6 Things to Know About Bradenton Beach

Bradenton Beach – Traveling to the southern portion of Anna Maria Island brings you into the quiet bustling city of Bradenton Beach. This area of the island also offers miles of public beaches with parking, Historic Bridge Street for sightseeing and shopping, and great dining opportunities with both family fun and a nightlife. Read on to learn six things you might not know about Bradenton Beach.

1. History

Originally called Cortez Beach for its proximity to the fishing village of Cortez, the area became Bradenton Beach during the 1920’s land boom. It’s believed that inland developers gave it the name Bradenton Beach, so potential buyers would think the Beach and the city of Bradenton were next to each other rather than seperated by Cortez Fishing Village and Palma Sola. The city was incorporated in 1953.

Bradenton Beach’s Historic Bridge Street Pier is the site of the original, and first bridge connecting the island to the mainland. The first Bridge was wooden, and built in 1922. By the 1940’s the Bridge became rickety with wind and waves making the structure sway. It’s said that when cars went over the old bridge the wooden boards would bounce making a banging noise like a shot gun (Norwood 181). A new bridge was built in 1957 making access to the island much safer and easier.

The Historic Bridge Street Pier, now a days, offers excellent fishing, sightseeing over Sarasota Bay, a delicious restaurant with a view, shops and public day docks.

Historic Bridge
The First Bridge to Anna Maria Island built in 1922.

2. Sightseeing and Activities

There are also many beautiful places to sightsee on Bradenton Beach including the Bradenton Beach City Pier, quaint Bridge Street, Coquina Beach bike path and Leffis Key. Rent a segway from Bridge Street rental company Segs by the Sea, and cruise around the city with ease.

When looking for activities on Bradenton Beach enjoy miniature golf on Bridge Street, or head over to the Tingley Memorial Library. This unique library is independent of the Manatee County Library system, and offers annual memberships for $4.

When visiting the island, especially during high season, you may want to consider using the free trolley to get around. Parking is limited in busy areas of the island, and battling traffic does not lend to a relaxing paradise getaway. The free trolley runs usually every 20 minutes taking you along almost the entire island.

Sarasota Bay sightseeing
There are great sightseeing opportunities in Bradenton Beach like this view of Sarasota Bay and the Cortez Bridge seen from Leffis Key.

3. Beaches

Bradenton Beach offers about a three mile strip of public beach with parking along the Gulf of Mexico. Many of these beach areas offer public parking making it a popular place for enjoying the shore on Anna Maria Island. To the far south is Coquina Beach with restrooms, concessions, showers, parking, picnic tables, walking path, playground, and life guards. Heading north through Bradenton Beach along the gulf brings you to Cortez Beach. Cortez Beach does not offer the same amenities, but does have plenty of parking, and an old Florida beach feel. There are three erosion groins located in an area locals call “Three Piers” this area separates Coquina and Cortez Beach, and is said to be a great surfing spot.

Coquina Beach
Coquina Beach is the southern most gulf beach on Anna Maria Island. In the background of this image you can see the 2015/2016 construction of the new erosion groins to keep south end beaches intact.

4. Events and Markets

Bradenton Beach offers one seasonal market perfect for finding local made items, art, gifts and produce. Happening on Sunday, The Coquina Beach Market is a great way to enjoy the island on a Sunday Funday Morning.

Bradenton Beach Markets
Coquina Beach Market

5. Shopping

In addition to the fabulous Seasonal Markets there are great little shops in Bradenton beach offering swim wear, beach gear, home items, art, jewelry, gifts and more. Find out about Shopping on Anna Maria Island here.

Back Alley
There are great shops on Bridge Street like Back Alley where you can find local made and hand made art, jewelry, gifts and refreshments. Photo Credit: Back Alley Facebook Page.

6. Dining

On the south end of Anna Maria Island you’ll find some really fabulous Restaurants. Find any type of dining experiences for all meals of the day, casual or fine dining, and dining with a beach or bay view. You’ll even find a few places open late on Bridge Street if you are looking for a little night life. Click on the links below for suggestions.

Bradenton Beach Bridge Tender Inn
The Bridge Tender restaurant offers great food with a beautiful view of Sarasota Bay and the Bradenton Beach City Pier.

 

Blue Marlin
Wicked Cantina
The Island Spice
Bridge Tender Inn
Beach House Restaurant
The Freckled Fin
French Table
Island Time
Joe’s Eats and Sweets
Sharky’s

Bradenton Beach Pier
Bradenton Beach City Pier 2016.

Now that you know these six tips, enjoy your Bradenton Beach vacation like a local!

 

Bradenton Beach Accommodations

Looking for the perfect Anna Maria Island vacation accommodations on south end? Island Real Estate almost 300 great rentals across the island!

Bradenton Beach Vacation Rental
The Bay View Inn is a 4 unit complex two blocks from Bridge Street, and just a short walk to both gulf and bay side Bradenton Beach. These 1 Bedroom units sleep 4 guests and were updated and redecorated in late 2015. Click on the image to see these adorable island style rentals.

 

Works Cited:

Norwood, Carolyne. Anna Maria Island 1940-1970 Tales of Three Cities from Bean Point to Bridge Street. Anna Maria Island: Anna Maria Island Historical Society. 2010.

 

Anna Maria Island Seagulls – Don’t Feed Us

Anna Maria Island Seagulls are so cute and friendly, but don’t feed them! While it may seem fun, feeding gulls is harmful to both people and birds.

