6 Things to Know About Bradenton Beach

Bradenton Beach – Traveling to the southern portion of Anna Maria Island brings you into the quiet bustling city of Bradenton Beach. This area of the island offers miles of public beaches with parking, Historic Bridge Street for sightseeing and shopping, and great dining opportunities with both family fun and a nightlife. Read on to learn six things you might not know about Bradenton Beach.

1. History

Originally called Cortez Beach for its proximity to the fishing village of Cortez, the area became Bradenton Beach during the 1920’s land boom. It’s believed that inland developers gave it the name Bradenton Beach, so potential buyers would think the Beach and the city of Bradenton were next to each other rather than seperated by Cortez Fishing Village and Palma Sola. The city was incorporated in 1953.

Bradenton Beach’s Historic Bridge Street Pier is the site of the original, and first bridge connecting the island to the mainland. The first Bridge was wooden, and built in 1922. By the 1940’s the Bridge became rickety with wind and waves making the structure sway. It’s said that when cars went over the old bridge the wooden boards would bounce making a banging noise like a shot gun (Norwood 181). A new bridge was built in 1957 making access to the island much safer and easier.

The Historic Bridge Street Pier, now a days, offers excellent fishing, sightseeing over Sarasota Bay, a delicious restaurant with a view, shops and public day docks.

Historic Bridge
The First Bridge to Anna Maria Island built in 1922.

2. Sightseeing and Activities

There are many beautiful places to sightsee on Bradenton Beach including the Bradenton Beach City Pier, quaint Bridge Street, Coquina Beach bike path and Leffis Key. Rent a segway from Bridge Street rental company Segs by the Sea, and cruise around the city with ease.

When looking for activities on Bradenton Beach enjoy miniature golf on Bridge Street, or head over to the Tingley Memorial Library. This unique library is independent of the Manatee County Library system, and offers annual memberships for $4.

When visiting the island, especially during high season, you may want to consider using the free trolley to get around. Parking is limited in busy areas of the island, and battling traffic does not lend to a relaxing paradise getaway. The free trolley runs usually every 20 minutes taking you along almost the entire island.

Sarasota Bay sightseeing
There are great sightseeing opportunities in Bradenton Beach like this view of Sarasota Bay and the Cortez Bridge seen from Leffis Key.

3. Beaches

Bradenton Beach offers about a three mile strip of public beach with parking along the Gulf of Mexico. Many of these beach areas offer public parking making it a popular place for enjoying the shore on Anna Maria Island. To the far south is Coquina Beach with restrooms, concessions, showers, parking, picnic tables, walking path, playground, and life guards. Heading north through Bradenton Beach along the gulf brings you to Cortez Beach. Cortez Beach does not offer the same amenities, but does have plenty of parking, and an old Florida beach feel. There are three erosion groins located in an area locals call “Three Piers” this area separates Coquina and Cortez Beach, and is said to be a great surfing spot.

Coquina Beach
Coquina Beach is the southern most gulf beach on Anna Maria Island. In the background of this image you can see the 2015/2016 construction of the new erosion groins to keep south end beaches intact.

4. Events and Markets

Bradenton Beach offers two seasonal markets perfect for finding local made items, art, gifts and produce. Both happening on Sunday, The Bridge Street Market and Coquina Beach Market are a great way to enjoy the island on a Sunday Funday Morning. The Bridge Street Merchants plan several events through out the year such as the lighting of Bridge Street before Christmas. Visit the Bridge Street Merchants website for up to date event information.

Bridge Street Market
The Bridge Street Market is a great place for local produce and gifts. Photo Credit: VisitBridgeStreet.com

5. Shopping

In addition to the fabulous Seasonal Markets there are great little shops in Bradenton beach offering swim wear, beach gear, home items, art, jewelry, gifts and more. Find out about Shopping on Anna Maria Island here.

Back Alley
There are great shops on Bridge Street like Back Alley where you can find local made and hand made art, jewelry, gifts and refreshments. Photo Credit: Back Alley Facebook Page.

6. Dining

On the south end of Anna Maria Island you’ll find some really fabulous Restaurants. Any type of dining experiences can be found for all meals of the day, casual or fine dining, and dining with a beach or bay view. You’ll even find a few places open late on Bridge Street if you are looking for a little night life. Click on the links below for suggestions.

Bradenton Beach Bridge Tender Inn
The Bridge Tender restaurant offers great food with a beautiful view of Sarasota Bay and the Bradenton Beach City Pier.

 

Blue Marlin
Wicked Cantina
The Island Spice
Bridge Tender Inn
Beach House Restaurant
The Freckled Fin
French Table
Island Time
Joe’s Eats and Sweets
Sharky’s

Bradenton Beach Pier
Bradenton Beach City Pier 2016.

Now that you know these six tips, enjoy your Bradenton Beach vacation like a local!

 

Bradenton Beach Accommodations

Looking for the perfect Anna Maria Island vacation accommodations on south end? Island Real Estate has got you covered with almost 300 great rentals across the island!

Bradenton Beach Vacation Rental
The Bay View Inn is a 4 unit complex two blocks from Bridge Street, and just a short walk to both gulf and bay side Bradenton Beach. These 1 Bedroom units sleep 4 guests and were updated and redecorated in late 2015. Click on the image to see these adorable island style rentals.

 

Works Cited:

Norwood, Carolyne. Anna Maria Island 1940-1970 Tales of Three Cities from Bean Point to Bridge Street. Anna Maria Island: Anna Maria Island Historical Society. 2010.

 

7 Things To Know About The City of Anna Maria

Anna Maria – Occupying the northern end of Anna Maria Island is the city of Anna Maria. A coveted portion of the island, Anna Maria offers an old Florida coastal village feel with charming history, locals and sightseeing. Even if you have visited the city of Anna Maria there are likely a few things you didn’t know about this gorgeous little walkable town.

City Pier
The Anna Maria City Pier is an island landmark

History

Anna Maria has a proud and interesting history as the “Town Fig Newtons Built“. Charles Roser and his wife started the Anna Maria Beach Company to develop the land on Anna Maria Island in the late 1800’s. Charles Roser invented the machine that fills Fig Newtons, and used the money from the sale of his patented machine to begin Anna Maria Beach Company. One of the first steps to building a community on the island was to build the city pier which celebrated it’s 100th Birthday in 2011. When visiting the Island be sure to stop by the Anna Maria Historical Society on Pine Avenue to learn all about the unique history of this town.

Shopping

All along the small commercial streets of Anna Maria there are several locally run boutiques with everything from hand made to high end wares and souvenirs. There are no big box, or chain store retailers in Anna Maria making for a shopping experience full of great finds. All of the shops listed below are within walking distance of one another as is just about everything in the small city of Anna Maria. While in town check out the following shops:

Ginny & Jane E’s

Bella by the Sea

Shiny Fish Emporium

Pink & Navy

Historic Green Village

Three Island Monkeys

Restaurants

There is no shortage of fabulous Restaurants in Anna Maria from casual to sophisticated, and from gulf views to bay views you’ll be pleased with Anna Maria Dining options.

Rod & Reel Pier

J Burns

Poppo’s Tacos

Slim’s Place

Anna Maria City Pier Restaurant

Rudy’s Subs

The Waterfront

Sandbar

Ocean Star Sushi

Beaches

Anna Maria offers gorgeous beaches all around the northern tip of the island. Anna Maria beaches do not offer an abundance of parking making them more secluded and reachable by foot or bike. Enjoy beaches on the Gulf of Mexico, Bean Point and Tampa Bay beaches at Bay Front Park when you visit Anna Maria.

Sightseeing and Equipment Rentals

Sightseeing on the northern end of Anna Maria is truly stunning with gorgeous beaches, marine wildlife, and great views from Rod & Reel Pier and the Anna Maria City Pier. While you stay on Anna Maria you may want to rent a bicycle or other fun outdoor equipment from Beach Bums or Lux Carts.

Events

The city of Anna Maria hosts several events throughout the year happening on Pine Avenue. Anna Maria events are family friendly and offer great food, vendors and live music.

Food and Wine on Pine

Sandbar Easter Egg Hunt

Bay Fest

Christmas on Pine

Activities

When you have had your fill of the beach, or need to take a break from the beach because you are too sunburned, there are a few activities to enjoy in the city of Anna Maria.

Little free Library

Players Theater

Community Center

Vacation Rentals in the city of Anna Maria

If you are looking for the perfect vacation rental home in the city of Anna Maria, Island Real Estate has over 60 gorgeous homes within the city limits.

Anna Maria vacation rental
Gorgeous Direct Gulf Front Anna Maria Vacation Rental “Wind Song”. Click on the image to learn more about this property. 

Top Annual Events on Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria Island – No matter what time of year you vacation on Anna Maria Island there is always a fun activity or event to discover. The Island is home to over a dozen annual events happening throughout the year from food to the arts, and even classic car shows; Anna Maria Island loves a celebration. Anna Maria Island events often put an emphasis on a family friendly atmosphere catering to all ages groups with activities for both young and old within the same event.

Below we have compiled a list of the top annually running events on Anna Maria Island that are not to be missed during your stay! These events have been conveniently organized by the season in which they occur starting with Winter and ending with Fall.

Winter

Anna Maria Island winter events
Winter Events on Anna Maria Island offer family fun!

