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 also 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 also 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 one seasonal market perfect for finding local made items, art, gifts and produce. Happening on Sunday, The Coquina Beach Market is a great way to enjoy the island on a Sunday Funday Morning.

Bradenton Beach Markets
Coquina Beach Market

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. Find any type of dining experiences 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 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.

 

Regina Wreck Sugar Barge – Anna Maria Island

The Regina Wreck is a great spot for those looking to snorkel or scuba dive around Anna Maria Island. While close to shore, this sunken ship is easy to access and great for any skill level.

Regina Wreck State Underwater Archaeological Preserve

The Regina Wreck became part of the national register of historical places in 2005. Also know as the sugar barge or molasses barge, the Regina is a great Anna Maria Island attraction. You’ll find the wreck about 75 yards off shore in no more than 20 feet of water. This site is great for snorkeling, scuba diving and free diving. You can charter a dive with Sea Kat Divers in Bradenton Beach.

Once in the water you’ll find a variety of tropical fish, conchs, sea urchins, sand dollars and native marine life. Because this is a State Preserve; collection, excavation or disturbance of the site is illegal. Those diving with a Florida Fishing license may collect up to two species of live shells. However, restrictions apply to some native species all together. Manatee County has more rigid shell collection regulations than other parts of Florida. Please read the link here for additional information.

The Regina sunk in 1940. The wreck has been beaten with tides, sand and storms over the years. Therefore, you may not see it until right over top depending on visibility. Today,  a great deal of sand covers the Regina. You will only see parts of the over 200 foot long ship remains.

Regina Wreck Sugar Barge
Sugar Barge remains map.

How the Regina Sunk

The Regina was built in 1904 for the Cuban Molasses Transportation Company based out of Havana. On March 5th in 1940 She left Havana bound for New Orleans under the tow from the tugboat Minima. The Regina carried 350,000 gallons of molasses. Two days into it’s trip, a cold front swept through the Gulf of Mexico bringing 8-12 foot waves. The boats were pushed closer and closer to shore despite effort to correct course. Looking for shelter, the Minima headed for Tampa Bay.

Near Egmont Key, north of Anna Maria Island, the Minima’s tow lines broke. This left the Molasses caring ship to drift helplessly down the gulf coast toward Anna Maria Island. Eventually the Regina hit a sandbar off Bradenton Beach where it became stranded in the storm. The ship began to break apart as rough winds and waves smashed into it.

The Rescue begins

On March 8th a Bradenton Beach local spotted the stranded ship, and notified the St. Petersburg Coast Guard. The ship was about 200 yards off shore, but the eight crew members couldn’t abandon ship due to the high waves. The crew huddled in the flooded broken ship. Locals built fires on the beach in an effort to let the crew know help was on the way. Coast Guard rescue craft, the Nemesis, tried unsuccessfully to rescue the crew. Next, a line throwing gun was transferred to the Nemesis. Several attempts were made, but the line fell short. At day break a sea plane dropped life jackets to the crew, but they only washed ashore.

Spectators gathered on the beach. One of the crew members and his dog jumped off the boat while a man from the mainland swam toward him with a lifeline. Unfortunately this crew mate never made it to shore.

A yachting dingy made it to the ship with life preservers, and was able to take one member from the ship. The dingy capsized close to shore, and locals made a human chain to assist the two back to safety. Locals increased efforts with the dingy to finish the rescue.

Read more about the rescue of the Regina Crew here.

With an interesting history, the Sugar Barge is a unique Anna Maria Island experience. If you are looking for a great place to see fish and history, this underwater preserve is a must.

 

Historic Bridge Street Anna Maria Island

Historic Bridge Street is a quaint strip of restaurants and shops on the south end of Anna Maria Island. Once the site of the first bridge connecting the island to mainland Bradenton, Bridge Street is still a special place. Check out our list of things to know about Bridge Street.

Historic Bridge Street
Find tons of things to do on Historic Bridge Street! Try fishing from the pier.

Historic Bridge Street – Bradenton Beach City Pier

At the very end of Bridge Street you’ll find the Bradenton Beach city pier. Here you’ll enjoy views of Sarasota Bay as you walk along the site of the original bridge to the island. After many updates the pier still stands today. Now you can find great fishing, a bait shop and the Anna Maria Oyster Bar restaurant.

