Anna Maria Island Top 10 Activities

Anna Maria Island – While visiting the island the most obvious choice for fun activities and relaxation is the beach. With over seven miles of powder sand beaches, crisp blue water, endless sunshine and spectacular shelling, the beach will always be the first choice activity. Anna Maria Island has so much more to offer than just the amazing beaches, so Island Real Estate has compiled a list of our top ten activities and things to do during your stay.

Top Ten Activities!

1. Rainy Day Activities on Anna Maria Island

If you’ve ever visited Florida, especially in the summer months, you know rain is to be expected. With this in mind there are plenty of things to do to keep you entertained while waiting for clearer skies.

 

Anna Maria Island storm
A stormy day on Anna Maria Island is still gorgeous!

2. Anna Maria Island Historical Society Museum

The Anna Maria Island Historical Society Museum is a must for visitor to the island. Tour the exhibits in the recently updated Museum building, learn about the old Belle Haven Cottage originally located on the pier, and see the old city jail house. The museum is fun for all ages, and gives visitors a taste of Anna Maria Island from days past. The Museum is located at 402 Pine Avenue.

3. Catch a show with the Island Players

The Island Players Theater offers several different shows each season running from October to May. Tickets are $20 each or purchase a season ticket for $92.50 at the box office or by phone. The Island Players Theater is located at the corner of Gulf Drive and Pine Avenue. A fun place to catch a play, the Players Theater is a gorgeous and historical landmark of Anna Maria.

4. Coquina Bay Walk at Leffis Key

Anna Maria Island may only be seven miles long and one mile wide, but it does offer fabulous nature viewing opportunities. One of the areas most unique nature features can be found on the south end of Anna Maria Island at gorgeous Leffis Key. Open from sunrise to sundown, Leffis Key offers amazing Mangrove tunnel lined  boardwalk trails, salt marsh lagoons and the Island’s best bird watching.

 

Leffis key at Coquina Baywalk
Leffis Key overlooking Sarasota Bay.

5. Shopping on Anna Maria Island

There are tons of great places to shop for unique items on Anna Maria Island. Whether you are looking for island themed gifts and souvenirs, local art or just gorgeous little things, you’ll be sure to find it in one of the great shops on the island.

6. Family Fun at Anna Maria Island Parks

Across Anna Maria Island there are several great parks with kid friendly activities. Find play ground equipment, a skatepark, concessions, and all the outdoor fun your kids could hope for. If you are looking to head off island for nature viewing check out our list of parks and preserves in Manatee county.

7. Equipment Rentals

With so many equipment rental shops on Anna Maria Island there are lots of options for entertaining activities. Rent just about any type of equipment you need on the island including kayak/canoes, bikes, jet skis, beach accessories, golf carts, fly boarding, baby rentals and much more! Check out the Anna Maria Island Bicycle Guide for route suggestions and more.

8. Art Galleries

Anna Maria Island has a fabulous art scene with many local creatives offering their wares in galleries across the island. While visiting Anna Maria Island be sure to stop in one of the galleries listed, and take a piece of paradise home with you. If you visit the Island in November, be sure to visit annual event ArtsHop!

9. Anna Maria Island Dining

Dining on Anna Maria Island is always an entertaining activity. Here’s an extensive list of everything you need to know about dining island style!

10. Sunset

Sunset is one of the most magical times on Anna Maria Island. Always the best way to end the day or get the evening started, sunset is the time of day to reflect on the incredible beauty of the Anna Maria Island experience. You can’t leave the island without catching at least one sunset!

activities sunset
Anna Maria Island sunset

After perusing our list of Anna Maria Island activities we are sure you’ll have to come back a second time to experience everything the island has to offer! Enjoy your time in paradise, and don’t forget to apply your sunscreen liberally!

Anna Maria Island Vacation Rentals and Accommodations

When planning a trip or an extended stay to Anna Maria Island, Island Real Estate has the largest inventory of vacation rental homes to choose from with almost 300 properties. You’ll find the perfect accommodation along with great customer service when you use Island Real Estate!

Holmes Beach vacation rental
Casa Sierra 205 B is a fun and relaxing Anna Maria Island vacation rental located in Holmes Beach. In the central portion of the island, Casa Sierra is two blocks from the beach. It is a great spot to enjoy island activities too! Click on the image above to reserve your stay at Casa Sierra 205 B today!

 

 

5 Romantic Anna Maria Island Beach Rentals for 2017

Here is our list of five romantic Anna Maria Island beach rentals to visit this year. While Valentines day is just around the corner, these rentals are great for a romantic getaway anytime.

