Family Fun on Anna Maria Island

Family is all about love, and we have plenty of things you’ll love to do with your family while vacationing on Anna Maria Island.

Family Fun on Anna Maria Island!

Robinson Preserve Treehouse
Make it a day trip and visit some of the Manatee county parks which are as close as a bike ride to Anna Maria Island or check out some of our other day trip recommendations! There are plenty of other parks to have a picnic or you can spend a day with the kids at the local children’s playgrounds.

Restaurants

Robinson Preserve Kayak
If you’re looking for a family friendly restaurant try checking out one of the island’s waterfront restaurants featuring live entertainment and a comfortable inviting atmosphere.

Things To Do

Florida Aquarium
If you’re getting tired of swimming or visiting the many beaches in the area there are plenty of public pools to visit as well. Take a trip to one of the area aquariums to get a close up look at the sea life! A short trip to the Florida Maritime Museum will be both educational and fun for the whole family.

If you’re visiting during the summer there are plenty of additional options, such as participating in the turtle watch which takes place between May 1st-October 31st. The kids can learn about the local turtles and see some of the nesting grounds that are penned off with stakes and tape right on the beaches. Kids can also learn to surf with the kid’s summer surfing camps!
St. Armands Circle
St. Armands Circle also offers plenty of family fun. Featuring shops, restaurants, and sights galore there is plenty to keep you in the area for a full day. There is also the Bridge Street Market in Bradenton Beach to check out.
Island Pearl
Take a water shuttle trip on the Island Pearl to various locations and maybe even see some dolphins! Or for those who prefer solid ground the Anna Maria Island Trolley the Crown Jewel will take you around the island for free!

If you would like you can take a video tour of Anna Maria Island before you visit to get acquainted with some of the sights and locations!

Video Tour

Invite your kids to share their opinions or check out more activities in our Kid’s Corner or check out the Top Ten Kid’s Activities.

Accommodations and Vacation Rental Properties on Anna Maria Island

Island Real Estate is the best choice when looking for the perfect family fun accommodations. With the largest inventory of vacation rental homes on Anna Maria Island, Island Real Estate is sure to please with great customer service and a knowledgeable staff.

Anna Maria Island vacation rental
Anna Maria Island vacation rental, My Sister’s Beach House, is the perfect family fun accommodations sleeping up to 10 guests with 5 bedrooms. Just a short walk to the beach, this home offers a pool paradise perfect for the kids! Click on the image above to reserve your stay at My Sister’s Beach House today!

Top Tikitastic Anna Maria Island Beach Rentals

What could be more fun than spending a vacation at Anna Maria Island beach rentals with fantastic Tiki huts? Tiki huts are a fun retro style perfect for a tropical destination like the island.

Tiki Culture in the United States

This theme stems from Americans use of Polynesian culture starting in the 1930’s. While not considered a fine art form by Polynesian styles, the theme loosely stems from cultural mythology and art. However, Americans now associate Hawaiian and Tropical themes with the Tiki style. There has been a resurgence of the style that has directly coincided with the trendy craft cocktail movement.

Tiki Drinks

Fruity tropical drinks are a must for any Tiki party. Typically they include different fruit juices, and are rum based. These drinks are usually tasty, very alcoholic and also use multiple rums or liquors. Serve them in funky totem head shaped mugs for a retro look, or use any pretty tall glass. Little umbrellas, fruit, spices, and herbs all make nice garnishes. Check out great recipes here. Also enjoy kid friendly versions of these drinks – just omit the alcohol. The combinations of fruit juices are fantastic on their own, just add a garnish and enjoy!

Below is a list of our top tikitastic Anna Maria Island beach rentals! These homes offer fun huts and bars perfect for entertaining in tropical island style!

Top Tikitastic Anna Maria Island Beach Rentals

Pelican Landing offers a Tiki by the heated pool! This rental sleeps 8 with 4 bedrooms. Relax and enjoy a tropical island experience!

Anna Maria Island Beach rentals
Pelican Landing AMI 306 55th Street in Holmes Beach.

Casa Calienta has a fully equipped Tiki bar with grill, sink and mini fridge. Additionally this hut is in the screened lanai with the heated pool! Relax with a drink and a swim too! Sleep 6 with 2 bedrooms.

