Top Activities Off Anna Maria Island

Enjoy our list of off Anna Maria Island activities. While lazing on the beach with a cold drink is an amazing way to vacation, visit off island too.

Off Anna Maria Island

Beyond the powder sand and crisp blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico find things to do. There’s a ton of activities to experience on Anna Maria Island. However, if feeling adventurous, here’s a list of 40 activities less than a two hour drive from the island.

Off Anna Maria Island
Relax on Anna Maria Island beaches!

Bradenton

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

Cortez

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

Sarasota

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

Lakewood Ranch

Heading 45 minutes East into Manatee county brings you to Lakewood Ranch. This area offers an outdoors shopping area along Main Street with a few other activities surrounding. Visit the Lakewood Ranch cinema followed by a great meal at Polo Grill and Bar. Play a round of Golf at the prestigious Legacy Golf Club.

 University Town Center is a great indoor mall with fabulous shopping opportunities not found on Anna Maria Island.

St. Petersburg

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

Myakka

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

Tampa

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

Orlando

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

Downtown Disney

Blizzard Beach

Typhoon Lagoon

Animal Kingdom

Disney’s Hollywood Studio

Disney’s Epcot

Magic Kingdom

Walt Disney World 

Universal Studios

Islands of Adventure

Brandon

Westfield Mall has all the big name retailers you are looking for. Brandon is also only an hour drive east of Anna Maria Island toward the Tampa area.

Ruskin

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

Plant City

If you visit the Island during spring months, you may be lucky to catch the Florida Strawberry Festival. The Strawberry Festival has been celebrated since the 1930’s. This 10 day event provides tons of fun too!

 

8 Unusual Attractions Near Anna Maria Island

Looking for unusual attractions near Anna Maria Island? Check out this list of ideas! For an authentic Florida vacation you must see something unique or weird! This list is not just your usual collection of roadside stops, but a collection of artistically inspired places to visit.

8 Unusual Attractions Near Anna Maria Island

While some of these places are local, all the attractions on our list are under two hours away.

Mr. Bones BBQ in Holmes Beach.

Mr. Bones offers the areas best Barbecue in a unique atmosphere. This is a must stop for those looking for a different experience. When you enter you’ll find a coffin full of ice cold beers along with the restaurants mascot skeleton. Serve yourself a beer from their large selection and you’ll be seated in the dining room. The walls are covered with interesting masks with decor as eclectic as the menu too! Not only do they have the best barbecue, but you’ll find vegan and Indian dishes as well.

Unusual Attractions Near Anna Maria Island
The dining room at Mr. Bones BBQ

A word of advise for those visiting this funky family owned eatery, do not ask for salt, pepper or ketchup!

Mr. Bones BBQ Holmes Beach
Don’t even ask!

The Sea Hagg in Cortez Fishing Village.

You never know what you’ll find in Cortez Fishing Village, but there are three things you can always count on. Fresh off the boat seafood, the “Real” old Florida atmosphere, and The Sea Hagg. This Gift shop is one of the most interesting places to find everything nautical. The front yard of The Sea Hagg is referred to as the Salvage Garden. Here you’ll find old boats, sculptures and an array of interesting items. Once inside you’ll find floor to ceiling Nautical curiosities, antiques and gifts.

The Sea Hagg in Cortez
The Sea Hagg is a unique stop for nautical gifts, antiques and more.

Arte Coyoacano in Downtown Bradenton’s Village of the Arts.

In the southern portion of downtown Bradenton there is a residential- commercial neighborhood full of arts, galleries, specialty shops and restaurants. The Village of the Arts is full of early 20th century bungalows adding an interesting touch to this quaint community. While the area is peppered with interesting finds, Arte Coyoacano gallery has some of the most unusual.

Village of the Arts
Visit the Village of the Arts and Arte Coyoacano for a unique look at a work play live neighborhood. Alfredo Garcia Sculptures.

Artist Alfredo Garcia’s sculptures and paintings are truly authentic Mexican Folk Art. His works are both technically brilliant and whimsical too. He implements bright colors and traditional Mexican Folk art themes in one of the areas most unique gallery/studios.

Village of the Arts
Alfredo Garcia Acrylic on canvas “La virgen”

Marietta Museum of Art and Whimsy in Sarasota.

