Beach Warning Flags – Swim Safely on Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria Island – While relaxing on the beautiful beaches of Anna Maria Island you may notice beach warning flags. A notice of swimming conditions, You’ll see them flying from the lifeguard stands at Manatee Beach in Holmes Beach and Coquina Beach in Bradenton Beach. These are color coded flags to warn you about different conditions that you as a beachgoer should be aware of.

What the beach warning flags mean

Double Red – No swimming allowed

Red – Swim with extreme caution due to strong currents or rough surf

Yellow – Swim with caution due to strong currents or rough surf

Green – Swimming allowed, calm conditions

Purple – Presence of marine pests such as jellyfish, sharks, stingrays or red tide

In 2005 the Florida Legislature introduced the uniform beach flag system. Florida’s beach flag program uses four colors accompanied by interpretive signs along the beach to explain swimming conditions. All public beaches in Florida with lifeguards must use the state flag system. With a quick glance at the lifeguard stand beachgoers are informed about the existing water conditions. Life guards will monitor conditions changing the flags throughout the day in order to keep patrons informed. Follow the link for swimming conditions prior to your beach visit.

Just in time for the summer season 2014 additional beach flags will be posted at two fire stations in MANATEE COUNTY. One fire stations is on the island: Fire Station No. 1 at 6001 Marina Drive on Holmes Beach next to the Island Real Estate office and the second fire station is on the way approaching the island via Cortez Road: 10350 Cortez Road, Bradenton.

Lifeguards will communicate with firefighters to change the flags as necessary.

So, just check today’s beach flag color, apply sunscreen and enjoy your day on the beautiful beaches on Anna Maria Island. You might also like to check out what the Island Real Estate team brings along in their beach bags or take a live look at the beach via the Island Real Estate beach cam.

 

Respect our feathered friends while relaxing at the beach

Anna Maria Island – Anna Maria Island birds and wildlife are very important to locals, and the success of our environment. Bird nesting season is here and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, FWC for short, is asking beachgoers to watch out for and avoid disturbing nesting shore birds. With nests built out of sand, respecting local wildlife is especially important during high traffic times like Spring Break. A lot of these birds face conservation challenges and taking into consideration a few do’s and don’t can go a long way towards helping preserve our local ecosystem.

Anna Maria Island birds and wildlife

Rules for beachgoer’s

Keep your distance, whether on the beach or paddling watercraft along the shore. If birds become agitated or leave their nests, you are too close. A general rule is to stay at least 300 feet from a nest. Birds calling out loudly and dive-bombing are giving signals for you to back off.

Never intentionally force birds to fly or run. They use up energy they need for nesting, and eggs and chicks may be left vulnerable to the sun’s heat or predators. Teach children not to chase shorebirds and kindly ask fellow beach-goes to do the same.

Respect posted areas. Avoid posted nesting sites and use designated walkways when possible.

Do not take pets to the beach.

Keep the beach clean and do not fee wildlife. Food scraps attract predators such as raccoons and crows, which can prey on shorebird chicks. Litter on beaches can entangle birds and other wildlife.

Rules for wildlife photographers

Remain beyond the posted area, with no part of you or your camera equipment extending beyond the string or signs.

Restrict photography to no more than 10 minutes. Too much time photographing near the nest may stress birds.

Don’t “push” birds around the beach. Stay far enough away so the birds do not change their behavior in response to your presence. They need to feed and rest without disturbance.

If you see someone disturbing nesting birds report their behavior to the FWC Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-FWCC(3922), #FWC or *FWC on a cell phone or by texting Tip@#MyFWC.com.

Black Skimmer
Black Skimmer feeding it’s babies during nesting season on Anna Maria Island.

Respect Dolphins Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria Island – Atlantic Bottle Nose Dolphins may be one of our nicest finned friends, but they are still wild animals protected under law by the Marina Mammal Protection Act. Here are some do’s and don’ts for interacting with them.

atlantic bottle nose dolphin anna maria island
Anna Maria Island Atlantic Bottle Nose Dolphins

Do’s

Stay at least 50 yards away from dolphins when viewing from a vessel or watercraft.

Limit time spent observing marine mammals to 30 minutes or less.

Avoid making loud or sudden noises near these aquatic mammals.

Move away slowly if a dolphin’s behavior indicates the animal is stressed or disturbed.

Look before you book! Book wild dolphin viewing tours with businesses that responsibly view dolphins in the wild and help cetacean conservation.

Put your vessel’s engine in neutral if in the close vicinity of dolphins.

Dont’s

Pursue, swim with, pet or touch wild dolphins, even if they approach you.

