4 music playlists to listen to on Anna Maria Island

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

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

Music playlists for the beach

1. Beach Vibes

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

2. Pop Music

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

3. Rock Music

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

4. Indie/Alternative Music

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

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Top 5 Activities for Teens on Anna Maria Island

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

Activities for Teens on Anna Maria Island

1. Bike around the island

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

2. Go paddle boarding

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

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

3. Catch ’em all

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

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

4. Eat!

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

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

5. Shop Shop Shop!

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

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

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

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

Anna Maria Island vacation rentals and accommodations

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

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

Anna Maria Public Parking – 6 Tips

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

Anna Maria Public Parking Guide

1. Follow Posted Signage

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

2. Be Willing to Walk

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

3. Relax

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

4. Use Alternative Transportation

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

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

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

5. Avoid a Ticket

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

6. Be in the Know

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

Anna Maria Public Parking Suggestions List

Streets List at a Glance:

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

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

 

Anna Maria Island Vacation Rentals and Accommodations

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

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

 

Dock and Dine when visiting Anna Maria Island – Top 15 Restaurants to Visit by Boat!

Anna Maria Island – Boating is a hugely popular recreational activity in Florida, and Anna Maria Island is no exception to this rule. With the island situated on the Gulf of Mexico, Tampa Bay and Sarasota Bay there are plenty of fun spots on the water to explore. If you get hungry during your boating excursion many waterfront restaurants offer boat parking so you can dock and dine.

Below is a list of the top 15 restaurants to visit by boat in Anna Maria Island, Cortez Fishing Village, Longboat Key and Bradenton. Click on the links to learn more about these great dock and dine destinations.

Anna Maria Island – Bradenton Beach

1. Bridge Tender Inn – Located in Bradenton Beach just south of the City Pier, the Bridge Tender Inn is located right on Sarasota Bay for beautiful views of the Intracoastal and Cortez Fishing Village. The Bridge Tender Inn offers both indoor and outdoor dining along with a full service bar. Enjoy live music, delicious food and great views from this old Florida style locals favorite hangout. Pull your boat up to the dingy dock right out front, or you could even step right out of a kayak into the outdoor dining area! Coordinates: 27°27’55.2″N 82°41’48.0″W

dock and din
Dock your boat here at the Bridge Tender Inn!

2. Anna Maria Oyster Bar (AMOB) – AMOB is located at the base of the Bradenton Beach City Pier south of the Cortez Bridge. The pier offers a public day dock for anyone looking to visit both the pier and Bridge Street. Day dock space can sometimes be crowded with boats, but is convenient for those looking to dock and dine or sight see on Bradenton Beach. Find great views, delicious fresh seafood, a full service bar and friendly service at AMOB. Bonus stops: after you park your boat, you can walk down Bridge Street to many restaurants including The Bridge Tender Inn, Island Creperie, The Blue Marlin, Island Time Bar and Grill, Freckled Fin, The Bridge Street Bistro, or the Beach House Restaurant right on the gulf. Coordinates: 27°27’59.1″N 82°41’39.9″W

Bridge Street Pier
Access Anna Maria Oyster Bar and all of Bridge Street when you dock at the Bradenton Beach City Pier.

Anna Maria Island – Anna Maria

3. Anna Maria City Pier – located on the north end of Anna Maria Island, the city pier overlooks Tampa Bay and the Skyway Bridge. The Pier offers a little of something for everyone to eat, and also offers a jewelry shop to peruse. Toward the end of the pier, near the restauarnt, there is a spot for boats to dock and dine. Coordinates: 27°32’04.2″N 82°43’49.7″W

Anna Maria City Pier
Dock and Dine at the Anna Maria City Pier.

4. Rod and Reel Pier – A favorite spot of Anna Maria locals for a cold beer and fresh seafood, the Rod and Reel Pier has great food serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. You’ll enjoy gorgeous views of Tampa Bay and the northern end of the island. Come by boat, and take a load off at this great old Florida restaurant perfect for a dock and dine excursion. Coordinates: 27°32’18.2″N 82°44’21.5″W

Rod and Reel in Anna Maria
Rod and Reel Pier is a fun dining destination by boat!

