When visiting Anna Maria Island there are plenty of fitness activities to keep you feeling healthy during your paradise getaway. Enjoy a great vacation guilt free when you try out these Top 11 fitness activities on Anna Maria Island.
Top 11 Fitness Activities
1. Going to the gym: Kick boxing class with Reggie is best! I love working out with my personal trainer Brenda and doing the different boot camps offered! Recently Island Fitness has relocated to the Anna Maria Island Center formerly known as the Anna Maria Island Community Center.
– Island Fitness: 407 Magnolia, Anna Maria City, FL 34216
– Phone: (941) 778-5200
2. Fit Crew: Great boot camp style work out (very similar to CrossFit) sometimes they have a beach work out on AMI!
– First class is free! Come and see if you like it!
– 608 19th Ave West, Bradenton, FL 34205
– Phone : (941) 447-9272
3. Bike riding from the Anna Maria Island to the Robinson Preserve and back. If you are looking for other parks nearby check out our list here.
– I love the 11 mile back ride, easily done in 1 hour, always able to spot local wildlife!
– Robinson Preserve: 1112 Manatee Avenue West, Bradenton, FL 34205
Phone: (941) 748-4501
4. Bike riding to Harry’s Continental Kitchen on Longboat Key.
– The food is amazing!
– This is about a 16 mile bike ride.
– Harry’s continental Kitchen: 5600 Gulf of Mexico Drive, Longboat Key, FL 34228
– Phone: (941) 383-0777
Insider tip: The Coquina Bike path is a great low key bike path that takes you off the streets and lets you bike on a side walk close to the Beach!
5. Paddle boarding or kayaking around the bayous and gulf side. Love the workout and being able to be out on the water while getting a tan!
9. Go Legs Spin Studio very close to IMG Academies. Hour long spin sessions and toning with weights.
– 2 projectors in the studio to watch music videos and replays of real
Cycle races such as the Tour de France.
– 3549 53rd Ave. West, Bradenton, FL 34210
– Phone: (941) 896-7885
If you are looking to enjoy a little night life while visiting Anna Maria Island we have got you covered! Here is our top ten night spots on Anna Maria Island. By the way in no particular order and tried to include the normal outfits found for patrons visiting the night spot. We would classify night spots into three categories; Motorcycle bar, Coastal Vacationer bar, Local bar or a mixture of Vacationer and Local.
Top Ten Night Spots
1.Hurricane Hanks– Laid-back sports bar with a fantastic menu! I have never had a bad meal at Hurricane’s so grab a drink and enjoy some great eat’s. My father love’s grabbing a gin and tonic with the scallops and bacon appetizer. Business casual is normally the outfits found at Hurricane Hanks and this is a mixture of Coastal Vacationer and Locals.
5346 Gulf Drive,
Holmes Beach, FL
2. Island Time Bar & Grill– Great atmosphere with live music & a tasty menu! Coastal casual wear is what would be found at Island time and this is a mixture of Coastal Vacationer and Locals.
111 Gulf Drive
South Bradenton Beach, FL 34217
3.Cortez Kitchen– Located not too far off the Cortez Bridge, this outdoors, laid back restaurant most likely will have a live band, good food, and a good time in store for you. Good mix of coastal visitors and locals makes this a good choice for any type of evening you are looking for.
4528 119th Street West Cortez, FL 34215
4. Bridge Tender Inn & Dockside Bar– Inside is the sports bar and restaurant, outside’s a tiki bar with live music, right on the water, and even a flat screen for game days! Located in Bradenton Beach just of Bridge Street. Parking can be a challenge so bring your patience or ride the trolley! Good mixture of Coastal Vacationers and Locals.
155 Bridge Street
Bradenton Beach, FL, 34217
5. Dcoy Ducks – Great nightspot with live music, poker nights and more! Located in the heart of Holmes Beach right next to the Feast. Go grab some fabulous food at the Feast and walk less than 30 feet to Dcoy Duck’s! Normal outfit would be a tshirt with some casual shorts. Leather could be included but this is a good mix of visitors and locals that patronize this bar. Mixture of locals, coastal vacationers and motorcyle patrons.
5410 Marina Drive,
Holmes Beach, FL
6. Drift Inn– Small town bar on historic bridge street. Normal outfit could include a little leather but likely includes a t-shirt and some torn up blue jeans. More of a feel of motorcycle patrons along with locals.
120 Bridge Street,
Bradenton Beach, FL
7. Anchor Inn– Friendly bar with pool tables and darts. This is one of several local bars located just South of Publix. Normal outfit would include a little leather. More of a feel of motorcycle patrons along with locals.
3007 Gulf Drive,
Holmes Beach, FL
8. Bortells – Pinball, video games, and pool tables. Normal outfit would include a little leather and some blue jeans.
10002 Gulf Drive
Anna Maria, FL
9. The Doctor’s office is located within a short 2-3 minute stroll from the Feast or Dcoy Ducks. The Doctor’s Office is a craft cocktail bar. They have small bites, wine, beer and some unique cocktails to offer. This is a very quaint and cozy bar that reminds me more of a cigar parlor with comfy seats and fabulous staff that works to meet your every whim. Normal outfit would be business casual and this has strong coastal vacationer feel.
5312 Holmes Blvd
Holmes Beach, FL
10. Slim’s– Great place to watch sports! Great food, billiards and live entertainment. This for sure is a local hang out and many nights they host after party teams from the Anna Maria community Center extracurricular evening sports activities. Normal outfit would be coastal wear with some shorts. Coastal vacationer and local hangout.