Encircle or entrap dolphins with vessels.

Operate or maneuver vessels in a manner that may cause dolphins to change their current behaviors. Specifically, do not direct a vessel or accelerate toward dolphins with the intent of creating a wake.

Separate mother and calf pairs.

Drive watercraft through or over groups of dolphins.

If you see a dolphin in distress call Mote Marine’s Stranding Investigations Program at 941-988-0212.

 

 

Anna Maria Island Weather, how do we stack up?

Anna Maria Island Weather is gorgeous! Thousands of people get away from the harsh winters of home every year by visiting the island. But how does the weather really compare to other areas in the world?

Anna Maria Island Weather

As of right now (12:47 October 28th 2014) the weather report reads “ clear 86.5 degrees Fahrenheit Today is forecast to be NEARLY THE SAME temperature as yesterday.” so what about some other great cities of the world?

Nashville, Tennessee- Mostly cloudy 74.3 degrees Fahrenheit “Today is forecast to be MUCH COOLER than yesterday. Showers and thunderstorms.”

Paris, France- Overcast 51 Degrees Fahrenheit “Tomorrow is forecast to be MUCH WARMER than today. Showers ending by midday”

New York City, New York- Clear 64.8 degrees Fahrenheit “Today is forecast to be WARMER than yesterday.”

London, United Kingdom-  61 Degrees Fahrenheit “Tomorrow is forecast to be COOLER than today. Periods of light rain.”

Berlin, Germany- 49.3 Degrees Fahrenheit “Tomorrow is forecast to be NEARLY THE SAME temperature as today. Periods of light rain early tomorrow night”

Honolulu, Hawaii- 74.1 Degrees Fahrenheit “Today is forecast to be COOLER than yesterday. Morning showers.”

San Diego, California- 65.3 degrees Fahrenheit “Today is forecast to be WARMER than yesterday.”

So as you can see while the rest of the world is buttoning jackets to go outside here on Anna Maria were folding towels to go to the beach. So next time your scrapping ice from your windshield or shoveling snow from the driveway remember that there’s someone on Anna Maria laying by a pool right now with a cold margarita in their hand! So don’t wait until there’s salt on the roads to give us a call, do it today and that could be you by the pool building up a nice winter tan!

Churches Anna Maria Island

Roser Memorial Community Church in Anna Maria City

The Churches of Anna Maria Island offers worship services and activities for many denominations up and down the island. They all offer Sunday services,  along with other traditional service days. In addition to church related activities, many of the island churches serve as meeting places for activities and groups not affiliated with the church.

Bradenton Beach

Harvey Memorial Community Church
Address: 300 Church St N, Bradenton Beach, FL 34217
Phone: (941) 779-1912

Holmes Beach

CrossPointe Fellowship (Formerly Island Baptist Church)
Address: 8605 Gulf Dr, Holmes Beach, FL 34217
Phone: (941) 778-0719

St Bernard Catholic Church
Address: 248 S Harbor Dr, Holmes Beach, FL 34217
Phone: (941) 778-4769

Gloria Dei Lutheran Church
Address: 6608 Marina Dr, Holmes Beach, FL 34217
Phone: (941) 778-1813

Episcopal Church of the Annunciation
Address: 4408 Gulf Dr, Holmes Beach, Florida 34217
Phone: (941) 778-1638

Anna Maria City

Roser Memorial Community Church
Address: 512 Pine Ave, Anna Maria, FL 34216
Phone: (941) 778-0414

Everybody Loves an Anna Maria Island Parade

Anna Maria Island – A small town Anna Maria Island parade is just what is needed to bring together the locals and vacationers.   When you forget your cares for a few hours, and become friends with anyone who sits next to you.   You strike up a conversation about the pristine Anna Maria Island beaches, or even about the vacation rental they are staying in for their beach holiday while you wait for the first sounds of fanfare to hit your ears.

There is a simple thrill you get when you see the colorful floats, hear the music, to grab as many beads/candy as possible and also seeing the joy of children’s faces when someone in the parade looks their way before tossing something just for them!  Even seeing someone on one of the floats you recognize will make you stand up and cheer.  If you are a local or frequent visitor to Anna Maria Island you will see many businesses you know or have used in these parades.  Maybe even one year you yourself will be on one of the floats handing out joy!

