Top 6 Things to Know About Holmes Beach

Holmes Beach – If you’ve ever been to Anna Maria Island you probably are familiar with the middle island city called Holmes Beach. This island community is the largest of the three island cities with a population of less than 4,000. A quiet coastal Florida town, Holmes Beach is a wonderful place to live and vacation.

1. History

Holmes Beach was at one time dense jungle where it wasn’t uncommon to see Panthers, Rattle Snakes and a variety of Florida wildlife. The middle section of the island was first homesteaded in 1896 by Sam and Annie Cobb. Shortly after the Cobbs moved into their 160 acres they were followed by John R. Jones and Jose Casanas. John piloted boats from Tampa to Cuba, and Jose had moved from the Canary Islands in search of Mullet.

Holmes Beach got it’s name from Jack Holmes who developed 600 acres of the island after World War II. The city became incorporated in 1950.

In 1947 Jack Holmes used a 30 acre space to build an air strip because he believed World War II air pilots would be interested in using it. While the strip was being laid, Jack Holmes was contacted by the movie giant Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer to use the strip to help in producing the film “On An Island With You”. The filming of the movie created great excitement which fueled Jack Holmes development of the Holmes Beach. Eventually the airstrip was removed in 1970, but excitement about Anna Maria Island has never waned.

Today the island’s middle city is a quiet and bustling town welcoming thousands of visitors every year with pristine beaches and beautiful vacation rentals.

Holmes Beach History
Two gentlemen on the Holmes Beach Air Strip.

2. Beaches

Holmes Beach offers approximately three miles of powder sand Gulf of Mexico beaches peppered with public accesses and beach front homes. Where Manatee Avenue/State Road 64 comes to an end is where you’ll find the most popular beach area in Holmes Beach called Manatee Public Beach access. Manatee Public Beach offers tons of fabulous amenities including life guards, public restrooms and changing facilities, showers, a playground, volley ball courts, picnic areas, trolley stops, tons of parking and gorgeous tall Australian Pines that the island is known for. You’ll also find concessions at the AMI Beach Cafe along with Florida’s oldest Surf Shop.

Heading north or south from Manatee Public Beach you’ll find plenty of smaller beach accesses many of which offer public parking.

Holmes Beach
Holmes Beach offers powder fine sand and clear blue Gulf of Mexico water.

3. Restaurants

Holmes Beach offers no shortage of great places to enjoy a meal and a cold drink. From laid back to fine dining, and breakfast to dinner you’re sure to find a delicious place to eat in the middle of Anna Maria Island. In the center of the island you will also find the local chain grocery store Publix along with CVS and Walgreens Pharmacies. Click on the links below for information.

Hurricane Hanks
Beach Bistro
The Feast
Lobstahs
Island Gourmet Grill
Tortilla Bay
Eat Here
Peach’s
Old Hamburg Schnitzel Haus
Solo’s Pizza
Minnie’s Cafe
Ugly Grouper
Skinny’s Place
Duffy’s

Holmes Beach Restaurants
AMI Beach Cafe on Holmes Beach offers a full service restaurant right on the sand!

4. Shopping

Anna Maria Island offers great boutiques, art galleries and small shops perfect for finding a one of a kind souvenir. With no big box retailers the shopping experience is truly unique on Anna Maria Island.

Shopping in Holmes Beach
There are great independent shops and boutiques in Holmes Beach.

5. Events

Holmes Beach offers many fun events throughout the year including Spring Fest, Winter Fest, The Halloween Trail of Treats, and Art Walks.

 Holmes Beach events
Holmes Beach hosts several fun events through the year including Spring Fest.

6. Activities

In the middle island city you’ll find plenty of activities to keep you entertained. In addition to beautiful beaches, you’ll find The Island Branch Library on Marina Drive along with the baseball field, shuffle board courts, skate park, the city play ground and the dog park.

While visiting Anna Maria Island, vacationers like to rent many different types of equipment to enhance their stay including bikes, kayaks, paddle boards and more. When looking for equipment rentals there are several options including Just 4 Fun, Island Scooter Rentals, Fun and More and AMI Beach Fun Rentals.

