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Cozy, Quaint Cottage with Private Beach, Wi-Fi, & Free Trolley

Bedrooms 2
Property type cottage
Minimum Stay 3 nights


About the property

Cottage, 2 Bedrooms, 2 Baths, (Sleeps 4)

As a small boy growing up in this area, I fell in love with its sunny, “sugar sand” beaches in the summer and the contented feeling that comes from floating in the warm, gentle waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

So when I could finally afford it, I bought this little cottage in the small, modest town of Holmes Beach on a barrier island called Anna Maria.

With it came my very own beach on the Gulf with lots of that wonderful sugar sand – a very fine, powdery, brilliantly white sand that audibly “squishes” between your toes when you walk on it.

To catch even more of it (one can never have too much sugar sand), I planted interwoven rows of sea oats that have now created dunes.

Through these dunes and the swaying stalks of oats, you will take a winding little path to the beach and those balmy, caressing waves of the Gulf that are guaranteed to wash your stress away.

Then ... when you come back in the winter, you will enjoy an invigorating walk along that same beach in cool, crisp sunshine.

Built in 1936, my wood-frame beach cottage was originally part of 6-8 cottages and a lodge house. It is the only surviving cottage, many having been taken by hurricanes.

(Forward of the cottage’s beach, a street and an entire city block of the old subdivision are submerged beneath the Gulf of Mexico.) The cottage is a peach color on the outside with green awnings and is also decorated Key West – Caribbean style inside.

The front faces the street where it dead-ends, so it is private from the public, and the rear faces the Gulf, but there is a home between the cottage & the Gulf. However, the cottage’s land wraps around this home to the right, where the sea oats are, connecting it to the beach.

Also, there is a beach view from the cottage’s left end. From this view & the beach, if you are vigilant mornings & evenings, you will see 2 or more dolphins close in, patrolling the shallows.

Then every evening, you will be treated to the sun setting into the Gulf’s sparkling blue waters.

Sheets, comforters, towels, pots, pans, dishes, silverware, glasses, coffee filters, paper napkins, paper towels, dish soap, dishwasher soap, Lysol spray cleaner, laundry detergent, large Ivory soap bars, liquid hand soap, Kleenex, kitchen garbage bags, & toilet paper are provided.

Bring your clothes, hair dryers, personal grooming items, swim suits, sun glasses, sun hats, sandals to protect your feet (if tender) from shells, light jacket in the summer (for any cool night beach breezes), and heavy jackets, robes & sweaters in the winter.

Also remember good books & magazines. Reading on the beach while listening to the seagulls & the waves is so relaxing, or, if you tire, simply watching the water & the sunlight glinting off of it.

Buy your sunscreen, food & drink at the Publix supermarket only a half-mile away. Finally, bring your binoculars to watch for dolphins, distant cruise ships, faraway freighters, and, if allowed by your significant other, wandering bikinis &, um, Speedos.

Keywords: Beach Cottage

More Details

Property Manager
Property Manager
Member since: 2008
Speaks: english
Response time:
Within a few days
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
October 16, 2017

About The Owner

Well, here I am in what I have to wear 5 days a week, but, on the 6th & 7th days, you’ll find me in jeans or shorts and a polo shirt, and, … if I’m going to the beach that weekend, those are quickly shed, with the same enthusiasm I had as a kid, for swim trunks for me and a doggy life jacket for Master P.D. (see his photo below). Every summer since I can first remember (I think I was 2), my grandparents, mom, and dad would take my little sister and me to the Gulf beaches for a vacation. Now, as then, there is nothing better than to swim or float and let your mind go free as you are gently swayed in the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Afterwards, you can sit and relax on the always un-crowded beach, reading a good book or catnapping while the seagulls call and the sparkling waves slowly murmur in reply. But, … then again, … wouldn’t it be even better to bring, like my grandparents did, the kids and the grandkids with all their smiles, laughter, fun, running, and splashing? If you do come, then welcome -- enjoy my little cottage and its white, sugar sand beach, and, geez, don’t be the last one to put your swim trunks on!