Romantic Anna Maria Island Beach Rentals

Sugaree

Sugaree is a stylish elevated duplex in Holmes Beach just a short walk to the beach. This is the perfect spot for a romantic island vacation. You’ll enjoy the private heated pool, outdoor space and updated amenities.

Romantic Anna Maria Island Beach Rentals
Sugaree in Holmes Beach – Gold Rated.

Sleep up to six guests at Sugaree! Not only is this rental close to the beach, but it’s also near the quiet Holmes Beach town center.

Holmes Beach Rental
Everything is updated in this rental with fantastic amenities.

Cayman Bay

Cayman Bay is a lovely canal front rental just a short walk to Tampa Bay beaches. You’ll absolutely adore the master suite at Cayman Bay! Here you’ll find a private balcony with canal views, fireplace, wet bar and a stunning master bathroom. while this home offers spacious accommodations for up to eight you’ll feel like you have your own private getaway in the large master suite.

Romantic Anna Maria Island beach rentals
Cayman Bay in Anna Maria – Gold Rated.

Enjoy the heated pool and spa in this gorgeous backyard. Guests have access to the boat dock, and the canal leads out to Bimini Bay and also Tampa Bay.

romantic vacation rental
Enjoy a one of a kind Master suite at Cayman Bay.

 

Sangria Sunrise

When you visit Sangria Sunrise you’ll have your very own strip of beach with amazing sunrise views. This is truly a romantic Florida vacation spot with the beach right at your feet. You’ll enjoy water views from the master bedroom too.

romantic beach vacation destination
Sangria Sunrise in Anna Maria – Silver Rated.

This Anna Maria beach rental sleeps up to seven guests with three bedrooms. You’ll be close to Pine Avenue shopping and dining while you visit Sangria Sunrise!

beach vacation rentals
Enjoy a romantic beach vacation at Sangria Sunrise.

Bradenton Beach Club B

Bradenton Beach Club B has everything you’ll want for a romantic beach front vacation. During your stay you’ll have spectacular views in a well-appointed condominium in an amazing location.

Romantic Bradenton Beach Rentals
Bradenton Beach Club B in Bradenton Beach – Gold Rated.

This direct gulf front beach rental sleeps up to six guests with 2 bedrooms. Also enjoy the heated pool over looking the gulf of mexico and powder fine sand.

Romantic Anna Maria Island vacation rentals
Bradenton Beach Club B has a great coastal style and location.

Vitamin Sea

Vitamin Sea offers fantastic updated amenities and is just a block to the beach! You’ll love this destination for a romantic beach getaway. Enjoy the updated style, vibrant decor, and plenty of space for your entire group to spread out.

Romantic Anna Maria Island beach rentals
Vitamin Sea in Holmes Beach – Gold Rated.

While you visit, you’ll fall in love with the view from the private master suite balcony.

Holmes Beach rental Anna Maria Island
You’ll find a well-appointed master bedroom during your stay at Vitamin Sea.

 

Enjoy a romantic paradise vacation with your special someone when you visit these great Anna Maria Island beach rentals.

Anna Maria Island Ethnic Restaurants

Anna Maria Island Ethnic Restaurants are a great departure from everyday meals. While everyone loves a good burger, fries and the traditional “American” fare, why not try something different on your vacation?

Anna Maria Island Ethnic Restaurants

Anna Maria Island has more seafood and traditional American restaurants than you could try in just one vacation. However, there are a handful of eateries with international roots. This comes as no surprise since the island sees guests from all around the world.

Here are six restaurants to try if you are looking for something beyond the usual, yet still delicious.

French Cuisine at Island Creperie and French Table

Anna Maria Island has two French Restaurants to try! Visit Island Creperie for an out of this world French breakfast or French Table for a traditional south of France dinner.

The Island Creperie is open for breakfast and lunch until 2pm. You’ll find a extensive variety of crepes, french bread and Mimosas too. Find Island Creperie on Bridge Street in the purple store front.

The French table has a small menu of delicious cuisine focusing on fresh produce and baked bread.  They offer both seafood, duck and beef options. You’ll find them at 103 Gulf Drive in Bradenton Beach.

Anna Maria Island French Restaurant
Duck and Sausage Cassoulet at French Table.

Indian Cuisine at The Island Spice

If you have a craving for Indian food The Island Spice is sure to please. They offer all the traditional Indian favorites Americans have grown to love. You’ll find Curry, Tikka Masala, Dosas, Vindaloo and more. Visit them at 3608 East Bay Drive in Holmes Beach.

