There’s an App for that! Track the Free Island Trolley with the myStop App

The day where you can track the Island trolley in real-time is finally here! There is now a phone application, called myStop, that will provide you with real-time Anna Maria Island trolley info. The days of guessing your pickup time are over with this FREE app you can download easily.

myStop Mobile is an awesome tool to get trolley stop details, and to see if the trolley is on time or late to its next stop. Make sure you pick the “5 AMI Trolley” option to get our specific trolley’s information. A map will display stop locations – remember that north destinations pick up on the east side of the road and south destinations pick up on the west side.

If you for some reason don’t have a smart phone on you, but are near a computer, juts visit this site to view the trolley info/times.

As if the free trolley here on Anna Maria Island could get any better! Tip from a local: make sure you have your shoes ON, not just in your beach bag when getting on the trolley, the drivers are very strict!

Dog Park at Central Park in Holmes Beach

If you have traveled to AMI with your furry friend before, you have probably been to the dog park before! But if you and your dog are Island newbie’s, you may not be aware of the small dog park in Holmes Beach.

Let me give you the run down. There is a park on Flotilla Drive in Holmes Beach called Central Park. Here, there is a small area just for dogs to run around and do dog stuff.

It’s nothing much, but there are benches to relax at and some shade. And with dogs being NOT PERMITTED on the Island beaches, it’s nice to have a place just for them.

*This park is managed by the City of Holmes Beach*

Market Update: Taxes!

Tis the season, Property Tax Season that is! I wanted to provide a little information on Anna Maria Island property taxes for this newsletter.  Let’s discuss the Truth in Millage (TRIM) notice that is normally sent out Mid-August each year.  It is critical within a few days that you check your TRIM statement, as the deadline for appealing your property tax assessment is 25 days from the date of the notice.  For those that do not receive the TRIM notice real time I suggest you make arrangements to receive the TRIM notice electronically or late August sign in to ManateePAO.com to review your TRIM notice.  Over the years I have appealed my property assessment twice and have found compromise with the County both times.  Once using and attorney and once on my own.

Using an attorney to help is not inexpensive, the service can run $3,500 and up.  In most cases an attorney is utilized when a comprehensive market price analysis of similar properties is complicated, the building is newly erected AND the potential property tax savings exceeds the attorney fees.  In my case there were less than a handful of similar properties on Anna Maria Island and the market value of the property is a combination of income generation and real property value.  The attorney helped the most with the process of how to appeal however I would not suggest using an attorney if you want to save your own time on the appeal.  I found I did a great deal of the heavy lifting as it related to the analysis of comparing similar properties and making a case why the market value of my property was excessive. 

My second appeal was much less complicated so I handled the appeal on my own.  I would hazard a guess most Anna Maria Island owners can handle an appeal on their own if needed.  Reminder, your property taxes are calculated by taking millage rates multiplied by your Assessed value.  Millage rates are determined by local governments and are passed via public budget meetings you can attend.  The below process is to determine if your assessed value has been improperly estimated and should not be confused with the total proposed property tax increase.  Assessed value and property tax are apples and oranges.  Here is my suggested process for determining if an appeal is even worth your time: 

1. Compare your assessed value last year to this year as a percent increase.

2. Is your Anna Maria Island property Homestead? 

YES, then the assessed value increase is CAPPED by the 1995 Save Our Homes act.  Skip to #3

NO, ok likely you are seasonally renting your property so Homestead is not available.  Skip to #4

3. Congratulations, your assessed value is normally CAPPED around 3%.  The CAP DOES change from year to year based on the Consumer Price Index.   Is your year to year change more than the CAP?

If the answer is YES, Skip to #5. If the answer is NO, Skip to #6. 

4. Ok, your Anna Maria Island property is not homestead.  The challenge now at hand is to determine what the average increase is for most other Anna Maria Island similar properties.  You can do that by calling me, talking with a few friendly neighbors, or staying in tune with market appreciation on the island by reviewing our newsletters.  The most important part of this analysis is to ask if your assessed value percent increase from last year is within reason? 

If the answer is YES, skip to #6.    If the answer is NO then move to #5.

5. Ask yourself in the last 18 months or so, have you performed renovations to your property that required a permit?  For example, adding a pool, adding square footage under AC?  Permits add value and hence your assessed value may increase more than the CAP or more than your neighbors increased year over year assessment.  Renovations made?  Considering the cost of the added PERMIT value does your assessed value increase now make sense? 

If the answer is YES, Skip to #6. If the answer is NO, move to #7.

6. Move on to more productive matters like going to the beach.  Filing for an appeal this year will likely not be a productive exercise.

7. So after all your analysis your TRIM notice still seems to high.  Call (941) 741-4058 and with your percent increase of assessed value at hand ask for details on why the increase is so high this year.

I hope this information is of help.  Here is the 2019 TRIM supplement offered by the County. If you have questions please don’t hesitate to call me or your Anna Maria Island Sales professional.  We can help! 