5. Ocean Star – Ocean Star is an excellent Japanese restaurant in the city of Anna Maria offering both sushi and hibachi grills. Located at the Galati Marina, Ocean Star has both indoor seating and covered patio seating looking over the Marina and Bimini Bay. To get to Ocean Star by boat you’ll have to enter into Bimini Bay from Tampa Bay. Coordinates: 27°31’35.0″N 82°43’15.4″W

Ocean Star in Anna Maria
Ocean Star offers great sushi and Japanese food on Bimini Bay.

Cortez Fishing Village – Intracoastal

6. Tide Tables – One of the newest restaurants to Cortez Fishing Village, Tide Tables is operated by the same owners as the infamous Starfish market and restaurant. Tide Tables is located at the base of the mainland side of the Cortez Bridge at Intracoastal Waterway Marker 48. Enjoy fresh seafood and amazing views at Tide Tables when you dock and dine at this great spot! Coordinates: 27°28’09.0″N 82°41’21.0″W

Tide Tables
Tide Tables Restaurant in Cortez Fishing Village. Photo Credit: Tide Tables Facebook page.

7. Seafood Shack – The Seafood Shack has been an iconic restaurant to the coastline of Cortez since the 1970’s. Seafood Shack offers both indoor and outdoor dock side seating in addition to their great banquet space. The Seafood Shack offers temporary dock space or slips for overnight stays. In the past few years the Seafood Shack has made a great deal of updates both to the restaurant and Marina. The Seafood Shack is located on the northern side of the Cortez Bridge at ICW marker 49. Coordinates: 27°28’13.5″N 82°41’23.7″W

Seafood shack
Seafood Shack in Cortez. Photo Credit: Seafood Shack facebook.

Cortez Fishing Village – South Shore

8. Starfish Market and Restaurant – One of the most popular eateries in Cortez Fishing Village, Starfish offers a glimpse into the world of the local fisherpeople who bring Florida fresh seafood to our tables. Starfish has outdoor seating only with the dining area right on the docks used by fishing boats. When you dock and dine tie up to any free spot you can find and don’t forget to bring cash as cards are not accepted. To get to Starfish you’ll have to head east along the southern shoreline past the Coast Guard station and the large building labeled A.P Bell. Coordinates: 27°27’57.2″N 82°41’07.2″W

Starfish market in cortez, fl.
Dock and Dine at Starfish restaurant in Cortez.

9. Swordfish Grill and Tiki Bar – heading farther along the southern shore of Cortez Fishing Village you’ll find both Swordfish Grill and our #10 stop Cortez Kitchen. Swordfish has been in business since 2011 and offers great views of Sarasota Bay, live music everyday, cold drinks and fresh off the boat seafood. Swordfish offers plenty of dock and dine spaces for those coming by boat! Coordinates: 27°27’56.8″N 82°40’54.3″W

Swordfish grill
Swordfish Grill and Tiki Bar offers gorgeous views! Photo Credit: Swordfish Website.

10. Cortez Kitchen – Just like Starfish and Swordfish Grill, Cortez kitchen offers great fresh seafood with beautiful views of Sarasota Bay. Enjoy covered outdoor seating weathered fishing boats, and live music! Coordinates: 27°27’57.5″N 82°40’53.1″W

Cortez Kitchen
Cortez Kitchen offers dock and dine! Photo Credit: Cortez Kitchen Facebook Page.

Longboat Key

11. Mar Vista Dockside Restaurant and Pub – Owned by the Chiles group, Mar Vista is the Longboat key sister restaurant to the Beach House and Sandbar on Anna Maria Island. Just as the Beach House and Sandbar, Mar Vista offers fresh food with great service. Enjoy great bay side views along with several spaces for those looking to dock and dine. Mar Vista is located on the northern bay side of Longboat Key. Coordinates: 27°26’17.0″N 82°40’54.7″W

Mar Vista
Dock and Dine at Mar Vista on Longboat Key.

