New Street Lights, Turtles – Anna Maria Island Turtles are a little safer

Anna Maria Island – New Street Lights Turtles on Anna Maria Island.

New Street Lights for Turtles

New Street Lights Turtles

Locals are happy! Sea turtles on Anna Maria Island are important to locals. We are serious about protecting our hard-shelled friends on their journey to the Gulf. In fact, they are getting a very promising present from Florida Power and Light, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and Florida Department of Transportation. These companies have put together an idea to protect and help these sea turtles get safely to the water with a plan to install turtle-friendly street lights along the coastal roadways. You can learn all about this at the Islanders website.

In addition to the efforts made by these organizations, visitors and locals can help sea turtles too! During nesting season, May-October, be sure to keep exterior lights off. Alternatively, if you live near the beach, you can install turtle friendly lights.

AMI Bird Nerd Announces Launch of Indiegogo Crowd Funding Efforts for New Anna Maria Island Business

New Anna Maria Island Business AMI Bird Nerd announces Indiegogo Crowd Funding Efforts.

AMI Bird Nerd

Saturday, September 27th marked the launch of AMI Bird Nerds 30 day Indiegogo Crowd Funding Campaign. The Campaign needs help covering start up expenses and equipment. Additionally, funds are needed for Co-owner Bonnie Ferran to begin a Florida Master Naturalist Certification. This organization is also committed to educating visitors about Florida’s environment.  To fulfill this commitment they will provide free Mobile Apps about local birds and wildlife and Binocular Rentals to Manatee County’s Islands.

Indiegogo Crowd Fund

According to the Indiegogo website, “Indiegogo is the world’s most established crowdfunding platform. Crowdfunding is the process of pooling money from many different people to make an idea happen. Indiegogo is a way to discover projects that people are passionate about all over the world; where you can take action to help create more of what you love.”

Bonnie Ferran Co-owner says, “ As a Bradenton Beach Resident I am extremely fortunate to experience a great variety of birds and wildlife residing on and migrating through the Island every year, and I wanted to make my passion a full time endeavor. Beside my personal enjoyment of Florida wildlife and bird watching, I want to become an advocate of our fragile ecosystem and work to educate visitors about the threats affecting Florida environment and help locals understand what uniqueness local wildlife has to offer.”

Eco-Tourism

About the business aspects of eco-tourism based AMI Bird Nerd, Bonnie’s husband Co-owner  Hector Ferran mentions “Our previous marketing and business experience in running The VIllage Magazine positions us to succeed at creating and running AMI Bird Nerd. We’ve developed two SEO strong websites, one for AMI Bird Nerd and one for our Bird Blog StarlingAndGrackleAreFriends.com, and are currently developing free and paid mobile apps to help birders in the area whether they use our Binocular service or not. ”

AMI Bird Nerd $5 Perk from IndieGoGo campaignContributors to the AMI Bird Nerd Indiegogo campaign get really fun perks. As little as a $5 contribution gets a perk. They include having the contributors face photoshopped on to an original image of local bird photographs also by Hector. Additionally, Perks offered include a recipe to Bonnie and Hector’s favorite libation Island Juice, A corn dog bird sticker reminding people not to feed the gulls, Binocular rentals for two or four people.

Apply sunscreen at least 20 minutes early!

Anna Maria Island – Yes you heard us, don’t apply sunscreen right as you’re getting out on to the beach, but at least 20 minutes before you plan to soak up some sun. The reason for doing this is quite simple, you want the sunscreen to absorb into your skin rather than just sitting on top of your skin. This will ensure that you’re actually protected against the suns harmful UV rays. This is especially necessary if you’re planning on grabbing a tube and going into the water at the beach, or the pool at home. If you don’t plan on going into the water you’re not out of the clear. Florida is, of course, very hot and humid, which may, and probably will, cause some sweating which does not mix well with freshly put on sunscreen. If you don’t let your sunscreen set into your skin and you go into the water, don’t be surprised if you get sun burnt and turn into a lobster.

suntan lotion
This is what a local’s beach bag looks like. Lather that lotion all over!

Looking for the perfect Anna Maria Island vacation rental home for the family? Island Real Estate offers an inventory of almost 300 amazing Island homes!

Beach Combing Anna Maria Island

Shells found during recent renourishment
Shells found during recent renourishment

Anna Maria Island – A wide variety of seashells, and beach combing goodies can be found along Anna Maria Island beaches. The best beach combing is during low tide, after a storm or strong high tides. A special delight for the hobby beachcomber is a renourishment of the island beaches when the sand is getting pumped onto shore to rebuild the eroded coastline. This year’s project was no exception. Just remember living shells are better to be placed back in the water. There are state laws in place to protect the live organism and the harvest of the Bahama Starfish and just the possession of a live Queen Conch is prohibited altogether.

