Anna Maria Island Rainy Day Top 5

Paradise needs to have a rainy day or two.  If you are unfortunate enough to catch a rainy day while on Anna Maria Island there is still plenty to do.  Most things to do on a rainy day are off the island in Bradenton, FL however it is just a short drive away.  Most area attractions off Anna Maria Island can be found on Manatee Avenue or Cortez road. Below is our top five things to do while enduring a rainy day on Anna Maria.

Bowling on a Rainy Day

Just off Anna Maria Island in Bradenton you can find Bowling. Only 15 minutes from Anna Maria, FL you will find open bowling just of Cortez.  Visit our Florida Bowling Blog for more information.

Oakmont Theater

Go take in the latest big screen movie.  The Oakmont Theater is a newly renovated theater just of Cortez only 15 minutes from Anna Maria Island.  There you will find all the normal requirements necessary to enjoy the latest blockbuster of a movie.  Popcorn, reclining seats, hot dogs, candy, soda, everything you need to gain those extra 5 lbs needed to ensure you were on a true vacation.

Restaurants on Anna Maria Island

Go out to anyone of our fabulous restaurants on Anna Maria island.  Obviously outdoor seating will not work well under rainy circumstances but there are plenty of restaurants to choose from.  Whether it be a breakfast or lunch just to catch up or a 5 course meal your are sure to find plenty of choices on or off Anna Maria Island.

Read a book at the Library

Go relax and read a good book or catch up on the latest magazine gossip or news at the Holmes Beach City Library.  For a small amount you can become a member of the library.  Of course you only need a library card if you plan to take books, CD’s, or DVD’s home for review there.  It’s absolutely free to use the 8 computers they have on site with Internet as well as use their Internet hub for your laptop.  They have an amazing collection of DVD’s, VHS movies, as well as some recent publications for self help or the latest novel you have been looking to read.  The children’s area has plenty of books, games, a computer for their use as well as soft plush toys to play with.

Spa Day

Pamper yourself with a spa day.  Anna Maria Island enjoys many “full meal deal” spas that can accommodate your every whim.  Massage, pedicure, hair, sea wraps, you name it.  Anna Maria City, Holmes Beach, and Bradenton Beach boasts several spa choices to choose from.  In addition there are several individuals that will come to your vacation rental and give you a massage in your accommodations. Perhaps on a covered beach front patio?  It’s a bit tough to schedule a rainy day in paradise but you should be able to plan your spa day last minute as there are plenty of choices on Anna Maria Island.

Perfect Anna Maria Island Rainy day entertainment, a movie

Rainy days while at the beach can be difficult however I have fond memories as a child seeing the Star War series while on several vacations with my family.  Watching a movie is perfect evening or rainy day entertainment while staying on Anna Maria, Florida.  The Oakmont Theater is a short 15 minute drive from Anna Maria Island.  The theater has eight very nice individual theaters that play the latest releases.  The Oakmont is recently renovated and has stadium style seating that allows everyone to get a great view of the movie.

The movie theater is located on Cortez Road West on the South side just 15 minutes from Anna Maria Island, Fl.  Of course the theater has plenty of popcorn, drinks, candy, and snacks.   If you are looking for dining before or after your movie there are plenty of choices that you will pass by on your way to the Oakmont from Anna Maria Island.

Regal Oakmont 8
4801 Cortez Road West
Bradenton, Fl, 34210
(941) 954-5768

Want more rainy day entertainment ideas?

Bowling is a great activity for Anna Maria Island, Fl visitors

On a rainy day or a day after too much sun on Anna Maria Island, bowling could be the perfect solution to get the family together and have a little fun.  The Bowlero Bradenton is just a short 15 minute drive from Anna Maria Island, Florida.  Travel East on Cortez and you will find it on the North side of Cortez.

The bowling center has at least 40 lanes and I have never seen them full without lanes available.  Of course always call ahead for public bowling times.  Bowlero rents bowling shoes and bowling balls.  The alley has a small arcade for teenage family members although the games are a bit on the older side.  The bowling center serves alcoholic drinks as well as “bar” food.

Don’t know how to score bowling, no worries, Bowlero has automatic scoring screens and can raise bumpers so younger players can join in the fun.  They also have bowling aides for children that cannot pick up the ball and under hand throw the bowling ball.  Bowling is fabulous fun for everyone and its a great alternative to the beach while staying on Anna Maria Island.

