Anna Maria Island Area Restaurant Information

Anna Maria Island Area Restaurant Information

Here is all the Anna Maria Island Area Restaurant Information you’ll need for you next visit! The island has it all when it comes time for food. From beach café’s to Fine Dining, American, Mexican, Italian, Caribbean cuisine, and so much more. Take a look below and find the best place for your next breakfast, lunch, dinner, or just drinks and a snack.

If you don’t have your own transportation take the Anna Maria Island Trolley it’s free! It will take you almost anywhere on Anna Maria Island too!

Fine Dining Anna Maria Island Restaurants

Anna Maria Island has several fine dining restaurants. The Beach Bistro in Holmes Beach is a nationally recognized as award winning. They offer an unforgettable dining experience with romantic Gulf of Mexico views. The Waterfront Restaurant is on the Bay side of Anna Maria City with dining outside too.  Just past Coquina Beach and over the bridge you will find Mar Vista Dockside Restaurant. Beautiful waterfront location with terrific food. A favorite with locals and visitors alike. 

Gulf Front Restaurants with outdoor Dining on Anna Maria Island

The SandBar is a great Anna Maria Island restaurant and offers fabulous American and Seafood Cuisine. The Beach House Restaurant is affiliated with the SandBar and has similar cuisine with outdoor sand in your toes dining in Bradenton Beach on Anna Maria Island. Try the Anna Maria Island Beach Cafe for Breakfast, Lunch, or Dinner and don’t forget the Gulf Drive Cafe in Bradenton Beach.  Oma’s Restaurant offers outdoor dining in Bradenton Beach and offers Italian Cuisine.

American Cuisine Restaurants on Anna Maria Island, Fl

The City Pier  is always a locals favorite. This is a beautiful spot at the very end of Pine Avenue. Hurricane Hank’s has affordable everything and serves great food in Holmes Beach.  Seafood more your speed, when in Rome so to speak or more like Maine?  

Seeking a good breakfast? Rod and Reel or Peach’s are good breakfast Anna Maria Island Restaurants. One of the best Anna Maria beach burger restaurants is just across from the Manatee public beach – Skinny’s. Skinny’s has outdoor seating as well. Anyone who has been to Anna Maria Island knows that Duffy’s serves a mean hamburger as well in Holmes Beach. Try Slim’s Place for an American style dinner and live music.    The Bridge Tender Inn Restaurant which offers outdoor waterfront dining as well as formal dining. Another great Bradenton Beach restaurant on Anna Maria Island is Sharky’s.

Anna Maria Island Mexican, Italian, German and other Cuisine Restaurants

If you are in the mood for German food then look no further. Try the Old Hamburg restaurant in Holmes Beach, Fl on Anna Maria Island.  Wicked Cantina is another Tex-Mex choice on  Anna Maria Island.  Another Mexican based restaurant is Poppo’s located in Anna Maria City on Pine Avenue.  Sorry, Banana Cabana and Tortilla Bay is now closed.

Take out Anna Maria Island Restaurants

One of the best places for take-out on Anna Maria Island is definitely Scott’s Deli. Piled high sandwiches and great prices. They will even work with your charter captain to have your lunch ready and at the dock for your fishing trip! Don’t forget the Pine Avenue store that has fabulous sandwiches, pasta salads, and other quick take out lunches or snacks. The Pine Avenue General store is a small grocery store located in Anna Maria City so it’s a perfect stop for a lunch at the Bay Front Park for a impromptu picnic.  Sorry,  Rudy’s in Anna Maria City is closed. 

There is a small Chinese restaurant on the Anna Maria Island, China 1. For a great burger with onion rings or french fries try Skinny’s. You can order on the telephone and pick it up. A fine dining restaurant that delivers is The Feast in Holmes Beach. The restaurant caters as well. If you are in the mood for fresh fish try the Fresh Fish Market. They sell a great selection of fish and offer small dishes like soups and freshly prepared salads.  Sorry the Island Gourmet is closed.  

Anna Maria City, Holmes Beach and Bradenton Beach breakfast restaurants

There are quite a few great breakfast restaurants choices on Anna Maria Island. This category of dining can be one of the toughest to narrow down because most locals know the mainstream breakfast spots but there are a few hidden away gems that this blog will be sure to introduce. Minnie’s Cafe is located in Holmes Beach and serves a great homestyle breakfast. Peach’s which specializes in Breakfast is located in Holmes Beach and provides basic breakfasts as well as some fancy stuff too. Rod and Reel Pier Restaurant serves a fantastic breakfast as well and the views of the bay are phenomenal.  Want fresh donuts? Look no further, the Donut Experiment is the perfect choice in Anna Maria City.  For more details on Breakfast around Anna Maria Island, check out Island Real Estate’s additional breakfast post.