Shopping on Bridge Street

You’ll also find great shopping when you visit Bridge Street. You’ll find gifts, local art, jewelry while visiting the strip. While shopping stop in for a massage and spa treatment and Searenity beach spa and eco-boutique. For additional information about shops visit the Bridge Street Merchants website.

Dining and Nightlife

There are a variety of places to dine on Bridge Street including casual, high end and breakfast too. Enjoy The Blue Marlin, Island Creperie, and the Bridge Street Bistro to name a few. For the nightlife scene you can visit Bridge Tender Inn, Island Time Bar and Grill, or even the Drift Inn. You’ll find these places open a little later than the average island establishment.

Happenings and Events

Throughout the year you’ll find different things to do on Bridge Street. The local Merchants host several events such as Christmas on Bridge Street, pubic art shops and the occasional market.

Nearby Accommodations and Beach Rentals

There are many great Anna Maria Island Beach rentals near Bridge Street. You’ll find cottages, condos and single family homes available in Bradenton Beach.

Anna Maria Island beach rentals Bradenton Beach
Bermuda Bay Club unit 25 is just a short walk from gulf beaches with accommodations for up to 6 guests! Click on the image to book your stay at Bermuda Bay Club!

 

Anna Maria Island Fall Tourist Guide

The Anna Maria Island fall tourist guide is a great resources for visitors and locals alike! After a hot summer, fall welcomes cooler weather and fun activities! Along with these great activities, also check out suggested Fall family beach rentals.

Anna Maria Island Fall Tourist Guide

Here are our top eight things to do, and know during Fall on Anna Maria Island. Furthermore, find out why this is a fantastic time of year to plan an Anna Maria Island beach vacation!

Anna Maria Island Fall Tourist Guide
Fall is a lovely time of year for an Anna Maria Island Vacation! Enjoy the Anna Maria Island Fall Tourist Guide, and plan your stay today!

Morning Beach Walk

Fall is an amazing time for a quiet walk on the beach with the sunrise. This is also a great time to catch up on some beach combing. Early morning temperatures are beautiful in Autumn. However, you will find that fall doesn’t necessarily mean it won’t be hot by mid day. For this reason, it’s nice to get up early while there is a crisp morning breeze off the gulf. Grab a cup of coffee, slip on your flip flops, and enjoy the peace of the beach at day break!

Beach Markets

Mid Fall, usually in November, is when all the beach markets begin their season. With the produce growing season underway, and weather that’s a tad less hot, markets are a great fall attraction. The Coquina Beach Market and Bridge Street Market are the two most popular on Anna Maria Island. However, here is a list of local markets to visit off island as well.

Wildlife Viewing, fall migration and local parks

As early as late summer you will notice an increase in local wildlife. For the expert wildlife viewers, it’s no secret that fall is the height of migration in Florida. This is when both the human and feathered snow birds make their early descent to Anna Maria Island.

Fall is an amazing time of year to get out to our local parks and preserves. Again, the weather is starting to cool, so enjoying the outdoors is more bearable than the summer months. During your visit check this list of parks and preserves on or around the island. These great locations give you the opportunity to get up close with Florida wildlife!

Go Swimming!

That’s right, you can still go for a swim in the Autumn months! Gulf of Mexico temperatures hang around 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit between September and December. This is not to say we don’t occasionally get below the 70’s, but these water temperatures are still swimable. Especially if you are visiting from the north, you will find Gulf temperatures very nice. On the other hand, locals tend to stop swimming a bit earlier. Really personal preference plays a big part in Fall island swimming.

Stone Crabs and Fishing

Stone Crab season starts mid October for the Florida gulf coast. While one of the countries oldest fishing villages lies just inland from Anna Maria Island; this is an anticipated time of year. Cortez fishing village is a great place to find fresh off the boat seafood. You’ll find Stone Crab so fresh it goes from the boat, to the boiling pot to your mouth! Going on in early November, check out the Cortez Stone Crab Festival too!

Anytime of year is great for Florida fishing, and Fall isn’t too bad either! Florida boasts the title “Fishing Capital of the World” because of great year round weather and angling. Fishing charters are just as popular in the fall as any time of year on the island!

Fall Festivals

This is the time of year when festival season starts for Islanders. There are several annual events that happen as the weather starts to change. You’ll find the Fall Festival, The Trail O Treats, Arts Hop and Bay Fest all going on throughout Autumn.