9701 Gulf Dr.
Anna Maria, FL
We have plenty of more suggestions for places to visit while on Anna Maria Island. Visit our nightlife information page.
By the way – there is no reason to drink and drive on Anna Maria Island. Check out the free monkey bus or the free Anna Maria Island Trolley for plans to let someone else handle the heavy lifting while out on the town!
If you’re looking for a family friendly restaurant try checking out one of the island’s Gulf Front or Bay Front restaurants featuring live entertainment and a comfortable inviting atmosphere. If you are looking for general dining information visit our restaurant summary page for more dining out choices.
Things To Do – Family Fun
If you’re getting tired of swimming or visiting the many beaches in the area there are plenty of public pools to visit as well. Take a trip to one of the area aquariums to get a close up look at the sea life! A short trip to the Florida Maritime Museum will be both educational and fun for the whole family.
If you’re visiting during the summer there are plenty of additional options, such as participating in the turtle watch which takes place between May 1st-October 31st. The kids can learn about the local turtles and see some of the nesting grounds that are penned off with stakes and tape right on the beaches. Kids can also learn to surf with the kid’s summer surfing camps!
Take a water shuttle trip on the Island Pearl to various locations and maybe even see some dolphins! Or for those who prefer solid ground the Anna Maria Island Trolley the Crown Jewel will take you around the island for free!
If you would like you can take a video tour of Anna Maria Island before you visit to get acquainted with some of the sights and locations!
Here is all the Anna Maria Island Area Restaurant Information you’ll need for you next visit! The island has it all when it comes time for food. From beach café’s to Fine Dining, American, Mexican, Italian, Caribbean cuisine, and so much more. Take a look below and find the best place for your next breakfast, lunch, dinner, or just drinks and a snack.
Anna Maria Island has several fine dining restaurants. The Beach Bistro in Holmes Beach is a nationally recognized as award winning. They offer an unforgettable dining experience with romantic Gulf of Mexico views. The Waterfront Restaurant is on the Bay side of Anna Maria City with dining outside too. Visit Sign of the Mermaid for large portions and their award winning Key Lime Pie. Eat Here is in central Holmes Beach, and is also the sister restaurant to Beach Bistro.
Gulf Front Restaurants with outdoor Dining on Anna Maria Island
American Cuisine Restaurants on Anna Maria Island, Fl
The City Pier is always a locals favorite. This is a beautiful spot at the very end of Pine Avenue. Hurricane Hank’s has affordable everything and serves great food in Holmes Beach. Mr. Bones offers fabulous barbecue with some unique twists. Seafood more your speed, when in Rome so to speak or more like Maine? Also try Island Gourmet Grill for American dishes, seafood, Italian and more.
Seeking a good breakfast? Rod and Reel or Peach’s are good breakfast Anna Maria Island Restaurants. One of the best Anna Maria beach burger restaurants is just across from the Manatee public beach – Skinny’s. Skinny’s has outdoor seating as well. Anyone who has been to Anna Maria Island knows that Duffy’s serves a mean hamburger as well in Holmes Beach. Try Slim’s Place for an American style dinner and live music. Rotten Ralph’s Restaurant has been around for a long time but this past season the last location CLOSED. Right next door is the Bridge Tender Inn Restaurant which offers outdoor waterfront dining as well as formal dining. Another great Bradenton Beach restaurant on Anna Maria Island is Sharky’s.
Anna Maria Island Mexican, Italian, German and other Cuisine Restaurants
If you’re looking for Anna Maria Island Restaurants that serve Mexican cuisine Tortilla Bay is 100% Tex-Mex and is a walk up diner type restaurant. So if you are searching for a inexpensive lunch or dinner Tortilla Bay is the perfect stop. If you are in the mood for German food then look no further. Try the Old Hamburg restaurant in Holmes Beach, Fl on Anna Maria Island. Jamaican Breeze moved off the Island and offers a Jamaican flair and great dishes. Wicked Cantina is a new Tex-Mex source of food on Anna Maria Island. Another Mexican based newbee is Poppo’s located in Anna Maria City on Pine Avenue. Sorry, Banana Cabana is now closed.
There is a small Chinese restaurant on the Anna Maria Island, China 1. For a great burger with onion rings or french fries try Skinny’s. You can order on the telephone and pick it up. A fine dining restaurant that delivers is The Feast in Holmes Beach. The restaurant caters as well. If you are in the mood for fresh fish try the Fresh Fish Market. They sell a great selection of fish and offer small dishes like soups and freshly prepared salads. Island Gourmet offers both take out and delivery if you are looking for something better than your average chain store pizza. They also offer more upscale selections such as seafood, salads and pasta too.
Anna Maria City, Holmes Beach and Bradenton Beach breakfast restaurants
There are quite a few great breakfast restaurants choices on Anna Maria Island. This category of dining can be one of the toughest to narrow down because most locals know the mainstream breakfast spots but there are a few hidden away gems that this blog will be sure to introduce. Minnie’s Cafe is located in Holmes Beach and serves a great homestyle breakfast. Peach’s which specializes in Breakfast is located in Holmes Beach and provides basic breakfasts as well as some fancy stuff too. Rod and Reel Pier Restaurant serves a fantastic breakfast as well and the views of the bay are phenomenal. Want fresh donuts? Look no futher the Donut Experiment is the perfect choice in Anna Maria City. For more details on Breakfast around Anna Maria Island, check out Island Real Estate’s additional breakfast post.