12. Dry Dock Grill – Located on the southern end of Longboat Key in the Boathouse Marina, Dry Dock Grill is just a short drive north of St. Armands Circle. To get to Dry Dock by boat you’ll have to leave Sarasota Bay heading south past quick point and into Zwick’s channel near marker 6. Dry Dock offers three wet slips for those coming to dock and dine. Coordinates: 27°20’20.5″N 82°35’24.0″W

Dry Dock
Dry Dock on Longboat Key. Photo Credit: Dry Dock Facebook.

Bradenton

13. Pier 22 – Located on the Manatee River in downtown Bradenton, the Pier 22 restaurant offers a casual upscale dining experience with an extensive menu. Pier 22 offers dining indoors, covered outdoor dining or outdoor dining right along the riverfront. Pier 22 offers a 180 foot courtesy dock perfect for boaters looking to stop along the river for a convenient dock and dine. The Marina offers a great place for overnight or extended stays. To get to Pier 22 you’ll exit lower Tampa Bay at marker #2 into the Manatee River. Follow the river about six miles to marker 22. Coordinates: 27°30’02.2″N 82°34’24.9″W

Pier 22
Pier 22 on the Downtown Bradenton riverfront offers day docks!

14. Riverhouse Reef and Grill – Across the river from Pier 22 you’ll find Riverhouse Reef and Grill in Palmetto. Located in one of the most luxurious marinas on the west coast of Florida, Riverhouse Reef and Grill offers plenty of space for boats to dock and dine. Coordinates: 27°30’42.2″N 82°34’32.5″W

Riverhouse
Riverhouse Reef and Grill on the Palmetto River front.

15. YachtSea Grille – heading further down the Manatee River you’ll find the public day docks at the Bradenton Riverwalk. Park your boat enjoy the beautiful riverfront, and experience a great meal. Head east from the day docks to find YachtSea Grille for great food and service in downtown Bradenton. YachtSea is just west of the Desoto Bridge and nearby to the downtown skate park. YachtSea is not directly on the riverfront, but is just across the street from the water.  Coordinates: 27°29’58.0″N 82°33’49.7″W

YachtSea Grill
Dock at the Bradeanton Riverfront park day dock and enjoy a bite at Yachtsea Grill.

There are tons of great places to explore for a fun dock and dine experience around Anna Maria Island.

Anna Maria Island Accommodations and Vacation Rentals

Island Real Estate offers almost 300 vacation rental properties perfect for a tropical Florida getaway. Book your stay today!

Anna Maria Island vacation rental
Paradise Pointe is a gorgeous Canal Front home perfect for those vacationing with a boat! Click on the image above to learn more about Paradise Pointe!

 

Top 10 Places to Find Fish Tacos on Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria Island – Fish Tacos have become a very popular cuisine in Florida with Anna Maria Island being no exception. Said to have originated from the Baja region of Mexico, Fish Tacos typically consist of a battered and fried white fish in a flour tortilla with a variety of traditional and non traditional toppings.

When searching for the best fish taco on Anna Maria Island there is no shortage of options, so we have put together a list of 10 places to find fish or seafood tacos to keep your tummy happy. While perusing our list click on any of the restaurant names to read more about their offerings and location.

1.The Waterfront Restaurant

Located along the bay side of Anna Maria with a gorgeous view, The Waterfront offers Grouper Tacos on their appetizer menu. These tacos offer premium black Gulf Grouper seasoned and seared in a flour tortilla with pico de gallo, jicama slaw and cheddar jack cheese.

Grouper Tacos
The Waterfront Restaurant in Anna Maria offers great Grouper Tacos! Photo Credit: Facebook User Dorothy Coleman 11/13/2013.

 

2.Lobstahs

Found on the Sandwich Menu at Lobstahs is the Grouper Taco grilled and lightly spiced in a flour tortilla with cheddar cheese and a sesame cilantro slaw.