Find Fall colors with a sunset

While the trees and leaves may not turn to the striking hues of ocher, umber and rust orange, the sunsets surly do! Experience the turning of the season with one of the sunsets the Florida west coast is know for. Gather your family and friends to enjoy the peace of a sunset. This is one of the best times of day for beach photography too!

Anna Maria Island Fall Tourist Guide Beach Rentals

Autumn is a lovely time of year to gather the family at a beach rental! What Anna Maria Island Fall tourist guide would be complete without suggested accommodations? Island Real Estate has the island’s largest selection of homes to choose from, so plan your vacation today!

Anna Maria Island beach rentals

Casa Sierra 205 B is an excellent beach rental just a short walk from the gulf. This condo style home sleeps up to 6 guests with 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. Fall family beach trips were never so relaxed!

Anna Maria Island beach rentals
Casa Sierra 205 B 36th Street in Holmes Beach. 2 Bedroom.

A Mermaid Crossing is a lovely family gathering place for up to 6 guests with 3 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms. This spacious home offers a heated pool and decor with a designer look. Less than a block to the beach!

Beach rental Anna Maria Island
A Mermaid Crossing 120 50th Street in Holmes Beach. 3 Bedroom.

Beachy Blue is just down the street from gulf beaches, and offers lovely accommodations. Enjoy the heated pool and spa with great coastal decor! Sleep up to 8 guests with 4 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms.

Anna Maria Island vacation rentals Holmes Beach
Beachy Blue 129 52nd Street in Holmes Beach. 4 Bedroom.

My Sisters Beach House sleeps up to 10 guests with 5 bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms. This fun house offers a gorgeous heated pool and spa along with canal views and a short walk to Tampa Bay beaches! You’re family will love the game room and outdoor balconies too!

Anna Maria vacation beach rentals
My Sisters Beach House 520 Bay view Place in Anna Maria. 5 Bedroom.

Waterfront Retreat is a unique canal front home made for entertaining large groups! This 6 bedroom house offers accommodations for 14 guests with 3 full bath and 2 half baths. Enjoy the heated pool, canal views and fantastic bar area!

Anna Maria beach rentals
Waterfront Retreat 5132 Loquat in Anna Maria. 6 Bedroom.

National Guacamole Day Anna Maria Island

September 16th 2016 is National Guacamole Day. Everyone loves guacamole and Anna Maria Island is no exception.

National Guacamole Day

Guacamole is the perfect blend of creamy and tangy. Sometimes it has tomatoes, and sometimes it has a hint of spice. It’s great on tacos, chips, toast and serves as an amazing topping on just about anything. Some even use it in Ice Cream too!

Guacamole Facts

  • Guacamole dates back to the 1500’s when Aztecs made it.
  • “Guac” is a common short name for guacamole.
  • Use Florida, California or Hass avocados to make a good guacamole.
  • Different types of Avocados have a different flavor and texture.
  • Restaurants always charge for extra “Guac”.
  • Everyone loves guacamole because it’s amazing!

Places to Celebrate National Guacamole Day on Anna Maria Island

There are several restaurants on Anna Maria Island that serve guacamole. Below we have three suggestions for enjoying a heaping serving of the tasty green stuff.

Poppo’s Taqueria is a local small restaurant chain. The first store also opened on the city of Anna Maria’s Pine Avenue. This Tex-Mex style restaurant offers scratch made flour tortillas, hormone free meat, and organic veggies. Poppo’s guacamole is out of this world amazing. Poppo’s makes all their food right in front of you, and you get to choose all your toppings too! Their menu includes tacos, burritos, quesadillas and meals in bowls. Poppo’s staff prepares everything on site including their guac, sauces, and slow roasted meats, just to name a few. You’ll love the food in addition to their local craft beers, high fructose free soda, and Kombucha probiotic drink.

Tortilla Bay Southwest Grill is also a great option for a guacamole fix. Located in Holmes Beach, Tortilla Bay is quick and inexpensive lunch or dinner. They offer many Tex-Mex favorites along with salads. Not only do they have a fantastic guac, but the queso dip is a must! Tortilla Bay has a kids menu along with a beer and wine menu.

Wicked Cantina is located in Bradenton Beach, and specializes in Austin style Tex-Mex. In addition to their traditional Tex-Mex they also offer great burgers and seafood options. Wicked Cantina has a full service bar with craft cocktails. Try the Margarita! Often times they offer live music in their outdoor seating area. When you visit, be sure to try the guacamole bites. For this appetizer they roll guacamole in tortilla chips, deep fry, and serve with a side or ranch dip. Delicious!

