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!
Ready for a trip out on the waters off of Anna Maria Island? Because I know I am.
This list of local fishing charters should help you get an idea of how many options there are to choose from, and which one suits what you’re looking for in a fishing trip:
Southernaire Fishing Charters Captain: Danny Stasny
Phone:(941) 744-7413 Email: email@example.com Specializes in: Live-bait backwater and near shore fishing Boat Type: 23 foot C-Hawk Tower Boat powered by a quiet 200 hp Yamaha 4 stroke motor
Captain Matt Fishing Charters
Captain: Matt Ercoli
Phone: (941) 447-9888 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Specializes in: Inshore fishing, offshore fishing, tarpon fishing, and Tampa Bay fly fishing
Boat Type: 24ft. custom Sheaffer with new 225 Suzuki four stoke
Anna Maria Charters
Captain: David White
Phone: 941-725-1860 Specializes in: Inshore spinning & fly fishing, tarpon trips on spinning gear or fly, inshore & nearshore fishing, and offshore fishing. Types of Boats: . 18′ BVT (Beavertail Skiff), powered by 115hp Mercury 4 stroke. Used for shallow water applications inshore and fly fishing. . 23’ AQUASPORT powered by 225 hp Yamaha Outboard. Used for inshore and near-shore fishing. . 24′ ROBIN powered by 300hp 4 stroke. Used for near shore water applications and used up to 9 miles offshore (popular for tarpon fishing). . 30’ Cobia. Used for offshore fishing.
Besides crime and food, there are also raffles, a live auction, and a cash bar.
When: the 2018 murder mystery dinner took place the 3rd weekend of february (friday and saturday). Where: The Center of Anna Maria Island, 407 Magnolia Ave, Anna Maria, Florida 34216 Phone: The Center’s phone number is, (941) 778-1908
Amazing live music, exceptional talent, and it’s all taking place in practically our own backyard. These local music festivals and events are sure to impress.
Take a look at all the sweet-sounding occasions that occur every year in our area.
Anna Maria Island
Symphony on the Sand Symphony on the Sand is an event that takes place every year at Coquina Gulfside Park in Bradenton Beach. This event features live music by the Anna Maria Island Concert Chorus & Orchestra (AMICCO). There will also be delicious small plates prepared by local restaurants, and of course beer and wine. Take a visit AMI’s pristine Coquina Beach , all while enjoying live music and a picturesque sunset over the Gulf of Mexcio. Where: Gulf Dr S, Bradenton Beach, FL 34217 When: Second Saturday of November Time: 4:30pm – 7:30pm Tickets: Tickets for Symphony on the Sand range from $20 to $150
Bradenton Blues Festival: A weekend full of exceptional live blues music, food vendors, and local craft beer is exactly what you’re in store for at the annual BRADENTON BLUES FESTIVAl in Downtown Bradenton. This event sells out FAST, so if you’re going to be in town or on the island during this time of year and want to attend this fun filled festival, purchase your tickets ASAP! This event is produced by the non-profit organization Realize Bradenton, and proceeds will support Realize Bradenton’s free youth, art, and music programs for the community. Where: 452 3rd Ave W, Bradenton, FL, 34205 When: First weekend of December (Friday – Sunday) Time: Begins 6pm Friday, ends 2pm Sunday Tickets: Tickets for the festival range from $10 – $100
Music in the Park: Picture yourself watching a beautiful sunset over the Manatee River, all while listening to amazing local musicians. That is exactly what the event MUSIC IN THE PARK is all about. This family-friendly occasion also offers snacks and beverages, including local craft beer and wine, for purchase. It is encouraged to bring a picnic basket, blankets and chairs, and even your furry friend (as long as they’re on a leash of course). Where: Mosaic Amphitheater at the Bradenton Riverwalk (606 3rd Ave. West Bradenton, FL 34205) When: Begins the second Friday of March, and continues every Friday until the last Friday of April. Time: 6pm – 8pm Tickets: Free event
Sarasota Music Festival
The Sarasota Music Festival is a three week long event that occurs every June. This musical affair features internationally recognized guest artists, and student musicians from around the world. The beautiful music and amazing talent that is produced at this musical event is enough reason to make the Sarasota Music Festival one of the most exceptional classical-music events in the country. Where: Holley Hall at the Beatrice Friedman Symphony Center, 709 North Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34236
AND Sarasota Opera House, 61 N. Pineapple Avenue, Sarasota, FL 34236 When: Typically the event begins the first Sunday of June, and ends the last Sunday of June Tickets: To purchase tickets for this event please go to the the Sarasota Orchestra website
Giving Hunger the Blues & Jazz on the Bay
Known as “Sarasota’s Favorite Outdoor Music Festival”, the Giving Hunger the Blues & Jazz on the Bay Festival raises awareness and funds a local not-for-profit organization called The Mayors Feed The Hungry Program. This event takes place at the grounds of the Van Wezel Performing Arts Center along Sarasota Bay. featuring local and regional talent, and tons of tasty food from the areas finest restaurants. All proceeds from Giving Hunger the Blues & Jazz on the Bay go to supporting local hungry families over the holiday season. Where: 777 N Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34236 When: The 2018 event was different compared to the prior years.