Japanese Cuisine at Island Ocean Star

Island Ocean Star has some of the best Sushi you will find in Manatee County. They offer a few Hibachi tables, a fully stocked bar and outdoor waterfront seating too. Find everything you would expect on the extensive menus. Island Ocean Star is in the Galatti Marina 902 South Bay Boulevard in the City of Anna Maria.

Anna Maria Island Sushi
A boat load of Sushi at Island Ocean Star.

German Cuisine at the Old Hamburg Schnitzel Haus

If you are looking for hearty comfort food, the Schnitzel Haus is for you. Here you’ll find great service, German beer and a relaxed cozy atmosphere. They offer both German and Austrian cuisine that is a mix of the traditional with new trends from back home. The Schnitzel Haus is in Holmes Beach at 3246 East Bay Drive.

Italian Cuisine at Vinny and Cheryl’s Italian Kitchen

While Vinny and Cheryl’s doesn’t offer a large dining room with the traditional restaurant service, they do offer authentic Italian Classics. Some of the best fresh baked Italian breads, rustic pizzas, family size meals and specialty items can be found at Vinny and Cheryl’s. Find Vinny and Cheryl on Pine Avenue in the city of Anna Maria.

Anna Maria Island Ethnic Restaurants
Fresh Baked Goods Daily

Best Anna Maria Island Roof Top View Rentals

Anna Maria Island roof top view rentals are great when looking to see the beach without paying gulf front prices! It’s always amazing when you can simply head to the roof for sunshine or nightly sunsets.

Anna Maria Island Roof Top View Rentals

Here is our list of the best Anna Maria Island beach rentals with roof top views!

Seashell Sunsets

While this Platinum rental offers stunning gulf views from the roof, it’s also less than a block to the beach! Access the spiral staircase leading to the roof from the upper living level balcony.

Anna Maria Island Roof Top View Rentals
Seashell Sunset in Holmes Beach.

Seashell Sunsets offers four bedrooms with accommodations for up to eight guests. This recently built beach rental also has a heated pool and spa along with a modern style.

Anna Maria Island Beach Rental
Seashell Sunsets

Palm Isle Village 3210

Palm Isle Village is among the island’s most popular cottage beach rental complexes. This Holmes Beach rental is just across the street from gulf beaches and offers a roof top view.

Holmes Beach roof top view rental
Palm Isle Village 3210 

Gold rated, Palm Isle 3210 sleeps up to four guests with one bedroom. Enjoy the community heated pool and a central island location too.

Holmes Beach Rental
Palm Isle Village 3210

Island Oasis

Island Oasis is a great platinum beach rental with roof top views of the Gulf of Mexico. This Holmes Beach rental sleeps 10 guests with five bedrooms.

Anna Maria Island Gulf view Beach Rental
Island Oasis

While visiting enjoy the heated pool and spa, outdoor kitchen lounge and pool table too.

Anna Maria Island Roof Top View Rentals
Island Oasis

 

Heron Heaven

While the deck at Heron Heaven only offers partial roof top views, it’s still good enough to make the list! This lovely outdoor space is just off the living room and offers plenty of seats for relaxing beach side.

beach rental with a view
Heron Heaven

This spacious two bedroom is just across the street from gulf beaches, and offers a great old Florida style. Find the nearest beach access just steps away!

Anna Maria Island Beach Rental
Heron Heaven

 

Water Colors

When you visit Water Colors you are sure to fall in love with roof top island views.

Anna Maria Island beach rental with a view
Water Colors

This platinum Anna Maria rental has all the amenities you could ever want! Enjoy the heated pool/spa and a gorgeous sophisticated beach style. Sleep up to eight guests with four bedrooms.

Anna Maria vacation rental
Water Colors

The Perfect Anna Maria Island Spa Day

While visiting paradise you must treat yourself to a Perfect Anna Maria Island Spa Day! There’s many options for the pampered treatment on island time, and no better way to relax beach side.

The Perfect Anna Maria Island Spa Day

Making time for yourself can be easy during a vacation, so live it up and indulge while you can! Follow this list for the perfect spa day on Anna Maria Island.

Breakfast first at The Island Creperie

Start your day off right with a big breakfast! You’ll need energy for a full day of pampering. Head over to the Island Creperie for Mimosas and a fancy French breakfast. While they have the islands best crepes, the menu here offers a fantastic selection in a cozy atmosphere. Find the Island Creperie on Bridge Street in the purple storefront.

Anna Maria Island Spa Day
Enjoy a big French Breakfast at the Island Creperie.

Sea Renity Beach Spa and Eco-Boutique for massages and shopping.

After filling up on crepes head down the street for a little shopping and a massage from Sea Renity. Pick up some really cute stuff while enjoying retail therapy in the boutique. You’ll find clothes, jewelry, gifts and more. Sea Renity not only offers several massage and skin care packages, but they have beach massages available too.

