Top 7 Things Locals Know About Anna Maria Island

There are a few things locals know about Anna Maria Island. Experiencing the island life like a local is the best way to enjoy your time here. Find Anna Maria Island’s best of the best with this helpful guide.

Top 7 Things Locals Know About Anna Maria Island

Once you read this guide you’ll surely feel like a local too!

1 Getting Around the Island

Locals know that Anna Maria Island is a fabulous community for public transportation. When visiting during the peak season, street traffic can make getting around by car a bit difficult. Along with creating limited public parking high season brings busy roads. Locals love walking or bike riding to their destination. It’s an amazing way to enjoy our gulf breezes and tropical scenery. If you’re going from one end of the island to the other the free trolley is absolutely perfect! Also consider renting a golf cart or scooter for a fun way to get around in style.

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

2 Island History

Furthermore, all locals know a thing or two about the history of the island. A community rich in Florida culture, Islanders love to reminisce. Learn about Anna Maria City Pier, the first bridge connecting the island to the mainland, the first island settlers and the “day trippers” culture that still enlivens this beautiful vacation destination. Visit the Anna Maria Island Historical Society on Pine Avenue to enjoy the Island’s history. Also head over the bridge to the Florida Maritime Museum to learn about the historic Fishing Village of Cortez.

Cortez Bridge history
Historic Cortez Bridge connecting Bradenton Beach to the mainland of Cortez Village.

 

3 Fishing and Seafood

Naturally Anna Maria Island has always been a fabulous place for fishing, and fresh seafood. Nestled between the Gulf of Mexico, Tampa Bay and Sarasota Bay, Anna Maria Island is perfectly situated for premium fishing. Additionally, many local seasonal specialties such as Stone Crab, Mullet, Spiny Lobsters and Sunray Venus Clams can be found at restaurant serving seafood. Visit The Island Real Estate Fishing Report page for local fishing updates and conditions.

Fishing on Anna Maria Island
Locals love fishing on Anna Maria Island.

4 Dining and Restaurants

With no shortage of tasty restaurants, Anna Maria Island has just about any type of cuisine you are looking for. Whether it’s dining with a view, fabulous happy hour specials, or the top ten island restaurants, find it all!

Rod and Reel Pier
Rod & Reel Pier offers some of Anna Maria Island’s most delicious seafood!

5 Shopping

Anna Maria Island is a unique shopping destination offering only small shops and boutiques. Find fabulous wares from beach accessories, to jewelry, local art, high end finds and souvenirs. When visiting the Island during peak season enjoy fabulous local markets too!

Shopping
Find fabulous shopping finds on Anna Maria Island!

6 Beaches

With over seven miles of coastline, Anna Maria Island also offers tons of great beach spots. From secluded Bean Point to the busy Manatee Public Beach access read all about Anna Maria Island beaches here. Once you’ve visited these gulf coast beaches you’ll just have to come back again!

things locals know about Anna Maria Island
Anna Maria Island beaches are gorgeous.

7 Wildlife

Anna Maria Island locals are crazy about our wildlife. With great efforts from organizations animals are looked after. Anna Maria Island Shorebird and Turtle Watch and Wildlife Inc animal rescue are among groups on the look out. Additionally, many types of animals can be found around the Island including Bottle Nose Dolphins, Manatee and Turtles. Visitors often wonder about the possibility of seeing Crocodiles or Alligators.  However, locals can tell you these kind of critters haven’t been spotted around the island in decades.

Turtles and Wildlife
Baby Loggerhead Turtles nest on Anna Maria Island from May through October.

If you’re looking for the best vacation rentals on the island visit IslandReal.com. You’ll find almost 300 great homes!

 

Anna Maria Island National Random Acts of Kindness Day

National Random Acts of Kindness Day is a fantastic opportunity to spread love and happiness in your community. Even the smallest of kind gestures can have an impact on the world around you. While visiting Anna Maria Island on February 17th be sure to share and celebrate kindness island style!

National Random Acts of Kindness Day
Celebrate National Random Acts of Kindness Day on Anna Maria Island by taking your loved ones to watch the sunset!

