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. Also, use this handy guide to spot both White and Brown Pelicans around Anna Maria Island’s Leffis Key!

 

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 Restaurants that will Transform your Anna Maria Island Vacation

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.

5 Restaurants that will Transform your Anna Maria Island Vacation

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.

Rod & Reel Pier
Rod & Reel Pier in the city of Anna Maria.

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 Restaurant in the city of Anna Maria.
The Sandbar Restaurant in the city of Anna Maria.

 

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.

Bridge Tender Inn
Bridge Tender Inn Bradenton Beach

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 in Holmes Beach.
The Beach Bistro in Holmes Beach.

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.

Star Fish Restaurant in Cortez Fishing Village.
Star Fish Restaurant in Cortez Fishing Village.

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

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!

Anna Maria Island is the Perfect Ladycation
Gather your best gal pals and plan an Anna Maria Island Ladycation to the beach!

 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.
  • Biking through Anna Maria is a fun way to see the sights, shop in the boutiques and get a little exercise too.
  • Segway tour on Coquina Baywalk. Coquina beach offers a gorgeous trail along the gulf that is just perfect for Segways.
  • Kayaking in Anna Maria Sound. Reserve a guided tour of Anna Maria Sound with Fun and More rentals.
  • 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.

Anna Maria Island beach rental
My Sister’s Beach House is a great spot for your gals getaway! Sleeps up to 12 guests in luxury! You’ll love the pool and amenities too.

 Gal palling around at Tina’s Piece of Paradise.

Holmes Beach rental
Tina’s Piece of Paradise sleeps up to 8 guests. You’ll really have space to spread out here with 3 king beds, a double bunk, 2 sleeper sofas and an air mattress!

A besties getaway at Appletini.

Anna Maria Island gals getaway
Appletini sleeps up to 6 guests with 2 bedrooms. This destination is super cute and just a short walk to the beach!

 

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!

Top 5 Anna Maria Island Memorial Day Beach Rental

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.

Anna Maria Island Memorial Day Beach Rental
Anna Maria Island is the perfect place to enjoy a Memorial Day Beach Vacation with your family!

Anna Maria Island Memorial Day Beach Rental

Here is our list of the top 5 beach rentals to reserve for this years holiday! There’s no place better to gather with family and friends than Anna Maria Island!

Villa 1 – Sleeps 4

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.

Villa 1 Bradenton Beach
Villa 1 – Bradenton Beach – Week 5/27-6/3 Base rate $850.

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.

Starfish Beach 3 Holmes Beach
Starfish Beach 3 – Holmes Beach – Week 5/27-6/3 Base rate $1300.

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.

Water Colors Anna Maria vacation rental
Water Colors – Anna Maria – Week 5/27-6/3 Base rate $4900.

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.

Sunset Glow Holmes Beach rental
Sunset Glow – Holmes Beach – Week 5/27-6/3 Base rate $4000

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!

Almost Gulf front beach rental
Almost Gulf Front – Holmes Beach – Week 5/27-6/3 Base rate $4500.

 

Enjoy a fun filled holiday with one of these great Anna Maria Island Memorial Dayt beach rentals from IslandReal.com!

Anna Maria Island Memorial Day Fun Guide

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 Fun Guide
Be safe, have fun and relax with friends and family this Memorial Day on Anna Maria Island.

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.

Sunblock

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!

Arrive Early

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.

Grilling

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.

Trolley Hopping

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.

Be safe

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!

 

 

 

Anna Maria Island May Activities

There are some really great Anna Maria Island May Activities going on this year! From Mother’s day to Cinco de Mayo, and new shopping spots to live music, May is great for island time!

Anna Maria Island May Activities

Check out what’s happening on and around Anna Maria Island this May with our top activities guide.

Cinco De Mayo

Florida’s biggest Cinco de Mayo celebration will be going on Saturday, May 6th at Sutton Park in Palmetto. While the holiday falls on a Friday this year, event organizers planned the celebration for Saturday to allow families to join in on the fun.