Treats and Ice Cream on Anna Maria Island, Florida
Tyler’s ice cream is just off the island on Cortez. Two Scoops is located in Anna Maria, and so is Dip’s, Joe’s Eats and Sweets is in Bradenton Beach. For a desert experience to remember, try the Euphemia Haye Restaurant which has unique pies, cheesecakes, and too many deserts to remember. Just off the island is Cold Stone Creamery which serves gourmet ice cream hand mixed with your choice of mixings. If your taste buds are screaming for a milk shake then the Shake Pit is a great bet however it is just off Anna Maria Island. Another fabulous find is Sweet berries which serves fantastic frozen custard. Visit our top 5 ice cream suggestions when visiting Anna Maria Island.
There are plenty of dining establishments on Anna Maria Island with live entertainment like SandBar, BeachHouse, Bridge Tender Inn, D.Coy Ducks and just off the island Ace’s Lounge to name a few. Tune in later for more information. Want more choices? Our Anna Maria nightlife post lists bars, live music, billiards and more. Check out our nightlife blog for more information.
If you have visited Anna Maria Island and you have not observed a SUNSET then you have been robbed of one of your God given rights. Viewing our magnificent Gulf Coast sunsets every evening offers a different work of art and after all, the reason you go on vacation is to relax! If you are lucky enough to visit in the summer you may have a chance to witness a phenomenal Anna Maria Island Sunset AND turtle hatchlings. If you have not visited Anna Maria Island… it’s ok, use our web site to find out lots of information on Anna Maria Island or purchase your waterfront “peace” of paradise through our real estate office.
FEAR NO MORE….
……this page will fill the void you have felt since your last visit to Anna Maria or the void created from friends or family raving about their last visit to the island. Below you will find the best of the best photo’s of our sunsets, a blog that our fabulous Real Estate professional keeps up weekly, Melinda Bordes, she reviews the week’s sunsets and offers the best of the week for those of you looking to leverage you relaxation time, (Can you leverage your relaxation time?) or view other sunset related content and information we have below. The “anatomy” of a Sunset Best of the Best Anna Maria Sunsets Various pictures of Beach and Sunsets
Today’s blog is about the Top 10 Anna Maria Island Things To Do With Kids. Essentially, the best stuff to do on Anna Maria Island. I’ve come up with a list of the best places to go & the greatest things to do while on your vacay on the island. It’s filled to the rim with mind-blowing fun for everyone, whether it’s mini-golfing or grabbing exotic ice cream – just read this list & choose one, some, or all of the activities to do during your summer, & it’s sure to be a blast.
Top 10 Must-Do’s of Your Summer on A.M.I:
1: Hang at Bayfront Park & have a picnic. This park is right on the beach located on the north end of the island in Anna Maria & is sure to entertain everyone. They have a playground, covered eating areas, & grills for all of your needs
2: Go fishing off of the Rod & Reel or City Pier. Both located in Anna Maria on the north end of the island, these piers are sure to help you get some big fish. Buy your bait there or bring your own. You don’t even need a license. Just bring your gear to fish & there’s always someone to help you out.
3: Bring your skateboard and visit Bradenton Riverwalk which is just 20 minutes into Bradenton, Florida. For Anna Maria Island skating visit the Holmes Beach Skate Park.
4: Go for a round of mini-golfing at the Fish Hole on Bridge Street. This place is located on the Historic Bridge Street in Bradenton Beach & is tons of fun. With 18 different holes each named after a different fish, fun history, & fish feeding, the Fish Hole is a great place for a post-beach activity.
5: Play volleyball or build a sand castle on the Public Beach. This place has two volleyball courts in the sand, a playground, a cafe right on the beach, & a lifeguard on duty. It also has an ice cream & gift shop with all of your beach necessities.
6: Rent a kayak & explore the island waters. Many places on the island offer low-rate kayak renting prices with different styles & sizes, as well as the amount of time you can rent them. You can freely take your kayak out into the Gulf of Mexico & paddle along as you travel across the shore & see the sights.
7: Search for unique & pretty shells on the shore near you. On the A.M.I. beaches you can find endless different types of shells, clams, & coquinas in many different shapes & colors. Some of the shells have holes in them, perfect for making a necklace, bracelet, or other jewelry. This multi-purpose task is loads of fun for everyone.
8: Play soccer, football, or baseball at the Holmes Beach or Community Center fields. These places offer the free use of their fields. All you need to bring is your sports gear & a good time. This is a fun way to spend your time, especially if you like sports.
9: Walk down Pine Avenue & explore all the cool shops & attractions. Pine Avenue is known for its unique shops & historic sites. With many boutiques, eateries, & history, the activities are endless. The activities include bocche ball outside of the Olive Oil Outpost, small festivities in front of the Flip-Flop Shop & Candy Stop. The Flip-Flop Shop is also a must-do for kid island vacationers that love sweets & small treats. Yum!
10: Have fun & enjoy your stay on A.M.I. Pick a beach & bodysurf, swim, or soak up the sun. With all of these activities to do & more, you’ll have so much fun.
Just follow these steps and you’ll be guaranteed to enjoy your summer lots & lots. Stick around, because more Kid’s Korner is coming your way. Enjoy your summer!!!
