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.

 

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

 

Fishing Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria Island – Fishing is an extremely popular recreation on Anna Maria Island. Recreational, sport and commercial angling all take place in surrounding waters, and have a positive economic impact to the area. 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. There are 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.

 

 

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

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!

Vacation Rentals and Accommodations on Anna Maria Island

When looking for the perfect accommodation on Anna Maria Island, Island Real Estate is the best choice with the island’s largest selection of vacation rental homes to choose from.

North Beach Village Anna Maria Island vacation rental
North Beach Village unit 63 is tucked into a quiet neighborhood just a short walk to gulf beaches. This Holmes Beach Vacation rental sleeps up to 6 guests, and is centrally located putting you near all the island’s best events! Click on the image above to reserve your stay at North Beach Village 63 today.

 

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 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

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!

Anna Maria Island Vacation Rental Homes and Accommodations

If you are looking for the perfect vacation rental home visit IslandReal.com today! Enjoy the largest selection of vacation rental accommodations to choose from on the island along with great customer service!

Anna Maria Island Club vacation rental and accommodations
Anna Maria Island Club is a picturesque direct beach front condominium complex located in Bradenton Beach. Anna Maria Island Club 44 offers accommodations for up to 6 guests with balcony views of the gulf from both the living room and master bedroom. Click on the image above to reserve your stay at Anna Maria Island Club 44 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.

Top Ten Activities!

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 rental shops 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, bikes, jet skis, beach accessories, golf carts, fly boarding, baby rentals and much more! Check out the Anna Maria Island Bicycle Guide for route suggestions and 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 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 Vacation Rentals and Accommodations

When planning a trip or an extended stay to Anna Maria Island, Island Real Estate has the largest inventory of vacation rental homes to choose from with almost 300 properties. You’ll find the perfect accommodation along with great customer service when you use Island Real Estate!

Holmes Beach vacation rental
Casa Sierra 205 B is a fun and relaxing Anna Maria Island vacation rental located in Holmes Beach. In the central portion of the island, Casa Sierra is located just two blocks from the beach, and is a great spot to enjoy island activities! Click on the image above to reserve your stay at Casa Sierra 205 B today!

 

 

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

Anna Maria Island vacation rentals and accommodations

Island Real Estate has almost 300 vacation rental properties perfect for any Florida getaway to tropical Anna Maria Island. Book your stay today!

Anna Maria Island vacation rental
No Bad Days is a gorgeous vacation rental with a the perfect backyard pool tiki! Click on the image about to learn more about No Bad Days.

Family Fun on Anna Maria Island

Family is all about love, and we have plenty of things you’ll love to do with your family while vacationing on Anna Maria Island.

Family Fun on Anna Maria Island!

Robinson Preserve Treehouse
Make it a day trip and visit some of the Manatee county parks which are as close as a bike ride to Anna Maria Island or check out some of our other day trip recommendations! There are plenty of other parks to have a picnic or you can spend a day with the kids at the local children’s playgrounds.

Restaurants

Robinson Preserve Kayak
If you’re looking for a family friendly restaurant try checking out one of the island’s waterfront restaurants featuring live entertainment and a comfortable inviting atmosphere.

Things To Do

Florida Aquarium
If you’re getting tired of swimming or visiting the many beaches in the area there are plenty of public pools to visit as well. Take a trip to one of the area aquariums to get a close up look at the sea life! A short trip to the Florida Maritime Museum will be both educational and fun for the whole family.

If you’re visiting during the summer there are plenty of additional options, such as participating in the turtle watch which takes place between May 1st-October 31st. The kids can learn about the local turtles and see some of the nesting grounds that are penned off with stakes and tape right on the beaches. Kids can also learn to surf with the kid’s summer surfing camps!
St. Armands Circle
St. Armands Circle also offers plenty of family fun. Featuring shops, restaurants, and sights galore there is plenty to keep you in the area for a full day. There is also the Bridge Street Market in Bradenton Beach to check out.
Island Pearl
Take a water shuttle trip on the Island Pearl to various locations and maybe even see some dolphins! Or for those who prefer solid ground the Anna Maria Island Trolley the Crown Jewel will take you around the island for free!

If you would like you can take a video tour of Anna Maria Island before you visit to get acquainted with some of the sights and locations!

Video Tour

Invite your kids to share their opinions or check out more activities in our Kid’s Corner or check out the Top Ten Kid’s Activities.

Accommodations and Vacation Rental Properties on Anna Maria Island

Island Real Estate is the best choice when looking for the perfect family fun accommodations. With the largest inventory of vacation rental homes on Anna Maria Island, Island Real Estate is sure to please with great customer service and a knowledgeable staff.

Anna Maria Island vacation rental
Anna Maria Island vacation rental, My Sister’s Beach House, is the perfect family fun accommodations sleeping up to 10 guests with 5 bedrooms. Just a short walk to the beach, this home offers a pool paradise perfect for the kids! Click on the image above to reserve your stay at My Sister’s Beach House today!

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!!!