The Owner purchased this cottage in 1998

Why The Owner chose Holmes Beach

The beach cottage is located in Holmes Beach, a small, slow-paced beach town harkening back to the 1960' s, where high-rise buildings are prohibited. Holmes Beach, in turn, is located on Anna Maria Island, a barrier island in the Gulf of Mexico 9 miles west of Bradenton, FL. Bradenton is located between the wealthy, cultural, coastal city of Sarasota to the south and the major metropolitan area composed of Tampa, St Petersburg, and Clearwater to the north, offering all the big-city amenities & experiences you might desire. The cottage's location thus allows you to choose between a slow, leisurely, relaxing beach get-away, or a fast-paced, sight-seeing, & activity-filled vacation, or a little of both. To assist you, the cottage’s Activities & Restaurant Guide has a list of 50 restaurants and 75 activities & locations to enjoy, including 18 shopping areas! The cottage itself is at the end of a dead-end street, so traffic is minimal, but a Publix supermarket, Walgreens & CVS drug stores, gift shops, beach stores, UPS store, 2 cafes, and BBQ, German, Japanese, & Chinese restaurants are all within 1/2 mile. Banks & ATMs are also nearby. The FREE island trolley has 2 stops within 200 yards of the cottage. With the trolley, a car is not needed on the island, only for the mainland.

What makes this cottage unique

Because of the beach cottage's closeness to the cities of Bradenton, Sarasota, Tampa, & St. Petersburg, after you swim, sun, surf, fish, & shell at the cottage and rent nearby sailboats, paraglide, jet skis, & kayaks, there are 2 sets of tennis courts in 2 mi., 8 good golf courses in 24 mi.(closest 8 mi.), including the Arnold Palmer, Golf Digest 4½ Star, Legacy Golf Club, Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 52 mi., Tampa Bay Devil Rays in 34 mi., Tampa Bay Lightning in 52 mi., Pittsburgh Pirates spring training in 10 mi., Busch Gardens within 61 mi., 5 chic shopping areas & 1 outlet & 7 regular malls in 60 mi., 4 movie theaters with 54 total screens in 19 mi., 3 comedy clubs in 57 mi.(closest 13 mi.), a casino within 53 mi., a dog track in 16 mi., a horse track in 62 mi., 4 museums & a planetarium in 58 mi., including the state art museum in 12 mi., 2 botanical gardens in 15 mi., 2 state parks in 40 mi., a sugar plantation historical park in 14 mi., a mineral spring in 52 mi., 8 performing arts theaters in 55 mi.(closest 3.4 mi.), a zoo & 2 aquariums in 60 mi.(closest 14 mi.), a winery in 27 mi., & Disney World, Universal Studios, & Sea World 2 hours away. I will attempt to email or mail you my Activity & Restaurant Guide before your arrival. The guide has a list of 50 restaurants and 75 activities & locations to enjoy, and I am still adding! I inserted the address, phone number, and travel distance for each restaurant & activity. I also added the website address where available for each activity, so you can obtain more information. The food type and cost ranked as lower, moderate, or higher is listed for each restaurant.