Anna Maria Beach Rentals
Casa Calienta 217 Pine Avenue in Anna Maria.

Starfish also has a backyard Tiki hut, and a swim up Tiki umbrella in the heated pool. This hut is a nice spot no matter the weather. Sleep 6 in this rental with 3 bedrooms.

Anna Maria Island vacation rentals Holmes Beach
Starfish 6802 Marina Drive.

A Sassy Seahorse has a Tiki area in the backyard in addition to heated pool and spa! A shady spot for cool drinks on a hot day. Sleep 6 in this 2 bedroom rental.

Beach rental anna maria island Florida
A Sassy Seahorse 264 Gladiolus in Anna Maria.

Summer Breeze offers a fun covered Tiki bar too! Here you’ll find a swinging chair, Foosball table and flat screen T.V. Sleep 10 at this 4 bedroom rental.

Anna Maria Beach rental
Summer Breeze 313 61st Street in Holmes Beach.

Island Time offers a large pool side Tiki Umbrella. The perfect spot for watching the day drift by with a cold drink. Sleep 8 in this 3 bedroom with heated pool.

Holmes Beach vacation rental
Island Time 309 62nd Street in Holmes Beach.

Coral Reef is an Anna Maria Island beach rental with a great Tiki and laid back feel. Sleeps 10 with 5 bedrooms.

Anna Maria Island Beach Rental
Coral Reef 215 64th Street in Holmes Beach.

Mango Breeze has a Tiki just a short walk to Gulf beaches! Relax by the heated pool with 8 in this 4 bedroom rental!

Anna Maria Island beach rental
Mango Breeze 141 50th Street in Holmes Beach.

Anna Maria Island Tiki Restaurants

While visiting Anna Maria Island beach rentals you’ll also find great local Tiki style restaurants too! On Bridge Street you’ll find The Bridge Tender Inn and Dock Side Bar. Here you’ll enjoy views of Sarasota Bay in addition to great food and drinks. Also in Bradenton Beach, there is Gulf Drive Cafe and Tiki bar. This restaurant offers direct gulf views. Finally, In Holmes Beach you will find an outdoor Tiki atmosphere at The Ugly Grouper.

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.

Anna Maria Island Labor Day Activities

Relax with a beach break and Anna Maria Island Labor Day activities. A quiet island holiday, Labor Day is a time to enjoy beaches, family and friends, and an extra long weekend.

September is off the off season on Anna Maria Island. Generally speaking, Islanders love this time of year. Visitors to the island will not find many events happening, but will enjoy fewer crowds. End of summer things to do are the focus of Labor day. Grilling food, enjoying cold drinks and relaxing on the beach with friends are among popular things to do.

Anna Maria Island Labor Day Activities on the beach

Everyone loves a Labor Day beach break! Additionally,  beach games are a fun way to relax during the holiday. Frisbee, corn hole, tag football and volleyball are good old beach game standbys.

Many people also enjoy beach combing during labor day. Anna Maria Island has lots of pretty shells to collect. When searching for shells remember to never take living shells.

Labor Day Eats

Labor day is a fantastic time to enjoy grilled foods and tasty drinks. A Labor day gathering of family and friends just isn’t complete without firing up the grill! Open fires, grilling and alcohol are not allowed on the beaches of Anna Maria Island. However, the large public beach accesses offer designated grilling areas. Additionally, many Anna Maria Island vacation rentals do offer propane or charcoal grills.

Anna Maria Island Labor day activities
Labor Day is a great time to visit Anna Maria Island

Labor Day Business Openings

Many of the restaurants and shops are open Labor day weekend on Anna Maria Island. When you visit you are sure to find open businesses. The free trolley also runs on Labor day, so you can get around the island easily.

Labor Day Beach House Rentals Anna Maria Island

Island Real Estate offers Anna Maria Island’s largest selection of beach house rentals. Finding the perfect Labor day rental is easy when you rent through Island Real Estate!

Beach House Rentals Holmes Beach
North Beach Village 72 would make for a lovely Labor Day Anna Maria Island beach house rental. Located in Holmes Beach this rental accommodates up to 6 guests! Click on the image above to reserve your stay today!

