One thing you’ll never be on Anna Maria Island is bored! There are so many activities in the area, you could plan a full day and never cross over to the mainland! From fishing and wildlife watching to lazing on the best beach in the area, our Local Scene blog has the best of the best in things to do from Holmes Beach, Anna Maria, Bradenton Beach and even farther south into Longboat Key and Sarasota!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. Also, use this handy guide to spot both White and Brown Pelicans around Anna Maria Island’s Leffis Key!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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!
For decades now, researchers have studied and proven the health benefits of green space, but more recent findings point to blue space as a far superior influence on the health of people and communities.
What is green space and blue space?
Green space is a term referring to an area of grass, trees and foliage often found in urban areas. Green spaces are typically created for recreational, aesthetic and environmental purposes. Blue space is similar to green space, but refers to rivers, marinas, ponds, lakes, fountains, oceans and bodies of natural or man made water.
Both green and blue spaces have a great impact on human health, but a 2016 study has concluded that blue spaces have greater benefits than green spaces. Researchers note that blue space has a much more dramatic effect on our mental health than green space. People feel less depression and psychological distress with blue space. While green space does have benefits, blue space has more of a profound impact.
Blue space makes people healthy and happy.
A trip to Anna Maria Island is the blue space you need. There are tons of reasons why spending time with the clear blue gulf waters surrounding the island are good for your health!
Blue spaces gives us down time.
It seems like everyday our brains and lives are filled with things to do, schedules to stick with and obligations to complete. When you visit Anna Maria Island you get time to relax and unwind from the stress. Everybody needs down time to do nothing, think about nothing and quietly gaze at the blue gulf waters.
Blue space makes us calm.
Staring at liquid blue brings us to a state of calm. Watching the waves crash, smelling the salt air and feeling the warm breezes all lull us into a perfect state of calm and serenity.
Blue space is uplifting to our emotions.
Enjoying blue water views sends the blues away. Blue space has proven to help with depression. Everyone gets a little down, and for some, depression and anxiety are a daily battle. Spending time at the beach with water helps clear negative thoughts and emotions that lead to depression. Perhaps looking at such a large blue body of water like the gulf makes our own problems seem small in comparison to the great big world.
Blue space makes us more creative.
It’s hard not to be inspired by blue hues. The beauty of water is memorizing and lets our brain drift to our aspirations. Those who spend time meditating on blue scenes are better able to unlock the creative portions of their brain. When you aren’t feeling the stress and worries of daily life, your brain can take a step back and re-approach problems and ideas from a more creative perspective.
Blue space brings people closer together.
When you visit these spaces with friends and loved ones its hard not to form closer emotional bonds. The collective experience of enjoying blue space is infections like the domino affect of a yawn. The color blue is psychologically associated with honesty, loyalty and trust so its easy to see how blue surroundings can make us feel those emotions toward our friends and family.
Many studies site blue as the most popular favorite color, so it’s no wonder that people love these environments. Anna Maria Island is surrounded by blue making it the perfect place to get a dose of the blue stuff!
When planning your big day there are many options for Anna Maria Island wedding venues. Have your perfect dream destination ceremony and reception with toes in the sand.
Top 5 Anna Maria Island Wedding Venues
While there are tons of places throughout Manatee and Sarasota counties for weddings, this list offers some of the most popular on both Anna Maria Island and the mainland. All five locations can accommodate both a ceremony and reception.
The Harrington House is a wonderful spot for a more intimate wedding experience. This quaint B&B was built in 1925 of Coquina-block shell walls and pecky cypress floors. It’s old Florida charm and direct beach front location make it an amazing destination wedding venue.
You’ll find three unique wedding packages offering an all inclusive experience for up to 24 guests. Enjoy a ceremony on a private section of beach, or in the beach front gazebo.
The Harrington House is also a lovely spot for a honeymoon and can accommodate guests over the age of 12 in their many lovely suites.
The Sandbar offers one of the most popular Anna Maria Island wedding venues in the area. Their event coordinator and staff will assist you in every aspect of your ceremony and reception, and they have a top of the line selection of vendors.