Anna Maria Island Spa Day
Enjoy massages and retail therapy at Sea Renity.

Beach Session

After your are fully relaxed from your massage throw on your swim wear and spend an hour at the beach! Just long enough to get some Vitamin D, but not too long. You wouldn’t want to get sunburned or too tired on your day of indulgence.

Lunch at Sign of the Mermaid

You’ll be ready for something to eat after your beach session. Head up to the Sign of the Mermaid for lunch. Here you’ll find great salads, soups and sandwiches perfect for a day of pampering.

Anna Maria Spa Day
Sign of the Mermaid in the city of Anna Maria.

Acqua Aveda Salon and Spa for Manicures and more shopping.

After you recharge with lunch, hop on the free trolley and ride into Holmes Beach to visit Acqua Aveda. Here you’ll find a full service salon and a high end boutique area as well. This is the perfect place to polish yourself up with a mani-pedi, facial and make up service. Not only does Acqua Aveda have great nail and skin services, but they offer great make up lessons. Get all glammed up before dinner time! You might even find a cute new top or dress in the boutique to wear out for the evening.

Anna Maria Island Spa Day at Acqua Aveda
Head to Acqua Aveda for Mani Pedis, Skin care and make up!

Relax at your beach rental

Before going out for the evening take a break at your Anna Maria Island beach rental. A long hard day of relaxing and pampering requires a little down time too. Take a short nap, pick out your evening wear, take a selfie for your friends back home, have a glass of wine and just chill out for a bit.

Anna Maria beach rentals
Relax at a fantastic beach rental like Le Paradis in the city of Anna Maria. Click on the image to learn more about this beautiful Anna Maria vacation rental.

Dinner and Cocktails

After your afternoon chill session, get ready for a fun night out island style. Go to the Waterfront Restaurant to get the night started. Here you’ll enjoy one of the island’s best craft cocktail bars along with outstanding menu selections. Fill up on seafood with views of Tampa Bay.

Anna Maria Island Spa Day
Start your evening with craft cocktails and dinner at the Waterfront

Sunset and Nightlife

Once you’ve enjoyed your fill of the Waterfront, hop on the free trolley and head to the Gulf side of the island for sunset and nightlife fun. Have a seat at Gulf Drive Cafe’s massive Tiki deck, enjoy a frozen drink and watch the sun sink into the Gulf of Mexico. The perfect ending to an Anna Maria Island Spa Day!

Top 5 Anna Maria Island January Activities

During your next winter visit you have to try these top five Anna Maria Island January activities! This is a great time of year for a warm Florida vacation as northerners experience the cold, snow and ice.

Top 5 Anna Maria Island January Activities

While January is cool, it’s still a fantastic time of year for a rental on the beach!

Anna Maria Island January Activities
Enjoy January on Anna Maria Island!

Mini Golf on Bridge Street

Head over to the Fish Hole Miniature golf course on Bridge Street! A great place for family fun, the Fish Hole is a great cool weather activity. You’ll find 18 holes along this well-kept course. You can feed the beautiful Koi fish, and watch the pond of turtles sunning themselves on their logs. The Fish Hole also offers soda and Dippin’ Dots Ice Cream.

Bella by the Sea Boutique

Check out Bella by the Sea for a unique boutique shopping experience. This great shop offers women’s clothes, jewelry, handbags and more. This is a great place to visit during a January day on island time.

Anna Maria January Activities
Visit Bella by the Sea Boutique on Pine Avenue.

Star Gazing on the Beach

A clear January night on Anna Maria Island is perfect for star gazing. January 3rd, 2017 is the peak of the Quadrantid Meteor shower, and the Full Moon is on January 12th, 2017. Bundle up and head to the beach for beautiful skies and sounds of the tides. Check out this helpful Star Gazing Guide too!

Cocktails at The Doctor’s Office

You must visit Anna Maria Island’s newest night spot, The Doctor’s Office! Here you’ll find the island’s hottest craft cocktails and delicious chef inspired small plates. The Doctor’s Office is the newest establishment owned by Sean Murphy of the Beach Bistro.

Anna Maria Island January Activities
Visit The Doctor’s Office in Holmes Beach.

Bike over the Bridge

Rent a bike or snag one from the new Bike sharing racks, and go for a ride over the Manatee Bridge! You’ll enjoy the fresh bay air, sights of the Skyway and tons of sea birds flying overhead. January is the perfect time for a brisk bike ride.