Summer’s End Beach House Rentals Anna Maria Island

It’s not too late to enjoy end of summer beach house rentals Anna Maria Island style! Pumpkin spice latte is back on the Starbucks menu, kids are in school again, and Fall is less than a month away. Now is the time to plan that last minute summer getaway!

Summer Beach House Rentals Anna Maria Island in September

September is a fantastic time of year to visit Anna Maria Island. This is the off season, so the beaches are far less busy. During a September visit you’ll also notice there are fewer cars on the streets. The entire Island has a different vibe in the late summer. People are a little calmer as locals enjoy the respite from busy high season.

End of Summer beach Scene

Anna Maria Island beaches are as beautiful as ever in the late summer. The weather is hot and rainy during September in Florida, however, beaches are still very nice. Lots of rain may make the water a tad less blue than the normal, but it also cools the water temperature down. Gulf beaches are bathtub like in July and August, so a little rain makes them more refreshing.

End of Summer Island Activities

When you visit the island at the end of summer you may notice a few of the island’s restaurants are closed. This is when operators make improvements, and also have a little summer vacation before seasons starts again. However, there are still plenty of places to dine that are open year round. Closures are typically no more than a week long, or even just a few days.

Summer is also an excellent time to visit activities off island. With less congested roads, getting on and off the island is much easier in late summer. This is a fantastic time to drive down to Sarasota, or head into Bradenton to try new activities. You will find museums, shopping and sightseeing in both Sarasota and Bradenton.

Summer’s End Beach House Rentals Anna Maria Island have lowest rates.

The end of summer is one of the most affordable times to visit Anna Maria Island. September is when many beach houses lower their rates. These lower rates continue through to mid December when visitors from the north start to come down again. These lower rates don’t always include Labor Day weekend as this is the last busy weekend of the season. Rates for beach house rentals typically fluctuate to coincide with demand or popular seasons.

Direct Beach House Rentals Anna Maria Island

September is also the perfect time of year to reserve a direct beach front rental!

Hidden Cove is a fantastic direct gulf Front beach rental Anna Maria Island style. This is a great example of the type of rentals available in September.

Beach house rentals Anna Maria Island
Beach House Rentals Anna Maria Island style! Click on the image to learn more about this great condo!

Hidden Cove unit 1 offers accommodations for up to four guests with two bedrooms and two and half bathrooms. During your stay, enjoy direct gulf views from the master bedroom and main living space. You will love spending time on the open balcony watching sunsets, and relaxing. The quiet Hidden Cove complex also offers a community pool, and is located near free trolley stops, shopping and dining.

Beach House Rentals Anna Maria Island Florida
Click on the image to reserve Hidden Cove unit 1 for your next Beach house rental Anna Maria Island Holmes Beach.

Island Real Estate has the largest selection of Anna Maria Island beach rentals you’ll find in the area! When searching for a summer’s end beach rental be sure to check out the Sunshine Specials page for great deals.

Enjoy an Anna Maria Island paradise vacation and reserve the perfect beach rental today at IslandReal.com!

 

Anna Maria Island Vacation Rental Cooking

Anna Maria Island vacation rental cooking is easy and delicious if you know how. Home chefs with even the most basic of cooking skills can create fresh, convenient and enjoyable meals. Anna Maria Island is a great vacation spot for beach fun, but also offers great local ingredients for meal time. While visiting the island you’ll find fresh seafood, local produce and local made craft beers.

Anna Maria Island Vacation Rental Cooking Guide

Follow these easy tips, and you will have a week worth of creative easy meals you won’t forget!

Get seasonal

Before making your way to an Anna Maria Island vacation rental, get an idea of what is in season. Food can be a factor when picking a vacation destination. Every region of the world is known for a unique seasonal food, so if you plan to cook, plan on enjoying what is readily available. Picking foods at their seasons peak is the best way to enjoy eating.

Popular Seasons on Anna Maria Island

Spiny Lobster –  Begining of August through March.
Stone Crab Claws – Mid October through mid May.
Mullet – Peaks in the Fall; Thanksgiving through January.
Tomatoes – Year round except July, August and September.
Strawberries – December – April.
Citrus – All year with the exception of summer months.

