Anna Maria Island Top 10 Activities

Anna Maria Island – While visiting the island the most obvious choice for fun activities 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. Also, use this handy guide to spot both White and Brown Pelicans around Anna Maria Island’s Leffis Key!

 

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!

activities 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 two blocks from the beach. It is a great spot to enjoy island activities too! Click on the image above to reserve your stay at Casa Sierra 205 B today!

 

 

Top 5 Anna Maria Island Spring Break Beach Rentals

Anna Maria Island Spring Break Beach Rentals make for unforgettable vacation! Find perfect weather, great activities and a lovely spot to gather friends for an awesome beach rental experience!

Anna Maria Island Spring Break Beach Rentals

It’s not too late to plan your Spring Break! When booking last minute March dates be sure to ask about special promotions!

Runaway Bay 272

Runaway Bay 272 is a fantastic Bradenton Beach vacation spot for six guests! This condo is just a short walk from the beach, free trolley stops, and local attractions. Inside you’ll find two bedrooms and two bathrooms with an updated casual style. Enjoy the community heated pool, fishing dock on the bay and tennis courts. 2017 Spring base rates start as low as $1300/week.

Anna Maria Island Spring Break Beach Rentals
Runaway Bay 272

 

La Casa Marie

La Casa Marie is a great spot for a luxury beach rental right on the beach. This three bedroom, two and a half bath rental condo sleeps six. You’ll have peeks of the gulf from the balcony along with updated amenities. Enjoy the fun wetbar with wine chiller and ice maker too! When you aren’t at the beach relax in the heated community pool and spa! 2017 Spring base rates start as low as $3150/week.

Anna Maria Island Spring Break Beach Rental
La Casa Marie

 

Under the Tuscan Sun

Under the Tuscan Sun is a fun Mediterranean style beach rental just a few short blocks to the most popular Anna Maria Island beaches. This three bedroom three bath rental sleeps up to six guests. You’ll love the private heated pool along with lovely balcony views. Pets under 25 pounds welcome with pet fee! 2017 Spring base rates start as low as $2000/week.

Anna Maria Island Spring Break
Under the Tuscan Sun

 

A Mermaid Crossing

A Mermaid Crossing offers stylish decor and a location just a short walk from the beach. This three bedroom three bathroom rental sleeps six guests with an extra touch of luxury. You’ll love the heated pool and sundeck too. The layout of this house is great for entertaining, and the master bathroom is stunning! 2017 Spring base rates start as low as $3325/week.

Anna Maria Island Spring Break Vacation Rentals
A Mermaid Crossing

 

Waterfront Retreat

Waterfront Retreat is the ultimate destination for a large family Spring Break vacation. Here you’ll find six bedrooms three full bathrooms and two powder rooms. This rental was truly designed for entertaining. Enjoy a well equipped kitchen with bar area, a living room with excellent seating, fun games and heated pool. The rental is on canal front with a dock, so you can even bring your boat. 2017 Spring base rates start as low as $3325/week!

Anna Maria Spring Break Beach Rental
Waterfront Retreat

Anna Maria Island Spring Break Beach Rentals are the best way to enjoy a memorable Florida Vacation!

Anna Maria Island Beach Bar Life

While Florida is notorious for its beach bar scene, the Anna Maria Island beach bar life offers some unique must see spots! AMI beach bars have a vibe that meshes well with that authentic old Florida charm that visitors adore.

Anna Maria Island Beach Bar
Anna Maria Island offers a great Beach Bar Vibe!

Anna Maria Island Beach Bar Life

Below is our list of six Anna Maria Island Beach Bars. A few on our list have also been featured on BeachBarLife.com, so you know they are great!

These watering holes really have a laid back beach vibe, and the added bonus of being family friendly too. While these are fun spots, don’t expect an exact Key West style. Anna Maria Island has an atmosphere unlike any other Florida city. Come see for yourself!

The Sandbar and Beach House Restaurants

These sister restaurants are some of the most popular places for toes in the sand libations. Find The Sandbar on north AMI in the city of Anna Maria where Spring Avenue and the beach meet.  The Beach House is on south island in the city of Bradenton Beach on Gulf Drive. Both were recently remodeled, and offer a slightly up-scale beach bar vibe.