The 2018 event features not one but TWO days of music during the second weekend of October (Saturday and Sunday). Time: Begins 3:00pm Saturday and ends 8:30pm Sunday Tickets: Tickets for the event are $15
This blog is here to make your next trip to the beaches of Anna Maria Island a bit easier and less stressful.
Below is a complete list of rental companies on the island that supply beach equipment you can rent.
Beach Bums Recreational Rentals & Gift Shop Located on Pine Avenue in Anna Maria City, Beach Bums offers a variety of necessities to rent for your perfect day in the sun. The beach equipment you can rent from here includes; Umbrellas, beach chairs, neso tents, coolers, beach carts, and even corn toss! all of Beach Bums beach supplies are high quality, and they even offer free delivery.
Address: 427 Pine Ave, Anna Maria, FL 34216
Phone: (941) 778-3316
Hours: Open everyday of the week from 9am – 5pm Click here to see rental and pricing info
Fun and More Rentals
If you are totally unprepared for a day at the beach, Fun and More Rentals has got you covered. If you forgot to bring a beach towel to dry off, no problem, they have some that you can rent! I mean they basically have EVERYTHING you could ever need for the beach, including; Party barges, boogie boards, corn hole, beach toys, gas grills, children’s life jackets, chairs, umbrellas, and so much more! They even do beach wheelchair rentals!
Fun and More Rentals also offers free delivery.
Address: 5347 Gulf Dr, Holmes Beach, FL 34217
Phone: (941) 462-2719
Hours: Open everyday of the week from 9am – 6pm Click here to see rental and pricing info
ABC Baby Furniture Rental Don’t worry, ABC Baby Furniture Rental’s offers more than just cribs and highchairs. They actually offer a lot more than just baby gear, including beach equipment. They have supplies for the little ones like baby floats, kids beach wagons, and beach toys. But they also offer beach umbrellas, chairs, and more. ABC Baby Furniture Rental’s also has pick-up locations in Sarasota and Siesta Key.
Address: 5352 Gulf Dr, Holmes Beach, FL 34217
Phone: (941) 929-1850
Open Monday – Friday from 10am – 4pm,
Saturday from 10am – 3pm,
Closed Sundays Click here to see pricing and rental info
Just 4 Fun Rentals
Just 4 Fun Rentals carries all the basic beach necessities you’ll need. Their rental options include; chairs, umbrellas, wagons, canopies, and boogie boards! Free delivery is also available!
Address: 5358 Gulf Dr, Holmes Beach, FL 34217
Phone: (941) 896-7884
Hours: Open everyday of the week from 9am – 5pm Click here to see rental and pricing info
I scream, you scream, we all scream for tyler’s ice cream
Homemade ice cream, sundaes, milkshakes, and more! Tyler’s Ice Cream has been around for over 3 decades, and their quality of ice cream shows that they know what they’re doing. The vision was to provide the yummiest and freshest ice cream available ANYWHERE. Though I haven’t traveled the world and tried every ice cream out there, I would not be surprised if Tyler’s Ice Cream truly was the best. In my opinion they are!