Winter is a fun time of year on Anna Maria Island as cool weather drives locals and visitors alike off the beaches, and into warmer non-swimming related activities. Unless you have a wet suit to keep you warm, or you are staying in a vacation rental with a heated pool, many folks don’t care for swimming even in the mild Florida winter weather. Winter events on Anna Maria Island provide a great opportunity for unique holiday shopping and entertainment across the island’s three cities.

There are five holiday related events found on the island in the month of December including the Privateers Christmas Parade, Winter Fest, The lighting of Bridge Street and the Lighted Boat Parade. Click on the link here to read about these holiday happenings. Pine Avenue in the city of Anna Maria also offers a holiday walk. Typically happening in mid December the Pine Avenue Holiday walk offers carolers and shopping along with refreshments provided by Pine Avenue businesses.

One of the areas most popular events happening in the middle of winter is the Cortez Commercial Fishing Festival.  This event actually takes place off island in the old Cortez Fishing Village located just over the Cortez Bridge. This event has been running for over 30 years drawing a crowd of 10,000. The Cortez Fishing Festival happens in February, usually the second weekend of the month. A celebration of the commercial fishing industry in Cortez, this event raises funds to preserve local mangrove wetlands to ensure and protect a healthy fish and wildlife population.

Spring

Spring events on Anna Maria Island
Spring Break on Anna Maria Island is FABULOUS!

Spring on Anna Maria Island brings us gorgeous weather with many days of clear skies, perfectly crisp breezes and warm sunshine. There are four annual Spring events you can’t miss if you are visiting at this wonderful time of year.

A fun annual event for 18 years and counting, the Beach Bistro St. Patricks Day Parade usually features dancers, cyclists, bag pipers, live animals and a rowdy bunch of green clad island folks ready for a party. Hosted by the Beach Bistro, this event always offers fun and laughs for all ages.

A celebration of local arts and artists, Spring Fest has been hosted by the Anna Maria Island Art League for 28 years. In addition to arts and crafts, Spring Fest offers live music and fabulous food vendors. This event takes place in the Holmes Beach city field located at 5901 Marina Drive. This event usually takes place the first weekend in March or April.

The Annual Sandbar Easter Egg Hunt is always a crowd pleaser for the entire family. Kids search for Eggs on the beach, then everyone joins in on the Easter parade down Pine Avenue for kid games, face painting and refreshments provided by the Sandbar.

Food and Wine on Pine is a fabulous foodie event offering selections from the area’s best restaurants along with great wine selections. Enjoy live music while you taste your way through this fun event.

Summer

Summer fun on Anna Maria Island
Hot Summer days end with gorgeous sunsets on Anna Maria Island.

For many summer is a favorite time of year on Anna Maria Island. The summer island life consists of hot days, rainy afternoons and crowded beaches lined with turtle nests, baby shorebirds begging Mom and Dad for fish, and happily sunbathing patrons. Temperatures of the Gulf of Mexico are super warm and perfect for relaxing on a floaty with a cold drink in hand. While the beach is really the main attraction during summer months, the island offers a few fun events to gather the locals and visitors for a celebration.

While technically falling in the Spring, Memorial Day Weekend is the start of summer fun and warm Florida weather. A bustling weekend full of people swimming, tanning and spending a long weekend with family, Memorial Day is a great time to simply enjoy being a beach bum. There isn’t typically a big event scheduled on this busy island weekend, but Memorial Day does serve as a great time to trolley hop around Anna Maria Island exploring different beaches, fabulous shopping, and amazing restaurants.

There’s nothing more fun than a small town patriotic parade, and Anna Maria Island’s 4th of July Parade is the perfect example. Starting on the southern end of the Island at Coquina Beach the parade makes it’s way up the island throwing candy, beads and trinkets for the kids spreading 4th of July cheer along the way.

Every year there are two public fireworks displays put on by Chiles Restaurant Group at the Beach House and Sandbar restaurants. Most years the Beach House fireworks show happens July 3rd with the Sandbars display following on the 4th. Occasionally the fireworks display has been canceled at the Beach House out of respect to the island’s precious nesting shorebirds that enjoy the strip of coast in very close proximity to the restaurant.

Fall

Fall events on Anna Maria Island
Symphony on the Sand is an amazing Fall event on Anna Maria Island/

Fall on Anna Maria Island brings us a slight respite from hot days transitioning into warm days allowing the swimming season to continue up until December in most years. Fall brings the island several great family fun events!

Bay Fest is the largest running event on Anna Maria Island. Happening in mid October, Bay Fest is located on Pine Avenue. At Bay Fest you’ll enjoy food, music, vendors and a huge car show.

The Anna Maria Island Fall Festival happens in the Holmes Beach city field at 5901 Marina Drive in Holmes Beach. Taking place just before Halloween, this event kicks off with a Halloween Parade starting at Anna Maria Island elementary and ending at the city field.

Trick or Treating house to house is not a popular tradition among island neighborhoods, so The Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce hosts a three city wide Trail of Treats sponsored by local businesses. The Trail of Treats starts with a kids costume contest at the Chamber of Commerce located at 5313 Gulf Drive. After the contest kids and parents are welcome to stroll around the Holmes Beach town center collecting candy from businesses from 4-6pm. After cruising through Holmes Beach, head up to Pine Avenue or down to Bridge Street for additional trick or treating from 5-8pm. Typically this event happens on or just before Halloween depending if the Holiday falls on a weekend.

Stone Crab Season is a deliciously anticipated time of year on Anna Maria Island. Starting in mid October, Floridians and Island locals begin harvesting Stone Crabs by the bucket load. The Cortez Stone Crab Festival, happening in early November, is a fabulous way to enjoy this locally sourced seafood.

Wrapping up Fall events the annual Arts Hop is a great way to experience local arts, crafts, music and food. This island wide celebration of arts and culture is organized by the Cultural Connections of Anna Maria Island. This three day event includes art walks, theater performances and a gorgeous beach front chorus and orchestra performance called “Symphony on the Sand”.

Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall enjoy Anna Maria Island family friendly events all year long!

 

Top 7 Things Locals Know About Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria Island – Experiencing the island life like a local is the ultimate way to enjoy your time on Anna Maria Island. There’s a few things all locals know about their beautiful seven mile long barrier island that we’ll gladly share with you. Discover Anna Maria Island’s best of the best!

1 Getting Around the Island

Locals know that Anna Maria Island is a fabulous community for alternative forms of transportation. When visiting Anna Maria Island during the peak season months street traffic can make getting around by car a bit difficult along with creating limited public parking.  Locals love walking or bike riding to their destination because it’s an amazing way to enjoy our gulf breezes and tropical scenery. If you’re going from one end of the island to the other the free trolley is absolutely perfect! If you are visiting the Island consider renting a golf cart or scooter for a super fun way to get around in style.

Anna Maria Island trolley
Anna Maria Island Locals LOVE the free trolley!

2 Island History

All locals know a thing or two about the history of the island. A community rich in Florida culture, Islanders love to reminisce about Anna Maria City Pier, the first bridge connecting the island to the mainland, the first island settlers and the “day trippers” culture that still enlivens this beautiful vacation destination. Visit the Anna Maria Island Historical Society on Pine Avenue to enjoy the Island’s history, or head over the bridge to the Florida Maritime Museum to learn about the historic Fishing Village of Cortez.

Cortez Bridge history
Historic Cortez Bridge connecting Bradenton Beach to the mainland of Cortez Village.

 

3 Fishing and Seafood

Naturally Anna Maria Island has always been a fabulous place for fishing, and fresh seafood. Nestled between the Gulf of Mexico, Tampa Bay and the Intracoastal waterway, Anna Maria Island is perfectly situated for premium fishing. Many local seasonal specialties such as Stone Crab, Mullet, Spiny Lobsters and Sunray Venus Clams can be found at just about any restaurant serving seafood. Visit The Island Real Estate Fishing Report page for local fishing updates and conditions.

Fishing on Anna Maria Island
Locals love fishing on Anna Maria Island.

4 Dining and Restaurants

With no shortage of delectable eateries, Anna Maria Island has just about any type of cuisine you are looking for. Whether it’s dining with a view, fabulous happy hour specials, or the top ten island restaurants, Anna Maria Island has it all!

Rod and Reel Pier
Rod & Reel Pier offers some of Anna Maria Island’s most delicious seafood!

5 Shopping

Anna Maria Island is a unique shopping destination offering only independent and small shops and boutiques. Find fabulous wares from beach accessories, to jewelry, local art, high end finds and souvenirs. When visiting the Island during peak season enjoy fabulous local markets!

Shopping
Find fabulous shopping finds on Anna Maria Island!

6 Beaches

With over seven miles of coastline, Anna Maria Island offers tons of great beach spots. From secluded Bean Point to the bustling Manatee Public Beach access read all about Anna Maria Island beaches here.

beach
Anna Maria Island beaches are gorgeous.

7 Wildlife

Anna Maria Island locals are absolutely crazy about our precious wildlife. With great efforts from organizations such as the Anna Maria Island Shorebird and Turtle Watch, and Wildlife Inc animal rescue, Island animals are held near to the hearts of locals. Many types of wildlife can be found on and around Anna Maria Island including Atlantic Bottle Nose Dolphins, Manatee and Turtles. Visitors often wonder about the possibility of seeing Crocodiles or Alligators, but any local can tell you these kind of critters haven’t been spotted around the island in decades.

Turtles and Wildlife
Baby Loggerhead Turtles nest on Anna Maria Island from May through October.