You’ll always find something new to try when you visit. From hand crafted frozen drinks to fresh from the farm menu items. These two spots are a must when visiting Anna Maria Island. Looking for a beach bar wedding? The Sandbar and Beach House are amazing venues with tons of great services!

Gulf Drive Cafe and Tiki Hut

While Gulf Drive Cafe offers toes in the sand drinks and dining, they also have AMI’s largest Tiki Hut! Here you can relax in the shade of the Tiki, listen to music, and catch a great sunset. This beach bar offers a fun nightlife for dinner, drinks and dancing too!

Anna Maria Island Beach Cafe

Find Anna Maria Island Beach Cafe on the island’s most popular beach spot. Manatee Public Beach is the heart of the island where generations of visitors have enjoyed a day on the Florida coast.

This beach bar is always bustling with activity, yet still remains laid back. Enjoy tropical drinks from the their Tiki hut, or sit down at one of the tables and chill out. This bar is perfect for day long trips to the beach for the entire family. Not only will you find all the beach bar vibe, but great amenities like changing stations, beach shop, lifeguard station and even a playground for the littlest beach bums.

Coquina Beach Cafe

Coquina Beach Cafe is on the far southern end of Anna Maria Island. This is the last stop before crossing over the Longboat Key Bridge. Like Anna Maria Island Beach Cafe, this is also a great spot for family day trips. Enjoy a tropical drink, or even catch breakfast here!

Enjoy the Anna Maria Island Beach Bar Life on your next visit, and check out our Beach Bar Photo Gallery!

National Crab Meat Day Anna Maria Island

There is no better place to celebrate National Crab Meat Day than on Anna Maria Island! While Stone Crab Season runs October 15 to May 15 on the Florida Gulf Coast, this is the perfect time of year to enjoy this tasty seafood!

National Crab Meat Day
Celebrating National Crab Meat Day on Anna Maria Island.

National Crab Meat Day on Anna Maria Island

When looking for local crab meat, we highly recommend Starfish Market in the old Cortez Fishing Village. This is the best spot to find fresh off the boat seafood! You can literally see the fishing boats right from the docks of this restaurant. It really doesn’t get fresher. Just be sure to bring cash only.

Many local seafood restaurants offer crab selections. While on Anna Maria Island also check out The Waterfront Restaurant, The Sandbar and the Rod & Reel Pier for tasty crab options. If you are on Longboat Key we suggest The Lazy Lobster!

Top 7 Reasons Anna Maria Island is the Best Family Friendly Florida Vacation

Once you visit, you’re sure to understand why Anna Maria Island is the best family friendly Florida vacation destination! From affordable group accommodations, to pristine beaches you’ll make life lasting memories on island time.

Family Friendly Florida Vacation
Pack your bathing suits and head to Anna Maria Island for a truly relaxing Family Friendly Florida Vacation!

Anna Maria Island is the best Family Friendly Florida Vacation!

While other Florida cities may offer family friendly vacations, none will make your group happier than a relaxing visit to Anna Maria Island! Here’s our Top seven reasons why.

Anna Maria Island Beaches are pristine.

Anna Maria Island has some of the most beautiful Gulf of Mexico beaches you’ll find in Florida. The sand is powdery and the water is typically blue like the Caribbean. Not only are these beaches pretty, but they are great for families.

When you visit the large public beach accesses on the island you’ll find amenities that make beach trips easier. Things like bathrooms, changing stations, concessions, and play grounds make beach time a breeze.

Great family accommodations and beach rentals on Anna Maria Island.

Since Anna Maria Island is only a mile across at it’s widest section, all accommodations are near beach accesses. In fact, most are with in walking distance. If your group ends up too far to walk then rent a golf cart or bikes to get your group back and forth.

Anna Maria Island has a great selection of accommodations for larger groups and families too. You are sure to find the perfect beach rental to suit the needs of your party. From beach front luxury to laid back and budget friendly, AMI has it all.

Check out the Top 9 Family Friendly vacation rentals to visit in 2017!

Beach on a Budget

While the island does offer high-end luxury, Anna Maria Island is a great vacation destination for those on a budget. Find affordable lodging, restaurants and shopping for a vacation that won’t break the bank.

You won’t find entrance fees to any of the beaches on Anna Maria Island. Parking is also free!

