Is Anna Maria Island a real place? Yes.
When I was a kid, we used to spend a week every summer on Anna Maria Island. As an adult, we frequent there quite often staying just for a few hours on a Sunday, or for weeks in the summer. It is by far one of my favorite places in the world. AMI is located south of Tampa and just north of Sarasota. It is the northern most barrier island of Bradenton. The water is blue green, the sand is bleach white, and the little town is eclectic. There are no commercial hotels or chain places, only a few beach motels and all mom and pop boutiques, cafes, art gallery’s, and restaurants. The best way to experience AMI is by renting a house, parking your car, and spending your time in the sand or on a bike.
I get asked a lot about the setting of the books, and I’m sure I will more so after Matt’s book and Whispers of Sand releases, so here are a few pictures that I took to share with you that come from Starless Nights. Beau and Leila spend a lot of time on Bean Point. Bean Point is a real place, and can be found at the very tip of the island where the Gulf meets the Bay. You can get to Bean Point by three different ways: walking around the tip, boat, or taking the trail. The trail is short, but just enough to make this location a romantic place for them.
In these photos I wanted you to see the trail where Beau carries her piggy-back , the wooden footpath that Leila hides under, and the bench they might have sat at, at the end of the story. Bean point is very quiet and gives you exquisite sunrise and sunset views.