Sam and Annie Cobb first homesteaded 160 acres on Anna Maria Island in 1896 in the area now called Holmes Beach. John R. Jones and Jose Casanas soon joined the Cobbs. Jones piloted boats running between Tampa and Cuba. Casanas relocated from the Canary Islands in search of mullet fishing grounds.
The first island post office was established in 1902 in the home of the Cobbs.
The city derives its name from Jack Holmes, a developer who arrived on the island after World War II and created a 600-acre community. When the city was incorporated in 1950, Halsey T. Tichenor served as its first mayor.
A century’s worth of development may mask it, but early residents had to hack through dense jungle just to create a sandy washboard road. Back then, facing rattlesnakes, wildcats and panthers was a common occurrence.
In 1948, just two years before Holmes Beach was incorporated, Hollywood brought Esther Williams, Peter Lawford, Ricardo Montalban, Jimmy Durante and Cyd Charisse to community to film portions of On an Island with You.
Today, Holmes Beach remains a popular tourist destination with a wide array of vacation rentals, in addition to permanent and winter residents.
Take A Virtual Tour Stunning turquoise waters, with a panoramic view of the Gulf of Mexico up and down the beach! This is a gorgeous Gulf front end unit at Waters Edge, which is...
- Sq Ft1048
Take A Virtual Tour Come see this top floor, waterfront unit, located in the back building of Sunbow Bay. Stunning Bay Views from the Living Room, Master Bedroom and large screened Porch. Both the...
- Sq Ft1146
Take A Virtual Tour Charming and spacious split plan home in one of the most desirable areas of Holmes Beach. It’s called The House on A Hill because it literally sits on a hill!...
- Sq Ft1884
Rarely available Playa Encantada two story condo! Gulf views from this beautiful unit in a direct Gulf front complex surrounding a central pool area. Upstairs Master suite has a wall of closets and built...
- Sq Ft1356