Treats and Ice Cream on Anna Maria Island, Florida

Tyler’s ice cream is just off the island on Cortez. Two Scoops is located in Anna Maria, and so is Dip’s, Joe’s Eats and Sweets is in Bradenton Beach. For a desert experience to remember, try the Euphemia Haye Restaurant which has unique pies, cheesecakes, and too many deserts to remember. Just off the island is Cold Stone Creamery which serves gourmet ice cream hand mixed with your choice of toppings. If your taste buds are screaming for a milk shake then the Shake Pit is a great bet however it is just off Anna Maria Island.  Another fabulous find is Sweet berries which serves fantastic frozen custard.  Visit our top 5 ice cream suggestions when visiting Anna Maria Island.

Off Anna Maria Island Dining and Restaurants

There are fantastic restaurants just off Anna Maria Island. A few are chain restaurants like Outback, Bone Fish, Olive Garden, Applebee’s and Carraba’s. If you are still looking for the Anna Maria Island “feel,” try Cortez Kitchen or Starfish Company as well as Anna Maria Oyster Bar.  Atlanta Bread Company, and Sweet Berries Frozen Custard Eatery are all conveniently located on Manatee Avenue. Always a favorite with the kids is of course Chuck E. Cheese. For a quick Mexican take out try Chipotle in Bradenton.  If you feel like venturing out into Sarasota try the very well known Columbia Restaurant.   Another great choices for Sarasota is Yoder’s which is an Amish based restaurant.  Yoder’s is well known for their pies.

Live Entertainment Taverns, Bars, and Restaurants

There are plenty of dining establishments on Anna Maria Island with live entertainment like SandBar, BeachHouse, Bridge Tender Inn, and D.Coy Ducks. We all need those vacation dollars to last so check out the top ten happy hours on Anna Maria Island list. It was hard work but someone had to find all of them!  Want more choices?  Our Anna Maria nightlife post lists bars, live music, billiards and more.  Check out our nightlife blog for more information.

Anna Maria Island is blessed to have so many wonderful dining choices. No matter where your Anna Maria vacation rental is located on the island, a great place to eat is a stones throw away. Cheers!

Similar Florida areas to Anna Maria Island – Captiva and Sanibel

Similar Florida areas to Anna Maria Island – Captiva and Sanibel

Over the years I have been asked what areas in Florida are most similar to Anna Maria Island. Vacation rental guests as well would ask, what is Anna Maria Island like compared to Sanibel, Captiva, Fort Myers Beach, Siesta Key and the list of areas with questions could go on and on. As our family continued residency on Anna Maria Island I would find our vacations would gravitate towards areas guests or real estate buyers would compare Anna Maria Island to. Below is a list of pros and cons from my personal visits to beach towns in Florida and Georgia. I hope my list helps to narrow down your potential vacation or Florida buying list even if it does not equate to business for Anna Maria Island. Of course, I don’t think there is any need to go further than a stay on Anna Maria Island but for sure biased!

East Coast of Florida –

Firstly, the sand on the East Coast of Florida is extremely different from the sand on the Gulf side of Florida. The sand on the East Coast is granular and more sand in color. The Gulf Coast has the consistency of confectionary sugar and white in color.

Jeckyll Island – is in Georgia on the East Coast. There are many hotels to choose from on Jeckyll Island and plenty of opportunities to stay right on the beach. Compared to Anna Maria Island, restaurants I feel are limited with about 12 – 15. If a hotel stay is more your style then Jeckyll could be a good choice. A great deal of the island is uninhabited.

Amelia Island – I am not sure I understand how Amelia is an island. Don’t get me wrong, I understand the definition of an island but this feels more like a mainland to me. The scope of Amelia is very large and has a similar feeling of Bradenton, FL for me than Anna Maria Island. I am sure there are plenty of folks that love Amelia Island as all the conveniences of the mainland are truly on Amelia because the island itself is so large. If you like Amelia Island then Bradenton, FL might be more your style. Of course, Bradenton does not have the shrimp like Amelia which Amelia is known for.

St. Augustine – is a fantastic spot to visit. There are beaches but honestly I would not visit St. Augustine if you are looking for lots of choices for beaches. St. Augustine is a historic area of Florida with lots of shopping, hotels and while most might call it commercialized I would call it quaint shopping. The holidays are a fabulous time to visit with their main square decorated in Christmas lights. I really don’t see a big connection with Anna Maria Island but if beaches are not your thing and history is, then this would be a great choice for a visit.

The rest of the East Coast of Florida – There are some small areas here and there but for the most part the East coast is more commercialized than Anna Maria Island. Lots of condominiums, hotels, restaurants, you name it, you are within minutes of finding anything and everything. I really don’t consider any towns similar to Anna Maria Island, a drive down A1A pretty much says it all.

Orlando – I don’t think much needs to be said here. Orlando is not close to a beach. The only reason I mention Orlando is a great deal of visitors from Europe twin center their vacation. The first week in Orlando then the second week on Anna Maria Island to relax.

West Coast of Florida –

The pan handle of Florida has similar sand as Anna Maria Island but most areas are high rise and fairly commercialized. Lots of choices of things to do but places like Panama City, Mexico Beach all have a similar commercial feeling. Again, lots of folks love these areas for all the choices available but even a Mexico Beach or Seaside does not have the same vibe. More of an outdoor mall feeling overall. Lot’s of chain stores, etc.