Don’t Feed Anna Maria Island Seagulls

Just about everyone is guilty of feeding birds. However, few know the real impact of the action. When you are sitting on the beach relaxing, and a gull stops by, it’s easy to toss a piece of snack at them. They will beg you. They will stand on the sand and look you straight in the face, but don’t give in!

Feeding Gulls makes them ill.

Naturally gulls forage, hunt and scavenge for food. They have a diverse diet consisting of fish, mollusks, insects, reptiles, rodents and just about anything meaty they can get their beak on. Typically when people feed gulls, they offer up human food like french fries and potato chips. These types of food aren’t even good for humans, so you can be sure they are harmful to sea birds. Without proper nutrition, Gulls can become sick and weak. A people diet can actually kill these feathered friends.

Anna Maria Island Seagulls.
Don’t feed Anna Maria Island Seagulls.

Feeding Gulls changes their natural instinct.

Gulls play an important part in their environment by cleaning up bits of detritus from beaches. They won’t do their job if they are given handouts of people food.

Instinctively birds tend to be afraid of humans, but become too friendly when hand fed. Not only do they loose their fear of humans, but they become aggressive toward us. Gulls will dive bomb people and steal food right out of their hand. This is a direct consequence of human interaction. There is nothing worse than a family trip to the beach spoiled by a gull nabbing the ice cream out of a kids hand.

In some instances these birds become extremely aggressive causing people to throw rocks and objects at the birds to scare them away. Obviously this is animal abuse, and could have been avoided completely. Birds that are not scared of people also run a higher risk of being injured by cars, fishing gear, boats and other human made obstacles.

Birds fed human food have a tougher time differentiating between real food and objects. Subsequently, gulls will try to eat plastics, garbage and other non-food items.

Anna Maria Island Seagulls
They might be cute, but feeding Seagulls is harmful to their health.

Feeding Seagulls has a negative impact on ALL species of birds.

When birds become accustomed to hand feeding they will congregate in larger groups than they naturally would do. This has an impact on increasing the spread of bird diseases. Populations of all birds are vulnerable to disease. Avian Pox is spread by an increase in birds having direct physical contact, especially when competing for food.

Additionally, these inflated groups of Gulls can have a harmful impact on all nesting shorebirds. Gulls prey on eggs and baby birds. It’s natural for a few eggs and baby birds to fall prey to a Seagull. However, these large swarms of gulls, attracted by people, can take out entire nesting colonies of birds such as Terns, Plovers and Skimmmers. A large group of Seagulls can also take out an entire nest of hatchling Sea Turtles making their way to the water’s edge.

Anna Maria Island Seagulls
Never chase groups of birds on the beach. It causes them great stress especially during nesting season.

What to do if you get swarmed?

If you encounter a swarm of aggressive gulls, first, hide all food. Seagulls even know what a potato chip bag looks like! Get all food out of sight. Any food that falls on the ground needs to be picked up or buried under sand. Once all food is away, stand up and slowly start walking towards the birds in an attempt to disburse them. Chasing birds stresses them out, so move slowly and confidently. Do not wave your hands around as they may think you are offering them food. Once the gulls move on you can bring your food back out.

Anna Maria Island Seagulls.
Feeding Seagulls makes them aggressive.

Feeding Gulls – It’s just plain rude!

While feeding Seagulls is not illegal in the state of Florida, it is extremely rude. Gull feeding frenzies are disruptive to beach goers and is inconsiderate to both humans and birds.

On your next trip to the beach, don’t feed Anna Maria Island Seagulls! Don’t just take our word! Read what the University of Florida has to say about feeding wildlife!

Anna Maria Island Seagulls
People who feed Seagulls are RUDE!

Top 15 Anna Maria Island Beach Rentals 2017

Here is our list of the top 15 Anna Maria Island beach rentals to visit in 2017! While this list includes a variety of different types of accommodations they all make our favorites list.

Top 15 Anna Maria Island Beach Rentals

How did these beach rentals make our list? All of these accommodations have a gold or platinum rating. They also have updated style and are in great locations across the island’s three cities. While some of these homes are new, we did include our favorite Old Florida beach cottages too. You are sure to find the best destination with our list of the top 15 Anna Maria Island Beach Rentals!

A Sassy Seahorse

A Sassy Seahorse is a bright and lively vacation rental just a short walk from both Tampa Bay and Bean Point beaches. This elevated home sleeps up to six guests with two bedrooms. During you stay enjoy the heated pool and spa along with the fun Tiki hut.

Top 15 Anna Maria Island Beach Rentals
A Sassy Seahorse in Anna Maria.

You’ll not only be close to the beach but you can walk to the City Pier for dining and sightseeing too! Pets up to 50 pounds welcome with pet fee.

Anna Maria Beach rental
A fun and colorful Anna Maria beach rental!

Fernweh

Fernweh is an updated rental less than two blocks from the beach, and close to shopping and dining. Here you’ll enjoy coastal style decor in cool blues great for any sensibility. Fernweh has a lovely open floor plan for entertaining up to eight guests. Relax in the heated pool and spa, or lounge on one of the balconies.

beach rental
Fernweh in Holmes Beach.

You’ll find this four bedroom home leaves no amenities to be wanted for a luxury vacation experience!

Anna Maria Island beach rental
Relax and unwind at Fernweh

Bradenton Beach Club B

Find a luxury destination directly on the beach when you visit Bradenton Beach Club B. Not only will you have gorgeous views, but you’ll be close to shops, restaurants and free trolley stops too! This home sleeps up to 6 guests with two bedrooms and a comfortable tropical style decor.

Bradenton Beach Rental
Bradenton Beach Club B in Bradenton Beach.