Publix – Anna Maria Island Grocery store

Publix is located in central Holmes Beach on Anna Maria Island. It is the only major grocery store on Anna Maria Island. The prices are normally 5% more however most locals save a half an hour round trip off the island to visit the Publix found on 7310 Manatee Avenue in Bradenton, Fl.

Publix located on Anna Maria Island
Publix located in Holmes Beach on Anna Maria Island

Publix of Holmes Beach is located on 3900 East Bay drive next to CVS. You can load their mobile app to order deli orders or subs before-hand to make the most of your Anna Maria Island vacation. The lines for making sub sandwiches at lunch can get lengthy. Publix sells beer and has a large wine selection. They have typical deli selections with a small hot section usually including chicken nuggets, fried potato wedges, mac-n-cheese. They do not have a cold deli with salads etc.

For a quick visit, Publix offers pre-made salads, sandwiches, sushi and cold varieties of pasta salad, potato salad, etc. Publix of Anna Maria Island has a fairly large produce section, frozen section and all the staples you would need. Publix has a bakery where you can pick up bread or preorder cakes, they have a seafood section as well as a floral section. If you are looking for specialty items you may need to visit the off the island Publix which is significantly larger and offers more varieties of groceries but most of the time unless you are a chef you will find what you need at the local Publix.

Publix is on the free Anna Maria Island Trolly route if you want to leave your car at home or your vacation rental. Publix does offer grocery delivery visit the Publix page for more information.

Pharmacies on Anna Maria Island

Both Anna Maria Island pharmacies are in the central portion of Holmes Beach. You’ll find Walgreens at the corner of Gulf Drive and East Bay Boulevard. CVS is at the corner of Manatee Avenue and East Bay Boulevard. CVS also offers a one-hour photo center. Both CVS and Walgreen’s offer the normal variety of miscellaneous beauty supplies, minor groceries, and beach toys.

CVS
611 Manatee Avenue
Holmes Beach, Fl, 34217
(941) 778-1411
Store #: 3953

Walgreen’s
3248 East Bay Drive
Holmes Beach, FL, 34217
(941) 778-0451
Store# : 1801

Walgreens on Anna Maria Island
Walgreens in Holmes Beach, FL

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.

Waste Collection Schedule for Anna Maria Island

If you are visiting or relocating to Anna Maria Island, it is important to be aware of the waste collection schedule for all three Island cities. Below, you will find the garbage and recycling pickup days for Anna Maria City, Holmes Beach, and Bradenton Beach.

Anna Maria Island Waste Collection Schedule 

Holmes Beach:
Household Garbage (solid waste) – Collected on Mondays and Fridays
Residential Recycling – Collected on Tuesdays
Residential Yard Waste – Collected on Wednesdays

Anna Maria City:
Residential Yard Waste and Recycling – Collected on Mondays
Household Garbage (solid waste) – Collected on Mondays and Fridays.


Bradenton Beach:

Household Garbage (solid waste) –  Collected on Monday and Thursday
Residential Recycling – Collected on Thursday
Residential Yard Waste – Collected on  Wednesday

 

Wildlife Inc. – Animal Rescue on Anna Maria Island

Wildlife Inc. Education & Rehabilitation Center on Anna Maria Island has been rescuing and rehabilitating wild animals in Manatee and Sarasota County since they opened back in 1988. This animal rescue would not be around if it wasn’t for the tireless dedication of Gail and Ed Straight. This is a non-profit, volunteer run organization for the rehabilitation of injured and orphaned wildlife in Bradenton Beach.

Wildlife Inc. Education & Rehabilitation Center is the largest wildlife rescue and rehabilitation center in all of Manatee County! Now that’s impressive!

Since 1988 they have cared for thousands of animals every year. 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. They also supply medicine, food, and surgeries for injured or orphaned animals until they can be released to the wild.

Wildlife Inc. Education & Rehabilitation Center also has a unique agreement with Mixon Fruit Farms in Bradenton. Through this agreement, they are able to keep several animals at Mixon’s as a part of educating the public on their tour. So next time you visit Mixon’s Fruit Farm, take time to take the tour as well!

Click here to find out what to do if you come across injured or orphaned wildlife while on or near Anna Maria Island, FL. 

Wildlife Inc
Phone:
(941) 778-6324
Mixon Fruit Farms Address: 2525 27th St E, Bradenton, FL 34208

Local Music Festivals and Events

Amazing live music, exceptional talent, and it’s all taking place in practically our own backyard. These local music festivals and events are sure to impress.
Take a look at all the sweet-sounding occasions that occur every year in our area.

