Danny’s Pizzeria – Authentic, New York Style Pizza just off the Island

I don’t know about you, but I for one LOVE pizza! So if you’re a pizza lover like me, then you have to try Danny’s Pizzeria in Bradenton.

If you didn’t rent a car and need to stay on the Island, then try The Feast for your pizza fix. But, if you are able to make the 15 minute commute off the Island to Danny’s, it is worth it!

Danny’s is popular for their authentic New York style cheese pies. And though I have never experienced real New York pizza, I have heard from multiple people who have that Danny’s is spot on!

And it doesn’t stop at pizza, they serve Hero’s and delicious Italian cuisine. Baked Ziti, Chicken Parmesan, and even Calzones.

Danny’s is open for lunch and dinner everyday of the week.

There’s an App for that! Track the Free Island Trolley with the myStop App

The day where you can track the Island trolley in real-time is finally here! There is now a phone application, called myStop, that will provide you with real-time Anna Maria Island trolley info. The days of guessing your pickup time are over with this FREE app you can download easily.

myStop Mobile is an awesome tool to get trolley stop details, and to see if the trolley is on time or late to its next stop. Make sure you pick the “5 AMI Trolley” option to get our specific trolley’s information. A map will display stop locations – remember that north destinations pick up on the east side of the road and south destinations pick up on the west side.

If you for some reason don’t have a smart phone on you, but are near a computer, juts visit this site to view the trolley info/times.

As if the free trolley here on Anna Maria Island could get any better! Tip from a local: make sure you have your shoes ON, not just in your beach bag when getting on the trolley, the drivers are very strict!

Dog Park at Central Park in Holmes Beach

If you have traveled to AMI with your furry friend before, you have probably been to the dog park before! But if you and your dog are Island newbie’s, you may not be aware of the small dog park in Holmes Beach.

Let me give you the run down. There is a park on Flotilla Drive in Holmes Beach called Central Park. Here, there is a small area just for dogs to run around and do dog stuff.

It’s nothing much, but there are benches to relax at and some shade. And with dogs being NOT PERMITTED on the Island beaches, it’s nice to have a place just for them.

*This park is managed by the City of Holmes Beach*

Market Update: Taxes!

Tis the season, Property Tax Season that is! I wanted to provide a little information on Anna Maria Island property taxes for this newsletter.  Let’s discuss the Truth in Millage (TRIM) notice that is normally sent out Mid-August each year.  It is critical within a few days that you check your TRIM statement, as the deadline for appealing your property tax assessment is 25 days from the date of the notice.  For those that do not receive the TRIM notice real time I suggest you make arrangements to receive the TRIM notice electronically or late August sign in to ManateePAO.com to review your TRIM notice.  Over the years I have appealed my property assessment twice and have found compromise with the County both times.  Once using and attorney and once on my own.

Using an attorney to help is not inexpensive, the service can run $3,500 and up.  In most cases an attorney is utilized when a comprehensive market price analysis of similar properties is complicated, the building is newly erected AND the potential property tax savings exceeds the attorney fees.  In my case there were less than a handful of similar properties on Anna Maria Island and the market value of the property is a combination of income generation and real property value.  The attorney helped the most with the process of how to appeal however I would not suggest using an attorney if you want to save your own time on the appeal.  I found I did a great deal of the heavy lifting as it related to the analysis of comparing similar properties and making a case why the market value of my property was excessive. 

My second appeal was much less complicated so I handled the appeal on my own.  I would hazard a guess most Anna Maria Island owners can handle an appeal on their own if needed.  Reminder, your property taxes are calculated by taking millage rates multiplied by your Assessed value.  Millage rates are determined by local governments and are passed via public budget meetings you can attend.  The below process is to determine if your assessed value has been improperly estimated and should not be confused with the total proposed property tax increase.  Assessed value and property tax are apples and oranges.  Here is my suggested process for determining if an appeal is even worth your time: 

1. Compare your assessed value last year to this year as a percent increase.

2. Is your Anna Maria Island property Homestead? 

YES, then the assessed value increase is CAPPED by the 1995 Save Our Homes act.  Skip to #3

NO, ok likely you are seasonally renting your property so Homestead is not available.  Skip to #4

3. Congratulations, your assessed value is normally CAPPED around 3%.  The CAP DOES change from year to year based on the Consumer Price Index.   Is your year to year change more than the CAP?

If the answer is YES, Skip to #5. If the answer is NO, Skip to #6. 

4. Ok, your Anna Maria Island property is not homestead.  The challenge now at hand is to determine what the average increase is for most other Anna Maria Island similar properties.  You can do that by calling me, talking with a few friendly neighbors, or staying in tune with market appreciation on the island by reviewing our newsletters.  The most important part of this analysis is to ask if your assessed value percent increase from last year is within reason? 