Their beach front pavilion can hold well over 100 guests for a magical event rain or shine! Choose from a large selection of services, menu items, decor and more from this award winning venue.
Enjoy a fun Tiki style wedding at Gulf Drive Cafe and Tiki bar. There are four different spots on site to choose from for your event accommodating groups of 20 to 175 guests.
You’ll find a variety of individual packages for both the ceremony and reception. This location is super fun with the largest Tiki hut on the island and gulf views.
Peruse their helpful list of wedding vendors covering every aspect of the day from bridal services to florists, steel drum musicians and more. You can have the quintessential beach wedding at Gulf Drive Tiki Bar!
The Seafood Shack restaurant is where new Florida flavors meet that charming old Florida feel. Here you’ll find a professional staff dedicated to making your wedding perfect.
There are three unique spaces at this facility with two banquet rooms, and a Marina Pavilion all overlooking the beautiful Intracoastal Waterway. They can accommodate groups of up to 425 guests, so this is truly the spot for those large weddings.
Every detail of your special day will be taken care of when you let The Seafood Shack host your wedding!
An Anna Maria Island 4th of July beach vacation should be on everyone’s bucket list! What better way to spend the day than relaxing while the family enjoys swimming in the gulf on a hot Summer day?
Anna Maria Island 4th of July Beach Vacation
4th of July on Anna Maria Island is an experience unlike any other holiday. There’s a buzz of excitement in the air that words just can’t explain. A feeling like the day will be one you’ll never forget.
4th of July beach prep
This holiday is one of the busiest beach days every year, so you’ll want to come prepared. The biggest benefit of planning a vacation centered around Independence Day is you’ll already be on the island, so you won’t have to fight traffic. Smart right? Even better, since you’ll be staying in a vacation rental so close to the beach, you can pick your spot ahead of the crowd!
Find some really great deals on 4th of July beach rentals at IslandReal.com!
Plan on purchasing everything you’ll need one or two days prior. Why stress last minute? Beach vacations are supposed to be relaxing.
Be sure to put on Sunblock 20 minutes before you’ll be in the sun, and re-apply every two hours. Over exposure to the sun can cause symptoms such as fever and nausea. A sunburn is a sure way to ruin a beach vacation.
The Privateers 4th of July Parade
Every year The Privateers, a non-profit organization, host the Anna Maria Island 4th of July parade. There is nothing better than a small town parade, and this one is fun and heart warming. Starting on the south end of the island on Coquina Beach the parade runs the entire length of the island ending at Pine Avenue in the city of Anna Maria. Catch candy and beads and be sure to watch out for the squirt guns! This family fun event is free and starts at 10am.
Hanging out on the beach
Since the parade ends around noon you’ll have the entire rest of the day to wait for the evenings fireworks. This is when all the fun really happens!
For something different at the beach try renting a paddle board or even beach games from one of the many great rental companies on AMI. Find some suggested here.
Obviously you’ll want to have some great food and drink items. We have put together a list of great picnic and dining ideas along with a fun selection of beach games on Pinterest.
Sandbar Fireworks Display
While enjoying an Anna Maria Island 4th of July beach vacation you’ll get the chance to catch a great show on the beach! The only fireworks allowed on the beach are Sparklers. However, you can gather along the coast and catch the Sandbar Restaurant’s annual display. From just about anywhere on the beach you’ll have a view of the fireworks, but for a real fun time purchase tickets for a front row view. Follow this AMI fireworks guide to book your seat!
When you visit the beach for this holiday you’re sure to feel like you Independence Day is complete with fun, family and beach time. Plan your Anna Maria Island 4th of July beach vacation today!
The Perfect Anna Maria Island Father’s Day is easy to achieve, and the special guy in your family will be super pleased. Forget the tie clips, golfing socks and the grilling gear. Dads just want to relax on the beach!
The Perfect Anna Maria Island Father’s Day
What better way is there to tell dad thanks than with a beach trip? Whether the entire family is going, or you’re sending him with his best pals, a beach trip will have dad is full relaxation mode.
The Gift dads Actually Want.