Anna Maria Island Vacation Rentals and Accommodations

Island Real Estate offers the largest selection of vacation rental homes on Anna Maria Island! When looking for the perfect accommodations with great customer service Island Real Estate is the best choice. Reserve your stay today!

Holmes Beach vacation rental on Anna Maria Island
Gulf Winds is the ultimate Anna Maria Island family destination with kids! These two homes combine to offer 8 bedrooms accommodating up to 23 guests just a short stroll to gulf beaches. Enjoy two of everything during your stay including two pools! Click on the image above to reserve your stay at Gulf Winds today!

Anna Maria Island Gulf Front and Bay Front Dining

Anna Maria Island Waterfront Dining
Anna Maria Island Waterfront Dining

Anna Maria Island Gulf Front and Bay Front Dining is a must during your visit. Experience gorgeous sunsets over the gulf or views of the bay while you enjoy fresh Florida seafood or cocktails at one of the many waterfront restaurants.

Anna Maria City Waterfront Dining

The Waterfront Restaurant at the north end of Anna Maria Island overlooks Tampa Bay offering a casual dining atmosphere with fresh seafood, salads, steaks, and pastas. The Waterfront is a great addition to Anna Maria Island Gulf Front and Bay Front dining. Stop in and ask them about their microbrew selection.

Just across the street from the Waterfront Restaurant is the Historic Anna Maria City Pier. The City Pier Restaurant is located at the end of the pier and has a great selection of appetizers, soups, salads, sandwiches, and of course seafood. The pier is also a great place to go fishing, and enjoy spectacular views of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge.

If you look to the west from the City Pier towards the Gulf of Mexico you will see the Rod N Reel Pier. The Rod N Reel pier has a killer breakfast, beautiful views, and also offers lunch and dinner. Fishing from the Rod and Reel pier is a real treat. Another popular restaurant in Anna Maria City is the Sandbar Restaurant located right on the beach. The Sandbar Restaurant is a fantastic restaurant that has an excellent selection of steaks, seafood, and American cuisine. Find The Sandbar on Spring Avenue.

Holmes Beach Waterfront Dining

One of Anna Maria Island’s famous restaurants is The Beach Bistro in Holmes Beach. The Beach Bistro is the best fine dining Anna Maria Island Gulf Front and Bay Front Dining option. The Beach Bistro offers fantastic fresh local seafood, prime American beef, and lamb, making this restaurant a must visit during your trip to Anna Maria Island. If you’re looking for a great place to have breakfast or a tea party try the Harrington House in Holmes Beach.

Located at the Manatee public beach the Café on the Beach is an inexpensive indoor and outdoor dining establishment. Try the all you can eat pancake breakfast it is fantastic!

Bradenton Beach Waterfront Dining

On the south end of the island in Bradenton Beach. Make sure you stop into the Gulf Drive Café & Tiki Bar perched right on the beach. The Gulf Drive Café & Tiki Bar offers Indoor and outdoor dining in a casual atmosphere with extraordinary cuisine. Just a short distance down Gulf Drive you’ll find Wicked Cantina. This restaurant is across the street from the Gulf, but does offers gorgeous waterfront views. Wicked Cantina offers fabulous Austin style Tex-Mex, hand crafted cocktails and great ambiance on their deck!

Just down the beach is the Beachhouse Restaurant offering beachfront dining and fresh Florida seafood, great beaches and great fun.

The Bridge Street Bistro in Bradenton Beach is just across the street from the Gulf of Mexico and offers an open air bar with live music on the first floor. The top floor offers excellent food and amazing Gulf Views. Stroll down Historic Bridge Street toward the bay and stop in the Bridge Tender for a bit to eat. At the end of Bridge Street in Bradenton Beach is Anna Maria Oyster Bar restaurant, a great place to stop in as you are, and enjoy a cocktail, or dinner in a casual, relaxed atmosphere right on the Bay.

Anna Maria Island vacation rentals and accommodations.

Island Real Estate has an inventory of almost 300 vacation rental properties on Anna Maria Island to help you find the perfect destination during your relaxing Florida getaway! Book your next Anna Maria Island vacation today!

Anna Maria gulf front vacation rental home
Hacienda Del Mar is a gorgeous 4 bedroom gulf front Anna Maria vacation rental home accommodating up to 8 guests. This home was remodeled and updated in mid 2016 for a great island style getaway! Click on the image above to learn more about Hacienda Del Mar!

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 Ten Night Spots – Libations Anna Maria Island

If you are looking to enjoy a little night life while visiting Anna Maria Island we have got you covered! Check out our top ten lists of places to grab a drink, listen to music and meet new friends on island time.

Top Ten Night Spots

1. Hurricane Hanks– Laid-back sports bar with a fantastic menu!

5346 Gulf Drive,
Holmes Beach, FL
(941) 778-5788

2. Island Time Bar & Grill– Great atmosphere with live music & a tasty menu!

111 Gulf Drive
South Bradenton Beach, FL 34217
1st Floor
TEL: 941-782-1122

3. Cortez Kitchen– Located not too far off the Cortez Bridge, this outdoors, laid back restaurant most likely will have a live band, good food, and a good time in store for you.

