Bean Point – Anna Maria Island’s Secret Serenity

Bean Point footbridge
The footbridge at Bean Point

Bean Point is the very northern tip of Anna Maria Island.  It is a local secret that provides breathtaking views of the sunset on a pristine, and serene beach.  Named for George Emerson Bean, the first permanent resident of Anna Maria Island, Bean Point is located on a secluded stretch of beach at the northern end of what was Bean’s original homesteaded property.

You won’t find a parking lot, or any large signs, to direct you to this treasure of nature.  To get there you’ll need to head North of the City Pier in Anna Maria on North Bay Blvd.  The “main entrance” to Bean Point is located at a small crossroads.  You will notice the tree lined path that divides the two properties at the the intersection of North Bay Blvd & North Shore Dr.  If you ride your bicycle, you can ride right up the path, and park just to the side of the classic, wooden footbridge that sets the tone for your Anna Maria beach experience.  If you drive your car, you have a few options.  There are actually entrances at the corners of Fern St & N. Shore Dr, and Gladiolus St. & North Shore as well.  Each of these entrances is marked by a small white posted sign that merely states “Public Beach Access”.  Using the intersection of North Bay blvd and North Shore will provide immediate access to the famed “Bean Point” but half the fun is getting there?  Using the public beach access point to the South will allow you to walk along the beach and take in the sites where the Bay and Gulf meet.  When parking you can choose a spot near any of these entrances, and take the path out to the beach.   Local Tip: parking regulations are strictly enforced on Anna Maria Island.  If it says No Parking, don’t do it, unless you want a ticket.  If you do park on the roadside be sure your tires are off the asphalt street.  If just 1″ is on the street you likely will return with a bad suprise after your liesurely stroll along the beaches of Anna Maria.  There are spots along the side streets, including Gladiolus and Fern.  To park near the footbridge entrance, I would recommend heading down to Jacaranda to find an empty (and legal) parking place.

Once your car is settled, head up the nearest path to the gorgeous turquoise waters where the Gulf of Mexico meets the Tampa Bay.   After your leisurely stroll down the path, turn right when you get to the sand, and head north to the point, for spectacular views that include the Sunshine Skyway Bridge.    If the tide is low, you can see the sand bar just off the coast.  Just a little wading into the warm water will take you there, and you can shell ‘til your heart’s content!  The views are amazing, the water is inviting, and the atmosphere is relaxed and serene.  There are quiet spots to sit and enjoy the view, and watch the waters and the wildlife.  I love where the water collides as the tide shifts from the East side of Anna Maria Island to the West side.

There are signs of life relaxing all over the Point.  My children love pointing out the crab holes in the sand.  There are a few turtle nests marked off right now, that are ready to hatch by the end of this month.  There is always something to delight the bird watcher too…with several different birdies to entertain you as they guard their beach turf from one another.  Off in the distance you can see the shores of Egmont Key, and there are always the boats to enjoy watching as they pass by.

So, head to Bean Point to capture a quiet beach moment, or a breathtaking sunset, and enjoy one of the most relaxing spots on an island famous for its relaxation.  Check out Vacasa’s Vacation Rentals to find your perfect spot to capture all that Anna Maria Island has to offer.    Call them toll free, at 800 778 6066, and one of our Vacation Rental Specialist can help you find your perfect spot.

Looking for a vacation rental close to Bean Point?  Grand Haven is just a few properties to the South and is a great bet for a Bean Point vacation as well.

Historic City Pier Anna Maria – Take A Stroll on Tampa Bay

City Pier Anna Maria The city Pier Anna Maria is a great site to see when visiting Anna Maria Island, Florida.  (Sorry, since 2017 Irma the City pier is temporarily closed.  However, there is still plenty to do in the ara and all the below information is accurate) Grabbing an ice cream at Two Scoops and walking the pier is a must!  Another great past time, swing over to Two Sides of Nature and do some shopping. Stop in at the Waterfront. restaurant, across the street, for a great bite to eat.

