Island Driving for City Slickers

Anna Maria Island – For most folks, all it takes is crossing over the causeway for the stresses of the real world to be washed away by sunshine and salty air; others may need a reminder or two. Once you see that beautiful “Welcome to Anna Maria Island” sign, you can relax, you should relax, you paid good money to relax, you came here to relax, that should include when you are behind the wheel of your car.

You work hard all year, meet deadlines, crunch numbers, pay bills, raise kids, fight traffic so that you can come here and chill. There are no hurries or traffic jams in our magical paradise.

So, during your stay here take a deep breath and ‘cruise’. Try to remember what it was like to actually enjoy a scenic drive. Because you will be hard pressed to find better scenery than this.

To help you transition into ‘Zen Island Driving’ here are some handy tips:

#1 You must stop at a designated crosswalks WHEN pedestrians are present.

#2 You DON’T stop at every designated crosswalk when there are no pedestrians present and I am behind you on my way to work!

#3 The trolley is NOT a school bus. If you are in oncoming lanes, you don’t

Anna Maria Island trolley
Anna Maria Island Locals LOVE the free trolley!

need to stop. (unless you are at a crosswalk and there are pedestrians present.)((Or unless it  isn’t a trolley and it IS a school bus!))

#4 It is easy to get distracted by all of the palm trees swaying in the breeze, but keep an eye out for unexpected stop signs, bicyclists,  club cars, golf carts, segways, beachgoers and most of all, other distracted drivers!

#5 There is no rush on Anna Maria. PERIOD! So slow down! Our speed limits are set to protect our residents and guests and they are    STRICTLY  enforced!

#6 Forget your car has a  horn– they upset our wild parrots and whoever you are beeping at is probably lost or doesn’t care.

#7 Take the FREE trolley! There are trolley stops up and down the island    and you can hop on and off as much as you like all day, every day!

The whole point of being here for visitors and residents alike is to be in paradise. As a guest on Anna Maria Island, we welcome you and hope you enjoy every ray of sunshine and every wave dancing up to the beach. We also want you to be safe and happy, so go do it.!

Tropical Storm Debby for Anna Maria Island – Hurricane Season 2012

This is an information page that is used when there is a tropical storm headed for Anna Maria Island.  The storm for this blog is specifically Tropical Storm Debby for Anna Maria Island.  Island Real Estate does this for all tropical storms that show to be headed for Anna Maria Island.

UPDATE:  2:00 PM – Wednesday – June 27th – by Larry

Good bye Debby.  Debby is officially over the Atlantic and no longer going to bother our little piece of paradise.  It is a nice change of pace.  Was not happy to see her arrive but happy to see her go.  That is it for now, Anna Maria Island should be in tip top shape in the next few days.  This will be my last post.  Thanks so much to all for your kind words via email.  I am happy to be your eyes and ears on Anna Maria Island!  Thanks to the National Hurricane center for the picture below.

Continue reading Tropical Storm Debby for Anna Maria Island – Hurricane Season 2012

Manatee Public Beach and Playground on Anna Maria Island

Sorry!  The Playground has been removed.   As of 2019 no playground can be found on the beach.  Manatee Public Beach is located in Holmes Beach where Manatee Avenue runs right into the Gulf of Mexico.  Manatee Public Beach has free parking, picnic tables, volleyball nets, public restrooms, a café right on the beach with food and drinks, and a lifeguard on duty.

The playground is directly on the beach and contains swings, a wall to climb, ladder, a larger straight slide as well as two toddler slides, and the normal accessories most modular playgrounds offer.  This playground can be busy all week long as mainland locals use this playground very often as well as families that want a combined day at the beach and playground.  There are a few benches that parents can use to sit and relax however an inexpensive beach chair located close to the playground can work best.

For a bite to eat try out Cafe on the beach,  located at the public beach to get drinks and hot dog meals etc.  There is also a small gift shop located at the Manatee Public Beach.

Anna Maria Island Manatee Public Beach

The Anna Maria Island Manatee Public Beach is very popular!

Manatee Public Beach

located in Holmes Beach, it allows for easy access since it is at the end of Manatee Avenue/SR64. This is one of three access points to the island.

The Public Beach boasts a very large FREE parking area that handles 120 parking spots however there are plenty of times that the parking is not adequate for the demand. Manatee Avenue does have additional street parking, however, be sure to mind no parking signs. There is a trolley stop at the public beach too!

Manatee Public Beach offers great amenities.  Lifeguards, showers, volleyball courts, small slides, gift shop, bathrooms, concessions, and covered eating area with picnic tables make this a great beach spot.  It’s a great place to spend an afternoon people watching, or just relaxing at the beach with family.

The public beach is officially 900 feet in width although it’s difficult for even locals to see where the park really ends since the entire island has public beaches. Within a walk to the beach is a popular restaurant called Skinny’s that serves alcoholic drinks and concessions.  Bring plenty of water and some snacks for children as the heat can quickly take its toll on active children.  For more information call Manatee County Parks and Recreation Department at (941) 742-5923.

Baseball Softball Field Anna Maria Island

Enjoy the baseball softball field Anna Maria Island style. Get a baseball game going at Birdie Tebbetts Field in Holmes Beach on beautiful Anna Maria Island!

Baseball Softball Field Anna Maria Island

The baseball diamond is open to the public so anyone can hit the ball around.  It’s always a good idea to stay flexible. Have an alternative plan in the case that the field is already in use.

Baseball Softball Field Anna Maria Island

Just South of the diamond, there’s a large open space. Play baseball or softball here too. There is a trolley stop very close to the baseball diamond. It’s located in front of the skate park, so you don’t have to drive or worry about a place to park.

Anna Maria Island boasts several large open areas and the public space in Holmes Beach is no exception. Just east of Marina Drive between 59th Street and 62nd Street there is a very large open space. This is also very close to the Island Real Estate Marina Drive location.  In this area you will find the only public baseball or softball diamond on Anna Maria Island.

Holmes-Beach-Baseball-Diamond

 Anna-Maria-Island-Baseball-Field

In summary, enjoy a ball game in Holmes Beach at 5901 Marina Drive!