Anna Maria Island National Sangria Day

There are many options for celebrating National Sangria Day on Anna Maria Island! While you can find it on the menu at several island eateries, also make it at home!

National Sangria Day

While red is traditional, white and even sweet pink wines make Sangria. There are endless recipe variations for more adventurous wine lovers.

The basic components of Sangria include a wine, liquor, fruit juice, spice and sugar. You can really let your imagination run wild with different combinations.

Traditional Red

1 Bottle Dry Red Wine
1/3 cup Brandy or Cherry Brandy. Add more for extra kick.
3-4 Tablespoons Sugar. Substitute with Brown Sugar or even Honey.
3/4 Cup Orange Juice. Experiment with other juices such as Grapefruit.
1 Orange Sliced. Experiment with other sliced citrus such as Lemons, Limes or Seasonal Blood Oranges.
1/2 Green Apple Cubed. (Set some Fruit to the side for garnishing glasses)
Cinnamon garnish optional.
Soda Water optional for a more punch like drink.

Directions:

In a pitcher or bowl combine 1/2 of the sliced oranges and sugar. Gently muddle them together.
Add in the wine, brandy and orange juice. Gently stir.
Add lots of ice.
Top with remaining orange slices and apples.

Select a large wine glass or tall tumbler. Fill with ice and poor Sangria in. Garnish with additional fruit, a splash of club soda and a sprinkle of Cinnamon.

National Sangria Day
Traditional Sangria with Apples.

Ideas for creating your own.

Use the basic recipe above as a reference and let your creativity guide you. There really is no wrong way to make a fantastic Sangria at home.

Since it’s that time of year again, get into the Holiday Spirit with this Christmas Sangria Recipe too!

Wines: Chardonnay, Cava, Moscato, Dry Rose.

Liquors: Light Rum, Grand Marnier, Gin, Fruit Flavored Liquors.

Fruit: Black berries, Cherries, Mango, Peaches, Pears, Pineapple, Kiwi.

Garnishes: Basil, Mint, Rosemary, Cinnamon Sticks, Pomegranate Seeds.

Juices and Mixers: Pineapple Juice, Lemon Lime Soda, Apple Cider, Cranberry Juice.

Anna Maria Island Restaurants for your National Sangria Day fix.

While making Sangria at home is great, you can skip the fuss and just go out!

The Waterfront Restaurant has one of Anna Maria Island’s best craft cocktail bars. You’re sure to find an amazing Sangria on the menu. The food here is really good too! Find them at 111 South Bay Boulevard in the city of Anna Maria.

For a relaxed atmosphere and outdoor seating, head to Ugly Grouper. While they aren’t the fanciest place on the island, they sure will please you with their Sangria. Enjoy live music too! Find them on Marina Drive in Holmes Beach.

Enjoy Sangria with your toes in the sand when you visit The Sandbar Restaurant. With an extensive wine menu, Sandbar is sure to please you on National Sangria Day! The Sandbar is also in the city of Anna Maria where Spring Avenue meets the Gulf.

Happy National Sangria Day from Anna Maria Island!

Beach Sangria Anna Maria Island
There is nothing better than relaxing on the beach with a tropical fruity Sangria!

8 Unusual Attractions Near Anna Maria Island

Looking for unusual attractions near Anna Maria Island? Check out this list of ideas! For an authentic Florida vacation you must see something unique or weird! This list is not just your usual collection of roadside stops, but a collection of artistically inspired places to visit.

8 Unusual Attractions Near Anna Maria Island

While some of these places are local, all the attractions on our list are under two hours away.

Mr. Bones BBQ in Holmes Beach.

Mr. Bones offers the areas best Barbecue in a unique atmosphere. This is a must stop for those looking for a different experience. When you enter you’ll find a coffin full of ice cold beers along with the restaurants mascot skeleton. Serve yourself a beer from their large selection and you’ll be seated in the dining room. The walls are covered with interesting masks with decor as eclectic as the menu too! Not only do they have the best barbecue, but you’ll find vegan and Indian dishes as well.

Unusual Attractions Near Anna Maria Island
The dining room at Mr. Bones BBQ

A word of advise for those visiting this funky family owned eatery, do not ask for salt, pepper or ketchup!

Mr. Bones BBQ Holmes Beach
Don’t even ask!

The Sea Hagg in Cortez Fishing Village.

You never know what you’ll find in Cortez Fishing Village, but there are three things you can always count on. Fresh off the boat seafood, the “Real” old Florida atmosphere, and The Sea Hagg. This Gift shop is one of the most interesting places to find everything nautical. The front yard of The Sea Hagg is referred to as the Salvage Garden. Here you’ll find old boats, sculptures and an array of interesting items. Once inside you’ll find floor to ceiling Nautical curiosities, antiques and gifts.

