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!

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 You’ll find almost 300 great homes!


Cortez Fishing Village Seafood Restaurants

There’s no shortage of Cortez Fishing Village seafood restaurants to try out while visiting the area. This is one of the oldest working fishing villages in the United States. So therefore, the large selection of seafood restaurants is no surprise.

7 Cortez Fishing Village Seafood Restaurants

Here is the list of all the seafood restaurants in Cortez. Try one, or try them all!

Starfish Company

Starfish Company might be the most popular choice among locals. This is both a restaurant and market serving fresh off the boat seafood. Starfish Company began in the 1920’s, and is now owned by the Bell family of A.P. Bell Fish Company. You’ll find simply prepared old Florida style seafood dishes. The menu here really allows the seafood to speak for itself. Starfish is cash only! Order at the counter, and wait at one of the dockside tables looking over Sarasota Bay. You’ll also enjoy views of the docked fishing boats for an authentic seafood restaurant experience.
12306 46th Ave W
Cortez Fl, 34215
(941) 794-1243

Cortez Fishing Village Seafood Restaurants
Starfish Restaurant

Tide Tables

This is the sister restaurant to Starfish. Here you’ll find the same great quality seafood and a similarly charming atmosphere. The menu at Tide Tables is a bit more modern, and has a different selection of offerings than Starfish. Enjoy views of the Intracoastal Waterway along with outdoor dining.
12507 Cortez Rd W
Cortez, Florida
(941) 567-6206

Swordfish Grill

Another great option for fresh seafood, you’ll love Swordfish Grill. In addition to seafood, you’ll find chicken, ribs and a little something for everyone. The restaurant is casual, but the menu does also have some nicer items. Swordfish offers dock side dining, live music and a full service bar. You can come by car or dock your boat too!
4628 119th St W.
Cortez, FL 34215
(941) 798-2035

Cortez Kitchen

Right next door to Swordfish Grill you’ll find Cortez Kitchen. The menu here has old fashioned Florida favorites with shrimp, scallops, grouper and mahi. Find southern favorites like grits, hush puppies and fried okra. This is a laid back restaurant that offers outdoor dining on the water in addition to live music.
(941) 798-9404
4528 119th Street W,
Cortez, FL 34215

Seafood Shack

The Seafood Shack has been operating since the 1970’s, but in the past few years has upgraded their facility and menu. Not only is the Seafood Shack a great restaurant, but they offer a nice marina too. Seafood Shack has fish, scallops, salads and also an option to bring in your own fresh catch. Enjoy indoor or outdoor dining, boat docks, catering and banquet facilities. You could even host a wedding here.
4110 127th St W
Cortez, FL 34215
(941) 794-1235

Cortez village seafood restaurants
Seafood Shack


Further inland you’ll come upon O’Shucks. Here you’ll find a raw oyster bar along with many local seafood favorites such as smoked mullet. In addition to raw oysters they have Rockefeller and fried options. O’Shucks has a nice selection of beers and some outdoor seating is also available.
12012 Cortez Rd W
Cortez, Florida
(941) 792-4822

Anna Maria Oyster Bar

On the far inland edge of Cortez Village you’ll find the always popular Anna Maria Oyster Bar. They have a large menu with just about anything you could want. The prices here are very reasonable. Enjoy quality service and a consistent quality of food every time you dine. Anna Maria Oyster Bar also offers early bird specials.
6696 Cortez Road,
Bradenton, FL 34210
(941) 792-0077

For a fantastic Florida dining experience try out one of these great Cortez Fishing Village Seafood Restaurants!

Anna Maria Island Beach Picnic Guide

An Anna Maria Island beach picnic is the perfect way to enjoy beautiful weather, powder beaches and turquoise waters. Follow our picnic guide for great ideas too! Find the best picnic spots, get recipes and fun hacks to inspire your island style picnic in paradise.

Anna Maria Island Beach Picnic Guide

A day at the beach just isn’t compete without picnic snacks!

Anna Maria Island beach picnic
Head to Anna Maria Island for a beach picnic!

Finding perfect picnic spots

There are tons of fantastic spots to picnic on the island. However, the perfect spot depends on your specific needs.

Family picnics. When gathering the entire family, Manatee Public Beach access is a great destination. This access also offers all the amenities you could want and more. Find plenty of parking, picnic tables, concessions, shops, life guard, changing facilities, restrooms, volley ball, play ground and trolley stops too.

Picnic spots with grills. There are a few places that offer public grilling. This is a great idea for beach picnics! Anna Maria Island beaches do not allow open fires, or private grilling. However, you will find public use charcoal grills at Coquina Beach, Manatee Beach and Bay Front Park.

Romantic picnics. When planning a romantic picnic for two, we recommend Bean Point on north island. These beaches are more secluded, and also offer beautiful views.

Sunrise Picnics. The bay side of the island offers really great sunrises. However, a breakfast picnic at Robinson Preserve, just off island, is also lovely.