Almost all of the family style rentals on Anna Maria Island have fully stocked kitchens, so you’ll save a great deal of money by making meals yourself.

You’ll find many activities that don’t require spending money on your vacation. Visit the public parks, walk on the Piers, and enjoy sightseeing without spending a dime.

Transportation and free trolley service.

There are many options for getting around the area. The free trolley is a very popular mode of transportation with stops from Pine Avenue on north end to Coquina beach on south end. Kids have lots of fun riding the trolley, and it’s air conditioned too.

Catch a ride with The Monkey Bus or Ride AMI golf carts. These services can be hailed on the street or called to pick you up. Both are a gratuity only service. Water Taxi’s are a newer way to get around the island. You’ll love riding to your destination by boat.

Island Activities are Family Fun.

Beyond the beach you’ll find fun island activities for your family. Enjoy miniature golf at the Fish Hole on Bridge Street, or climb the Pirate Ship play ground at Coquina Beach. Families love fishing on the Anna Maria City Pier, or enjoy a walk with an ice cream cone from Two Scoops.

There are many local equipment rental companies that offer bicycles, surrey bikes, tandem bikes and kid seat attachments. No matter what the age of your group, you can rent bikes for sightseeing.

There are many options for boat and fishing tours around the island. Take the kids dolphin watching, kayaking or snorkeling. For the more adventurous try fly boarding or horse surfing!

Anna Maria Island offers a central location.

While you may not want to leave the island during your stay, you’ll find AMI is nearby to many big Florida attractions. There are tons of things to do within a two hour driving distance.

Get from Anna Maria Island to Orlando is just two hours. Planning a Disney trip? You can stay on Anna Maria Island! Meet Mickey and see the best Florida beaches in the same vacation.

You’ll find things to do in Sarasota, St. Petersburg and Tampa all an hour drive or less. Enjoy Mote Marine Aquarium, The Dali Museum, Busch Gardens and plenty of attractions in these nearby cities.

Even Bradenton has fun things to do, and is just a short ride inland. The Downtown Bradenton area has the wonderful Riverfront park, or go see Snooty the Manatee at South Florida Museum.

You’ll feel like you’re in a tropical oasis in the middle of all the best Florida Attractions!

Anna Maria Island will have you feeling relaxed.

A Family friendly Florida vacation is not always relaxing, especially for parents. Some family trips can be so exhausting you don’t even feel rested when its over. Change all that with an Anna Maria Island vacation. Everything about AMI is laid back; life is just slower on island time. No one in a hurry, no long lines, no obligations or deadlines. All you need for a good day on AMI is a bathing suit, sun block, a cold beverage and your loved ones. There’s nothing like a day on the beach to get your family into relaxation mode.

Enjoy the perfect family friendly Florida vacation with a tropical getaway to Anna Maria Island.

Top 9 Family Friendly Anna Maria Island Vacation Rentals 2017

Family Friendly Anna Maria Island Vacation Rentals are a great way to gather your loved ones for an unforgettable beach getaway. While many Florida cities offer great family accommodations, none are as laid back, affordable and convenient as Anna Maria Island. Your crew will want to visit year after year! Check out our list of the Top Nine Family Friendly Anna Maria Island Vacation Rentals to visit in 2017.

Family Friendly Anna Maria Island Vacation Rentals

While this list focuses on family, it also provides accommodations for both small and large groups. Families come in different sizes just as rentals do too!

Kid friendly amenities are included in our list along with conveniences that make parenting on vacation a tad easier. Washer, dryer and dishwashers are a must when vacationing with children! Each rental offers a private or community pool.

Best of all, these locations are close enough to the beach that even the short legged family members can handle the walk.

North Beach Village 63

North Beach Village 63 is a great town house rental about two blocks from gulf beaches. You’ll be near the Holmes Beach small town center for shopping and dining. Enjoy the heated community pool and free trolley stops within walking distance.

Family Friendly Anna Maria Island Vacation Rentals
North Beach Village 63 is great for families.

Inside this unit you’ll find two bedrooms and two and a half bathrooms accommodating up to six guests. There are two king beds and a queen sleeper sofa. Yes, the kids may have to share a bed, but with king and queen beds there will be few sibling squabbles. Additionally, the two full bathrooms have tub/shower combos great for kids bath time! Pets under 25 pounds welcome with fee.