The Gulf Coast Latin Chamber of Commerce is organizing the event with tons of amazing sponsors. Expect to find vendors, food, music and more during this amazing community event.

The event is free to attend. Find Sutton park at 6th Street West in Palmetto from 2-8pm.

Cinco De Mayo Anna Maria Island May Activities

DIY work shops at Makers Market

While visiting the area enjoy a little DIY fun at the new Makers Market shop. Learn new skills, and make something beautiful too! Flex your creativity and come home with a lovely wall hanging, tote bag and more. There are a variety of projects to pick from, and you can even make it into a party with friends and family.

Find the Makers Market Workshop at 6650 Cortez Road in Bradenton.

Anna Maria Island May Activities
Island Real Estate Staff members tried there hand at DIY crafts! They had a blast!

Pickin’ Picnic

Pickin’ Picnic will also be Saturday, May 6th. Find this event happening in Downtown Bradenton’s Riverwalk Park from 1-9pm.

The event showcases local music, craft beers, top-rated food trucks, vendors and Bradenton’s millennial culture at its finest.

Bring a blanket or chair and sit on the green lawn at this family friendly annual event. Organized in collaboration between Realize Bradenton and Independent Jones this event is free to attend.

 

Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is a fantastic time for a visit to the beach, or brunch at one of many great local restaurants. Treat Mom to both this year, and reserve her a beach rental on Anna Maria Island!

Mother’s Day brunch will be in full swing at several local restaurants across the area.

Anna Maria Island – The Sandbar and Sign of the Mermaid

Cortez – Neptune Room at Seafood Shack

Bradenton – Pier 22 and Motorworks Brewery

Palmetto – Riverhouse Reef and Grill

Sarasota – Powell Crosley Estate

Mother's Day Brunch
Treat your mom to brunch for Mother’s Day

Go Pier Fishing!

May is a fantastic time of year to do a little Pier fishing on one of Anna Maria Island’s three piers. With mild morning weather still swirling around the island, take the family out for a day of angling. All three island piers have blanket fishing licenses, so you won’t have to hold your own. You can rent fishing gear at each location.

Anna Maria Island May Things to do
Pier Fishing is always a fun activity on Anna Maria Island.

Manatee Rare Fruit Council Tree Sale

Sunday May 21st the Manatee Rare Fruit Council will be selling trees at the Bradenton Area Convention Center. Enjoy over 5000 plants from 22 reputable vendors. Parking and admission are free, and the event runs from 10am-4pm.

Find the Convention Center at 1 Haben Boulevard in Palmetto.

Manatee County Rare Fruit Council Tree Sale

Memorial Day Beach fun and Cook Outs

While Memorial Day falls in the Spring, this event really signals the kick-off of summer fun on Anna Maria Island. There is nothing better than a grilled hot dog on the beach with family and friends enjoying a day off. The water will be warm and the sun will be shining!

None of the public beaches allow personal grills, but you will find charcoal public grilling facilities at Coquina Beach, Manatee Public Beach and Bay Front Park.

Anna Maria Island May Activities
Enjoy May Activities on Anna Maria Island.

Enjoy family fun with these great Anna Maria Island May Activities!

 

The Ugly Grouper

The Ugly Grouper is a local Anna Maria spot where you can find fun for all ages.  They have a great menu that serves homemade salsa and chips to an array of other delicious items.

The Ugly Grouper

If you are looking for local seafood that is fresh and tasty look no further.  They serve the grouper sandwich, grouper nuggets, and grouper tacos too! They also have a cheeseburger, and a black bean burger, for those who prefer a seafood alternative.

The Ugly Grouper

Drinks and a full service bar!

If you are in the mood for a nice wine with your meal, they have a variety of wines, either by glass or bottle.  If you are looking for something a little more unique they also have some fun frozen cocktails! Enjoy the classic Strawberry Daiquiri, Pina Colada or you also have the non-alcoholic options as well!