Anna Maria Island Gulf Front and Bay Front Dining is a must during your visit. Experience gorgeous sunsets over the gulf or views of the bay while you enjoy fresh Florida seafood or cocktails at one of the many waterfront restaurants.
Anna Maria City Waterfront Dining
The Waterfront Restaurant at the north end of Anna Maria Island overlooks Tampa Bay offering a casual dining atmosphere with fresh seafood, salads, steaks, and pastas. The Waterfront is a great addition to Anna Maria Island Gulf Front and Bay Front dining. Stop in and ask them about their microbrew selection.
Just across the street from the Waterfront Restaurant is the Historic Anna Maria City Pier. The City Pier Restaurant is located at the end of the pier and has a great selection of appetizers, soups, salads, sandwiches, and of course seafood. The pier is also a great place to go fishing, and enjoy spectacular views of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge.
If you look to the west from the City Pier towards the Gulf of Mexico you will see the Rod N Reel Pier. The Rod N Reel pier has a killer breakfast, beautiful views, and also offers lunch and dinner. Fishing from the Rod and Reel pier is a real treat. Another popular restaurant in Anna Maria City is the Sandbar Restaurant located right on the beach. The Sandbar Restaurant is a fantastic restaurant that has an excellent selection of steaks, seafood, and American cuisine. Find The Sandbar on Spring Avenue.
Holmes Beach Waterfront Dining
One of Anna Maria Island’s famous restaurants is The Beach Bistro in Holmes Beach. The Beach Bistro is the best fine dining Anna Maria Island Gulf Front and Bay Front Dining option. The Beach Bistro offers fantastic fresh local seafood, prime American beef, and lamb, making this restaurant a must visit during your trip to Anna Maria Island. If you’re looking for a great place to have breakfast or a tea party try the Harrington House in Holmes Beach.
Located at the Manatee public beach the Café on the Beach is an inexpensive indoor and outdoor dining establishment. Try the all you can eat pancake breakfast it is fantastic!
Bradenton Beach Waterfront Dining
On the south end of the island in Bradenton Beach. Make sure you stop into the Gulf Drive Café & Tiki Bar perched right on the beach. The Gulf Drive Café & Tiki Bar offers Indoor and outdoor dining in a casual atmosphere with extraordinary cuisine. Just a short distance down Gulf Drive you’ll find Wicked Cantina. This restaurant is across the street from the Gulf, but does offers gorgeous waterfront views. Wicked Cantina offers fabulous Austin style Tex-Mex, hand crafted cocktails and great ambiance on their deck!
Just down the beach is the Beachhouse Restaurant offering beachfront dining and fresh Florida seafood, great beaches and great fun.
The Bridge Street Bistro in Bradenton Beach is just across the street from the Gulf of Mexico and offers an open air bar with live music on the first floor. The top floor offers excellent food and amazing Gulf Views. Stroll down Historic Bridge Street toward the bay and stop in the Bridge Tender for a bit to eat. At the end of Bridge Street in Bradenton Beach is Anna Maria Oyster Bar restaurant, a great place to stop in as you are, and enjoy a cocktail, or dinner in a casual, relaxed atmosphere right on the Bay.
This is our list of the top 6 Anna Maria Island Salons! There are several in each of our three cities, Anna Maria, Holmes Beach, and Bradenton Beach. We suggest you consider location, advertised prices, and size of the salon to choose the spa/salon that best suits your expectations. Most Anna Maria Island salon’s can accommodate the normal requirements of weddings or special events too. What more would you expect from the wedding capital of Florida?
Anna Maria Island’s largest day spa! They offer massages, manicure and pedicures, signature island facials, hair cutting and styling (even bridal parties!), and they even offer daily yoga classes and acupuncture!
This salon is very unique with their tiki-tastic massages! You can enjoy a massage experience in your own private cabana hut right on the beach! They also offer indoor single and couples massages, pedicures and full body wraps!
112 Bridge Street
Bradenton Beach, FL 34217
Aluna Offers four treatment rooms, a meditation room and a lovely zen garden and outdoor shower. This is all nestled just across the street from the Gulf of Mexico. Aluna Wellness Center and Spa is an eco-friendly holistic center specializing in acupuncture, massage, wellness treatment and organic skin care. Enjoy Saturday morning beach yoga, reservations needed.
2219 Gulf Drive North
Bradenton Beach, Fl 34217
Anna Maria Island real estate is very complicated. Three cities with different zoning as well as rules and regulations is a strong start. Not to mention vacation rental registration requirements vary in each city as well as their inspection criteria. Follow that up with Coastal Construction lines to be concerned with, riparian rights as well as rentability and it creates an equation for a disaster if a buyer tries to go it alone. An Anna Maria Island property is too large of an asset to risk not finding the right real estate professional to help with your once in a lifetime purchase. Of course this is where I would provide a “plug” for Island Real Estate sales professionals as we only have full time sales professionals in our office. While the rest of Anna Maria Island in recent years has doubled their sales staff. Over the last decade Island Real Estate has only added two full time sales professionals that combined have sold real estate ON Anna Maria Island for more than 40 years. I have heard too many horror stories of buyers using a friend or friend of a friend that truly is a weekend warrior. A Sarasota or Tampa real estate professional will be hard pressed to understand the zoning and rentability requirements for Anna Maria City, Holmes Beach as well as Bradenton Beach. It is just next to impossible to keep up with multiple areas and city rules and regulations. I do however recognize there are great real estate professionals in other organizations on Anna Maria Island. For real estate professionals outside of Island Real Estate be sure to use my supplied questions below to help you make sure you have found one of the “good one’s.” Check out below.