4528 119th Street West Cortez, FL 34215
(941) 798-9404

4Bridge Tender Inn & Dockside Bar– Inside is the sports bar and restaurant, outside’s a tiki bar with live music, right on the water, and even a flat screen for game days!

155 Bridge Street
Bradenton Beach, FL, 34217
(941) 778-4849

5. Dcoy Ducks – Great nightspot with live music, poker nights and more!

5410 Marina Drive,
Holmes Beach, FL
(941) 778-5888

6Drift Inn– Small town bar on historic bridge street.
120 Bridge Street,
Bradenton Beach, FL
(941) 778-9088

7Anchor Inn– Friendly bar with pool tables and darts.

3007 Gulf Drive,
Holmes Beach, FL
(941) 778-3085

8Bortells – Pinball, video games, and pool tables.

10002 Gulf Drive
Anna Maria, FL
(941) 778-5487

9. Clam Factory– Just off the island, good food and live music.

10104 Cortez Road West,
Bradenton, FL
(941) 798-9898

10. Slim’s– Great place to watch sports! Great food, billiards and live entertainment.

9701 Gulf Dr.
Anna Maria, FL
(941) 567-4056

Anna Maria Island top ten night spots
Grab a Margarita and enjoy a little night life on Anna Maria Island with our top ten Night Spots.

We have plenty of more suggestions for places to visit while on Anna Maria Island.  Visit our nightlife information page.

Anna Maria Island Vacation Rentals and Accommodations.

Island Real Estate offers almost 300 Anna Maria Island vacation rentals to assist you in finding the perfect island accommodations! Reserve your Anna Maria Island vacation today!

Anna Maria Vacation rental
Anna Margaritas is a great 2 bedroom Anna Maria Vacation rental just across the street from Bean Point beaches. Click on the image above to reserve Anna Margaritas today!

 

 

11 Fitness Activities – Anna Maria Island

When visiting Anna Maria Island there are plenty of fitness activities to keep you feeling healthy during your paradise getaway. Enjoy a great vacation guilt free when you try out these Top 11 fitness activities on Anna Maria Island.

Top 11 Fitness Activities

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

bicycling on anna Maria Island
Riding a bike is a great fitness activity on Anna Maria Island.

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.

Fitness activity
Tennis is a great fitness activity during your Anna Maria Island vacation.

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!

fitness activities
The Anna Maria Island Community Center offers great fitness activities

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!

Anna Maria Island Vacation Rental Homes and Accommodations

Island Real Estate offers the largest selection of Vacation rental homes and accommodations on Anna Maria Island making it the best choice when looking for the perfect vacation destination!

Anna Maria Island Vacation Rental condominium
Runaway Bay offers the perfect Anna Maria Island vacation rentals for those looking to stay fit on vacation. This condominium complex offers a fitness center, tennis court and shuffle board to keep you active during your stay! Click on the image above to reserve your stay at Runaway Bay unimt 279 or 272 today!

Out of Town Activities for All Ages

Anna Maria- Even though Anna Maria has extremely fun activities, it’s nice to find enjoyable things to do out of town. With so much surrounding the island you’ll have no problem finding something the whole family will enjoy. Here is a list of some of my favorite things to do off the island.

Out of Town Activities

Sarasota

Sarasota is located about 40 minutes south of Anna Maria Island. If you’re looking for a fun mind game, visit Escape Countdown located off of Tamiami Trail. Here you get to pick a themed room such as Jail Break or Mad Hatter and find clues to escape it. The challenge, however, is the 60 minute time limit. You may have up to three clues for free and each added clue takes off two minutes of your time. It’s a lot of fun to do with family and friends and you can have a group of up to eight people. You can reserve a time online or just walk in. Sarasota Lanes is the perfect place to go for anyone who loves bowling, or visit Stardust for a pleasant afternoon rollerskating.

escape countdown is out of town
Break out of jail at Escape Countdown!

Ellenton

Ellenton is about 30 minutes away and is home to Ellenton Premium Outlets and Ellenton Ice and Sports Complex. The Premium Outlets offers shops such as Aeropostale, Michael Kors, and Vans. With around 120 different shops, there’s definitely something for everyone. After shopping outside all day, cool off at the ice rink and enjoy one of their two hour long public skates. Wristbands are only $15 and includes rental skates.

Tampa

If you love golfing, Top Golf is the perfect place for you! Located about an hour away from the island, Top Golf is one of the coolest places to go play golf. Imagine dart boards all over the ground, but instead of throwing darts you’re trying to hit the bulls-eye with a golf ball. Also in Tampa is the Adventure Island Water Park. Here you can find tons of cool water slides, a lazy river, and fun pools to play in.

Overall there’s so much to do on and around the island you’re sure to never get bored. Make sure to check these places out at have fun on your vacation!

