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!
In the week following the storm, the water clarity was off as one would expect it to be after Tampa Bay was nearly emptied and refilled by the storm. The fishing is still lights out right now.
There are still a fair amount of snook stacked up off of the beaches right now, as well as back in some of the bigger inlet mangroves. There are quite a few reports of good redfish days out there as well right now so look to the mangroves at high tide and the flats at low tide. And don’t forget about docks. When using conventional tackle, use 20 lb. fluorocarbon leaders with size 4 hooks. Use large shiners for bait (plenty can still be found off the beaches right now).
If targeting these snook on the fly, your best bet is to hit one of the dock lights at night as there are a lot of them piled up there once the sun goes down. Use 20# leader and the smallest flies you have.
Also, if you can find the right spots (think tucked away), the sunset bite for juvenile tarpon right now is really kicking–and there’s no better way to hook them than on light tackle or on the fly! I keep my rigs the same as above using clean 20# leaders and haven’t had a problem keeping them on.
When fishing for these tarpon on the fly you’ll want to wait until you see a roll or a boil on the surface and cast immediately in front of it. Sight-casting has been far more effective than blind casting for these tarpon. Use a small or medium sized bait fish pattern and make every cast count.
If you have visited Anna Maria Island and you have not observed a SUNSET then you have been robbed of one of your God given rights. Viewing our magnificent Gulf Coast sunsets every evening offers a different work of art and after all, the reason you go on vacation is to relax! If you are lucky enough to visit in the summer you may have a chance to witness a phenomenal Anna Maria Island Sunset AND turtle hatchlings. If you have not visited Anna Maria Island… it’s ok, use our web site to find out lots of information on Anna Maria Island or purchase your waterfront “peace” of paradise through our real estate office.
FEAR NO MORE….
……this page will fill the void you have felt since your last visit to Anna Maria or the void created from friends or family raving about their last visit to the island. Below you will find the best of the best photo’s of our sunsets, a blog that our fabulous Real Estate professional keeps up weekly, Melinda Bordes, she reviews the week’s sunsets and offers the best of the week for those of you looking to leverage you relaxation time, (Can you leverage your relaxation time?) or view other sunset related content and information we have below. The “anatomy” of a Sunset Best of the Best Anna Maria Sunsets Various pictures of Beach and Sunsets
Anna Maria Island August fishing has been almost as hot as the weather. While those water temps don’t always translate into the best mid-afternoon fishing, the morning and evening bite has been great – especially on a strong outgoing tide.
Anna Maria Island August Fishing
The bait has been thick, and there has been no problem blacking out the live-wells quickly with plenty of shiners and pin-fish. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to get some shrimp as well for some of the sheepshead I have seen lounging around some of the docks in the area.
After the bait is loaded up, I have been picking my clients up in the morning and taking them to some spots a little further south of the island in pursuit of mangrove snapper, snook, trout, ladyfish, and some spanish mackerel.
August Fishing Tips
Tips: If using live bait, I recommend a size 4 or 6 hook and a 6 foot 20lb. fluorocarbon leader, hooking the shiners through the nose. When you find yourself getting into mackerel (or you get a bite and it breaks you off), switch over to long-shank hooks to combat their toothy bite.
If using artificial bait, I have been having luck with a myriad of options; but primarily weedless silver spoons, topwater spooks, and DOA shrimp (I prefer white) have been getting it done consistently.
If fly fishing, I recommend sight-fishing from the beaches (or dock lights at night) for snook using a small EP glass minnow of the chartreuse/silver/white variety. I use a 20lb. fluorocarbon leader for this as well, but it might not hurt to throw a 25lb. shock tippet on the end of leader as well to combat abrasion.
Regardless of the method, the fishing has been fun out there if you can withstand the heat so remember to get out early, watch the tides, and wear plenty of sunscreen!
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.
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.
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!
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!
Anna Maria- When vacationing on the coast eating fresh seafood is a must, and Anna Maria Island Oysters are no exception. With countless restaurants on the island, finding some delicious oysters to eat is easier than ever!
Anna Maria Island Oysters
Many people believe humans have eaten oysters since the Roman times from evidence of oyster farms in France and the United Kingdom. Crazy right?
Oysters can be found in all of the world’s oceans. They are bivalve mollusks that have rough irregular shells. While most oysters are edible, there is a difference between food oysters and pearl oysters. Even though it is possible, most food oysters don’t produce pearls. Both are also in two different families of bivalves.
Surprisingly enough, oysters breathe much like fish, using both gills and mantle. They can be both male or female, and can change genders one or more times throughout their life.
Oysters are one of the most nutritionally balanced foods because they have proteins, carbohydrates, and lipids in them. Just eating four or five medium sized oysters supply the recommended daily source of iron, copper, iodine, magnesium, calcium, zinc, manganese and phosphorus!