The business is family owned and operated by Rob and Laura Alderson, who took over the business for the original owners, Larry and Geri Tyler. Since the ice cream shop was founded in 1984, 300 different flavors have been produced throughout the years. Luckily, Tyler’s has expanded to three locations, so now more people are able to enjoy their yummy treats and sweets. There’s one in Bradenton on Manatee Ave, a second location in Cortez Village, and the third is on Longboat Key.
So what more do we need to say? Delicious ice cream made fresh daily by great people! Stop in for a scoop, or two, at Tyler’s Gourmet Ice Cream!
Address: . Cortez: 11904 Cortez Rd W, Cortez, FL 34215 . Bradenton: 5917 Manatee Ave, Bradenton, FL 34215
. Longboat Key: 5350 Gulf of Mexico Dr, Longboat Key, FL 34228
Phone: . Cortez: 941-794-5333
. Bradenton: 941-243-3841
. Longboat Key: 941-383-6935
Hours: . All three locations are open every day of the week Monday – Thursday is open 1PM – 9PM Friday & Saturday is open 12PM – 10PM Sunday is open 12PM – 9PM
The one thing Florida is known best for, besides the gorgeous beaches, is the variety of theme parks and water parks. Whether it be Disney, Universal, or the ones in between, we are sure there’s a park you’ll want to visit on the list below:
Busch Gardens: Busch Gardens Tampa Bay offers 335 acres of African- themed rides, live shows, restaurants, and shops. Best known for their thrilling rides (the park contains a whooping 21,297 feet of roller coaster track), Busch Gardens Tamps Bay also features one of the largest zoos in all of North America, which includes over 12,000 animals. They even have a variety of immersive tours including one in an open air vehicle on the parks Serengeti Plain, where you can hand-feed giraffes. How cool is that?! Address: 10165 McKinley Dr, Tampa, FL 33612 Hours: Open everyday of the week from 10am – 10pm Click here for ticket info
LEGOLAND: LEGOLAND Florida is a fun amusement park made up of our favorite childhood toy, legos. This theme park/water park has over 50 shows and attractions, including; a lego creation zone, a kid-safe rock climbing area, and so much more! The water park features a wave pool and lazy river. This is the absolute perfect amusement park for the kiddos to create and explore. Address: 1 Legoland Way, Winter Haven, FL 33884 Hours: LEGOLAND Theme Park is open every day of the week from 10am – 7pm
LEGOLAND Water Park is open every day of the week from 10:30am – 6pm Click here for ticket info
Universal Studios: An amusement park where guests get the opportunity to”ride the movies” is what Universal Studios Orlando is all about. This theme park/production studio features tons of attractions and live shows. Lets not forget about The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Islands of Adventure, which are two additional theme parks within Universal Studios. Whether your’e soaring through the sky on the E.T Adventure ride, traveling underground on the Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts ride, or exploring the eight different themed islands. There are attractions for everyone at Universal! Address: 6000 Universal Blvd, Orlando, FL 32819 Hours: All three Universal park are open every day of the week at 9am, closing times vary. Click her for ticket info
Disney, Disney, and More Disney:
Disney, everyone’s heard the name, but if you haven’t visited one of the many Walt Disney World theme parks, you are missing out! There are 4 parks, excluding the 2 water parks, that makes Disney World what it is. Below is information on each of the 4 individual amusement parks. . Epcot: Epcot is a 300 acre Disney theme park that is split into two sections, Future World and World Showcase. Future world explores science and technology with its attractions. The World Showcase area lets you travel to different countries without stepping out of Florida. I would say Epcot is the ideal theme park for adults, but don’t worry, the kids will enjoy it as well. Address: 200 Epcot Center Dr, Orlando, FL 32821 Hours: Open everyday of the week from 9am – 9pm . Animal Kingdom: Disney’s Animal Kingdom is the largest of the 4 Disney amusement parks and highlights Walt Disney’s commitment to conservation and nature. The park is home to 250 different kinds of species of animals, with over 1,700 animals all together. Animal Kingdom is the largest animal-themed park on the planet. The park also has tons of different live shows, parades, and of course fun rides. Address: 2901 Osceola Pkwy, Orlando, FL 32830 Hours: Sunday through Tuesday open 9am – 10pm