Learn more about when and what is growing in Manatee County here.

Go Local with Anna Maria Island vacation rental cooking

Eating seasonally is only part of what makes a great vacation rental cooking experience. You must also shop local. Anna Maria Island is home to several specialty shops run by locals. Check out Anna Maria Olive Oil Outpost, The Island Fresh Market and Starfish Market to find a variety of specialty items. From fresh off the boat seafood to fresh baked bread these locals run specialty shops are a big hit.

Keeping it Simple and One Pot Meals

Save fancy fussy meals for dining out when staying in an Anna Maria Island vacation rental. Keep meal time easy, so you don’t become stressed out. Fight the urge to try out a new complicated recipe, and let professionals wow you instead. Complicated and messy meal preparation doesn’t lend to the laid back style of the island.

Preparing large dishes that can last through the week is a smart option.

For breakfast try make ahead options like quiche using a store bought pie crust. Make quiche ahead of time, and simply re-heat in the morning. A large batch of chicken salad can create beautiful sandwiches, or simply sit on top of a bowl of dressed greens for easy lunch options.

Try one pot meals for dinner time. 

There is nothing easier than throwing some fresh local ingredients all in one pot. You can create many delicious meals, and have little to clean up when you try out these great one pot meals from Martha Stewart.

Take a kitchen equipment inventory

When you get to your Anna Maria Island vacation rental take an inventory of what kitchen equipment is available. You may want to inquire what is available ahead of time if you decide to bring food with you. Some dishes require special equipment. Inquiring is also a good idea if you have a particular dish you’ll be making. This way you won’t have to buy special equipment for your stay.

Splurge on Quality

You’re on vacation, so treat yourself like it! Splurge on buying quality ingredients, and not just the generic or less expensive versions of items. Vacations are about relaxing and enjoying things you don’t usually experience, so go all out.

Avoid bargain bulk buys

Often when shopping for groceries, shoppers will buy the items with a great bang for buck ratio. Doing so leads you to buying large portions of individual items. This practice may not be appropriate for a vacation rental kitchen. After your week long vacation you probably don’t want to transport food home, so consider buying smaller portions from the grocery store. Only what you need during your stay. The exception to this rule would be for those vacationing with very large groups.

Grill out with your fresh catch

Anna Maria Island is the perfect Florida vacation destination for a fishing excursion. With access to the Gulf of Mexico, Tampa Bay, Sarasota Bay and Intracoastal Waterways, fishing is great on Anna Maria Island. Many of the Island Real Estate vacation rentals offer propane or charcoal grills. A Florida style backyard barbecue with your fresh catch is a vacation tradition for many. If fish isn’t really your forte, then try grilling up some nice steaks for dinner.

Local Craft Beer

There are many craft beer breweries within an hours drive from Anna Maria Island, but you don’t have travel to find great beer. Find beers from Tampa, St. Petersburg, Bradenton and Sarasota on Anna Maria Island. Visit Publix shopping center, Walgreens liquor store, or Hurricane Hanks liquor store to find local craft beers. All these retailers are in Holmes Beach, but restaurants along the entire island offer local brews.

Recipes for Anna Maria Island vacation rental cooking

Restaurant Style Smoked Fish Dip

Fish Tacos with Mango Salsa

Grilled Mahi Mahi with Pineapple Bark

Anna Maria Island vacation rental homes with gorgeous kitchens

Island Real Estate offers Anna Maria Island vacation rentals and beach houses with great kitchens! Whether you just need a small kitchen for a few guests, or you need to accommodate a large group with a big kitchen. Island Real Estate has the perfect Florida vacation rental to fit your needs. Reserve your Anna Maria Island today with Island Real Estate!

Anna Maria Island vacation rental cooking
Anna Maria Island vacation rental Bay View Inn 202 offers a perfect cozy kitchen for 4 guests. Click on the image to learn about this updated Bradenton Beach vacation rental home.
Anna Maria Island Vacation Rental Cooking
The kitchen at Anna Maria Island vacation rental Neolinda spaciously accommodates 6 guests! Click on the image to learn more about this Anna Maria Island, Holmes Beach Vacation rental.
Anna Maria Island vacation rental cooking
SeaShell Sunsets is a gorgeous Holmes Beach, Anna Maria Island vacation rental with a kitchen accommodating 10 guests. Click on the image to learn about SeaShell Sunsets.

