It’s easy for visitors of Longboat Key to head straight to the white sandy beaches, and it’s easy for locals to visit the same businesses and restaurants over and over.
But now, a directory might help relieve the mundane and open up new possibilities.
The new directory, which will cover Anna Maria Island to Lido Key, will be called the Island Comber.
Out of the Blue Marketing, a local web-development company, decided to revive the idea of a directory for the islands after another version of it, not affiliated with Out of the Blue Marketing, hasn't come out since 2013.
“It used to fly out of here, because it’s about the islands, Anna Maria and Longboat Key,” Longboat Key Chamber of Commerce President Gail Loefgren said of the local directory.
The directory is an estimated 150 pages and is divided into categories for attractions, beaches, restaurant menus, retail shopping, health and wellness and traditional yellow and white pages. It also includes a history of the islands and ways to get around.
Wade Scott of Out of the Blue Marketing said he and his team noticed that hotels get mountains of materials delivered to them from brochures to restaurant menus, so they wanted to find a way to make a more viable product.
“We just really wanted to have an item that represented the islands and all the unique things the islands have because there isn’t really an item out there that comprises that,” Scott said.
Out of the Blue Marketing will feature artwork by a local artist on the cover. This year, Karen Beach’s watercolor of a heron standing by the Cortez Kitchen restaurant in historic Cortez Village was chosen as the cover art. Beach said her artwork was discovered by Scott in a Pine Avenue gallery.
Beach moved to Anna Maria Island a year-and-a-half ago from Alexandria, Va., but found herself painting palm trees and beach scenes.
“My heart is in the water and the palm trees, so that’s the subject matter I’ve always liked,” Beach said.
The Island Comber will be delivered free to all homes, business and hotels room located from Anna Maria Island to Lido Key.