National Guacamole Day
A big batch of Guacamole made fresh daily in the kitchen at Poppo’s Taqueria.

Top 15 Anna Maria Island Beach Cottage Rentals

Anna Maria Island beach cottage rentals are the perfect way to experience this old Florida vacation destination. There aren’t many places like the island anymore. You won’t find any high rises, big night clubs or chain store outlets in this quaint coastal getaway. Such a charming gulf island, a beautiful vacation cottage is the perfect match.

Anna Maria Island Beach Cottage Rentals

Here is a list of 15 of the best Anna Maria Island beach cottage rentals for you to try out! All offer a little something different. Additionally, these range from old to new, and from bronze to platinum rated. Arranged by city location in Anna Maria, Holmes Beach or Bradenton Beach, these great cottages also span the entire island.

Anna Maria beach cottage rentals

Sea Song is a direct gulf front cottage. Updated in December 2015, the beach is your backyard! Sleep up to six in this two bedroom home with beautiful beach views and amenities. Gold rated.

Anna Maria Island beach cottage rentals
Sea Song 103 Sea Grape Lane.

The Seashell Cottage is just down the street from gulf beaches, and is within walking distance to Pine Avenue shopping and dining. This quaint cottage also sleeps six guests with two bedrooms. Silver rated.

Anna Maria Beach cottage rental
The Seashell Cottage 118 Palmetto Avenue.

Fish House is really something special! Sleep eight guests with three bedrooms. Enjoy high end luxury mixed with an old fish camp feel. Heated pool and spa too! Gold rated.

Anna Maria cottage vacation rental
Fish House 231 Oak Avenue.

Dolphin Watch is similarly a great beach front cottage. Furthermore, this home sleeps six with two bedrooms, and beach views. Gold rated.

Anna Maria beach rental.
Dolphin Watch 12108 Gulf Drive.

Blue Bayou is a stylish updated cottage. Sleeps six with three bedrooms on direct canal front. Undoubtedly a beautiful location with heated pool and spa! Platinum rated.

Anna Maria Rental Cottage
Blue Bayou 229 Chilson Avenue

Hacienda Del Mar is in fact one of the larger cottage beach rentals offered on the list. Sleep eight guests with four bedrooms. Also on direct gulf front, and recently updated. Gold rated.

beach rental Anna Maria
Hacienda Del Mar 765 North Shore Drive.

Holmes Beach cottage rentals

Minnie Cottage is surely the ideal Holmes Beach cottage. Also sleeps eight guests, but with three bedrooms. This raised cottage has a heated pool and is a newer home. Platinum rated.

Holmes beach cottage rental
Minnie Cottage 125 47th Street.

Blue Lagoon 6 Osprey is a popular cottage. In contrast to others, this cottage is located in a small complex. Sleeps four with two bedrooms, and just a short walk to the beach. Gold rated.

Beach Cottage rental Holmes Beach
Blue Lagoon 6 – Osprey – 215 67th Street.

Beach Comber is great for a no frills cottage. That is to say, this rental offers all the basics, but with the addition of direct gulf views. Also sleeps six with two bedrooms. Bronze rated.

Anna Maria Island vacation rental Holmes Beach
Beach Comber 3020 Avenue F.

Captains House is a funky Florida cottage. To clarify, this home has a retro feel that is super fun. Sleep eight with three bedrooms, and also a loft style with two living levels. Bronze rated.

Beach house rentals anna maria island
Captains House 208 Haverkos.

Misty Beach has an updated beach style, and sleeps six guests with two bedrooms. This cottage offers a heated pool too! Gold rated.

Vacation cottage Holmes Beach
Misty Beach 5802 Imperiore Avenue.

Pelican Landing AMI is a spacious cottage with three bedrooms for up to eight guests. This great home also has a fun backyard Tiki hut and heated pool. Gold rated.

Rental cottage Holmes Beach
Pelican Landing AMI 306 55th Street.

Jackie’s Cottage is an updated canal front cottage with a heated pool. Manatees frequent this canal too! Sleep eight guests with four bedrooms. Gold rated.

Anna Maria Island cottage rental Holmes Beach
Jackie’s Cottage 209 North Harbor Drive.