The Marietta Museum of Art and Whimsy is a lovely place to visit with the entire family. You’ll find a large variety of interesting works to see from fine art to kitsch. There is no entrance fee, but there is a suggested donation of $5 per person to this wonderful non-profit. The Marietta Museum not only offers a traditional museum setting, but a beautiful sculpture garden too. The museum is open November through May.

 

Marietta Museum of Art and Whimsy
Flaming in the sculpture garden at Marietta Museum.

Founder and Curator Marietta Lee is passionate about sharing the works in her Museum. She wanted to create an interesting space for people to relax and enjoy art. She wanted art to be inclusive to all. A unique feature of this museum is half the artists are women, half men, and almost all are still living.

Marietta Museum
A wax figure dutifully sits at the Marietta Museum.

Solomon’s Castle in Ona.

Solomon’s Castle is like nothing you’ll ever see. Tucked into a wooded area of Ona, Florida this attraction is the makings of an artists dream. Howard Solomon is a metal artist who began creating his castle in 1972. The large metallic structure houses his works. This not so average roadside attraction has gained international attention.

Solomon's Castle
Solomon’s Castle in Ona, Florida is a one of a kind attraction.

The Salvadore Dali Museum in St. Petersburg.

The Salvadore Dali Museum celebrates the works of the artists entire life from 1904 to 1989. This collection includes over 2000 pieces in addition to rotating featured exhibits from other artists. Salvadore Dali was an influential artist know for his interesting style across several mediums. If you are looking for a unique attraction this is a sure bet.

The Dali
The Dali Museum in St. Petersburg

Whimzeyland in Safety Harbor.

Whimzeyland, also known as the Bowling Ball House, is an interesting attraction and the creation of two artists. In 1985 Todd Ramquist and Kiaralinda bought a house in Safety Harbor. They began decorating their yard and house with an artistic touch. After coming upon 10 free bowling balls at a Flea Market, the two really started to push the house into a new realm of creativity. They decorated the balls and began accepting artists bowling balls from all over.  Since 1985 the couple has purchased adjacent properties in their neighborhood employing the same fun themes. The grounds are free to wonder, but are not open all year.

Whimzeyland The Bowling Ball House
Whimzeyland in Safety Harbor

Dysfunctional Grace Art Co in Tampa’s Ybor City.

Dysfunctional Grace Art Co is a collaborative gallery of true art oddities. You wont soon find a more unusual collection of works. From the adorable to the deplorable, and everything in between, this Tampa art shop is a must visit.

Dysfunctional Grace Art Co
Dysfunctional Grace Art Co in Ybor City

Enjoy these unusual attractions near Anna Maria Island and enjoy a true Florida experience!

Top 11 Bradenton Activities – Visit the Mainland from Anna Maria Island

There are tons of great Bradenton Activities to explore while visiting Anna Maria Island. Just a short drive over the Manatee Bridge, Bradenton is on the mainland of Manatee County. This area has a quaint downtown with both family friendly things to do along with a great night life.

Top 11 Bradenton Activities

When you visit Anna Maria Island it’s totally worth driving inland for Bradenton activities!

Downtown Bradenton Old Main Street

If you want to shop, dine, and unwind then Old Main Street is the perfect spot. This is truly the heart of Bradenton. Here you’ll find boutiques, tons of bars and  restaurants too. Old Main Street offers quaint old architecture reminiscent of a small southern town, and fewer modern structures. It’s really a pleasant place to relax while taking in the scenes and window shopping.

Wander down the street to the Riverfront and you’ll find the Pier and Twin Dolphin Marina. The pier not only offers great views of the Manatee River, but also has a very nice restaurant called Pier 22.

If you are looking for a night spot this is the best place for a bar crawl. You’ll find many different bars, pubs and lounges all along Old Main Street. Each bar is unique and draws a different crowd. Just be sure to drink responsibly!

Riverwalk – Free outdoors entertainment.

The Bradenton Riverwalk is a great place to stroll along the Manatee River and enjoy Florida’s year round perfect weather. This strip of public space offers a splash park, playground, day docks, picnic areas, skate park and butterfly garden. Enjoy sights of the river while relaxing too.

Mixon Fruit Farms

Mixon Fruit Farm is a short drive east of downtown. Here you’ll find many fun family attractions including farm tours, wildlife refuge, and a large gift shop too. Be sure to try a free sample of fresh squeezed orange juice and grab a piece of fudge from the gift shop.