The Sea Hagg in Cortez
The Sea Hagg is a unique stop for nautical gifts, antiques and more.

Arte Coyoacano in Downtown Bradenton’s Village of the Arts.

In the southern portion of downtown Bradenton there is a residential- commercial neighborhood full of arts, galleries, specialty shops and restaurants. The Village of the Arts is full of early 20th century bungalows adding an interesting touch to this quaint community. While the area is peppered with interesting finds, Arte Coyoacano gallery has some of the most unusual.

Village of the Arts
Visit the Village of the Arts and Arte Coyoacano for a unique look at a work play live neighborhood. Alfredo Garcia Sculptures.

Artist Alfredo Garcia’s sculptures and paintings are truly authentic Mexican Folk Art. His works are both technically brilliant and whimsical too. He implements bright colors and traditional Mexican Folk art themes in one of the areas most unique gallery/studios.

Village of the Arts
Alfredo Garcia Acrylic on canvas “La virgen”

Marietta Museum of Art and Whimsy in Sarasota.

The Marietta Museum of Art and Whimsy is a lovely place to visit with the entire family. You’ll find a large variety of interesting works to see from fine art to kitsch. There is no entrance fee, but there is a suggested donation of $5 per person to this wonderful non-profit. The Marietta Museum not only offers a traditional museum setting, but a beautiful sculpture garden too. The museum is open November through May.

 

Marietta Museum of Art and Whimsy
Flaming in the sculpture garden at Marietta Museum.

Founder and Curator Marietta Lee is passionate about sharing the works in her Museum. She wanted to create an interesting space for people to relax and enjoy art. She wanted art to be inclusive to all. A unique feature of this museum is half the artists are women, half men, and almost all are still living.

Marietta Museum
A wax figure dutifully sits at the Marietta Museum.

Solomon’s Castle in Ona.

Solomon’s Castle is like nothing you’ll ever see. Tucked into a wooded area of Ona, Florida this attraction is the makings of an artists dream. Howard Solomon is a metal artist who began creating his castle in 1972. The large metallic structure houses his works. This not so average roadside attraction has gained international attention.

Solomon's Castle
Solomon’s Castle in Ona, Florida is a one of a kind attraction.

The Salvadore Dali Museum in St. Petersburg.

The Salvadore Dali Museum celebrates the works of the artists entire life from 1904 to 1989. This collection includes over 2000 pieces in addition to rotating featured exhibits from other artists. Salvadore Dali was an influential artist know for his interesting style across several mediums. If you are looking for a unique attraction this is a sure bet.

The Dali
The Dali Museum in St. Petersburg

Whimzeyland in Safety Harbor.

Whimzeyland, also known as the Bowling Ball House, is an interesting attraction and the creation of two artists. In 1985 Todd Ramquist and Kiaralinda bought a house in Safety Harbor. They began decorating their yard and house with an artistic touch. After coming upon 10 free bowling balls at a Flea Market, the two really started to push the house into a new realm of creativity. They decorated the balls and began accepting artists bowling balls from all over.  Since 1985 the couple has purchased adjacent properties in their neighborhood employing the same fun themes. The grounds are free to wonder, but are not open all year.

Whimzeyland The Bowling Ball House
Whimzeyland in Safety Harbor

Dysfunctional Grace Art Co in Tampa’s Ybor City.

Dysfunctional Grace Art Co is a collaborative gallery of true art oddities. You wont soon find a more unusual collection of works. From the adorable to the deplorable, and everything in between, this Tampa art shop is a must visit.

Dysfunctional Grace Art Co
Dysfunctional Grace Art Co in Ybor City

Enjoy these unusual attractions near Anna Maria Island and enjoy a true Florida experience!

5 New Anna Maria Island Activities You’ve Never Tried

This is our list of 5 new Anna Maria Island activities you might not have tried yet! While the sunset tours, dolphin cruises and kayak trips are always great here are some new suggestions.

Top 5 New Anna Maria Island Activities to Try

There is always something new and fun to try on Anna Maria Island!

Horseback on the Beach

When you come to Anna Maria Island over the Manatee bridge you will see people on horseback. This is a fun way to spend a morning for all ages of the family. The horses love being in the water, and so will you! There are two different companies that offers “Horse Surfing” C Ponies and Beach Horses. Tickets will run you about $130 to $150 per a rider. Book your trip online first then meet at the Palma Sola Causeway just before the Bradenton mainland.

New Anna Maria Island Activities
Go Horse Surfing with Beach Horses!