Peace and quiet. That’s it! Dad’s just want a day where they can enjoy doing nothing quietly. A Sunday without a schedule, without grass mowing, without the racket of cartoons blasting from the family room. Just peace and quiet.
When you plan an Anna Maria Island beach trip dad is sure to have quiet time!
Anna Maria Island Beach Rentals
The perfect Anna Maria Island Father’s Day starts with the perfect beach rental! First pick out a no-frills beach house from Island Real Estate. Whether the dad in your family likes to be pampered in luxury or is the type that can sleep anywhere, Island Real Estate has accommodations to fit any dads needs.
Dad’s beach trip
Once you find the perfect accommodations for dad’s beach trip, get him all ready for a day of lounging in the sand.
Pack up a dad style picnic! Make some of his favorite snacks and throw some waters in the a cooler. Dads usually aren’t too picky. Half of what they eat is whatever the kids left on their plate anyway, so dad will likely be happy with whatever sandwiches or crackers get tossed in. Keep it simple.
Before he goes out for the day make sure he gets thoroughly sun tan lotioned. Sunburned dads are fussy dads. He’ll need help getting his back and don’t forget to lotion that bald spot too!
If you do decide on gifts
Surprise him by sneaking a gift into his beach bag. Something he can use at the beach like a new ball cap or nice pair of sunglasses. A small gift to open at the beach will be the icing on the cake!
After a long restful day at the beach dad will be one happy dude. The perfect Anna Maria Island Father’s Day is waiting! Tell dad thank you this year with a gift he really wants, and plan him a beach trip!
Here are 6 ways to celebrate World Oceans Day on Anna Maria Island. While the powder fine sand and blue water on Anna Maria Island are worth celebrating everyday, follow our guide on how to help keep AMI waterways beautiful on this special day.
6 Ways to Celebrate World Oceans Day on Anna Maria Island
It’s easy to help keep Anna Maria Island beautiful. Follow our guide for World Oceans Day, not just on June 8th, but eveyday!
Clean it up!
The best way to celebrate World Oceans Day is by picking up garbage on the beach. Even though our beaches are wonderfully pristine, there is a good chance you probably encounter at least a little bit of garbage every time you visit. Today be the change, and pick it up!
You don’t have to spend hours walking along the coastline to feel like you made a difference. If you only spend two minutes picking up trash you have helped! You’ll be amazed at how much stuff you’ll find in even a short period of time. As you look for garbage on the beach check out clumps of seaweed and the areas around sea oats. Litter and trash tend to get caught up in these areas. However, be sure to keep off the sand dunes and sea oats as they are a very fragile and important environment.
When you start picking up trash there’s a good chance onlookers will see you, and be more cautious about their own garbage. You may even find your actions cause others to join in!
Every year millions of birds and marine animals die from ingesting or becoming entangled in plastics and litter. The health of these animals depends on you to help!
Another great way to help save the Oceans is by donating to organizations who support this cause. Mote Marine Laboratory is a fantastic organization that will be accepting donations for World Oceans Day. They will be hosting a 48 hour giving event June 2-4, but donations are welcome any time!
Mote Marine is an amazing facility that not only works to save Marine life, but educates people of all ages about the unique species and environments in Florida. Every year they rescue tons of endangered sea turtles along with many other programs that help humans gain better understanding of the world.
Practice Responsible Boating
A great way to help world Oceans is by boating responsibly. Never throw garbage into the water, and if you see floating debris try to pick it out. Be sure trash is in a safe receptacle to ensure it doesn’t blow off into waterways.
In Florida it is safe to say all bodies of water have marine animals. Always be aware of your surroundings when boating, and be on the lookout for wildlife. Follow signage and idle zones marked specifically to warn of Manatees. Dolphins, Manatees and Sea Turtles are too often hit by boat propellers. Do your best to avoid speeding through the areas where they are known to live.
Keep your boat in areas that are appropriate for your make and model of vessel. Running your boat aground in Florida waterways can damage sea grasses that provide food and shelter to marine life. Never tie your boat up to Mangroves or allow your anchor to drag through reef environments.