 

National Random Acts of Kindness Day

While kindness is something many practice everyday, here’s some fun and easy suggestions too! Try these out while visiting Anna Maria Island.

  • Hold the door for someone.
  • Give a stranger a compliment.
  • Buy the person in line behind you at the Coffee Haus their morning cup of Joe.
  • Find a pretty shell and give it to a little kid.
  • Give up your seat on the trolley to someone.
  • Make a donation to Wildlife Inc.
  • Give someone a hug.
  • While vacationing send your friends a text, and tell them you wish they were with you.
  • Pick up garbage from the beach.
  • Go to Rod & Reel Pier and buy a stranger a beer.
  • Offer to let someone cut you in line at the Publix.
  • Buy your friend a scratch off ticket just for fun.
  • Smile at every stranger you see.
  • Call a family member and tell them you love them.
  • Tell people you are grateful when they help you.
  • Give your server at the Sandbar a big fat tip.
  • Take your family to the beach.
  • Donate to the Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch.
  • Buy a piece of local art and send it to a friend back home.
  • Make your spouse breakfast in bed.
  • Be a good listener.
  • Tell your kids they are awesome.
  • Be kind to yourself.
  • Let go of negative thoughts.
  • Don’t stereotype people you don’t know.
  • Take a friend to lunch.
  • Treat someone to a bike rental and take them on a ride around Anna Maria.
  • Bring cup cakes to the family in the vacation rental next to yours.
  • Donate any unopened leftover food in your beach rental before you go back home.
  • Surprise a loved one with an Anna Maria Island Vacation!
  • Use #RAKWeek2017 when posting kind words on social media to encourage others to do the same.

Take the challenge

So you think you’re kind? Challenge yourself today, and go out of your way to spread love, understanding and kindness on February 17th! There’s no easier place to practice kindness than on Anna Maria Island.

For more ways to celebrate national random acts of kindness day visit RandomActsof.US

Book your next Anna Maria Island vacation beach rental today with Island Real Estate!

 

Anna Maria Island Night Sky Event – February 10, 2017

While visiting February 10th 2017, be sure to check out the Anna Maria Island night sky event! A once in a life time experience, you’ll enjoy a Full Moon, Lunar Eclipse and a Comet all together!

Anna Maria Island Night Sky Event

First for the evening you’ll enjoy the winter full moon, also called a Snow Moon. Around 5:30pm the moon will creep over the horizon into view. As it comes up the moon will start to enter into the Earth’s penumbral or outer shadow and turn a dim gray color. East Coast viewers will start to notice the lunar eclipse around 6:15pm. Just before 10pm the eclipse will be over, but the show doesn’t stop there.

Next you’ll have the opportunity to see Comet 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusáková starting at about 10:30 when it’s closest to Earth. This pale green Comet will require a telescope or even a pair of binoculars to view. Look to the East-Northeast near the constellation Hercules.

Anna Maria Island Night Sky Event
Photo Courtesy Sky and Telescope Magazine.

You can also watch the nights events unfold live at live.slooh.com.

Enjoy the Anna Maria Island Night Sky Event, wish for clear skies, and have a fantastic island experience!

Reasons Why an Anna Maria Island Vacation is Addictive

Once you visit, you’re sure to understand why an Anna Maria Island vacation is addictive! Even Floridians will tell you that you’ll be hooked on the island life immediately.

Anna Maria Island Vacation
Once you visit Anna Maria Island you’ll be hooked!

Addictive Anna Maria Island Vacation

While Florida offers miles of gorgeous coastline, not all are as amazing as those on Anna Maria Island. You’ll find the beaches are stunning with powder fine sand and clear blue water similar to the Caribbean. There are over seven miles of public beach to explore with accesses peppered along both gulf and bay sides. Once you spend a day on these beaches you’re sure to come back!

The Real Florida

Anna Maria Island is popular with tourists, but its a more authentic real Florida experience then you’ll find in the states bigger vacation spots. You won’t find high rises or many chain stores and restaurants. This really lends to a feeling from decades past.

Everyone is welcome to enjoy the island life too! Here you’ll find family friendly activities along with a night life and things to do for all ages. Folks just have a different attitude while on Anna Maria Island. Infrequently are people in a big hurry. Locals and vacationers alike want to chat and get to know those also enjoying the island life. People love to reminisce and almost feel a connection because everyone can find common ground in their love of the area.

