Anna Maria Island Marine Rescue Facility Open In Bradenton Beach

Anna Maria Island Marine Rescue Facility Open In Bradenton Beach

Manatee County Marine Rescue Division hosted their grand opening of the Anna Maria Island Marine Rescue Facility Monday at the new Bradenton Beach location.  The Manatee County Public Safety Department invited the public to join them at the new facility for a brief dedication ceremony, refreshments, and tour the new building.

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Anna Maria Island SEGWAY Tour At Segs By The Sea In Bradenton Beach

Anna Maria Island SEGWAY Tour At Segs By The Sea In Bradenton Beach

Bradenton Beach – I took the 2 hour Anna Maria Island Segway tour with Segs By The Sea in Bradenton Beach and it was amazing.  It was a hot Thursday afternoon in June; I met up with Julie Kirkwood the operations manager at the Segs By The Sea on Bridge Street in Bradenton Beach.  Julie told me about the different tour options and other rentals that they offer at Segs By The Sea – like electric bikes, beach cruiser bikes, and paddle boards.

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Eternal Summer Surf Camp On Anna Maria Island

Eternal Summer Surf Camp On Anna Maria Island

Learn to surf this summer on AMI

Do your children want to learn how to surf?  Picture this; you relax on the beaches of Anna Maria Island as your children attend the free surf camp during your Anna Maria Island Vacation.
The Eternal Summer Surf Camp (ESSC)  has been teaching children how to surf on Anna Maria Island since 2008. By their third year, they had over 300 kids sign up, and it’s now one of the largest surf camps IN THE WORLD!
Now, there are over 2,000 young attendees every summer.

But it’s not all about surfing to the ESSC, God also plays a huge role in their lessons. The Eternal Summer Surf Camp was founded by a few surfers who saw an opportunity to make Christ Relevant to kids through the instruction of surfing. Their “about” section on their website even states,

“Eternal Summer Surf Camp was started by a few surfers in Bradenton, Florida who saw an opportunity to use surfing as way of reaching kids for the Kingdom of God.”

Eternal Summer Surf Camp is a non-profit Christian surf camp that is free to kids, and operates solely on donations from generous people and organizations.

The camp typically starts the first Sunday of July, and is held every Sunday for 6 weeks. It’s two hours long, and they only require your child brings water and sunscreen. The boards will be provided.

When: Every Sunday beginning the first sunday of july for 6 CONSECUTIVE weeks
Where: the beach off of White Avenue on the north end of Anna Maria Island.
Time: 2pm – 4pm
Price: free
Parking: Parking is located in the parking lot at Crosspoint Church, directly across Gulf Drive from White Ave. You can also park in the dirt parking lot on the west side of Gulf drive and White Ave.

Segs By The Sea On Historic Bridge Street

Segs By The Sea On Historic Bridge StreetDiscover the Charm of Old Florida with Segs by the Sea.  Segs by the Sea offers: scenic tours and custom rentals of the very popular and innovative SEGWAY Personal Transporter.  You can also rent electric bikes, beach cruiser bikes, and paddle boards.   So make sure that you stop in to Segs by the Sea and find your Anna Maria Island adventure.  Conveniently located in the heart of Historic Bridge Street, just 1 block from the beach!


SEGWAY Tour Options Include 1 Hour – 1.5 Hour – 2 Hour:

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The Famous Rod and Reel On Anna Maria Island

The Famous Rod and Reel On Anna Maria Island

The Rod & Reel Pier is a very unique Anna Maria Island destination where you can enjoy a drink in the open air bar, grab breakfast, lunch, or dinner in the restaurant, and go fishing all in the same spot.

The food is always good on the pier, and you have your choice of inside or outside dinning. Inside there are tables that sit along the bay so you can gaze out at the water while you enjoy your clam strips, fish & chips, or grouper just the way you like it.  The seats outside face west, perfect for watching Anna Maria Island Sunsets.

Fishing on The Rod & Reel Pier has been good, and they even have a bait shop that is open from 7am-closings (around 9pm) feel free to call the restaurant for bait shop hours.  Cast netting is not permitted at the Rod & Reel Pier but they do offer fishing pole rentals, a small selection of hooks, bait, basic tackle, and of course cold draft beer right in the bait shop!  The bait shop has both live and frozen bait for your complete Anna Maria Island fishing experience.  See you next time at the Rod & Reel Pier!

