Tours Travel

Anna Maria Island, Florida: Hollywood of the Gulf Coast

For more than 60 years, Anna Maria Island has been a star. Hollywood movie producers have frequently used the island’s spectacular white sand and turquoise waters to create the ideal beach scenes. Some of Hollywood’s biggest icons have graced AMI’s beaches, yet it’s easy to see that the island is the real star.

AMI is a 7.5-mile island located directly south of Tampa Bay in the Gulf of Mexico. The island does not allow high-rise resorts, which keeps the beaches much less crowded. Majestic sunsets, high-quality quartz sand, and predictable low waves from the Gulf make the island and its surrounding waters a perfect choice for filming.

Here are some of the movies filmed on Anna Maria Island that you may have seen or heard of:

  • On an island with you: Anna Maria Island’s first appearance on the big screen was in the 1948 MGM Studios musical “On an Island With You.” The film cast Hollywood legend Esther Williams as the lead in one of its infamous swimming, films that combined her stellar performance, singing, and swimming. The film also featured icon Jimmy Durante. The plot of the film centers on a love triangle on a military base in the Hawaiian Islands. AMI perfectly fulfills its role as an exotic island destination in the film, just as it continues to do every day in real life.
  • Out of time: One word … Denzel. Ladies, feel free to swoon. That’s right, Denzel Washington ran the beaches of Anna Maria Island while filming the 2003 MGM movie “Out of Time.” Floribbean Banana Cabana Restaurant is proud to announce that they hosted Denzel’s Appreciation Dinner for the “Out of Time” crew members.
  • The perfect Storm: If Denzel isn’t a big enough hunk for you, how about George Clooney or Mark Walberg? The 2000 Warner Brothers film The Perfect Storm was partially shot off the coast of Anna Maria Island. Producers used the predictably calm waters off the Gulf Coast to capture the calm before the storm.

You don’t have to be a movie producer to capture AMI’s beauty. The best movies shot on the island will always be home movies. While it’s nice to see AMI on the big screen, the island’s culture has never been the center of attention. These are families and friends who enjoy one of the most magnificent beach settings in the world in a quiet and relaxed atmosphere. So be sure to bring your camera.

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