Always the same, but always changing.

Every time you visit you’ll find some things are new, but some things always stay the same. The beaches are always pretty, and the sand always white, but there are always new services and activities to explore. Find new vacation rentals to stay in, and new things happening in the cities surrounding the island.

Sunsets, weather and wildlife.

Anna Maria Island sunsets are both addictive and always serene. As the sun sinks into the gulf you can just feel all your stress melting away. This special time is great for gathering with the ones you love while simply relaxing. You’ll want to enjoy the hypnotic sunset every night you visit Anna Maria Island.

Fantastic year round weather also makes an Anna Maria Island vacation addictive. Even the winter months are easy here.  Usually the temperature doesn’t dip below the 60’s most winter days, and typically the gulf breezes make summers more bearable than non-coastal Florida cities.

During your visit you’ll surly fall in love with the local wildlife. Nothing says exotic tropical vacation more than a pandemonium of raucous wild parrots flying over head. When visiting from May to October you’ll enjoy seeing Loggerhead Sea Turtle nests and shorebirds rearing their young all along our beaches.

What are you waiting for? Plan you Anna Maria Island vacation today!

Anna Maria Island Valentines Day – Beach Romance

An Anna Maria Island Valentines Day is a great way to celebrate a day of love. While Valentines is a special day, Anna Maria Island is romantic any day of the year. Nothing says I love you more than bringing your special someone for a trip to Anna Maria Island.

Anna Maria Island Valentines Day

Here is a list of fun and romantic ideas for an island style Valentines Day.

Anna Maria Island Valentines Day
red heart on sandy sea beach – love relax concept

Breakfast at Sign of the Mermaid

Start your day off right with a delicious breakfast from Sign of the Mermaid in Anna Maria. This great restaurant is housed in a 1913 cottage, and offers a charming menu selection.

Romantic Beach Playlist

Here is a great “Romance by the Beach” playlist to enjoy while laying on the beach!

Visit Island Art Galleries

You’ll find a great local art scene on Anna Maria Island with many galleries in Anna Maria and Holmes Beach. Finding a special piece of art is a great Valentines gift that will also remind you of your trip to the island.

Romantic Vacation Rentals

Turn your trip to Anna Maria Island into the vacation of a lifetime with one of these fantastic beach rentals! What’s more romantic than a Florida beach vacation?

Couples Beach Massage

Enjoy a couples beach massage with Sea-Renity beach spa. There is nothing more romantic than getting pampered while on the beach.

Nature Walk at Perico Preserve

Perico Preserve is just a short trip over the Manatee Bridge on the northern side of Manatee Avenue. While there are tons of great nature walks in the county, Perico Preserve is one of the newest. Here you’ll find a diverse shell trail with tons of beautiful wildlife to see.

Private Boat Excursion

While Anna Maria Island has tons of boat charters, paying a little extra for your own private tour is worth it. Among others, Coastline Excursions offers private tours around Anna Maria Island and Egmont Key. They also offer great snorkeling excursions to try out.

Sunset

The sun will be setting on Anna Maria Island at about 6:22pm on February 14th. When you visit Anna Maria Island sunset is a must!

Manatee Players Theater

The Manatee Players will be showing the romantic musical “Bridges of Madison County”. This would make a great date spot!  You’ll find the Manatee Performing Arts Center in Downtown Bradenton. When you are done with the show stop by Downtown’s Old Main Street for a great selection of pubs, bars and restaurants.

 

 

Best Anna Maria Island Roof Top View Rentals

Anna Maria Island roof top view rentals are great when looking to see the beach without paying gulf front prices! It’s always amazing when you can simply head to the roof for sunshine or nightly sunsets.

Anna Maria Island Roof Top View Rentals

Here is our list of the best Anna Maria Island beach rentals with roof top views!

Seashell Sunsets

While this Platinum rental offers stunning gulf views from the roof, it’s also less than a block to the beach! Access the spiral staircase leading to the roof from the upper living level balcony.

Anna Maria Island Roof Top View Rentals
Seashell Sunset in Holmes Beach.