Find the perfect Anna Maria Island vacation rental, and enjoy eating during your Florida vacation! You may not be the worlds most creative chef, but follow this guide for Anna Maria Island vacation rental cooking ideas!

Traveling to Anna Maria Island with Pets

Traveling to Anna Maria Island with pets can be easy for some, and difficult for others. Bringing a pet on vacation can give rise to a bevy of different situations, but pet owners will do anything to keep their furry friends happy.

There are tons of great pet friendly Anna Maria Island vacation rentals that make the island an enticing destination. To make your journey a tad easier, we have gathered some great hacks for Traveling to Anna Maria Island with pets.

Traveling by Car or Plane

Be sure your accommodations are pet friendly prior to your visit. You wouldn’t want to show up with a pet just to find out pets are not welcome. It is important to be sure you know the destination you are visiting, so you can be confident your pet will be safe and have fun too.

Have a pet travel kit. Your pet travel kit should include all the daily necessities including medications, pets paper work and identification, plastic bags for clean up, and bowls for food and water.

Never Leave Pets unsupervised. If you are traveling by car or plane you should never leave your pet alone. Always make sure your pet is in a safe place, and seems comfortable with their surroundings.

Make a trip to the veterinarian. Before going anywhere you will want to be sure your pet is in tip top shape. Make a trip to your veterinarian to be sure your pet is up to date on vaccines, and is healthy for travel.

Traveling by Car

Many pet owners travel to Anna Maria Island by car, and are coming from places just a few hours away.  Anna Maria Island gets visitors from Tampa, Lakeland, Brandon and areas nearby. Traveling with a pet is typically less stressful for nearby guests, but can be difficult if under prepared.

Car Travel Hacks

Make a practice run. Pets not accustomed to a car ride need to become familiarized. Load your pet up, and take them for a short drive to see how they do. If a pet is extremely uncomfortable consider taking them on frequent short trips to build up their comfort level, or let your pet sit out on the family vacation.

Keep pets secure. Often pet owner will let animals freely move around the car. This is unsafe for everyone involved including you, your pet, and other vehicles on the road. It is the best practice to have animals in their carrier cage, or some sort of secure place. Even the most behaved animals can act differently under stress. Animals have the potential to distract a vehicle drive, and can cause an accident.

Bring two of everything. When dealing with a frantic pet things can become lost. Be sure to bring back up pet accessories, so you don’t end up in a bind. A spare leash and collar, extra toys and lots of treats are a good idea when traveling to Anna Maria Island with pets. Bring your pets favorite toy to keep them comfortable.

Make frequent stops. Especially when traveling with dogs, you will need to take frequent breaks. Give your pet plenty of opportunities for bathroom breaks. Pets can experience motion sickness, and feel cooped up. The day before a long car trip consider giving your pet extra exercise opportunities.

Bring food and water. Make sure your pet doesn’t get hungry or dehydrated. This can help your pet stay calm and comfortable during a car ride.

Traveling by Plane

Traveling to Anna Maria Island with a pet by plane can be extremely stressful for both you and your furry friends. It is important to choose the safest method of air travel for your pet. Many airlines will allow your pet to travel along side of you in the plane, but this may not be an option. Pets traveling in the cargo hold of a plane are susceptible to many issues including extreme temperatures, mishandling, and inclement weather while on the tarmac. Choose an airline, and travel method you and your pet will most comfortable with.

Plane Travel Hacks

Book direct flights. It is better to plan a direct flight with your pet to avoid pets being left behind, handled too much, or getting lost.

Choose the right airline. Airlines are required to report any animal deaths that occur during flights. You should research an airlines policies and practices prior to booking a flight.

Notify all airline staff. When flying with a pet, notify all airline staff you encounter about the animal. Staff can not make extra accommodations for your pet if they are not aware of the situation. Notifying staff will help ensure your pet is properly handled, and arrives safely at your destination.