Enjoy the heated pool overlooking the beach while soaking up the sun.

Bradenton Beach rental
Gorgeous direct beach front views!

Sugaree

You will love the style of Sugaree! This two bedroom, two bathroom elevated duplex sleeps six guests just a block from gulf beaches. At Sugaree you’ll enjoy the private heated pool and outdoor space too.

Holmes Beach Rental Anna Maria Island
Sugaree in Holmes Beach

When you visit this well-appointed vacation rental you are sure to find everything you need for a comfortable stay in paradise.

Holmes Beach Rental
Great updated duplex Sugaree!

Blue Bayou

Blue Bayou is a lovely canal front home just a short walk from gulf beaches. Everything about this rental is updated and new with great amenities. Inside the decor is stylish with a sophisticated beach feel. Sleep up to six guests with three bedrooms.

Anna Maria canal front vacation
Blue Bayou in the city of Anna Maria.

You’ll love the heated pool and spa nestled in lush backyard. Bring your boat on this Anna Maria vacation, as Tampa Bay is just a few minutes ride through the canal.

Anna Maria canal front rental
Great canal front luxury rental.

Wine Down

Wine Down offers an unforgettable luxury vacation right on the beaches of Anna Maria Island. Everything is special about this updated four bedroom gulf front home. All of the bedrooms have a private bathroom along with a tasteful use of bright colors in the decor. Enjoy the heated pool and spa and beach views from the living room and upstairs master suite.

Holmes Beach direct gulf front rental
Wine Down in Holmes Beach.

Relax in the backyard around the fire pit as you watch the island’s stunning sunsets.

Direct Gulf front Holmes beach rental
The vacation spot of your dreams!

A Pirate’s Cove

A Pirate’s Cove is a wonderfully updated 1950’s cottage just a block from gulf beaches. Here you’ll find old Florida charm perfectly blended with a modern trendy style.

Bradenton Beach Cottage Rental
A Pirate’s Cove

A Pirate’s Cove has a heated pool and lovely backyard space. Sleep up to six guests in this fantastic two bedroom cottage near shopping, dining and free trolley stops too.

Bradenton Beach vacation rental
Trendy meets Old Florida and close to the beach!

Le Paradis

Le Paradis is a one of a kind beach rental just a short walk to gulf beaches. This home is decorated in crisp whites throughout for a high end, but relaxed beach feel. Spaciously sleep six guests with three bedrooms at Le Paradis. This elevated home has a wrap around screened lanai overlooking the heated pool and backyard lounge chairs.

Top 15 Anna Maria Island Beach Rentals in Anna Maria
Le Paradis in the city of Anna Maria.

Access the loft like upstairs by the spiral staircase where you’ll find the bedrooms and an open balcony.

Anna Maria Vacation rentals
Crisp white decor and huge windows make for an airy beach feel at Le Paradis.

Fish House

Fish House mixes a luxurious style with an old fish camp feel for a unique Anna Maria vacation. Right on the canal, you’ll find a rustic beach style through the home with custom features everywhere. Enjoy the heated pool and spa, nautical bunk room great for kids, and high end bathrooms.

beach rental in the city of Anna Maria
Fish House in the city of Anna Maria.

The boat dock offers a boat lift, and quick access to great fishing in Tampa Bay. Sleep up to eight guests comfortably in this three bedroom home.

Anna Maria fishing retreat
Luxury meets rustic fishing retreat at the Fish House!

Vista Grande 3 Penthouse

Vista Grande 3 Penthouse will have you falling in love with luxury living. Enjoy million dollar direct beach front views during your stay. Everything here is top of the line with Mediterranean style architecture, and balcony access from all three bedrooms.

Holmes Beach Luxury rental
Vista Grande 3 Penthouse in Holmes Beach.

Accommodating six guest, every detail is high end. While the beach is your backyard, you’ll also enjoy the heated pool and spa at this exclusive condo complex.

Holmes Beach Luxury rentals
Million dollar views and an exclusive beach front location!

Starfish Beach 4

Starfish Beach 4 is nestled in a popular complex of cottages just a block from gulf beaches. Updated end of 2016 this beach rental has great features and an adorable beachy style. Great care was taken in the remodeling of this cozy two bedroom vacation destination.

Holmes Beach cottage rental
Starfish Beach 4 in Holmes Beach.

Sleep up to six guests and enjoy the heated community pool during your stay.

Holmes Beach villa rental
Recently updated accommodates six guests.

Palm Beach House

Palm Beach House is the perfect place for a family vacation. Offering four bedrooms you’ll have more space than you’ll need for your eight guests. Not only does this home offer a heated pool, but you’ll love the ping pong table and all the great family friendly activities here too. Walk to gulf beaches, shops, restaurants and free trolley stops.

Anna Maria beach rental
Palm Beach House in the city of Anna Maria.

Even pets are welcome to tag along at Palm Beach House.

Family Friendly Anna Maria beach rental
The perfect Family Friendly Anna Maria vacation rental!

Sea Song

Sea Song is a cozy beach front cottage sleeping up to six guests. There’s nothing more Floridian than experiencing an old beach cottage vacation. Inside you’ll find everything you’ll along with cute popping colors.

Direct beach front Anna Maria
Sea Song in the city of Anna Maria.

Sea Song is situated on the coveted northern tip of Anna Maria Island with beautiful Gulf of Mexico beaches. Relax and unwind at this great direct beach rental.

Anna Maria beach front rental
Gorgeous cozy beach cottage.