5 Movies to Watch while Vacationing on Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria- While playing by the beach is always a good time, relaxing at your rental property with some good movies can be just as fun! Many websites such as Netflix, HBO, and Amazon offer these movies to stream, and because most of our properties come with WiFi you can watch what you’d like at your leisure! While there are many great movies to watch when vacationing by the beach, here’s a few of my favorites.

5 Movies to Watch on Vacation

1. 50 First Dates

Personally one of my favorite romances, 50 First Dates is about a man named Henry who sets his heart on a girl named Lucy. However, little does he know that he has a huge obstacle in his way, Lucy’s short term memory loss. Because of this, every morning Henry must woo her again. This movie is comical, heart-warming, and overall the perfect movie to watch on vacation! This movie is PG-13.

good movies
Photo courtesy of movies.about.com

2. Teen Beach Movie

Any kid or family who loves music and the beach will love this Disney movie! Surfers Brady and McKenzie are magically thrown into a 1960’s movie musical, and are forced to make friends with the characters in order to get back. However, they accidentally change the story line when the movie’s main hero and heroine fall in love with them instead of each other! As the movie takes place at a beach, (of course!) any family is sure to enjoy this movie while vacationing on Anna Maria Island. If you’re looking for a movie marathon, there is also Teen Beach Movie 2. This movie is rated G.

good movies
Photo from teenbeachmovie.wikia.com

3. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

If you love adventure and romance this movie will be one of your favorites. Captain Jack Sparrow finds himself at Port Royal with no ship and no crew. His timing couldn’t be more perfect however as later that day a pirate ship attacks the town and takes none other than the governor’s daughter. A blacksmith named Will Turner happens to be in love with her, and allies with Jack in order to get her back. With so much adventure and an ever exciting plot, you’re sure to love this movie! It is rated PG-13.

pirates of the caribbean are good movies
Photo courtesy of en.wikipedia.org

4. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

This movie is perfect for vacationing teens who are keeping in touch with their friends back home. Four best friends named Carmen, Tibby, Lena and Bridget are spending their first summer apart. Before they leave, Carmen finds a pair of “magic” jeans at the thrift store that happen to fit all the girls different body types. In order to keep in touch, the girls decide to send each other the jeans over the summer for luck. While the girls are facing tough times, they know their friends will be there for them in the long run. A touching and funny movie, this movie is perfect for all ages and is rated PG.

good movies
Photo from www.theodysseyonline.com

5. Jaws

If you’re into scarier movies, Jaws is right up your alley. Beginning when a young women is killed by a shark, Sheriff Martin Brody wants to close the beaches. However the mayor and a few other businessmen are not happy with this idea as it will lower revenue. Brody is forced to back down, when that following weekend a boy is killed by the predator as well. The boys mother proceeds to put a price on the capture of the shark, and soon a local fisherman and an archaeologist join Brody to find the Great White Shark. While this movie is fantastic I do have a warning! As you ARE vacationing at the beach, if the thought of sea creatures such as stingrays and sharks makes you squeamish to go into the water I wouldn’t recommend watching Jaws. This movie is rated PG.

good movies
Photo courtesy of www.motherjones.com

Best 4 seafood restaurants around Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria- If you’re looking for exceptional seafood, you’re at the right place! With water surrounding almost all of Anna Maria, it’s no doubt our restaurants have access to the best seafood. All within 20 minutes of the island, here are four restaurants that you’re sure to love!

Seafood Restaurants

1. The Ugly Grouper Bar & Grill

Located on the island, The Ugly Grouper is right across the street from our Marina Drive office. They serve delicious food such as grouper sandwiches and mahi fish tacos along with meals for people who don’t care as much for seafood.  Also, all of their fish is fresh off the coast of Anna Maria, so you’re sure to get fresh fish. The Ugly Grouper has a history here on Anna Maria Island, as it was previously The Barefoot Tiki Bar and even before that a gas station! Take a look at the menu here.

The Ugly Grouper seafood restauraunt
Stop in for a bite at the Ugly Grouper! Photo courtesy of www.bradenton.com

2. Derek’s

Found on Manatee Avenue, Derek’s is prided on its ever-changing menu and good food. They serve wild pink shrimp pasta, blackened salmon and much more. Whether you want to have a causal luncheon or a fancy dinner, Derek’s is the perfect place to go. They do accept reservations and are open from 5am-10pm Monday-Saturday.

Derek's seafood
Photo Courtesy of www.dereks-bradenton.com

3. Mar Vista

Mar Vista resides in Longboat Key and is casual place to get great seafood. Some of their best dishes are a Grouper sandwich and Scallops Mar Vista. Another cool aspect of Mar Vista is its history on Longboat Key. It was one of the first structures built by Rufus Jordan in 1912 and has withstood hurricanes and erosion. Still in the original building, Mar Vista is an extremely interesting place to visit that has tasty food!