Family Friendly Anna Maria Island Vacation Rentals
North Beach Village 63 – 2017 Base Rates $850-$1450/Week.

Beach Retreat

Beach Retreat is a lovely rental less than two blocks from gulf beaches. This gold rated home sleeps eight guests with four bedrooms and two and a half bathrooms. Beach Retreat would make a nice destination for two families as the bedrooms offer 1 king, 1 queen, 2 twins and an additional 2 twins that convert into a king if needed. The elevator will make moving kids, luggage and groceries a snap!

Family Friendly Anna Maria Island Vacation Rentals
Beach Retreat has great space for kids!

Even better for families with little ones, enjoy a pack-and-play, high chair, and umbrella stroller too! The entire family can enjoy the ping pong table, pool toys, books, puzzles, DVD’s and board games.

Family Friendly Anna Maria Island Vacation Rentals
Beach Retreat – 2017 Base Rates $2,250-$3,250/Week.

Cook up a feast on the backyard propane grill while everyone relaxes in the heated private pool. The outdoor shower will help keep little feet from tracking sand in the house!

Mango Breeze

Mango Breeze is where luxury and family friendly meet. This four bedroom rental sleeps 8, and is just over two blocks from gulf beaches. Here you’ll find the family can really spread out with 2 king beds, 1 queen and 2 twins. In addition to the living room there is an upstairs den area with flat screen television. Mom and Dad will love the master bedroom with a private balcony and beautiful en suite.

Family Friendly Anna Maria Island Vacation Rentals
Mango Breeze. Awesome tropical oasis backyard with Tiki hut!

The backyard at Mango Breeze will become your families own private tropical oasis. Enjoy the heated pool, charcoal grill, covered seating area and a fun Tiki hut too! Enjoy the game room with ping pong table, and bring dogs up to 25 pounds with pet fee.

Family Friendly Anna Maria Island Vacation Rentals
Mango Breeze 2017 Base Rates $1,575-$3,395/Week.

Manna-Tee Beach House

Manna-Tee Beach House has everything you could want for an amazing family getaway just two blocks from gulf beaches! This three bedroom rental has a high-end feel with lovely decor and amenities for six guests. You’ll find more beds than you’ll need with 1 king bed, 1 queen bed, 2 twin beds and a queen sleeper sofa.

Anna Maria Island Vacation Rentals
Manna-Tee Beach House. Beautiful luxury rental.

This beach rental features great balconies, a heated pool, lovely master bedroom and even a high chair for the littlest kid!

Holmes Beach Vacation Rental
Manna-Tee Beach House 2017 Base Rates $1,350-$2,250

My Sister’s Beach House

My Sister’s Beach House is the ultimate luxury beach rental for large family gatherings. This five bedroom home sleeps 12 guests with all the bells and whistles. Find 4 King beds, 2 twins and both a twin and queen sleeper sofa.

Anna Maria family friendly vacation rental
My Sister’s Beach House. Fantastic heated pool and spa.

The kitchen has two dishwashers, refrigerators and everything you’ll need preparing large meals.

Enjoy canal views, heated pool and spa and a fantastic game room too!

Anna Maria Family Beach Rental
My Sister’s Beach House – 2017 Base Rates $3,124-$7,250/Week

Blue Heron Beach House

Blue Heron Beach House has a great old Florida charm, and is less than a block to gulf beaches. This four bedroom rental offers 2 king beds, 2 twins and a bunk making it great for groups of eight.

Anna Maria beach rental
Blue Heron Beach House – kids bunk room.

During your stay enjoy the heated pool, outdoor shower and a Foosball table in the den. Your family will love this north end location near free trolley stops, shopping and dining.

Anna Maria Family vacation rental
Blue Heron Beach House – 2017 Base Rates $1,575-$3,175/Week.

Waterfront Retreat

Waterfront Retreat is a six bedroom rental updated specifically for family get togethers. Sleep 14 guests on canal front just a short walk to Tampa Bay beaches.

Great thought was put into the amenities and decor of this home to accommodate all family members needs. The upper level bunk room can fit all the kids, and Grandma will love the lower level pink Queen suite.