At the end of the pier you can grab dinner and lunch, or pick up some hand made jewelry.  If you like fishing then stop in to gab with the fishermen on the pier and see what is biting.

City Pier Anna Maria is a historical site

The sign at the entrance of the City Pier Anna Maria says it all.  “The Anna Maria Development Company built this pier and wharf in 1911-1912 to provide dockage for ships from St. Petersburg and Tampa.  It has since withstood hurricanes and lesser storms too numerous to mention.  Although parts were damaged in storms in 1918, 1935, 1974, 1988, 2017 it has each time been restored to its approximate  original form.  Unfortunately the pier as of 2017 is closed for major repairs.  The City of Anna Maria as well as Manatee County are initiating plans to repair the pier and brint it back to all it’s glory.  The Anna Maria City pier is 678 feet long so it is no small task to repair it’s infastructure.  The wharf extends another 58 feet into Tampa bay. Over the years it has nurtured the hopes of fisherman and the dreams of lovers. Provided roosts for pelicans and other sea birds, and has also been a friend to residents and visitors alike.

Over the center of the tin roof, from the third shore bench to the south of this marker, on clear nights can be seen the North star. Guardian of the mariners since the first sailor looked up for guidance of the night sea.

When the pier opens again, hopefully soon… walk the planks. Beneath the Roof of this City Pier is the Place to sit with Shrimp and Beer. While Lightening in the distance plays and thunder rumbles across the bays. “Summer Storm”…CMV ”

Anna Maria Beach Real Estate

There are plenty of gorgeous Anna Maria beach cottages available through Island Real Estate! Check out the selection of homes, and be sure to seek real estate advices from one of our full time sales professionals.

Anna Maria Island Theater – Island Players

Anna Maria Island Theater

If you are in town while the Island Players are in session be sure to visit the Anna Maria Island theater!

Take in a fantastic “home grown” play at the historical Players theater at 10009 Gulf Drive in the city of Anna Maria. Usually the Island Players have five different shows that go on from middle of October to the middle of May. They claim to be “the best little playhouse in Florida” and also the oldest community theater in Manatee County.

The Island Players Theater seats 143 in tiered rows. Tickets cost $25/person or season tickets can be purchased for $92.50. Tickets can be bought at the box office in person or by phone at (941) 778-5755.

Locate their web site at Island Players.  Visit Island Real Estate for Vacation Rentals or Homes in Anna Maria City. Also visit the Island Real Estate Local Scene page for tons of fabulous suggestions for things to do while visiting Anna Maria Island.

Island Players
10009 Gulf Drive
Anna Maria City, FL, 34216

Anna Maria Island theater

The Waterfront Restaurant has bay views in Anna Maria city

Great view of  Tampa Bay and the Sunshine Bridge is only the beginning at this wonderful local seafood restaurant on Anna Maria Island.  The food choices at the Waterfront are fantastic.  From wonderful fresh soups and salads to gourmet meals, salmon and steak.  The Waterfront located in Anna Maria City also offers vegetarian choices as well that are made fresh and homemade right at the restaurant.  Waterfront of Anna Maria Island is famous for their delicious fish taco appetizer and outdoor seating taking advantage of the wonderful bay views.  The giant fish tank that separates the main dining room from the bar area is beautiful and adds charm to the dining experience.

The Waterfront restaurant also offers a wonderful  selection of beers and wine from all over the world.  UPDATE: The Waterfront now serves liquor and phenomenal cocktails.  If you are in the mood for something new, ask one of the friendly bartenders for some suggestions.  My wife loves the Jalapeno Margarita.

The wait staff  of the waterfront in Anna Maria city is always inviting and prompt with their service. If you are in the mood for great service, great views of the bay, excellent food, this is the place for you to come as a family or as a couple.  One last note, try the lobster bisque, trust us, you wont be sorry.  It melts in your mouth.