Lobstahs
Lobstahs in Holmes Beach on Gulf Drive.

3.Eat Here

Offering two types of Taco’s on the menu, Eat Here has a Shrimp/Lobster combo Taco served with garlic butter, aioli, fruit salsa, and slaw. The second taco changes daily by the chef’s choice with options including the fresh fish catch of the day, steak or pork.

Eat Here Fish Tacos
Eat Here Fish Tacos are delicious@

4.Island Gourmet Grill

Served in a flour tortilla with jack cheese, lettuce and pico de gallo, Island Gourmet Grill offers local caught fish tacos on the Great Beginnings section of the menu.

Island Gourmet Grill
Island Gourmet Grill in Holmes Beach on Marina Drive.

5.Beach House and Sandbar Restaurant

Our number five on the list is actually two restaurants under the same ownership offering delicious fish tacos with gulf waterfront views. Sandbar, located in the city of Anna Maria, offers blackened Grouper Medallions over slaw with corn and flour tortillas, served with rice. The Beach house, in Bradenton Beach, offers fish tacos fried or blackened with slaw, pico de gallo, and a sweet and spicy sauce, served with chips.

Beach House Fish Tacos
Fish Tacos at the Beach House Restaurant in Bradenton Beach.

6.AMI Beach Cafe

Located at one of Anna Maria Island’s most popular beaches, AMI Beach Cafe is directly on Manatee public beach offering all types of concessions, drinks, music and beach atmosphere. AMI Beach Cafe offers both shrimp and fish tacos, and is a great place to catch the sunset.

AMI Beach Cafe
Fish Tacos at AMI Beach Cafe. Photo Credit: Facebook User Heather Wilson 9/21/2013.

7.Bridge Tender Inn

A locals hangout, the Bridge Tender Inn offers a gorgeous view of Sarasota Bay located at the end of Bridge Street. Sit inside or dine outdoors while enjoying their jerked spice Mahi tacos topped with lettuce and chipotle ranch dressing, served with black bean soup.

 

Bridge Tender Inn Fish Tacos
Bridge Tender Inn Fish Tacos look amazing!

8.Island Time Bar and Grill

Located on the corner of Bridge Street with open air seating, Island Time Bar and Grill has a unique scallop taco lightly blackened with lettuce, tomato, cheese, guacamole, salsa, sour cream and coleslaw.

Fish Tacos
Island Time Grill and Bar Fish Tacos.

 

9.Gulf Drive Cafe

On the direct gulf front of Bradenton Beach, Gulf Drive Cafe offers three Mahi Tacos blackened with cheddar cheese and pico de gallo in a flour tortilla, served with salsa, sourcream and Spanish rice on the side.

 

Gulf Drive Cafe
Gulf Drive Cafe and Tiki Bar on Bradenton Beach.

10.Wicked Cantina

Inspired by Austin style Tex-Mex, Wicked Cantina offers several tacos on the menu including beer battered grouper, breaded shrimp and breaded lobster options. Each of these options are topped with slaw, pickled onions, cilantro and chipotle aioli served in a flour tortilla. All tacos come with refried beans and Mexican rice.

Wicked Cantina Fish Tacos
Fish Tacos at Wicked Cantina.

While visiting Anna Maria Island try these locations and see for yourself who has the best fish taco in town!

 

Anna Maria Island Vacation Rentals

If you are looking for the perfect Anna Maria Island vacation rental Island Real Estate has almost 300 properties to choose from!

Bradenton Beach Vacation Rental
Bradenton Beach Club 224 is a 2 bedroom condo updated late 2015. Click on the image to learn more about this great rental!

6 Things to Know About Bradenton Beach

Bradenton Beach – Traveling to the southern portion of Anna Maria Island brings you into the quiet bustling city of Bradenton Beach. This area of the island offers miles of public beaches with parking, Historic Bridge Street for sightseeing and shopping, and great dining opportunities with both family fun and a nightlife. Read on to learn six things you might not know about Bradenton Beach.