A) Is their office located on Anna Maria Island? If the answer is “no” then move on and there are no further questions to be asked. There are way too many changes occuring and the office HAS to be local to keep up with all three cities. B) How many Anna Maria Island listings does the individual have currently or in the past? If in the last two-three years you cannot find at least 10 listings ON Anna Maria Island then MOVE ON. C) Use some of the zoning information I have provided in my Holmes Beach or Anna Maria City rental posts and ask the real estate sales professional specific questions on rentability of zones in the City you plan to purchase in. All FULL TIME local sales professionals should be aware of at least two of the three zones you ask about. D) Ask if there are any occupancy restrictions in Anna Maria or Holmes Beach? If you wanted to rent out to 16 people is that allowed? If the sales person answers “no problem” without caveats then RUN and run FAST, that is away.
I am always happy to help answer questions you may have about Anna Maria Island real estate. Feel free to email or give me a call on my direct line. (Larry@IslandReal.com) or (941) 345-1288. I pre-apologize it can sometimes take 48 hours to return calls as well as emails but I am happy to help with questions you may have.
I hope the questions above help to find the right sales professional for your Anna Maria Island real estate search. Anna Maria Island real property can be extremely complicated and don’t leave your large asset purchase up for chance. Good luck and happy hunting!
Anna Maria Island is a barrier island surrounded by beautiful warm waters of both the Gulf of Mexico and Tampa Bay. Even though the island is only seven miles long, there are some distinct differences in the beach areas. All the beaches on Anna Maria Island are located in Manatee County and are public, open for everyone to enjoy. Guidelines are “dusk to dawn” for beach times, meaning after enjoying our world class sunsets it’s a good plan to pack up and leave the beach until the next day.
The southernmost city on Anna Maria Island is Bradenton Beach. This city has a narrower coastline and is home to the infamous Coquina Beach, where you can find its namesake – tiny shellfish that burrow in the sand as the waves crash back out. You’ll find a fun concession stand with restrooms and showers available at there as well. You may even find some sharks teeth wash ashore toward the southern end of Coquina Beach!
Further north into Holmes Beach is what locals may refer to as Manatee Beach. It’s at the end of Manatee Avenue traveling onto the island and has plenty of parking, a large concession stand with a shop, restrooms, showers and even music on weekends. As a family favorite spot, you’ll find a play area for kids, volleyball nets and lots of people enjoying the beautiful scenery. Lifeguards are on duty here as well, so you can feel safe both on the sand and in the water.
If you’re looking for a more peaceful, quiet beach day a few blocks up into northern Holmes Beach and southern Anna Maria City is the spot for you. From 50th Street to Spring Ave the beach is wide and walkers enjoy strolling, looking for shells and frolicking dolphins. Parking can be an issue here so please makes sure you park on the correct side of the street and only where the “beach access” signs are posted. You won’t find any restrooms or foot washes along these areas, just soft white sand and beautiful aqua waters.
Beach Point is located at the very tip of Anna Maria Island and it’s where the Gulf of Mexico and Tampa Bay meet. You can actually see the changing tides of the water! The only downfall to this amazing spot is that swimming is not recommended because of the risk for strong currents and riptides. But you will find that most people go for the views and the tranquility.
Each section of the beach on Anna Maria has its own feel, so make sure to explore them all and find your personal favorite.
Just a short trip over the bridge from Anna Maria Island into the mainland of Bradenton, you’ll find one of Florida’s quiet gems – The Southwest Florida Museum.
The South Florida Museum is much more than a building full of facts and fossils – there is also a Planetarium featuring amazing astronomy PLUS a rehabilitation aquarium for our endangered Florida Manatees. Founded in 1947, the museum is a special component to Manatee County’s cultural exposure and development.
As the largest natural and cultural history museum on Florida’s Gulf Coast, the South Florida Museum offers exhibits and educational programs promoting scientific and cultural knowledge of Florida. In addition to permanent exhibits, the Museum features a constantly changing lineup of temporary exhibitions. Kids and adults will be fascinated by the fossil evidence of Florida’s earliest marine and mammal inhabitants and archaeological materials. Paleo-Indian, archaic, and pre-contact cultures, as well as local history and creative exhibitions are sure to engage anyone.
Besides the traditional museum, the facility offers a Planetarium which has become the region’s premier astronomy education facility, as well as a multimedia theater for films, lectures, live music, and digital art performances. The Digistar 5 dual projection system improves the viewer experience of the Museum’s expanding full-dome show library with projectors that are more than three times as bright and twelve times crisper (higher contrast) than the previous projectors. The system allows for exploration of Earth through the use of 200 continually updated satellite datasets of our planet’s land, ocean, atmosphere and climate. Incorporating unidirectional stadium style seating and a digital 25,000 watt Dolby 5.1 surround sound system, the Bishop Planetarium Theater is capable of accommodating a wide range of programs, from lectures to film series to live performances. But first and foremost, the planetarium is a remarkable astronomy education resource, allowing visitors to explore their universe through traditional live star talks and immersive virtual journeys to the far reaches of the cosmos.