Wednesday through Saturday open 9am – 10:30pm . Magic Kingdom:Disney’s Magic Kingdom is my favorite out of the 4. as
soon as you walk into the park you are overcome with enchantment. From the gorgeous castle, to the lovely sites and sounds of Main Street U.S.A., the park is absolutely charming. Magic Kingdom also offers rides, firework shows, and daily musical parades featuring your favorite Disney characters. Address: 1180 Seven Seas Dr, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830 Hours: Monday through Wednesday open 8am – 11pm
Thursday through Sunday open 8am – 10pm . Hollywood Studios: Formerly known as MGM Studios until 2008, Hollywood Studios allows its guests to step behind the scenes of Hollywood, with live action shows, exciting attractions, and backstage tours. Everything in the park almost blends to look like one giant movie set, bringing the Hollywood feeling to central Florida. Just like all the other Disney parks, you’ll also find rides, restaurants, and shops in HollyWoood Studios. Address: 351 S Studio Dr, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830 Hours: Open everyday of the week from 8am – 10:30pm Click Here for Ticket Info to ALL Disney parks
Typhoon Lagoon: One of the two Disney World water parks, Typhoon Lagoon is a super fun way to soak up the Florida sun. Take a relaxing ride down the lazy river, lay out in the sun on their sandy beach, ride their thrilling water slides, and so much more! While you’re at Typhoon Lagoon you have to take the family on the ride Miss Adventure, a whitewater adventure ride that just happens to be the longest ride in Disney water park history! Address: 1145 East Buena Vista Boulevard, Orlando, FL 32830 Hours: Open everyday of the week from 10am – 8pm Click here for ticket info
Blizzard Beach: The second Disney water park is Blizzard Beach, a park modeled to look like a ski-resort that melted into a water filled utopia. Blizzard Beach is home to Mount Gushmore ,one of the tallest and fastest water slides in the WORLD! Featuring raft rides, water slides, and a one acre wave pool, Blizzard Beach is a fantastic park for some fun in the sun. Address: 1534 Blizzard Beach Drive, Orlando, FL 32836 Hours: Open everyday of the week from 10am – 8pm Click here for ticket info
Volcano Bay: Universal Orlando’s only water park, Volcano Bay, is a much newer park compared to the others. Taking the place of Universals old water park, Wet N Wild, Volcano Bay Opened in 2017 and is packed with the perfect mix of thrills and tranquility. Experience the different water slides inside Krakatau, the 200ft tall Volcano that’s also the parks main representative. The most interesting part of Volcano Bay would be the fact that they use TapuTapu, a wristband that will hold a guests place in long lines without the need of them standing there. Now that’s convenient! Address: 6000 Universal Blvd, Orlando, FL 32819 Hours: Open everyday of the week from 9am – 9pm Click here for ticket info
Adventure Island: A little less of a drive compared to the other water parks, Adventure Island is located in Tampa and is 30 acres of watery fun! There are 10 thrilling water slides, a 17,000 square foot wave pool, and plenty of kid friendly attractions as well. There is also dining options so no one in your group goes hungry. Address: 10001 McKinley Dr, Tampa, FL 33612 Hours: Open everyday of the week from 9am – 7pm Click here for ticket info
Check Out All the Fun That’s Going on Throughout the Year
Bradenton Blues Festival: A weekend full of exceptional live blues music, food vendors, and local craft beer is exactly what you’re in store for at the annual Bradenton Blues Festival in Downtown Bradenton. This event sells out FAST, so if you’re going to be in town or on the island during this time of year and want to attend this fun filled festival, purchase your tickets ASAP! This event is produced by the non-profit organization Realize Bradenton, and proceeds will support Realize Bradenton’s free youth, art, and music programs for the community. When: First weekend of December (Friday – Sunday) Time: Begins 6pm Friday, ends 2pm Sunday Tickets: Tickets for the festival range from $10 – $100 depending on type of ticket purchased.