Eat Sustainable Seafood
Sustainable Seafood is always the best alternative. Sure we all love those high-end Tuna cuts, but there are so many different species of seafood that often go over looked.
Over fishing is a global problem. Without careful conservation some species could disappear from the worlds oceans in just a few decades. When you choose sustainable fish you choose healthy oceans.
There are many questions to ask when purchasing sustainable fish. Was it net or line caught? was it farm raised or wild? Domestic or import? Asking these questions to your local fish monger will allow you to find more ethically sourced seafood.
You can help reduce the effects of climate change on our oceans by reducing your carbon footprint. This isn’t a new idea, and there are tons of ways to be mindful of your energy use. Leave your car and walk or bike when you can. This is easy to do on Anna Maria Island! Everyone knows you can bike all over, hop on the free trolley, or even walk to your destination while visiting the Island.
Other ways to reduce your energy consumption include taking the stairs, switching to compact fluorescent light bulbs, and don’t over set your thermostat. Making tiny efforts to change the way you consume energy is a great way to reduce carbon and the negative effects of climate change on world oceans
Take time to learn about oceans and waterways, and inspire others to help make a difference. When you learn how oceans are vital to a healthy earth you’ll find yourself taking steps to protect it.
Visit local aquariums, science centers and wildlife attractions dealing with marine life. Educate yourself about oceans then take your knowledge and inspire others to help save the ocean!
Do your part this year and celebrate World Oceans Day on Anna Maria Island!
Anna Maria Island June activities and events are a great way to enjoy the start of Summer. As the weather warms up, so does the fun on island time!
Anna Maria Island June Activities and Events
June fun on Anna Maria Island is all about the beach, and enjoying the very last bit of Spring weather for the year. This is when the days start to get hot, but the gulf is still crisp and refreshing. June is that time of year that all the locals absolutely adore because the beach weather is out of this world amazing!
Peruse our list of fun things to do and see while visiting Anna Maria Island in June! In celebration of summer this list has tons of kid friendly activities, but we didn’t forget about adult fun too.
School’s Out – June 1st.
For local schools, Summer is in full swing as of June 1st. You can bet the first thing kids want to do is head to the beach, lounge in swimming pools, eat hot dogs and enjoy the island life.
Your kids will love visiting Anna Maria Island this Summer. As this is one of Florida’s most family friendly beaches, you’ll find tons of ways to keep kids entertained!
Here are a few things to do with the kiddos:
Miniature golf at the FishHole. Click over to their website for a $1 off coupon.
Visit the pirate ship Playground at Coquina Beach.
Pier fishing on Bradenton Beach City Pier followed by lunch at Anna Maria Oyster Bar. Rent poles for $8 at the bait shop at the base of the pier.
Take a boat tour with Captain Kathe and first mate Pup-Pup. You’re sure to see Dolphins.
Get Ice Cream at Two Scoops and go for a walk on the Anna Maria City Pier.
Head over to the Holmes Beach Dollar Tree for tons of beach toys! The Anna Maria Island dollar store has a large selection of beach fun that won’t break the bank!
World Oceans Day Festival at Mote Marine – June 3rd
Mote Marine Labs and Aquarium will be hosting a World Oceans Day Festival 10am-1pm June 3rd. There will be live music, vendors, hands on activities and plenty of kid friendly marine education opportunities. Entrance to the event is free with the purchase of regular admission.
Find Mote Labs at 1600 Ken Thompson Parkway on Longboat key just a short drive away!
2017 U.S Rowing Youth National Championship at Nathan Benderson Park – June 9-11th.
Head down to Sarasota and catch all the action at the prestigious World Rowing Youth Championships. Over 350 crews from across the country will be competing in this three day event. Daily tickets are $10 or $25 for a three day pass.
Benderson Park is a beautiful spot to spend a day of fun. This park isn’t just a world class rowing facility, but offers many great amenities for those looking to get outdoors. Find picnic areas, walking trails, kayak launch and pets welcome.
Support a new local business – Paradise Found Book Store.
While on vacation the first essential items you may think to pack, would be a bathing suit, sunscreen, outfits, and a good book?