1. History

Originally called Cortez Beach for its proximity to the fishing village of Cortez, the area became Bradenton Beach during the 1920’s land boom. It’s believed that inland developers gave it the name Bradenton Beach, so potential buyers would think the Beach and the city of Bradenton were next to each other rather than seperated by Cortez Fishing Village and Palma Sola. The city was incorporated in 1953.

Bradenton Beach’s Historic Bridge Street Pier is the site of the original, and first bridge connecting the island to the mainland. The first Bridge was wooden, and built in 1922. By the 1940’s the Bridge became rickety with wind and waves making the structure sway. It’s said that when cars went over the old bridge the wooden boards would bounce making a banging noise like a shot gun (Norwood 181). A new bridge was built in 1957 making access to the island much safer and easier.

The Historic Bridge Street Pier, now a days, offers excellent fishing, sightseeing over Sarasota Bay, a delicious restaurant with a view, shops and public day docks.

Historic Bridge
The First Bridge to Anna Maria Island built in 1922.

2. Sightseeing and Activities

There are many beautiful places to sightsee on Bradenton Beach including the Bradenton Beach City Pier, quaint Bridge Street, Coquina Beach bike path and Leffis Key. Rent a segway from Bridge Street rental company Segs by the Sea, and cruise around the city with ease.

When looking for activities on Bradenton Beach enjoy miniature golf on Bridge Street, or head over to the Tingley Memorial Library. This unique library is independent of the Manatee County Library system, and offers annual memberships for $4.

When visiting the island, especially during high season, you may want to consider using the free trolley to get around. Parking is limited in busy areas of the island, and battling traffic does not lend to a relaxing paradise getaway. The free trolley runs usually every 20 minutes taking you along almost the entire island.

Sarasota Bay sightseeing
There are great sightseeing opportunities in Bradenton Beach like this view of Sarasota Bay and the Cortez Bridge seen from Leffis Key.

3. Beaches

Bradenton Beach offers about a three mile strip of public beach with parking along the Gulf of Mexico. Many of these beach areas offer public parking making it a popular place for enjoying the shore on Anna Maria Island. To the far south is Coquina Beach with restrooms, concessions, showers, parking, picnic tables, walking path, playground, and life guards. Heading north through Bradenton Beach along the gulf brings you to Cortez Beach. Cortez Beach does not offer the same amenities, but does have plenty of parking, and an old Florida beach feel. There are three erosion groins located in an area locals call “Three Piers” this area separates Coquina and Cortez Beach, and is said to be a great surfing spot.

Coquina Beach
Coquina Beach is the southern most gulf beach on Anna Maria Island. In the background of this image you can see the 2015/2016 construction of the new erosion groins to keep south end beaches intact.

4. Events and Markets

Bradenton Beach offers two seasonal markets perfect for finding local made items, art, gifts and produce. Both happening on Sunday, The Bridge Street Market and Coquina Beach Market are a great way to enjoy the island on a Sunday Funday Morning. The Bridge Street Merchants plan several events through out the year such as the lighting of Bridge Street before Christmas. Visit the Bridge Street Merchants website for up to date event information.

Bridge Street Market
The Bridge Street Market is a great place for local produce and gifts. Photo Credit: VisitBridgeStreet.com

5. Shopping

In addition to the fabulous Seasonal Markets there are great little shops in Bradenton beach offering swim wear, beach gear, home items, art, jewelry, gifts and more. Find out about Shopping on Anna Maria Island here.

Back Alley
There are great shops on Bridge Street like Back Alley where you can find local made and hand made art, jewelry, gifts and refreshments. Photo Credit: Back Alley Facebook Page.

6. Dining

On the south end of Anna Maria Island you’ll find some really fabulous Restaurants. Any type of dining experiences can be found for all meals of the day, casual or fine dining, and dining with a beach or bay view. You’ll even find a few places open late on Bridge Street if you are looking for a little night life. Click on the links below for suggestions.