Mar Vista seafood
Enjoy yummy food along with a historic atmosphere at Mar Vista! Photo from www.tripadvisor.com

4. Starfish Company Market

If you’re wanting to cook your own or buy already cooked seafood Starfish Company is the perfect place to go. Located off Cortez, they sell locally caught seafood such as fish, scallops, and shrimp. Starfish Co. was started in the 1920’s and sits on one of the few remaining working waterfronts. With an absolutely gorgeous view, Starfish Co. is a must visit when vacationing here on Anna Maria.

Seafood at Starfish Company
Come visit Starfish Company for delicious food and a great view!

Scavenger hunt on Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria- If you’re looking for a fun activity with the family, why not have a photo scavenger hunt on Anna Maria Island? Great for all ages, grab your camera and go explore some of the best features of Anna Maria! Don’t forget to post your pictures on our Facebook page at the end of your trip!

Photo scavenger hunt on Anna Maria Island

1. Selfie in your vacation rental

What better way to start your vacation? Take a selfie in your new vacation rental and make all your Facebook friends jealous! Plus we always love seeing our guests satisfied with our properties.

vacation rental scavenger hunt
Take a picture at your vacation rental!

 2. Buried treasure on the beach

Make like a pirate and find some buried treasure while staying on Anna Maria Island! Many times loose change can be found, and every once in a while jewelry! Take a lap around the beach and see what you might find.

Scavenger hunt on Anna Maria
Find buried treasure on the beach!

3. Sunset Scavenger Hunt on Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria is home to some of the most beautiful sunsets. Good places to view these lovely colors are White Avenue and Bean Point.

Sunset scavenger hunt
Snap a shot of Anna Maria’s beautiful sunset while on your scavenger hunt!

4. Triple-Decker ice cream cone

When in the hot Florida sun it’s always nice to cool off with some cold ice cream! Stack on multiple scoops for the ultimate ice cream cone. Delicious places to go to are Two Scoops and Holy Cow Ice Cream.

triple-decker ice cream
Get some yummy ice cream! Photo courtesy of http://www.njfamily.com/NJ-Family/July-2011/Youll-Scream-for-Jerseys-Best-Homemade-Ice-Cream/

5. Wild Parrots

One of the best characteristics about Anna Maria is the occasional sighting of wild parrots. These beautiful creatures can be found all over the island, and are definitely picture worthy. Just please don’t try to feed or disturb them!

parrots scavenger hunt
Spot beautiful Blue Crowned parrots on the island!

6. Seagulls (Do not feed!)

Some of the most common birds in Florida are seagulls. Found all over the beach, seagulls are the perfect addition to your vacation photos. However, do not feed them as they can be very aggressive and won’t leave you alone once you do!

scavenger hunt seagulls
Find seagulls on your scavenger hunt!

7. Selfie on the free trolley

A great feature on Anna Maria Island is the free trolley that goes through Bradenton Beach, Holmes Beach and Anna Maria. As you’re traveling around the island make sure to snap a picture to record your travels! You can find the schedule for the trolley here. All we ask is to not take a photo in front of the trolley as it will hold the driver up and put it off schedule!

free trolley anna maria
Photo courtesy of www.annamariaislandchamber.org

8. Donuts from The Donut Experiment

If you like sweets The Donut Experiment is an absolute must to go to. With delicious donuts that make for great pictures you can’t go wrong here. Plus, you get to choose EXACTLY what goes on your donuts as they are made-to-order. There will be a little wait however as they are extremely popular!

scavenger hunt donuts
Grab some yummy donuts!

9. Spell your name in shells

Leave a little of yourself behind and spell your name out in the sand! Anna Maria has pretty shells littering the island, and is a great way to get creative on your vacation. Plus it makes your pictures a little more personalized!

shell name
Photo courtesy of http://trenchesofmommyhood.blogspot.com/2011/04/jacob.html

10. Build a sand castle

What better way to show off the island’s beautiful sand than creating sand castles? Show off your creative skills and build your own or be on the look out for professionals creating theirs! This is also a great activity to do with the family, and adding kids into the picture only makes it cuter! Get inventive and have fun.

sandcastle scavenger hunt
Find or build your own sand castle!

11. Duffy’s famous burger from Duffy’s Tavern

Known for their delicious burgers and cold beer, Duffy’s Tavern is the perfect place to go for food. Make sure to document you’re meal for the scavenger hunt on Anna Maria Island!

scavenger hunt at Duffy's Tavern
Get the best burgers and beer at Duffy’s Tavern!

12. Selfie at the beach

The best part of vacationing at Anna Maria is the beach! With pretty water and cool wildlife you’re sure to get some awesome pictures. Take a selfie (or selfies!) with the family, you’re sure to get some Instagram-worthy pictures!

beach selfie
Take fun selfie’s at the beach!

 

13. Visit the Historic Green Village

Located on Pine Avenue, the Historic Green Village is one out of 100 places worldwide to have achieved the highest possible green building standard. With cool shops such as ami Outfitters and Beach Bums there’s a lot to see and do! Learn more about this historical place here.

historic green village scavenger hunt on Anna Maria Island
Snap a picture at Anna Maria’s Green Village! Photo courtesy of http://www.historicgreenvillage.com/

Have fun with this scavenger hunt on Anna Maria Island, and remember to be safe!