There are many times when we find ourselves even on a vacation needing a good read. Well, Paradise Found has you covered! Located on historic Pine Avenue, this shop is selling books of all genres. There are options for people of all ages, and all interests. You can browse the many selections of books, while your kids visit their children’s section.
There is more to buy here at the Paradise Found bookstore, they also have rare plants, and handmade oil paintings! If you find yourself on vacation and it is raining or you just enjoy a good read at the end of a beautiful day, stop by Paradise Found, and grab a great book!
Enjoy Live Music at Wicked Cantina
While vacationing on Anna Maria Island you have to catch a live music act at one of the local night spots. Wicked Cantina is an excellent place to enjoy live tunes with gulf views, tasty Tex-Mex and fantastic cocktails too!
Find them on Gulf Drive in Bradenton Beach.
Here’s the June live music schedule:
Tuesday’s – Hatley Band
Wednesday’s – Jody Gray
Thursday’s – Hatley Band
Friday’s – Jody Gray
Saturday’s – Noel Harris
Sunday’s – Chris Warner
June Featured Artist at Island Gallery West
Check out the Island Gallery West June featured artist Maria Sine. “The Shape of Things to Come” exhibit will be on display the entire month. Maria Sine has been an artist for 35 years. This exhibit will feature flora and fauna themes in the medium of acrylic with both abstract and realistic interpretations of Florida landscapes.
Find Island Gallery West 5368 Gulf Drive in Holmes Beach.
Anna Maria Island June activities and events are full of fun for the entire family!
Enjoy the start of Summer with this great list of things to do while visiting Florida! It’s not too late to plan your stay on Anna Maria Island, so visit IslandReal.com today and book the perfect Summer beach rental for your family.
Here are 5 restaurants that will transform your Anna Maria Island vacation! While the beautiful beaches, friendly people and luxury family beach rentals are plenty to rave about, the island has a few eateries that truly affect the way travelers feel about AMI.
Restaurants that will Transform your Anna Maria Island Vacation
There is one thing people all over the world have in common. Eating. Everyone requires nourishment. However, food isn’t just a requirement, it’s often an emotional experience that started before you were even born.
Many of us can think back on meals that effect us on an emotional level. Like that casserole your mother made every Sunday when you were a kid. The way your husband makes that secret barbecue sauce recipe before firing up the grill. Or even that special meal you had during your travels in Florida.
These Anna Maria Island restaurants are the exact place to go for that meal you’ll think of years from now. These are flavors and feelings you’ll take home and tell all your friends about. Not only are these restaurants full of fantastic menu items, but they offer a glimpse into the island life. Each has a culture all of it’s own, but still connects with those unique local island vibes.
Rod & Reel Pier – Seafood with a view.
The Rod & Reel Pier has been serving up traditional Florida fare since 1947. Wonder up to the bay side of north Anna Maria, and you’ll find what looks like an old house on a small old fishing pier. There’s always people fishing and lounging outside enjoying the gorgeous views of Tampa bay, Egmont Key and the Sunshine Skyway Bridge. This is a nice place to relax. The crowd is a mix of locals and tourists and everything is low key.
The menu at Rod & Reel is indicative of a typically simple and casual Florida eatery. Find basics like chicken wings, peel and eat shrimp and a Grouper sandwich. Each day you’ll find a different selection of fresh fish grilled, blackened or fried served with mango chutney or garlic butter.
This is the spot for a no frills meal with cold beers. Service moves at its own pace. The staff might be friendly, or they might be salty. Either way just relax and go with the flow. There is a bar downstairs and a dining room up top. Locals tend to prefer the bar seating. The beer selection is limited and mostly domestic, but this spot isn’t about fancy brews. Its about the experience of eating on beautiful blue waters, enjoying warm weather, doing a little lazy Florida fishing, and relaxing island style.
The Sandbar – Sunsets and Tourists
The Sandbar is the quintessential island dining experience. Toes in the sand dining room, sun burnt to a crisp tourists, fruity frozen cocktails and sunsets so pretty you just can’t even believe your eyes. This type of restaurant experience is why you decided on a Florida vacation!