For ticket info and pricing please check out the link, http://www.bradentonbluesfestival.org/tickets/.
Fourth of July Firework Display:
The Bradenton Riverwalk puts on a Zambelli International fireworks show on the 4th of July ever year (weather permitting). Take a walk down Main Street, maybe grab a drink while you’re there, and then head over to the Riverwalk for a spectacular firework display over the Manatee River. When: July 4th Time: The grand firework finale will begin at 9pm
Music in the Park: Picture yourself watching a beautiful sunset over the Manatee River, all while listening to amazing local musicians. That is exactly what the event Music in the Park is all about. This family-friendly occasion also offers snacks and beverages, including local craft beer and wine, for purchase. It is encouraged to bring a picnic basket, blankets and chairs, and even your furry friend (as long as they’re on a leash of course). When: Begins the second Friday of March, and continues every Friday until the last Friday of April. Time: 6pm – 8pm
Manatee Pride is all about empowering and supporting the local LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning) community. The event is put on by volunteers and has been taking place every year since 2014. Manatee Pride features different local vendors, live entertainment, and food and beverages, which includes the “Manatee Pride” beer. When: Third Saturday of March Time: 12pm – 5pm
Walk for the Poor: The annual St. Vincent de Paul Walk for the Poor is an event supporting the poor in our community. All proceeds from the Walk for Poor go to helping those in need with food, clothing, and financial help to qualified families and those going through emergencies in their lives. Take a stroll through Riverwalk for a good cause. When: Typically the third or fourth Saturday of March Time: 8am – 10am
The AMI Beach Cafe is a great toes in the sand dining spot! Imagine this, the beach, the sun, the sand, people watching, AND FOOD! It doesn’t get any better than that!
This is the perfect place for breakfast on the island. Enjoy your cup of coffee, maybe even an order of their all-you-can-eat pancakes, and take in the gorgeous Gulf view. Oh, you didn’t wake up for breakfast did you? That’s okay because they serve lunch and dinner too! Don’t worry they didn’t forget about you late risers. If you think I skipped telling you about putting on regular clothes, your wrong, I didn’t. You can wear anything here, your swim suit, pajamas, work clothes, wedding dress, anything. Ordering is quick, simple, and fun. Just pick your favorite menu option, place your order at the window, pay for the meal, grab a number, then sit back and wait.
An atmosphere like this is hard to find. Laid back people, sunshine and waves, live music, it is absolute perfection. Chances are, if you’ve been to the Island, you’ve most likely enjoyed a meal at the Beach Cafe. And if you haven’t, then what are you waiting for? There is a reason not only tourists, but locals as well, love this place! They also have ice cream and shopping! Yes, you can cool down with a scoop of cookies’ n cream ice cream for dessert and then stroll right on into the gift shop for some island memorabilia.
Oh, and that’s not all!
The Anna Maria Island Beach Cafe also offers beach rentals. They offer rentals for beach chairs, cabanas, and umbrellas. Even better, upon request they offer beach wheelchairs.
Where: 4000 Gulf Drive Holmes Beach, FL 34217 Phone: (941) 778-0784 Hours: Open EVERYDAY from 7:30am – 8pm
Breakfast ends at 11am Monday – Friday, and noon on SATURDAY and Sunday
Our charming little island of Anna Maria and surrounding areas have always been big on art. So it should come as no surprise that there is an abundance of local art events taking place throughout the year. Below is a list of art events on Anna Maria Island, Bradenton, and Sarasota.
Anna Maria Island
. Winterfest: If you’re free the second weekend of December, head over to Winterfest, a Festival of Fine Arts & Crafts Show taking place at City Hall Field in Holmes Beach. This event is sponsored by the Anna Maria Island Art League and features food, drinks, live music, and of course some arts and crafts you can purchase from local artists.
