Anna Maria Island Historical Society

Anna Maria Island Historical Society

Your one stop shop for local history is the Anna Maria Island Historical Society at 402 Pine Avenue. A visit to our island paradise isn’t complete without learning a little history. Here you can visit Three original island buildings in one location.

Anna Maria Island Historical Society

The Historical Society formed in 1990 giving island visitors a glimpse into the past. The building which houses the museum was originally built in 1920 as the ice house. In 1927, the city built a jail next door, complete with bars on the windows which let swarms of mosquitoes feed on the unlucky guests who spent time locked up. The jail was operational until the 1940’s when a fire burned its wooden roof and door; it now makes for a great vacation photo! The most interesting building is Belle Haven Cottage… originally located on the Anna Maria City Pier when the pier was just a dock ….before it fell into Tampa Bay in 1926! The cottage was rescued from the sea floor and used as a home and rental cottage before relocating to its new location in 2001.

Inside these historical walls you will discover a myriad of treasures from days past collected by island residents. The old ice house is the perfect setting to see actual pine needle woven baskets made by Anna Maria’s original residents, the Native Americans. You can also peruse photos of the island in early days and see how fishing, sharks and even baseball shaped this island we love today! If you are lucky enough to visit on a Wednesday during “season”, be sure to pick up a loaf of Settler’s Bread, a rare treat!

For hours and more information on the Anna Maria Island Historical Society, visit You can even post your own photos of you in “jail” on their Facebook page!

If you are looking for an Anna Maria Island get-a-way that allows for lots of visits to the Anna Maria Island historical society then our Vacation rental Anna Maria Cottage is great choice. It is only a few blocks to the Anna Maria Island Historical Society and just a short stroll away.

Anna Maria Sun Pet Adoption of The Week

Anna Maria Sun Pet Adoption of The Week

Anna Maria Island Sun Pet Adoption week is great!  If you’re ever in the need for a new furry friend, and who isn’t!

Anna Maria Sun Pet Adoption

 Anna Maria Islands Sun newspaper features an “Adoption of the Week” in every issue of the paper. This is a fantastic way to find a new four legged family member for everyone to love. Adoption is always the best way to go when looking for a pet, and the Sun makes it even easier with picking out the perfect pet.

For more information on how and where to adopt your next cat or dog, please visit the wonderful non-profit organization UnderDog Rescue of Florida’s website. So save a life and please adopt.

If you are looking for a dog friendly vacation rental then look no more. Check out our Anna Maria Island Dog Friendly vacation rentals. We would love to host your next pet get-a-way!

Local Easter Events & Church Services

Local Easter Events & Church Services

If your vacation overlaps Easter Sunday this year, or this is your first Easter being an Anna Maria Island resident, no worries! There are plenty of local Easter events on and off the island to get yourself and the kiddos out of the house and in the holiday spirit. Whether it’s a church service, or some Easter Bunny fun, there is something to do for everyone.

Easter Egg Hunts:

A classic Easter tradition, and certainly the kids favorite, is of course the Easter egg hunt! Luckily one of the best local egg hunts for children 10 and under takes place right here on Anna Maria Island the Saturday before Easter, thanks to the Sandbar Restaurant. The Annual Sandbar Egg Hunt is a favorite for everyone involved and is probably the most well-known activity taking place on the island for Easter year after year. After the egg hunt fun, there is typically a parade right after lead by the Easter Bunny himself down Pine Avenue.
Where: Sandbar Restaurant, 100 Spring Ave, Anna Maria, FL 34216
When: The Saturday before Easter Sunday
Time: Event typically begins at 9am
Who: Children 10 and under

Easter Events – Worship Services:

Anna Maria Island offers a multitude of Easter services for you to choose from, Including a Easter Sunday sunrise service on the beach!  Visit our Anna Maria Island Church information page for more information on any specific churches below.

Kiwanis Club’s 49th Annual Sunset Service on the Beach:
Come worship on the beach Easter Sunday.
 Manatee County Public Beach.
When: Easter Sunday
Time: Typically 6:30am

CrossPointe Fellowship (Baptist Church)
CrossPointe offers a service on Good Friday, and a Easter Sunday service.
8605 Gulf Dr, Holmes Beach, FL 34217
When: Good Friday AND Easter Sunday
Time: 7pm Friday / 10:30am Sunday

The Episcopal Church of the Annunciation
The Episcopal Church of the Annunciation offers a service on Maundy Thursday which includes foot washing, stripping of the altar and the vigil in the garden. They also have services on Good Friday, and three Easter Sunday.
4408 Gulf Dr, Bradenton Beach, FL 34217
Thursday, Friday, AND Sunday
Time: 7pm Thursday / noon Friday / 7:30am, 9am, AND 11am Sunday