Seashell Sunsets offers four bedrooms with accommodations for up to eight guests. This recently built beach rental also has a heated pool and spa along with a modern style.

Anna Maria Island Beach Rental
Seashell Sunsets

Palm Isle Village 3210

Palm Isle Village is among the island’s most popular cottage beach rental complexes. This Holmes Beach rental is just across the street from gulf beaches and offers a roof top view.

Holmes Beach roof top view rental
Palm Isle Village 3210 

Gold rated, Palm Isle 3210 sleeps up to four guests with one bedroom. Enjoy the community heated pool and a central island location too.

Holmes Beach Rental
Palm Isle Village 3210

Island Oasis

Island Oasis is a great platinum beach rental with roof top views of the Gulf of Mexico. This Holmes Beach rental sleeps 10 guests with five bedrooms.

Anna Maria Island Gulf view Beach Rental
Island Oasis

While visiting enjoy the heated pool and spa, outdoor kitchen lounge and pool table too.

Anna Maria Island Roof Top View Rentals
Island Oasis

 

Heron Heaven

While the deck at Heron Heaven only offers partial roof top views, it’s still good enough to make the list! This lovely outdoor space is just off the living room and offers plenty of seats for relaxing beach side.

beach rental with a view
Heron Heaven

This spacious two bedroom is just across the street from gulf beaches, and offers a great old Florida style. Find the nearest beach access just steps away!

Anna Maria Island Beach Rental
Heron Heaven

 

Water Colors

When you visit Water Colors you are sure to fall in love with roof top island views.

Anna Maria Island beach rental with a view
Water Colors

This platinum Anna Maria rental has all the amenities you could ever want! Enjoy the heated pool/spa and a gorgeous sophisticated beach style. Sleep up to eight guests with four bedrooms.

Anna Maria vacation rental
Water Colors

The Perfect Anna Maria Island Spa Day

While visiting paradise you must treat yourself to a Perfect Anna Maria Island Spa Day! There’s many options for the pampered treatment on island time, and no better way to relax beach side.

The Perfect Anna Maria Island Spa Day

Making time for yourself can be easy during a vacation, so live it up and indulge while you can! Follow this list for the perfect spa day on Anna Maria Island.

Breakfast first at The Island Creperie

Start your day off right with a big breakfast! You’ll need energy for a full day of pampering. Head over to the Island Creperie for Mimosas and a fancy French breakfast. While they have the islands best crepes, the menu here offers a fantastic selection in a cozy atmosphere. Find the Island Creperie on Bridge Street in the purple storefront.

Anna Maria Island Spa Day
Enjoy a big French Breakfast at the Island Creperie.

Sea Renity Beach Spa and Eco-Boutique for massages and shopping.

After filling up on crepes head down the street for a little shopping and a massage from Sea Renity. Pick up some really cute stuff while enjoying retail therapy in the boutique. You’ll find clothes, jewelry, gifts and more. Sea Renity not only offers several massage and skin care packages, but they have beach massages available too.

Anna Maria Island Spa Day
Enjoy massages and retail therapy at Sea Renity.

Beach Session

After your are fully relaxed from your massage throw on your swim wear and spend an hour at the beach! Just long enough to get some Vitamin D, but not too long. You wouldn’t want to get sunburned or too tired on your day of indulgence.

Lunch at Sign of the Mermaid

You’ll be ready for something to eat after your beach session. Head up to the Sign of the Mermaid for lunch. Here you’ll find great salads, soups and sandwiches perfect for a day of pampering.

Anna Maria Spa Day
Sign of the Mermaid in the city of Anna Maria.

Acqua Aveda Salon and Spa for Manicures and more shopping.

After you recharge with lunch, hop on the free trolley and ride into Holmes Beach to visit Acqua Aveda. Here you’ll find a full service salon and a high end boutique area as well. This is the perfect place to polish yourself up with a mani-pedi, facial and make up service. Not only does Acqua Aveda have great nail and skin services, but they offer great make up lessons. Get all glammed up before dinner time! You might even find a cute new top or dress in the boutique to wear out for the evening.

Anna Maria Island Spa Day at Acqua Aveda
Head to Acqua Aveda for Mani Pedis, Skin care and make up!