If you’re looking for the best vacation rental properties on Anna Maria Island visit IslandReal.com to peruse our selection of almost 300 gorgeous homes!

 

Top Activities Off Anna Maria Island

Florida – While lazing on the beach with a cold drink in hand sounds like an amazing way to spend your Anna Maria Island vacation; often most visitors like to explore activities beyond the powder sand and crisp blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico. There’s a plethora of activities to experience on Anna Maria Island; however, if you’re feeling particularly adventurous, here’s a list of over 40 activities all less than a two hour drive from the island.

Anna Maria Island
Relax on Anna Maria Island beaches!

Bradenton

The city of Bradenton is located just inland from Anna Maria Island when heading over the Manatee Bridge and Palma Sola Causeway. Known as the friendly city, Bradenton offers great entertainment in the Downtown Old Main Street area. Find Bishop Planetarium, South Florida Museum, The Players Theater and McKechnie Baseball Field where the Marauders play. Find additional things to do at G.T. Bray park,  Manatee County Parks and Mixon Fruit Farm.

Cortez

The city of Cortez is located just over the Cortez Bridge when leaving Anna Maria Island. One of the countries oldest fishing villages, Cortez is a fabulous place to explore old Florida charm, quaint shops, and find fresh off the boat seafood. Be sure to visit Starfish Company restaurant for dockside views, and the best Florida seafood you’ll ever taste. If you visit in February be sure to check out the annual Cotez Fishing Festival. Find some of the areas most delicious sweet Tylers Ice Cream. Learn all about the history of Cortez Fishing Village at the Maritime Museum.

Sarasota

A truly beautiful city, Sarasota is located approximately 30 minutes south of Anna Maria Island. You’ll find a large selection of activities in Sarasota including Theaters Van WezelMcCurdys Improve and comedy house and the Sarasota Players. Enjoy fine art at The Ringling or beautiful Florida Flora and Fauna at Sarasota Jungle Gardens. The internationally known Sarasota Film Festival offers many events annual in April. Siesta key and St. Armands Circle offer fabulous shopping, or explore Florida’s aquatic life at Mote Marine Aquarium.

Lakewood Ranch

Heading 45 minutes East into Manatee county brings you to Lakewood Ranch. This area offers an outdoors shopping area along Main Street with a few other activities surrounding. Visit the Lakewood Ranch cinema followed by a great meal at Polo Grill and Bar. Play a round of Golf at the prestigious Legacy Golf Club University Town Center is a great indoor mall with fabulous shopping opportunities not found on Anna Maria Island.

St. Petersburg

St. Petersburg is about a 45 minute drive north over the Sunshine Skyway Bridge from Anna Maria Island.  St. Petersburg has a growing art scene with ton’s of galleries, studios, boutiques and entertainment. Check out the Sundial shopping district along with the great waterfront restaurants. Enjoy fine works by artist Salvador Dali at the Dali Museum.

Myakka

The city of Myakka is just a little over an hour drive from Anna Maria Island, offers one of the nicest State parks found locally. Myakka State Park offers many activities including boat tours, nature watching and bike trails to name a few. While in Myakka support your local farmers with a tour of Dakin Dairy.

Tampa

Tampa offers many fun attractions perfect for a day trip from Anna Maria Island. Just about an hour drive brings you to the famous Florida attraction Busch Gardens. The Car Museum of Tampa is a fun stop for old car enthusiasts.

Orlando

Orlando is about a two hour drive from Anna Maria Island, and offers tons of family friendly activities. Check out our list of fun things to do in Orlando below:

Downtown Disney

Blizzard Beach

Typhoon Lagoon

Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Disney’s Hollywood Studio

Disney’s Epcot

Disney’s Magic Kingdom

Walt Disney World 

Universal Studios

Islands of Adventure

Brandon

If you are looking for all the big retail stores you are accustomed to Westfield Mall has what you are looking for. Brandon is about an hour drive east of Anna Maria Island toward the Tampa area.

Ruskin

Ruskin is a quiet small Florida town with a fabulous old Drive in Theater. Just under an hour drive from Anna Maria Island, the Ruskin Drive in provides hours of inexpensive entertainment.

Plant City

If you visit Anna Maria Island during the spring months then you may be lucky enough to catch the Florida Strawberry Festival. A large event lasting around 10 days, The Strawberry Festival has been celebrated since the 1930’s.

 

Anna Maria Island and Area Restaurant Information

Anna Maria Island Restaurant Information

Anna Maria Island has it all when it comes time for food. From beach café’s to Fine Dining, American, Mexican, Italian, Caribbean cuisine, and so much more. Take a look below and find the best place for your next breakfast, lunch, dinner, or just drinks and a snack. If you do not have your own transportation take the Anna Maria Island Trolley it’s free and will take you almost anywhere on Anna Maria 

Fine Dining Anna Maria Island Restaurants

There are several fine Dining Anna Maria restaurant establishments on the Island. Beach Bistro located in Holmes Beach on Anna Maria Island is a Nationally recognized restaurant and offers an unforgettable dining experience that offers romance and Gulf of Mexico Views. The Waterfront Restaurant is located on the Bay side of Anna Maria City with dining outside offered. Visit Sign of the Mermaid for large portions and their Nationally award winning Key Lime Pie.  NEW – Eat Here located in central Holmes Beach and a sister restaurant to Beach Bistro.

Gulf Front Restaurants with outdoor Dining on Anna Maria Island

The SandBar is a great Anna Maria Island restaurant and offers fabulous American and Seafood Cuisine. The Beach House Restaurant is affiliated with the SandBar and has similar cuisine with outdoor sand in your toes dining in Bradenton Beach on Anna Maria Island. Try the Anna Maria Island Beach Cafe for Breakfast, Lunch, or Dinner. Harrington House offers Breakfast as well as tea parties and don’t forget the Gulf Drive Cafe in Bradenton Beach.  Oma’s Restaurant offers outdoor dining in Bradenton Beach and offers Italian Cuisine.

American Cuisine Restaurants on Anna Maria Island, Fl

Always a favorite Anna Maria Island Restaurant is the City Pier set at the end of the pier in Anna Maria City. Hurricane Hank’s has affordable everything and serves great food and is located in Holmes Beach on Anna Maria Island. Mr. Bones offers fabulous barbecue with some unique twists. Seafood more your speed, when in Rome so to speak or more like Maine?  Try Lobstahs which has a formal dining, casual as well as outdoor dining. Seeking a good breakfast? Rod and Reel or Peach’s are good breakfast Anna Maria Island Restaurants. One of the best Anna Maria beach burger restaurants is just across from the Manatee public beach – Skinny’s. Skinny’s has outdoor seating as well. Anyone who has been to Anna Maria Island knows that Duffy’s serves a mean hamburger as well in Holmes Beach. Try Slim’s Place for an American style dinner and live music.  Rotten Ralph’s Restaurant has been around for a long time but this past season the last location CLOSED.  Right next door is the Bridge Tender Inn Restaurant which offers outdoor waterfront dining as well as formal dining. Another great Bradenton Beach restaurant on Anna Maria Island is Sharky’s.

Anna Maria Island Mexican, Italian, German and other Cuisine Restaurants

If you’re looking for Anna Maria Island Restaurants that serve Mexican cuisine Tortilla Bay  is 100% Tex-Mex and is a walk up diner type restaurant.  So if you are searching for a inexpensive lunch or dinner Tortilla Bay is the perfect stop. If you are in the mood for German food then look no further. Try the Old Hamburg restaurant in Holmes Beach, Fl on Anna Maria Island.Jamaican Breeze moved off the Island and offers a Jamaican flair and great dishes. Wicked Cantina is a new Tex-Mex source of food on Anna Maria Island.  Another Mexican based newbee is Poppo’s located in Anna Maria City on Pine Avenue.  Sorry, Banana Cabana is now closed.

Take out Anna Maria Island Restaurants

Domino’s in Holmes Beach, on Anna Maria Island – need we say more? Jessie’s Island Store offers affordable pre-made sandwich’s and if you not very adventurous then try Subway. Don’t forget the Pine Avenue store that has fabulous Sandwiches, pasta salads, and other quick take out lunches or snacks. The Pine Avenue store is located in Anna Maria City so it’s a perfect stop for a lunch at the Bay Front Park for a impromptu picnic. The Tortilla Bay Restaurant is a take out or dine in Tex-Mex restaurant located in Holmes Beach. Rudy’s in Anna Maria City is a great choice for philly steak sandwiches. There is a small Chinese restaurant on the Anna Maria Island, China 1. For a great burger with onion rings or french fries try Skinny’s. You can order on the telephone and pick it up. A fine dining restaurant that delivers is The Feast in Holmes Beach. The restaurant caters as well. If you are in the mood for fresh fish try the Fresh Fish Market. They sell a great selection of fish and offer small dishes like soups and freshly prepared salads.

Anna Maria City, Holmes Beach and Bradenton Beach breakfast restaurants

There are quite a few great breakfast restaurants choices on Anna Maria Island. This category of dining can be one of the toughest to narrow down because most locals know the mainstream breakfast spots but there are a few hidden away gems that this blog will be sure to introduce. Minnie’s Cafe is located in Holmes Beach and serves a great homestyle breakfast. Peach’s which specializes in Breakfast is located in Holmes Beach and provides basic breakfasts as well as some fancy stuff too. Rod and Reel Pier Restaurant serves a fantastic breakfast as well and the views of the bay are phenomenal.  Want fresh donuts? Look no futher the Donut Experiment is the perfect choice in Anna Maria City.  For more details on Breakfast around Anna Maria Island, check out another breakfast post.