Bowlero Bradenton
4208 Cortez Road West
Bradenton, Fl, 34210
(941) 758-8838

 

Need more ideas for rainy day activities? Check out our top rainy day things to do on Anna Maria Island!

Anna Maria Island Stormy Surfing

Most of us don’t look forward to late summer because with the heat comes major storms.  Everyone breathes a sigh of relief when a hurricane misses Anna Maria Island.  Surfers really look forward to near misses and travel hundreds of miles to find high surf on the Gulf Coast.  High tide as well as hurricane Gustav and Ike created fabulous surfing conditions the last few weeks on Anna Maria Island.  The entire island was overrun with surfers.  Every beach access point was packed with cars filled with anxious surfers.  Watching surfers make it to the beach to see the surf for the first time was like seeing a child on Christmas morning.  I didn’t need to see smiles on the surfers faces, I could see they were smiling from the glimmer in their eyes.

Firstly, I have NEVER seen the beach as crowded as it was Sunday and secondly on a cloudy stormy day.  It was a site to be seen that I wish all visitors to Anna Maria Island could have witnessed.  I took many photos and I hope that these help bridge the gap for everyone to feel the awe inspiring energy that was present.  It was amazing!  Most of us hunker down as a storm’s arm reaches out to give us stormy weather.  I think surfers of Florida showed the Anna Maria Island residents and visitors why rainbows come out on a rainy day!  Who would have known such a treasured experience could be found on a stormy day?

View the video below and turn up the sound if you hear nothing.

 

Want your children to learn how to surf?  Be sure to check out the video of the Children Surfing classes, wow!

Ellenton Outlet Mall is a great shopping destination for Anna Maria Island

Ellenton outlet mallJust a 30 minute ride East from Anna Maria Island and you can find fabulous shopping at the Ellenton Outlet Mall.  The mall is filled with brand name shops however most shops sell out of season or out of favor items.   If you are willing to spend time shopping you will be sure to find some great deals.  The Outlets are a VERY large outdoor mall.  If you plan on visiting on a rainy day bring your umbrella.  You can visit most of the shops under cover however walking from building to building will require an umbrella.

The outlets have well over 100 stores.  Accessories, Children’s clothing, Health and Beauty, Home Furnishings, Lingerie, Men and Women clothing, Luggage and Shoes.  Some more popular stores include but are not limited to Adidas, Avon, Banana Republic, Brooks Brothers, Bose, Calvin Klein, Coach, Coleman, Crate & Barrel, Disney, DKNY Jeans, Eddie Bauer, ESPIRIT, Fossil, Game Stop, Gap, Geoffrey Beene, Ghirardelli, Guess, Gucci, Haggar, Izod, J. Crew, Kenneth Cole, L.L. Bean, Lenox, Levi’s, MOVADO, Nautica, Nike, Nine West, Oakley, Old Navy, Polo Ralph Lauren, PUMA, Quicksilver, Reebok, Samsonite, Tommy Hilfiger, Tommy Bahama’s, Tumi, Victoria’s Secret, Williams-Sonoma,  and Zales.

The outlets have a great food court area that has plenty of mall food to choose from.  In addition, you can kill two birds with one stone by visiting the ice skate rink that shares the same parking lot.  The skating rink is open year around and is always great fun for the entire family.

For directions from Anna Maria Island to the Ellenton shops visit the following link.

Check the Ellenton Outlet Mall website for up to date shops as well as hours of operation.

Ellenton Outlet Mall
5461 Factory Shops Blvd.
Ellenton, Fl, 34222

Still not enough to get your “shopping on?”  Check out our information on Brandon/Tampa shopping!

Drive In Movie Theater – Ruskin, Florida

Yup, perfect late night entertainment can be found at the Ruskin Drive in movie Theater.  They pride themselves on being family oriented as the manager was quick to inform all at the drive in that shenanigans would not be tolerated.  The movie started at dusk which was around 8:30 PM for the middle of the summer.  They have the old style hang in your window speakers however you can listen in on your car radio also.  We sat outside in front of our vehicle in lawn chairs which was perfect as the night was a comfortable temperature.