For those who like a nice mixed drink you could try one of their many cocktails. Offerings include the Ugly Grouper Tea, or stick with the famous Long Island Ice Tea!

Kid Selections

Also find a great selection for your kids from classic items such as a grilled cheese and corndog to fish and chips, or shrimp. Something cool that the Ugly Grouper throws in is a frozen drink for all kids meals! They have many to choose from like an All American to a more tropical feel of an Orange Mango!

If you are feeling brave you can top off your meal with a Ugly Sundae, a bowl of soft serve piled on top of a brownie, covered in chocolate, caramel, sprinkles and a cherry!

Night Life and Live Music

The Ugly Grouper does host nightly live entertainment. You can find many local bands jamming from night to night. They do have open mic nights, where you can show off your skill with family or friends!  Cut loose on the dance floor, while enjoying the band!

They also have a corn hole league, that hosts weekly tournaments. They do have child friendly games such as ring toss, and ring on a string!  You can make many memories at the Ugly Grouper!

The Ugly Grouper is a family friendly environment that can provide a place to get together and have some fun.  They have a great menu, and games for the young and old alike!  This is a place where you can come and enjoy a night with the family, or a night with friends!

Find The Ugly Grouper in Holmes Beach on Marina Drive.

What to Pack for Your Anna Maria Island Vacation

Wondering what to pack for your Anna Maria Island Vacation? While Anna Maria Island may have mild winters and hot summers, if you aren’t from Florida you may not know what to bring with you.

What to Pack for Your Anna Maria Island Vacation

What to Pack for Your Anna Maria Island Vacation

We have put together a list of what to bring for each season, the items to expect in your beach rental and things to buy when you arrive on Island Time.

Our list isn’t just the things you’ll need. We have also included fashionable examples of the styles you’ll see people wearing on the island. Florida has a regional style unlike that of New York or California. This list will give you some ideas of what the locals wear too.

Packing for the Season

The four seasons in Florida aren’t exactly what you might expect. Fall is green and warm, Winter is mild and sometimes dry, Summer is hot and wet.

Summer Packing list

Summer is hot on Island Time. Ask any local and they’ll tell you a typical summer day includes a warm morning, blistering mid day sun, mid afternoon rain showers, and beautiful balmy evenings with a slight breeze.

Tropical patterns are the best clothes items! Summer is the time for being lazy and letting it all hang out. Embrace your inner tacky tourist and pull out that old Hawaiian shirt. You’ll fit right in with the locals too!

  • Swim Wear
  • Big Floppy hats and Sunglasses are a must.
  • Shorts, skirts, T-Shirts and blouses.
  • Beach clothes such as cover-ups and thin loose fitting items to throw on over a wet bathing suit.
  • If you sunburn easily, a really thin long sleeve shirt is a good idea for beach days. This is especially true for children on vacation. Sometimes your skin is ready to leave the beach before your brain is.
  • At least one nice-ish, but still casual, outfit for dining out in the evening.
  • Unless you plan on dining somewhere super fancy like Beach Bistro, leave all your pants at home for the summer. If you are planning a high-end dining or evening experience a little black dress and nice slacks are great.
  • A rain coat or umbrella is nice to have, but not absolutely necessary.
  • Flip Flops
  • A walking shoes for sightseeing.
  • Strappy sandals are nice for ladies and a boat shoe is nice for guys.
  • For small children a hat with a chin strap is a good idea.
  • A reusable beverage container with a lid. You WILL get dehydrated on the beach. A reusable container is preferred over disposable water bottles. The environment will thank you.
  • A Beach Blanket if you like, plus here are some cool kid friendly beach hacks.
  • You might want a cardigan or thin sweater. Floridians keep the AC on full blast, so you’ll find restaurants and businesses to be cold inside.
What to pack for a boat or kayak trip
Here is a great example of what to wear for a summer boat charter or a kayak tour for the entire family. Bathing suits with tank tops, hats and comfortable shoes.