Treats and Ice Cream on Anna Maria Island, Florida

Tyler’s ice cream is just off the island on Cortez. Two Scoops is located in Anna Maria, and so is Dip’s, Joe’s Eats and Sweets is in Bradenton Beach. For a desert experience to remember, try the Euphemia Haye Restaurant which has unique pies, cheesecakes, and too many deserts to remember. Just off the island is Cold Stone Creamery which serves gourmet ice cream hand mixed with your choice of mixings. If your taste buds are screaming for a milk shake then the Shake Pit is a great bet however it is just off Anna Maria Island.  Another fabulous find is Sweet berries which serves fantastic frozen custard.  Visit our top 5 ice cream suggestions when visiting Anna Maria Island.

Off Anna Maria Island Dining and Restaurants

There are fantastic restaurants just off Anna Maria Island. A few are chain restaurants like Outback, Bone Fish, Olive Garden, Applebee’s and Carraba’s. If you are still looking for the Anna Maria Island “feel,” try Cortez Kitchen or Starfish Company as well as Anna Maria Oyster Bar.  Atlanta Bread Company, Sweet Berries Frozen Custard Eatery, and Marina’s Restaurant are all conveniently located on Manatee Avenue. Always a favorite with the kids is of course Chuck E. Cheese. For a quick Mexican take out try Chipotle in Bradenton.  If you feel like venturing out into Sarasota try the very well known Columbia Restaurant.   Another great choices for Sarasota is Yoder’s which is an Amish based restaurant.  Yoder’s is well known for their pies.

Live Entertainment Taverns, Bars, and Restaurants

There are plenty of dining establishments on Anna Maria Island with live entertainment like SandBar, BeachHouse, Bridge Tender Inn, D.Coy Ducks and just off the island Ace’s Lounge to name a few. Tune in later for more information.  Want more choices?  Our Anna Maria nightlife post lists bars, live music, billiards and more.  Check out our nightlife blog for more information.

 

 

 

Top 10 Things to Know About Anna Maria Island Beaches

Anna Maria Island – It’s no secret that some of the most beautiful Gulf of Mexico beaches can be found on Anna Maria Island. Powder white quartz sand, clear blue waters, exotic wildlife and endless sunshine make for the perfect place to relax all day and let your cares wash away. There are several things to keep in mind when visiting Island beaches, so Island Real Estate has come up with our top ten list of things to know about Anna Maria Island beaches. From deciding which beach to visit to where to find parking, Here’s everything you need to know for fun in the sun.

Anna Maria Island beach
Anna Maria Island has some of the Gulf of Mexico’s most beautiful powder sand beaches.

1. Sunblock

If you are a Floridian you have a complete understanding and respect for the necessity of sunblock. It only takes one really bad sunburn to learn your lesson, and no one should suffer from this mistake on vacation. Even on an overcast day it’s possible to get sunburned! It is extremely important to slather on the sunblock at least 20 minutes prior to heading to the beach to allow your skin to properly absorb sunblock. Be sure to reapply sunblock every few hours, especially on the kids. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you are safe from the sun in the water; you still need to use every precaution to avoid a bad burn. In addition to sunblock consider a hat, sunglasses, lots of water for keeping hydrated and a loose fitting shirt to cover bare skin.

 

2. Places to Beach

Sunset on Anna Maria Island
Be sure to catch one of Anna Maria Island’s beautiful sunsets!

 

Anna Maria Island has over seven miles of beaches to explore, but finding the perfect beach for you is important for having the ultimate island experience. One great thing about Anna Maria Island is the abundance of public beach accesses all along the gulf and bay sides of the island; however, not all public accesses have available parking. With each beach offering a little something different, here are four options to better curate your beach excursion.

Manatee Public Beach Access is perhaps the island’s most popular, and therefore, busiest of beach spots. With just about all the amenities you could want for the beach, Manatee Public Beach is an island hot spot. Located at the very end of west Manatee Avenue, this public beach offers tons of free parking, lifeguards, bathrooms, showers, gift shops, concessions, changing rooms, free trolley and public bus stop, volley ball nets, tourist information, picnic tables under shady Australian Pines and a fabulously sandy playground for the kids. This Beach Access is truly the heart of the island beach scene.

Coquina Beach Access is located along the south end of Anna Maria Island running up the gulf side. This popular beach has tons of parking, grill and picnic areas, playground, lifeguard, bathrooms, trolley stop, concessions, and an absolutely gorgeous walking/bike path running along the sea oat sand dunes.

Bay Front Park Beach Access is located on the northern end of Anna Maria Island south of Bean Point running along Tampa Bay. This park has an updated playground, picnic grills and shelters, bathrooms, some parking, and nearby Trolley stop at the Anna Maria City Pier. The beaches are narrow along the bay side, but there are views of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, Tampa bay and gorgeous sunrises.

Bean Point Beach Access is one of the most secluded and sought after beach destinations on Anna Maria Island. Parking is extremely limited making this beach more accessible by foot or via bicycle.  Bean Point beaches are mostly deep and expansive with powder sand, sea oats, dunes and wildlife. Enjoy great views of Egmont key, Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico.

3. Beach Safety

Beach Safety is an important thing to keep in mind when swimming and enjoying a day at the beach on Anna Maria Island. Be sure to observe all signs regarding swimming conditions including rip tide warnings. Look for one of the five colored flags posted to understand current swimming precautions.

4. Shells

Anna Maria Island seashell
Shelling and Beach Combing on Anna Maria Island is fun for all ages!

Beach Combing and shelling are a fun beach activity for the entire family when visiting Anna Maria Island. With so many different species of shells and wildlife you never know what you’ll come across when strolling the powder white sand beaches of the Gulf of Mexico and Tampa Bay. There are plenty of places to find shells on the island with some of the best finds washing up after stormy weather.

5. Beach toys

No matter how young or old beach toys are a must for the beach. Making sand castles with bucket and shovel, throwing around a Frisbee or clinging to a noodle; beach toys are always a fun addition to your beach trip.

6. Temperatures

Regardless of when you visit Anna Maria Island the weather and water temperature are almost always gorgeous. In the summer expect seasonal afternoon showers, and bath like water temperatures. Some visitors even swim in the winter, but we’ll leave that up to your judgement.

7. Turtle Season, Birds, Dolphins, and Wildlife.

Black Skimmer and baby
Black Skimmer feeding baby during nesting season on Anna Maria Island.

Anna Maria Island is fortunate to be the year round, and seasonal home of many different species of wildlife. Each year between May 1st and October 31st we find several species of Sea Turtles coming ashore to lay eggs. In the spring and winter months Anna Maria Island is home to many birds nesting on the beaches including the stoic Black Skimmers and Least Terns. Sea mammals like dolphin and manatee can be spotted around Anna Maria Island at various times throughout the year. With so much wildlife it is important to respect these beautiful inhabitants.

8. Respect the beach – Clean up

The beach is a beautiful public place that must be cherished and protected. There are wrong and right ways to utilize this resource. When visiting the beach follow all posted rules, avoid feeding the seagulls and be sure to clean up all your trash and debris when you leave. It only takes two minutes to keep trash and litter off our pristine beaches!

9. Surfing

Anna Maria Island may not be the first place that surfers flock to for huge waves, but the locals still enjoy our laid back surf culture and climate none the less. White Avenue in the city of Anna Maria is one popular surfing spot. If you aren’t into surfing try out wake boarding during your stay!

10. Day Trip to Egmont and Fishing

Egmont Key Florida
Egmont Key Light house

If you are looking for a great place to bring your boat and go for a swim Egmont Key is always fun and beautiful. Located just off the northern tip of Anna Maria Island, Egmont is a great short day trip into bay waters.

Stay up to date with everything about fishing on Anna Maria Island on the Island Real Estate local scene blog page Fishing Report. From the Intracoastal waterway to the Gulf of Mexico and Tampa Bay there are plenty of great fishing opportunities.

When visiting Anna Maria Island be sure to stay safe, have fun, put on your sunscreen and enjoy lounging on beautiful Florida beaches! If you are looking for the perfect vacation rental home visit IslandReal.com today!

 

Anna Maria Island Top 10 Activities

Anna Maria Island – While visiting the island the most obvious choice for fun and relaxation is the beach. With over seven miles of powder sand beaches, crisp blue water, endless sunshine and spectacular shelling, the beach will always be the first choice activity. Anna Maria Island has so much more to offer than just the amazing beaches, so Island Real Estate has compiled a list of our top ten activities and things to do during your stay.

1. Rainy Day Activities on Anna Maria Island

If you’ve ever visited Florida, especially in the summer months, you know rain is to be expected. With this in mind there are plenty of things to do to keep you entertained while waiting for clearer skies.

 

Anna Maria Island storm
A stormy day on Anna Maria Island is still gorgeous!

2. Anna Maria Island Historical Society Museum

The Anna Maria Island Historical Society Museum is a must for visitor to the island. Tour the exhibits in the recently updated Museum building, learn about the old Belle Haven Cottage originally located on the pier, and see the old city jail house. The museum is fun for all ages, and gives visitors a taste of Anna Maria Island from days past. The Museum is located at 402 Pine Avenue.