Cedar Key – This surprisingly comes up quite a bit. Cedar Key is quiet. Very quiet and honestly this is more like walking back in a time warp. The town has been well preserved however while on the Gulf Coast there are really not any impressive beaches. This is more of a fishing village than a beach town. Cedar Key is a good 30 minutes drive from any close large town. If you want to fish all the time with not much beach visits planned, this should be on your list to visit or buy at.

Clearwater, St. Pete Beach, Indian Rocks – These all have fantastic beaches. Mostly high rise with a street that travels along the beach. Lots of choices for things to do and will feel more like you are on a highway traveling the length of the beach then a small town feeling. Lots of choices for accommodations, both large and small. For sure more commercialized and for couples wanting more time out on the town, a popular choice.

Longboat Key – Longboat is the Southern island Anna Maria Island is attached to with a drawbridge. There are restaurant choices, great beaches and generally one street that travels North to South. Longboat is twice the length of Anna Maria Island with a few less restaurant choices than Anna Maria Island. There are high rise buildings on Longboat and travel is 2-3X that of Anna Maria Island to get to restaurants etc. Probably the best way to describe the difference other than the island length is I think Anna Maria Island has two-three gated areas. Longboat key probably has 50+ gated areas. It is more glitz and glamour than Anna Maria Island. If you care about the brand of clothing you are purchasing then LongBoat Key might be the right fit for you.

Siesta Key – Siesta village is similar in feel to Anna Maria Island. There are high rise on Siesta Key and the beaches are well known for very white sand. In addition, while a family destination, Siesta Key has a much stronger night life than Anna Maria Island. If beaches and a night life is what you are looking for then Siesta, Clearwater or St Pete Beach could be a perfect fit to your vacation.

Venice, Fort Myers Beach, Naples – High rise areas. Lots of condos, great beaches, feels more like you are on the mainland then a quaint island. Nothing wrong with these areas but you may need a vacation after your vacation. Real Estate supply higher so prices considerably lower than Anna Maria Island. Lots of choices for shopping and restaurants.

Manasota Key – Low rise, low attitude. The best way to describe Manasota Key is think Anna Maria Island in the 80’s. Very similar to Anna Maria Island, less restaurants but great beaches.

Marco Island – High rise area with lots of choices to be on the beach. A more commercialized feeling and you can pretty much get anything you want within a short drive. Pretty quick paced compares to Anna Maria Island. Real Estate due to significance of supply is much lower priced than Anna Maria Island and less rental income as relation to price.

Boca Grande – Here is where things get interesting. The vibe, low rise nature, very few hotels on Boca make it a contender for a comparison to Anna Maria Island. Definitely less restaurant choices than Anna Maria Island. Boca has a low rise attitude I would say but the real estate is at least 25% higher than Anna Maria Island. Anna Maria Island is well populated compared to Boca Grande. Boca has a small village with some shops but in about half an hour you have walked all the shops. My wife absolutely loves Boca but my biggest complaint is not many restaurant choices. Very quiet, I would say quieter than Anna Maria Island. If restaurants and shopping is not high on your list and you just want to relax and have no traffic and layout on the beach then this could be a great fit.

Captiva – Is a low rise island on the West Coast of Florida and attached to the mainland via Fort Myers and Sanibel. Captiva is at the North side of the island and very quiet. Similar to Boca Grande. Not as many restaurant choices and similar challenges to finding accommodations as Boca Grande. Great beaches and has a similar low rise vibe to Anna Maria Island. Real Estate due to the remoteness of the area is more expensive than Anna Maria Island but rental income is similar to Anna Maria. There is a large resort in Captiva along with Golf Course.

Sanibel – ding, ding, ding. What I feel to be the most similar area to Anna Maria Island. Lots of accommodations choices, restaurants, and things to do. Low rise feeling and the shops are not chain or very few chains. Great place to ride a bicycle and would even characterize as better than Anna Maria Island for bike riding. Fabulous beaches, a bit wider than Anna Maria Island and larger but very similar.

I hope my quick details of Florida vacation and real estate choices is an aid to your next Florida get-a-way. Do some more research but if you are looking for the most similar areas to Anna Maria Island then Sanibel, Captiva and Boca Grande would be high on my suggested list. Of course nothing compares to Anna Maria Island but a few beach towns are close.

Why You Should Book Your Florida Vacation Rental Directly with Island Real Estate

Why You Should Book Your Florida Vacation Rental Directly with Island Real Estate

Many of the individuals who choose Anna Maria Island as their next getaway want to find the perfect vacation rental home at the perfect price. In this day and age, Airbnb and other third-party booking sites are taking over the vacation rental industry by storm with many vacation rental homes to offer. When booking a vacation rental on Anna Maria Island through AirBNB or other similar platforms, it is easy to compare prices, and usually, there is a renter protection plan in place. Many love to be able to scroll through vast amounts of options and filter their searches. 