Spring packing list.

Spring is a lovely time to visit. Typically we don’t have lots of rain, and the day time temperature ranges from the upper 70’s to low 90’s. Night time temperatures don’t really go below the low 60’s.

Expect to bring all the things on the summer list plus a few additional items below. Bright pinks, yellows, and crisp whites really make a fashion statement for spring on Anna Maria Island.

  • A thin sweater for sure. If visiting in early Spring you may even want a heavy sweater too.
  • A colorful spring dress is great. A Maxi dress and a wedge sandal make for an elegant spring beach style.
  • A pair slacks and a button down shirt with the sleeves rolled up are always great for guys. Men’s Leather sandals are also appropriate for all occasions on the island.
Spring beach attire on Anna Maria Island
This is what Floridians wear to the beach in Spring. Swim shorts, a nice big hat and sunglasses and a thin button down. A floaty and goggles are always a nice addition for kids.

Winter packing list.

Typically Anna Maria Island winters don’t get cooler than the upper 50’s in the day time and no lower than the upper 30’s at night. Many people still swim in the gulf this time of year, but usually you won’t catch the locals in any water that isn’t heated.

When visiting in winter, you’ll notice the daily temperatures can fluctuate greatly. The key to dressing comfortably for this time is many thin layers. The morning will be cold, but mid day will be considerably warmer and you’ll likely want to peel a layer off.

  • Bring flip flops, but also bring a closed toe shoe and socks. Most people can still wear sandals in the day, but you might just be more comfortable with an extra layer on your feet.
  • Definitely bring pants. You won’t need long underwear, but pants are a good idea.
  • Tights, leggings and yoga pants are nice winter options for ladies. Since its not snowing, you’ll likely be able to wear a dress or skirt with something to cover your legs. Yoga pants and a cute top are always acceptable women’s attire on the island.
  • Scarves and shawls are great, but you can leave your gloves and mittens at home.
  • A winter hat might be nice for morning beach walks.
  • Bring a jacket, but not the one you keep on hand for snow. A nice leather or denim jacket with a thin long sleeve shirt is usually sufficient.
  • A thin sweater or cardigan and a thick sweater.
  • If you are from up north some winter months you’ll feel comfortable swimming, so bring the swim attire. Also, many Anna Maria Island beach rentals have heated pools and spa, so you’ll want your bathing suit.
  • A sport coat is a good idea for men’s evening wear especially for that special night out.
  • Ladies may want closed toe dress shoes for evenings, and a dress pant or dark blue skinny jean makes nice casual evening wear.
Winter Nature walk attire
When going out for a winter morning nature walk in one of the local preserves, a pair of pants, thin sweater with layers under and a hat are very comfortable. If you start to warm up you can take off the sweater and still have a thin layer to keep the breeze away.

Fall packing list.

Anna Maria Island’s Fall season is considerably warmer than you might expect. Days range from warm to still hot in the early fall, and nights are pleasant with cool breezes. You will definitely be swimming this time of year.

The Spring and Summer lists are very close to what you’ll need for fall, but we have some other suggestions too. Fall is also a time of year where you will feel comfortable in darker colors. Shades of navy, rust and red aren’t as common in the summer months, but make great fall island attire.

  • You’ll want to bring all the swim wear, flip flops and beach things.
  • A stylish ankle boot with a short dress or skirt is nice for ladies. Strappy tank tops with a loose knit shirt or mesh blouse are great fall fashion items.
  • Again bring tights or leggings to go under skirts on cooler nights.
  • Pants options are good for evenings, but you’ll want shorts too.
  • No winter hats or coats, but a thin and thick sweater are good.
  • Flat front pants or nice jeans with a tucked in polo and a boat shoe are very stylish for Men in the fall.
  • Tank tops and thin scarves are very stylish for women, and work great for both night and day.
Fall clothes for Anna maria Island
Here are some folk spending a fall afternoon on the pier. You can see their clothes selections are comfortable for a warm day with cool breezes.