Casa Bonita

When you visit Casa Bonita you’re sure to know you have found one of Anna Maria Island’s best canal front rentals. Well-appointed this luxury home is just a short walk to gulf beaches. Sleep up to eight guests with four bedrooms, and all the amenities you expect from a high end getaway.

Anna Maria Island Top 15 Beach Rentals
Casa Bonita in the city of Anna Maria.

Enjoy the heated pool and spa, custom kitchen with gas stove, and tons of outdoor entertaining areas.

Anna Maria Luxury rental
While visiting Casa Bonita you’ll find a luxury destination.

Dream Maker

Last on our list of Top 15 Anna Maria Island Beach Rentals is Dream Maker! A unique vacation rental with great natural lighting and floor to ceiling windows this is a lovely spot. You’ll feel like you’ve found a luxury tree house in this elevated rental.

Anna Maria beach rental salt water pool
Dream Maker in the city of Anna Maria.

Dream Maker is just a short walk to secluded Bean Point beaches, and also offers a heated salt water pool. This three bedroom home sleeps up to six guests with everything you’ll want from a Florida vacation!

Top 15 Anna Maria Island beach rentals
During your visit enjoy the heated Salt water pool.

Plan the perfect paradise vacation today with one of these Top 15 Anna Maria Island beach rentals! Book now with IslandReal.com.

Top 5 Anna Maria Island Coffee Shops – Grab a Cup of Joe!

If you are looking for Coffee Shops in Anna Maria Island this list is for you! Grab your morning pick me up and enjoy a caffeinated day on island time!

Top 5 Coffee Shops in Anna Maria Island

This list is organized by location from north to south Anna Maria Island. While there are many places to get coffee, the businesses here are the closest thing you’ll find to a Starbucks-style coffee shop.

The Donut Experiment

The Donut Experiment is a must during a visit to Anna Maria. Not only to they offer made to order donuts, but they have great coffee too! Typically you will find their house blend along with a daily flavored coffee. Also enjoy some of the island’s tastiest espresso based drinks. Find them at 210 Pine Avenue next to Poppo’s Tacos. Open 7am to 1pm daily.

Coffee Shop Anna Maria Island
The Donut Experiment is the quintessential coffee and donuts shops.

Island Coffee Haus

There are now two Island Coffee Haus locations with one at 317 Pine Avenue and one at 5350 Gulf Drive. These shops have just about everything you would want from a java shop. Find coffees, teas, smoothies and lite breakfast type options such as oatmeal and bagels.

Ginny’s and Jane E’s

Ginny and Jane E’s is a unique cafe and shop serving breakfast and lunch. Not only can you find coffee and specialty drinks here, but they have beer, wine and Mimosas too. Locals love to grab a coffee and read the paper in front of this cute shop. Find them at 9807 Gulf Drive in the city of Anna Maria.

Anna Maria Island Coffee Shops
Find a funky fun atmosphere and an easy quick place to grab coffee too!

 Dunkin Donuts

While you won’t find many chain stores and restaurants on Anna Maria Island there is a Dunkin Donuts Baskin Robbins in Holmes Beach. Find it at 3302 East Bay Drive.

Back Alley Treasures

Back Alley is a fun coffee shop with local art, jewelry, clothes and gifts. In addition to coffee drinks you’ll find on the go breakfast type items, pie and sandwiches. Back Alley has a great wine and beer selection too. Sit at their cute counter indoors or find a seat outside while you people watch on Bridge Street.

Anna Maria Island Coffee Shops
Back Alley Treasures offers local and handmade art and more.

Regina Wreck Sugar Barge – Anna Maria Island

The Regina Wreck is a great spot for those looking to snorkel or scuba dive around Anna Maria Island. While close to shore, this sunken ship is easy to access and great for any skill level.

Regina Wreck State Underwater Archaeological Preserve

The Regina Wreck became part of the national register of historical places in 2005. Also know as the sugar barge or molasses barge, the Regina is a great Anna Maria Island attraction. You’ll find the wreck about 75 yards off shore in no more than 20 feet of water. This site is great for snorkeling, scuba diving and free diving. You can charter a dive with Sea Kat Divers in Bradenton Beach.

Once in the water you’ll find a variety of tropical fish, conchs, sea urchins, sand dollars and native marine life. Because this is a State Preserve; collection, excavation or disturbance of the site is illegal. Those diving with a Florida Fishing license may collect up to two species of live shells. However, restrictions apply to some native species all together. Manatee County has more rigid shell collection regulations than other parts of Florida. Please read the link here for additional information.

The Regina sunk in 1940. The wreck has been beaten with tides, sand and storms over the years. Therefore, you may not see it until right over top depending on visibility. Today,  a great deal of sand covers the Regina. You will only see parts of the over 200 foot long ship remains.

Regina Wreck Sugar Barge
Sugar Barge remains map.

How the Regina Sunk

The Regina was built in 1904 for the Cuban Molasses Transportation Company based out of Havana. On March 5th in 1940 She left Havana bound for New Orleans under the tow from the tugboat Minima. The Regina carried 350,000 gallons of molasses. Two days into it’s trip, a cold front swept through the Gulf of Mexico bringing 8-12 foot waves. The boats were pushed closer and closer to shore despite effort to correct course. Looking for shelter, the Minima headed for Tampa Bay.

Near Egmont Key, north of Anna Maria Island, the Minima’s tow lines broke. This left the Molasses caring ship to drift helplessly down the gulf coast toward Anna Maria Island. Eventually the Regina hit a sandbar off Bradenton Beach where it became stranded in the storm. The ship began to break apart as rough winds and waves smashed into it.