After you’ve wandered through the exhibits and watched the astronomical adventures under the Planetarium dome, head over to see the beloved Manatees. The Parker Manatee Rehabilitation Aquarium holds nearly 60,000 gallons of water, including a medical pool. The pool offers both deep and shallow water, allowing the manatees to maintain natural feeding behaviors. An exhibit area within the facility helps to educate the public about manatee anatomy and offers above and below water viewing. Manatee Care Specialists provide presentations about manatee habitat, nutrition and physiology. Working closely with US Fish and Wildlife and critical care hospitals for manatees, the Museum’s Manatee Rehabilitation Aquarium is a second stage rehabilitation facility. A second stage facility provides a temporary home for manatees that will be released back into the wild after having received treatment from an acute care hospital. The Aquarium has housed 36 manatees as part of the rehabilitation program. The facility was the permanent home to Manatee County’s official mascot and the oldest known manatee in the world, Snooty, who passed away in 2017 at a record-breaking 69 years old. Children all over Manatee County visited Snooty and his friends on school trips as far back as the early 1980’s.
Anna Maria Island is host to a plethora of unique and beautiful wildlife, with her most observed species being our feathered friends both in the sky and on the sand. Whether you call Anna Maria Island home or are just visiting, you’ll never run out of wild birds to discover.
Beaches and dunes provide critical habitat for many shorebirds, including Snowy Plovers and Black Skimmers. Because birds and people both enjoy Anna Maria Island beaches and dunes, care must be taken to prevent interfering with breeding and nesting behavior. Often you may see some roped off areas where nesting shorebirds have camped out, especially near Bean Point where the beach sand is wide and the patches of dunes and sea grass are plentiful.
An interesting find are our local wild parrots that fly over the island, usually in happy squawking groups. We also have red bellied wood peckers that love the Australian pine trees that grow all over Anna Maria. You may also observe large pink birds overhead and most often guests mistake these for Flamingos yet they are really Roseate Spoonbills. These beauties are not endangered yet they are on the State-designated Threatened species list, so look as much as they let you but please do not touch.
Be careful if you come upon a set of Sandhill Cranes! These beautiful red billed birds travel in twos and like most birds mate for life. In the spring you may see pairs with their fledglings of which they are VERY protective, using both their impressive wing span and loud voices to deter those to venture too close. Woodstorks are very common on Anna Maria Island and have a distinct large grayish face. Some will make themselves at home wherever the shellfish are easy to grab, near docks, nets and boats.
You’ll find Egrets, Herons, Ibis’s and Gulls year round. Pipers and Terns enjoy Coquina Beach where the live tiny coquina shells are plenty and they can eat all they want.
Enjoy your bird watching on Anna Maria Island, you’ll always find something new!
The BP oil spill otherwise known as the Deepwater Horizon oil spill was a significant event for Anna Maria Island although it took place more than 250 miles away. April 20th, 2010 on the BP operated Macondo Prospect there was a wellhead blowout which caused fatal explosions killing 11 people and injuring 17 others. The blowout caused more than 4,900,000 barrels of oil to be spilled into the Gulf of Mexico making it the worst oil related industrial accident in the history of the world.
The oil spilling into the Gulf of Mexico at unprecedented rates caused panic among Anna Maria Island visitors and residents for more than three months when BP was able to complete a “static kill” which finally contained the leaking wellhead. The sheer magnitude of the continued BP oil spill in conjuction with concerns for oil washing up on Mississippi, Alabama, North West Florida and Louisiana created escalating concerns Anna Maria Island would never be the same. Shuttering images of oil coated sea life created visitor cancellations as well as real estate transaction cancellations for several months. Below is an estimate of the oil spill area.
Thankfully no oil washed up within hundreds of miles of Anna Maria Island beaches and life got back to normal by 2012. Real Estate was quick to recover within the next 12 months and while visitation for 2011 was affected by 2012 Anna Maria Island visitors were back stronger than ever. It’s never an exciting proposition to remind us our paradise is at risk every day but sure helps to be reminded how very lucky we are to visit and or reside in such a fantastic place. Let’s hope many lessons of the BP oils spill have been learned and the world never has to endure another oil industrial catastrophe.
One of the best parts of exploring new places – especially when considering a possible move – is trying different foods, new tastes and local spins on old favorites. But let’s not dismiss some of the lunch and dinner side dish staples that may get overshadowed by new dishes. For me, a good French fry can make or break a casual meal. On Anna Maria Island we are out of the “cookie cutter” restaurant corporate formula and local reigns supreme. You can expect to see some variations on the popular fry, and here are my Top 5 Favorite French Fries on Anna Maria Island:
Island Grill: these fries are made in house, served hot and sprinkled with a unique spice blend the owner created. He won’t tell exactly what’s in it, but I can tell there is both black and white pepper, some paprika and sea salt. Delicious!
Hurricane Hanks: I CRAVE these fries! There is a yummy crunchy coating on them that compliments the soft potato inside. I’ve actually ordered just a side of Hank’s fries before and didn’t share. These fries are unique and I have not had anything like them around here.
The Ugly Grouper: This one surprised me. I was too focused on my shrimp and didn’t touch the fries but once I did I proceeded to eat them all. Larger than regular fries yet smaller than steak fries, these were a perfect combo of crispy outside and soft inside. There was no special seasonings yet hardly needed salt, they were good on their own.