What you should always bring no matter the season.

Some basics go with out saying. Obviously you need underwear and a toothbrush we don’t need to tell you this. However, there are some extras to remember for all visits.

  • Travelers checks or back up forms of currency.
  • Health Insurance cards in case someone gets sick.
  • Everything your pet will need. Yes there are places to purchase pet food and even a veterinarian, but make sure all members of the family are comfortable traveling.
  • Medications and prescriptions
  • Special health equipment
  • Kid and baby comforts. Spending a night away from home can be a lot when you’re little. You may want to bring a special blanket or toy to make your little one more comfortable in a new place.

What to expect in your beach rental.

When you arrive at your beach rental you’ll always find all the bedding, towels, wash clothes and hand towels you’ll need. You don’t need to bring these items. Some rentals do offer baby items, so always ask ahead of time. If you need special baby gear you can bring it, or check out what is available to rent from abc baby rentals.

There will be a roll of toilet paper in each bathroom plus one roll of paper towels and a small container of dish detergent and a dishwasher packet. There will be just enough of the basics to get you through the first night of your stay. You’ll be responsible for everything after that. There is a Dollar Tree on Anna Maria Island that offers any toiletry you’ll need. This is a great option for those who have smaller groups. You’ll also find all those items at the local Publix Grocery store.

Before you bring chairs and accessories, consider renting them. We recommend holding off on these items until you arrive at your rental. You never know what kind of extras will be laying around. Take an inventory first, then contact one of the many local rental equipment companies to supply you with the things you want.

What to Buy when you get to the island

Some things might be easier to buy when you get here.

  • Sunblock. You will need lots of sunblock, even in the winter months you WILL get sunburned. You can pick up sunblock at the grocery store, pharmacy and many tourist shops. APPLY YOUR SUNSCREEN 20 MINUTES BEFORE YOU ARE IN THE SUN! You need to let the sunblock soak in, and then you need to reapply it at least once every two hours after. Over exposure to the sun and sever sunburn can cause serious illness. No matter your skin color, we promise, you don’t have super man strength skin. Yes, sun rays do penetrate the water. Even if you spend all day swimming, you need to follow our guidelines on sunblock.
  • Obviously you need food. The island offer a fantastic Publix grocery store plus a few specialty shops too.
  • Alcohol and other beverages. These things are all on the island, don’t travel with more than you need.
  • House things. You’ll need laundry detergent, trash bags, optional cleaning supplies and those type of items. All are available locally.

Enjoy an Anna Maria Island vacation any time of year! Now that you know what to bring, book your vacation rental with Island Real Estate today!

Mother’s Day Beach Rental Anna Maria Island

There is no better way to celebrate your mom than with a Mother’s Day Beach Rental on Anna Maria Island! Show the special Mom in your life that you care with a week of island style relaxation!

Mother’s Day Beach Rental

We have some really great spots for your mom to get into full on relaxation mode this Mom’s Day! Whether you’re sending her with a friend, or joining her for the fun we have the perfect Anna Maria Island Beach Rental!

Villa 1- Sleeps 4

Villa 1 is the perfect one bedroom rental for your Mom. She will absolutely love this location and the laid back decor. She’ll be just a short walk from gulf beaches, shopping, dining, trolley stops and Historic Bridge Street night life too! Inside this unit there is a king bed and queen sleeper sofa along with a full kitchen and bathroom. There is a heated community pool perfect for relaxing on a warm May day with a cold drink.

Mother's Day Beach Rental
Villa 1 is in a fantastic location within walking distance of everything in Bradenton Beach! May 13-20 base rate $700.