The menu is more eclectic than one might expect from a touristy destination. A little bit of everything from southern home cooking to high-end seafood. Find things like shrimp and grits, sliders, fish tacos and even caviar too! The Seafood tower is a great option for tasting a variety of seafood including lobster tail, seasonal crab, shrimp, oysters, clams and smoked fish dip. Along with a lovely menu, The Sandbar offers a full service bar and a fantastic wine menu.
When you are looking for that fun beach bar vibe with a family friendly atmosphere, good food and accommodating service head over to The Sandbar in Anna Maria. There’s nothing like sitting in a crowd of happy vacationers all relaxing and watching the sunset while enjoying a great meal on the gulf.
Bridge Tender Inn – Salty characters and local culture.
The Bridge Tender Inn is where you’ll find a salty good time with funky local characters and some pretty decent food too. Finding those places that the locals frequent are what really makes a vacation feel authentic. Yes the touristy places are super fun. However, you have to find the local hangouts to really get a feel for an area, and this is one of them!
The Bridge Tender is nestled along north Sarasota Bay at the end of Historic Bridge Street. They offer both indoor and outdoor seating with a bar on the water and one inside too. There is nothing up-tight about this restaurant. Everyone is laid back and having a good time. The no frills staff are eager to please and have fun too, but not without a little of that salt life attitude only Floridians have.
The menu has something for everyone. Find crab cakes, burgers, Grouper and sandwiches. A lot of pub grub type of items, but with some nicer selections like roast duck and steaks.
The Bridge Tender Inn is extremely family friendly, but is open late to accommodate those looking for night life. From time to time you’ll find live music, and during Football season you’ll find a lot of Packers fans watching the games.
Grab a rum and coke and a crab cake and sit back with a view of the bay and the Anchorage. The Anchorage is the area in North Sarasota Bay where many year round residents anchor their various house boats. For many the Anchorage is not only home, but a way of life. If you hang out at the Bridge Tender long enough you’re sure to meet an Anchorage character.
Beach Bistro – Fancy fine dining and beach views.
The Beach Bistro is an award winning gulf front restaurant that will leave you amazed. Nestled in Resort 66 in Holmes Beach, the Bistro has been providing the island with fine dining since 1985. You won’t find anything else like it on Anna Maria Island and the locals will agree!
Here the menu offers only the finest ingredients. Find items like fresh caught seafood Bouillabaisse, foie gras, steaks and lobster too. Everything is of the highest quality as owner Sean Murphy’s primary goal has always been the pursuit of perfection. Along with an award winning menu, you’ll find an outstanding wine selection and a lovely full service bar.
Not a large restaurant the dining room offers an intimate setting great for celebrations, romantic evenings and special occasions of all sorts. Service at the Beach Bistro is above average in every way. You’ll truly feel taken care of as your server and support staff guide you through an amazing dining experience. Because the Beach Bistro has been serving the island for decades, you’ll always find locals enjoying their evenings here. It’s not uncommon for Sean Murphy to stop by your table as he loves meeting his guests in person.
Anna Maria Island has such a laid back feel that even this fine dining establishment still feels warm and welcoming. This dining experience is truly one of a kind.
Star Fish Company Restaurant and Market – The “real” old Florida.
Located in one of the countries oldest fishing villages, Starfish Market is an absolute must when visiting Anna Maria Island. The Cortez Fishing Village is located just over the Cortez bridge from the island. Everyday boats hull in fresh caught fish and seafood to feed Florida and beyond.
As you make your way from the main road through the village you’ll find quaint old cottages, tons of boats and a quiet neighborhood setting. Generations of families have been fishing from the shores in this community and it’s apparent as you look around. Many of the fishermen working for the Starfish fleet live in the village. You’ll feel like you have been transported back in time while in Cortez.
Star Fish offers both a restaurant and market. All restaurant seating is outdoors along the water where the fishing boats are kept. You’ll literally watch the days catch coming to dock while dining here.
