This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of VISIT FLORIDA. The opinions and text are all mine.

Certain places arouse your romantic spirit; perhaps it’s a cotton candy sunset, a waterfront walk, or an unforgettable experience.

We wanted to find a romantic respite where we could relax, unplug, and truly get away from it all. That’s why we flew down to Anna Maria Island, located on Florida’s gorgeous Gulf of Mexico.

Anna Maria is tranquil yet tantalizing with its white sand beaches, crystal clear waters, and endless adventures. It’s no wonder we fell even more in love with each other and with Anna Maria Island.

7-romantic-reasons-to-visit-anna-maria-island

Here are 7 Reasons to Romance on Anna Maria Island:

Aqua Blue Waters: You don’t have to fly all the way to the Caribbean to enjoy crystal clear waters. The clarity and beauty of the ocean that surrounds Anna Maria Island is unparalleled. With aqua blue as far as the eye can see, the water seems to twinkle a little brighter with the love of your life at your side. Grab a coffee and take an early morning stroll on the Anna Maria City Pier to watch the sun rise and illuminate the waters of Anna Maria.

7-romantic-reasons-to-visit-anna-maria-island

White Sandy Beaches: With seven miles of white sandy beaches, long walks on the beach are an absolute necessity for a romantic rendezvous on Anna Maria Island. The unspoiled sand is so sparkling clean that it actually squeaks between your toes.

Endless Sunsets: You haven’t seen a sunset until you’ve seen an Anna Maria sunset. With its western Gulf Coast location, the sunsets on Anna Maria seem to last longer, extending those romantic moments into the evening hours. You’ll feel like a newlywed as you pull up a beach chair and a blanket and nuzzle with your honey. The island is only 150 yards wide at its narrowest part.  This means you can easily catch the sunrise and set on either side of the island.

7-romantic-reasons-to-visit-anna-maria-island

Toes-in-the-Sand Dining: There’s nothing more romantic than watching the sunset over the Gulf of Mexico with the love of your life as you sip on a cocktail and nosh on fresh fish from the sea. We chose The Beach House for our romantic dinner on Anna Maria Island. With all of the food directly from Gulf-to-table, we dined on gourmet grouper and heavenly hogfish and paired our entrees with locally sourced squash blossoms. Don’t forget to finish your romantic dinner by sharing a coconut cake or key lime pie with your sweetheart.

To Learn How to Fly: One of the most romantic things a couple can do together is learn something new, which is why we chose to flyboard during our holiday on Anna Maria Island. When we went down to Anna Maria Island, we knew that we wanted to spend our days enjoying the amazing ocean and what better way than by flying through the azure waters? Top Gun Flyboards outfitted us for our adventurous day with Scott strapped into the flyboard harness (similar to a wakeboard) and Collette cheering Scott on from a jet ski. As the jet ski was given throttle, the flyboard was powered, driving Scott high into the air. We will warn you that while you’re in the air, you will not be able to stop smiling!

7-romantic-reasons-to-visit-anna-maria-island

To Become Mermaids: Ladies, rejoice – on Anna Maria Island, you can experience your own Arielle moment. While you can ride horses on almost any beach in the country, there are few places you can actually swim with the horses! With C Ponies on Anna Maria Island, you can channel your inner mermaid and ride your horse into the glorious Gulf waters.

To Swim with Manatees: Swimming with manatees has long been on our bucket list. Any trip to Anna Maria Island wouldn’t be complete without a day trip to nearby Crystal River. During the winter months, the manatees leave the Gulf of Mexico in search of warmer waters thus congregating in the flawless warm waters of Crystal River. These gentle giants flood the waters and are very friendly with the snorkelers, so friendly that one manatee chose to give Collette a smooch (manatees have poor eyesight and will often go face-to-face with snorkelers). We highly recommend snorkeling as early as possible in the day to ensure the highest probability of a manatee sighting. We recommend snorkeling with River Ventures.

7-romantic-reasons-to-visit-anna-maria-island