Plus, admission and parking are free! Where: 5801 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach, FL, 34217 When: Second weekend of December (Saturday and Sunday) Time: 10am – 4:30pm
. Springfest: Springfest (just like Winterfest) is a Festival of Fine Arts & Crafts that takes place in Holmes Beach every March. This weekend event features art, activities, food, drinks and live music! Proceeds will benefit the Anna Maria Island Art League which offers scholarships and other art education programs to local students. Where: City Hall Field (5901 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach, FL, 34217) When: Second weekend of March (Saturday and Sunday) Time: 10am – 5pm
. Holmes Beach Art District Art Walk Every year, local art galleries and retail businesses participate in the Holmes Beach Art District Art Walk. The locations participating in the event will be featuring local art exhibits, complimentary refreshments, music, and lots of fun! The Art Walk is a wonderful way to explore and view art from local artists we know and love. Where: There are different Island businesses that participate every year. You can check the Island Chamber of Commerce website to find what locations will participating in the Art Walk, for the year you ill be attending. When: Begins the second Friday of January, and takes place every SECOND Friday of the month, until the second Friday of April. Time: 5:30pm – 7:30pm
“A Celebration of Youth & Creativity!” is exactly how the Realize Bradenton website describes the event ArtSlam. It is a day where local students and artists get the opportunity to take their art from the classroom/studio, and out on Old Main Street in Downtown Bradenton. It is a chance where the community gets to observe and celebrate Manatee County’s talented and creative youth. Where: Old Main Street in Downtown Bradenton (400 12th St W, Bradenton, FL, 34205) When: First Saturday of March Time: 9am – 4pm
. Mixon Farms Antique Arts and Crafts Fair:
Mixon Fruit Farms in Bradenton hosts a arts & crafts fair every 4th Saturday from April, through September. The fair features local vendors, and is sure to be a fun day for the whole family. Where: Mixon Farms, 2525 27th Street E Bradenton, FL 34208 When: Every fourth Saturday, from April through September Time: 10am – 3pm
. Mainly Art
If you love art and a good ole farmers market, then you should check out Mainly Art in Downtown Bradenton. It is an event where local artists/craftspeople are able to display and sell their work. Aside from the arts & crafts, there is also live music, and food. The best part is that Mainly Art connects with the farmers market on Main Street. Where: Main Street, Downtown Bradenton, FL When: Every third Saturday from October to May. Time: 9am – 2pm
. Fine Arts Festival of Manatee County:
A 2 day event full of spectacular works of art in all different forms is exactly what you’ll find at the Fine Arts Festival of Manatee County! Yet another art event taking place in Downtown Bradenton, this event showcases; ceramics, digital media, drawing, glass, jewelry, leather, acrylic, oil, watercolor, photography, and so much more. Where: Riverwalk, Downtown Bradenton, FL, 34205 When: Last weekend of February (Saturday and Sunday) Time: 10am – 5pm Saturday and 10am – 4pm Sunday
. Chalk Festival: The International Chalk Festival is four day event that takes place typically in Sarasota Florida, or Venice Florida. Watch the largest gathering of extremely talented, and famous pavement artists create masterpieces from start to finish. Other featured activities include food trucks, beer gardens, live music, and interactive art areas. Where: After six seasons of taking place in Burns Square in downtown Sarasota, the 2017 and 2018 events have taken place at the Venice Airport Fairgrounds. (675 Airport Ave East, Venice, FL 34285) When: Begins the second Friday of November, and runs until the following Monday. Time: 8am – 6pm
. Sarasota Spring Fine Arts Festival:
If you’ve been needing a new art piece for your home, or enjoy collecting art, you want to visit the Sarasota Spring Fine Arts Festival. The event is hosted by Sarasota Downtown Merchants Association and features; paintings, sculptures, jewelry, photography, glass, ceramics, fiber and wearable art, mixed-media, woodworking, etc. Where: 33 Gulf Stream, Sarasota, FL 34236 When: Second weekend of March (Saturday and Sunday) Time: 10am – 5pm