The Waterfront Restaurant

Tripadvisor Reviews: 4.5Out of 501
Address: 111 S Bay Blvd Anna Maria, FL 34216

Phone: (941) 778-1515
Website: The Waterfront Restaurant
Menu: Waterfront Restaurant Menu
Hours:


Cuisine: Gulf Coast Seafood & Fish

Price Range: $$
Accepts Reservations? yes
Driving Directions: Driving Directions – Google Maps

Visit the following link for more information on Anna Maria City Dining.

Eat Anna Maria Island Oysters While Vacationing

Anna Maria- When vacationing on the coast eating fresh seafood is a must, and Anna Maria Island Oysters are no exception. With countless restaurants on the island, finding some delicious oysters to eat is easier than ever!

Anna Maria Island Oysters

Many people believe humans have eaten oysters since the Roman times from evidence of oyster farms in France and the United Kingdom. Crazy right?

Oysters can be found in all of the world’s oceans. They are bivalve mollusks that have rough irregular shells. While most oysters are edible, there is a difference between food oysters and pearl oysters. Even though it is possible, most food oysters don’t produce pearls. Both are also in two different families of bivalves.

Surprisingly enough, oysters breathe much like fish, using both gills and mantle. They can be both male or female, and can change genders one or more times throughout their life.

Health Benefits

Oysters are one of the most nutritionally balanced foods because they have proteins, carbohydrates, and lipids in them. Just eating four or five medium sized oysters supply the recommended daily source of iron, copper, iodine, magnesium, calcium, zinc, manganese and phosphorus!

Where to celebrate!

With so many restaurants on the island, there’s plenty of options for eating Anna Maria Island Oysters! Here’s a few to think of going to:

AMOB on the Pier– Located in Bradenton Beach, enjoy delicious oyster platters such as Grandma Georgie’s Chipotle Oysters, Rockefeller or an oyster sampler.

Anna Maria Island Oysters
Eat at AMOB on the Pier!

 Island Gourmet Grill– Serving baked oysters with toppings such as cheese, bacon, and jalapenos, there’s no way to go wrong here! You can find Island Gourmet on Holmes Beach.

Anna Maria Island Oysters
Enjoy yummy oysters at Island Gourmet!

Island Fresh Market– Specializing in locally caught and grown food, the Fresh Market serves oysters caught right around the island! You can order them cooked or raw. You can find them on Holmes Beach!

Be sure to enjoy Anna Maria Island Oysters on your next visit!

Scavenger hunt on Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria- If you’re looking for a fun activity with the family, why not have a photo scavenger hunt on Anna Maria Island? Great for all ages, grab your camera and go explore some of the best features of Anna Maria! Don’t forget to post your pictures on our Facebook page at the end of your trip!

Photo scavenger hunt on Anna Maria Island

1. Selfie in your vacation rental

What better way to start your vacation? Take a selfie in your new vacation rental and make all your Facebook friends jealous! Plus we always love seeing our guests satisfied with our properties.

vacation rental scavenger hunt
Take a picture at your vacation rental!

 2. Buried treasure on the beach

Make like a pirate and find some buried treasure while staying on Anna Maria Island! Many times loose change can be found, and every once in a while jewelry! Take a lap around the beach and see what you might find.

Scavenger hunt on Anna Maria
Find buried treasure on the beach!

3. Sunset Scavenger Hunt on Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria is home to some of the most beautiful sunsets. Good places to view these lovely colors are White Avenue and Bean Point.

Sunset scavenger hunt
Snap a shot of Anna Maria’s beautiful sunset while on your scavenger hunt!

4. Triple-Decker ice cream cone

When in the hot Florida sun it’s always nice to cool off with some cold ice cream! Stack on multiple scoops for the ultimate ice cream cone. Delicious places to go to are Two Scoops and Holy Cow Ice Cream.

triple-decker ice cream
Get some yummy ice cream! Photo courtesy of http://www.njfamily.com/NJ-Family/July-2011/Youll-Scream-for-Jerseys-Best-Homemade-Ice-Cream/

5. Wild Parrots

One of the best characteristics about Anna Maria is the occasional sighting of wild parrots. These beautiful creatures can be found all over the island, and are definitely picture worthy. Just please don’t try to feed or disturb them!

parrots scavenger hunt
Spot beautiful Blue Crowned parrots on the island!