Fly Boarding

Top Gun FlyBoards are one of the hottest new activities in the area. Also located on the Palma Sola Causeway this is a fun activity for teens and adults. Flyboards attach to your feet and propel you up and into the air. Most learn to flyboard in about 10 minutes of practice. Top Gun offers 30 minute, 60 minute, four hour and all day experiences. Prices range from $99 up to $1199. Riders must be 18, or between 15-17 with a parent waiver. Additionally riders must be between 100 and 300 pounds. Book a Top Gun Flyboard session online.

Top Gun Flyboards
Top Gun Flyboarding on Anna Maria Island

Parasailing

YOLO Adventures offers parasailing among their list of services. You’ll soar above the island and enjoy stunning aerial views. YOLO offers group excursion, tandem flights, water dips and great fun. They offer two different locations to leave from. Find them at 127th Street in Cortez Village or at the end of Bridge Street in Bradenton Beach. Tickets cost $79 per a person and riders must be under 300 pounds.

YOLO Parasailing
Fly High with Yolo Parasailing

Snorkel trips at Egmont Key

Coastline Excursions offer snorkel trips off of Egmont Key State Park. This unique island is only accessible by boat and offers a light house, sunken ruins and a nature preserve. When you snorkel here you’ll find tropical fish and ruins from the Dade Fort. Snorkel excursions will run anywhere from $75 per person to $426 for private tours. In addition to their Egmont snorkel tour Coastline Excursions offers dolphin trips and a sand bar snorkel trip for a little as $53.25 per person. Book online!

Coastline Excursions Snorkeling at Egmont Key
Snorkeling at Egmont Key state park

Jet Surfing

Jet surfing is the latest activity to come to Anna Maria Island. Surfs Up Jet Surfing is great for days when the water is too calm for traditional surfing. Prior to use a half hour lesson is required to get users acclimated. Your first 45 minute trip with lesson will cost $100. After that it’s $50 for a half hour. Surfs up Jet Surfing Boards can be found at AMI Beach Rentals in Holmes Beach.

Surfs Up Jet Surfing on Anna Maria Island
Surfs Up Jet Surfing

Top 10 Anna Maria Island Holiday Gifts Guide

Anna Maria Island Holiday Gifts are a great way to show your family and friends you love them during the season of giving. Check out our list of the hottest top 10 holiday gifts to pick up on the island. While you’ll not only support local island shops, these gifts are sure to please.

Top 10 Anna Maria Island Holiday Gifts Guide

Forget the fruit cake and seasonal sweaters, get your loved ones something really great! Not only will they love these gifts, but these items will always remind them of time spent on AMI!

Leather Wallets from Salt Air

These ladies leather wallets are super cute! They have several different colors to pick from along with a nice gold detail for $26.95. Pick them up at the Salt Air Boutique in Holmes Beach at 5508 Marina Drive.

Salt Air AMI
Ladies Wallets at Salt Air AMI

Quay Australia Sunglasses from Pink & Navy Boutique

Pink and Navy Boutique is one of the islands trendiest stores offering items for both men and women. Pick up a pair of these super hot Quay Australia sunglasses for a special person in your life. Find the Pink & Navy Store on Pine Avenue in the city of Anna Maria.

Pink & Navy Boutique Anna Maria
Quay Australia Sunglasses with all the most popular styles at Pink & Navy.

Donate to Wildlife Inc. in a Loved Ones Name

This is a fantastic gift idea for that someone who has everything! Wildlife Inc. is an Anna Maria Island based non-profit that rescues and rehabilitates birds and animals. They provide an amazing local service, and will come out to rescue any injured wildlife big, small, sick or even venomous. Wildlife Inc. operates exclusively by donations.

Head over to their website and make a donation. You may even be able to set up a tour of their Bradenton Beach facility for your loved one too.

Wildlife Inc. Anna Maria Island animal rescue
Donate to Wildlife Inc. in a loved ones name. They’ll think it’s a HOOT!

Face Plant Footsie Slippers at Egrets Nest

The Egrets Nest offers a variety of ladies resort wear, jewelry, children’s gifts and more. Stop by their shop and pick up a pair of these cute Face Plant Footsie slippers. These would be especially great for the ones on your gift list who live in cold weather climates. The Egrets Nest and sister store The White Egret are at the corner of Pine Avenue and Gulf Drive.

Egrets Nest Anna Maria Island
Face Plant Footsie Slippers from the Egrets Nest.

Costa Trucker Hats from West Coast Surf Shop

The Trucker Hat has been a popular style with both men and women, and these awesome ones from Costa brand are no exception! They have three different styles of neon to choose from. While visiting West Coast Surf Shop check out their selection of awesome surfer gear, clothes, shoes and more. Find West Coast Surf Shop near the Manatee Public Beach Access in Holmes Beach.

