The 'Old Florida' feel of Anna Maria Island

At Cedar Cove, most accommodations are Old-Florida simple, clean and comfortable. The Flamingo Suite ($139-$220 nightly) features white wicker furniture and a pink, aqua, green and yellow color scheme. Like many Anna Maria lodgings, it has kitchenettes, so visitors save money cooking meals. The kitchen table is hand-painted in a tropical motif; a flamingo-decorated rug brightens up the white tile floor. French doors open to a terrace with a beach view.

Over at the island's upscale family-owned Harrington House B&B, the sign out front beckons: "Come as a guest, leave as a friend." Its bridal suite is decorated in pink and green, with a heart-shaped jetted tub. Harrington's adjoining condo options do include a modern three-bedroom unit with granite-countered kitchen for $529 a night.

The island, says co-owner Mark Davis, 38, is "a well-kept secret. But "it's a secret we're trying to get out there."

Later, peacefully rocking in an old-fashioned glider on the beach at Cedar Cove watching the sun go down, it's hard to avoid the temptation to keep Anna Maria's low-key attractions under wraps.

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