Lady on beach island real estate vs vrbo, flipkey, airbnb

So what’s the catch when it comes to renting from a third-party booking site? Fees and absent property owners. In the last couple of years, many third-party booking sites have seen a decrease in the number of rental properties they offer, as they have increased the fees needed to list the property on their website. This means that those looking to vacation on Anna Maria Island, and everywhere else, may miss out on some of the best vacation rentals due to them not wanting to pay an exorbitant third-party fee. Those that do keep their listings on third-party websites and apps have been forced to raise their nightly rates to compensate for the huge fees that are now being imposed on them. What was once a $150 a night vacation rental could nearly double to $300 a night due to exorbitant fees imposed by the third-party booking site.

Third-party booking sites inevitably show an affordably nightly rate, but at check out hundreds of dollars have been added to the price for their service and listing fees. Again, no one wants to have their heart set on a great vacation rental, and go through the booking process, just to find out that they actually can’t afford it right before they are supposed to pay. Altogether, many of the users on these third-party booking sites are becoming increasingly frustrated with the rising prices and multiple fees. 

Book Directly With Island Real Estate

Booking through the Island Real Estate website offers the same protections and options as most third-party booking sites – plus more personalized service and amenities. Anyone who visits our website can easily and quickly navigate through all our rental options, filter searches, and save tons of money at the same time. We do not trick our clients by adding extra fees at the end of the booking process – we show the price of our rental, fees included, right as you choose your dates.

Here are a few ways we make booking directly with us better than using a third-party booking site.

Direct Communication

Many of the homes and properties listed on Airbnb, VRBO, etc have owners or managers who live out of town, and the only way to contact them is through the app. This makes things difficult when there is an issue at the property such as appliances not working properly, the home is not cleaned properly, or sometimes the key code to get in doesn’t work. This means that they must contact the owner of the property through the app and hope they get the message, which is frustrating and takes away from the guest’s experience and vacation. It is extremely hard to assist guests when the property owners live halfway across the country or don’t see a message through an app. 

At Island Real Estate we are always available to answer questions or come to the property to make repairs as soon as possible. We are just a short phone call or text message away, which makes it easy for us to assist our guests with anything they may need. Our office and staff are all located on Anna Maria Island, and our main purpose is to provide all guests with the best vacation experience possible. Giving our guests direct access to us is one of the reasons why we have so many returning guests every year. 

House Rules & Regulations

Third-party booking sites usually have rules and regulations to follow, but when the owner lives far away it is very hard to enforce these rules. Many vacation properties have a no smoking policy, but the owner is not available to walk through the home after each guest leaves to ensure there was no smoking in the home – and they rely on a contracted cleaning crew to report policy and rule violations. The incoming guest will likely be impacted, and there’s nothing the homeowner or manager can do – as they don’t have many options but to ignore the issue or offer a discount. This creates a lesser experience for the next guest. Many times the cleaning company does not report these issues to the owner, therefore they do not realize the home needs repair.

Another issue is pet policies. Some vacation rentals on hube booking sites prohibit pets, but again there is no owner nearby to walk through after the guest leaves to ensure no pets were in the home. Future guests may be allergic to pet dander and choose pet-free rentals so they don’t have an allergic reaction. There is no way for a homeowner who lives across the country to check and make sure there is no pet hair in the home after the guest leaves. They can instruct their cleaning company to notify them, but that does not always happen. 

At Island Real Estate, we inspect every rental for damage, smoke, and pet fur after every guest leaves. We, unlike third-party companies, have the ability to keep an eye on all our rental properties and ensure our guests are following all rules and regulations. Not only do we inspect each vacation rental once the guest leaves, but we also have the ability to hold them accountable for violating the rules and regulations we have set. We are always on our guest’s side when they have issues with their rental or the neighbors. We strictly enforce parking and are not afraid to post notifications or even tow a car that is illegally parked in one of our guest’s spots. This is not true for vacation rentals booked through third-party sites. 

No Surprise Fees When You Book Your Reservation

Unlike all of the third-party booking sites, we do not have surprise fees that pop up at check out. Our fees and taxes are quoted immediately upon entering the dates for your getaway. We give an upfront cost with our fee and taxes included before any of our guests even give us their name. This ensures that none of our guests are blindsided by hundreds of dollars of extra fees later in their booking process. Island Real Estate is a company full of integrity, and our number-one priority is your comfort and happiness as you vacation on Anna Maria Island.

If you’re ready to choose your vacation rental – book directly with Island Real Estate and we’ll ensure you have everything you need to experience the vacation of a lifetime on Anna Maria Island.

How to Clean Seashells: Anna Maria Island Insider Tips

How to Clean Seashells: Anna Maria Island Insider Tips

Day 3 at your Anna Maria Island vacation rental and it is starting to resemble a seashore in its own right. Bags of moon snails, calico scallops, kittens paw, and banded tulips spill out onto the kitchen table as though they are trying to escape. You even managed to find a few of the elusive sand dollar and even one sea fan skeleton. There are at least two bags dedicated to the coquina shells because your daughter says “they look purply and I want to make necklaces for my friends”.

anna maria island seashell guide for vacation rental guests

Planning a trip to Anna Maria Island? Check out our amazing selection of beachfront Anna Maria Rentals and Anna Maria Vacation Rentals right in Anna Maria City!