Anna Maria Island 

Symphony on the Sand
Symphony on the Sand is an event that takes place every year at Coquina Gulfside Park in Bradenton Beach. This event features live music by the Anna Maria Island Concert Chorus & Orchestra (AMICCO). There will also be delicious small plates prepared by local restaurants, and of course beer and wine.  Take a visit AMI’s pristine Coquina Beach , all while enjoying live music and a picturesque sunset over the Gulf of Mexcio.
Where: Gulf Dr S, Bradenton Beach, FL 34217
When: Second Saturday of November
Time: 4:30pm – 7:30pm
Tickets: Tickets for Symphony on the Sand range from $20 to $150

 

Bradenton 

Bradenton Blues Festival:
A weekend full of exceptional live blues music, food vendors, and local craft beer is exactly what you’re in store for at the annual BRADENTON BLUES FESTIVAl in Downtown Bradenton. This event sells out FAST, so if you’re going to be in town or on the island during this time of year and want to attend this fun filled festival, purchase your tickets ASAP! This event is produced by the non-profit organization Realize Bradenton, and proceeds will support Realize Bradenton’s free youth, art, and music programs for the community.
Where: 452 3rd Ave W, Bradenton, FL, 34205
When: First weekend of December (Friday – Sunday)
Time: Begins 6pm Friday, ends 2pm Sunday
Tickets: Tickets for the festival range from $10 – $100

 

Music in the Park:
Picture yourself watching a beautiful sunset over the Manatee River, all while listening to amazing local musicians. That is exactly what the event MUSIC IN THE PARK is all about. This family-friendly occasion also offers snacks and beverages, including local craft beer and wine, for purchase. It is encouraged to bring a picnic basket, blankets and chairs, and even your furry friend (as long as they’re on a leash of course).
Where: Mosaic Amphitheater at the Bradenton Riverwalk (606 3rd Ave. West Bradenton, FL 34205)
When: Begins the second Friday of March, and continues every Friday until the last Friday of April.
Time: 6pm – 8pm
Tickets: Free event

Sarasota

Sarasota Music Festival
The Sarasota Music Festival is a three week long event that occurs every June. This musical affair features internationally recognized guest artists, and student musicians from around the world. The beautiful music and amazing talent that is produced at this musical event is enough reason to make the Sarasota Music Festival one of the most exceptional classical-music events in the country.
Where: Holley Hall at the Beatrice Friedman Symphony Center, 709 North Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34236
AND Sarasota Opera House, 61 N. Pineapple Avenue, Sarasota, FL 34236
When: Typically the event begins the first Sunday of June, and ends the last Sunday of June
Tickets: To purchase tickets for this event please go to the the Sarasota Orchestra website

 

 

Giving Hunger the Blues & Jazz on the Bay 
Known as “Sarasota’s Favorite Outdoor Music Festival”, the Giving Hunger the Blues & Jazz on the Bay Festival raises awareness and funds a local not-for-profit organization called The Mayors Feed The Hungry Program. This event takes place at the grounds of the Van Wezel Performing Arts Center along Sarasota Bay. featuring local and regional talent, and tons of tasty food from the areas finest restaurants. All proceeds from Giving Hunger the Blues & Jazz on the Bay go to supporting local hungry families over the holiday season.
Where: 777 N Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34236
When: The 2018 event was different compared to the prior years.
The 2018 event features not one but TWO days of music during the second weekend of October (Saturday and Sunday).
Time: Begins 3:00pm Saturday and ends 8:30pm Sunday
Tickets: Tickets for the event are $15

 

Bradenton Riverwalk Events You Won’t Want to Miss

Check Out All the Fun That’s Going on Throughout the Year 

Bradenton Blues Festival:
A weekend full of exceptional live blues music, food vendors, and local craft beer is exactly what you’re in store for at the annual Bradenton Blues Festival in Downtown Bradenton. This event sells out FAST, so if you’re going to be in town or on the island during this time of year and want to attend this fun filled festival, purchase your tickets ASAP! This event is produced by the non-profit organization Realize Bradenton, and proceeds will support Realize Bradenton’s free youth, art, and music programs for the community.
When: First weekend of December (Friday – Sunday)
Time: Begins 6pm Friday, ends 2pm Sunday
Tickets: Tickets for the festival range from $10 – $100 depending on type of ticket purchased.

Fourth of July Firework Display:
The Bradenton Riverwalk puts on a Zambelli International fireworks show on the 4th of July ever year (weather permitting). Take a walk down Main Street, maybe grab a drink while you’re there, and then head over to the Riverwalk for a spectacular firework display over the Manatee River.
When: July 4th
Time: The grand firework finale will begin at 9pm

Music in the Park:
Picture yourself watching a beautiful sunset over the Manatee River, all while listening to amazing local musicians. That is exactly what the event Music in the Park is all about. This family-friendly occasion also offers snacks and beverages, including local craft beer and wine, for purchase. It is encouraged to bring a picnic basket, blankets and chairs, and even your furry friend (as long as they’re on a leash of course).
When: Begins the second Friday of March, and continues every Friday until the last Friday of April.
Time: 6pm – 8pm

Manatee Pride:
Manatee Pride is all about empowering and supporting the local LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning) community. The event is put on by volunteers and has been taking place every year since 2014. Manatee Pride features different local vendors, live entertainment, and food and beverages, which includes the “Manatee Pride” beer.
When: Third Saturday of March
Time: 12pm – 5pm