Ilexhurst Cottage Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • cottage
  • Guests provide their own meals
House Rules:
  • Check-in: 4:00 PM / Check-out: 11:00 AM
  • Max. occupancy: 4
  • Minimum Age Limit for Renters
  • pets considered ...
  • children welcome
  • non smoking only
Location Type:
  • Beach View ...
  • Air Conditioning
  • Broadband Access
  • Clothes Dryer ...
  • Free Long Distance
  • Linens Provided
  • Parking Off Street
  • Parking for RV/Boat/Trailer
  • Telephone
  • Washing Machine ...
  • Wireless Internet
  • Cooking Utensils
  • Dishwasher
  • Ice Maker
  • Kitchen
  • Microwave
  • Refrigerator
  • Dining Area
  • 2 Bathrooms
  • Bathroom 1 -
    Bathroom 2 -
  • 2 Bedrooms, Sleeps 4
  • King size beds (1), Twin or Single Beds (2)
  • DVD Player
  • Satellite / Cable
  • VCR
  • Deck / Patio
  • Outdoor Grill
  • limited accessibility
  • cinemas
  • health/beauty spa
  • live theater
  • museums
  • restaurants
  • theme parks
  • zoo
Leisure Activities:
  • antiquing
  • boating
  • miniature golf
  • shelling
  • shopping
  • shuffleboard
  • sight seeing
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • fitness center
  • groceries
  • laundromat
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cycling
  • fishing
  • golf
  • jet skiing
  • kayaking
  • parasailing
  • sailing
  • snorkeling/diving
  • surfing
  • swimming
  • tennis
  • wind-surfing
Activity & Restaurant Guide; 1 king & 2 twin beds; 32” LCD TV, 2 small TVs, 2 VCRs; High speed, digital wireless & plug-in internet; JBL Radial i-Pod dock; (bring your laptop & i-Pod); 3 ceiling fans, 2 rotating fans, & box fan, plus A/C; alarm clocks; coffee maker; toaster; blender; iron & ironing board; cooking utensils; beach chairs; beach toys; and child & adult board games.


Exceptional! 5/5 -
(11 traveler reviews)

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Cozy, Quaint Cottage with Private Beach, Wi-Fi, & Free Trolley
average rating of 5.0 based on 11 reviews
Haines, Alaska and Sarasota, Florida


  • 5 of 5

The historical cottage is adorable and well equipped. I loved being inside the very comfortable, as well as on the deck, when I wasn't on the beach. It is in a perfect location with a supermarket, Walgreens, hardware store, and many restaurants to choose from. And Libby, the manager, was so very helpful and nice. I highly recommend it!

  • Submitted: Nov 3, 2016
  • Stayed: Oct 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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6 0
Gas City Indiana

Love this place

  • 5 of 5

it doesn't get any better than this little cottage on the beach. This is my 2nd time staying here and can honestly say I would stay here again and again. This time around it was a girls weekend to celebrate my 50th birthday and we had a fabulous time.

My sister and Mom squeezed every minute of every day enjoying all that this place has to offer. You feel right at home from the 1st moment you walk in until you have to leave. we spent every morning and every night walking on the beach and the weather was fabulous.

I cannot wait to go back :-)

Libby is so helpful from the beginning to the end.

  • Submitted: Oct 24, 2014
  • Stayed: Oct 2014
  • Source: HomeAway
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10 0

Perfect Getaway

  • 5 of 5

My husband and I, along with my grown son and chocolate lab, stayed for 4 nights in mid-August. What a relaxing visit we had in this very well-equipped cottage! Had no real agenda other than to relax, and this was the perfect location to do just that! Enjoyed grilling on the outside deck a couple of nights, and had an excellent dinner at the Waterfront Restaurant another night. The location couldn’t be better, with Publix a quick walk away, as well as Peaches where we enjoyed a delicious breakfast. Can’t give Libby enough praise…she was a delight to work with, and quickly responded to any questions I had. We can’t wait to go back!

  • Submitted: Sep 9, 2014
  • Stayed: Aug 2014
  • Source: HomeAway
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7 0
Saint Cloud, Florida

PERFECT! It doesn't get any better...

  • 5 of 5

The property was exactly as described and so much more! Absolutely perfect! Besides the location, location, location....Very comfortable & cozy home, nicely decorated & well equipped. To the beach in just a few steps; stores, restaurants & free trolly in just a few more steps. Beach chairs & umbrella came with the house... we didn't miss one sunset!

The weather & water were awesome, couldn't have asked for a better trip. Can't wait to go back again! A short trip on the trolly down to Bradenton Beach to the Island Time Bar & Grill is a must, they have the best grouper sandwich & lobster bisque. You can't say no... the trolly lets you off right in front of the place & then afterwards you can take a lovely stroll down to the pier, visiting all the little shops along the way.