The Rescue begins

On March 8th a Bradenton Beach local spotted the stranded ship, and notified the St. Petersburg Coast Guard. The ship was about 200 yards off shore, but the eight crew members couldn’t abandon ship due to the high waves. The crew huddled in the flooded broken ship. Locals built fires on the beach in an effort to let the crew know help was on the way. Coast Guard rescue craft, the Nemesis, tried unsuccessfully to rescue the crew. Next, a line throwing gun was transferred to the Nemesis. Several attempts were made, but the line fell short. At day break a sea plane dropped life jackets to the crew, but they only washed ashore.

Spectators gathered on the beach. One of the crew members and his dog jumped off the boat while a man from the mainland swam toward him with a lifeline. Unfortunately this crew mate never made it to shore.

A yachting dingy made it to the ship with life preservers, and was able to take one member from the ship. The dingy capsized close to shore, and locals made a human chain to assist the two back to safety. Locals increased efforts with the dingy to finish the rescue.

Read more about the rescue of the Regina Crew here.

With an interesting history, the Sugar Barge is a unique Anna Maria Island experience. If you are looking for a great place to see fish and history, this underwater preserve is a must.

 

Historic Bridge Street Anna Maria Island

Historic Bridge Street is a quaint strip of restaurants and shops on the south end of Anna Maria Island. Once the site of the first bridge connecting the island to mainland Bradenton, Bridge Street is still a special place. Check out our list of things to know about Bridge Street.

Historic Bridge Street
Find tons of things to do on Historic Bridge Street! Try fishing from the pier.

Historic Bridge Street – Bradenton Beach City Pier

At the very end of Bridge Street you’ll find the Bradenton Beach city pier. Here you’ll enjoy views of Sarasota Bay as you walk along the site of the original bridge to the island. After many updates the pier still stands today. Now you can find great fishing, a bait shop and the Anna Maria Oyster Bar restaurant.

Shopping on Bridge Street

You’ll also find great shopping when you visit Bridge Street. You’ll find gifts, local art, jewelry while visiting the strip. While shopping stop in for a massage and spa treatment and Searenity beach spa and eco-boutique. For additional information about shops visit the Bridge Street Merchants website.

Dining and Nightlife

There are a variety of places to dine on Bridge Street including casual, high end and breakfast too. Enjoy The Blue Marlin, Island Creperie, and the Bridge Street Bistro to name a few. For the nightlife scene you can visit Bridge Tender Inn, Island Time Bar and Grill, or even the Drift Inn. You’ll find these places open a little later than the average island establishment.

Happenings and Events

Throughout the year you’ll find different things to do on Bridge Street. The local Merchants host several events such as Christmas on Bridge Street, pubic art shops and the occasional market.

Nearby Accommodations and Beach Rentals

There are many great Anna Maria Island Beach rentals near Bridge Street. You’ll find cottages, condos and single family homes available in Bradenton Beach.

Anna Maria Island beach rentals Bradenton Beach
Bermuda Bay Club unit 25 is just a short walk from gulf beaches with accommodations for up to 6 guests! Click on the image to book your stay at Bermuda Bay Club!

 

Anna Maria Island Fall Tourist Guide

The Anna Maria Island fall tourist guide is a great resources for visitors and locals alike! After a hot summer, fall welcomes cooler weather and fun activities! Along with these great activities, also check out suggested Fall family beach rentals.

Anna Maria Island Fall Tourist Guide

Here are our top eight things to do, and know during Fall on Anna Maria Island. Furthermore, find out why this is a fantastic time of year to plan an Anna Maria Island beach vacation!

Anna Maria Island Fall Tourist Guide
Fall is a lovely time of year for an Anna Maria Island Vacation! Enjoy the Anna Maria Island Fall Tourist Guide, and plan your stay today!

Morning Beach Walk

Fall is an amazing time for a quiet walk on the beach with the sunrise. This is also a great time to catch up on some beach combing. Early morning temperatures are beautiful in Autumn. However, you will find that fall doesn’t necessarily mean it won’t be hot by mid day. For this reason, it’s nice to get up early while there is a crisp morning breeze off the gulf. Grab a cup of coffee, slip on your flip flops, and enjoy the peace of the beach at day break!

Beach Markets

Mid Fall, usually in November, is when all the beach markets begin their season. With the produce growing season underway, and weather that’s a tad less hot, markets are a great fall attraction. The Coquina Beach Market and Bridge Street Market are the two most popular on Anna Maria Island. However, here is a list of local markets to visit off island as well.

Wildlife Viewing, fall migration and local parks

As early as late summer you will notice an increase in local wildlife. For the expert wildlife viewers, it’s no secret that fall is the height of migration in Florida. This is when both the human and feathered snow birds make their early descent to Anna Maria Island.

Fall is an amazing time of year to get out to our local parks and preserves. Again, the weather is starting to cool, so enjoying the outdoors is more bearable than the summer months. During your visit check this list of parks and preserves on or around the island. These great locations give you the opportunity to get up close with Florida wildlife!

Go Swimming!

That’s right, you can still go for a swim in the Autumn months! Gulf of Mexico temperatures hang around 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit between September and December. This is not to say we don’t occasionally get below the 70’s, but these water temperatures are still swimable. Especially if you are visiting from the north, you will find Gulf temperatures very nice. On the other hand, locals tend to stop swimming a bit earlier. Really personal preference plays a big part in Fall island swimming.