 

 

4 music playlists to listen to on Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria- When lounging at the beach on Anna Maria Island it’s always smart to have some music playlists you love. According to greatist.com, listening to music can help reduce stress and elevate mood. Mix that with chilling by the ocean and you’re sure to be your happiest self! Whether you’d rather relax or play at the beach, we’ve created playlists for however you’re feeling. Jam out and have fun!

Beach music playlists
Lounge by the beach with your favorite music playlist!

Music playlists for the beach

1. Beach Vibes

With artists such as Jimmy Buffett, Zac Brown Band, and Bob Marley you’re sure to get in a beachy mood! Made up of songs new and old, this playlist is great for relaxing or hanging out with the family.

2. Pop Music

Upbeat and fun, this playlist includes songs such as ‘This Is What You Came For’ by Calvin Harris and ‘Can’t Stop the Feeling!’ by Justin Timberlake.

3. Rock Music

Taking it back a few years, this playlist includes Steve Miller Band, The Who, and Rolling Stones. Turn up the music and rock out to your favorite RnB songs! (But not too loud as to not disturb other islanders!)

4. Indie/Alternative Music

Featuring artists such as Arctic Monkeys, Young the Giant, and The Black Keys this playlist is perfect for playing at the beach.

Follow us!

Want to be the first to know about future playlists? Follow our Spotify account here to find some of our favorite songs and playlists!

Top 5 Activities for Teens on Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria Island- As a teenager myself I know it can be hard to find fun activities for teens on Anna Maria Island without the parents that won’t worry them like crazy. However, here on the island there is such a variety of activities it will seem almost too easy to get away and make memories with your friends.

Activities for Teens on Anna Maria Island

1. Bike around the island

A great way to experience the island is biking. With the island only being seven miles long the trip isn’t strenuous, and is a great way to find shops and explore the island. Also, it’s a great way to keep in shape and help the environment, which is something Anna Maria prides itself on. Some great places to rent bikes are Beach Bums, Just 4 Fun, and AMI Beach Fun. Check out the Anna Maria Island bike guide here!

2. Go paddle boarding

Paddle Boarding around the island is one of the most fun ways to explore new places and sea life. For beginners, it’s recommended to find a place with calm water to learn on. Some good places to launch off of are the pier on 63rd street, Bimini Bay, and Bayfront Park. Many places are accessible by Anna Maria’s free trolley that goes through Anna Maria, Holmes Beach, and Bradenton Beach. Find the trolley schedule here.

Activities for Teens on Anna Maria Island
Bay Front park is a great place for Paddle boarding!

3. Catch ’em all

With the newest app Pokémon Go being released on July 6th, 2016 Anna Maria has become the perfect place to find tons of poke stops and gyms during your stay. Not only is the game extremely fun, it gives you the chance to explore the island, and meet new people along the way. Collect pokeballs and powerups at the Florida Friendly Demonstration Garden while experiencing a place you might not have known about otherwise. Also, since you’re so close to the ocean you get to find water Pokémon such as Psyduck and Squirtle. This helps add to your collection AND find better Pokémon to battle with! Want a playlist to catch ’em all to? Click here to add some spunk to your adventure! Just remember if you’re driving to be safe and #DontCatchAndDrive.

Activities for teens on Anna Maria Island
Anna Maria Island is a really fun place to explore with Pokemon Go!

4. Eat!

I can proudly say eating different food is one of my favorite parts of vacationing, and Anna Maria doesn’t let down. Start your day off with Minnie’s Beach Cafe for breakfast on Holmes Beach, where they serve delicious pancakes and sandwiches! For lunch try Anna Maria Island Beach Cafe where they serve delicious sandwiches and platters. Dinner is served at Anna Maria Oyster Bar on the Pier where there is yummy sea food and a pretty view.  Also, if you’re craving a treat The Donut Experiment makes tasty made-to-order donuts, or Two Scoops is the home to 32 different flavors of ice cream.

Activities for teens on Anna Maria Island
Anna Maria Oyster Bar (AMOB) on the pier is a great place to eat for teens on a budget!

5. Shop Shop Shop!

Who doesn’t love to shop while on vacation? The Island has the coolest shops, providing fun presents for the family and fun activities for teens on Anna Maria Island. Some of the best shops are:

Anna Maria- Three Island Monkeys, Two Sides of Nature, White Egret LLC

Holmes Beach- Sand Dollar Gift Shop, Island Bazaar, West Coast Surf Shop

Bradenton Beach- Bridge Street Bazaar, Green Turtle Shell and Gift Shop, The Hive Creations

Anna Maria Island vacation rentals and accommodations

Island Real Estate offers Anna Maria Island’s largest selection of vacation rental homes perfect for the entire family including teens! Visit IslandReal.com first when looking for the perfect family friendly vacation rental!