 

Anna Maria Island Club 44 – Sleeps 4

If you want to really treat your mom, this direct gulf front rental is the way to go! Anna Maria Island Club 44 offers gorgeous views from both the living room and master bedroom. Your mom will be so close to the beach, she won’t even need her flip flops! This unit offers two bedrooms with 1 king bed, 2 twins and a sleeper sofa. The heated community pool overlooks the gulf making this the ultimate beach side getaway.

Anna Maria Island Club Mothers Day
Your Mother will love waking up to the sounds of the beach at this amazing Bradenton Beach rental! May 13-20 base rate $1837.

 

Blue Lagoon 2 – Sleeps 6

Blue Lagoon 2 is a great spot for a family getaway celebrating mom. Just two blocks from gulf beaches, this unit is well-appointed, yet still laid back. This quiet complex of cottage like condos offers an amazing community heated pool with a fun waterfall feature. Inside you’ll find two bedrooms with a king, queen and sleeper sofa. This central island location offers nearby shopping, dining and free trolley stops too.

Mother's Day Beach Rental
Treat Mom to a great Holmes beach getaway with a heated pool. May 13-20 base rate $1300.

 

Vista Grande 3 Penthouse

This is the ultimate luxury rental for Mother’s Day on the beach. Vista Grande 3 Penthouse offers direct gulf front views in an exclusive location. From the decor to the amenities nothing will be left to want at this condo. Each of the three bedrooms has its own bathroom and balcony access. There is even a lovely heated pool and downstairs covered lounge area for spending time with family.

Mothers Day beach rental
You’ll be Mom’s favorite when you rent her a luxury vacation home like this one in Holmes Beach! May 13-20 base rate $5593.

 

Banyan Breeze – Sleeps 12

If you are looking to gather the entire family for Mother’s Day Banyan Breeze is the vacation spot for your group. This lovely 5 bedroom home comfortably sleeps up to 12 guests with an updated style. Mom will have a short walk to the beach with no major roads to cross. The backyard offers a peaceful oasis with a private heated pool, grill and covered lounge. Mom will always remember the time the whole family got together to celebrate her!

Mothers Day Beach Rental
For Moms who like to be fussed over, bring the ENTIRE family to Banyan Breeze in Anna Maria. May 13-20 base rate $3326.

 

Tell Mom how much you really love her this year, and reserve her a Mother’s Day Beach Rental on Anna Maria Island!

Anna Maria Island Sea Salt Florida – Bring Island Flavor Home

Anna Maria Island Sea Salt Florida is nothing like you’ve ever had. Sourced directly from the water around AMI, this is one product you must bring home from vacation!

Anna Maria Island Sea Salt Florida
This souvenir is a must!

Anna Maria Island Sea Salt Florida

Sea Salt Florida is a new local company to the Manatee and Sarasota area. Owner and Salt Master Tim Norwood develops only the highest quality sea salt. While he has big plans for the future of this specialty item, the entire process is a labor of love that started off small.

How did Sea Salt Florida get started?

Tim Norwood and his wife always thought they would open a winery. However, after moving to Florida that idea changed to salt. Florida isn’t known for having the best wines, but it does have plenty of salt water!

Like wine making, salt making is an intense process requiring a great deal of knowledge. At times the outcome can be unpredictably amazing, but always requires a creative mind and dedication to hard work. Essentially, Sea Salt Florida became Tim Norwoods Winery.

At 55 years old Tim spent the majority of his career as an engineer with a degree in architecture. Tim has made up tons of innovative ideas working for large companies, but saved one of his ideas just for himself.

He spent a great deal of time developing his craft. After two years of working a full time job during the day while experimenting with salt production all night, Tim became a Salt Master. He has learned everything about producing only the highest quality sea salt. Tim focused on ancient thousand year old techniques of production and believes his to be the best in the United States.

Sea Salt Florida
Sea Salt is a serious business for the Norwood family!

How do you make Sea Salt?

If you are wondering exactly how Sea Salt is made, keep guessing. Tim Norwood keeps this secret closely guarded. With that said, he will gladly tell you the body of water where the salt comes from. In fact, Tim is proud to harvest salt water from Anna Maria Island, Longboat Key, Lido Key, Siesta Key, Casey Key, Venice and Treasure Island.