Bradenton, Florida things to do
Mixon Fruit Farms offers many family fun things to do in Bradenton

 

Mckechnie Field

While visiting Anna Maria Island in the Spring, you can catch the Pittsburg Pirates Spring training games at Mckechnie Field. Check out their schedule to see all the different activities happening at this amazing facility.

Village of the Arts

The Village of the Arts is a commercial-residential community on the southern side of the downtown area. Here you’ll find art galleries, specialty shops and restaurants. The first Friday of each month the Village holds an artwalk, however, some of the shops are open Tuesday-Saturday weekly.

Bradenton Activities
Village of the Arts is a fun and vibrant neighborhood filled with art and local culture too.

Manatee Performing Arts Center

The Manatee Performing Arts Center has a long history of producing plays and entertaining Bradentonians since the late 1940’s. First started by the Bradenton Junior Women’s Club, the troupe became known as the Manatee Players. Now with a new large facility and location the thespian tradition continues. Check their calendar to see what is happening!

Red Barn Flea Market

The Red Barn Flea Market is a Bradenton tradition. Here you’ll find the areas best Flea Market with produce, restaurants, and a unique assortment of vendors. Open Tuesday through Sunday.

South Florida Museum

The South Florida Museum offers a great look at prehistoric Florida. From Dinosaurs to early native inhabitants, this museum is an impressive facility. You’ll find Paleontology and Archaeology featured in addition to local history too. See the oldest living Manatee in Captivity in their aquarium and also learn about outer space in their planetarium.

Bradenton Activities near Anna Maria Island, Florida
Visit Snooty the Manatee at the South Florida Museum

Ghost Tours

The Bradenton Ghost Tours are a newer feature to the downtown area. Learn about encounters and documented stories from locals. While taking you through areas with unusual encounters you’ll also learn about Bradenton History. Not only are the tours offered in Bradenton, but you can catch a tour on Anna Maria Island’s Bradenton Beach too.

Manatee Village Historic Park

Learn about Bradenton’s past when you visit Manatee Village Historic Park. Here you’ll find relics from the past including Fogarty Boat Works, The Baldwin Steam Locomotive and the old school house.

Breweries

Visit Bradenton Breweries for a nice local cold one. Motorworks and Darwin’s Brewers are both on the south side of Downtown on 9th Street West. While the local handcrafted beer movement takes off, Bradenton has hopped on the trend.

Things to do near Anna Maria Island
There is always something fun happening at Motorworks Brewery.

During your next visit to Anna Maria Island be sure to head into the Mainland and try these Bradenton Activities!

Bradenton Vacation Rentals

Looking for a vacation rental in Bradenton? Island Real Estate has several rentals here just a short drive to gulf beaches. These units are on Perico Island just between the Mainland and Anna Maria Island. Check out these Perico Bay Club homes.

Bradenton vacation rentals
Aerial View of the Perico Bay Club Vacation Rentals in Bradenton

Top 10 Anna Maria Island November Activites

Anna Maria Island November Activities are fun for the entire family! Fall is a great time of year to visit the island with your friends and loved ones. Give thanks island style this November while you try out these top 10 activities.

Anna Maria Island November Activities

Once you visit the island in November, you’ll want to spend every fall here! Follow our Top 10 Anna Maria Island November Activities guide, and enjoy paradise too.

1. Fall Shell Hunt

For some, the gulf starts to get a bit too cold for swimming in November. Visitors from the north might disagree, however everyone can agree on a November shell hunt. Walk along the beach and look for Fall colored seashells for a taste of Florida November.

Anna Maria Island November Activities
Find Fall colors with Anna Maria Island Sea Shells!

2. Cortez Stone Crab Festival

Join in on a tasty fun time with the 5th Annual Stone Crab Festival in Cortez Fishing Village! You’ll find fresh off the boat Stone Crab, live music, kid zone, artists and a beer tent. This event also benefits the Manatee Chapter of Fishing for Freedom. Visit Nov. 5th and 6th from 9am-6pm.

Anna Maria Island November activities guide
Visit the Cortez Stone Crab Festival.

3. Venice Chalk Festival

Head off island for one of the countries best Chalk Festivals. Located in Venice, about an hour from Anna Maria Island, this street art festival is truly impressive. Over 100 artists from all over the world create temporary master pieces with chalk. Attend this event Nov. 11-14.

4. Arts Hop

Anna Maria Island offers a two weekend long arts event in November. You’ll find tons of arts related events and participating organizations during Arts Hop! Events include art walks, plays, demonstrations and more. Visit Nov. 11-13 or Nov. 18-20.