Bradenton Beach Bridge Tender Inn
The Bridge Tender restaurant offers great food with a beautiful view of Sarasota Bay and the Bradenton Beach City Pier.

 

Blue Marlin
Wicked Cantina
The Island Spice
Bridge Tender Inn
Beach House Restaurant
The Freckled Fin
French Table
Island Time
Joe’s Eats and Sweets
Sharky’s

Bradenton Beach Pier
Bradenton Beach City Pier 2016.

Now that you know these six tips, enjoy your Bradenton Beach vacation like a local!

 

Bradenton Beach Accommodations

Looking for the perfect Anna Maria Island vacation accommodations on south end? Island Real Estate has got you covered with almost 300 great rentals across the island!

Bradenton Beach Vacation Rental
The Bay View Inn is a 4 unit complex two blocks from Bridge Street, and just a short walk to both gulf and bay side Bradenton Beach. These 1 Bedroom units sleep 4 guests and were updated and redecorated in late 2015. Click on the image to see these adorable island style rentals.

 

Works Cited:

Norwood, Carolyne. Anna Maria Island 1940-1970 Tales of Three Cities from Bean Point to Bridge Street. Anna Maria Island: Anna Maria Island Historical Society. 2010.

 

7 Things To Know About The City of Anna Maria

Anna Maria – Occupying the northern end of Anna Maria Island is the city of Anna Maria. A coveted portion of the island, Anna Maria offers an old Florida coastal village feel with charming history, locals and sightseeing. Even if you have visited the city of Anna Maria there are likely a few things you didn’t know about this gorgeous little walkable town.

City Pier
The Anna Maria City Pier is an island landmark

History

Anna Maria has a proud and interesting history as the “Town Fig Newtons Built“. Charles Roser and his wife started the Anna Maria Beach Company to develop the land on Anna Maria Island in the late 1800’s. Charles Roser invented the machine that fills Fig Newtons, and used the money from the sale of his patented machine to begin Anna Maria Beach Company. One of the first steps to building a community on the island was to build the city pier which celebrated it’s 100th Birthday in 2011. When visiting the Island be sure to stop by the Anna Maria Historical Society on Pine Avenue to learn all about the unique history of this town.

Shopping

All along the small commercial streets of Anna Maria there are several locally run boutiques with everything from hand made to high end wares and souvenirs. There are no big box, or chain store retailers in Anna Maria making for a shopping experience full of great finds. All of the shops listed below are within walking distance of one another as is just about everything in the small city of Anna Maria. While in town check out the following shops:

Ginny & Jane E’s

Bella by the Sea

Shiny Fish Emporium

Pink & Navy

Historic Green Village

Restaurants

There is no shortage of fabulous Restaurants in Anna Maria from casual to sophisticated, and from gulf views to bay views you’ll be pleased with Anna Maria Dining options.

Rod & Reel Pier

J Burns

Poppo’s Tacos

Slim’s Place

Anna Maria City Pier Restaurant

Rudy’s Subs

The Waterfront

Sandbar

Ocean Star Sushi

Beaches

Anna Maria offers gorgeous beaches all around the northern tip of the island. Anna Maria beaches do not offer an abundance of parking making them more secluded and reachable by foot or bike. Enjoy beaches on the Gulf of Mexico, Bean Point and Tampa Bay beaches at Bay Front Park when you visit Anna Maria.

Sightseeing and Equipment Rentals

Sightseeing on the northern end of Anna Maria is truly stunning with gorgeous beaches, marine wildlife, and great views from Rod & Reel Pier and the Anna Maria City Pier. While you stay on Anna Maria you may want to rent a bicycle or other fun outdoor equipment from Beach Bums or Lux Carts.

Events

The city of Anna Maria hosts several events throughout the year happening on Pine Avenue. Anna Maria events are family friendly and offer great food, vendors and live music.