Be sure to bring bug spray for mosquitoes as well as tics, etc.  We stopped at a store for some snacks and drinks
prior to arriving.  The drive from Anna Maria Island was about 40 minutes so I would not take the trip lightly but it can provide for inexpensive entertainment for hours.  Of course the drive in has a two movie feature and for less than $15 our family was entertained from 8:30 – 1 AM.  There was a 10 minute intermission between films and they show high quality films.  The films we saw, just came out and one was within the first week of being released.  As usual, they had a snack bar that was open for the majority of the night and they served inexpensive 12″ pizza’s, nachos, hot dogs, snacks, drinks, huge pickles, etc.  It was like walking back in time even as compared to Anna Maria Island’s historical environment.  The snack shack is not much to look at but it does the job.  Below are directions from Anna Maria Island…Be careful, bring cash as they take no credit cards or checks.  They allow no RV’s or motorcycles and ask extra large vehicles to sit in the back.  I would estimate they can accommodate about 100 vehicles and we visited on a weeknight and had a great spot without much difficulty.

From the South (Bradenton/Sarasota):
Travel 64 EAST to North on I-75; at the Sun City Center/Ruskin exit, Turn left WEST on CR 674 ,go to US 41 right turn heading north; Pass 19th Ave. Drive-In is on the right side of the road.

Ruskin Family Drive-in
5011 U.S. Hwy 41 North
Ruskin, Fl, 33572
(813) 645-1455

Not in the mood to watch movies outside.  Check out our local movie informational page.

Advanced Surfing information for Anna Maria City

I would love for everyone to think I am a cool surfer dude and all this advanced information came from my vast knowledge of surfing.  Unfortunately, I have to give credit to a surfer web site that gives more details on the characteristics of surfing just off White avenue in Anna Maria City.   WannaSurf.com…yup, the surfing on Anna Maria is a big enough deal to get discussed on surfing websites.  The website discusses surf and wave quality, tide, swell and wind characteristics, as well as any dangers.  The web site tells you the name of the contributor as well as (4) other individuals that added information and actually surfed Anna Maria Island.  Take a look, if this website does not give you the information needed, then you will just have to come to the island to experience it yourself… Also, if you are looking to get your children involved then visit our Anna Maria Island Children surfing camp.

Beach volleyball on Anna Maria Island

Some fun organized activities for your vacation include beach volleyball. While relaxing on the coastline of Anna Maria Island, beach games are a must.

Beach Volleyball Anna Maria Island

If you can assemble a team from your own friends and family, we suggest visiting Manatee public beach. Find it at the end of Manatee Avenue or route 64 in Holmes Beach.  The Manatee public beach normally has (2) volleyball courts up at all times. You can also find a great place to play Volleyball at the Coquina Public Beach Access. Find this beach at the very southern end of Anna Maria Island.

Manatee Public Beach and Playground on Anna Maria Island

Sorry!  The Playground has been removed.   As of 2019 no playground can be found on the beach.  Manatee Public Beach is located in Holmes Beach where Manatee Avenue runs right into the Gulf of Mexico.  Manatee Public Beach has free parking, picnic tables, volleyball nets, public restrooms, a café right on the beach with food and drinks, and a lifeguard on duty.

The playground is directly on the beach and contains swings, a wall to climb, ladder, a larger straight slide as well as two toddler slides, and the normal accessories most modular playgrounds offer.  This playground can be busy all week long as mainland locals use this playground very often as well as families that want a combined day at the beach and playground.  There are a few benches that parents can use to sit and relax however an inexpensive beach chair located close to the playground can work best.

For a bite to eat try out Cafe on the beach,  located at the public beach to get drinks and hot dog meals etc.  There is also a small gift shop located at the Manatee Public Beach.

Anna Maria Island Manatee Public Beach

The Anna Maria Island Manatee Public Beach is very popular!

Manatee Public Beach

located in Holmes Beach, it allows for easy access since it is at the end of Manatee Avenue/SR64. This is one of three access points to the island.

The Public Beach boasts a very large FREE parking area that handles 120 parking spots however there are plenty of times that the parking is not adequate for the demand. Manatee Avenue does have additional street parking, however, be sure to mind no parking signs. There is a trolley stop at the public beach too!

Manatee Public Beach offers great amenities.  Lifeguards, showers, volleyball courts, small slides, gift shop, bathrooms, concessions, and covered eating area with picnic tables make this a great beach spot.  It’s a great place to spend an afternoon people watching, or just relaxing at the beach with family.

The public beach is officially 900 feet in width although it’s difficult for even locals to see where the park really ends since the entire island has public beaches. Within a walk to the beach is a popular restaurant called Skinny’s that serves alcoholic drinks and concessions.  Bring plenty of water and some snacks for children as the heat can quickly take its toll on active children.  For more information call Manatee County Parks and Recreation Department at (941) 742-5923.