Ship your pet in the proper container. A USDA approved shipping container is an appropriate option for traveling with pets in a cargo hold. When shipping your dog in the cargo hold be sure the size of the shipping container is big enough for the pet to stand up in and turn around. Never lock the cage, so that personnel may open the cage in an emergency. It is a good idea to tape food to the outside of the container, so airline staff can feed your dog. You never know if your pet might get stuck without you for an extended period of time. Consider placing a frozen bowl of water in your pets container. This way the water won’t splash around during initial transportation, and will melt by the time your pet is thirsty. Place something absorbent in the bottom of your pet cage to soak up accidents.

Traveling to Anna Maria Island with Pets is rewarding

Whether your travels are just a few hours, or from across international lines, bringing a pet on vacation is rewarding. Traveling to Anna Maria Island with pets allows the entire family to enjoy time relaxing and enjoying each others company. For more information about traveling with pets visit the ASPCA website.

Traveling to Anna Maria Island with Pets
Bring your pet on an Anna Maria Island vacation!

Travel to Anna Maria Island with pets to pet friendly vacation rentals

Island Real Estate has almost 100 pet friendly Anna Maria Island vacation rentals! Be sure to visit IslandReal.com first when looking to accommodate the entire family on a Florida vacation.

Pet friendly vacation rental
Anna Maria Island vacation rental Blue Lagoon 3 is a great pet friendly home sleeping up to 4 human guests! Click on the image to reserve Blue Lagoon 3 today!

How to be a Mermaid on Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria- Remember watching The Little Mermaid as a kid and wanting to be just like Ariel? Well, now is your chance to make that childhood dream a REALITY. With so many great shops on Anna Maria Island, transforming yourself into the mermaid you’ve always wanted to be is as easy as ever. As a fun activity for both kids and adults, make sure to grab these mermaid essentials and spend your vacation feeling like the queen of the sea!

Mermaid Essentials

Jewelry

If you’re a mermaid, it’s always important to sport some jewelry that shows your love for the sea. Shops on Anna Maria such as Bridge Street Jewelers and Tide & Moon Jewelry sell beautiful handmade and designer jewelry. Also, many shells on the beach already have holes in them. Just string them together and you’ve got your own DIY bracelet!

mermaid jewelry
Grab some beachy jewelry from The Tide and the Moon jewelry store!

Swimsuit

Every mermaid knows to have a cute swimsuit, and we’ve got you covered here on the island. The Island Bazaar and West Coast Surf Shop is one of my favorite stores to get bathing suits, cover-ups, and everything in-between. They have good prices and good quality products!

mermaid bathing suit
Every good mermaid needs a cute bathing suit! Photo courtesy of West Coast Surf Shop.

Blankets/Towels

While relaxing on the beach, having a comfy blanket or towel to sit on is always a must-have. The West Coast Surf Shop has some really cute towels to lounge on, and is the perfect way to spice up your look!

mermaid towel
Get this cute towel at West Coast Surf Shop!

Drinks

One of the best ways to enjoy your mermaid experience is by adding a yummy drink to it! For adults, treat your taste-buds at The Waterfront Restaurant & Craft Bar where they serve drinks such as Pimm’s Cup, a mix of sour, sliced lemon, cucumber, strawberries and topped with sprite. However, at Anna Maria Island Beach Cafe kids can enjoy a Coconut Créme which is essentially a non-alcoholic Piña Colada. Overall, fruity drinks make for the perfect mermaid experience!

mermaid drinks
Enjoy a fruity drink for the ultimate mermaid experience!

Books!

Every good mermaid has a good beachy book. One of my favorites is The Blue Bistro, which is about a girl who moves to the island of Nantucket in order to find herself a new job. She has had trouble with commitment to people and places in the past, but when she starts to like her new boss she doesn’t know what to do. This book is a mixture of drama and romance, and is great to read on the beach!

mermaid books
Relax by the beach with a good book!

Anna Maria Island vacation rentals and accommodations fit for a Mermaid!

Island Real Estate has the largest selection of vacation rentals on Anna Maria Island. Visit IslandReal.com first when looking for the perfect Florida vacation.