Anna Maria family canal front vacation rental
Waterfront Retreat. Enjoy the large kitchen made for entertaining.

The large kitchen has two dishwashers along with a fun bar area looking over the canal. Enjoy the heated pool, and beautiful canal views from three of the bedrooms. Bring the boat on this vacation, as you’ll be just a short ride from Tampa Bay. Pets up to 50 pounds welcome with pet fee.

Anna Maria family canal front vacation rental
Waterfront Retreat – 2017 Base Rates $2,400-$7,250/Week.

Villa 2

Villa 2 is a great spot for a small family getaway for four guests. This one bedroom condo has 1 queen bed and 1 queen sleeper sofa.

Anna Maria family canal front vacation rental
Villa 2 has a location you just can’t beat!

This location is fantastic! You’ll be just a short walk to everything including beaches, trolley stops, shops, restaurants and sightseeing attractions on Historic Bridge Street.

Enjoy the shared heated pool at this laid back Anna Maria Island vacation spot.

Anna Maria family canal front vacation rental
Villa 2 – 2017 Base Rates $650-$1,000/Week.

Flip Flops Forever

Flip Flops Forever is a relaxed kid friendly vacation rental just two blocks from gulf beaches. Sleep up to 10 guest with five bedrooms. There is 1 king bed, 3 queens, 2 twins, a twin bed with trundle and a small toddler bed. One of the queen bedrooms also has a second small kitchen area with mini fridge, sink and microwave.

Anna Maria Island Family Vacation Rental
Flip Flops Forever has a heated pool and putting green.

The backyard features a heated pool and and putting green that everyone will love!

Anna Maria Island Family Vacation Rental
Flip Flops Forever – 2017 Base Rates $1,785-$3,675/Week.

When you Book your Family Friendly Anna Maria Island Vacation Rentals with Island Real Estate, you’re sure to be pleased!

Anna Maria Island March Activities Guide

Anna Maria Island March activities are a fantastic way to stay entertained when you aren’t too busy relaxing on the beach! Spring is a very popular time of year to visit the island, so you’ll find plenty of happenings. From art to the outdoors, check out our list of Anna Maria Island March activities.

Anna Maria Island March Activities
March is the BEST time of year to visit Anna Maria Island!

Anna Maria Island March Activities

The weather is perfect and Florida is the place to be!

Art Slam 2017

Head off island March 4th for an immersive art experience in Downtown Bradenton. Art Slam is an annual event where local creatives come together to celebrate art, youth and the creative process. Every year this event brings a unique experience to attendees. Visit Old Main Street in Downtown Bradenton from 9am-4pm.

Explore Waif Gopher Tortoises at Perico Preserve.

Perico Preserve is a gorgeous new park just a short drive over the Manatee Bridge from Anna Maria Island. While these animals are native, the park is developing a special interest for their habitat.

Waif Gopher tortoise refers to animals ready to be released back into the wild, but don’t have a known specific area of origin. This can happen for a variety of reasons.

Manatee County has developed Perico Preserve into the perfect habitat for these homeless Waif Gopher Tortoises. While on Anna Maria Island, be sure to visit Perico Preserve for a chance to see them in person!

Island Gallery West March Feature

Check out the March featured Student Artist at the Island Gallery West. Olivia Sabo is a student at Lakewood Ranch High School. Her work “Spuds” will be on display at the gallery for the month of March. Her acrylic painting on display was inspired by her fathers Chris Sabo was inducted into the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame in 2010.

Treat Yourself at Cupcake Delights!

Head over to Capcake Delights in Holmes Beach and grab yourself one or a dozen. Because, why not? You don’t need a reason to enjoy a sweet treat when vacationing on Anna Maria Island!

Lionfish Lecture at FMM

The Florida Maritime Museum is hosting a Lecture March 15th at 3pm. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Lionfish Control Team will talk about this invasive species and how people can help combat their proliferation of Florida waterways.

Nap on the Beach

March 13 is National Napping Day which follows Day Light Savings on March 12. Celebrate with a nap on the beaches of Anna Maria Island! The sun will be warm and the sand soft! Grab a towel and an umbrella and get comfy! Just don’t forget your sunblock!

Beach Bistro Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade

This year the Beach Bistro’s St. Patricks Day Parade will be on Sunday the 19th. The Parade begins at the corner of Marina and Gulf Drive the proceeds north toward Anna Maria.

