At the widest point and in the center of the island is the largest of the three cities on the island, Holmes Beach. It is home to the Manatee County Beach, a large public beach includes free parking, concessions, picnic tables, volley ball courts, water sport rentals, a play yard and showers.
There are several shopping plazas in Holmes Beach for groceries, personal hygiene needs, hardware, etc. along with some laidback beach stores that rent equipment, including kayaks, bicycles and beach chairs/umbrellas. The city also houses the only school on the island, the Anna Maria Island Elementary School which draws students from the entire island as well as north Longboat Key.