Where to celebrate!
With so many restaurants on the island, there’s plenty of options for eating Anna Maria Island Oysters! Here’s a few to think of going to:
AMOB on the Pier– Located in Bradenton Beach, enjoy delicious oyster platters such as Grandma Georgie’s Chipotle Oysters, Rockefeller or an oyster sampler.
Island Gourmet Grill– Serving baked oysters with toppings such as cheese, bacon, and jalapenos, there’s no way to go wrong here! You can find Island Gourmet on Holmes Beach.
Island Fresh Market– Specializing in locally caught and grown food, the Fresh Market serves oysters caught right around the island! You can order them cooked or raw. You can find them on Holmes Beach!
Be sure to enjoy Anna Maria Island Oysters on your next visit!
Anna Maria- Remember watching The Little Mermaid as a kid and wanting to be just like Ariel? Well, now is your chance to make that childhood dream a REALITY. With so many great shops on Anna Maria Island, transforming yourself into the mermaid you’ve always wanted to be is as easy as ever. As a fun activity for both kids and adults, make sure to grab these mermaid essentials and spend your vacation feeling like the queen of the sea!
If you’re a mermaid, it’s always important to sport some jewelry that shows your love for the sea. Shops on Anna Maria such as Bridge Street Jewelers and Tide & Moon Jewelry sell beautiful handmade and designer jewelry. Also, many shells on the beach already have holes in them. Just string them together and you’ve got your own DIY bracelet!
Every mermaid knows to have a cute swimsuit, and we’ve got you covered here on the island. The Island Bazaar and West Coast Surf Shop is one of my favorite stores to get bathing suits, cover-ups, and everything in-between. They have good prices and good quality products!
While relaxing on the beach, having a comfy blanket or towel to sit on is always a must-have. The West Coast Surf Shop has some really cute towels to lounge on, and is the perfect way to spice up your look!
One of the best ways to enjoy your mermaid experience is by adding a yummy drink to it! For adults, treat your taste-buds at The Waterfront Restaurant & Craft Bar where they serve drinks such as Pimm’s Cup, a mix of sour, sliced lemon, cucumber, strawberries and topped with sprite. However, at Anna Maria Island Beach Cafe kids can enjoy a Coconut Créme which is essentially a non-alcoholic Piña Colada. Overall, fruity drinks make for the perfect mermaid experience!
Every good mermaid has a good beachy book. One of my favorites is The Blue Bistro, which is about a girl who moves to the island of Nantucket in order to find herself a new job. She has had trouble with commitment to people and places in the past, but when she starts to like her new boss she doesn’t know what to do. This book is a mixture of drama and romance, and is great to read on the beach!
Anna Maria Island vacation rentals and accommodations fit for a Mermaid!
Island Real Estate has the largest selection of vacation rentals on Anna Maria Island. Visit IslandReal.com first when looking for the perfect Florida vacation.
Anna Maria- Even though Anna Maria has extremely fun activities, it’s nice to find enjoyable things to do out of town. With so much surrounding the island you’ll have no problem finding something the whole family will enjoy. Here is a list of some of my favorite things to do off the island.
Out of Town Activities
Sarasota is located about 40 minutes south of Anna Maria Island. If you’re looking for a fun mind game, visit Escape Countdown located off of Tamiami Trail. Here you get to pick a themed room such as Jail Break or Mad Hatter and find clues to escape it. The challenge, however, is the 60 minute time limit. You may have up to three clues for free and each added clue takes off two minutes of your time. It’s a lot of fun to do with family and friends and you can have a group of up to eight people. You can reserve a time online or just walk in. Sarasota Lanes is the perfect place to go for anyone who loves bowling, or visit Stardust for a pleasant afternoon rollerskating.
Ellenton is about 30 minutes away and is home to Ellenton Premium Outlets and Ellenton Ice and Sports Complex. The Premium Outlets offers shops such as Aeropostale, Michael Kors, and Vans. With around 120 different shops, there’s definitely something for everyone. After shopping outside all day, cool off at the ice rink and enjoy one of their two hour long public skates. Wristbands are only $15 and includes rental skates.
If you love golfing, Top Golf is the perfect place for you! Located about an hour away from the island, Top Golf is one of the coolest places to go play golf. Imagine dart boards all over the ground, but instead of throwing darts you’re trying to hit the bulls-eye with a golf ball. Also in Tampa is the Adventure Island Water Park. Here you can find tons of cool water slides, a lazy river, and fun pools to play in.
Overall there’s so much to do on and around the island you’re sure to never get bored. Make sure to check these places out at have fun on your vacation!