It is a beautiful day and you have the window open to enjoy the smell of the ocean breeze when something less pleasant catches a ride on the air. After a moment of investigation, you realize that it is the bags of beach bounty that seems to be the source of the offending odor. Hmm, the obvious question, How to clean Seashells?

Have no fear, the pool water is here! I learned this on my first vacation to Anna Maria Island before we moved here. We had so many shells from Bradenton Beach that I think we paid twice the baggage fee on the way home!

If you’d like to rent a property from us near Bradenton Beach – you can find two of the best at South Beach Village # 115 and South Beach Village #111

How to clean Seashells? That same bucket you used to make the epic sand art earlier in the day can come in handy once again. Start by brushing most of the sand out, then rinsing with water to not get sand in the pool. Fill halfway with water from the pool, if you have a vacation rental with a pool, then simply add shells so that they are all completely immersed. Leave overnight and voila most of that ‘not quite the beach smell you like’ is gone!

No pool because you went for direct waterfront rental property? No worries. Some hydrogen peroxide and water from your local Publix at a 10:1 ratio in the same multipurpose bucket will also do the trick.

Fast forward to unpacking the luggage after the flight home. You now have your own personal collection of bubble shells, fighting conch, tritons trumpet, and yes, even lightning whelk. Because, as your son astutely pointed out, you didn’t have those ones yet.

As you sort through your treasures you find some perfect specimens. Alas, more often than not they have a bit of a green tinge and a crusty, leathery outer coating in places. That simply won’t do! You have big decorating plans for those shells. The good news is that there are simple ways to get those shells back to their former luster.

How to Clean Seashells

What You’ll Need:

Time: 5 minutes
Equipment: Bowl or Bucket
Tools: Soft Toothbrush
Cost: $5-$10


The eco friendly ways on How to clean Seashells

1~The miracle of Vinegar! Simple, easy and cheap. Poor a small amount of vinegar into a bowl or cup. Use a soft toothbrush saturated with the vinegar and gently scrub the shell. You may have to do this several times. Then wash with soap and water. Don’t soak in the vinegar though, it will cause a reaction between the acid in the vinegar and the calcium carbonate of the shells. The shells will actually dissolve. It is kind of fun to watch it happen to at least one though:-)

2~ Another cleaning wonder is hydrogen peroxide. Simply put the shells in a bowl and poor enough peroxide to sufficiently cover the shells and let soak for several hours or until a film covers the top. The peroxide has invasive properties making easy work of any bacterial cleanup. Rinse thoroughly and place to dry on a towel.

The not-so eco friendly ways on how to clean seashells

1~ Soak your seashells in a 50/50 solution of bleach and water. The length of time depends on the type of seashells and the number of seashells being cleaned. Just be sure to remove them when the periostracum (that crusty, leathery covering that I mentioned earlier) is gone. I am not a huge fan of bleaching because the shell can absorb the smell. It can also lighten the color. If you try bleaching your shells, try not to leave them in the solution too long.

2~ Without question muriatic acid is the fastest and easiest way to clean your shells. It will almost magically strip the shell of any barnacles or algae and bring the color to back to life! Use only glass jars and plastic tongs due to the caustic reaction with muriatic acid and metals. Wear gloves and eye protection. In your first jar place 3/4 of a cup of water and 1/4 of muriatic acid. Fill the second jar with plain water. Take the plastic tongs and dip in the first jar for about 3-4 seconds then immediately place into the jar with water and place on paper towel or rags to dry. Be careful not to splash any of the liquid onto your skin. It can cause a nasty little burn.

3~You can pick up muriatic acid at a local hardware store or pool supply company. Some states won’t allow you to flush hydrochloric acid unless you neutralize it first. Neutralize hydrochloric acid with baking soda. Wearing your protective garments and working in a ventilated area well away from children, pets, heat and metals, prepare a base mix. Mix 1 lb of baking soda with plenty of water. Slowly add the hydrochloric acid. The mixture will fizz. Add more baking soda until the fizzing stops. This means the hydrochloric acid is neutralized and can now be flushed down the sink with large quantities of water. I have only used this method once. It made me extremely nervous to work with such a strong acid.

Other Methods on how to clean seashells

There seem to be about a million and one ways to clean shells. My neighbor uses ants to remove any decaying material. I have heard that boiling works well. Some sites will tell you to bury them or freeze them. One of my friends puts her shells in the dishwasher. I have not tried any of those yet….. but you never know. If you know of another effective way please let me know by commenting below.

Now that you have a treasure trove of clean shells check our next blog at for suggestions on how to preserve them and some fabulous costal design tips using your new collection! If your wondering what seashells you may have in your collection check out Wikipedia’s page on seashells.

Why Choose Anna Maria Island For Your Next Florida Beach Vacation?

Why Choose Anna Maria Island For Your Next Florida Beach Vacation?

On this page Our Beaches, Our Transportation, Our Hospitality, Our Location, Our Entertainment Options, Our Beachfront Rental Selection

The sunshine state is filled with beautiful beaches and entertaining cities to spend your next vacation. With so many great choices it can be difficult to decide the best place to visit for your next beachfront vacation in Florida. Here at Island Real Estate, we offer amazing Anna Maria Island vacation rentals – and maybe we’re a little bit biased but we feel you can’t go wrong with a vacation on our gorgeous white sandy beach island. Here are all the reasons why you should choose Anna Maria Island for your next Florida vacation!