3. Catch a show with the Island Players

The Island Players Theater offers several different shows each season running from October to May. Tickets are $20 each or purchase a season ticket for $92.50 at the box office or by phone. The Island Players Theater is located at the corner of Gulf Drive and Pine Avenue. A fun place to catch a play, the Players Theater is a gorgeous and historical landmark of Anna Maria.

4. Coquina Bay Walk at Leffis Key

Anna Maria Island may only be seven miles long and one mile wide, but it does offer fabulous nature viewing opportunities. One of the areas most unique nature features can be found on the south end of Anna Maria Island at gorgeous Leffis Key. Open from sunrise to sundown, Leffis Key offers amazing Mangrove tunnel lined  boardwalk trails, salt marsh lagoons and the Island’s best bird watching.

 

Leffis key at Coquina Baywalk
Leffis Key overlooking Sarasota Bay.

5. Shopping on Anna Maria Island

There are tons of great places to shop for unique items on Anna Maria Island. Whether you are looking for island themed gifts and souvenirs, local art or just gorgeous little things, you’ll be sure to find it in one of the great shops on the island.

6. Family Fun at Anna Maria Island Parks

Across Anna Maria Island there are several great parks with kid friendly activities. Find play ground equipment, a skatepark, concessions, and all the outdoor fun your kids could hope for. If you are looking to head off island for nature viewing check out our list of parks and preserves in Manatee county.

7. Equipment Rentals

With so many equipment rentals on Anna Maria Island there are lots of options for entertaining activities. Rent just about any type of equipment you need on the island including kayak/canoes, jet skis, beach accessories, golf carts, fly boarding, baby rentals and much more!

8. Art Galleries

Anna Maria Island has a fabulous art scene with many local creatives offering their wares in galleries across the island. While visiting Anna Maria Island be sure to stop in one of the galleries listed, and take a piece of paradise home with you. If you visit the Island in November, be sure to visit annual event ArtsHop!

9. Anna Maria Island Dining

Dining on Anna Maria Island is always an entertaining activity. Here’s an extensive list of everything you need to know about dining island style!

10. Sunset

Sunset is one of the most magical times on Anna Maria Island. Always the best way to end the day or get the evening started, sunset is the time of day to reflect on the incredible beauty of the Anna Maria Island experience. You can’t leave the island without catching at least one sunset!

sunset
Anna Maria Island sunset

After perusing our extensive list of Anna Maria Island activities we are sure you’ll have to come back a second time to experience everything the island has to offer! Enjoy your time in paradise, and don’t forget to apply your sunscreen liberally!

Anna Maria Island Sunset pictures and information

Sunset on Beaches of Anna Maria
Anna Maria Island Sunsets – Wow

If you have visited Anna Maria Island and you have not observed a SUNSET then you have been robbed of one of your God given rights. Viewing our magnificent Gulf Coast sunsets every evening offers a different work of art and after all, the reason you go on vacation is to relax! If you are lucky enough to visit in the summer you may have a chance to witness a phenomenal Anna Maria Island Sunset AND turtle hatchlings. If you have not visited Anna Maria Island… it’s ok, use our web site to reserve one of many fabulous vacation rentals or purchase your “peace” of paradise through our real estate office.

FEAR NO MORE….

……this page will fill the void you have felt since your last visit to Anna Maria or the void created from friends or family raving about their last visit to the island. Below you will find the best of the best photo’s of our sunsets, a blog that our fabulous Real Estate professional keeps up weekly, Melinda Bordes, she reviews the week’s sunsets and offers the best of the week for those of you looking to leverage you relaxation time, (Can you leverage your relaxation time?) or view other sunset related content and information we have below.
The “anatomy” of a Sunset
Best of the Best Anna Maria Sunsets
Various pictures of Beach and Sunsets

Sunset of the Week Blog – Melinda Bordes

 

Anna Maria Island – Top Ten Happy Hours!

Going out for a night on the town? Drinks always taste better when you’re getting a good deal on them. This blog will help you find the local night spots with the best deals around.

Island Time Bar & Grill: Island Time Bar & Grill is located at the beginning of Bridge Street directly next to the traffic circle and right across the street from the beach. The location makes for a perfect place to hang out after spending the day in the sun. Happy hour is Monday thru Saturday from 11:30am – 5:00pm with $1.87 Bud light bottles and $2.50 well drinks with live music playing during every happy hour. Call Island Time Bar & Grill for more details (941) 782-1122. For more information visit their page.

 

Island Time Grill

Island Time in Bradenton Beach on Historic Bridge Street.

Island Gourmet Grill: Island Gourmet Grill’s happy hour is on Friday and Saturday from 5:00pm-7:00pm. Happy hour specials include $5.00 specialty appetizers and $5.00 wines at the bar. Local musician Trevor Bystrom can be heard performing live during most happy hours. Island Gourmet Grill can be reached at (941)778-0333. For more information visit their page.

Hurricane Hanks: Hurricane Hanks offers great food, great atmosphere and great prices! Happy hour is everyday from 11:30am to 7:00pm  with reduced pricing for Miller Light and Bud Light at $1.50 and well drinks for $4.25. Call Hurricane Hanks for more information at (941)778-5788. For more information visit their page.

The Waterfront Restaurant: The Waterfront Restaurant is located on the northern end of Anna Maria Island offering gorgeous views of Tampa Bay. Their happy hour is everyday from 4:30pm – 6:30pm with the special including $3.00 beers on tap and $2.00 domestic bottled beer. For more details contact The Waterfront Restaurant at (941)778-1515. For more information visit their page

 

waterfront restaurant

The Waterfront Restaurant in Anna Maria

Beachhouse: The Beachhouse is located right on the beach offering beautiful views of the Gulf. Monday thru Friday from 3pm until 5pm at the bar you can enjoy reduced priced appetizers for $5.99 each and well drinks for $2.50, domestic drafts for $2.00, house wine for $3.00 and frozen drinks for $4.00. For more information call The Beach House at (941)779-2222. For more information visit their page.

Gulf Drive Cafe: Gulf Drive Cafe is one of the few restaurants on Anna Maria Island with a bar right on the beach. Happy hour is on Monday thru Friday from 2:00pm-5:30pm offering great food and drink prices. You can order domestic beers for $2.00 and well drinks for $4.00.  Contact Gulf Drive Cafe now for more details (941)778-1919. For more information visit their page.

7 Bridgetender Inn: The Bridgetender Inn is a dockside bar located at the end of historic Bridge Street. Docking is also available for boaters to pull in and dock to have some on-land fun. Happy hour offers discounted prices for beers, well drinks and house wine everyday from 4:00pm to 7:00pm. For more information call The Bridgetender Inn at (941) 778-4849. For more information visit their page.

The Sandbar: The Sandbar restaurant is an Anna Maria Island landmark, and the perfect spot for sunset cocktails. Located in the city of Anna Maria, The Sandbar not only boasts an amazing selection of libations, but offers delicious food. The Sandbar is open daily until 10pm.

 

Sandbar restaurant

The Sandbar Restaurant in Anna Maria.

Lobstahs: Lobstahs is a New England themed restaurant flying in Maine Lobsters to our sunny island daily. Their happy hour special includes discounted appetizers, beer, wine and well drinks running from 3pm-6pm. Lobstahs can be reached at (941)779-1000. For more information visit their page

10 Dcoy Ducks: Dcoy Ducks (or better known by the locals as The Duck) is a favorite spot for the locals of the island. Friday and Saturday nights from 6pm to 9pm you can enjoy 2 for 1 drinks with a band playing at 9:30pm. Call Dcoy Ducks for more details at (941)778-5888. For more information visit their page.

 

D Coy Ducks

D Coy Ducks in Holmes Beach

Top 10 Things for Kids on Anna Maria Island

Top 10 Things For Kids on Anna Maria Island

Top ten things for kids on anna maria island
Today’s blog is about the top 10 things for kids on Anna Maria Island.  Basically,  the best stuff to do on Anna Maria Island.  I’ve come up with a list of the best places to go & the greatest things to do while on your vacay on the island. It’s filled to the rim with mind-blowing fun for everyone, whether it’s mini-golfing or grabbing exotic ice cream – just read this list & choose one, some, or all of the activities to do during your summer, & it’s sure to be a blast.

Top 10 Must-Do’s of Your Summer on A.M.I:

1: Hang at Bayfront Park & have a picnic. This park is right on the beach  located on the north end of the island in Anna Maria & is sure to entertain everyone. They have a playground, covered eating areas, & grills for all of your needs

2: Go fishing off of the Rod & Reel or City Pier. Both located in Anna Maria on the north end of the island, these piers are sure to help you get some big fish. Buy your bait there or bring your own. You don’t even need a license. Just bring your gear to fish &    there’s always someone to help you out.

3: Bring your skate board and visit Bradenton Riverwalk which is just 20 minutes into Bradenton, Florida.  For Anna Maria Island skating visit the Holmes Beach Skate Park.

4: Go for a round of mini-golfing at the Fish Hole on Bridge Street.  This place is located on the Historical Bridge Street in Bradenton Beach & is tons of fun. With 18 different holes each named after a different fish, fun history, & fish feeding, the Fish Hole is a great place for a post-beach activity.

5: Play volleyball or build a sand castle on the Public Beach. This place has two volleyball courts in the sand, a playground, a cafe right on the beach, & a lifeguard on duty. It also has an ice cream &  gift shop with all of your beach necessities.