Bradenton Beach cottage rental

A Pirate’s Cove is a 1950’s cottage updated with modern coastal charm and amenities. Heated pool, and also just a block from gulf beaches. Sleep six with two bedrooms. Gold rated.

Bradenton Beach cottage rental Anna Maria Isalnd
A Pirate’s Cove 2109 Avenue C.

Katie’s Beach Bungalow is a short walk to gulf beaches, and has a heated pool and spa! Sleep four guests with two bedrooms. Bronze rated.

Cottage rental Anna Maria Island
Katie’s Beach Bungalow 108 8th Street South.

Enjoy the perfect Old Florida paradise getaway by the beach with one of these charming Anna Maria Island beach cottage rentals. Visit IslandReal.com today to reserve your stay.

Anna Maria Island Beach Rental Near Bridge Street Pier

Enjoy an Anna Maria Island Beach rental near Bridge Street Pier, so you can experience the quaint character of Bradenton Beach. Located on the southern end of Anna Maria Island, the Bridge Street Pier is full of Florida charm. Bradenton Beach is home to quirky characters, comfortable restaurants and funky little beach shops. When you visit the Bridge Street Pier you’ll fall in love with Bradenton Beach.

Bradenton Beach Bridge street Pier
The Bridge Street Pier is the historic site of the Cortez Bridge. Find great old Florida charm when you visit!

The Bridge Street Pier

The Bridge Street Pier is the historic site of the first bridge connecting the Island to the main land. When you visit, you’ll notice the newer Cortez Bridge just to the north. Walking along the Bridge Street Pier you can almost feel the history, and imagine days past. Take in the smells of the Intracoastal Waterway, and the sights of people fishing. If you are lucky you just may see someone catch something!

Pier Activities

When you visit the Bridge Street Pier you’ll experience a relaxing atmosphere. Bring your fishing pole, and try your hand at Florida fishing. If you don’t have a pole you can rent one from the little shop at the base of the pier. Schedule a dolphin tour at the same shop, and you’ll get to see island wildlife. Boats tours are a fabulous way to view the island!

Next to the Dolphin tours shop you’ll also find a cute jewelry store with hand made silver items along with local artwork.

Dining on the Pier

Anna Maria Oyster Bar is also located at the base of the pier. Here you’ll find fresh seafood, and a laid back island style atmosphere. Slurp down a belly full of Oysters while taking in the views of Sarasota Bay.

Bridge Street

Heading off the pier you’ll find more activities and dining along Bridge Street. Bridge Street Merchants provide a variety of wares, and funky Florida souvenirs perfect for remembering your stay. There is also a miniature golf course located on Bridge Street for family fun, or find night life at pubs for adult time fun.

Anna Maria Island Beach Rental near Bridge Street Pier

Finding the perfect Anna Maria Island beach rental near Bridge Street Pier is easy. Island Real Estate offers many Anna Maria Island beach rental options to suit any need. Additionally, Island Real Estate has the largest selections of homes you’ll find on the island. Call Island Real Estate first at 877-778-6066 when choosing the perfect vacation destination on Anna Maria Island!

Anna Maria Island Club Beach Rentals

The Anna Maria Island Club is a gorgeous direct gulf front condo complex, and are just a short drive North of the Bridge Street Pier. Island Real Estate offers several Anna Maria Island Club units all with direct gulf front balcony views with two bedrooms and two bathrooms. Some of these units accommodate four guests while some sleep up to six guests. 2016 Base rates for these condos range from $1260-$2625/week depending on the unit, or even the time of year you decide to visit. These Condos have a heated pool and spa over looking the beach, so you can experience the perfect Anna Maria Island beach rental!

Anna Maria Island beach rental
Anna Maria Island Club condos make a great Bradenton Beach rental.

South Beach Village Beach Rentals

South Beach Village is just across the street from gulf beaches. These units offer gulf views, bay views or both. The South Beach Village condos are also just north of Bridge Street in Bradenton Beach comfortably accommodating six guests each. All units offers three bedrooms and two and a half bathrooms. South Beach Village units welcome pets under 25 pounds with a pet fee. This complex also offes a heated community pool. 2016 Base rates range from $1000-$2260/week depending on the unit and time of visit.

Anna Maria Island beach rental
South Beach Village is a relaxed beach rental on Bradenton Beach.