Relax at your beach rental

Before going out for the evening take a break at your Anna Maria Island beach rental. A long hard day of relaxing and pampering requires a little down time too. Take a short nap, pick out your evening wear, take a selfie for your friends back home, have a glass of wine and just chill out for a bit.

Anna Maria beach rentals
Relax at a fantastic beach rental like Le Paradis in the city of Anna Maria. Click on the image to learn more about this beautiful Anna Maria vacation rental.

Dinner and Cocktails

After your afternoon chill session, get ready for a fun night out island style. Go to the Waterfront Restaurant to get the night started. Here you’ll enjoy one of the island’s best craft cocktail bars along with outstanding menu selections. Fill up on seafood with views of Tampa Bay.

Anna Maria Island Spa Day
Start your evening with craft cocktails and dinner at the Waterfront

Sunset and Nightlife

Once you’ve enjoyed your fill of the Waterfront, hop on the free trolley and head to the Gulf side of the island for sunset and nightlife fun. Have a seat at Gulf Drive Cafe’s massive Tiki deck, enjoy a frozen drink and watch the sun sink into the Gulf of Mexico. The perfect ending to an Anna Maria Island Spa Day!

Top 5 Anna Maria Island January Activities

During your next winter visit you have to try these top five Anna Maria Island January activities! This is a great time of year for a warm Florida vacation as northerners experience the cold, snow and ice.

Top 5 Anna Maria Island January Activities

While January is cool, it’s still a fantastic time of year for a rental on the beach!

Anna Maria Island January Activities
Enjoy January on Anna Maria Island!

Mini Golf on Bridge Street

Head over to the Fish Hole Miniature golf course on Bridge Street! A great place for family fun, the Fish Hole is a great cool weather activity. You’ll find 18 holes along this well-kept course. You can feed the beautiful Koi fish, and watch the pond of turtles sunning themselves on their logs. The Fish Hole also offers soda and Dippin’ Dots Ice Cream.

Bella by the Sea Boutique

Check out Bella by the Sea for a unique boutique shopping experience. This great shop offers women’s clothes, jewelry, handbags and more. This is a great place to visit during a January day on island time.

Anna Maria January Activities
Visit Bella by the Sea Boutique on Pine Avenue.

Star Gazing on the Beach

A clear January night on Anna Maria Island is perfect for star gazing. January 3rd, 2017 is the peak of the Quadrantid Meteor shower, and the Full Moon is on January 12th, 2017. Bundle up and head to the beach for beautiful skies and sounds of the tides. Check out this helpful Star Gazing Guide too!

Cocktails at The Doctor’s Office

You must visit Anna Maria Island’s newest night spot, The Doctor’s Office! Here you’ll find the island’s hottest craft cocktails and delicious chef inspired small plates. The Doctor’s Office is the newest establishment owned by Sean Murphy of the Beach Bistro.

Anna Maria Island January Activities
Visit The Doctor’s Office in Holmes Beach.

Bike over the Bridge

Rent a bike or snag one from the new Bike sharing racks, and go for a ride over the Manatee Bridge! You’ll enjoy the fresh bay air, sights of the Skyway and tons of sea birds flying overhead. January is the perfect time for a brisk bike ride.

Anna Maria Island National Sangria Day

There are many options for celebrating National Sangria Day on Anna Maria Island! While you can find it on the menu at several island eateries, also make it at home!

National Sangria Day

While red is traditional, white and even sweet pink wines make Sangria. There are endless recipe variations for more adventurous wine lovers.

The basic components of Sangria include a wine, liquor, fruit juice, spice and sugar. You can really let your imagination run wild with different combinations.

Traditional Red

1 Bottle Dry Red Wine
1/3 cup Brandy or Cherry Brandy. Add more for extra kick.
3-4 Tablespoons Sugar. Substitute with Brown Sugar or even Honey.
3/4 Cup Orange Juice. Experiment with other juices such as Grapefruit.
1 Orange Sliced. Experiment with other sliced citrus such as Lemons, Limes or Seasonal Blood Oranges.
1/2 Green Apple Cubed. (Set some Fruit to the side for garnishing glasses)
Cinnamon garnish optional.
Soda Water optional for a more punch like drink.

