Palma Sola Bay

Palma Sola Bay as seen from Bradenton.

A bay is a shallow body of salt water between a larger barrier island and the mainland. A barrier island is a long, narrow sandy island parallel to the shore. Palma Sola Bay is located between the barrier island of Anna Maria and the city of Bradenton.

In the 1880s, a fishing village called “Cortez” was formed here and was bustling with fishermen. It's one of the last commercial fishing villages in Florida and is on the National Register of Historic Places. Tarpon, snook, redfish, trout, flounder and pompano are just a few of the species that continue to attract anglers to these salty waters. 

Newly hatched baby sea turtles will use the moon’s light to find the gulf waters.

Across from the bay is Anna Maria Island. The Timucuan tribe of Native Americans first inhabited the island. Here they farmed and fished for more than 500 years until the first Europeans arrived in the area.

On the gulf beach side of Anna Maria Island, you will find areas during the summer marked with orange flags and signs warning to avoid the area. These are sea turtle nesting sites, most commonly the loggerhead turtle. Sea turtles must come ashore to lay their eggs. When the turtles hatch, they follow the moon’s light to the water.

In the morning, the turtle tracks lead down to the water's edge.

A variety of shore and wading birds, such as great blue herons, great egrets and pelicans, also can be seen in the bay. There’s a chance you may even see a manatee! Manatees live mainly around the coast of Florida in estuaries, bays and rivers.

Let’s visit the aquamarine waters and white sandy beaches of Sarasota Bay next