Anna Maria Island Beachfront Views
Anna Maria Island Beachfront Views

6 Reasons To Visit Anna Maria Island, FL For Your Next Vacation

Our Beaches

Set along the central part of Florida’s western gulf coast Anna Maria is a barrier island with multiple white sugary sand beaches. Stroll along the western shoreline dipping your toes in the water, let your children build beautiful sand dollar sandcastles, or just take in the gorgeous painted skies of our majestic sunsets. There are a number of beaches to choose from depending on whether you’re looking for something perfect for the family or something a little more private. Holmes Beach, Bradenton Beach, Coquina Beach, and Bean Point Beach all offer a fantastic way to spend your vacation. 

Our Transportation

Part of the charm of staying on Anna Maria Island is the fact that you can park your car at your Florida beach rental for the week and enjoy our quaint way of getting around the island. A free trolley that runs the length of the Island going from Anna Maria City Pier at the north end down to Coquina Beach at the southern tip makes it easy to travel around. On top of that there are numerous golf cart rental, bike rental, or even segway rental options as well. And the island has many biking and walking paths to make getting from one place to another a breeze. 

Our Hospitality

Because we are on an island off of the main strip we offer our guests good old-fashioned Florida hospitality. The residents of Anna Maria Island have fought hard to maintain the friendly yesteryear feel of Florida and welcome guests with open arms. We invite you to see for yourself how lovely staying on Anna Maria Island can be. 

Our Location

Not only does our gorgeous western Florida coast location give you the opportunity to view some of the best sunsets, because we are centrally located along Florida’s west coast, but Anna Maria Island is also only a short drive from the mainland where you can take in a Tampa Bay Lightning hockey game or Tampa Bay Rays baseball game, go golfing, visit nearby Sarasota for some excellent shopping, or if you’ve got the kids with you Disney World, Universal Studios, and Legoland are all only a few hours drive away.  

Our Entertainment Options

If you’re planning to stay on the Island all week there’s no shortage of ways to spend your time. Besides the many beaches Anna Maria Island has to offer we also have a number of other great entertainment options:

  • Picnic areas
  • A farmer’s market

See our ‘What To Do on Anna Maria Island’ page or our 7-day Anna Maria Island vacation itinerary and 3-day weekend Anna Maria Island vacation itinerary for even more ideas and information.

Our Beachfront Rental Selection

Whether you are looking for a beachfront property, a private home with a pool, a beach rental where you can bring your furry family members along, or a resort home big enough for a family reunion we’ve got you covered. Island Real Estate has a huge selection of Florida beachfront rentals and other vacation rentals on the island, perfect for all types of vacations. These stylish and well-maintained homes make sure that your Florida beach vacation is comfortable and relaxing. See our availability calendar and find your next vacation rental. 

Book Your Anna Maria Island Beachfront Vacation Rental Today

If you’re looking for beach houses for rent in Florida look no further. Anna Maria Island is the perfect place for your next beachfront vacation. With more than 50 years in the vacation rental business our team here at Island Real Estatel can help you find your next Florida vacation rental and answer any questions you might have about staying on the island. Contact our office today to speak with one of our friendly booking agents. Or you can give us a call at 877-778-6066

What A Satisfied Guest Says About Their Vacation With Island Real Estate on Google.

I rented a house for Thanksgiving week from Island Real Estate and it was perfect. I had searched for weeks on Airb&b and found the options lacking, and was so happy when I found Island Real Estate as they had better options at better prices. They were extremely responsive and COVID-safe, our check-in/out process was seamless and contact free, and the house/yard/spa were in great condition, almost brand new. Highly recommend renting from them if you’re looking to stay on AMI.
Keegan B.

The Waterfront Restaurant Has Bay Views in Anna Maria City

The Waterfront Restaurant Has Bay Views in Anna Maria City

Great view of  Tampa Bay and the Sunshine Bridge is only the beginning at this wonderful local seafood restaurant on Anna Maria Island.  The food choices at the Waterfront are fantastic.  From wonderful fresh soups and salads to gourmet meals, salmon and steak.  The Waterfront located in Anna Maria City also offers vegetarian choices as well that are made fresh and homemade right at the restaurant.  Waterfront of Anna Maria Island is famous for their delicious fish taco appetizer and outdoor seating taking advantage of the wonderful bay views.  The giant fish tank that separates the main dining room from the bar area is beautiful and adds charm to the dining experience.

The Waterfront restaurant also offers a wonderful  selection of beers and wine from all over the world.  UPDATE: The Waterfront now serves liquor and phenomenal cocktails.  If you are in the mood for something new, ask one of the friendly bartenders for some suggestions.  My wife loves the Jalapeno Margarita.

The wait staff of the waterfront in Anna Maria city is always inviting and prompt with their service. If you are in the mood for great service, great views of the bay, excellent food, this is the place for you to come as a family or as a couple.  One last note, try the lobster bisque, trust us, you wont be sorry.  It melts in your mouth.

