouper sandwich is melt-in-your-mouth amazing. It is hands down one of our favorite places to go. In fact, we love the same stand by restaurants, that I can honestly say we just don’t deviate. Ever. Why mess up a good thing?
Duffys Tavern is THE place we go for lunch nearly every day at the beach. We don’t really ever dine out at dinner, but lunches for us are a different story. Generations of my family have come to Duffys, and I am no exception. In fact, I love Duffys so much that thanks to at least one (and sometimes GASP….1 1/2) of their world famous cheeseburgers nearly every day…washed down with a beer so cold it forms ice crystals on the top, well, I gained about 3 pounds….IN A WEEK! No lie, I eat more burgers in one week at the beach than I do the entire rest of the year combined. It’s just THAT good!
I love the beach, and the Gulf Coast has the whitest, softest sand, and the most crystal blue water. The sun gets crazy hot in the middle of the day, and this girl gets sun poisoning if I’m not careful….but ahh….it’s just wonderful there. My mom grew up in Florida, so that’s where we go. Love me some traditions too.
And speaking of traditions, my husband and I spent part of our honeymoon on Anna Maria Island as well. Some friends pitched in and gave us a gift card to an amazing restaurant on the island called the Beach Bistro. It’s pricey, but worth repeating every year. Once my sister got married, she and her husband joined us, and then once my brother was pretty much a grown up, he started coming as well. So now, it’s a sibling thing….and one we all look forward to every year. The Beach Bistro earns the highest Zagat rating possible year after year, and has also received some happy nods from the James Beard Foundation consistently as well. It sits right on the beach, and by that I mean that the sand comes all the way up to the full glass windows lining the beachside of the restaurant. It’s a treat worth treating ourselves to every year.
Who doesn’t love the beach?! Seriously! I’m a mountains girl for sure, but I love, love, some time at the beach. Summer just doesn’t seem like summer without it!