West Coast Surf Shop Anna Maria Island
Costa Trucker Hats are super cool for the surfers on your gift list!

Handmade Scarves from Restless Natives

These handmade scarves would make an awesome gift for your friends who love lots of color and a Boho style. Local artist Glenna makes them from recycled silk, and gives them a shaggy look. Check out more fun gift ideas when you visit Restless Natives.

Restless Natives Anna Maria Island
Handmade Boho Silk Scarves at Restless Natives

Schedule an Anna Maria Inshore Fishing Charter with Captain Kyle.

If you live locally, plan on visiting, or will be on AMI for the holiday give your friends a fishing charter. Captain Kyle knows all the best inshore places to catch fish! He offers four or seven hour excursions leaving from the mouth of the Manatee River.

Anna Maria Inshore Fishing
You’re sure to catch dinner when you schedule a charter with Captain Kyle

Gift Cards from The Beach House, Sandbar and Mar Vista Restaurants

Gift Cards are always an easy gift that everyone loves. This is especially true when it comes to the Chiles group of restaurants. When you purchase a holiday gift card of $50 or more you’ll receive a bonus of 25% of the value of the card. Give a gift and get a gift too!

Sandbar Restaurants
Gift Cards for The Beach House, Sandbar and Mar Vista Restaurants.

Love Rocks at AL’s Studio

These adorable artist made Love Rocks are a fun treasure. Annabel’s gallery offers great works with regularly featured artists. Check out these fun Love Rocks and give the gift of art with a positive message. Find AL’s Studio on Pine Avenue in the city of Anna Maria.

AL's Studio Anna Maria
Love Rocks on Anna Maria Island!

 

Beach Vacation

Surprise your family with a vacation to Anna Maria Island with Island Real Estate! Giving the gift of travel is a great way to make memories and have new experiences too. Nothing brings family and friends closer together than lounging on the beaches of Anna Maria Island! Island Real Estate has the areas largest selection of Anna Maria Island Beach Rentals your family will love!

Here’s a fun idea to try! First plan your stay. Next print out your reservation confirmation and put it in the biggest wrapped box you can find. Everyone at your holiday gathering will get a good laugh when they open it!

Anna Maria Island Holiday Gifts
Give the Gift of an Anna Maria Island Beach Vacation!

 

Top 5 Anna Maria Island Coffee Shops – Grab a Cup of Joe!

If you are looking for Anna Maria Island Coffee Shops this list is for you! Grab your morning pick me up and enjoy a caffeinated day on island time!

Top 5 Anna Maria Island Coffee Shops

This list is organized by location from north to south Anna Maria Island. While there are many places to get coffee, the businesses here are the closest thing you’ll find to a Starbucks style coffee shop.

The Donut Experiment

The Donut Experiment is a must during a visit to Anna Maria. Not only to they offer made to order donuts, but they have great coffee too! Typically you will find their house blend along with a daily flavored coffee. Also enjoy some of the island’s tastiest espresso based drinks. Find them at 210 Pine Avenue next to Poppo’s Tacos. Open 7am to 1pm daily.

Anna Maria Island coffee shops
The Donut Experiment is the quintessential coffee and donuts shops.

Island Coffee Haus

There are now two Island Coffee Haus locations with one at 317 Pine Avenue and one at 5350 Gulf Drive. These shops have just about everything you would want from a java shop. Find coffees, teas, smoothies and lite breakfast type options such as oatmeal and bagels.

Ginny’s and Jane E’s

Ginny and Jane E’s is a unique cafe and shop serving breakfast and lunch. Not only can you find coffee and specialty drinks here, but they have beer, wine and Mimosas too. Locals love to grab a coffee and read the paper in front of this cute shop. Find them at 9807 Gulf Drive in the city of Anna Maria.

Anna Maria Island Coffee Shops
Find a funky fun atmosphere and an easy quick place to grab coffee too!

 Dunkin Donuts

While you won’t find many chain stores and restaurants on Anna Maria Island there is a Dunkin Donuts Baskin Robbins in Holmes Beach. Find it at 3302 East Bay Drive.

Back Alley Treasures

Back Alley is a fun coffee shop with local art, jewelry, clothes and gifts. In addition to coffee drinks you’ll find on the go breakfast type items, pie and sandwiches. Back Alley has a great wine and beer selection too. Sit at their cute counter indoors or find a seat outside while you people watch on Bridge Street.

Anna Maria Island Coffee Shops
Back Alley Treasures offers local and handmade art and more.