6. Seagulls (Do not feed!)

Some of the most common birds in Florida are seagulls. Found all over the beach, seagulls are the perfect addition to your vacation photos. However, do not feed them as they can be very aggressive and won’t leave you alone once you do!

scavenger hunt seagulls
Find seagulls on your scavenger hunt!

7. Selfie on the free trolley

A great feature on Anna Maria Island is the free trolley that goes through Bradenton Beach, Holmes Beach and Anna Maria. As you’re traveling around the island make sure to snap a picture to record your travels! You can find the schedule for the trolley here. All we ask is to not take a photo in front of the trolley as it will hold the driver up and put it off schedule!

free trolley anna maria
Photo courtesy of www.annamariaislandchamber.org

8. Donuts from The Donut Experiment

If you like sweets The Donut Experiment is an absolute must to go to. With delicious donuts that make for great pictures you can’t go wrong here. Plus, you get to choose EXACTLY what goes on your donuts as they are made-to-order. There will be a little wait however as they are extremely popular!

scavenger hunt donuts
Grab some yummy donuts!

9. Spell your name in shells

Leave a little of yourself behind and spell your name out in the sand! Anna Maria has pretty shells littering the island, and is a great way to get creative on your vacation. Plus it makes your pictures a little more personalized!

shell name
Photo courtesy of http://trenchesofmommyhood.blogspot.com/2011/04/jacob.html

10. Build a sand castle

What better way to show off the island’s beautiful sand than creating sand castles? Show off your creative skills and build your own or be on the look out for professionals creating theirs! This is also a great activity to do with the family, and adding kids into the picture only makes it cuter! Get inventive and have fun.

sandcastle scavenger hunt
Find or build your own sand castle!

11. Duffy’s famous burger from Duffy’s Tavern

Known for their delicious burgers and cold beer, Duffy’s Tavern is the perfect place to go for food. Make sure to document you’re meal for the scavenger hunt on Anna Maria Island!

scavenger hunt at Duffy's Tavern
Get the best burgers and beer at Duffy’s Tavern!

12. Selfie at the beach

The best part of vacationing at Anna Maria is the beach! With pretty water and cool wildlife you’re sure to get some awesome pictures. Take a selfie (or selfies!) with the family, you’re sure to get some Instagram-worthy pictures!

beach selfie
Take fun selfie’s at the beach!

 

13. Visit the Historic Green Village

Located on Pine Avenue, the Historic Green Village is one out of 100 places worldwide to have achieved the highest possible green building standard. With cool shops such as ami Outfitters and Beach Bums there’s a lot to see and do! Learn more about this historical place here.

historic green village scavenger hunt on Anna Maria Island
Snap a picture at Anna Maria’s Green Village! Photo courtesy of http://www.historicgreenvillage.com/

Have fun with this scavenger hunt on Anna Maria Island, and remember to be safe!

 

 

Beach Warning Flags – Swim Safely on Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria Island – While relaxing on the beautiful beaches of Anna Maria Island you may notice beach warning flags. A notice of swimming conditions, You’ll see them flying from the lifeguard stands at Manatee Beach in Holmes Beach and Coquina Beach in Bradenton Beach. These are color coded flags to warn you about different conditions that you as a beachgoer should be aware of.

What the beach warning flags mean

Double Red – No swimming allowed

Red – Swim with extreme caution due to strong currents or rough surf

Yellow – Swim with caution due to strong currents or rough surf

Green – Swimming allowed, calm conditions

Purple – Presence of marine pests such as jellyfish, sharks, stingrays or red tide

In 2005 the Florida Legislature introduced the uniform beach flag system. Florida’s beach flag program uses four colors accompanied by interpretive signs along the beach to explain swimming conditions. All public beaches in Florida with lifeguards must use the state flag system. With a quick glance at the lifeguard stand beachgoers are informed about the existing water conditions. Life guards will monitor conditions changing the flags throughout the day in order to keep patrons informed. Follow the link for swimming conditions prior to your beach visit.

