Anna Maria Island Kayak Rentals

Anna Maria Island is the perfect place to experience kayaking! And with tons of local companies that rent them out and offer guided tours, it’s a breeze to get a hold of one.

Anna Maria Island Kayak Rentals are Fun

Kayaking is fabulous fun and great exercise. It is truly beautiful paddling around the gulf or bay side of the island with little man made noises. You may also walk away with a once in a life time dolphin or manatee encounter. Its fairly common and its best to ask the kayak operator for suggestions where to find the natural settings you crave. Kayak tours are fairly inexpensive and you gain a different perspective looking at properties, the shoreline, or canals from a kayak.  There are several kayak rental shops on the island.

Anna Maria Island Kayak rentals
Anna Maria Island kayak rentals are a fun and unique way to explore island waterways.

 

 

Beach Bums: 
Address: 427 Pine Ave, Anna Maria, FL 34216
Phone: (941) 778-3316
Offers kayak rentals and kayak tours

 

Kayak Jacks:
Address: This is a mobile kayak rental company that will come to you
Phone: 941-538-1448
Offers 24 hour and weekly kayak rentals

 

Fun and More Rentals:
Address: 5347 Gulf Dr, Holmes Beach, FL 34217
Phone: 941-462-2719
Offers double and single kayak rentals

 

Surferbus:
Address: 9800 Manatee Ave W, Bradenton, FL 34209 (on the causway off Manatee Ave.)
Phone: 941-527-6355
Offers single and double kayak rentals

 

Happy Paddler:
Address: They use several different local launch sites, no set address
Phone: (941) 773-1920
Offers single and double kayak rentals, as well as kayak tours

 

 

South Florida Museum and Cultural Center

Just a short trip over the bridge from Anna Maria Island into the mainland of Bradenton, you’ll find the The Southwest Florida Museum. Founded in 1947, the museum is a special component to Manatee County’s cultural exposure and development.

The South Florida Museum is much more than a building full of facts and fossils – there is also a Planetarium featuring amazing astronomy PLUS a rehabilitation aquarium for our endangered Florida Manatees.

As the largest natural and cultural history museum on Florida’s Gulf Coast, the South Florida Museum offers exhibits and educational programs promoting scientific and cultural knowledge of Florida. In addition to permanent exhibits, the Museum features a constantly changing lineup of temporary exhibitions. Kids and adults will be fascinated by the fossil evidence of Florida’s earliest marine and mammal inhabitants and archaeological materials. Paleo-Indian, archaic, and pre-contact cultures, as well as local history and creative exhibitions are sure to engage anyone.

Besides the traditional museum, the facility offers a Planetarium which has become the region’s premier astronomy education facility, as well as a multimedia theater for films, lectures, live music, and digital art performances. The Digistar 5 dual projection system improves the viewer experience of the Museum’s expanding full-dome show library with projectors that are more than three times as bright and twelve times crisper (higher contrast) than the previous projectors. The system allows for exploration of Earth through the use of 200 continually updated satellite datasets of our planet’s land, ocean, atmosphere and climate. Incorporating unidirectional stadium style seating and a digital 25,000 watt Dolby 5.1 surround sound system, the Bishop Planetarium Theater is capable of accommodating a wide range of programs, from lectures to film series to live performances. But first and foremost, the planetarium is a remarkable astronomy education resource, allowing visitors to explore their universe through traditional live star talks and immersive virtual journeys to the far reaches of the cosmos.

After you’ve wandered through the exhibits and watched the astronomical adventures under the Planetarium dome, head over to see the beloved Manatees. The Parker Manatee Rehabilitation Aquarium holds nearly 60,000 gallons of water, including a medical pool. The pool offers both deep and shallow water, allowing the manatees to maintain natural feeding behaviors. An exhibit area within the facility helps to educate the public about manatee anatomy and offers above and below water viewing. Manatee Care Specialists provide presentations about manatee habitat, nutrition and physiology. Working closely with US Fish and Wildlife and critical care hospitals for manatees, the Museum’s Manatee Rehabilitation Aquarium is a second stage rehabilitation facility. A second stage facility provides a temporary home for manatees that will be released back into the wild after having received treatment from an acute care hospital. The Aquarium has housed 36 manatees as part of the rehabilitation program. The facility was the permanent home to Manatee County’s official mascot and the oldest known manatee in the world, Snooty, who passed away in 2017 at a record-breaking 69 years old. Children all over Manatee County visited Snooty and his friends on school trips as far back as the early 1980’s.

Public Library located in Holmes Beach on Anna Maria Island

There is a public library on Anna Maria Island and it is located at 5701 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach, FL 34217: For more information call (941) 778-6341 or visit the cities website under the main menu of Libraries.

 

The library’s hours are:
Tuesday 9am – 5pm
Wednesday 12pm – 8pm
Thursday, Friday, Saturday 9am – 5pm
Sunday, Monday Closed

 

Note: Of course they have several computers with World Wide Web access.  In addition they have a wi-fi hot spot that is free however not secure.  Their children’s department is good with games, puzzles, etc.  You can take out VHS tapes, Audio tapes, puzzles, magazines, as well ad DVD’s.