Sunset Picnics. Sunset is a gorgeous time to enjoy an Anna Maria Island beach picnic. Head to just about any gulf beach access, and you will find a stunning spot for a meal outdoors.

Island Style Picnic Recipes

Keep it easy. These Antipasto skewers would be a great option for an easy and beautiful picnic snack. Also, they would be very transportable.

Anna Maria Island beach picnic
Antipasto Skewers

Something for the kids. Try a twist on an old standby with Monster Sandwiches!

Anna Maria Island beach picnic
Monster Sandwiches

A foodie feast. When planning a more upscale picnic, try out cheese and charcuterie. This is really nice way to dress up a picnic for foodies.

beach picnic food

Breakfast on the go. Try these egg muffins for a hearty and easy breakfast! Follow the recipe exactly, or experiment with other ingredients. You could even bake these off the night before!

breakfast picnic
Breakfast Egg Muffins

Lemonade in a bag. These lemonade bags are a great picnic hack! Simply make an old fashioned lemonade recipe and put it in a plastic bag for a very transportable beverage.

Anna Maria Island beach picnic
Lemonade in a bag!

Sweet and treats. Finally, you have to have something sweet for a picnic. Try a Pineapple upside down cake. This would be a great tropical island dessert.

Anna Maria Island beach picnic guide
Pineapple upside down cake

Anna Maria Island beach picnic accessories

Grab a picnic beach blanket from West Coast Surf Shop! These are super cute and trendy too!

beach picnic
Super cute beach picnic blanket from West Coast Surf Shop in Holmes Beach

Fill up a S’well bottle from Pink & Navy Boutique. Not only do they keep your drink cold, but they also help reduce plastics on the beach!

beach picnic accessories
S’well bottles from Pink & Navy Boutique in Anna Maria.

Head over to Salt Air Boutique and get a super cute tote for all you beach gear, or snacks that don’t go in the cooler. A tote would also be a great alternative to a bulky picnic basket.

Anna Maria Island beach picnic
Beach totes from Salt Air Boutique in Holmes Beach

Skip the food prep

For the lazy beach picnic, order food from one of the many restaurants on the island. Also, don’t underestimate the selection of prepared foods from Publix super market. For a quick option swing through for sushi, sweet tea, fried chicken or subs. Any Floridians know Publix subs can’t be beat!

Publix subs picnic
Publix Subs

Once you enjoy an Anna Maria Island beach picnic, you won’t want to picnic anywhere else!

Anna Maria Island Beach Rentals

Casa Sierra A is the perfect beach rental for picnics! This 2 bedroom villa is just a short walk from the gulf for relaxed beach picnics. Additionally, Casa Sierra 205 A offers a poolside pergola, and a covered area on the lawn too!

Anna Maria Island beach rental holmes beach
Book your stay for up to 6 guests at Casa Sierra 205 A. Click on the image to learn more about this great beach rental!

Top 10 Anna Maria Island October Activities

Anna Maria Island October activities are a great way to enjoy Autumn island style! This is a beautiful time of year to visit with warm weather, fewer crowds and plenty of things to do. You’ll love Anna Maria Island in October!

Top 10 Anna Maria Island October Activities

Below is our list of must do activities for those visiting during the month. Try a few or try them all.

1 Pumpkin Spice Latte at Donut Experiment

A trip to the island is not complete without a tasty treat from the donut experiment. This is also a great time to pick up one of their seasonal Pumpkin Spice lattes and a custom donut too! We recommended the cinnamon sugar donut to complement your latte.

2 Fall Festival at Anna Maria Elementary

Help support the Anna Maria Elementary PTO and visit the Fall Festival. This great event not only benefits the school, but is a fun family activity. You’ll find kid activities, bounce house, bake sale and great vendors too! The event will be Oct. 22, 2016 at the Holmes Beach City Field at 5901 Marina Drive.

3 Head to Bay Fest in Anna Maria

The 16th annual Bay Fest is a great way to celebrate an Anna Maria Island October! This is one of the largest events on the island, and offers great family fun. Enjoy live music, tons of food, adult beverages, crafts and a huge car show. The event runs 10am-10pm on October 15th on Pine Avenue.

4 Go for a swim

Anna Maria Island does start to cool off in October, however, the average daily temperature still hovers in the upper 80’s. This means the island is still perfect for beach trips. Grab your suit and hop in the water!

5 Visit the Artists’ Guild Gallery

The October 2016 theme for the Artists’ Guild Gallery window is “Return to Paradise”. Stop by and see local artists works explaining why so many visitors return to Anna Maria Island every fall and winter!

6 Make Sand Dollar Cinnamon Cookies

Sand Dollar cookies are fun and delicious too. Check out this easy seasonal cookie recipe perfect for an Anna Maria Island October.

7 Eat Stone Crab Claws

Stone Crab Season starts in mid October for the Florida gulf coast, so be sure to try this seasonal delight! Anna Maria Island is located just across the bridge from Cortez Fishing Village. Come Stone Crab Season, there is no shortage of claws.