Anna Maria Island vacation rental
You’ll feel like a Mermaid when you visit Anna Maria Island vacation rental 3 Mermaids! This 4 bedroom home offers accommodations for up to 8 guests just a short walk to gulf beaches! Click on the image to reserve your stay today!

Why Morning Walks are the Best on Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria Island – As someone who is typically not a morning person, I can say I don’t go for morning walks all that often. However, if I was waking up by the beach every morning I’d be up by the crack of dawn! Why you might ask? Here’s five reasons why morning walks on the beach are the best.

5 reasons morning walks are the best

1. Sunrise

If you’ve ever seen a Florida sunrise, you know how beautiful they are. But can you imagine what it looks like by the beach? While Anna Maria is known for it’s sunsets, it’s sunrises are equally as beautiful. A few good places to watch the sunrise would be Bean Point, the boat ramp at Coquina Beach, or the pier at Bridge Street.

sunrise on morning walk
Enjoy a beautiful sunrise on Anna Maria!

2. Look for shells

One of the best features of Anna Maria Island are the gorgeous seashells that can be found on the shoreline. While you can find them at all times of the day, the morning is when you can find the newest and prettiest shells. This is because they haven’t had the chance to be stepped on or picked up by other people. You might even be able to find full shells from hermit crabs!

shells on your morning walk
Find shells on your morning walk!

3. Watch Coquinas burrow

Even though I have been a Floridian all my life, I still love watching coquinas burrow into the sand. These cool little creatures look just like any other shell, except they’re alive! Because there’s less people around in the morning, it’s easier to spot them digging through the sand, just look by the shoreline! However, we do ask for you to be gentle with them and return them to the ocean as they do need water to survive!

coquinas on your morning walk
Find Coquinas!

4. Watch the scampering birds

If you’ve seen Finding Dory, you know that little short film called ‘Piper’. Well, those birds are actually real and we have them right at our beaches! These little birds called sandpipers are known for scampering around and finding clams on the shore to eat. You can especially see them in the morning when they have more room to run around! Here’s a snippet of the short film if you didn’t get the chance to see it:

5. Help clean the beaches

As a good civilian, it is everyone’s duty to help keep our beaches clean so we can continue enjoying them. By waking up early, not only do you have the chance to do everything listed above, but you can help out our environment at the same time. A great way to do this would be to bring a bag with you on your walk so you can pick up litter. Even just cleaning up behind yourself helps a lot more than you may think!

pick up litter on morning walks
Help out our beaches by picking up litter on your walk!

5 Movies to Watch while Vacationing on Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria- While playing by the beach is always a good time, relaxing at your rental property with some good movies can be just as fun! Many websites such as Netflix, HBO, and Amazon offer these movies to stream, and because most of our properties come with WiFi you can watch what you’d like at your leisure! While there are many great movies to watch when vacationing by the beach, here’s a few of my favorites.

5 Movies to Watch on Vacation

1. 50 First Dates

Personally one of my favorite romances, 50 First Dates is about a man named Henry who sets his heart on a girl named Lucy. However, little does he know that he has a huge obstacle in his way, Lucy’s short term memory loss. Because of this, every morning Henry must woo her again. This movie is comical, heart-warming, and overall the perfect movie to watch on vacation! This movie is PG-13.

good movies
Photo courtesy of movies.about.com

2. Teen Beach Movie

Any kid or family who loves music and the beach will love this Disney movie! Surfers Brady and McKenzie are magically thrown into a 1960’s movie musical, and are forced to make friends with the characters in order to get back. However, they accidentally change the story line when the movie’s main hero and heroine fall in love with them instead of each other! As the movie takes place at a beach, (of course!) any family is sure to enjoy this movie while vacationing on Anna Maria Island. If you’re looking for a movie marathon, there is also Teen Beach Movie 2. This movie is rated G.

good movies
Photo from teenbeachmovie.wikia.com

3. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

If you love adventure and romance this movie will be one of your favorites. Captain Jack Sparrow finds himself at Port Royal with no ship and no crew. His timing couldn’t be more perfect however as later that day a pirate ship attacks the town and takes none other than the governor’s daughter. A blacksmith named Will Turner happens to be in love with her, and allies with Jack in order to get her back. With so much adventure and an ever exciting plot, you’re sure to love this movie! It is rated PG-13.