 

For visitors there is a charge to join the library.  For local residents there is no fee.

Holmes Beach Public Library

Holmes Beach Branch Library
5701 Marina Drive
Holmes Beach, FL, 34217
(941) 778-6341

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 shells 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!

Bean Point – Anna Maria Island’s Secret Serenity

 

Bean Point is a must stop spot on Anna Maria Island. it’s a local secret that provides the most breathtaking views of the sunset on a pristine beach.  Named for George Emerson Bean, the first permanent resident of Anna Maria Island, Bean Point is located on a secluded stretch of beach at the northern end of what was Bean’s original homesteaded property.

You won’t find a parking lot, or any large signs, to direct you to this treasure of nature.  To get there you’ll need to head North of the City Pier in Anna Maria on North Bay Blvd.  The “main entrance” to Bean Point is located at a small crossroads.  You will notice the tree lined path that divides the two properties at the the intersection of North Bay Blvd & North Shore Dr.  If you ride your bicycle, you can ride right up the path, and park just to the side of the classic, wooden footbridge that sets the tone for your Anna Maria beach experience.  If you drive your car, you have a few options.  There are actually entrances at the corners of Fern St & N. Shore Dr, and Gladiolus St. & North Shore as well.  Each of these entrances is marked by a small white posted sign that merely states “Public Beach Access”.  Using the intersection of North Bay blvd and North Shore will provide immediate access to the famed “Bean Point” but half the fun is getting there?  Using the public beach access point to the South will allow you to walk along the beach and take in the sites where the Bay and Gulf meet.  When parking you can choose a spot near any of these entrances, and take the path out to the beach.

Local Tip: parking regulations are strictly enforced on Anna Maria Island.  If it says No Parking, don’t do it. Unless you want a ticket. If you do park on the roadside be sure your tires are off the asphalt street. If just 1″ is on the street you most likely will return with a bad surprise after your leisurely stroll along Bean Point. There are spots along the side streets, including Gladiolus and Fern.  To park near the footbridge entrance, I would recommend heading down to Jacaranda to find an empty (and legal) parking place.

Once your car is settled, head up the nearest path to the gorgeous turquoise waters where the Gulf of Mexico meets the Tampa Bay.   After your leisurely stroll down the path, turn right when you get to the sand, and head north to the point, for spectacular views that include the Sunshine Skyway Bridge.    If the tide is low, you can see the sand bar just off the coast.  Just a little wading into the warm water will take you there, and you can shell ‘til your heart’s content!  The views are amazing, the water is inviting, and the atmosphere is relaxed and serene.  There are quiet spots to sit and enjoy the view, and watch the waters and the wildlife.  I love where the water collides as the tide shifts from the East side of Anna Maria Island to the West side.

There are signs of life relaxing all over the Point. There is always something to delight the bird watcher too, with several different types of birds to entertain you as they guard their beach turf from one another.

So head over to Bean Point and capture a quiet beach moment or a breathtaking sunset, and enjoy one of the most relaxing spots on an island famous for its relaxation.  Check out Vacasa’s Vacation Rentals to find your perfect spot to capture all that Anna Maria Island has to offer.    Call them toll free, at 800 778 6066, and one of our Vacation Rental Specialist can help you find your perfect spot.

Looking for a vacation rental close to Bean Point?  Grand Haven is just a few properties to the South and is a great bet for a Bean Point vacation as well.

 

Historic City Pier Anna Maria – Take A Stroll on Tampa Bay

City Pier Anna Maria The city Pier Anna Maria is a great site to see when visiting Anna Maria Island, Florida.  (Sorry, because of the 2017 Irma Hurricane, the City pier is temporarily closed.  However, there is still plenty to do in the area and all the below information is accurate) Grabbing an ice cream at Two Scoops and walking the pier is a must!  Another great past time, swing over to Two Sides of Nature and do some shopping. Stop in at the Waterfront. restaurant, across the street, for a great bite to eat.

At the end of the pier you can grab dinner and lunch, or pick up some hand made jewelry.  If you like fishing then stop in to gab with the fishermen on the pier and see what is biting.

City Pier Anna Maria is a historical site

The sign at the entrance of the City Pier Anna Maria says it all.  “The Anna Maria Development Company built this pier and wharf in 1911-1912 to provide dockage for ships from St. Petersburg and Tampa.  It has since withstood hurricanes and lesser storms too numerous to mention.  Although parts were damaged in storms in 1918, 1935, 1974, 1988, 2017 it has each time been restored to its approximate  original form.  Unfortunately the pier as of 2017 is closed for major repairs.  The City of Anna Maria as well as Manatee County are initiating plans to repair the pier and brint it back to all it’s glory.  The Anna Maria City pier is 678 feet long so it is no small task to repair it’s infastructure.  The wharf extends another 58 feet into Tampa bay. Over the years it has nurtured the hopes of fisherman and the dreams of lovers. Provided roosts for pelicans and other sea birds, and has also been a friend to residents and visitors alike.

Over the center of the tin roof, from the third shore bench to the south of this marker, on clear nights can be seen the North star. Guardian of the mariners since the first sailor looked up for guidance of the night sea.