Stone Crabs and Fishing

Stone Crab season starts mid October for the Florida gulf coast. While one of the countries oldest fishing villages lies just inland from Anna Maria Island; this is an anticipated time of year. Cortez fishing village is a great place to find fresh off the boat seafood. You’ll find Stone Crab so fresh it goes from the boat, to the boiling pot to your mouth! Going on in early November, check out the Cortez Stone Crab Festival too!

Anytime of year is great for Florida fishing, and Fall isn’t too bad either! Florida boasts the title “Fishing Capital of the World” because of great year round weather and angling. Fishing charters are just as popular in the fall as any time of year on the island!

Fall Festivals

This is the time of year when festival season starts for Islanders. There are several annual events that happen as the weather starts to change. You’ll find the Fall Festival, The Trail O Treats, Arts Hop and Bay Fest all going on throughout Autumn.

Find Fall colors with a sunset

While the trees and leaves may not turn to the striking hues of ocher, umber and rust orange, the sunsets surly do! Experience the turning of the season with one of the sunsets the Florida west coast is know for. Gather your family and friends to enjoy the peace of a sunset. This is one of the best times of day for beach photography too!

Anna Maria Island Fall Tourist Guide Beach Rentals

Autumn is a lovely time of year to gather the family at a beach rental! What Anna Maria Island Fall tourist guide would be complete without suggested accommodations? Island Real Estate has the island’s largest selection of homes to choose from, so plan your vacation today!

Anna Maria Island beach rentals

Casa Sierra 205 B is an excellent beach rental just a short walk from the gulf. This condo style home sleeps up to 6 guests with 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. Fall family beach trips were never so relaxed!

Anna Maria Island beach rentals
Casa Sierra 205 B 36th Street in Holmes Beach. 2 Bedroom.

A Mermaid Crossing is a lovely family gathering place for up to 6 guests with 3 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms. This spacious home offers a heated pool and decor with a designer look. Less than a block to the beach!

Beach rental Anna Maria Island
A Mermaid Crossing 120 50th Street in Holmes Beach. 3 Bedroom.

Beachy Blue is just down the street from gulf beaches, and offers lovely accommodations. Enjoy the heated pool and spa with great coastal decor! Sleep up to 8 guests with 4 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms.

Anna Maria Island vacation rentals Holmes Beach
Beachy Blue 129 52nd Street in Holmes Beach. 4 Bedroom.

My Sisters Beach House sleeps up to 10 guests with 5 bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms. This fun house offers a gorgeous heated pool and spa along with canal views and a short walk to Tampa Bay beaches! You’re family will love the game room and outdoor balconies too!

Anna Maria vacation beach rentals
My Sisters Beach House 520 Bay view Place in Anna Maria. 5 Bedroom.

Waterfront Retreat is a unique canal front home made for entertaining large groups! This 6 bedroom house offers accommodations for 14 guests with 3 full bath and 2 half baths. Enjoy the heated pool, canal views and fantastic bar area!

Anna Maria beach rentals
Waterfront Retreat 5132 Loquat in Anna Maria. 6 Bedroom.

National Guacamole Day Anna Maria Island

September 16th 2016 is National Guacamole Day. Everyone loves guacamole and Anna Maria Island is no exception.

National Guacamole Day

Guacamole is the perfect blend of creamy and tangy. Sometimes it has tomatoes, and sometimes it has a hint of spice. It’s great on tacos, chips, toast and serves as an amazing topping on just about anything. Some even use it in Ice Cream too!

Guacamole Facts

  • Guacamole dates back to the 1500’s when Aztecs made it.
  • “Guac” is a common short name for guacamole.
  • Use Florida, California or Hass avocados to make a good guacamole.
  • Different types of Avocados have a different flavor and texture.
  • Restaurants always charge for extra “Guac”.
  • Everyone loves guacamole because it’s amazing!

Places to Celebrate National Guacamole Day on Anna Maria Island

There are several restaurants on Anna Maria Island that serve guacamole. Below we have three suggestions for enjoying a heaping serving of the tasty green stuff.

Poppo’s Taqueria is a local small restaurant chain. The first store also opened on the city of Anna Maria’s Pine Avenue. This Tex-Mex style restaurant offers scratch made flour tortillas, hormone free meat, and organic veggies. Poppo’s guacamole is out of this world amazing. Poppo’s makes all their food right in front of you, and you get to choose all your toppings too! Their menu includes tacos, burritos, quesadillas and meals in bowls. Poppo’s staff prepares everything on site including their guac, sauces, and slow roasted meats, just to name a few. You’ll love the food in addition to their local craft beers, high fructose free soda, and Kombucha probiotic drink.

Tortilla Bay Southwest Grill is also a great option for a guacamole fix. Located in Holmes Beach, Tortilla Bay is quick and inexpensive lunch or dinner. They offer many Tex-Mex favorites along with salads. Not only do they have a fantastic guac, but the queso dip is a must! Tortilla Bay has a kids menu along with a beer and wine menu.

Wicked Cantina is located in Bradenton Beach, and specializes in Austin style Tex-Mex. In addition to their traditional Tex-Mex they also offer great burgers and seafood options. Wicked Cantina has a full service bar with craft cocktails. Try the Margarita! Often times they offer live music in their outdoor seating area. When you visit, be sure to try the guacamole bites. For this appetizer they roll guacamole in tortilla chips, deep fry, and serve with a side or ranch dip. Delicious!

National Guacamole Day
A big batch of Guacamole made fresh daily in the kitchen at Poppo’s Taqueria.