Food and Wine on Pine

Sandbar Easter Egg Hunt

Bay Fest

Christmas on Pine

Activities

When you have had your fill of the beach, or need to take a break from the beach because you are too sunburned, there are a few activities to enjoy in the city of Anna Maria.

Little free Library

Players Theater

Community Center

Vacation Rentals in the city of Anna Maria

If you are looking for the perfect vacation rental home in the city of Anna Maria, Island Real Estate has over 60 gorgeous homes within the city limits.

Anna Maria vacation rental
Gorgeous Direct Gulf Front Anna Maria Vacation Rental “Wind Song”. Click on the image to learn more about this property. 

Top 7 Things Locals Know About Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria Island – Experiencing the island life like a local is the ultimate way to enjoy your time on Anna Maria Island. There’s a few things all locals know about their beautiful seven mile long barrier island that we’ll gladly share with you. Discover Anna Maria Island’s best of the best!

1 Getting Around the Island

Locals know that Anna Maria Island is a fabulous community for alternative forms of transportation. When visiting Anna Maria Island during the peak season months street traffic can make getting around by car a bit difficult along with creating limited public parking.  Locals love walking or bike riding to their destination because it’s an amazing way to enjoy our gulf breezes and tropical scenery. If you’re going from one end of the island to the other the free trolley is absolutely perfect! If you are visiting the Island consider renting a golf cart or scooter for a super fun way to get around in style.

Anna Maria Island trolley
Anna Maria Island Locals LOVE the free trolley!

2 Island History

All locals know a thing or two about the history of the island. A community rich in Florida culture, Islanders love to reminisce about Anna Maria City Pier, the first bridge connecting the island to the mainland, the first island settlers and the “day trippers” culture that still enlivens this beautiful vacation destination. Visit the Anna Maria Island Historical Society on Pine Avenue to enjoy the Island’s history, or head over the bridge to the Florida Maritime Museum to learn about the historic Fishing Village of Cortez.

Cortez Bridge history
Historic Cortez Bridge connecting Bradenton Beach to the mainland of Cortez Village.

 

3 Fishing and Seafood

Naturally Anna Maria Island has always been a fabulous place for fishing, and fresh seafood. Nestled between the Gulf of Mexico, Tampa Bay and the Intracoastal waterway, Anna Maria Island is perfectly situated for premium fishing. Many local seasonal specialties such as Stone Crab, Mullet, Spiny Lobsters and Sunray Venus Clams can be found at just about any restaurant serving seafood. Visit The Island Real Estate Fishing Report page for local fishing updates and conditions.

Fishing on Anna Maria Island
Locals love fishing on Anna Maria Island.

4 Dining and Restaurants

With no shortage of delectable eateries, Anna Maria Island has just about any type of cuisine you are looking for. Whether it’s dining with a view, fabulous happy hour specials, or the top ten island restaurants, Anna Maria Island has it all!

Rod and Reel Pier
Rod & Reel Pier offers some of Anna Maria Island’s most delicious seafood!

5 Shopping

Anna Maria Island is a unique shopping destination offering only independent and small shops and boutiques. Find fabulous wares from beach accessories, to jewelry, local art, high end finds and souvenirs. When visiting the Island during peak season enjoy fabulous local markets!

Shopping
Find fabulous shopping finds on Anna Maria Island!

6 Beaches

With over seven miles of coastline, Anna Maria Island offers tons of great beach spots. From secluded Bean Point to the bustling Manatee Public Beach access read all about Anna Maria Island beaches here.

beach
Anna Maria Island beaches are gorgeous.

7 Wildlife

Anna Maria Island locals are absolutely crazy about our precious wildlife. With great efforts from organizations such as the Anna Maria Island Shorebird and Turtle Watch, and Wildlife Inc animal rescue, Island animals are held near to the hearts of locals. Many types of wildlife can be found on and around Anna Maria Island including Atlantic Bottle Nose Dolphins, Manatee and Turtles. Visitors often wonder about the possibility of seeing Crocodiles or Alligators, but any local can tell you these kind of critters haven’t been spotted around the island in decades.