Anna Maria Island vacation rentals
Coral Escape is a great family friendly vacation home that everyone will love including teens! Just a short walk to the beach, Coral Escape offers a great backyard with heated pool, spa and a billiards table! Click on the image above to reserve Coral Escape today for up to 14 guests!

Anna Maria Island Water Taxi and Alternative Transportation

Anna Maria Island – When visiting Anna Maria Island there are many forms of alternative transportation available. Find stress free car free ways to get around in style, and feel like a local! Take advantage of the free trolley, Ride AMI shuttle service, water taxi, and Beach Monkeys electric shuttles. All of these options are inexpensive, and are a convenient mode of transport.

Anna Maria Island Free Trolley

The free trolley is a great way to explore with air conditioned service, and it runs approximately every 20 minutes. Free trolley service is available from 6am to 10:30pm daily. The trolley is part of the Manatee County Area Transit, and circulates from Anna Maria city Pier to Coquina beach.

Alternative Transportation
There are trolley stops all along Anna Maria Island, so you can get to just about any island destination with ease.

Ride AMI Water Taxi and Shuttle

Ride AMI offers a multi-modal transit solution connecting Anna Maria Island, Cortez Fishing Village and Downtown Bradenton. Adventures Away of Bradenton developed Ride AMI, so they can offer both small group shuttle service and water taxis. Water Taxi service can be hailed online, by phone or even in person. Prices for adult water taxi service start as low as $5 per an adult and $3 per child.

Additionally, Ride AMI offers airport shuttle services to six different airports, and they have a large inventory of rentals. Outdoor equipment, beach gear, scooters, boats, jet skis and golf cart rentals are available for keeping you entertained.

Ride AMI is offering shuttle service along Bridge Street and Cortez Beach with a suggested $2/person gratuity. Ride AMI has plans to expand their shuttle service along all of Anna Maria Island.

Additional Shuttle Service

In addition to Ride AMI there are several other options for shuttle service on Anna Maria Island. Here is a list of Airport shuttle services to airports, and special events. This list includes limousine services, so you can have a special ride for a luxury experience.

Island Monkeys Electric Shuttle and Bus

Island Monkeys shuttle service has been operating on Anna Maria Island for several years. Services include an eight person golf cart shuttle and two 15 passenger buses. Island Monkeys except gratuity only, and operate from 6am until 10:30pm. contact Island Monkeys at 941-565-6542 to schedule a ride.

Anna Maria Island vacation rentals

Island Real Estate has the island’s largest selection of vacation rentals to choose from! Visit IslandReal.com or call 877-778-6066 to plan your Anna Maria Island, Florida vacation today!

Anna Maria Island vacation rental
North Beach Village is a great Anna Maria Island vacation rental centrally located on the island, and Accommodates up to 6 guests. This town house is just a short stroll to gulf beaches, and is near trolley stops. Click on the image above to reserve your stay today!

Anna Maria Public Parking – 6 Tips

Anna Maria – Both commercial and residential streets offer Anna Maria public parking. When visiting the north end of the island by car often times drivers become frustrated looking for places to park. Avoid the frustration, and discover new little side streets and lesser known parking places in the city of Anna Maria. Lesser known spots may not be next to your destination, but a short walk away. Read our guide below for Anna Maria public parking tips.

Anna Maria Public Parking Guide

1. Follow Posted Signage

As you cruise through the city streets be on the lookout for parking signs. Along all the city streets you will see small white signs with either green letters or red letters. The signs with green lettering indicate where you may park, and the signs with red lettering indicate where you may not park. Anna Maria public Parking may be in unexpected places, so be on the look out for signs.

2. Be Willing to Walk

You will not find large public lots for parking in the small city of Anna Maria. Unlike many suburban communities, Anna Maria doesn’t have large businesses with large attached parking lots. First find your destination in Anna Maria. If there is no parking available immediately near the destination try driving around the block, and look for street parking. Anna Maria is a walkable community with many safe walkways for foot and bike traffic. When it comes to parking, you may just have to walk. Let go of the idea that parking should be next to a destination, and embrace a city dwellers approach to park and walk.

3. Relax

Don’t let yourself get stressed out finding the closest spot. Relax on island time, and go with the flow of this laid back community. If you are in the city of Anna Maria chances are you’re enjoying leisure time, so allow yourself to enjoy the paradise surrounding you. Why get upset over parking? Worst case scenario, you’ll have to park a few blocks away, and enjoy a walk through this quaint village community.

4. Use Alternative Transportation

Anna Maria is the perfect area for bicycles. There are many safe bike trails, and car traffic moves slower at 25 MPH. If you are staying on Anna Maria Island consider renting a bike to get you around. You won’t regret a beautiful bike ride in gorgeous Florida weather. Check out the Anna Maria Island Bicycle Guide.

In addition to bikes, hop on the free trolley for a great method of alternative transportation. There are trolley stops all along the island, so you can take the trolley to almost any destination. There are several trolleys circulating from Pine Avenue in Anna Maria all the way down to Coquina Beach in the city of Bradenton Beach. Typically the trolley will come by every 20 minutes, but occasionally the trolley schedules do change due to traffic flow.