Gloria Dei Lutheran Church
Gloria Dei Lutheran Church offers services Maundy Thursday, two on Good Friday, and two Easter Sunday including a fellowship brunch in between.
Where: 6608 Marina Dr, Holmes Beach, FL 34217
When: Thursday, Friday, AND Sunday
Time: 7pm Thursday / noon AND 7pm Friday / 8am service, 9am brunch, 10:30am service

Harvey Memorial Community Church
Harvey Memorial Community Church will be holding their regular Easter Sunday service.
300 Church St N, Bradenton Beach, FL 34217
When: Sunday only
Time: 9:30am

Roser Memorial Community Church
Roser Memorial Community Church offers services the Thursday before Easter in celebration of the Last Supper, Good Friday, and two services Easter Sunday.
Where: 512 Pine Ave, Anna Maria, FL 34216
When: Thursday, Friday, AND Sunday
Time: 7pm Thursday / noon Friday / 9am and 11am Sunday

St. Bernard’s Catholic Church
St. Bernard’s Catholic Church will be holding a mass on Palm Sunday, Holy Week mass the following Wednesday, Mass of the Lord’s Last Supper Thursday. There will be no morning Mass on Good Friday, but there will be a Blessing of Easter Baskets at 10 a.m. and an Easter Vigil Mass at 8 p.m. On Easter Sunday, there will be Masses at 8am and two masses at 10am, one Mass in the church and one in the Parish Hall. Kids will be able to hunt for Easter eggs after the 10am Masses.
Where: 248 S Harbor Dr, Holmes Beach, FL 34217
When: Palm Sunday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, AND Sunday
Time: Usually 8am and 10am Palm Sunday / 8:30am Wednesday / 7pm Thursday / 9:45pm Friday / 8am and 10am Sunday

No matter where you are, near or far, have a wonderful Easter from everyone at Island Real Estate

Red Barn Flea Market

Red Barn Flea Market

The Red Barn Flea Market is an immense shopping center that might just take you a couple days to get through! With more than 600 flea market booths and shops you’ll need to devote a couple hours to cover the full 145,000 sq. ft. complex. With so much to do it may be better to plan out your routes ahead of time with this handy market map.

The Red Barn Flea Market is just in East Bradenton and about a 20 minute drive from Anna Maria Island.  The Flea market serves up fresh vegetables, fishing poles, a few places to grab a bit to eat and tons of trinkets.  If you visit Anna Maria Island often you should do yourself a favor and visit the Red Barn Flea Market.

Below are the hours at the time of this posting but we always suggested reviewing the Red Barn Flea Market website for exact dates and times.

From November 1-April 30 the Red Barn Flea Market will have the following hours:

Monday closed
Tuesday 10am-4pm (plaza only)
Wednesday 8am-4pm
Thursday 10am-4pm (plaza only)
Friday 8am-4pm
Saturday 8am-4pm
Sunday 8am-4pm

Continue reading “Red Barn Flea Market”

Anna Maria Island Ice Cream Hot Spot – Dips Ice Cream

Anna Maria Island Ice Cream Hot Spot – Dips Ice Cream

Anna Maria Dips Ice Cream – What is best way to beat the heat on Anna Maria Island this summer?  I will give you a hint:

“I scream…  You scream… We all scream for ____________!”

That’s right ice-cream!   I know of this perfect little gem right in the heart of Anna Maria City called Dips Ice Cream.

They have so many things to choose from, but make sure you bring cash because if you don’t you will not be able to enjoy any of their delicious treats. A few of their delectable flavors are (but not limited to):

  1. Salted Carmel
  2. Mint chocolate chip
  3. Red velvet cake
  4. Superman
  5. Black Raspberry
  6. Cookies-n-Cream
  7. Turtle Tracks
  8. French Vanilla

The list goes on and on!  All are offered in a cup, waffle-bowl, regular ice-cream cone, sugar cone or waffle cone.  You can even add toppings if you’d like.  You can also get handspun milkshakes, banana splits, Italian ice or gelato.

Don’t forget the little ones with the Old fashion candy/toys you can peruse as you are waiting to order.  I saw a few things I am going to take my daughter back to get after I pick her up from summer camp at the Anna Maria Island Community Center.  I would feel weird buying them for myself, so I get the relive my childhood through her… Hey don’t judge!

There are other ice-cream shops to choose from on Anna Maria, but this one is by far my favorite.  The others are just too busy for me.  I have never had to wait more than 5 minutes to get waited on at Dips.  There is plenty of parking on site or across the street at Roser church. When I want an ice-cream fix, I do not want to wait long!  Do yourself a favor, and make sure Dips Ice Cream is on your list of places to go while on Anna Maria Island.