Bradenton Beach Club Beach Rentals

The Bradenton Beach Club is also just north of the Bridge Street Pier. Some of these condo units have direct gulf views while others are nestled across the street further in the complex. The beach side units have a heated pool while the bay side units have a heated pool and spa. Bradenton Beach Club condos sleep six guests with two bedrooms and two bathrooms. 2016 Base rates range from $1100-$2625/week. This rate depends on the specific unit, time of visit, and is at the higher end for direct gulf views. This complex stretches from the gulf side to the bay side of the island, and also offers a great fishing dock on the bay side.

Anna Maria Island beach rental
Bradenton Beach Club is a great Anna Maria Island beach rental condo complex!

More Anna Maria Island Beach Rentals

For additional suggested Anna Maria Island beach rentals head over to IslandReal.com, and explore homes through the Advanced Search Page. Island Real Estate also offers Holmes Beach rentals and Anna Maria beach rentals, so you are sure to find the best beach accommodations in Florida!

 

 

Eat Anna Maria Island Oysters While Vacationing

Anna Maria- When vacationing on the coast eating fresh seafood is a must, and Anna Maria Island Oysters are no exception. With countless restaurants on the island, finding some delicious oysters to eat is easier than ever!

Anna Maria Island Oysters

Many people believe humans have eaten oysters since the Roman times from evidence of oyster farms in France and the United Kingdom. Crazy right?

Oysters can be found in all of the world’s oceans. They are bivalve mollusks that have rough irregular shells. While most oysters are edible, there is a difference between food oysters and pearl oysters. Even though it is possible, most food oysters don’t produce pearls. Both are also in two different families of bivalves.

Surprisingly enough, oysters breathe much like fish, using both gills and mantle. They can be both male or female, and can change genders one or more times throughout their life.

Health Benefits

Oysters are one of the most nutritionally balanced foods because they have proteins, carbohydrates, and lipids in them. Just eating four or five medium sized oysters supply the recommended daily source of iron, copper, iodine, magnesium, calcium, zinc, manganese and phosphorus!

Where to celebrate!

With so many restaurants on the island, there’s plenty of options for eating Anna Maria Island Oysters! Here’s a few to think of going to:

AMOB on the Pier– Located in Bradenton Beach, enjoy delicious oyster platters such as Grandma Georgie’s Chipotle Oysters or an oyster sampler.

Anna Maria Island Oysters
Eat at AMOB on the Pier!

 Island Gourmet Grill– Serving baked oysters with toppings such as cheese, bacon, and jalapenos, there’s no way to go wrong here! You can find Island Gourmet on Holmes Beach.

Anna Maria Island Oysters
Enjoy yummy oysters at Island Gourmet!

Island Fresh Market– Specializing in locally caught and grown food, the Fresh Market serves oysters caught right around the island! You can order them cooked or raw. You can find them on Holmes Beach!

Be sure to enjoy Anna Maria Island Oysters on your next visit!

Pictures from Tropical Storm Colin – Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria Island – As Tropical Storm Colin passed through the Gulf of Mexico and over north Florida, Anna Maria Island had a wet and windy couple of days.

Tropical Storm
Bradenton Beach on June 6, 2016 as Tropical Storm Colin heads north through the Gulf of Mexico.

Meteorologists predicted Tropical Storm Colin would bring the island up to 8 inches of rain fall over just a few days with wind speeds in the range of 30-50mph.

Tropical Storm Colin
The Gulf of Mexico as Anna Maria Island feels the effects of Tropical Storm Colin

Tropical Storm Colin Flooding

Many of the island’s streets experienced significant flooding especially during high tide on Monday. Vehicles and pedestrians were forced to move through standing water due to flooding. No major incidents were reported. The Florida Highway Patrol shut down the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, but all bridges to the island remained open.

Tropical Storm Colin
Street Flooding in Holmes Beach on Marina Drive from Tropical Storm Colin . Photo Credit: Denise Coryell

Minimal Damage

The island received minimal damage from the storm. The coast guard went to Bradenton Beach to rescue a house boat sinking in the anchorage.

No injuries were reported and the three occupants were safely brought to land.

Tropical Storm
A few individuals collecting shells as the storm rolled by.

Reopening on Tuesday, many island businesses shut down during the storm Monday. The hardest hit businesses were Tide Tables and Starfish restaurant in Cortez Fishing Village. Anna Maria Elementary was closed for the day due to flooding, but all other Manatee County schools remained open.