Anna Maria Island November Activities
An island wide arts event for the entire family!

5. Sunbathe on the Beach.

Anna Maria Island air temperatures range from the upper 70’s to the upper 50’s during November. In fact, you can even get a Fall sun burn if you aren’t careful! Enjoy laying out on the beach and soaking in the sun.

6. Pick Veggies at Hunsader Farms.

Less than an hour drive from the island, Bradenton’s Hunsader Farms is great for picking your own fresh produce. During the month of November you can pick a great selection of veggies. Black eyed peas, eggplant, green beans, Okra, purple hull peas, tomatoes and zipper peas too! Fields close at 3:30 Monday through Saturday.

Anna Maria Island November Activities
Pick Florida Fall Produce at Hunsader Farms.

7. Go for a Trolley ride.

We may not have hay rides on Anna Maria Island, but we do have a fantastic free trolley! Enjoy November on Anna Maria Island and comfortably go sightseeing too. The free trolley runs almost the entire length of the island. Typically one will pass by every 15-20 minutes.

8. Do Thanksgiving on AMI.

Gather the entire family for a Florida Thanksgiving at one of the many great Anna Maria Island beach rentals! There’s nothing like eating turkey while digging your toes into powder soft sand.

Anna Maria Island November Activities
Give thanks for Anna Maria Island Vacations!

9. Avoid Black Friday – Shop online!

Who needs the Black Friday headache? Crowded stores, looking for parking spots, searching for that perfect something. Avoid it all this year and shop online! If you haven’t planned your Anna Maria Island vacation, now is a great time to check out your options! Relax at home, shop on IslandReal.com, and buy vacation experiences instead of more stuff!

Anna Maria island beach rentals thanksgiving
Coquina Sands is a great Thanksgiving Anna Maria Island beach rental. Sleep up to 6 guests with a pool and spa! Click on the image to learn more about Coquina Sands.

10. Thanksgiving Nature Walk

Burn off all the food you ate on Thanksgiving with a family nature walk at Leffis Key. Located on the southern end of the island, Leffis Key is less than a mile long. Enjoy views of Sarasota Bay, Mangrove marsh and wildlife while walking the shell and boardwalk paths.

Give thanks and enjoy Anna Maria Island November Activities!

Anna Maria Island Activities November
Visit Anna Maria Island for November!

 

Out of Town Activities for All Ages

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

Out of Town Activities

Sarasota

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

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

Ellenton

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

Tampa

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

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

Best 4 seafood restaurants around Anna Maria Island

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

Seafood Restaurants

1. The Ugly Grouper Bar & Grill

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

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

2. Derek’s

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

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

3. Mar Vista

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

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

4. Starfish Company Market

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

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

De Soto National Memorial – Bradenton

Bradenton – The De Soto National Memorial was created in 1948 to commemorate the 1539 expedition of Spanish conquistador Hernando De Soto. This memorial also reminds us of the impact he made on southeast American Indian societies. Open all year long, the Park offers many different outdoor activities. You’ll also find educational opportunities to learn about the controversial history of the area.

Map of De Soto Memorial
De Soto National Memorial Map

Canoe and Boat

The park is located in Bradenton on a 26 acre plot of land. This is where the Manatee River meets Tampa Bay. De Soto National Memorial offers fabulous kayak and canoeing along the 3000 feet of shoreline. Launch your kayak, canoe or paddle board from the northwest shore of the park. You could also leave from Riverview Point Preserve located just south of De Soto Memorial. Paddle north across the river to explore Emerson Point Nature preserve, or head west through shallow grass flats to Anna Maria Island. De Soto Memorial does not offer a boat launch, however, does offer a temporary anchorage area in the small cove east of De Soto Point.

De Soto National Memorial trails and beaches

The nature trails at De Soto Memorial offer different Florida ecosystems including Mangrove wetlands. Walking trails have signage explaining both the natural history of the area along with information about the 1539 expedition. Pets are welcome on the trails, however bicycles are not.

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

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

Seasonal Events

The Memorial offers seasonal events great for the entire family.

December through April the parks living history area “Camp Uzita” is open. The Camp is an example of a 16th century Native village. It’s complete with living history reenactments and educational information.

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

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

In June and July a kids Junior Ranger program is also available. This teaches kids 6-10 about the history, ecology and conservation of the park.