6: Rent a kayak & explore the island waters. Many places on the island offer low-rate kayak renting prices with different styles & sizes, as well as the amount of time you can rent them. You can freely take your kayak out into the Gulf of Mexico & paddle along as you travel across the shore & see the sights.

7: Search for unique & pretty shells on the shore near you. On the A.M.I. beaches you can find endless different types of shells, clams, & coquinas in many different shapes & colors. Some of the shells have holes in them, perfect for making a necklace, bracelet, or other jewelry. This multi-purpose task is loads of fun for everyone.

8: Play soccer, football, or baseball at the Holmes Beach or Community Center fields. These places offer the free use of their fields. All you need to bring is your sports gear & a good time. This is a fun way to spend your time, especially if you like sports.

9: Walk down Pine Avenue & explore all the cool shops & attractions. Pine Avenue is known for its unique shops & historic sites. With many boutiques, eateries, & history, the activities are endless. The activities include bocche ball outside of the Olive Oil Outpost, small festivities in front of the Flip-Flop Shop & Candy Stop. The Flip-Flop Shop is also a must-do for kid island vacationers that love sweets & small treats. Yum!

10: Have fun & enjoy your stay on A.M.I. Pick a beach & bodysurf, swim, or soak up the sun. With all of these activities to do & more, you’ll have so much fun.

Just follow these steps and you’ll be guaranteed to enjoy your summer lots & lots. Stick around, because more Kid’s Korner is coming your way. Enjoy your summer!!!

Top 6 Salons On Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria Island –  While Anna Maria Island is only seven miles long we have a wide variety of spa and salon’s to choose from.  There are several in each of our three cities, Anna Maria, Holmes Beach, and Bradenton Beach.  We suggest you consider location, advertised prices, and size of the salon to choose the spa/salon that best suits your expectations.  Most Anna Maria Island salon’s can accommodate the normal requirements of weddings or special events.  What more would you expect from the wedding capital of Florida?

Salon Salon - Holmes Beach

1. Salon Salon:
Salon Salon was voted “Reader’s Choice” for 2011! This salon offers makeup, hair, wedding up do’s, facials, massages and couple’s massages, and even hair extensions and eye lash extensions!

3612 East Bay Drive
Holmes Beach, FL 34217
941-778-0400

2. Acqua Aveda Salon and Spa:
This is one of the most popular salons on Anna Maria Island, and they offer a lot! They are a salon, spa and a store! They offer services for weddings, special events, hair design, skin care, nails, massage and body treatments, and they even have a men’s spa!

5311 Gulf Drive
Holmes Beach, FL 34217
941-778-5400

Body Treatments At Body & Sol Spa

3. Body and Sol Spa & Wellness:
Anna Maria Island’s largest day spa! They offer massages, manicure and pedicures, signature island facials, hair cutting and styling (even bridal parties!), and they even offer daily yoga classes and acupuncture!

9805 Gulf Drive
Anna Maria, FL 34216
941-650-5441

4. Head Quarters Salon:
This great salon offers hair services including styling, facials, manicures and pedicures, makeup application, hair extensions, massages and wedding services!

5376 Gulf Drive
Holmes Beach, FL 34217
941¬778-2586

Sea renity Spa Tiki Hut Massage
Tiki-Tastic Massages!

5. Sea-renity:
This salon is very unique with their tiki-tastic massages! You can enjoy a massage experience in your own private cabana tiki-hut right on the beach! They also offer indoor single and couples massages, pedicures and full body wraps!

112 Bridge Street
Bradenton Beach, FL 34217
941-779-6836

6.  Aluna Wellness Center and Spa:

Offering four treatment rooms, a meditation room and a lovely zen garden and outdoor shower all nestled just across the street from the Gulf of Mexico, Aluna Wellness Center and Spa is an eco-friendly holistic center specializing in acupuncture, massage, wellness treatment and organic skin care. Enjoy Saturday morning beach yoga, reservations needed.

2219 Gulf Drive North
Bradenton Beach, Fl 34217
941-778-8400

Happy Pampering!

Top 11 Fitness Activities on Anna Maria Island

1. Going to the gym: Kick boxing class with Reggie is best! I love working out with my personal trainer Brenda and doing the different boot camps offered!
Island Fitness: 5317 Gulf Dr, Holmes Beach, FL 34217
– Phone: (941) 778-5200

2. Fit Crew: Great boot camp style work out (very similar to CrossFit) sometimes they have a beach work out on AMI!
– First class is free! Come and see if you like it!
– 608 19th Ave West, Bradenton, FL 34205
– Phone : (941) 447-9272

3. Bike riding from the Anna Maria Island to the Robinson Preserve and back. If you are looking for other parks nearby check out our list here.
– I love the 11 mile back ride, easily done in 1 hour, always able to spot local wildlife!
– Robinson Preserve: 1112 Manatee Avenue West, Bradenton, FL 34205
Phone: (941) 748-4501

4. Bike riding to Harry’s Continental Kitchen on Longboat Key.
– The food is amazing!
– This is about a 16 mile bike ride.
– Harry’s continental Kitchen: 5600 Gulf of Mexico Drive, Longboat Key, FL 34228
– Phone: (941) 383-0777

Insider tip:  The Coquina Bike path is a great low key bike path that takes you off the streets and lets you bike on a side walk close to the Beach!

5. Paddle boarding or kayaking around the bayous and gulf side. Love the workout and being able to be out on the water while getting a tan!

6. Playing golf at one of the many area golf courses.

7. Rollerblading around the many back streets on Anna Maria Island.

8. Playing tennis at the local free tennis courts, or shooting some hoops at the public Basketball Court.  Holmes Beach Tennis courts

9. Go Legs Spin Studio very close to IMG Academies. Hour long spin sessions and toning with weights.
– 2 projectors in the studio to watch music videos and replays of real
Cycle races such as the Tour de France.
– 3549 53rd Ave. West, Bradenton, FL 34210
– Phone: (941) 896-7885

10. Activities at the Anna Maria Island Community Center are great for keeping you in shape during your stay on Anna Maria Island. Purchase a Community Center Membership through Island Real Estate for $25!

11. Last but not least: going on a sunset beach run along the water. I love taking pictures and watching the day end as I get a good run in!Beach Surfing

Food and Wine on Pine

Anna Maria – Food and Wine on Pine is back to celebrate it’s 6th year! A fun family friendly event, you’ll find not only great food and amazing wine selections, but a juried art show, kids activities, live music and a Kentucky derby style feature.

The event will take place on Saturday, May 7th from 11:30am-6:30 pm on Pine Avenue in the city of Anna Maria. There is a rain date scheduled May 8th. Find parking at the community center or Cross Point Fellowship Church. Admission for this event is $2 or $5 with a commemorative glass and food tray.

food and wine on pine
Food and Wine on Pine is back in it’s 6th year!

This year’s Food and Wine on Pine will be offering tasting from over 20 restaurants, selections from over 30 musicians, and works from 25 artists. While the young folks enjoy the kids tent head over to the Derby tent to enjoy Mint Juleps, a Derby hat contest, and televisions showing the race. Bet on the race with proceeds going to The American Cancer Society.

EVENT DETAILS

Follow the link HERE to find participating vendors and additional event information, and don’t miss this Fabulous event!

ANNA MARIA ACCOMMODATIONS

Looking for Anna Maria Island Accommodations? Island Real Estate has almost 300 VACATION RENTAL HOMES for the perfect island retreat!

Anna Maria vacation rental
Located directly on Pine Avenue, Casa Calienta is the perfect Anna Maria vacation rental for enjoying Food and Wine on Pine. Click on the image to learn more about this 2 Bedroom home complete with a pool paradise backyard!

Shopping on Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria Island – The island offers a unique shopping experience with fabulous boutiques, art galleries and gorgeous little shops great for finding that perfect memento to remember your trip to Anna Maria Island. The Island does not offer many chain stores or big box retailers giving the shopping experience a one of a kind feel.

You’ll find access to just about everything you’ll need during your stay including groceries, pharmacies, clothes, swimsuits and beach gear, souvenirs and local art.

For those from the Southeast you’ll be glad to know there is a Publix supermarket in Holmes Beach along with a CVS and Walgreens drugstore. If you must visit a big box store there is a Kmart on Manatee Avenue just a short trip over the bridge, but most of the things you’ll need can be purchased on island.

Independently owned shops pepper the island with shopping hots spots located to the North along Pine Avenue, Centrally in Holmes Beach, and on Bridge Street to the South. A great way to explore shopping opportunities stress free is to take advantage of the free trolley. Don’t worry about finding a parking spot or dealing with traffic as the free trolley runs from Pine Avenue down to Coquina Beach with stops all along the way. There are several trolleys making their way around the island, so typically you won’t have to wait more than 20 minutes for one to pass by. During high season parking can be difficult, so the trolley is worth the wait especially during a laid back island style vacation.

If you are planning on shopping while on Anna Maria Island peruse our vendor listings and blogs, linked below, to find out about all the fabulous places to check out during your stay.

Shop Listings

Shopping Blogs

Top Ten Shopping

 

Sand Dollar
The Sand Dollar is a favorite spot for gorgeous finds located on Holmes Beach.

 

Have you found the perfect Anna Maria Island vacation rental to complete your perfect paradise getaway? Island Real Estate has an inventory of almost 300 properties to choose from!

