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.

Traveling to Anna Maria Island with Pets

Traveling to Anna Maria Island with pets can be easy for some, and difficult for others. Bringing a pet on vacation can give rise to a bevy of different situations, but pet owners will do anything to keep their furry friends happy.

There are tons of great pet friendly Anna Maria Island vacation rentals that make the island an enticing destination. To make your journey a tad easier, we have gathered some great hacks for Traveling to Anna Maria Island with pets.

Traveling by Car or Plane

Be sure your accommodations are pet friendly prior to your visit. You wouldn’t want to show up with a pet just to find out pets are not welcome. It is important to be sure you know the destination you are visiting, so you can be confident your pet will be safe and have fun too.

Have a pet travel kit. Your pet travel kit should include all the daily necessities including medications, pets paper work and identification, plastic bags for clean up, and bowls for food and water.

Never Leave Pets unsupervised. If you are traveling by car or plane you should never leave your pet alone. Always make sure your pet is in a safe place, and seems comfortable with their surroundings.

Make a trip to the veterinarian. Before going anywhere you will want to be sure your pet is in tip top shape. Make a trip to your veterinarian to be sure your pet is up to date on vaccines, and is healthy for travel.

Traveling by Car

Many pet owners travel to Anna Maria Island by car, and are coming from places just a few hours away.  Anna Maria Island gets visitors from Tampa, Lakeland, Brandon and areas nearby. Traveling with a pet is typically less stressful for nearby guests, but can be difficult if under prepared.

Car Travel Hacks

Make a practice run. Pets not accustomed to a car ride need to become familiarized. Load your pet up, and take them for a short drive to see how they do. If a pet is extremely uncomfortable consider taking them on frequent short trips to build up their comfort level, or let your pet sit out on the family vacation.

Keep pets secure. Often pet owner will let animals freely move around the car. This is unsafe for everyone involved including you, your pet, and other vehicles on the road. It is the best practice to have animals in their carrier cage, or some sort of secure place. Even the most behaved animals can act differently under stress. Animals have the potential to distract a vehicle drive, and can cause an accident.

Bring two of everything. When dealing with a frantic pet things can become lost. Be sure to bring back up pet accessories, so you don’t end up in a bind. A spare leash and collar, extra toys and lots of treats are a good idea when traveling to Anna Maria Island with pets. Bring your pets favorite toy to keep them comfortable.

Make frequent stops. Especially when traveling with dogs, you will need to take frequent breaks. Give your pet plenty of opportunities for bathroom breaks. Pets can experience motion sickness, and feel cooped up. The day before a long car trip consider giving your pet extra exercise opportunities.

Bring food and water. Make sure your pet doesn’t get hungry or dehydrated. This can help your pet stay calm and comfortable during a car ride.

Traveling by Plane

Traveling to Anna Maria Island with a pet by plane can be extremely stressful for both you and your furry friends. It is important to choose the safest method of air travel for your pet. Many airlines will allow your pet to travel along side of you in the plane, but this may not be an option. Pets traveling in the cargo hold of a plane are susceptible to many issues including extreme temperatures, mishandling, and inclement weather while on the tarmac. Choose an airline, and travel method you and your pet will most comfortable with.

Plane Travel Hacks

Book direct flights. It is better to plan a direct flight with your pet to avoid pets being left behind, handled too much, or getting lost.

Choose the right airline. Airlines are required to report any animal deaths that occur during flights. You should research an airlines policies and practices prior to booking a flight.

Notify all airline staff. When flying with a pet, notify all airline staff you encounter about the animal. Staff can not make extra accommodations for your pet if they are not aware of the situation. Notifying staff will help ensure your pet is properly handled, and arrives safely at your destination.

Ship your pet in the proper container. A USDA approved shipping container is an appropriate option for traveling with pets in a cargo hold. When shipping your dog in the cargo hold be sure the size of the shipping container is big enough for the pet to stand up in and turn around. Never lock the cage, so that personnel may open the cage in an emergency. It is a good idea to tape food to the outside of the container, so airline staff can feed your dog. You never know if your pet might get stuck without you for an extended period of time. Consider placing a frozen bowl of water in your pets container. This way the water won’t splash around during initial transportation, and will melt by the time your pet is thirsty. Place something absorbent in the bottom of your pet cage to soak up accidents.