To identify your treasures visit this website of the Bailey-Matthew Shell Museum and you will find a detailed description of all Southwestern Florida shells.

A common misconception is the sand dollar. It is a living animal that is related to sea urchins. Check out this fascinating video about a moving sand dollar and you will realize they are indeed living creatures.

If you are planning your next island vacation consider staying at this Gulf front cottage on the North end of the island and be the first on the beach to start collecting your free souvenirs or practice this little tongue twister “she sells seashells at the seashore” in the meantime.

Flyboarding Anna Maria Island – Top Gun Flyboards!

Flyboarding Anna Maria Island is a blast! So you’ve arrived on the island, the white sands and golden sunshine are yours for the taking. But with so many options for outdoor activities on Anna Maria how do you choose one that is just right? Parasailing, kayaking, paddle boarding and windsurfing are all fantastic ways to spend your time. However, those looking to amaze their friends and create memories this year, Top Gun Flyboards is the way to go.

top gun 2

Flyboarding Anna Maria Island

After owner operator Jonathan Brockoff beat an aggressive type of cancer at 22 he decided to do something he loved. Furthermore, Top Gun Flyboards was born. They are powered by a jet ski and attached by a fire hose. A flyboard channels the exhaust water in a way that enables the wearer to simply rise from the water. Controlled in tandem, the wearer controls direction and the Certified Flyboard Instructor controls the thrust ensuring a safe and fun experience.

A great teacher and a natural on the water himself Jonathan says that his mission is to make everyone that comes to him feel like a super hero.

Having felt this sensation first hand, I can honestly say there really are no other words to describe it. A one of a kind experience a visit to Top Gun Flyboards is sure to be the highlight of any vacation, so visit topgunflyboards.com or give them a call at (941)-565-1727 to reserve your spot today!

Top Gun Flyboarding Anna Maria Island

Beach Fun Anna Maria Island – Best Beach Toys!

Beach Fun Anna Maria Island is a day at the beach with toys! With these five small, and light to carry, toys you can ensure not even a whisper of “I’m bored” uttered! These fit easily in a beach bag and can be found in local shops around the island. Some even at the dollar store too!

Make sure to grab a Frisbee.

Played either in the sand or in the water a Frisbee is fun at any skill level or age.

Beach NoodlesNoodles!

Can you believe these are a relatively new invention? Wish we had beach noodles when I was a kid –I would have floated all day without having to blowup a raft first. Noodles are a must for the beach! Plus, bonking someone over the head with one will never get old.

Waboba Ball

Barefoot Traders on Gulf Drive carries a ball that actually bounces ON the water! A “Waboba Ball” is made of unique materials that will make the ball actually bounce once it hits the water instead of sinking. Grab one on before you park for the day and you’ll be surprised at how well it works – yet obviously better on calm water days.

Traditional Bucket and Shovel.

Even if you prefer making a drippy castle as opposed to a more “engineered” structure, a bucket and shovel can help dig wet sand needed for proper castle construction. The shovel is useful Beach Fun Anna Maria Island searching for buried treasures (shells or sharks teeth) also.

Bubbles!

Fun any time of day, yet sunset is especially great for bubbles (and snapping photos of them with the sun setting in the background). Grab a bottle with a silly oversized wand and see who can make the biggest bubbles, whose bubbles last the longest without popping or if you can “catch” one on your finger. Then the grumpiest member of your gang has to crack a smile when the bubbles come out.

Outdoor Dining Anna Maria Island – Dine and Drink El Fresco!

Outdoor Dining Anna Maria Island is the quintessential way to hang out in beautiful tropical climate! There’s nothing better than when going out to grab a bite to eat or drinks, having the warm island breeze surrounding you. Some of the wonderful restaurants I’ve listed below have beautiful water views of either the crystal clear Gulf or Bay, or an open-air setting directly across the street from the beach.

The fresh air of AMI always makes your food taste that much better and your drinks that much tastier, bringing you relaxing vibes that will be sure to lift your spirit. I have suggested different places from smaller and more quant spots, to casual any-time spots, to romantic night spots.