If the answer is YES, skip to #6.    If the answer is NO then move to #5.

5. Ask yourself in the last 18 months or so, have you performed renovations to your property that required a permit?  For example, adding a pool, adding square footage under AC?  Permits add value and hence your assessed value may increase more than the CAP or more than your neighbors increased year over year assessment.  Renovations made?  Considering the cost of the added PERMIT value does your assessed value increase now make sense? 

If the answer is YES, Skip to #6. If the answer is NO, move to #7.

6. Move on to more productive matters like going to the beach.  Filing for an appeal this year will likely not be a productive exercise.

7. So after all your analysis your TRIM notice still seems to high.  Call (941) 741-4058 and with your percent increase of assessed value at hand ask for details on why the increase is so high this year.

I hope this information is of help.  Here is the 2019 TRIM supplement offered by the County. If you have questions please don’t hesitate to call me or your Anna Maria Island Sales professional.  We can help! 

Mandatory Electronic System Travel Authorization for foreign travelers

In 2008 Congress enacted legislation to expand the U.S. Visa Waiver Program (VWP). The new law required that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) develop an Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) to gather biographic information from nationals of the soon-to-be 34 VWP countries traveling to the U.S. in advance of their visit.

ESTA is mandatory for all VWP travelers beginning January 12, 2009. Information required through ESTA mirrors the data travelers already submit through the I-94W paper form currently filled out upon arrival at a U.S. port of entry; however, it simplifies the process by allowing visitors to complete the form online prior to arrival.

Question and Answers about the program

Bean Point – Anna Maria Island’s Secret Serenity

Bean Point is a must stop spot on Anna Maria Island. it’s a local secret that provides the most breathtaking views of the sunset on a pristine 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 most likely will return with a bad surprise after your leisurely stroll along Bean Point. 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. There is always something to delight the bird watcher too, with several different types of birds to entertain you as they guard their beach turf from one another.

So head over to Bean Point and capture a quiet beach moment or a breathtaking sunset, and enjoy one of the most relaxing spots on an island famous for its relaxation.

Red Box Rentals Anna Maria Island

Red Box Rentals Anna Maria Island are located at Publix market and also CVS Pharmacy. This is a great option if you end up encountering rain during your Anna Maria Island vacation. This is also a great solution if you need some late night entertainment.

Red Box Rentals Anna Maria Island

Holmes Beach Publix
Holmes Beach Publix

Updated Info – DVD rentals are in the Publix Red Box in Holmes Beach. Publix is in a central location in Holmes Beach on East Bay, and they have a good selection of newer movies for rent. CVS pharmacy has a Red Box. It is located just next door to Publix.

Baby Toddler equipment rentals

ABC Baby Toddler equipment rentals is a fabulous resource for Anna Maria Island.  They deliver equipment and pick it up on the day of your departure.

Baby Toddler Equipment Rentals

Be sure to ask for baby toddler linens when renting beds. Island Real Estate only offers standard bed linens. They are integrated into our office and deliver items to your vacation rental.  Anything required is set up in your vacation rental home or condo.  You can rent toddler beds, cribs, baby seats, strollers, swings, and toys.   In addition to renting legos to life jackets for toddlers, they also rent bicycles, joggers, kites, beach umbrellas, and beach chairs.   All items can be rented daily or weekly and most rentals are less than $40.   ABC does have two locations, one in Holmes Beach on Anna Maria Island and one location in Sarasota.

ABC Rentals
4519 South Tamiami Trail
Sarasota, FL, 34231
(941) 929-1850

McCabe’s Irish Pub and Alehouse Downtown Bradenton

An old Irish proverb says, “Keep your shop and your shop will keep you.” The Irish-born Thomas Stynes certainly keeps his shop, and keeps it well.

Stynes, owner of McCabe’s Irish Pub and Alehouse, 302 Old Main St., isn’t ready to kick back and relax even now that he’s realized his goal of opening a bar downtown. He’s frequently seen there, pouring pints of Guinness, clearing tables or chatting with patrons and when he’s not at the bar, he’s on the lookout for treasures from his native Ireland to add to the bar’s rustic charm.
McCabe’s Irish Pub opened last spring to much buzz albeit with a bit of concern from its neighbors in the nearby senior living condominiums who worried about a bar so close to home. But from day one, McCabe’s Irish Pub and Alehouse made strides to be good neighbors: The bar has never allowed late-night rock bands or outdoor seating. Continue reading McCabe’s Irish Pub and Alehouse Downtown Bradenton