Directions:

In a pitcher or bowl combine 1/2 of the sliced oranges and sugar. Gently muddle them together.
Add in the wine, brandy and orange juice. Gently stir.
Add lots of ice.
Top with remaining orange slices and apples.

Select a large wine glass or tall tumbler. Fill with ice and poor Sangria in. Garnish with additional fruit, a splash of club soda and a sprinkle of Cinnamon.

National Sangria Day
Traditional Sangria with Apples.

Ideas for creating your own.

Use the basic recipe above as a reference and let your creativity guide you. There really is no wrong way to make a fantastic Sangria at home.

Since it’s that time of year again, get into the Holiday Spirit with this Christmas Sangria Recipe too!

Wines: Chardonnay, Cava, Moscato, Dry Rose.

Liquors: Light Rum, Grand Marnier, Gin, Fruit Flavored Liquors.

Fruit: Black berries, Cherries, Mango, Peaches, Pears, Pineapple, Kiwi.

Garnishes: Basil, Mint, Rosemary, Cinnamon Sticks, Pomegranate Seeds.

Juices and Mixers: Pineapple Juice, Lemon Lime Soda, Apple Cider, Cranberry Juice.

Anna Maria Island Restaurants for your National Sangria Day fix.

While making Sangria at home is great, you can skip the fuss and just go out!

The Waterfront Restaurant has one of Anna Maria Island’s best craft cocktail bars. You’re sure to find an amazing Sangria on the menu. The food here is really good too! Find them at 111 South Bay Boulevard in the city of Anna Maria.

For a relaxed atmosphere and outdoor seating, head to Ugly Grouper. While they aren’t the fanciest place on the island, they sure will please you with their Sangria. Enjoy live music too! Find them on Marina Drive in Holmes Beach.

Enjoy Sangria with your toes in the sand when you visit The Sandbar Restaurant. With an extensive wine menu, Sandbar is sure to please you on National Sangria Day! The Sandbar is also in the city of Anna Maria where Spring Avenue meets the Gulf.

Happy National Sangria Day from Anna Maria Island!

Beach Sangria Anna Maria Island
There is nothing better than relaxing on the beach with a tropical fruity Sangria!

8 Unusual Attractions Near Anna Maria Island

Looking for unusual attractions near Anna Maria Island? Check out this list of ideas! For an authentic Florida vacation you must see something unique or weird! This list is not just your usual collection of roadside stops, but a collection of artistically inspired places to visit.

8 Unusual Attractions Near Anna Maria Island

While some of these places are local, all the attractions on our list are under two hours away.

Mr. Bones BBQ in Holmes Beach.

Mr. Bones offers the areas best Barbecue in a unique atmosphere. This is a must stop for those looking for a different experience. When you enter you’ll find a coffin full of ice cold beers along with the restaurants mascot skeleton. Serve yourself a beer from their large selection and you’ll be seated in the dining room. The walls are covered with interesting masks with decor as eclectic as the menu too! Not only do they have the best barbecue, but you’ll find vegan and Indian dishes as well.

Unusual Attractions Near Anna Maria Island
The dining room at Mr. Bones BBQ

A word of advise for those visiting this funky family owned eatery, do not ask for salt, pepper or ketchup!

Mr. Bones BBQ Holmes Beach
Don’t even ask!

The Sea Hagg in Cortez Fishing Village.

You never know what you’ll find in Cortez Fishing Village, but there are three things you can always count on. Fresh off the boat seafood, the “Real” old Florida atmosphere, and The Sea Hagg. This Gift shop is one of the most interesting places to find everything nautical. The front yard of The Sea Hagg is referred to as the Salvage Garden. Here you’ll find old boats, sculptures and an array of interesting items. Once inside you’ll find floor to ceiling Nautical curiosities, antiques and gifts.

The Sea Hagg in Cortez
The Sea Hagg is a unique stop for nautical gifts, antiques and more.

Arte Coyoacano in Downtown Bradenton’s Village of the Arts.