Just in time for the summer season 2014 additional beach flags will be posted at two fire stations in MANATEE COUNTY. One fire stations is on the island: Fire Station No. 1 at 6001 Marina Drive on Holmes Beach next to the Island Real Estate office and the second fire station is on the way approaching the island via Cortez Road: 10350 Cortez Road, Bradenton.

Lifeguards will communicate with firefighters to change the flags as necessary.

So, just check today’s beach flag color, apply sunscreen and enjoy your day on the beautiful beaches on Anna Maria Island. You might also like to check out what the Island Real Estate team brings along in their beach bags or take a live look at the beach via the Island Real Estate beach cam.

 

Tuesday Turtle Talks on Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria Island – The Tuesday Turtle Talks begin this month at the Anna Maria Island Community Center and will continue through the summer at the Annie Silver Community Center in Bradenton Beach.

Anna Maria Island TurtlesAnna Maria Island Turtle Watch and Shorebird Monitoring volunteers will take kids in the Center’s after school program to the beach on May 12 and May 19 at 4 p.m. to search for sea turtle and shorebird nests, with a final activity at the Center on May 26. From June through August, Tuesday Turtle Talks will move to the Annie Silver Community Center on 23rd Street one block off Gulf Drive in Bradenton Beach from 10 to 11 a.m.

The talks will replace morning tours of the nesting beach and will include a presentation, handouts and Q&A time. In August, volunteers will demonstrate nest excavations on the beach, Turtle Watch Director Suzi Fox said.

All summer a new event, Turtles on Bridge Street, will be featured with scavenger hunts to find turtles, free temporary turtle tattoos in Bridge Street businesses and other events.

If you would like to register your child to attend the Anna Maria Island Community Center Tuesday Turtle Talks, call 941-778-1908.

 

 

2015 Food and Wine on Pine right around the corner

Anna Maria – This years Food and Wine on Pine, an annual event that features the best local food, wine, are and music, is right around the corner and we can’t wait. Taking place on Saturday, may 2nd from 11:30am to 6:30pm on Pine Avenue in the city of Anna Maria, Anna Maria Island, it’s not to be missed.

Over 20 local restaurants be serving up food for patrons throughout the day. The restaurants will be serving local and seasonal Florida foods with an emphasis on farm-to-form and tide-to-table cuisine. So to whet your appetite, here’s a list of the restaurants whose food you can look forward to enjoying.

• The Sandbar restaurant, Anna Maria – Myakka wild boar sliders, ceviche – Fresh fish, shrimp and scallops, key lime, blood orange, King Farm peaches, Gamble Creek cilantro, served with tortilla chips.

• The Beach House restaurant, Bradenton Beach – Sesame seared yellow fin tuna cubes served with choice of wasabi cream, sriracha and teriyaki.

• Mar Vista Dockside restaurant, Longboat Key –gourmet tater tots.

•Gamble Creek Farm, Bradenton – Farm-to-fork produce inspired dish.

• Two Scoops Ice Cream Parlor, Anna Maria – Refreshing lemon, mango and raspberry sorbets, mini hot fudge sundaes and mini sea salt caramel ice cream sundaes.

• Paradise Bagel, Café and Catering, Holmes Beach – Bruschetta three ways.

• Michael’s On East, Bradenton – Seared lump meat crab cakes with orange ginger remoulade.

• Waterfront restaurant, Anna Maria – Fish tacos, carnitas.

• The Feast restaurant, Holmes Beach – Lobster roll, coconut shrimp with orange ginger sauce, conch fritters with Cajun remoulade sauce.

• Blue Marlin, Bradenton Beach – Mini grouper sandwiches.

• Bridge Street Bistro, Bradenton Beach – Nitro ice cream.

• Island Time Bar and Grill, Bradenton Beach – Fish burritos.