Top 15 Anna Maria Island Beach Cottage Rentals

Anna Maria Island beach cottage rentals are the perfect way to experience this old Florida vacation destination. There aren’t many places like the island anymore. You won’t find any high rises, big night clubs or chain store outlets in this quaint coastal getaway. Such a charming gulf island, a beautiful vacation cottage is the perfect match.

Anna Maria Island Beach Cottage Rentals

Here is a list of 15 of the best Anna Maria Island beach cottage rentals for you to try out! All offer a little something different. Additionally, these range from old to new, and from bronze to platinum rated. Arranged by city location in Anna Maria, Holmes Beach or Bradenton Beach, these great cottages also span the entire island.

Anna Maria beach cottage rentals

Sea Song is a direct gulf front cottage. Updated in December 2015, the beach is your backyard! Sleep up to six in this two bedroom home with beautiful beach views and amenities. Gold rated.

Anna Maria Island beach cottage rentals
Sea Song 103 Sea Grape Lane.

The Seashell Cottage is just down the street from gulf beaches, and is within walking distance to Pine Avenue shopping and dining. This quaint cottage also sleeps six guests with two bedrooms. Silver rated.

Anna Maria Beach cottage rental
The Seashell Cottage 118 Palmetto Avenue.

Fish House is really something special! Sleep eight guests with three bedrooms. Enjoy high end luxury mixed with an old fish camp feel. Heated pool and spa too! Gold rated.

Anna Maria cottage vacation rental
Fish House 231 Oak Avenue.

Dolphin Watch is similarly a great beach front cottage. Furthermore, this home sleeps six with two bedrooms, and beach views. Gold rated.

Anna Maria beach rental.
Dolphin Watch 12108 Gulf Drive.

Blue Bayou is a stylish updated cottage. Sleeps six with three bedrooms on direct canal front. Undoubtedly a beautiful location with heated pool and spa! Platinum rated.

Anna Maria Rental Cottage
Blue Bayou 229 Chilson Avenue

Hacienda Del Mar is in fact one of the larger cottage beach rentals offered on the list. Sleep eight guests with four bedrooms. Also on direct gulf front, and recently updated. Gold rated.

beach rental Anna Maria
Hacienda Del Mar 765 North Shore Drive.

Holmes Beach cottage rentals

Minnie Cottage is surely the ideal Holmes Beach cottage. Also sleeps eight guests, but with three bedrooms. This raised cottage has a heated pool and is a newer home. Platinum rated.

Holmes beach cottage rental
Minnie Cottage 125 47th Street.

Blue Lagoon 6 Osprey is a popular cottage. In contrast to others, this cottage is located in a small complex. Sleeps four with two bedrooms, and just a short walk to the beach. Gold rated.

Beach Cottage rental Holmes Beach
Blue Lagoon 6 – Osprey – 215 67th Street.

Beach Comber is great for a no frills cottage. That is to say, this rental offers all the basics, but with the addition of direct gulf views. Also sleeps six with two bedrooms. Bronze rated.

Anna Maria Island vacation rental Holmes Beach
Beach Comber 3020 Avenue F.

Captains House is a funky Florida cottage. To clarify, this home has a retro feel that is super fun. Sleep eight with three bedrooms, and also a loft style with two living levels. Bronze rated.

Beach house rentals anna maria island
Captains House 208 Haverkos.

Misty Beach has an updated beach style, and sleeps six guests with two bedrooms. This cottage offers a heated pool too! Gold rated.

Vacation cottage Holmes Beach
Misty Beach 5802 Imperiore Avenue.

Pelican Landing AMI is a spacious cottage with three bedrooms for up to eight guests. This great home also has a fun backyard Tiki hut and heated pool. Gold rated.

Rental cottage Holmes Beach
Pelican Landing AMI 306 55th Street.

Jackie’s Cottage is an updated canal front cottage with a heated pool. Manatees frequent this canal too! Sleep eight guests with four bedrooms. Gold rated.

Anna Maria Island cottage rental Holmes Beach
Jackie’s Cottage 209 North Harbor Drive.

Bradenton Beach cottage rental

A Pirate’s Cove is a 1950’s cottage updated with modern coastal charm and amenities. Heated pool, and also just a block from gulf beaches. Sleep six with two bedrooms. Gold rated.

Bradenton Beach cottage rental Anna Maria Isalnd
A Pirate’s Cove 2109 Avenue C.

Katie’s Beach Bungalow is a short walk to gulf beaches, and has a heated pool and spa! Sleep four guests with two bedrooms. Bronze rated.

Cottage rental Anna Maria Island
Katie’s Beach Bungalow 108 8th Street South.

Enjoy the perfect Old Florida paradise getaway by the beach with one of these charming Anna Maria Island beach cottage rentals. Visit IslandReal.com today to reserve your stay.

Anna Maria Island Beach Rental Near Bridge Street Pier

Enjoy an Anna Maria Island Beach rental near Bridge Street Pier, so you can experience the quaint character of Bradenton Beach. Located on the southern end of Anna Maria Island, the Bridge Street Pier is full of Florida charm. Bradenton Beach is home to quirky characters, comfortable restaurants and funky little beach shops. When you visit the Bridge Street Pier you’ll fall in love with Bradenton Beach.

Bradenton Beach Bridge street Pier
The Bridge Street Pier is the historic site of the Cortez Bridge. Find great old Florida charm when you visit!

The Bridge Street Pier

The Bridge Street Pier is the historic site of the first bridge connecting the Island to the main land. When you visit, you’ll notice the newer Cortez Bridge just to the north. Walking along the Bridge Street Pier you can almost feel the history, and imagine days past. Take in the smells of the Intracoastal Waterway, and the sights of people fishing. If you are lucky you just may see someone catch something!