He mentions Anna Maria Island is his favorite harvest, but that may be due to his fondness of the area. Tim elaborates that the Siesta Key harvest has the most unique flavor of his products, and the Anna Maria Island salt is his most popular seller.

Tim is currently looking to relocate his production to mainland Bradenton where he has been looking at potential facility sites. Once Tim gets his new facility running successfully he just might consider giving tours. Until he knows his company is completely secure, he’s not giving away ANY of his salty secrets.

The goal for Sea Salt Florida is to produce 12,000 pounds of salt a year to supply local and international markets. Tim Norwood is creating a company that is really something special. The type of operation that he can leave to his grandchildren while also bringing permanent jobs to Manatee county.

A truly tasty souvenir.

When you first taste Sea Salt Florida’s Anna Maria Island harvest you will instantly feel like you’re back on the beach. This salt really does taste like the gulf waters of Anna Maria Island. Once you try Tim’s salt you’ll never view store bought products the same. Tim points out, “Sea Salt Florida won’t get your bags checked at the airport like a bottle of wine will”! When leaving Anna Maria Island, you MUST bring home some local salt to go with your new tan.

Where to buy Sea Salt Florida

The secret of Sea Salt Florida is its amazing mineral content. That is where the flavor is. Sea Salt Florida contains as many as 80 different minerals. Iodine is NEVER included. “This is the type of salt people are supposed to eat” mentions Tim, “This is a healthier natural product”.

Sea Salt Florida can be found at a ton of different local retail shops, or on the website.

On Anna Maria Island you can buy Sea Salt Florida at the following:

The Olive Oil Outpost and Anna Maria Historic Society Museum in the city of Anna Maria.
Island Fresh Market and Looney Dunes in Holmes Beach.
Cortez Fish Market, Cortez Maritime Museum and The Sea Hagg in Cortez Fishing Village.
Sarasota Farmers Market in downtown Sarasota.

Tim doesn’t like for his vendor to compete, so you’ll find different products at different locations. Not only does Sea Salt Florida have different harvests, but Tim also offers flavored salts and scrubs.

If you head over to Looney Dunes you’ll find Tim’s salts for sale next to the flavors of wine that the salt has been infused with!

Find a variety of scrubs at the Sea Hagg. Salt Scrubs are not the biggest seller in Tim’s inventory, but he believes his are far superior than other beauty products on the market.

Anna Maria Island Sea Salt Florida
Anna Maria Island Sea Salt Florida

Sea Salt Florida is about community.

Tim has really enjoyed the community aspects of selling salt. He regularly gets thank you letters from buyers. Tim explains, “Giving salt is an ancient form of friendship”.

Local restaurant have begun to approach Tim because his salt is the best. He has even started designing flavors to match Florida seafood like his Lemon Zest flavor created for local fish mongers.

A popular salt on the market is Italian Black Truffle. In Florida we don’t have truffles or a really reliable source to bring them in fresh. Tim had the bright idea of creating a Portabello infused salt because we grow them in Florida and it makes a great substitute for Truffle salt.

Salt really has an interesting history, and its special to continue those traditions. Tim also mentions, “Sea Salt Florida isn’t a political issue because it brings everyone together that is looking for healthier living. Coming together is something people need right now.”

If you run out of salt, just send Tim an email and he’ll gladly send you more. This is the best way to order salt online as Sea Salt Florida doesn’t have a fancy online store set up yet.

Visit local vendors, or head over to SeaSaltFlorida.com for a complete list of flavors as there are many!

Bring Island flavor home with Anna Maria Island Sea Salt Florida!

Top 5 May Anna Maria Island Beach Rentals

While Spring may be in full swing, its not too late to find May Anna Maria Island Beach Rentals. May is an awesome time of year for a trip to AMI. Spring break is over and the Snow Birds are slowly making their way north after Easter. Gulf waters have started to warm up, and the beaches are hot with fun in the sun excitement.