• Island Spice, Bradenton Beach – dosa, mango lassi, samosa, tandoori drumsticks, chicken tikka masala, channa masal and mint cooler.

• EnRich, A Bistro, Bradenton – Israeli cous cous and quinoa salad with chilled shrimp, gazpacho with fruit relish and crème fraiche, Rich’s Nutella panna cotta with crushed hazelnut and Hawaiian red sea salt.

• Derek’s, Bradenton – Gulf shrimp and grits.

• Riverhouse Reef and Grill, Palmetto – Kickin’ Green Goodness shrimp and lobster chowder.

• Sage Biscuit Café, Bradenton – Smoked salmon chowder with mini sage biscuit, beer braised beef slider, cucumber chickpea salad with cilantro lime yogurt dressing.

•Harry’s Grill and Bistro, Anna Maria – Buffalo wings, hamburgers and cheeseburger sliders.

• Polpo Pizza, Sarasota – Bee sting pizza: signature pizza with house made mozzarella, organic tomato sauce, fresh herbs, spicy salami and hot pepper infused with local honey, Parmesan rosemary flatbread, basil lemonade.

• Seafood Shack Marina Bar and Grill, Cortez – Crab bisque with sriracha popcorn, house cured smoked salmon BLT sliders, shrimp and grits on a stick.

• Southeast H.S., Bradenton – Jambalya over rice.

• Sugar Cubed, Bradenton – Tropical coffee and iced tea bar, Key Lime brulee tart with raspberry sauce and a shortbread crust.

• Tsunami Sushi and Hibachi Grill, Sarasota – Stuffed shrimp with signature crab delight – lightly fried tempura-style, topped with sweet chili sauce, tropical sensation – tempura kani rolled in rice and seaweed, topped with mango and strawberries, salt and peppered tilapia.

Food and Wine on Pine Anna Maria
Food and Wine on Pine 2015.

Have questions or need more information? Head over to www.FoodAndWineOnPine.com or contact Caryn Hodges at Caryn Hodge at 941-778-8705, and by email at chodge@chilesgroup.com

Respect our feathered friends while relaxing at the beach

Anna Maria Island – Anna Maria Island birds and wildlife are very important to locals, and the success of our environment. Bird nesting season is here and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, FWC for short, is asking beachgoers to watch out for and avoid disturbing nesting shore birds. With nests built out of sand, respecting local wildlife is especially important during high traffic times like Spring Break. A lot of these birds face conservation challenges and taking into consideration a few do’s and don’t can go a long way towards helping preserve our local ecosystem.

Anna Maria Island birds and wildlife

Rules for beachgoer’s

Keep your distance, whether on the beach or paddling watercraft along the shore. If birds become agitated or leave their nests, you are too close. A general rule is to stay at least 300 feet from a nest. Birds calling out loudly and dive-bombing are giving signals for you to back off.

Never intentionally force birds to fly or run. They use up energy they need for nesting, and eggs and chicks may be left vulnerable to the sun’s heat or predators. Teach children not to chase shorebirds and kindly ask fellow beach-goes to do the same.

Respect posted areas. Avoid posted nesting sites and use designated walkways when possible.

Do not take pets to the beach.

Keep the beach clean and do not fee wildlife. Food scraps attract predators such as raccoons and crows, which can prey on shorebird chicks. Litter on beaches can entangle birds and other wildlife.

Rules for wildlife photographers

Remain beyond the posted area, with no part of you or your camera equipment extending beyond the string or signs.

Restrict photography to no more than 10 minutes. Too much time photographing near the nest may stress birds.

Don’t “push” birds around the beach. Stay far enough away so the birds do not change their behavior in response to your presence. They need to feed and rest without disturbance.

If you see someone disturbing nesting birds report their behavior to the FWC Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-FWCC(3922), #FWC or *FWC on a cell phone or by texting Tip@#MyFWC.com.

Black Skimmer
Black Skimmer feeding it’s babies during nesting season on Anna Maria Island.