Anna Maria makes Coastal Living’s Top 10

Anna Maria Top 10
Anna Marie Hayden | Submitted

ANNA MARIA – The city of Anna Maria has been named one of Coastal Living Magazine’s Top 10 America’s Happiest Seaside Towns for 2018, and online voting will determine which city is ranked number 1.

This news was revealed in an email that Coastal Living Senior Editor Tracey Minkin sent to Anna Maria Mayor Dan Murphy, representatives of the Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce and the Bradenton Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.

“We hope you’re as thrilled to receive this advance notice of your town’s honor as we are to let you know about it,” Minkin’s email said.

Voters may cast their ballots online.

Tuesday’s posting opened a two-week voting period that will produce the final rankings for the Top 10 towns and the seaside town ranked #1 in terms of happiness. Voting will continue until 5 p.m. (EST) on Tuesday, Feb. 6. Throughout the voting period, all 10 towns will be promoted via Coastal Living’s social media platforms.

The final rankings and the naming of America’s Happiest Seaside Town will be released online Tuesday, June 12. All 10 towns, in ranked order, will be featured in Coastal Living’s July/August print issue that goes on sale June 15. The ranked towns will also be featured in an online gallery at the Coastal Living website.

“It’s up to you to get out the vote. We encourage you to share the voting link via social media and spread the word using #CLHappyTown throughout the voting period. Organize voting parties, get the community and partners involved and let your counties and states know they need to back you! Rally residents and visitors to vote for Anna Maria and make it No. 1,” Minkin wrote.

Murphy wants to discuss these efforts with city commissioners at their Thursday, Jan. 25, meeting.

“I’ll present the commission with some options on what we can do with this and the commission can decide the level of participation they wish the city to have,” Murphy said.

One possible form of participation would include posting a link to Coastal Living’s voting page at the city’s website.

Minkin’s email also explained the methodology used to determine the happiest seaside towns.

Coastal Living editors accepted nominations via social media. Coastal Living then collected each town’s rankings on the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index that takes into account the percentage of sunny days, air quality, the healthiness of beaches, commute times, crime ratings, walkability, standard of living and financial well-being of the locals and geographic diversity. Coastal Living editors also assessed each town’s “coastal vibe.”