The Menu is simple, fresh and classic old Florida Seafood. Find Gulf Shrimp, Grouper, Smoked Mullet and clams. Seasonal favorites include Stone Crab claws and Spiny Lobster. The side dishes are nothing but southern with cole slaw, hush puppies and grits. Order at the bar, find a table and the staff will call your name when the order is ready. Food is served in crisp white paper boxes. Bring cash!
Dining at Star Fish is something special. Sitting on North Sarasota Bay eating local seafood, watching the salt beaten boats come in, and Pelicans looking for a handout. This is the essence of what Florida once was, and continues to live on at Starfish.
These are the restaurants that will transform your Anna Maria Island Vacation in ways you never thought!
From mingling with locals, to enjoying a sunset with a group of strangers, to an intimate fine dining experience. Enjoy the true authentic flavor of the island life on your next Anna Maria Island getaway!
Anna Maria Island is the perfect ladycation beach destination for your squad. From beautiful beaches to fantastic accommodations and activities, the island is an amazing spot to gather your best gal pals and relax in paradise.
Anna Maria Island is the Perfect Ladycation
While on Anna Maria Island you and your girl friends will have a blast. Follow this great ladycation beach guide for an authentic beach experience! No matter your age or where you are from, women always know how to have fun on island time!
Beaches and Outdoor Activities
While it’s no secret that Anna Maria Island has some of the best beaches in Florida, fewer know about the great outdoor adventures available.
When your gal group finally gets its fill of powder sand, sun kissed skin and turquoise gulf, try one of these outdoor activities.
Sup Yoga is a fun way to try your hand at both Paddle boarding while getting a good relaxing stretch!
Horse Surfing is a great activity. There is nothing like riding a horse on the beach.
Nature walk at Robinson Preserve. Find Manatee Counties best green space just off Anna Maria Island.
Stroll the piers. Anna Maria Island offers three public piers. All are great for sight seeing, fishing and a meal with a view.
Dining and Nightlife
Anna Maria Island is home to many fantastic eateries and does offer a unique nightlife. You’re sure to find a great place for your gals to enjoy a glass of wine, fantastic food and fun conversation.
Just about anywhere you dine on island time, you’ll find the experience pleasant. From high-end gulf front seafood like the Beach Bistro to family friendly pizza joints like Oma’s. There is something for every taste.
When the sun sets its time to head out for drinks and entertainment. There are many night spots to try. Historic Bridge Street is a popular option for drinks and live music with places such as the Bridge Tender. In Holmes Beach you can find craft cocktails at The Doctors Office, and live music at Ugly Grouper.
One of the nicest features of Anna Maria Island is the free trolley service. From 6am to 10:30pm find free air-conditioned trolleys with one passing about every 20 minutes. This is not only great for those looking to visit the bars, but makes it easy to see and do everything stress free.
Salons and Shopping
Anna Maria Island is home to a ton of adorable locally owned boutiques and amazing full service salons.
While visiting Anna Maria Island you and your lady friends must do a little shopping. You’ll find unique shops all around the area. Grab the gang and head to Pine Avenue, the city center of Holmes Beach, Bridge Street and everywhere in between!
If your crew is into pampering, then Anna Maria Island Salons have you covered! From massages to full on make overs, you can have it all with this list of Salons and Spas.
Anna Maria Island Accommodations and Beach Rentals
Whatever your group budget, there are tons of beach rental options on Anna Maria Island. From direct beach front luxury to laid back villas and old cozy cottage charmers, there are hundreds of rentals to pick from. Because the island is a mile across at the widest, you’ll be close to the beach anywhere you stay. Check the selection of rentals below or see a full list here.
Bring the entire squad to My Sister’s Beach House.
Gal palling around at Tina’s Piece of Paradise.
A besties getaway at Appletini.
Once you and your friends visit you’ll understand exactly why Anna Maria Island is the Perfect Ladycation beach destination! Gather your gals, ditch the guys at home and plan your trip today!
An Anna Maria Island Memorial Day Beach Rental is an excellent way to celebrate with family and friends while enjoying the holiday! Memorial day is a time to not only reflect on those who lost their life defending America, but to enjoy the company of the ones you love.