Top 5 May Anna Maria Island Beach Rentals

It’s not too late to plan a May beach vacation. Check out our list of 5 great rentals with May availability. These units range from 1 to 5 bedrooms accommodating anywhere from 2 through 10 guests.

Runaway Bay 256 – 1 Bedroom

This lovely Bradenton Beach rental sleeps 2 guests for a truly romantic beach getaway. While you visit Runaway Bay 256 you’ll have access to nearby gulf beaches, free trolley stops, shopping and dining. You’ll love this quiet spot for tropical relaxation. May base rates range from $700-$850/week.

May Anna Maria Island Beach Rentals
Runaway Bay 256 Sleeps 2 with 1 Bedroom and 1 Bath.

You’ll love the amenities at this comfortable resort-like Bradenton Beach Rental.

Runaway Bay 256 beach rental
Enjoy the heated pool, bay fishing dock, tennis courts and more!

 

Casa Sierra 205 B – 2 Bedroom

Casa Sierra 205 B is just two short blocks from gulf beaches in a central Holmes Beach. This 2 bedroom condo is in a small complex offering a heated pool, outdoor shower, pergola and charcoal bbq grills. You can comfortably sleep up to 6 guests in this unit for a fun vacation by the beach! May Base rate $1300/week.

Casa Sierra 205 B Holmes Beach Rental
Casa Sierra 205 B sleeps 6 guests with 2 bedrooms and 2 baths.

Walk to beaches, free trolley stops, shopping and dining while visiting this great beach condo!

May vacation rental
Casa Sierra is a wonderful location!

 

South Beach Village 103 – 3 Bedroom

You will absolutely love visiting South Beach Village 103 in Bradenton Beach. This colorful town house style condominium sleeps 6 guests with one king bed, one queen and two twins. Dogs up to 25 pounds welcome with pet fee. This lovely unit is just across the street from gulf beaches. Enjoy the beach, or grab a cold drink at nearby Gulf Drive Tiki hut. May base rates $1600-$1500/week.

May vacation rentals Florida
South Beach Village 103 sleeps 6 guests with 3 bedrooms and 2.5 baths

Catch glimpses of the gulf from the balcony and enjoy the heated community pool.

South Beach Village rental Anna Maria Island
Colorful multilevel unit across from gulf beaches with heated pool too.

 

Pineapple Cottage – 4 Bedroom

The Pineapple Cottage is a quaint spot for up to eight guests. Located in the popular Anna Maria north end, this is the quintessential beach cottage. While this may be a cottage, it still has a luxury feel and updated amenities. From the heated pool and spa, to great decor and appointments, you’ll be in love with this beach rental! May base rate $2520/week.

May Anna Maria Beach Rental
The Pineapple Cottage sleeps 8 guests with 4 bedrooms and 3 baths.

This Platinum rated home provides beach luxury at its finest with an old Florida charm!

Anna Maria May Beach Rentals
Gorgeous heated pool and spa in tropical backyard.

 

Sunset Glow – 5 Bedroom

Sunset Glow has everything for the perfect luxury family vacation by the beach. This home sleeps up to 10 guests with no amenity left out. You’ll be a short two blocks away from gulf beaches perfect for family beach days. Enjoy the updated decor and gorgeous backyard with heated pool and spa. Dogs up to 50 pounds welcome with pet fee. May base rates $3250-$4000/week.

Sunset Glow Holmes Beach may rental
Sunset Glow sleeps 10 guests with 5 bedrooms and 3 baths.

Relax by the private backyard pool or the shaded lounge sitting area while enjoying a luxury family getaway.

Sunset Glow May Anna Maria Island Beach Rental
Sunset Glow is just a short walk to the beach.

 

Book your stay today at one of these great May Anna Maria Island Beach Rentals!