Outdoor Dining Anna Maria Island

Sandbar – 100 Spring Ave, Anna Maria

Direct Gulf front

Sandbar

The Waterfront – 111 South Bay Blvd, Anna Maria
Bay views

Waterfront

Anna Maria Pier – 100 South Bay Blvd, Anna Maria
Out in the middle of the Tampa Bay

Pier

Bridgetender – 135 Bridge Street, Bradenton Beach
Direct bay front

Bridgetender

Island Time Bar & Grill – 111 Gulf Drive South, Bradenton Beach
Open-air setting, across the street from the Gulf

Island time

The Beachhouse – 200 Gulf Drive North, Bradenton Beach
Direct Gulf front

Beachhouse

Coquina Café – 2650 Gulf Drive South, Coquina Beach
Direct Gulf front

Outdoor Dining Anna Maria Island

Surf's up for the 6th Eternal Summer Surf Camp on Anna Maria Island!

Holmes Beach – Get ready for the 6th Eternal Summer Surf Camp on Anna Maria Island! Growing every year in popularity this season will be no different when hundreds of kids will be catching the waves. This free surfing camp will start June 29th and runs for 6 Sundays until Aug 3rd,  from 2-4 pm. Surfers can register online by clicking here or sign up on the beach.

The event is taking place on the beach by the White Avenue beach access in Holmes Beach. This stretch of beach is known for its consistent waves and is very popular with the local surf community. If you’d like to get in the mood for surfing just watch the video from 2009. Warning: you will want to start NOW.

6th Eternal Summer Surf Camp on Anna Maria Island

If you would like to plan ahead for next year and be close to the action check out our vacation rentals on White Ave. This way you will not miss anything. We have a duplex with 2 bedroom side and 3 bedroom side on 131 White Avenue 4 bedroom single family pool home on 120 White Avenue and a 2 bedroom single family pool home on 133 White Avenue and 2 bedroom single family pool home on 133 White Avenue.

 

 

 

 

The Blue Bistro Elin Hilderbrand leaves you hungry for more!

The Blue Bistro Elin Hilderbrand is a great beach read. Don’t you just love books that deliciously describe food?

Blue Bistro Elin Hildebrand

I love reading about what people are wearing and what they are eating, which is why I loved the easy breezy Blue Bistro novel. Even though it is set on another beach and in another bistro, I couldn’t help but visualize our own white sandy beaches of Anna Maria Island and the delicious kitchen of our local Beach Bistro for the backdrop as I read.

The story begins during the last summer of the hottest restaurant in town – The Blue Bistro. Questions immediately begin – if the restaurant is so successful then why are they closing? Does Fiona, the elusive head chef, have a terminal illness? Is the attractive owner, Thatcher, really as yummy as he seems?

The narrator, Adrienne, has worked in top hotels in exotic locations and vacation towns all over the world so getting a job as hostess seemed like easy work. However, once she gets past the fancy customers, the fantastic and fun drinks from the beach bar and the famous menu she immediately senses secrets deep within the building itself. In fact, the actual Bistro itself is probably the main character. Everything happens inside it’s cool walls, an oasis from the beating summer sun.

The Blue Bistro is a fantastic, light beach read perfect for the summer season. It has everything; mystery, romance, friendship, beautiful descriptions of gorgeous locations and delicious food. Honestly, I constantly craved some of the fictitious menu items! Grab this fun book for your bag and head to the beach!Blue Bistro Elin Hildebrand

Bean Point – The perfect Island Wedding Destination.

Anna Maria – When looking to plan your destination wedding at the best beach on Anna Maria Island you really don’t need to search for it. The white sand along the 7 mile stretch of island is simply beautiful. Pick any of the public beach access paths and you will not want to leave. Yet, there is just one spot on the very North end of the island called Bean Point, that might be a bit special.

Bean Point is named after the first island settler George Bean, who made his home here in 1893. Parking is sparse, but find limited parking on the side streets of North Shore Drive, Gladiolus or Fern Street. The beach entrance to Bean Point is located at the end of North Bay Boulevard at the 3 way stop sign. Walk the shaded path to the wooden bridge and you enjoy gorgeous views of Tampa Bay, the Gulf of Mexico and Egmont Key to the North. You can spot the lighthouse that still sends out light signals. It is the most romantic spot on the island and serves for a perfect wedding background.

Bean Point is an absolutely gorgeous location for weddings because it may be one of the most secluded beaches due to lack of public parking.

Wedding at Bean Point
Wedding at Bean Point

During low tide you will see the remnants of Passage Key located less than a mile to the North. This island of 30 acres discovered in 1513 by Spain, and designated as a bird sanctuary in 1905 by Theodore Roosevelt  was slowly washed away by severe weather and erosion. Nowadays it is only a sandbar popular with the seabirds.

Endless water views
Endless water views

For the perfect Anna Maria Island wedding ceremony location consider beautiful Bean Point.

If you are looking to spend your Honeymoon on Anna Maria Island follow the link to a list of our gorgeous 1 bedroom vacation rental homes perfect for a cozy and romantic couples getaway.