Anna Maria Island Seagulls – Don’t Feed Us

Anna Maria Island Seagulls are so cute and friendly, but don’t feed them! While it may seem fun, feeding gulls is harmful to both people and birds.

Don’t Feed Anna Maria Island Seagulls

Just about everyone is guilty of feeding birds. However, few know the real impact of the action. When you are sitting on the beach relaxing, and a gull stops by, it’s easy to toss a piece of snack at them. They will beg you. They will stand on the sand and look you straight in the face, but don’t give in!

Feeding Gulls makes them ill.

Naturally gulls forage, hunt and scavenge for food. They have a diverse diet consisting of fish, mollusks, insects, reptiles, rodents and just about anything meaty they can get their beak on. Typically when people feed gulls, they offer up human food like french fries and potato chips. These types of food aren’t even good for humans, so you can be sure they are harmful to sea birds. Without proper nutrition, Gulls can become sick and weak. A people diet can actually kill these feathered friends.

Anna Maria Island Seagulls.
Don’t feed Anna Maria Island Seagulls.

Feeding Gulls changes their natural instinct.

Gulls play an important part in their environment by cleaning up bits of detritus from beaches. They won’t do their job if they are given handouts of people food.

Instinctively birds tend to be afraid of humans, but become too friendly when hand fed. Not only do they loose their fear of humans, but they become aggressive toward us. Gulls will dive bomb people and steal food right out of their hand. This is a direct consequence of human interaction. There is nothing worse than a family trip to the beach spoiled by a gull nabbing the ice cream out of a kids hand.

In some instances these birds become extremely aggressive causing people to throw rocks and objects at the birds to scare them away. Obviously this is animal abuse, and could have been avoided completely. Birds that are not scared of people also run a higher risk of being injured by cars, fishing gear, boats and other human made obstacles.

Birds fed human food have a tougher time differentiating between real food and objects. Subsequently, gulls will try to eat plastics, garbage and other non-food items.

Anna Maria Island Seagulls
They might be cute, but feeding Seagulls is harmful to their health.

Feeding Seagulls has a negative impact on ALL species of birds.

When birds become accustomed to hand feeding they will congregate in larger groups than they naturally would do. This has an impact on increasing the spread of bird diseases. Populations of all birds are vulnerable to disease. Avian Pox is spread by an increase in birds having direct physical contact, especially when competing for food.

Additionally, these inflated groups of Gulls can have a harmful impact on all nesting shorebirds. Gulls prey on eggs and baby birds. It’s natural for a few eggs and baby birds to fall prey to a Seagull. However, these large swarms of gulls, attracted by people, can take out entire nesting colonies of birds such as Terns, Plovers and Skimmmers. A large group of Seagulls can also take out an entire nest of hatchling Sea Turtles making their way to the water’s edge.

Anna Maria Island Seagulls
Never chase groups of birds on the beach. It causes them great stress especially during nesting season.

What to do if you get swarmed?

If you encounter a swarm of aggressive gulls, first, hide all food. Seagulls even know what a potato chip bag looks like! Get all food out of sight. Any food that falls on the ground needs to be picked up or buried under sand. Once all food is away, stand up and slowly start walking towards the birds in an attempt to disburse them. Chasing birds stresses them out, so move slowly and confidently. Do not wave your hands around as they may think you are offering them food. Once the gulls move on you can bring your food back out.

Anna Maria Island Seagulls.
Feeding Seagulls makes them aggressive.

Feeding Gulls – It’s just plain rude!

While feeding Seagulls is not illegal in the state of Florida, it is extremely rude. Gull feeding frenzies are disruptive to beach goers and is inconsiderate to both humans and birds.

On your next trip to the beach, don’t feed Anna Maria Island Seagulls! Don’t just take our word! Read what the University of Florida has to say about feeding wildlife!

Anna Maria Island Seagulls
People who feed Seagulls are RUDE!

Anna Maria Island National Margarita Day

There is no better place to celebrate National Margarita Day than Anna Maria Island! During your visit to the island you have to sip on fruity drinks with toes in the sand and sun kissed skin.

Anna Maria Island National Margarita Day

You can celebrate National Margarita Day at just about any place that serves tequila. On the island, you’ll find no shortage of full service bars and restaurants.