Anna Maria Island vacation rental
Catchin’ Rays is a gorgeous ground level Holmes Beach vacation rental accommodating up to 8 guests. Click on the image to learn more about Catchin’ Rays

 

Anna Maria Island Fishing

Anna Maria Island – Fishing is an extremely popular recreation on Anna Maria Island. Recreational, sport and commercial angling all take place in surrounding waters with a positive economic impact to the area. Like much of Florida, visitors flock to Anna Maria Island, and want to try their own hand at catching a big one. Anna Maria Island is a fabulous destination to plan a trip with beautiful weather year round, plenty of charter boats for hire, and access to several different types of waterways.

Provided below is a bevy of resources to make your Anna Maria Island excursion on the water one to remember! Provided are suggested charters, places to fish, information about seasons, fishing reports from local captains, and everything you need to know about angling Anna Maria Island.

Charters

Anna Maria Island has no shortage of boats for hire with dozens of locals providing licensed Captains and boats outfitted for a day of fishing on briny waters. Here is a list of 7 Anna Maria Island Fishing Charters to choose from.

Places to Fish

There are several places for fishing on Anna Maria Island with the piers being the most popular for onshore catches.

Reports

Check out what local fisher people are saying week to week with up to date fishing reports!

Click through the links provided above, and enjoy your time spent fishing on Anna Maria Island!

fishing
Anna Maria Island fishing is a fun and relaxing activity!

 

Plan your Anna Maria Island vacation today with a beautiful accommodation! Island Real Estate has an inventory of almost 300 properties including condo’s, villas, and single family homes ranging from 1-5+ bedrooms!

Anna Maria Island vacation rental
Lazy Daze is a great Canal Front home for fishing, and vacationing with a boat as this canal takes you out to Bimini Bay and the Intracoastal Waterway. Click on the image to learn more about Lazy Daze.

 

 

Anna Maria Island Photographers

Anna Maria Island – When visiting Anna Maria Island it’s hard not to notice all the natural beauty to be seen in this tropical paradise. Often when families visit they love to have professional photographs taken to remember their experience at this perfect vacation destination. In addition to family vacations, many couples decide to host their wedding ceremony on Anna Maria Island, and request professional photography services for their ceremony and celebration. No matter what the reason for your visit to Anna Maria Island, if you are looking for photo keepsakes from your stay there is a professional waiting to help you!

Professional Photographers

We have compiled a list of over 20 photographers working on or around Anna Maria Island. Some of these professionals are members of the Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce while others are photographers that have been suggested by locals and visitors to the area. These individuals offer a range of different photography services including weddings, special events, family beach portraits, videography, maternity photos, children’s photos, framing and more. Each of the professionals in the list offers a slightly different set of services at different price points, and may specialize in a certain aspect of their industry. Peruse the list in the link above to find the perfect professional for your needs.

Popular places for photo shoots on Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria Island offers so many beautiful locations for amazing photo opportunities that you can’t throw a seashell without hitting one! Simply head to just about any beach access and you’ll find the perfect background for your pictures. There are a few spots that we suggest for photos as listed below.

Bean Point

The tip of Anna Maria Island is called Bean Point, and it’s truly a stunning location for photos. This area of the island offers few parking spaces, and is less crowded. Get views of both Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico as you walk around north end. There are gorgeous wooden boardwalks, scenic dunes and the Island’s notorious Australian Pines to serve as your backdrop on Bean Point.

Bean Point on Anna Maria Island
Bean Point

Bay Front Park

To the southeast of Bean Point you’ll find Bay Front Park. This area of the Island offers a narrow strip of beaches looking onto Tampa Bay with great views of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, Anna Maria City Pier and Rod & Reel Pier.

Anna Maria Bayfront Park
Bayfront Park offers gorgeous views!

Anna Maria City Pier and Rod & Reel

Both the Anna Maria City Pier and the Rod & Reel Pier are excellent places for family photos. located just a short walk from each other, these piers overlook the bay side of the island, and hold a great deal of island history.

city pier
Anna Maria City Pier

Gulf Beaches at Sunset

Any gulf beach at sunset is beautiful, but we recommend Anna Maria gulf beaches like those found on White Avenue. Anna Maria gulf beach accesses have lush Seagrape trees, green beach foliage and rustic wooden boardwalks leading over sea oat sand dunes. Your photographer is sure to capture the perfect sunset image no north end beaches.

Sunset
Anna Maria Island Sunsets are always picturesque.

Egmont Key

Egmont Key is a small island State Park only accessible by boat. Located off the northern tip of Anna Maria Island, Egmont Key offers a historic lighthouse and old fort ruins along with gorgeous coastline.

Egmont key state park
Egmont Key

Wedding Accommodations

Weather you are looking to book the perfect Honeymoon suite, or need accommodations for the wedding guests Island Real Estate has the perfect vacation destination for you with almost 300 vacation properties to choose from!

Anna Maria Island beach front vacation rental
Beach House unit 4 is the perfect beach front one bedroom Honeymoon vacation rental for newly weds! Click on the image to reserve your stay today!

 

 

Spring Fest 2016 – Anna Maria Island Festival of Fine Arts and Crafts

Holmes Beach – Spring Fest is back in it’s 28th year celebrating arts, crafts, food, music and fun. This year Spring Fest will be held April 9th and 10th from 10am-5pm Saturday and Sunday at the Holmes Beach City Hall field at 5901 Marina Drive. Parking and admission are free for this family friendly event!

Sponsored by the Anna Maria Island Art League, this juried art event showcases over 100 fine artists from across the country showing off their talent. Proceeds raised from Spring Fest and Winter Fest events go to support the Anna Maria Island Art League Art Center, children and adult art classes, and the Art League Scholarship Fund.

Spring Fest
Photo Credit: Anna Maria Island Art League Website.

Gala Art Raffle

When you attend this event be sure to join in on the fun Gala Art Raffle to help support the Art League while collecting fabulous art donated by these wonderful artists. Raffle tickets are $1 each or six for $5. Winners do not need to be present to collect raffled art work.

Juried Art Show

The juried categories for this arts event include:
Clay
Jewelry
Photography
Fiber & Paper
Metal
Sculpture
Glass
Mixed Media
Watercolors
Graphics & Pastels
Oils & Acrylics
Wood

Artists awards include $1000 prize for Best of Show, four Awards of Distinction for $250 and five Awards of Merit for $100 are up for grabs. Deadlines for Artist entries have already passed.

Festival Happenings

Enjoy music all day long from several favorite local musicians at Spring Fest. This event offers great food and beverage vendors in addition to amazing artwork. Learn a thing or two about Anna Maria Island from local non-profit historical and wildlife organizations that will be set up.

With so much going on at Spring Fest this free event is not to be missed! Visit The Anna Maria Island Art League Website or call 941-778-2099 for additional information about the event and their beautiful organization.

Holmes Beach Vacation Rental

If you are looking for the perfect Holmes Beach vacation rental Island Real Estate offers a large selection!

Holmes Beach Vacation rental
Mermaid Crossing is a gorgeous 3 Bedroom Holmes Beach Vacation Rental just a short walk away from Spring Fest! Click on the image to view this beautiful home.

Riverview Pointe Preserve

Bradenton – Riverview Pointe Preserve is located south of De Soto National Memorial park just a short drive from Anna Maria Island. This gorgeous 11 acre park in West Bradenton offers a unique Florida ecosystem along with packed shell natural trails and nature viewing opportunities.

Gopher Tortoise Rob Hamilton
Gopher Tortoise at Riverview Pointe Preserve. Photo Credit: Rob Hamilton, Riverview Pointe Preserve, Manatee County Parks website.

Riverview Pointe Preserve was added to the “Shaws Point” Archaeological district by the 1939 United States De Soto Expedition Commission as this area is among what is believed to be the landing spot of the Hernando De Soto expedition of 1539. Riverview Pointe and the surrounding areas are the site of prehistoric native coastal villages dating back to 356B.C. to 110A.D.; however, all evidence of these natives were destroyed in the early twentieth century.

Hiking Trail and Florida Wildlife

The hiking trail at this preserve is less than a mile long, but offers a peaceful place for a relaxing stroll. Starting off in a dry sandy upland area, the trail takes you down through coastal hammock and out to the riverfront. A great deal of the local wildlife are nocturnal, but this trail is still a great area for bird watching. Unique inhabitants of the park include a thriving Gopher Tortoise population. Gopher Tortoise are a protected species in Florida that prefer upland habitats such as those found at Riverview Pointe Preserve.

Native Plants

Because the hiking trail brings you from uplands to riverfront there are a diverse array of plants to be found. Enjoy large old Sand Pine and Scrub Oak in the uplands area, and salt resistance species like Mangrove and Buttonwood on the river front. You’ll find many Florida native species of plants like beauty berry, wild grape and poison ivy. It’s a good idea to stay on the hiking path to avoid damaging this rare and precious environment.

Park Information

Leashed dogs are welcome to enjoy the trail as long as they remain on the trail and are picked up after. There are pet waste stations conveniently located in the park.

Entrance to the park is free with the hours changing seasonally. Typically Manatee County parks are open dawn to dusk, but be sure to check closing times listed at the park entrance.

The park is located on NW 75th Street just before the entrance to De Soto National Memorial.

Check out this video about Riverview Pointe Preseve put together by Manatee County Parks and Natural Resources Department, and enjoy local wildlife!

Anna Maria Island Vacation Rentals

If you are looking to plan a vacation to Manatee County Island Real Estate has a large inventory of vacation rental homes for the perfect tropical Florida getaway!