pirates of the caribbean are good movies
Photo courtesy of en.wikipedia.org

4. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

This movie is perfect for vacationing teens who are keeping in touch with their friends back home. Four best friends named Carmen, Tibby, Lena and Bridget are spending their first summer apart. Before they leave, Carmen finds a pair of “magic” jeans at the thrift store that happen to fit all the girls different body types. In order to keep in touch, the girls decide to send each other the jeans over the summer for luck. While the girls are facing tough times, they know their friends will be there for them in the long run. A touching and funny movie, this movie is perfect for all ages and is rated PG.

good movies
Photo from www.theodysseyonline.com

5. Jaws

If you’re into scarier movies, Jaws is right up your alley. Beginning when a young women is killed by a shark, Sheriff Martin Brody wants to close the beaches. However the mayor and a few other businessmen are not happy with this idea as it will lower revenue. Brody is forced to back down, when that following weekend a boy is killed by the predator as well. The boys mother proceeds to put a price on the capture of the shark, and soon a local fisherman and an archaeologist join Brody to find the Great White Shark. While this movie is fantastic I do have a warning! As you ARE vacationing at the beach, if the thought of sea creatures such as stingrays and sharks makes you squeamish to go into the water I wouldn’t recommend watching Jaws. This movie is rated PG.

good movies
Photo courtesy of www.motherjones.com

Anna Maria Island Vacation Rentals and Accommodations

Island Real Estate offers the largest selection of  Anna Maria Island vacation rentals with almost 300 to choose from! For the perfect Florida vacation make your reservation with Island Real Estate today!

Anna Maria Island vacation rental
Sunset Glow offers a comfortable living room perfect for relaxing and watching beach movies with friends and family! Click on the image above to learn more about this gorgeous 5 bedroom Anna Maria Island vacation rental!

Best 4 seafood restaurants around Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria- If you’re looking for exceptional seafood, you’re at the right place! With water surrounding almost all of Anna Maria, it’s no doubt our restaurants have access to the best seafood. All within 20 minutes of the island, here are four restaurants that you’re sure to love!

Seafood Restaurants

1. The Ugly Grouper Bar & Grill

Located on the island, The Ugly Grouper is right across the street from our Marina Drive office. They serve delicious food such as grouper sandwiches and mahi fish tacos along with meals for people who don’t care as much for seafood.  Also, all of their fish is fresh off the coast of Anna Maria, so you’re sure to get fresh fish. The Ugly Grouper has a history here on Anna Maria Island, as it was previously The Barefoot Tiki Bar and even before that a gas station! Take a look at the menu here.

The Ugly Grouper seafood restauraunt
Stop in for a bite at the Ugly Grouper! Photo courtesy of www.bradenton.com

2. Derek’s

Found on Manatee Avenue, Derek’s is prided on its ever-changing menu and good food. They serve wild pink shrimp pasta, blackened salmon and much more. Whether you want to have a causal luncheon or a fancy dinner, Derek’s is the perfect place to go. They do accept reservations and are open from 5am-10pm Monday-Saturday.

Derek's seafood
Photo Courtesy of www.dereks-bradenton.com

3. Mar Vista

Mar Vista resides in Longboat Key and is casual place to get great seafood. Some of their best dishes are a Grouper sandwich and Scallops Mar Vista. Another cool aspect of Mar Vista is its history on Longboat Key. It was one of the first structures built by Rufus Jordan in 1912 and has withstood hurricanes and erosion. Still in the original building, Mar Vista is an extremely interesting place to visit that has tasty food!

Mar Vista seafood
Enjoy yummy food along with a historic atmosphere at Mar Vista! Photo from www.tripadvisor.com

4. Starfish Company Market

If you’re wanting to cook your own or buy already cooked seafood Starfish Company is the perfect place to go. Located off Cortez, they sell locally caught seafood such as fish, scallops, and shrimp. Starfish Co. was started in the 1920’s and sits on one of the few remaining working waterfronts. With an absolutely gorgeous view, Starfish Co. is a must visit when vacationing here on Anna Maria.

Seafood at Starfish Company
Come visit Starfish Company for delicious food and a great view!