Muscle Car City – Permanently Closed

Muscle Car City – Permanently Closed

Unfortunately, Muscle Car City permanently closed their doors January 2021

Can you ever get sick of looking at old classic vehicles from the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s?  Anna Maria Island is home to some great classic car shows and festivals but if you are unlucky enough not to schedule a visit around one of our classic car festivals you can grab your fix by visiting the Sarasota Classic Car museum or if you are looking for a real treat take a trip down to Punta Gorda, Florida.  An easy 1.5 hour drive South from Anna Maria Island to Punta Gorda’s Muscle Car City.

Muscle Car city boasts 99,000 square feet of mostly GM performance cars from 1957 to 1970.  Camaros, Chevelles, Caminos, Impala’s, GTO’s and yes of course Corvettes.  Muscle car city is one of the largest General Motors classic car collections in the United States.  If you are a Corvette fan there is no better place to go than Punta Gorda.  Rick has collected one or more of each Corvette from the year 1954 to 1975.  In many years he has several different variations of the model year all displayed at the museum.

At the time of this writing Muscle Car City is open Tuesday through Sunday with day pass costing just over $12.  The museum also boasts an old retro 1960’s diner with plenty to eat.  Old fashioned floats, milk shakes, hamburgers if you can remember eating it at a diner, they have it.  In addition, at the end of the tour they have a memorabilia store and gift shop where you can pick up some models, signs, cards and plenty of other great classic car paraphernalia.

So, if you need a new or old fix of GM muscle cars then take the drive down to Punta Gorda.  You will be amazed of the 100’s of cars that have been assembled in the 99,000 square foot museum.   Take a look at the photo’s below.  They are from my visit in 2010…wow, visit if you are a GM Classic Car fan, you will not be dissappointed!

Muscle Car City
10175 Tamiami Trail, Punta Gorda, FL 33950

Anna Maria City Pier Celebrates 100th Birthday!

Anna Maria City Pier Celebrates 100th Birthday!

In 1911 during the beginning stages of commercial development on Anna Maria Island, one of the first steps was to build a city pier on the bay side of Anna Maria Island.   The idea was to attract excursion steamers from Tampa to unload passengers on Anna Maria Island so they could enjoy everything that the Island has to offer.

Today The City Pier is still a popular spot for tourists, day trippers, and local fishermen.  This weekend May 13th & 14th we will celebrate The Anna Maria City Pier’s 100th Birthday.  Start your weekend with a parade, 6p.m. Friday evening May 13th at Cross Pointe Fellowship Church, and ending at The City Pier where the Privateers, The Islander, & The City Pier Restaurant will host a reception for the parade participants and officials.

Saturday May 14th will launch the beginning of Food & Wine on Pine Event, an all-day centennial celebration from the SandBar Restaurant on the beach down Pine Avenue to The City Pier on the Bay.  Taste food from area’s best restaurants, and local wine curators that will give you something to talk about.

The Food and Wine on Pine Event will end at 4pm, but stick around the Festival will continue until at least 10p.m. with live music, artist demonstrations, chalk art for the kids, an art show, and character actors dressed in full costume telling tales of Anna Maria Island back in the day.  Make sure and stick around for the Grand Finale an estimated $10,000 fireworks show, that will be launched over the Bay Saturday evening.

The Annual Desoto Heritage Festival Parade

The annual Desoto Heritage Festival Parade had a crowd of an estimated 150,000 people downtown Bradenton and along Manatee Avenue last Saturday.  Manatee Avenue and other locations were completely shut down by 5:30 p.m. allowing no traffic at all, as the crowd started to pour into the streets.

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I started my morning with Melinda Bordes at Wildlife Inc. in Bradenton Beach on Anna Maria Island.  Wildlife, Inc. is a nonprofit organization that specializes in the rehabilitation of injured and orphaned wildlife, so they can return to the wild.  Melinda Bordes is a hard working realtor here at Island Real Estate, and gives back to the community by volunteering at Wildlife Inc.