If you get tired while bike riding you can always hop on the trolley, and use the bike rack located on the front of this great air conditioned public transport.

5. Avoid a Ticket

The city of Anna Maria strictly enforces parking laws. You WILL get a ticket if you don’t follow the basic rules of parking. The city enforces laws that are common to parking laws found in any city or town, so use common sense driving rules. When parking on the street be sure to keep your tires off of the road and sidewalk. This is the biggest rule to follow, and keep in mind when parking. Always park in the direction of street traffic, and never with your vehicle against the flow. Street parking is not allowed between 10pm and 6am. Always double check for signs. Anna Maria street parking signs are easy to read, and never provide conflicting information. Read this guide on Avoiding a ticket if you need further clarification, or receive a parking citation.

6. Be in the Know

Knowing the side streets and lesser know parking areas will be a tremendous help. This is especially true when looking for Public Beach Accesses. The best beaches on Anna Maria Island have the least amount of nearby parking. Click on the images below to see what street parking looks like around Anna Maria. Each image offers information about parking locations.

Anna Maria Public Parking Suggestions List

Streets List at a Glance:

Pine Avenue
Peppertree Lane
Park Avenue
Mangrove Avenue
Willow Avenue
Palmetto Avenue
Palm Avenue
Magnolia Avenue
North Shore Drive
Intersection of Fern Street and Jacaranda Road
South Bay Boulevard South of Anna Maria City Pier
Bay Front Park North Bay Boulevard
Limited Public Parking near the Rod and Reel Lot

Here is a google Street Map to assist you in finding your way around Anna Maria Island.

 

Anna Maria Island Vacation Rentals and Accommodations

Island Real Estate has the island’s largest selection of vacation rentals to choose from. Visit IslandReal.com first when looking to reserve the perfect Florida vacation destination on Anna Maria Island!

Anna Maria vacation rental
Mon AMI Beach House is a gorgeous Anna Maria vacation rental home accommodating 8 guests. When you visit this home you’ll never have to worry about finding parking in the City of Anna Maria. This Mon AMI Beach House is located directly on Pine Avenue, and offers parking for up to four vehicles. Walk everywhere while spending a Florida vacation in the heart of Anna Maria Shopping and dining! Click on the image above to reserve Mon AMI Beach House today!

 

Beat the Heat on Anna Maria Island!

Tips for keeping the sun’s rays away

Anna Maria Island – There is no better time to travel to Anna Maria Island than in the summer; however, dealing with the extreme heat can be a struggle if you don’t know how to prepare. By following these tips you’ll be sure to return home safely without looking like a lobster!

1. Drink Plenty of Water!

While it may seem obvious, drinking enough water is extremely important when vacationing at the beach. Because of Florida’s intense heat, your body needs more water than usual to stay hydrated. Grab a pack of water at the Island’s Publix or CVS.

2. Sunscreen!

Serving as a Floridian’s best friend, sunscreen is a must-have when staying at the beach. Even when it is cloudy, the sun’s rays are so strong that without protecting your skin you could end up looking like a ripe tomato. Being out in the sun for hours allows UV rays easy access to burning your skin, so slathering on that SPF 80 before playing in the sand is always a safe idea! Make sure to apply 20 minutes before going in the sun and REAPPLY every 2 hours.

3. Cover up!

Indirect rays can be just as damaging as direct ones. When going to the beach, it’s smart to wear protective clothing and bring an umbrella or tent for shade. Just the sun’s reflection off the water can result in a bad sunburn! You can find hats, umbrellas and more on the island at the West Coast Surf Shop.

However, if you do get burnt…

Make Aloe Vera Ice Cubes

Between the healing powers of aloe vera and the coldness of the ice cubes, this DIY hack is sure to give your skin some relief. Make sure to take some in the cooler just in case the sun gets the best of you!

DIY relief cream

If you want something a little less messy try making your own sunburn soother to help ease the pain and heal skin faster. You can find the recipe here.

The island is a wonderful place to vacation on, so make sure to take care of yourself and have fun!

Anna Maria Island
Avoid getting sun burned when visiting Anna Maria Island!

Anna Maria Island vacation rentals and accommodations

Island Real Estate has the largest selection of vacation rentals homes on Anna Maria Island! Book your vacation today!

Anna Maria Island
Sunset Beach 106 is a fabulous Anna Maria Island vacation rental right on the beach with direct gulf front views! After reading our tips to beet the sun, book this great beach front condo! Click on the image above to reserve your stay!

Anna Maria Island 4th of July Parade 2016

Anna Maria Island – The Anna Maria Island 4th of July Parade 2016 was fun for all! A large crowd turned out to both participate in and watch the annual patriotic parade. The parade began on the south of the island at Coquina Beach, and marched north to the City Pier.

4th of July Parade Pictures

If you missed the parade, below is a gallery of images from the day. Click on the images to make them larger, and enjoy this amazing small town parade!