The Waterfront Restaurant offers a great smoked Margarita with ginger! This would be great for those looking for something out of the ordinary.

Wicked Cantina offers a great selection of Margaritas. You’ll find an entire section of the menu dedicated to this citrus and tequila based cocktail. What’s better than authentic Austin Tex-Mex and a hand made Margarita?

The Beach House Restaurant is a great place for a Margarita on the beach! They even have Patron specially bottled just for them!

National Margarita Day
Head over to the Beach House for an out of this world Margarita!

While visiting Anna Maria Island you must celebrate National Margarita Day! Check out our suggestions, or try your hand at making your own!

Anna Maria Island National Random Acts of Kindness Day

National Random Acts of Kindness Day is a fantastic opportunity to spread love and happiness in your community. Even the smallest of kind gestures can have an impact on the world around you. While visiting Anna Maria Island on February 17th be sure to share and celebrate kindness island style!

National Random Acts of Kindness Day
Celebrate National Random Acts of Kindness Day on Anna Maria Island by taking your loved ones to watch the sunset!

 

National Random Acts of Kindness Day

While kindness is something many practice everyday, here’s some fun and easy suggestions too! Try these out while visiting Anna Maria Island.

  • Hold the door for someone.
  • Give a stranger a compliment.
  • Buy the person in line behind you at the Coffee Haus their morning cup of Joe.
  • Find a pretty shell and give it to a little kid.
  • Give up your seat on the trolley to someone.
  • Make a donation to Wildlife Inc.
  • Give someone a hug.
  • While vacationing send your friends a text, and tell them you wish they were with you.
  • Pick up garbage from the beach.
  • Go to Rod & Reel Pier and buy a stranger a beer.
  • Offer to let someone cut you in line at the Publix.
  • Buy your friend a scratch off ticket just for fun.
  • Smile at every stranger you see.
  • Call a family member and tell them you love them.
  • Tell people you are grateful when they help you.
  • Give your server at the Sandbar a big fat tip.
  • Take your family to the beach.
  • Donate to the Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch.
  • Buy a piece of local art and send it to a friend back home.
  • Make your spouse breakfast in bed.
  • Be a good listener.
  • Tell your kids they are awesome.
  • Be kind to yourself.
  • Let go of negative thoughts.
  • Don’t stereotype people you don’t know.
  • Take a friend to lunch.
  • Treat someone to a bike rental and take them on a ride around Anna Maria.
  • Bring cup cakes to the family in the vacation rental next to yours.
  • Donate any unopened leftover food in your beach rental before you go back home.
  • Surprise a loved one with an Anna Maria Island Vacation!
  • Use #RAKWeek2017 when posting kind words on social media to encourage others to do the same.

Take the challenge

So you think you’re kind? Challenge yourself today, and go out of your way to spread love, understanding and kindness on February 17th! There’s no easier place to practice kindness than on Anna Maria Island.

For more ways to celebrate national random acts of kindness day visit RandomActsof.US

Book your next Anna Maria Island vacation beach rental today with Island Real Estate!

 

Anna Maria Island Night Sky Event – February 10, 2017

While visiting February 10th 2017, be sure to check out the Anna Maria Island night sky event! A once in a life time experience, you’ll enjoy a Full Moon, Lunar Eclipse and a Comet all together!

Anna Maria Island Night Sky Event

First for the evening you’ll enjoy the winter full moon, also called a Snow Moon. Around 5:30pm the moon will creep over the horizon into view. As it comes up the moon will start to enter into the Earth’s penumbral or outer shadow and turn a dim gray color. East Coast viewers will start to notice the lunar eclipse around 6:15pm. Just before 10pm the eclipse will be over, but the show doesn’t stop there.

Next you’ll have the opportunity to see Comet 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusáková starting at about 10:30 when it’s closest to Earth. This pale green Comet will require a telescope or even a pair of binoculars to view. Look to the East-Northeast near the constellation Hercules.

Anna Maria Island Night Sky Event
Photo Courtesy Sky and Telescope Magazine.

You can also watch the nights events unfold live at live.slooh.com.

Enjoy the Anna Maria Island Night Sky Event, wish for clear skies, and have a fantastic island experience!