For those of you who have been visiting Anna Maria Island for decades, Dips Ice Cream has relocated to the Pine Avenue General Store located on Pine Avenue.  Dips Ice Cream has an outside order window as well as ordering from inside.  Dips shares an outdoor area for eating with the general store.  There are benches, tables under some nice shade but sorry, no shelter from rain.

Want more Anna Maria Island dessert ideas?

AMI Beach Cafe – Toes in the Sand Dining!

AMI Beach Cafe – Toes in the Sand Dining!

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! What? Amazing, I know. Where does this even exist? Ill tell you a little not so secret, secret. AMI Beach Cafe, by the way, short for Anna Maria Island Beach Cafe, yep, amazing! I personally enjoy breakfast, but I love ALL-YOU-CAN-EAT pancakes. In fact, Ill be right back. But seriously you have to go here, go alone, go with friends, take your family, just go. They have a great menu and the prices are wallet friendly.

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. Just get out of bed, grab your keys, and drive to where Manatee Ave meets Gulf Drive and wallah, the AMI Beach Cafe at your service. 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, island music, perfection.

Just when you thought you knew everything there was to know about this glorious place, I shall break this news to you lightly. 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. That, fortunately for you, you will have money for, because everything was so affordable, yes, you’re welcome.

Vacation Rentals within a walk to the AMI Beach Cafe.

Our closest vacation rental is Mambo Italiano which is a 4 bedroom 4 bath just a short block to AMI Beach Cafe.  The next two closest are the Salt Shack and Palms Beach West.


Anna Maria Island Free Wi-Fi Wireless Locations

Anna Maria Island Free Wi-Fi Wireless Locations

Anna Maria Island free Wi-Fi locations can be found below.  Anna Maria Island is known as “old Florida” on the Gulf Coast however we have plenty of businesses that offer Wi-Fi hot-spots.  

Now to the good stuff, where is wireless offered free?  Most of the list currently encompasses Anna Maria City and Holmes Beach.  Please comment if you are aware of more locations and will modify our listing.  

Ginny and Jane E’s which is located in Anna Maria City *

Holmes Beach Island Branch Library *

If you booked your vacation rental with Island Real Estate we offer free Wi-FI at our 6101 Marina Drive location.  Most importantly, all of Island Real Estate Vacation rentals provide internet access so be sure to review our Anna Maria Island rentals.

* Locations have computers available if laptop is not available.

Just remember….your on vacation to relax.  Should you be working this much?

All info current as of 2024. 

Pizzano’s great Pizza in Holmes Beach

Pizzano’s great Pizza in Holmes Beach

Pizzano’s is a great choice if looking for take out or dine in on Anna Maria Island. They have outdoor seating in the Holmes Beach Plaza as well as inside dining. They have about 8-10 inside and 2-3 picnic tables outside. Ordering online is easy via their website at Pizzano’s Pizza on AMI.

Pizzano’s has a wide selection of choices. Pizza obviously as well as Detroit style and chicken wings for the perfect sports event you might be hosting. They have salads, breadsticks, chicken tenders for the children in the group, grinders, pastas and lots of desserts to choose from.

Of course you can pick up or they have delivery and normally pick up is 20-30 minutes for your order while delivery can take up to one hour. Ordering inside you walk up to a cashier and order food. There are no waitresses.

Pizzano’s is located at: 5318 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach, FL 34217. Telephone number: 941 778-3663. While their hours vary, generally open 7 days a week for lunch and dinners.

If your looking to shop, Pizzano’s is in Holmes Beach Plaza which has bunches of shops. Sand Dollar, The Feast, as well as an ice cream spot.

Altitude trampoline park is the perfect “day” get-a-way from Anna Maria Island

Altitude trampoline park is the perfect “day” get-a-way from Anna Maria Island

Altitude is a Trampoline Park just off Anna Maria Island in mainland Bradenton, Florida. It is a short 20-25 minute drive along Cortez. It is a large facility that is perfect for young and old children.

The park has more trampoline’s than one could imagine. Lots of trampoline games, like slamming basketballs, jumping and hitting buttons, jumping into a large air bag, old school dodge ball with trampolines, and even an interactive electronic trampoline area.

They have a small concession area along with tables for parents to sit at. They will provide special socks the trampoline goers will wear. Parents, put on your gym clothes and get a great work out!

Altitude Trampoline park is located at

Cortez Road West Bradenton, Florida 34207

For information on rates and open hours visit the Altitude Trampoline Park website.

For other great day trips off Anna Maria Island be sure to visit our day trip information page for more ideas.