Many turtle nests on the island suffered from wash out scattering eggs onto the beach and into the water. The storm destroyed shorebird nests and eggs.

turtle nest during tropical storm colin
A Bradenton Beach turtle nest during the low tide Monday morning. Rising tides devastated many turtle nests.

The storm did cause some beach erosion, and across the island residents did experience short term electrical outages.

All three of the island’s cities prepared for the worst with storm plans in place. As of Tuesday, June 7th flood water began to dry up starting in the morning, and through out the day the sun peaked through the clouds. Soggy Anna Maria Island is still beautiful as ever.

Island Real Estates vacation rental properties reported no major damages, and vacationers hunkered down to wait out the weather.

 

Anna Maria Oyster Bar – on the Pier

Bradenton Beach – Anna Maria Oyster Bar (AMOB) is the newest additions to the Bradenton Beach restaurant scene. However, it’s no new comer to the area. With locations in Ellenton and Bradenton, AMOB has been serving up fresh seafood to locals and visitors for years.

AMOB on the pier is located at the base of the old historic Bradenton Beach City Pier once occupied by Rotten Ralphs. A fabulous location, you can choose to dine inside or outside on the covered deck. Either way you’ll find gorgeous views of Sarasota Bay, the anchorage and the pier.

Bradenton Beach Anchorage
The Anchorage off Bridge Street in Bradenton Beach is a popular area for visitors and locals to drop anchor for extended periods when coming by boat.

Offering many of the same great dishes of other locations, AMOB on the pier is a slight departure from its original concept. The menu is smaller than the Ellenton and Bradenton locations, but still manages to offer a little of something for everyone.

How to Order

At AMOB on the pier you order your food and drink at the counter first instead of the traditional table service. You are assigned a funny celebrity name on a plastic table tent when you order. Then you seat yourself anywhere you would like. When it’s ready, a server will bring your food out matching the order with your celebrity name. All your condiments and soft drinks are self serve, so you can load up on the cocktail and tarter sauce while you wait. Adult beverages may be purchased at the same time as the food. Additional drinks can be purchased from the friendly bar staff.

The Menu

Anna Maria Oyster Bay is know for oysters, but also boasts a menu that has a little of something for everyone. The breakfast menu offers omelets, a burrito, pancakes, an egg sandwich and eggs your way. Cappuccino, juice and coffee are also offered for breakfast.

The lunch and dinner menu include appetizers, an oysters section, entrees, and sandwiches. From the appetizers menu you’ll find items like coconut shrimp, calamari and chicken wings. The oysters menu offers them fried, raw, Rockefeller, chipotle, garlic parmesan, or a sampler platter of four types. On the entree menu there is fresh fish options, fish and chips, shrimp, scallops, ribs and chicken. For sandwich offerings you’ll find a burger along with chicken or fish sandwiches. AMOB is truly a family friendly restaurant and offers a great kids menu!

AMOB on the pier offers a full service bar.  You can enjoy a cold cocktail or local beer while you take in views on the Intracoastal side of Anna Maria Island.

Bridge Street Pier
After a great meal at AMOB enjoy a leisurely stroll along the pier.

Anna Maria Oyster Bar is reasonably priced with entrees in the $9-$21 range; an amazing value for fresh seafood with a view!

There is limited parking at the base of the city pier. Often you can find parking along Bridge Street and the surrounding free public lots.

You are sure to enjoy Anna Maria Oyster Bar on the pier for a delicious Bradenton Beach seafood experience!

Bradenton Beach Accommodations and Vacation Rentals.

Island Real Estate offers almost 300 vacation rentals across Anna Maria Island, so be sure to call us first when looking for the perfect rental! Visit IslandReal.com or call 877-778-6066 today.

Bradenton Beach vacation rental
Katie’s Beach Bungalow is an adorable 2 bedroom old Florida style cottage just a few blocks from gulf beaches. Click on the image above to learn more about Katie’s Beach Bungalow!

 

Anna Maria Island Bicycle Guide – 7 Things to Know

Anna Maria Island – When visiting the island one of the most popular ways to get around is by bicycle. With beautiful year round weather, secluded beach accesses, limited parking and bike friendly roads; Anna Maria Island sightseeing is best by bicycle. Experience the sights, sounds and the fresh smell of island breezes in style, and hop on a bike during your next island holiday.