Anna Maria- While playing by the beach is always a good time, relaxing at your Anna Maria Island cottagey with some good movies can be just as fun! Many websites such as Netflix, HBO, and Amazon offer these movies to stream, and because most of our properties come with WiFi you can watch what you’d like at your leisure! While there are many great movies to watch when vacationing by the beach, here’s a few of my favorites.
5 Movies to Watch on Vacation
1. 50 First Dates
Personally one of my favorite romances, 50 First Dates is about a man named Henry who sets his heart on a girl named Lucy. However, little does he know that he has a huge obstacle in his way, Lucy’s short term memory loss. Because of this, every morning Henry must woo her again. This movie is comical, heart-warming, and overall the perfect movie to watch on vacation! This movie is PG-13.
2. Teen Beach Movie
Any kid or family who loves music and the beach will love this Disney movie! Surfers Brady and McKenzie are magically thrown into a 1960’s movie musical, and are forced to make friends with the characters in order to get back. However, they accidentally change the story line when the movie’s main hero and heroine fall in love with them instead of each other! As the movie takes place at a beach, (of course!) any family is sure to enjoy this movie while vacationing on Anna Maria Island. If you’re looking for a movie marathon, there is also Teen Beach Movie 2. This movie is rated G.
3. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
If you love adventure and romance this movie will be one of your favorites. Captain Jack Sparrow finds himself at Port Royal with no ship and no crew. His timing couldn’t be more perfect however as later that day a pirate ship attacks the town and takes none other than the governor’s daughter. A blacksmith named Will Turner happens to be in love with her, and allies with Jack in order to get her back. With so much adventure and an ever exciting plot, you’re sure to love this movie! It is rated PG-13.
4. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
This movie is perfect for vacationing teens who are keeping in touch with their friends back home. Four best friends named Carmen, Tibby, Lena and Bridget are spending their first summer apart. Before they leave, Carmen finds a pair of “magic” jeans at the thrift store that happen to fit all the girls different body types. In order to keep in touch, the girls decide to send each other the jeans over the summer for luck. While the girls are facing tough times, they know their friends will be there for them in the long run. A touching and funny movie, this movie is perfect for all ages and is rated PG.
If you’re into scarier movies, Jaws is right up your alley. Beginning when a young women is killed by a shark, Sheriff Martin Brody wants to close the beaches. However the mayor and a few other businessmen are not happy with this idea as it will lower revenue. Brody is forced to back down, when that following weekend a boy is killed by the predator as well. The boys mother proceeds to put a price on the capture of the shark, and soon a local fisherman and an archaeologist join Brody to find the Great White Shark. While this movie is fantastic I do have a warning! As you ARE vacationing at the beach, if the thought of sea creatures such as stingrays and sharks makes you squeamish to go into the water I wouldn’t recommend watching Jaws. This movie is rated PG.
Island Real Estate located at 6101 Marina Drive has dominated the local Anna Maria Island Real Estate market for several decades. That means for you we have the most listings on the island that our professional sales staff has intimate knowledge of.
Anna Maria- If you’re looking for exceptional seafood, you’re at the right place! With water surrounding almost all of Anna Maria, it’s no doubt our restaurants have access to the best seafood. All within 20 minutes of the island, here are four restaurants that you’re sure to love!
1. The Ugly Grouper Bar & Grill
Located on the island, The Ugly Grouper is right across the street from our Marina Drive office. They serve delicious food such as grouper sandwiches and mahi fish tacos along with meals for people who don’t care as much for seafood. Also, all of their fish is fresh off the coast of Anna Maria, so you’re sure to get fresh fish. The Ugly Grouper has a history here on Anna Maria Island, as it was previously The Barefoot Tiki Bar and even before that a gas station! Take a look at the menu here.
Found on Manatee Avenue, Derek’s is prided on its ever-changing menu and good food. They serve wild pink shrimp pasta, blackened salmon and much more. Whether you want to have a causal luncheon or a fancy dinner, Derek’s is the perfect place to go. They do accept reservations and are open from 5am-10pm Monday-Saturday.
3. Mar Vista
Mar Vista resides in Longboat Key and is casual place to get great seafood. Some of their best dishes are a Grouper sandwich and Scallops Mar Vista. Another cool aspect of Mar Vista is its history on Longboat Key. It was one of the first structures built by Rufus Jordan in 1912 and has withstood hurricanes and erosion. Still in the original building, Mar Vista is an extremely interesting place to visit that has tasty food!
4. Starfish Company Market
If you’re wanting to cook your own or buy already cooked seafood Starfish Company is the perfect place to go. Located off Cortez, they sell locally caught seafood such as fish, scallops, and shrimp. Starfish Co. was started in the 1920’s and sits on one of the few remaining working waterfronts. With an absolutely gorgeous view, Starfish Co. is a must visit when vacationing here on Anna Maria.