Villa 1 is a quaint one bedroom condo just a short walk from gulf beaches, free trolley stops, shopping and dining. This small four unit condo building offers a community heated pool and grills too. Great for small families or even a couples getaway, this spot is premium.
Starfish Beach 3 – Sleeps 6
Starfish Beach 3 is a great two bedroom cottage style condo just a block from gulf beaches. During your stay you’ll love relaxing on the sand or swimming in the heated community pool. This home is well-equipped with everything your family will need for the perfect week in paradise.
Water Colors – Sleeps 8
If your family is looking for luxury then Water Colors is the spot for you! Everything about this four bedroom home is high-end. From the Anna Maria location to the decor and amenities you’re sure to be impressed. Enjoy roof top views of the gulf in addition to a lovely heated pool and spa. Pets up to 25 pounds welcome with pet fee.
Sunset Glow – Sleeps 10
Sunset Glow is a well-appointed family home with five bedrooms. Its just two blocks from gulf beaches and also nearby to free trolley stops. The backyard is great for a family get together with a propane grill, sun deck, covered lounge area, and a heated pool and spa. Dogs up to 50 pounds welcome with pet fee.
Almost Gulf Front – Sleeps 12
Your family will love spending time at Almost Gulf Front. This six bedroom home is less than two blocks to gulf beaches and offers a laid back tropical style. The spacious open floor plan is great for gathering your group all in one spot. In the backyard you’ll find a heated pool and salt spa. The covered lounge area has a fun Tiki bar vibe perfect for grilling up a Memorial Day Feast!
Enjoy a fun filled holiday with one of these great Anna Maria Island Memorial Dayt beach rentals from IslandReal.com!
An Anna Maria Island Memorial Day is full of fun on the beach, cooking food on the grill and spending time with family and friends. While this holiday symbolizes the ultimate sacrifices of those who served in the U.S. military, we also use this time to reflect on their contribution to the American life style. We respectfully pay gratitude to our fallen soldiers and their families too.
Anna Maria Island Memorial Day
Memorial day happens end of spring, but this really is the kick-off of summer beach fun. Here is our guide to Memorial Day fun on island time.
This is the first and most important component of your day on the beach. The easier you burn the higher the SPF number you”ll require. Be sure to apply sunblock at least 20 minutes before you hit the sun, and re-apply every two hours. Trust us on this one!
Since this is a popular beach day, you’ll want to arrive early to snag the best spot. If you have booked an Anna Maria Island beach rental, this will be easy to accomplish!
Family Fun Games
Beach games are a great way to keep the family engaged. There are many different options now beyond the traditional football and volleyball. Try out corn hole, Bocce ball, Tiki toss or even set up beach pong. Beach pong is played similarly to beer pong, except use large beach buckets instead of solo cups.
Mind the Wildlife
Nesting shorebirds and turtles will be on the sand during this time of year. Always be sure to steer clear of marked off nesting areas. Crowds can cause wildlife to become stressed out. Don’t chase birds or feed the gulls.
While personal grills and open fires are not permitted on any island beaches, public charcoal grills can be found at Coquina Beach, Manatee Public Beach and Bay front park. Hot dogs, hamburgers, potato salad and watermelon make an easy and traditional Memorial day feast.
This year try something new! Kebabs are a great grilling item, and a watermelon, blueberry, feta salad is a nice twist on the traditional. Key Lime Pie is always a fantastic idea for any Florida style gathering.
The Anna Maria Island free trolley is an excellent way to get around. If you need to take a break from the sun, hop on the air conditioned trolley for a sight seeing adventure. The trolley runs from Anna Maria City Pier all the way down to Coquina beach with stops along the way. If you see something interesting just hop off, and another trolley will be by approximately every 20 minutes.
While enjoying the holiday be sure to stay safe. Whether you’ll be beaching, biking, boating, fishing or just lazily floating, always be sure to follow posted signage and local regulations. Anna Maria Island beaches do not allow alcoholic beverages or fireworks. If you do plan on drinking, please do so responsibly. Never drink and drive.
When you follow our Memorial Day Fun Guide you’re sure to have a pleasant and memorable experience on Anna Maria Island! Plan your family holiday today at IslandReal.com!
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