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

Park Information

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

De Soto National Memorial:
8300 De Soto Memorial Hwy
Bradenton, Florida 34209

Bradenton vacation rentals.

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

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

 

Set Sail to Cortez with the Privateers!

Cortez – The Anna Maria Island Privateers invite you to set sail on their Cortez Pub Crawl Saturday, August 22 starting at 2pm. Get a chance to bar hop via the Privateers beloved pirate ship parade float for a good cause. Meeting at Mexicali Border Cafe on Cortez Road, the ship will continue on to ports of call at RJ Gators, Clancy’s Irish Bar, Cortez Clam Factory, Cortez Kitchen, Swordfish Grill and then back to Mexicali Border Cafe. Tickets cost $40 per person with limited space available. Proceeds will go back to helping kids and the community.

Reserve your spot aboard Skully Wag by calling Dan Hill at 941-812-8318 or Dianne Gritzmacher at 941-705-1325. Guests are encouraged to wear their best swashbuckling attire!

privateers
Anna Maria Island Privateers. Photo Credit http://amiprivateers.memberlodge.org/

Experience Anna Maria Island wildlife with AMI Bird Nerd

Anna Maria Island – Bird Watching on Anna Maria Island is a must for visitors! Home to a wide variety of migratory and year round species, the Island is teaming with Birds from small passerines and large waders to the most common and rare. Bird Watchers on Anna Maria Island are never disappointed by their findings.

AMI Bird Nerd is here to assist visitors in choosing places to Bird watch and provide tools to effectively find and learn about local birds and wildlife. AMI Bird Nerd provides Binocular Rentals, Free Informational Mobile Apps and suggested places to find birds.

AMI Bird Nerd is committed to providing Anna Maria Island vacationers the opportunity to learn about and view local wildlife and birds. AMI Bird Nerd intends to fulfill this commitment in several ways. First, by providing Free Mobile Apps featuring local birds, birding tips, the importance of Florida ecosystems like Marsh and Mangrove, and navigation instructions through local nature viewing locations. Secondly, by providing Binocular rentals to visitors so they can experience wildlife up close from a distance and; therefore, helping alleviate the disturbance to species in their habitat. Last, AMI Bird Nerd will contribute 10% of profits to local and international wildlife conservation efforts.

Co-owner Bonnie Ferran elaborates on AMI Bird Nerd. “The challenge for beginning bird watchers is overcoming frustration. Often times, at first, bird identification can be overwhelming making the hobby too difficult to enjoy. Our intention is for AMI Bird Nerd to assist beginners in learning skills to better identify birds while avoiding frustration. Beyond birds, We want to help educate Anna Maria and Manatee County locals and visitors about vital Florida ecosystems and safe wildlife viewing practices”.

 Click HERE for rent your bird watching binoculars today!

AMI-Bird-Nerd-Birdwatching-and-Binocular-Tours-on-Anna-Maria-Island

Robinson Preserve, something for everybody in the month of February

Bradenton – Just over the Manatee bridge leaving Anna Maria Island is one of the areas most popular nature preserves attracting visitors year round. Coming up are two reasons among many to enjoy Robinson Preserve while on vacation.

Robinson Wagon Tour

On Saturday, February 7th from 8-10am, a tour guide while cart you around Robinson Preserve while explaining the preserve’s history, wildlife, flora and fauna. The tour is suitable for all ages and seats are on a first come, first served basis.

Valentine’s Date at Robinson

Start your Valentine’s celebration early on Tuesday, February 10th from 6-8pm  with a master naturalist and two chef’s. Melissa, the master naturalist, and chef’s Brian and Aedan will take you and your partner on a date at Robinson Preserve. You’ll enjoy a sunset from the observation tower where you get learn what really happens iwth the birds and the bees. You’ll also discuss the courting strategies of the preserve’s wildlife. You’ll finish the night up with a delicious desert over a campfire. The night is recommended for ages 16 and up. To reserve call 941-748-4501, ext. 6039.

Directions: Take SR 64 (Manatee Avenue) east from Anna Maria Island to 75th Street West. Turn north on 75th Street West and drive to 17th Avenue Northwest. Turn left and continue to the end of the street. Robinson Preserve is located on the corner of 17th Avenue Northwest and 99th Street West

Address: 1704 99th Street Northwest, Bradenton, FL 34209

Phone:(941) 748-4501 ext. 4602