The Waterfront Restaurant

Tripadvisor Reviews: 4.5Out of 501
Address: 111 S Bay Blvd Anna Maria, FL 34216

Phone: (941) 778-1515
Website: The Waterfront Restaurant
Menu: Waterfront Restaurant Menu

Cuisine: Gulf Coast Seafood & Fish

Price Range: $$
Accepts Reservations? yes
Driving Directions: Driving Directions – Google Maps

Visit the following link for more information on Anna Maria City Dining.

5 Things To Do With Older Kids While Visiting Anna Maria Island

5 Things To Do With Older Kids While Visiting Anna Maria Island

On this page Big Cat Sanctuary, Horseback Riding, Fishing, Mote Aquarium, Kayaking

Teenage angst doesn’t go away for vacation. We’ve all been there before. Being a teenager is frustrating, and raising a teenager is hard work. Frustration doesn’t end when the airplane door closes, and exhaustion and schedule upset don’t always bring the best attitudes. It’s hard to get a straight answer when asking any child what they would like to do. Honestly, they probably don’t know what they want to do when they are on vacation either. 

Kayaking with kids Near Anna Maria Island
Kayaking Near Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria Island has so much to offer families, including their teenagers. It’s hard to find things to do with kids on Anna Maria Island with just a simple google search. Therefore, we searched the whole island and surrounding areas for the best activities for teenagers to enjoy while on vacation. After all, if the kids aren’t enjoying their vacation, chances are their parents aren’t either. These activities are loads of fun, and inclusive for all age groups. Create some beautiful memories with your toddler, tween, or teenager through these Anna Maria Island adventures! 

Big Cat Habitat Gulf Coast Sanctuary

This is an adventure that teens and younger children will not want to miss out on. Big Cat Habitat is located in Sarasota, Florida which is an easy 50-minute drive from Anna Maria Island. 

This growing large cat sanctuary is the perfect place to spend the day having some educational fun. They are a non-profit business, so all admission fees go straight to feeding and caring for all the wonderful animals that currently call this sanctuary home. Inside the sanctuary, families will be in a state of awe after experiencing the tigers, lions, bears, primates, petting zoo,  and much more! Nobody leaves the Big Cat Habitat Gulf Coast Sanctuary without being completely satisfied with their experience. Visitors also help significantly with rehabilitation and saving the lives of many animals through their admission fees.

Big Cat Habitat is open Wednesday through Sunday from 12 pm – 4 pm. Don’t forget to purchase tickets before heading to the sanctuary 

Horseback Riding On The Beach 

Anna Maria Island is already a magical place for families to visit. To completely feel like they are on a fairytale vacation, visitors always love to go horseback riding on the beaches.  Additionally, visitors love to stay in a vacation rental rather than a hotel so they can watch the horseback riders along the beach while they relax!

This unique family experience is usually a once-in-a-lifetime experience for most vacationers. This is the best way to fully experience the island outside of a motor vehicle. Enjoy the endless ocean views, pristine beaches, and the ride of a lifetime by choosing to go horseback riding on Anna Maria Island’s fantastic beaches. 

We do recommend reserving your spot ahead of time. Doing so will ensure that the opportunity is available to the whole family. Here are a few places on Anna Maria Island that offer horseback riding:

C Ponies Horseback Riding

Florida Beach Horses

Guided Day Fishing Trip 

This is the best way to get out on the water and enjoy some fishing! Many believe that this is only a “boys” activity, but in fact, it is fun for the WHOLE family. On these guided fishing trips, vacationers could see dolphins, whales, sharks, seals, and many more different types of marine life. Being on the open water is calming, and offers stunning views of Anna Maria Island that visitors otherwise would not be able to enjoy. 

Guided day fishing trips can be catch and release or catch and eat. Grouper is a very common favorite amongst the locals, and catching one is the greatest experience. The guides on the fishing trip will help bait, reel, and are very informative and fun to be around. This is essential for children and teens to have fun! They don’t have to worry about knowing HOW to fish, because the guides will teach them and be there every step of the way. Grouper, swordfish, tarpon, redfish, and many more can be caught during a fishing trip on the Gulf Coast. The warm waters also provide a more enjoyable experience than fishing trips in the Atlantic or Pacific oceans. 

Make sure to make reservations in advance, otherwise, there might not be any availability to go on a guided fishing trip. Here are a few guided fishing companies to choose from:

Just Kickin Back Charters

AMI Charters

Fishing With Salty

Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium

This gorgeous facility and its staff are heavily focused on research and education. Although their research originally focused on sharks, it has expanded to include marine models for studies of human cancer, the effects of human-made and natural toxic substances on humans, the environment, and the health of wild fisheries. Its mission is to develop sustainable fish restocking techniques, food production technologies, and ocean technology to shed light on the health of our environment.

The Mote Aquarium features many different exhibits for families to enjoy such as the Shark Zone, Florida Watershed, Manatees, and Otters & Their Rivers.  One of the most talked-about exhibits is the Megaladon Jaw & Fossil Creek which takes visitors back in time to learn about prehistoric marine life.