Anna Maria Island vacation rental
Click on the image to view more information about Anna Maria Island vacation rental home “3 Oars”

Anna Maria Island Easter activities 2016

Anna Maria Island – There are several activities going on for the Easter Holiday on Anna Maria Island. From egg hunts to brunch the island is the perfect place for your family gathering.

Easter on AMI
Happy Easter from Anna Maria Island!

Sandbar Easter Egg Hunt

The 30th Annual Sandbar Easter Egg Hunt will be held on the beach in front of Sandbar restaurant March 26th at 9am sharp. Refreshments will be served at 8:30am. Bring your own baskets for collecting eggs, and meet in the weddings and event pavilion while everyone is arriving. After the kids make a mad dash for the eggs, line up behind the Easter Bunny for a parade down Pine Avenue to the Egg roll and Easter Bonnet Contest.

Enjoy Easter lunch or dinner on the 27th at the Sandbar with traditional Easter menu items along with fresh fish selections.

Pine Avenue Easter Egg Roll and Bonnet Contest

The Easter Egg Roll on March 26th is a fun time for kids with face painting, children’s activities and complimentary photos with the Easter Bunny. During the egg roll there will be an Easter Bonnet contest for both adults and children. The kids contest winner will receive lunch for 4 at the Sandbar, and the adults contest winner will receive a two night stay at the Anna Maria Guest House on Pine Avenue. The Sandbar will be providing food and refreshments while the activities are going on. The Easter Egg Roll will take place from 9:30am-noon, and the Bonnet Contest will be held at 10:30am.

Mar Vista Egg Hunt

Longboat Key’s Mar Vista Dockside restaurant will be holding their 28th annual Easter Egg Hunt at 10am on March 26th. Kids will be split up into two age groups for egg hunting. Stick around after the egg hunt for a delicious meal at Mar Vista!

G.T. Bray Egg Hunt

The G.T. Bray Egg Hunt will be held March 20th from 2-4:30pm in Bradenton. The egg hunt will take place in the G.T Bray softball field at 5502 33rd Avenue Drive West. There is a $2 entrance fee per child to enjoy the egg hunt with activities to follow. Enjoy bounce houses, music, clowns, cotton candy and the Easter Bunny.  Information at 941-792-3462.

Bridge Street Bistro Easter Sunday Dinner

Enjoy Roasted Leg of Lamb at the Bridge Street Bistro for Easter dinner March 27th from 1-8pm. Along with Lamb, the regular dinner menu will be available. Call 941-782-1122 for information. The Bridge Street Bistro is located at the corner of Gulf Drive and Bridge Street in Bradenton Beach above Island Time Grill.

 

Anna Maria Island Family Vacation Rentals

Find the perfect holiday gathering place for the entire family with a spacious 4+ Bedroom Anna Maria Island vacation rental!

Anna Maria Island family gathering vacation rental
Coral Reef offers accommodations for up to 10 guests! Click on the image to learn more about this gorgeous family gathering place near the beach!

De Soto National Memorial – Bradenton

Bradenton – The De Soto National Memorial was created in 1948 to commemorate the 1539 expedition of Spanish conquistador Hernando De Soto and the impact he made on the American Indian societies of the southeast. Open all year long, De Soto Memorial Park offers many different outdoor activities along with educational opportunities to learn about the controversial history of the area.

Map of De Soto Memorial
De Soto National Memorial Map

Canoeing and Boating

Located in Bradenton on a 26 acre plot of land where the Manatee River meets Tampa Bay, De Soto National Memorial offers fabulous kayak and canoeing opportunities along the 3000 feet of shoreline offered by this park. Launch your kayak, canoe or paddle board from the northwest shore of the park or from Riverview Point Preserve located just south of De Soto Memorial. If you paddle north across the river you can explore Emerson Point Nature preserve, or head west through the shallow grass flats to the Intracoastal waterway and Anna Maria Island. De Soto Memorial does not offer a boat launch, but does offer a temporary anchorage area in the small cove east of De Soto Point.

Walking Trails, Beaches and Picnic Area

The nature trails at De Soto Memorial offer opportunities to experience different Florida ecosystems including Mangrove wetlands. Walking trails have signage explaining the both the natural history of the area along with information about the 1539 expedition. Bicycles are not allowed on the nature trails, but pets are welcome.

There are several areas for enjoying the beach at De Soto National Memorial with an areas located west and south of De Soto Point. Beach goers are urged to swim with caution as there are no lifeguard stations. The beaches south of De Soto Point are more popular as they don’t experience the strong currents sometimes found on the western beaches.

A picnic shelter can be found near the parking lot on a first come first serve basis. Grills and alcohol are not permitted in the park or picnic area.

Seasonal Events

De Soto National Memorial offers several seasonal events great for the entire family.

December through April the parks living history area “Camp Uzita” is open. Camp Utzita is a recreation of a 16th century Native village complete with living history reenactments and educational information.

In the winter the park offers several special events including a Halloween themed event called “Desoween” for adults and kids 7 years and older. In December luminaries light the trials for one night and information is available describing how people from the 16th century celebrated the winter. February brings a music festival to the park, March offers a five centuries of history event, and April brings a live reenactment of the Landing of the De Soto expedition.

May through October the park offers Ranger led kayak tours discussing how early settlers utilized the bay and estuary along with an explanation of Florida’s unique ecological systems.

In June and July a kids Junior Ranger program is available to teach kids 6-10 years of age about the history ecology and conservation of the park.

De Soto Park
De Soto National Memorial. Photo Credit: De Soto National Memorial Facebook Page.

General Park Information

The visitor center is open daily 9am-5pm with the parking lot closing at 5pm; however, the park is open dawn to dusk. Any cars left in the parking lot after 5pm will remain locked in the lot until the next morning, and is subject to ticketing. The park is closed New Years day, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Entrance into the park is always free, but donations are welcome. Groups may visit the park, but should register ahead of time. For additional information about the park call 941-792-0458 or visit online.

De Soto National Memorial is located at:
8300 De Soto Memorial Hwy
Bradenton, Florida 34209

Bradenton and Anna Maria Island vacation rental homes

If you are looking for the perfect vacation rental home while visiting the area Island Real Estate has almost 300 properties to choose from!

vacation rental
Click on the image to view Bradenton vacation rental Perico Bay Club 1279 Edgewater Circle.

 

2015 St. Patrick’s Day celebrations on Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria Island – If you’re visiting Anna Maria Island during or before St. Patrick’s Day this year you’ll have several chances to celebrate island style. From family friendly events to drinking green beer, the island has your St. Paddy’s Day needs covered. This year the holiday falls on a Thursday, so a few celebrations will be held on Sunday 13th with some still celebrating mid week on the 17th. Below is a list of places to to enjoy St. Patrick’s Day.

18th Annual Beach Bistro St. Patrick’s Day Parade 3/13

Every year the local restaurant Beach Bistro holds a fun filled small town parade in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day. This year the parade will begin at restaurant Eat Here located at 5315 Gulf Drive then travel it’s way north through Holmes Beach ending at 85th Street. The parade will begin at 4pm and includes energetic locals adorned in green, bag pipers, and a bevy of local organizations with green and Irish decor and homemade floats.

St Paddy's Day
Photo Credit: Beach Bistro St. Patrick’s Day Parade Blog April 2014.

Duffy’s Tavern 3/13

During and after the Parade fun head over to Duffy’s Tavern to continue the celebration with one of their 20 beers, and the island’s best burger.

The Ugly Grouper 3/13

New restaurant The Ugly Grouper will be celebrating on parade day with all day live music and Corned Beef and Cabbage. From 1-5pm enjoy music from Chris Warner then Rob Viola will close the night up with tunes from 6-9pm.

St. Patrick’s Day Concert at Roser Memorial Community Church 3/13

If you are looking for a tamer St. Patrick’s Day celebration head over to Roser Church for a holiday concert with musician Paul Duffy. The doors open at 3pm with the concert starting at 4pm. Enjoy Celtic instruments and bagpipes, Irish Lore and humor. For more information contact the church at 941-778-0414. Roser Church is located at 512 Pine Avenue.

Freckled Fin 3/17

The Freckled Fin on Bradenton Beaches Bridge Street will be celebrating St. Paddy’s with live music, Irish food, bag pipers, dancers and Irish libations. This family friendly establishment will open at 8am for breakfast, and the festivities will begin. Live music starts at with Lew Russ from 8-11am followed by Trevor and the Tribe from 11am-3pm. Heading into the afternoon the Bradenton Bagpipers will play 3:30-430pm and The Black Velvet Band play last from 5:30-9:30pm. The Freckled Fin will be serving up Corned Beef and Cabbage along with Sheppard’s Pie. Drink specials will include green beer, Guinness, Jameson Irish Whiskey and Bailey’s Irish Cream.

Anna Maria Oyster Bar 3/17

AMOB will be celebrating with all you can eat Corned Beef and Cabbage for $10.99 and green beers for $1.50. Enjoy the Irish holiday with a gorgeous view of Sarasota Bay while you happily eat Corned Beef, Oysters or both!

St Paddy's Day
St. Patrick’s Day is always better on Anna Maria Island!

 

 

Looking for the Perfect Holmes Beach vacation rental near the St. Paddy’s Day Parade Route? Check out our list of over 180 Holmes Beach vacation rentals!

vacation rentals
“Pelican Landing AMI” is located just one block from Marina Drive where the parade passes by. Click on the image for more information about “Pelican Landing AMI”.