Pier Activities

When you visit the Bridge Street Pier you’ll experience a relaxing atmosphere. Bring your fishing pole, and try your hand at Florida fishing. If you don’t have a pole you can rent one from the little shop at the base of the pier. Schedule a dolphin tour at the same shop, and you’ll get to see island wildlife. Boats tours are a fabulous way to view the island!

Next to the Dolphin tours shop you’ll also find a cute jewelry store with hand made silver items along with local artwork.

Dining on the Pier

Anna Maria Oyster Bar is also located at the base of the pier. Here you’ll find fresh seafood, and a laid back island style atmosphere. Slurp down a belly full of Oysters while taking in the views of Sarasota Bay.

Bridge Street

Heading off the pier you’ll find more activities and dining along Bridge Street. Bridge Street Merchants provide a variety of wares, and funky Florida souvenirs perfect for remembering your stay. There is also a miniature golf course located on Bridge Street for family fun, or find night life at pubs for adult time fun.

Anna Maria Island Beach Rental near Bridge Street Pier

Finding the perfect Anna Maria Island beach rental near Bridge Street Pier is easy. Island Real Estate offers many Anna Maria Island beach rental options to suit any need. Additionally, Island Real Estate has the largest selections of homes you’ll find on the island. Call Island Real Estate first at 877-778-6066 when choosing the perfect vacation destination on Anna Maria Island!

Anna Maria Island Club Beach Rentals

The Anna Maria Island Club is a gorgeous direct gulf front condo complex, and are just a short drive North of the Bridge Street Pier. Island Real Estate offers several Anna Maria Island Club units all with direct gulf front balcony views with two bedrooms and two bathrooms. Some of these units accommodate four guests while some sleep up to six guests. 2016 Base rates for these condos range from $1260-$2625/week depending on the unit, or even the time of year you decide to visit. These Condos have a heated pool and spa over looking the beach, so you can experience the perfect Anna Maria Island beach rental!

Anna Maria Island beach rental
Anna Maria Island Club condos make a great Bradenton Beach rental.

South Beach Village Beach Rentals

South Beach Village is just across the street from gulf beaches. These units offer gulf views, bay views or both. The South Beach Village condos are also just north of Bridge Street in Bradenton Beach comfortably accommodating six guests each. All units offers three bedrooms and two and a half bathrooms. South Beach Village units welcome pets under 25 pounds with a pet fee. This complex also offes a heated community pool. 2016 Base rates range from $1000-$2260/week depending on the unit and time of visit.

Anna Maria Island beach rental
South Beach Village is a relaxed beach rental on Bradenton Beach.

Bradenton Beach Club Beach Rentals

The Bradenton Beach Club is also just north of the Bridge Street Pier. Some of these condo units have direct gulf views while others are nestled across the street further in the complex. The beach side units have a heated pool while the bay side units have a heated pool and spa. Bradenton Beach Club condos sleep six guests with two bedrooms and two bathrooms. 2016 Base rates range from $1100-$2625/week. This rate depends on the specific unit, time of visit, and is at the higher end for direct gulf views. This complex stretches from the gulf side to the bay side of the island, and also offers a great fishing dock on the bay side.

Anna Maria Island beach rental
Bradenton Beach Club is a great Anna Maria Island beach rental condo complex!

More Anna Maria Island Beach Rentals

For additional suggested Anna Maria Island beach rentals head over to IslandReal.com, and explore homes through the Advanced Search Page. Island Real Estate also offers Holmes Beach rentals and Anna Maria beach rentals, so you are sure to find the best beach accommodations in Florida!

 

 

Eat Anna Maria Island Oysters While Vacationing

Anna Maria- When vacationing on the coast eating fresh seafood is a must, and Anna Maria Island Oysters are no exception. With countless restaurants on the island, finding some delicious oysters to eat is easier than ever!

Anna Maria Island Oysters

Many people believe humans have eaten oysters since the Roman times from evidence of oyster farms in France and the United Kingdom. Crazy right?

Oysters can be found in all of the world’s oceans. They are bivalve mollusks that have rough irregular shells. While most oysters are edible, there is a difference between food oysters and pearl oysters. Even though it is possible, most food oysters don’t produce pearls. Both are also in two different families of bivalves.

Surprisingly enough, oysters breathe much like fish, using both gills and mantle. They can be both male or female, and can change genders one or more times throughout their life.

Health Benefits

Oysters are one of the most nutritionally balanced foods because they have proteins, carbohydrates, and lipids in them. Just eating four or five medium sized oysters supply the recommended daily source of iron, copper, iodine, magnesium, calcium, zinc, manganese and phosphorus!

Where to celebrate!

With so many restaurants on the island, there’s plenty of options for eating Anna Maria Island Oysters! Here’s a few to think of going to:

AMOB on the Pier– Located in Bradenton Beach, enjoy delicious oyster platters such as Grandma Georgie’s Chipotle Oysters, Rockefeller or an oyster sampler.

Anna Maria Island Oysters
Eat at AMOB on the Pier!

 Island Gourmet Grill– Serving baked oysters with toppings such as cheese, bacon, and jalapenos, there’s no way to go wrong here! You can find Island Gourmet on Holmes Beach.

Anna Maria Island Oysters
Enjoy yummy oysters at Island Gourmet!

Island Fresh Market– Specializing in locally caught and grown food, the Fresh Market serves oysters caught right around the island! You can order them cooked or raw. You can find them on Holmes Beach!

Be sure to enjoy Anna Maria Island Oysters on your next visit!