Peach’s: Peach’s started in Bradenton and has expanded to several locations in our area, one here in Holmes Beach. Most people get breakfast at Peach’s and miss the fries. Coated with a (slightly) spicy crispy crust that is perfect with ketchup. Their home fries have this same coating so if you must have breakfast instead of lunch you can have the next best thing!
AMOB (Anna Maria Oyster Bar) on the Pier: Rounding out my top 5 is AMOB. Their fries are simple, just no muss, no fuss delicious fries you can count on every visit to be a great addition to your meal. Not greasy, nothing fancy but good potatoes fried up and served hot. Make sure to add them to your order!
So, you’ve fallen in love with Anna Maria Island and want to call it home…we can’t blame you, that’s how most of us ended up here too! But what’s your next step in making our paradise your new home?
Step 1: Start with Island Real Estate. As soon as you can, call Island Real Estate and one of our professional local Realtors will share with you island market trends and current listings.
Step 2: Determine the budget of your investment. Lenders generally recommend that people look for homes that cost no more than three to five times their annual household income if the home buyers plan to make a 20% down payment and have a moderate amount of other debt. But you should make this determination based on your own financial situation. Each listing has a mortgage calculator on IslandReal.com to help you!
Step 3: Unless you are paying Cash or have a 1031 Tax Deferred Exchange, get Prequalified for Your Mortgage. Island Real Estate can introduce you to proven successful lenders in our area so you can get prequalified for a mortgage. To get prequalified, you just need to provide some financial information to your mortgage banker, such as your income and the amount of savings and investments you have. They will review this information and tell you how much they can lend you.
Step 4: Shop for Your Home and Make an Offer You and your Island Real Estate Realtor will start touring homes in your price range. You may see a lot of houses! It can be hard to remember everything about them, so you might want to take pictures or video to help you remember each home. Your Realtor will also provide details on each listing.
Step 5: Get a Home Inspection Typically, purchase offers are contingent on a home inspection of the property to check for signs of structural damage or things that may need fixing. Your Island Real Estate agent will help you arrange to have this inspection conducted within a few days of your offer being accepted by the seller. This contingency protects you by giving you a chance to renegotiate your offer or withdraw it without penalty if the inspection reveals significant material damage. Both you and the seller will receive a report on the home inspector’s findings. You can then decide if you want to ask the seller to fix anything on the property before closing the sale. Before the sale closes, you will have a walk-through of the house, which gives you the chance to confirm that any agreed-upon repairs have been made.
Step 6: Have the Home Appraised. Your lender will arrange for an appraiser to provide an independent estimate of the value of the house you are buying. The appraiser is a member of a third party company and is not directly associated with the lender. The appraisal will let all the parties involved know that you are paying a fair price for the home.
Step 7: Purchase required Insurances. Every area has their own unique set of required insurances. Your local Island Real Estate Realtor is very knowledgeable with the flood and wind insurance needs for our island.
Step 8: Coordinate the Title Insurance. As you can imagine, there is a lot of paperwork involved in buying a house. Your Island Real Estate Realtor will arrange for a title company to handle all of the paperwork and make sure that the seller is the rightful owner of the house you are buying.
Step 9: Close the Sale – Congratulations! At closing, you will sign all of the paperwork required to complete the purchase, including your loan documents. Island Real Estate will be with you and ensure everything goes according to plan and to make sure you receive all the necessary keys, etc. needed so you can celebrate your new purchase!
What? You heard it right, free transportation on Anna Maria Island. Maybe you are planning a night out on the town taking in some libations and you want someone else to do the heavy lifting? Perhaps you want to enjoy the sights of Anna Maria Island without worrying about traffic, pedestrians in cross walks, you name it. After all you are on vacation! Locals refer to the service as the Monkey Bus.
The crown jewel of Anna Maria Island is our free Trolley service that travels the entire island. The trolley definitely has limited hours it shuttles patrons around Anna Maria Island so be sure if you are hitting some local night spots that you plan appropriately to get home or prepared to call a taxi. The Anna Maria Island trolley does accept donations.
Another free transportation is what Anna Maria Island locals refer to as the “Monkey bus.” It is really not free as they accept tips but a great way to get around the island if you have time to spare. They operate fairly late but at the time of our post their hours are noon to 3 AM. They can seat any number of passengers from their 8 passenger golf cart to their mini bus. They make travel fun and can be reached at 941 565-6542. They can handle special occassions as well but require reservations.
If you are searching for a real estate investment in Anna Maria City and you are interested in earning rental income on your investment then look no further. The following Anna Maria City rental information is intended to help buyers with zoning and deed restriction information. Frankly Anna Maria City as well as Bradenton Beach are significantly different than Holmes Beach when it comes to zoning and rentability. Let’s first make sure we define “Anna Maria City” property areas. Anna Maria City property starts at Beach Avenue and angles it’s way to the South East along White avenue then follows a trajectory backwards towards Oak. Best bet, consult the zoning map posted at Anna Maria City Hall. For convenience I have provided the most recent Anna Maria Zoning map. When reviewing the map, take note of Residential, Retail over Residential and Commercial zones in Anna Maria City.