Equipment rental and activities in Holmes Beach
Many of the Equipment Rental companies in Holmes Beach will deliver items directly to you!

Holmes Beach Vacation Rentals and Accommodations

Island Real Estate offers almost 200 vacation rental homes in Holmes Beach. Whether you are looking to accommodate a couples getaway, or a family beach holiday, Island Real Estate has the perfect accommodations.

Holmes Beach vacation rental
Holmes Beach vacation rental Island Pearl offers 4 bedrooms to accommodate up to 8 guests. Click on the image above to learn more about Island Pearl.

Top Tikitastic Anna Maria Island Beach Rentals

What could be more fun than spending a vacation at Anna Maria Island beach rentals with fantastic Tiki huts? Tiki huts are a fun retro style perfect for a tropical destination like the island.

Tiki Culture in the United States

This theme stems from Americans use of Polynesian culture starting in the 1930’s. While not considered a fine art form by Polynesian styles, the theme loosely stems from cultural mythology and art. However, Americans now associate Hawaiian and Tropical themes with the Tiki style. There has been a resurgence of the style that has directly coincided with the trendy craft cocktail movement.

Tiki Drinks

Fruity tropical drinks are a must for any Tiki party. Typically they include different fruit juices, and are rum based. These drinks are usually tasty, very alcoholic and also use multiple rums or liquors. Serve them in funky totem head shaped mugs for a retro look, or use any pretty tall glass. Little umbrellas, fruit, spices, and herbs all make nice garnishes. Check out great recipes here. Also enjoy kid friendly versions of these drinks – just omit the alcohol. The combinations of fruit juices are fantastic on their own, just add a garnish and enjoy!

Below is a list of our top tikitastic Anna Maria Island beach rentals! These homes offer fun huts and bars perfect for entertaining in tropical island style!

Top Tikitastic Anna Maria Island Beach Rentals

Pelican Landing offers a Tiki by the heated pool! This rental sleeps 8 with 4 bedrooms. Relax and enjoy a tropical island experience!

Anna Maria Island Beach rentals
Pelican Landing AMI 306 55th Street in Holmes Beach.

Casa Calienta has a fully equipped Tiki bar with grill, sink and mini fridge. Additionally this hut is in the screened lanai with the heated pool! Relax with a drink and a swim too! Sleep 6 with 2 bedrooms.

Anna Maria Beach Rentals
Casa Calienta 217 Pine Avenue in Anna Maria.

Starfish also has a backyard Tiki hut, and a swim up Tiki umbrella in the heated pool. This hut is a nice spot no matter the weather. Sleep 6 in this rental with 3 bedrooms.

Anna Maria Island vacation rentals Holmes Beach
Starfish 6802 Marina Drive.

A Sassy Seahorse has a Tiki area in the backyard in addition to heated pool and spa! A shady spot for cool drinks on a hot day. Sleep 6 in this 2 bedroom rental.

Beach rental anna maria island Florida
A Sassy Seahorse 264 Gladiolus in Anna Maria.

Summer Breeze offers a fun covered Tiki bar too! Here you’ll find a swinging chair, Foosball table and flat screen T.V. Sleep 10 at this 4 bedroom rental.

Anna Maria Beach rental
Summer Breeze 313 61st Street in Holmes Beach.

Island Time offers a large pool side Tiki Umbrella. The perfect spot for watching the day drift by with a cold drink. Sleep 8 in this 3 bedroom with heated pool.

Holmes Beach vacation rental
Island Time 309 62nd Street in Holmes Beach.

Coral Reef is an Anna Maria Island beach rental with a great Tiki and laid back feel. Sleeps 10 with 5 bedrooms.

Anna Maria Island Beach Rental
Coral Reef 215 64th Street in Holmes Beach.

Mango Breeze has a Tiki just a short walk to Gulf beaches! Relax by the heated pool with 8 in this 4 bedroom rental!

Anna Maria Island beach rental
Mango Breeze 141 50th Street in Holmes Beach.