Turtles and Wildlife
Baby Loggerhead Turtles nest on Anna Maria Island from May through October.

If you’re looking for the best vacation rental properties on Anna Maria Island visit IslandReal.com to peruse our selection of almost 300 gorgeous homes!

 

Halloween's Top 5 Beach Costumes

Halloween is a fun time of year where we get to play pretend and live out our imaginations.  If you’re imagination is full of thoughts of the beach, here are our five favorite beach-inspired Halloween costumes:

 

5.  THE HULA GIRLhula girl

 

Luaus and hulas might be a Hawaiian tradition, but we have to respect the beautiful tradition and overall appeal of the hula girl.

 

 

 

child-mermaid-costume

4. MERMAID/MERMAN

No humanistic character has a closer relationship to the sea than the mermaid.  We can’t help but be jealous of life spent in the ocean and love to see the little mermaids who stop by the Island Real Estate office to trick or treat.

 

 

 

 

 

lifeguard costuem3. LIFEGUARD

These are some of our heroes.  Lifeguards and other first responders who protect our beaches and keep our loved ones safe are near and dear to our hearts, so grab shorts and tank tops and  represent for the lifeguards this Halloween.

 

 

 

 

 

Shark-costume-baby-on-the-beach  2. SHARK BABY

Not everyone can pull this one off.  But if you have the chubby cheeks for it, you can’t go wrong with a shark baby disguise.  It’s both ferocious and irresistible at the same time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

TAMI baby costume No. 1 TAMI SEA TURTLE

Tami the sea turtle is our Island Real Estate mascot and our favorite Halloween costume concept.  Just imagine all of the extra candy you can store in that shell!!

 

 

The Top Tens of Anna Maria Island for 2013

The Top Tens of Anna Maria Island 2013!

Top Tens of Anna Maria Island Header
So you’re thinking about visiting Anna Maria Island? What are you going to do when you get here? Or maybe you’re already here? :0 Well have we got the resources to help you make some decisions! Let’s start with counting by tens (because we know that’s much easier than threes or fours or any of those other boring numbers)!
Anna Maria Island Restaurants

Anna Maria Island’s best restaurants

Check out Jason’s Anna Maria Island restaurant picks! Follow it up with some of our selections for ice cream and desserts and you are ready to start doing what you really came here for. For a full list of recommendations visit our Anna Maria Island restaurants section.

Anna Maria Island Activities

We know you came here to do everything on our endless list of activities! That’s right, every last thing!
Anna Maria Island Activities for Kids

  1. Let’s start with some great family fun!  It’s fun for the whole family with these activities for kids!
  2. There’s plenty of don’t-miss adventure to be had on the island!  Try some of these daytime activities!
  3. Or let’s take a short trip just south of the island, to participate in Sarasota activities, with lots of fun options and some more beautiful scenery!
  4.  How about all the fun, none of the cost?  Don’t forget to enjoy some of these free activities!
  5. Get the inside scoop on area fun by checking out some of our staff’s Favorites Lists. Don’t miss the tips on things like shopping and nightlife, from Carol’s, Amy’s, and Kacey’s Top 10 lists!

Read The Best of Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria Island Activities to do on Rainy Days

Anna Maria Island Family Activities

Anna Maria Island Activities to do With Your Pets

Anna Maria Island salons, spas, and relaxation activities

Still have some time before the day is over? Let’s check out Anna Maria Island’s best shopping spots! And it doesn’t end there because we have more of Anna Maria Island’s must shop locations.

So now it’s night time. What is there to do? Sleep? Not a chance! You’re on vacation so let’s keep the party going! Check out a couple prime locations to watch the sunset and then get ready for the nightlife. Do you sing in the shower or the car? Not anymore because now you’re going to be singing in front of a crowd that is cheering you on as you croon through each chorus at one of the numerous karaoke bars in the Anna Maria Island area. Doesn’t sound quite like your glass of beer? Then check out our favorite night spots!

Stay in Shape During Your Visit to Anna Maria Island