  • Submitted: Oct 29, 2013
  • Stayed: Oct 2013
  • Source: HomeAway
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13 0

Wonderful and the location can't be beaten

  • 5 of 5

This cottage is just a few steps from the beach, you don't even need shoes. There is a little shower just outside the patio so you can rinse the sand off. Or you can use the hose if just your feet are sandy. The cottage is small, but it had plenty of room for the four of us, 2 adults and two kids (10 and 15). There are 2 bathrooms and plenty of towels. If you want big beach towels you need to get them at a nearby store. Publix is walking distance (or about a minute by car) and also a little strip mall with Peach's (good for brunch), a beach supply store and more.

There were plenty of supplies for laundry, dishwashing, bathroom needs, etc. You don't need to buy your own paper products unless you prefer a certain brand.

Mr. Bones BBQ is a quaint restaurant less than 5 minutes by foot and we really enjoyed it.

Every day is a beach day when you stay at this place and of course a lovely beach sunset. The patio is also great for sitting, listening to the waves and watching the sun go down.

I don't think the pictures do this place justice, it was really nice and Libby was super helpful and quick to respond to any emails.

Will come again!

  • Submitted: Jul 10, 2013
  • Stayed: Jun 2013
  • Source: HomeAway
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11 0

Fabulous spot to celebrate 50th birthday!

  • 5 of 5

This sweet spot on Holmes Beach was the most perfect getaway to enjoy that big 50! It was actually a pain free transition....How could it not be? The first impression was that of glee, when we pulled into the white sandy drive that wraps around the cottage to park in a very protected spot and could see the breathtaking view from the back porch of sparkling turquoise waters and a winding path leading from the tips of our toes to the oceans edge. The week we spent there was so unforgettable we are going to go back next year. The cottage is even more charming in person. The owner has provided virtually all that you might need and there is shopping and dining within walking or biking distance! The beach and all of its treasures surprised us continually. We had our parents join us for an evening as they live closeby and they were equally enchanted! We enjoyed the experience of visiting Anna Maria's city pier, dined at Mr.Bones, bought takeout from Island Spice and enjoyed a birthday lunch at The Sandbar Restaurant. Most meals were either picnics or light meals created in the cozy kitchen where we could keep an ever vigilant eye out for the manatees, dolphins, and other sealife. Highly recommend and we will return!

  • Submitted: May 14, 2013
  • Stayed: Apr 2013
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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11 2


Nearest Point of Interest
Stores & Restaurants
Nearest Point of Interest
Publix Supermarket
Nearest Point of Interest
Nearest Point of Interest
Mr. Bones Restaurant
Nearest Point of Interest
A 2 Aveda Lifestyle Salon & Spa
Nearest Point of Interest
The Sterling Anvil
Nearest Point of Interest
Cafe on the Beach
Nearest Point of Interest
Fun N Sun Parasail
Nearest Point of Interest
Anna Maria Charters
Nearest Point of Interest
Maestro Little Italy Ristorante
Nearest Point of Interest
Beach House Restaurant
Nearest Point of Interest
Sand Bar Restaurant
Nearest Point of Interest
Rod & Reel Pier Restaurant
Nearest Point of Interest
Skinny's Place
Nearest Point of Interest
Oma Pizza Restaurant

State parks, casino, horse racing, greyhound racing, comedy clubs, planetarium, Tampa Bay Buccaneers football, Tampa Bay Devil Rays baseball, Tampa Bay Lightning hockey, Pittsburgh Pirates baseball spring training, botanical gardens, and winery.


Rates & Availability

Taxes and fees are additional

Additional information about rental rates

Cleaning Fee $100 + Tax
Tax Rate 12.0%

Manager's Cancellation Policy

  • 50% refund if canceled at least 7 days before arrival date.
  • 100% refund if canceled at least 14 days before arrival date.