Anna Maria Island Tiki Restaurants

While visiting Anna Maria Island beach rentals you’ll also find great local Tiki style restaurants too! On Bridge Street you’ll find The Bridge Tender Inn and Dock Side Bar. Here you’ll enjoy views of Sarasota Bay in addition to great food and drinks. Also in Bradenton Beach, there is Gulf Drive Cafe and Tiki bar. This restaurant offers direct gulf views. Finally, In Holmes Beach you will find an outdoor Tiki atmosphere at The Ugly Grouper.

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.

Summer’s End Beach House Rentals Anna Maria Island

It’s not too late to enjoy end of summer beach house rentals Anna Maria Island style! Pumpkin spice latte is back on the Starbucks menu, kids are in school again, and Fall is less than a month away. Now is the time to plan that last minute summer getaway!

Summer Beach House Rentals Anna Maria Island in September

September is a fantastic time of year to visit Anna Maria Island. This is the off season, so the beaches are far less busy. During a September visit you’ll also notice there are fewer cars on the streets. The entire Island has a different vibe in the late summer. People are a little calmer as locals enjoy the respite from busy high season.

End of Summer beach Scene

Anna Maria Island beaches are as beautiful as ever in the late summer. The weather is hot and rainy during September in Florida, however, beaches are still very nice. Lots of rain may make the water a tad less blue than the normal, but it also cools the water temperature down. Gulf beaches are bathtub like in July and August, so a little rain makes them more refreshing.

End of Summer Island Activities

When you visit the island at the end of summer you may notice a few of the island’s restaurants are closed. This is when operators make improvements, and also have a little summer vacation before seasons starts again. However, there are still plenty of places to dine that are open year round. Closures are typically no more than a week long, or even just a few days.

Summer is also an excellent time to visit activities off island. With less congested roads, getting on and off the island is much easier in late summer. This is a fantastic time to drive down to Sarasota, or head into Bradenton to try new activities. You will find museums, shopping and sightseeing in both Sarasota and Bradenton.

Summer’s End Beach House Rentals Anna Maria Island have lowest rates.

The end of summer is one of the most affordable times to visit Anna Maria Island. September is when many beach houses lower their rates. These lower rates continue through to mid December when visitors from the north start to come down again. These lower rates don’t always include Labor Day weekend as this is the last busy weekend of the season. Rates for beach house rentals typically fluctuate to coincide with demand or popular seasons.

Direct Beach House Rentals Anna Maria Island

September is also the perfect time of year to reserve a direct beach front rental!

Hidden Cove is a fantastic direct gulf Front beach rental Anna Maria Island style. This is a great example of the type of rentals available in September.

Beach house rentals Anna Maria Island
Beach House Rentals Anna Maria Island style! Click on the image to learn more about this great condo!

Hidden Cove unit 1 offers accommodations for up to four guests with two bedrooms and two and half bathrooms. During your stay, enjoy direct gulf views from the master bedroom and main living space. You will love spending time on the open balcony watching sunsets, and relaxing. The quiet Hidden Cove complex also offers a community pool, and is located near free trolley stops, shopping and dining.

Beach House Rentals Anna Maria Island Florida
Click on the image to reserve Hidden Cove unit 1 for your next Beach house rental Anna Maria Island Holmes Beach.

Island Real Estate has the largest selection of Anna Maria Island beach rentals you’ll find in the area! When searching for a summer’s end beach rental be sure to check out the Sunshine Specials page for great deals.

Enjoy an Anna Maria Island paradise vacation and reserve the perfect beach rental today at IslandReal.com!

 

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 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!

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

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

Spring Fest

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

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

Gala Art Raffle

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

Juried Art Show

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

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

Festival Happenings

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

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

Holmes Beach Vacation Rental

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

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

2016 St. Patrick’s Day celebrations on Anna Maria Island

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

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

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

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

Duffy’s Tavern 3/13

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

The Ugly Grouper 3/13

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

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

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

Freckled Fin 3/17

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

Anna Maria Oyster Bar 3/17

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

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

 

 

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

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