1. Traffic and Parking

You can avoid all the headaches of parking and traffic if you cruise around by bike. There is no shortage of places to securely lock up your bike with bicycle racks in most public places. If you visit the island during the busier times of year you may encounter a noticeable increase in traffic, and limited parking. Traffic is never unbearably long, and is usually a result of beach goers “beach rush” coming to or leaving all at the same time. Usually when looking for parking the worst case is you have to circle around the block a few times, but will find a place to park. Many businesses have their own parking lots in addition to several public lots all over the island to alleviate parking issues.

2. Finding Secluded Beaches

while there is over seven miles of beach on Anna Maria Island, not all of them offer public parking, have limited public parking, or are not near a trolley stop. These hard to reach beaches are usually most accessed by residents or vacationers staying in walking distance. The secluded beaches are typically the least crowded, most peaceful, and are absolutely gorgeous. Bean Point is an example of a hard to reach beach on the northern tip of Anna Maria that is the perfect destination for a jaunt by bike.

bicycling on anna Maria Island
Bean Point beaches are the perfect destination for a bike ride in Anna Maria.

3. Bicycle Rentals

There are several places on Anna Maria Island who rent quality affordable bikes anywhere from one hour to several weeks. Before renting a bicycle for your Anna Maria Island vacation we recommend checking into your accommodation first, as occasionally rental homes will have bicycles available for guest use. Many of the rental equipment companies will deliver their equipment directly to you, or you can just visit their location and ride out. There are many places to rent bikes in each of the island three cities. Peruse the options, and see which company works best for you as rates and types of equipment offered vary from retailer to retailer. Equipment to consider include single bikes, beach bikes, tandem bikes, kids bikes, and baby carriers.

Anna Maria
Beach Bums

Holmes Beach
Just 4 fun, AMI beach fun, Fun and More

Bradenton Beach
Segs by the Sea

4. Exercise While on Vacation

while many come to vacation on Anna Maria Island for the sun, gorgeous weather and relaxing on powder sand beaches, a bicycle is a great way to keep up your exercise routine. In addition to getting around regular bicycle exercise has many benefits.

5. Biking Benefits

  • Low impact exercise to avoid strain or injury.
  • Doesn’t require a great deal of physical skill, and is only as intense as you make it.
  • Builds stamina.
  • Great for increasing cardiovascular health.
  • Decreases stress, not that you’ll need a stress reducer on an Anna Maria Island vacation.
  • Great for bone and joint strength.
  • Decreases body fat and increases healthy posture.
Anna Maria Island bicycle
Bicycling on Anna Maria Island is a peaceful way to view the sights.

6. Bike Paths

In addition to riding on roadways and through neighborhoods there are several designated bike paths available on Anna Maria Island. Bicycles are not permitted on the beaches; island beaches are so powdery fine beach cruising is a little difficult.

The city of Anna Maria offers a map of bike paths here, while many enjoy cruising on the Coquina Beach bike path. Riding over the Cortez or Manatee bridges provides a pleasant trail to take in the sights, sounds and smells of the Intracoastal Waterway. If you travel over the Manatee bridge there is a bike path through Robinson Preserve with great nature viewing opportunities along with safe flat trails. There is a little known entrance to Robinson Preserve on Manatee Avenue just east of 107th Ct West. This entrance is a little hard to see from the road, but just pass by Perico Bay and it will be on the north side of Manatee Avenue.

Anna Maria Island sunset
Ride your bike over to the beach to catch a gorgeous Anna Maria Island sunset.

7. Bike Rules and Safety

Anna Maria Island is a laid back community, however, the island is always welcoming many visitors from out of town who may not be familiar with the roadways. It is important to use caution when sharing the road with drivers, pedestrians and other bicyclists. Before you get on your bike you may want to consider proper attire such as helmets and sunglasses. If you are riding a bike you have never been on before be sure it is in working order. Bicyclists must obey all traffic signs and laws. Use proper hand signals, and never cross into traffic. Always ride on the right side of the road with the flow of traffic. Always assume car drivers don’t see you, and make direct eye contact when necessary.

Anna Maria Island Vacation Rentals and Accommodations

Island Real Estate offers an inventory of almost 300 vacation rentals perfect for any paradise getaway. For a one of a kind vacation experience book your stay at IslandReal.com

Anna Maria Island vacation rental and accommodations
Anna Maria Island vacation rental “Time for the Sea” is a gorgeous 4 bedroom, 3 bathroom home with a great casual island style. Click on the image above to learn more about this great home!