Tickets can be purchased online or at the door! 


Kayaking in the gorgeous waters of Anna Maria Island is one of the most amazing experiences that visitors and their children can experience. Whether vacationers rent their kayaks and go on an adventure with the family, or they choose a guided kayaking day trip there’s a kayak adventure for everyone. 

There are plenty of places to rent kayaks for a half or a whole day for the whole family. Additionally, there are plenty of calm waters to enjoy kayaking through around Anna Maria Island. We recommend kayaking in Anna Maria Sound or Bimini Bay! It’s important to be away of the Florida Kayaking Regulations before setting out on an adventure with the family. Following these regulations will ensure the whole family is safe, and no violations are taking place. 

Guided kayak trips are phenomenal experiences for families to enjoy. There are guided mangrove tours that weave through the local mangroves of Anna Maria Island. Manatees, rare species of birds, and dolphins are just a few species of animals vacationers will see as they peacefully cruise through the mangroves. 

Make sure to reserve the guided kayak trip a couple of days in advance or before setting out on vacation to ensure the opportunity is available. Here are a few of the best-guided kayak tour companies:

Happy Paddler Kayak Tours & Ecoventures

Beach Bums Recreational Rentals & Tours

AMI Kayak Tours

If you’re bringing your family with older kids to Anna Maria Island, where you spend your precious vacation time is the most important part. These activities can be sprinkled between leisurely days at your beachfront vacation rental provided by our expert team at Island Real Estate. Book your getaway online today. Questions? Contact us today.

What A Happy Guest Says About Island Real Estate Vacations on Google

My entire family absolutely loved the condo we rented on the beach from Island Real Estate! Our accommodations were fabulous! The place was newer – maybe only 5-8 years old, clean and well cared for, and very much like home, just like they promised! Our patio faced the ocean over the fenced pool area with a gate leading out to the beach. I would DEFINITELY rent this place again, and loved working with Island Real Estate – such friendly people! You won’t be sorry.
Susan C.

Beach Bistro – Fine Dining Anna Maria Island

Beach Bistro – Fine Dining Anna Maria Island

The Beach Bistro is a fantastic restaurant that offers a dining experience to remember. The dining experience requires 4 courses regardless of your appetite. Reservations are strongly recommended, but you can also try to grab a seat at the bar.  The Beach Bistro bar has a little more limited menu.  If you are looking for a romantic spot with limited gulf views and price is no option then we strongly recommend the Beach Bistro.  Average meal prices are well over $80, so be sure you are comfortable with their prices.

Younger children are welcome, but are not recommended if you plan on having a long dining experience.  The Beach Bistro has mostly indoor dining but as the seasons allow they provide outdoor dining in the sand.  If you want outdoor dining be sure it is open during the time you wish to visit.  Parking can be a bit of a challenge but if you can find a “legal” spot go for it otherwise be sure to use their valet parking.  One additional note, the seating for two is normally fairly intimate so be prepared to get to know your neighboring diners.

Beach Bistro

The Bistro is located in Holmes Beach, FL on Anna Maria Island.

6600 Gulf Drive
Holmes Beach, FL 34217

Phone Number: (941) 778-6444
Menu: Four course menu
Hours: Please check their website for the most accurate hours.

Cuisine: Gulf Coast Seafood, American

Price Range: $$$
Takes Reservations: Yes

Get Directions from your Current Location

Anna Maria Island Vacation rentals within a walk from the Beach Bistro

Want a vacation rental close to the Beach Bistro?  Buena Vista unit 3 and unit 4 are adjacent to the Beach Bistro.  Literally right next door, walk over in the sand to a perfect dining experience.

Hurricane Hanks is a Casual Restaurant With Great Food & Cocktails

Hurricane Hanks is a Casual Restaurant With Great Food & Cocktails

Hurricane Hanks is located in central Holmes Beach.  It is a great restaurant for lunch or dinner and is a favorite among locals.  The pub like restaurant is located at the cross roads of Marina and Gulf Drive.  If you want to slip some shopping into the dining experience there are several stores within walking distance.

Hanks is a pub style restaurant that is open for lunch & dinner.  It has a full bar available and right next door is Hurricane Hank’s liquors.  As the evening sets in the pub becomes more of a bar atmosphere than a restaurant.  By no stretch of the imagination does that mean it becomes unruly, still very appropriate for a late night family dinner. 

So what can you expect on the Hurricane Hanks menu? Let us fill you in; 
Hanks lunch menu consists of sandwiches, American entrees and burgers. The burgers are great and they have a wonderful diversity of appetizers.  Hurricanes has some great seafood, pub food and Hanks offers some of the most consistently good food on Anna Maria Island.  

So next time you are in town, check out Hurricane Hanks. Bring the whole family too! Hanks is a great family-friendly restaurant that everyone will enjoy. And don’t forget to bring the party home by stopping next door at Hurricane Liquors!

If you are looking to stay longer term and visit Hurricane Hanks on a daily basis then our Holmes Beach Martinique vacation rental, or the Buena Vista condo beach resort may be the perfect fit.