In the southern portion of downtown Bradenton there is a residential- commercial neighborhood full of arts, galleries, specialty shops and restaurants. The Village of the Arts is full of early 20th century bungalows adding an interesting touch to this quaint community. While the area is peppered with interesting finds, Arte Coyoacano gallery has some of the most unusual.

Village of the Arts
Visit the Village of the Arts and Arte Coyoacano for a unique look at a work play live neighborhood. Alfredo Garcia Sculptures.

Artist Alfredo Garcia’s sculptures and paintings are truly authentic Mexican Folk Art. His works are both technically brilliant and whimsical too. He implements bright colors and traditional Mexican Folk art themes in one of the areas most unique gallery/studios.

Village of the Arts
Alfredo Garcia Acrylic on canvas “La virgen”

Marietta Museum of Art and Whimsy in Sarasota.

The Marietta Museum of Art and Whimsy is a lovely place to visit with the entire family. You’ll find a large variety of interesting works to see from fine art to kitsch. There is no entrance fee, but there is a suggested donation of $5 per person to this wonderful non-profit. The Marietta Museum not only offers a traditional museum setting, but a beautiful sculpture garden too. The museum is open November through May.

 

Marietta Museum of Art and Whimsy
Flaming in the sculpture garden at Marietta Museum.

Founder and Curator Marietta Lee is passionate about sharing the works in her Museum. She wanted to create an interesting space for people to relax and enjoy art. She wanted art to be inclusive to all. A unique feature of this museum is half the artists are women, half men, and almost all are still living.

Marietta Museum
A wax figure dutifully sits at the Marietta Museum.

Solomon’s Castle in Ona.

Solomon’s Castle is like nothing you’ll ever see. Tucked into a wooded area of Ona, Florida this attraction is the makings of an artists dream. Howard Solomon is a metal artist who began creating his castle in 1972. The large metallic structure houses his works. This not so average roadside attraction has gained international attention.

Solomon's Castle
Solomon’s Castle in Ona, Florida is a one of a kind attraction.

The Salvadore Dali Museum in St. Petersburg.

The Salvadore Dali Museum celebrates the works of the artists entire life from 1904 to 1989. This collection includes over 2000 pieces in addition to rotating featured exhibits from other artists. Salvadore Dali was an influential artist know for his interesting style across several mediums. If you are looking for a unique attraction this is a sure bet.

The Dali
The Dali Museum in St. Petersburg

Whimzeyland in Safety Harbor.

Whimzeyland, also known as the Bowling Ball House, is an interesting attraction and the creation of two artists. In 1985 Todd Ramquist and Kiaralinda bought a house in Safety Harbor. They began decorating their yard and house with an artistic touch. After coming upon 10 free bowling balls at a Flea Market, the two really started to push the house into a new realm of creativity. They decorated the balls and began accepting artists bowling balls from all over.  Since 1985 the couple has purchased adjacent properties in their neighborhood employing the same fun themes. The grounds are free to wonder, but are not open all year.

Whimzeyland The Bowling Ball House
Whimzeyland in Safety Harbor

Dysfunctional Grace Art Co in Tampa’s Ybor City.

Dysfunctional Grace Art Co is a collaborative gallery of true art oddities. You wont soon find a more unusual collection of works. From the adorable to the deplorable, and everything in between, this Tampa art shop is a must visit.

Dysfunctional Grace Art Co
Dysfunctional Grace Art Co in Ybor City

Enjoy these unusual attractions near Anna Maria Island and enjoy a true Florida experience!

Top 10 Anna Maria Island Holiday Gifts Guide

Anna Maria Island Holiday Gifts are a great way to show your family and friends you love them during the season of giving. Check out our list of the hottest top 10 holiday gifts to pick up on the island. While you’ll not only support local island shops, these gifts are sure to please.

Top 10 Anna Maria Island Holiday Gifts Guide

Forget the fruit cake and seasonal sweaters, get your loved ones something really great! Not only will they love these gifts, but these items will always remind them of time spent on AMI!

Leather Wallets from Salt Air

These ladies leather wallets are super cute! They have several different colors to pick from along with a nice gold detail for $26.95. Pick them up at the Salt Air Boutique in Holmes Beach at 5508 Marina Drive.