It seems Anna Maria Island has a parade for just about everything.  Here is a list of some of the bigger parades you will see for different times throughout the year:

  1. Christmas Parade – usually the 2nd week of December
  2. Lighted Boat Christmas Parade – also usually the 2nd week of December
  3. St. Patrick’s Day Parade – usually the Sunday right before or after March 17th
  4. July 4th Parade – always on July 4th no matter what day of the week that is

The parade route usually runs north from Coquina Beach on south Anna Maria Island, to the Anna Maria City Pier at the end of Pine Avenue using Marina Drive.  Depending on how many floats participate will make the difference of where the parade starts.   Island Real Estate always makes sure we have a presence, and everyone on the float is someone who works in the office and/or their families.  We love the chance to get out in the community, and bring our beach guests a little extra happiness during their Anna Maria vacation.

Next time you plan your beach vacation on Anna Maria Island with Island Real Estate make sure to ask your Reservationist if there may be a parade during your stay!  If there is make sure to set that day aside to come join in the festivities on Anna Maria Island.  Look forward to seeing you soon with your lawn chair next to mine, and I may even share the goodies I collect.

AMI Rental Equipment

AMI rental equipment is a great way to enjoy this place like no other! White sandy beaches and a small town atmosphere with unique opportunities at every corner too!

AMI Rental Equipment

So now that you’ve arrived your noticing all these great ways to spend your time jet skiing, paddle boarding, biking and more. But where does one go to acquire these items? Here are some of the best rental companies on the Island.

Rentals on land

Bikes, golf carts, beach supplies and baby equipment can all be rented from both Fun and More Rentals  and from Beach Bum Rentals. Both of these companies offer free delivery/pickup and excellent service.

Rent scooters and bikes hourly or daily from The Island Scooter Store

Also rent electric bikes and scooters hourly or daily from Segs by the Sea

Binoculars can be rented by the hour from AMI Bird Nerd to take in our varied avian wildlife.

Rentals on Water

Boats can be rented from Anna Maria Island Boat Rentals and the Bradenton Beach Marina

Jet skis can be rented from H2O water sports  and Wavesplash Watersports

Kayak tours and rentals are available from Fun and More Rentals , Beach Bum Rentals , and Happy Paddler Kayak Tours

Exotic rentals

Flyboards can be rented from Top Gun Flyboards for a truly unique experience.

Parasailing can be done through Yolo Parasail  as well as Bradenton Beach Parasailing

 

AMI Rental Equipment
Kayak Rentals take visitor around the Intracoastal waterways.

The Galleries of Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria Island – Anna Maria Island is not only a place to take in the natural beauty, but the man made beauty as well.   No need to go to a big city to view many different local artists.  A few names you may have even heard of such as Emerson, Sue Lynn Cotton or Barbara Hines.  You can either go to one of many local galleries, or gift shops on the island to find local work.  Some of our local artists can even be found in many of our vacation rentals.  Take a stroll through one of the galleries, and see if you recognize anything.

Art Space Deborah Webster
Dancing Water by Deborah Webster owner of Art Space Anna Maria.

Here are the local galleries for you all to enjoy.  Please click on the names below which will take you to their web site for phone numbers, hours and what collections are available for viewing throughout the year:

Artists Guild of Anna Maria Island – 5414 Marina Drive Holmes Beach, FL 34217

Anna Maria Island Art League – 5312 Holmes Boulevard Holmes Beach, FL 34217

Anna Maria Island Historical Society – 402 Pine Avenue Anna Maria, FL 34216

Island Gallery West – 5368 Gulf Drive Holmes Beach, FL 34217

Studio at Gulf and Pine – Corner of Gulf Drive and Pine Avenue Anna Maria, FL 34216

Artspace Anna Maria – 101 South Bay Boulevard Anna Maria, FL 34216

Emerson Studio Store – 317 Pine Avenue Anna Maria, FL 34216

Some of these galleries will allow traveling artists to display/sell some of their pieces as well.  If you have some great pieces, and will be on the island for a while, this may be the perfect opportunity for you.

Sometimes you just need to slow the pace, enjoy life around you, and even experience it through someone else’s eyes. This is not hard to do when visiting the many fabulous galleries around Anna Maria Island.

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 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.!

 

 

MR. Bones BBQ -Have a beer from a coffin?!?

No that’s not a typo, Mr. Bones BBQ off Gulf Drive makes grabbing a cold one an entertaining experience. Not only is their BBQ hands down the best on the island and in town, but also their HUGE variety of beer is placed upfront in a coffin for you to take.

Mr. Bones BBQ Coffin of Beer

Trust me it’s not as creepy as it sounds, in fact it feels quite normal in the Mr. Bones atmosphere to just simply drink a beer from the coffin and not even think twice about it.  If you enjoy some well made barbecue and having a fun dining experience, don’t be afraid to come in to Mr. Bones.
Mr. Bones BBQ