Although we currently live far, far away on the west coast , we still love manatee co and we go back to the beach at least once a year (it's usually 2 to 3 times to be honest). You just cannot beat the sugar white sand and warm gulf waters to relax and unwind.
We love it so much I insisted we invite all our SoCal friends to come to Anna Maria for our wedding back in March '11. The mid March weather was perfect and it didn't take long for our friends to fall in love with the island and the area.
In the local tradition we ate at all the places we could in the time we had-- Sandbar, Beach House, the ol' city pier and we were staying right next to the Beach Bistro so we all went there often.
To top off the local dining tour before the wedding, we threw a picnic party on the beach, complete with catering from Mr. Bones, a margarita machine (I'm not gonna lie, we had that machine on our deck for two weeks. No regrets.) and live music.
The only thing better than island life is getting to share it with your friends.