Salt Air AMI
Ladies Wallets at Salt Air AMI

Quay Australia Sunglasses from Pink & Navy Boutique

Pink and Navy Boutique is one of the islands trendiest stores offering items for both men and women. Pick up a pair of these super hot Quay Australia sunglasses for a special person in your life. Find the Pink & Navy Store on Pine Avenue in the city of Anna Maria.

Pink & Navy Boutique Anna Maria
Quay Australia Sunglasses with all the most popular styles at Pink & Navy.

Donate to Wildlife Inc. in a Loved Ones Name

This is a fantastic gift idea for that someone who has everything! Wildlife Inc. is an Anna Maria Island based non-profit that rescues and rehabilitates birds and animals. They provide an amazing local service, and will come out to rescue any injured wildlife big, small, sick or even venomous. Wildlife Inc. operates exclusively by donations.

Head over to their website and make a donation. You may even be able to set up a tour of their Bradenton Beach facility for your loved one too.

Wildlife Inc. Anna Maria Island animal rescue
Donate to Wildlife Inc. in a loved ones name. They’ll think it’s a HOOT!

Face Plant Footsie Slippers at Egrets Nest

The Egrets Nest offers a variety of ladies resort wear, jewelry, children’s gifts and more. Stop by their shop and pick up a pair of these cute Face Plant Footsie slippers. These would be especially great for the ones on your gift list who live in cold weather climates. The Egrets Nest and sister store The White Egret are at the corner of Pine Avenue and Gulf Drive.

Egrets Nest Anna Maria Island
Face Plant Footsie Slippers from the Egrets Nest.

Costa Trucker Hats from West Coast Surf Shop

The Trucker Hat has been a popular style with both men and women, and these awesome ones from Costa brand are no exception! They have three different styles of neon to choose from. While visiting West Coast Surf Shop check out their selection of awesome surfer gear, clothes, shoes and more. Find West Coast Surf Shop near the Manatee Public Beach Access in Holmes Beach.

West Coast Surf Shop Anna Maria Island
Costa Trucker Hats are super cool for the surfers on your gift list!

Handmade Scarves from Restless Natives

These handmade scarves would make an awesome gift for your friends who love lots of color and a Boho style. Local artist Glenna makes them from recycled silk, and gives them a shaggy look. Check out more fun gift ideas when you visit Restless Natives.

Restless Natives Anna Maria Island
Handmade Boho Silk Scarves at Restless Natives

Schedule an Anna Maria Inshore Fishing Charter with Captain Kyle.

If you live locally, plan on visiting, or will be on AMI for the holiday give your friends a fishing charter. Captain Kyle knows all the best inshore places to catch fish! He offers four or seven hour excursions leaving from the mouth of the Manatee River.

Anna Maria Inshore Fishing
You’re sure to catch dinner when you schedule a charter with Captain Kyle

Gift Cards from The Beach House, Sandbar and Mar Vista Restaurants

Gift Cards are always an easy gift that everyone loves. This is especially true when it comes to the Chiles group of restaurants. When you purchase a holiday gift card of $50 or more you’ll receive a bonus of 25% of the value of the card. Give a gift and get a gift too!

Sandbar Restaurants
Gift Cards for The Beach House, Sandbar and Mar Vista Restaurants.

Love Rocks at AL’s Studio

These adorable artist made Love Rocks are a fun treasure. Annabel’s gallery offers great works with regularly featured artists. Check out these fun Love Rocks and give the gift of art with a positive message. Find AL’s Studio on Pine Avenue in the city of Anna Maria.

AL's Studio Anna Maria
Love Rocks on Anna Maria Island!

 

Beach Vacation

Surprise your family with a vacation to Anna Maria Island with Island Real Estate! Giving the gift of travel is a great way to make memories and have new experiences too. Nothing brings family and friends closer together than lounging on the beaches of Anna Maria Island! Island Real Estate has the areas largest selection of Anna Maria Island Beach Rentals your family will love!

Here’s a fun idea to try! First plan your stay. Next print out your reservation confirmation and put it in the biggest wrapped box you can find. Everyone at your holiday gathering will get a good laugh when they open it!

Anna Maria Island Holiday Gifts
Give the Gift of an Anna Maria Island Beach Vacation!