When the pier opens again, hopefully soon… walk the planks. Beneath the Roof of this City Pier is the Place to sit with Shrimp and Beer. While Lightening in the distance plays and thunder rumbles across the bays. “Summer Storm”…CMV ”

Anna Maria Beach Real Estate

There are plenty of gorgeous Anna Maria beach cottages available through Island Real Estate! Check out the selection of homes, and be sure to seek real estate advices from one of our full time sales professionals.

Anna Maria Island Theater – Island Players

Anna Maria Island Theater

If you are in town while the Island Players are in session be sure to visit the Anna Maria Island theater!

Take in a fantastic “home grown” play at the historical Players theater at 10009 Gulf Drive in the city of Anna Maria. Usually the Island Players have five different shows that go on from middle of October to the middle of May. They claim to be “the best little playhouse in Florida” and also the oldest community theater in Manatee County.

The Island Players Theater seats 143 in tiered rows. Tickets cost $20/person or season tickets can be purchased for $92.50. Tickets can be bought at the box office in person or by phone at (941) 778-5755.

Locate their web site at Island Players.  Visit Island Real Estate for Vacation Rentals or Homes in Anna Maria City. Also visit the Island Real Estate Local Scene page for tons of fabulous suggestions for things to do while visiting Anna Maria Island.

Island Players
10009 Gulf Drive
Anna Maria City, FL, 34216

Anna Maria Island theater

Family Fun on Anna Maria Island

Family fun on Anna Maria Island 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.  (Note, the tower in the picture can be found at Robinson’s Preserve which has fantastic views in all directions!)

Restaurants – Dining

Robinson Preserve Kayak
If you’re looking for a family friendly restaurant try checking out one of the island’s Gulf Front or Bay Front restaurants featuring live entertainment and a comfortable inviting atmosphere.  If you are looking for general dining information visit our restaurant summary page for more dining out choices.

Things To Do – Family Fun

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!

Ellenton Outlet Mall 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.

Coquina Bike Path ~ Bradenton Beach – Anna Maria Island’s Best on The Beach

Anna Maria Island is a great place to take a family walk, bike ride, or just enjoy the breath taking views of the Gulf of Mexico. Don’t let the name fool you, the Coquina Bike path is not for just bikes but includes patrons strolling down the Gulf Waters.  The Coquina bike path is paved and stretches between Coquina beach and Cortez Beach.  Located in Bradenton Beach just south of Bridge Street, you will find Cortez Beach.

This beach offers free parking and lots of it!  As you move further south into Coquina Beach, you will find public restrooms, picnic tables, beach showers, and lifeguards on duty.  Coquina beach also has a café that serves burgers and hot dogs right on the beach.

One of my favorite things to do is take a nice, easy bike ride through Coquina Beach. I start at the south end of the island under the Long Boat Key Bridge and head north towards Cortez Beach along the paved path. Take the time to enjoy island wildlife as you are greeted by squirrels, native birds like the Blue Heron, and if you are lucky, you may see dolphins or manatees enjoying their Florida lifestyle.

If you can’t bring your own bicycle, there are lots of places to rent them on Anna Maria Island.   Most folks love Bradenton Beach because there are plenty of accommodation choices as well as dining and shopping within a stroll away.

Anna Maria Island August Fishing Report – It’s Hot Out There!

Anna Maria Island August fishing has been almost as hot as the weather. While those water temps don’t always translate into the best mid-afternoon fishing, the morning and evening bite has been great – especially on a strong outgoing tide.

Anna Maria Island August Fishing

The bait has been thick, and there has been no problem blacking out the live-wells quickly with plenty of shiners and pin-fish. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to get some shrimp as well for some of the sheepshead I have seen lounging around some of the docks in the area.

After the bait is loaded up, I have been picking my clients up in the morning and taking them to some spots a little further south of the island in pursuit of mangrove snapper, snook, trout, ladyfish, and some spanish mackerel.

August Fishing Tips

Tips: If using live bait, I recommend a size 4 or 6 hook and a 6 foot 20lb. fluorocarbon leader, hooking the shiners through the nose. When you find yourself getting into mackerel (or you get a bite and it breaks you off), switch over to long-shank hooks to combat their toothy bite.

If using artificial bait, I have been having luck with a myriad of options; but primarily weedless silver spoons, topwater spooks, and DOA shrimp (I prefer white) have been getting it done consistently.

If fly fishing, I recommend sight-fishing from the beaches (or dock lights at night) for snook using a small EP glass minnow of the chartreuse/silver/white variety. I use a 20lb. fluorocarbon leader for this as well, but it might not hurt to throw a 25lb. shock tippet on the end of leader as well to combat abrasion.

Regardless of the method, the fishing has been fun out there if you can withstand the heat so remember to get out early, watch the tides, and wear plenty of sunscreen!

Tight Lines!

Capt. Scott Kinsman

AMI Charters

scott@amicharters.com

(941) 348-2035

instagram: @ami.charters

Facebook: www.facebook.com/amicharters

Anna Maria Island August Fishing
Fly Fishing for Snook around Anna Maria Island grass flats.