Traveling to Anna Maria Island with Pets is rewarding

Whether your travels are just a few hours, or from across international lines, bringing a pet on vacation is rewarding. Traveling to Anna Maria Island with pets allows the entire family to enjoy time relaxing and enjoying each others company. For more information about traveling with pets visit the ASPCA website.

Traveling to Anna Maria Island with Pets
Bring your pet on an Anna Maria Island vacation!

Travel to Anna Maria Island with pets to pet friendly vacation rentals

Island Real Estate has almost 100 pet friendly Anna Maria Island vacation rentals! Be sure to visit IslandReal.com first when looking to accommodate the entire family on a Florida vacation.

Pet friendly vacation rental
Anna Maria Island vacation rental Blue Lagoon 3 is a great pet friendly home sleeping up to 4 human guests! Click on the image to reserve Blue Lagoon 3 today!

5 Movies to Watch while Vacationing on Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria- While playing by the beach is always a good time, relaxing at your rental property with some good movies can be just as fun! Many websites such as Netflix, HBO, and Amazon offer these movies to stream, and because most of our properties come with WiFi you can watch what you’d like at your leisure! While there are many great movies to watch when vacationing by the beach, here’s a few of my favorites.

5 Movies to Watch on Vacation

1. 50 First Dates

Personally one of my favorite romances, 50 First Dates is about a man named Henry who sets his heart on a girl named Lucy. However, little does he know that he has a huge obstacle in his way, Lucy’s short term memory loss. Because of this, every morning Henry must woo her again. This movie is comical, heart-warming, and overall the perfect movie to watch on vacation! This movie is PG-13.

good movies
Photo courtesy of movies.about.com

2. Teen Beach Movie

Any kid or family who loves music and the beach will love this Disney movie! Surfers Brady and McKenzie are magically thrown into a 1960’s movie musical, and are forced to make friends with the characters in order to get back. However, they accidentally change the story line when the movie’s main hero and heroine fall in love with them instead of each other! As the movie takes place at a beach, (of course!) any family is sure to enjoy this movie while vacationing on Anna Maria Island. If you’re looking for a movie marathon, there is also Teen Beach Movie 2. This movie is rated G.

good movies
Photo from teenbeachmovie.wikia.com

3. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

If you love adventure and romance this movie will be one of your favorites. Captain Jack Sparrow finds himself at Port Royal with no ship and no crew. His timing couldn’t be more perfect however as later that day a pirate ship attacks the town and takes none other than the governor’s daughter. A blacksmith named Will Turner happens to be in love with her, and allies with Jack in order to get her back. With so much adventure and an ever exciting plot, you’re sure to love this movie! It is rated PG-13.

pirates of the caribbean are good movies
Photo courtesy of en.wikipedia.org

4. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

This movie is perfect for vacationing teens who are keeping in touch with their friends back home. Four best friends named Carmen, Tibby, Lena and Bridget are spending their first summer apart. Before they leave, Carmen finds a pair of “magic” jeans at the thrift store that happen to fit all the girls different body types. In order to keep in touch, the girls decide to send each other the jeans over the summer for luck. While the girls are facing tough times, they know their friends will be there for them in the long run. A touching and funny movie, this movie is perfect for all ages and is rated PG.

good movies
Photo from www.theodysseyonline.com

5. Jaws

If you’re into scarier movies, Jaws is right up your alley. Beginning when a young women is killed by a shark, Sheriff Martin Brody wants to close the beaches. However the mayor and a few other businessmen are not happy with this idea as it will lower revenue. Brody is forced to back down, when that following weekend a boy is killed by the predator as well. The boys mother proceeds to put a price on the capture of the shark, and soon a local fisherman and an archaeologist join Brody to find the Great White Shark. While this movie is fantastic I do have a warning! As you ARE vacationing at the beach, if the thought of sea creatures such as stingrays and sharks makes you squeamish to go into the water I wouldn’t recommend watching Jaws. This movie is rated PG.

good movies
Photo courtesy of www.motherjones.com

Anna Maria Island Vacation Rentals and Accommodations

Island Real Estate offers the largest selection of  Anna Maria Island vacation rentals with almost 300 to choose from! For the perfect Florida vacation make your reservation with Island Real Estate today!

Anna Maria Island vacation rental
Sunset Glow offers a comfortable living room perfect for relaxing and watching beach movies with friends and family! Click on the image above to learn more about this gorgeous 5 bedroom Anna Maria Island vacation rental!

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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Want to be the first to know about future playlists? Follow our Spotify account here to find some of our favorite songs and playlists!

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.