Zoning: With the exception of Residential over Retail (ROR) and Commercial zones which are primarily along Pine avenue and Gulf Drive, rental options for your potential Anna Maria City property are relatively easy. Anna Maria City allows for nightly rentals. Please be aware, while the city allows for nightly occupancy I strongly suggest that frequency is not followed. Nightly rentals can cause a significant disturbance in the community. I strongly suggest when purchasing any real property on Anna Maria Island that all income considerations are done using weekly rental estimates. If you wish to rent in longer periods of time such as monthly or annually all section of Anna Maria City are open to such rentals with little to no restrictions.
Deed Restrictions; location and new construction: It is important to note there are several areas within Anna Maria City which have deed restrictions which do limit both the number of times the real property can be rented as well as the length of time. Most location Deed restrictions are located along the beach. Unfortunately there is another set of restrictions which are more random throughout the City of Anna Maria. Several years back, Anna Maria City provided permits to build for mostly homes larger than 4 bedrooms if the owner signed a deed restriction which limited the frequency the property could be rented. The seller and real estate professional must disclose this information however it is best to ask during your review of the property are in place. If Deed restrictions are provided to you at time of contract it is imperative you seek legal advice to review all restrictions to assure you may use your new found property as intended.
Occupancy Restrictions: So we have established most of the City of Anna Maria can be rented weekly, monthly and annually. There are some exceptions but 95% of Anna Maria City property has significant availability to rent. There is one last set of circumstances to be concerned with, Occupancy restrictions. Anna Maria City currently allows for two occupants per legal bedroom up to a 4 bedroom property. For less than 4 bedrooms there is latitude to allow an additional 2 occupants. Beyond 8 occupants there are limited options for weekly rentals in Anna Maria City. The bottom line, if you are serious about seasonal renting and you are considering an Anna Maria City property then it is critical you research the occupancy allowed for the specific property. Allowed occupancy is not zone related in Anna Maria City but litigation related. If the property owner filed Bert Harris litigation in 2016 or beyond and won, that specific property will be grandfathered to allow for more occupancy than standard. Of course occupancy and seasonal rental income have a direct relationship. More occupancy typically provides for more income. Less occupancy allowed means less income.
Anna Maria City Real Estate professional: Hopefully our Anna Maria City Rental information provides an idea that a little knowledge can be very dangerous when purchasing a property in Anna Maria city as well as Anna Maria Island. Please be sure you utilize an experienced Anna Maria Island real estate sales professional. No weekend warriors allowed! Do not utilize a friend located in another area of Florida to save a little commission or “throw them a bone.” I have numerous horror stories that a new owner’s intention for a property was not allowed because experienced professionals were not used during the buying process. This can happen to you! It all starts with a real estate sales professional that provides accurate information as well as referrals to local experienced general contractors, bankers, inspectors, accountants and lawyers. Sure, your best bet is just to utilize an Island Real Estate sales professional however if you want to perform your own research then visit our blog to help find the right Anna Maria Island sales professional.
I hope my Anna Maria city rental information page is helpful in assuring you find your “peace of paradise.” Here is a link to the Anna Maria City Vacation Rental information however I would caution if this is your primary plan to assure you purchase the right piece of Anna Maria City property, stop NOW. Your strategy is flawed. Don’t go it alone, you need a LOCAL real estate professional to help in your search.
Let me try to answer the age old question… “How is the real estate market on Anna Maria Island?” This as anyone can imagine is a difficult question to answer. This newsletter is meant to provide general real estate information about Anna Maria Island real estate but for sure there are several micro markets within Anna Maria Island real estate. Not to bore you but below is a bullet list of our micro real estate markets.
Which city is the property in? Anna Maria, Holmes Beach or Bradenton Beach?
Does the property have favorable rentability? That is if duration and/or frequency is limited for vacation guests.
What is the location of the property as it relates to water? Is the property gulf front, gulf views, canal, bay, open water and the list goes on and on.
Is the property a single family, condo or duplex?
As you can see it is dangerous to attempt to purchase property without a local full time real estate professional. I can’t tell you how many proud new owners of property on Anna Maria Island called to receive help renting out their property and I was the bearer of bad news. Either the location was too far from the beach or worse yet the property was restricted to 30 consecutive day rentals. Normally when I asked who helped them purchase their property it was a relative from another area or a real estate professional in Sarasota or Tampa. Please, dont do it!
Below is a proprietary chart that supplies more than 10 years of real estate data on Anna Maria Island only. The blue vertical bars show by quarter the amount of real estate transactions. The Red line shows the 1 year rolling average of property transactions. The Green line shows the 5 year rolling average and the purple line shows the 10 year moving average.
Why am I showing you this chart? This can be used to forecast when the market is getting close to a correction. I usually like to use the 5 year moving average however some prefer the 10 year as the benchmark. If you review the last year and half you can see the 5 year rolling average has leveled. Most statisticians would also point to the areas where the 1 year rolling average dips below the 5 year average and of course points to a general trend of values going down on the island. BUT, not so quick. This is where micro markets are affecting the rolling averages. Single family properties within 3 blocks to the beach have been appreciating very well while condos have not and have been flat at best for the last two years. How muddy did I just make the water? I hope pretty muddy and believe it or not my main point is that the answer of “how is the real estate market?” depends on AT LEAST the bullets I listed above. Ask specifically about single family homes and my answer is “very well”, averaging double digit appreciation the last 5 years. Ask about condos and my answer would be “not great.” Inflationary appreciation for the most part and the real question is when will condos catch up to single family homes? Sorry, don’t have that answer. You can be assured if I see any of our supply and demand charts providing insight appreciation is coming I will be sure to provide that information in this blog.