8 Take a sunset cruise

The Island may not have falling leaves, but finding fall colors during an Anna Maria Island October is easy. Wait for sunset and you won’t be disappointed with the rich oranges you’ll enjoy! Reserve yourself a spot on a sunset cruise and enjoy fall island style.

9 Watch the game at Slim’s Place

For many, Fall means Football. Head over to Slim’s Place in Anna Maria and catch a game. You’ll also enjoy delicious menu items, friendly service and a casual atmosphere. Slim’s is a sports bar, however is a family friendly option.

10 Dress up for the Trail of Treats

If you are on the island for Halloween, the Trail of Treats is a must for kids! Each year businesses across the island participate in handing out candy. Sponsored by the Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce, this event begins in the Holmes Beach commercial areas then moves to Anna Maria and Bradenton Beach. Always a perfect ending to Anna Maria Island October Activities!


Anna Maria Island October
Anna Maria Island October activities are fun!

Anna Maria Island October Beach Rentals

If you are looking to plan a last minute getaway to Anna Maria Island this October, Island Real Estate has great options!

Check out “The Villas”! New to the Island Real Estate beach rental inventory, “The Villas” are just a block from gulf beaches! Units 1-4 offer accommodations for up to 4 guests and unit 5 accommodates 6. “The Villas” base rates range from $595-$735/Week making them an affordable last minute getaway! Enjoy the heated pool along with this fantastic Bradenton Beach location. You’ll be within walking distance to many great island attractions. Reserve your stay at one of “The Villas” today!

Villa 1 Villa 2 Villa 3 Villa 4 Villa 5

Anna Maria Island Beach Rental
“The Villas” are great for a last minute beach rental on Anna Maria Island!

Anna Maria Elementary International Peace Day 2016

In observation of International Peace Day, Anna Maria Elementary hosted a celebration of Peace for all ages. Parents, students, teachers and locals all came together for a special day.

What is International Peace Day?

September 21st is The International Day of Peace. The United Nations established this special day in 1989, and is observed globally. The UN declared the day as “commemorating and strengthening the ideals of peace both within and among all nations and peoples”. This day contributes to a global culture of peace, and gives the world an opportunity to set aside differences, and practice kindness and understanding.

Anna Maria Elementary Peace Celebration

The school celebrated peace on September 23. It was truly a special day bringing together all ages in a commitment to peace. The Manatee County Rotary Club and Manatee High School Drum line also joined the elementary students.

Starting the day off, Principal Jackie Featherstone welcomed the crowd at this well attended event. School counselor Susan Tabicman organized the day in addition to the help of sponsorship from the Rotary Club. Next, the High School drum line and Elementary students marched in a parade across the campus. The High School students kept beat with a great cadence while the younger children held flags from around the world.

Students raised the U.S. flag and the crowd observed the National Anthem and Pledge of Allegiance.

One student from each grade two through five spoke in front of the crowd. These students made powerful statements about the meaning of peace. Well spoken, these students truly moved the crowd and made proud parents. Each grade level sang a song about peace with the help of Teacher Wooten and Teacher Ruise. It was adorable to say the least.

Pictures from Peace Day

International Peace Day
The Anna Maria Elementary Peace Day Celebration was well attended!

Finally, the event closed with a song sung all together. The entire group stood and held up peace signs making for the perfect ending to the celebration.

Check out our Instagram for a short video from the day too!

Top Tikitastic Anna Maria Island Beach Rentals

What could be more fun than spending a vacation at Anna Maria Island beach rentals with fantastic Tiki huts? Tiki huts are a fun retro style perfect for a tropical destination like the island.

Tiki Culture in the United States

This theme stems from Americans use of Polynesian culture starting in the 1930’s. While not considered a fine art form by Polynesian styles, the theme loosely stems from cultural mythology and art. However, Americans now associate Hawaiian and Tropical themes with the Tiki style. There has been a resurgence of the style that has directly coincided with the trendy craft cocktail movement.

Tiki Drinks

Fruity tropical drinks are a must for any Tiki party. Typically they include different fruit juices, and are rum based. These drinks are usually tasty, very alcoholic and also use multiple rums or liquors. Serve them in funky totem head shaped mugs for a retro look, or use any pretty tall glass. Little umbrellas, fruit, spices, and herbs all make nice garnishes. Check out great recipes here. Also enjoy kid friendly versions of these drinks – just omit the alcohol. The combinations of fruit juices are fantastic on their own, just add a garnish and enjoy!

Below is a list of our top tikitastic Anna Maria Island beach rentals! These homes offer fun huts and bars perfect for entertaining in tropical island style!

Top Tikitastic Anna Maria Island Beach Rentals

Pelican Landing offers a Tiki by the heated pool! This rental sleeps 8 with 4 bedrooms. Relax and enjoy a tropical island experience!

Anna Maria Island Beach rentals
Pelican Landing AMI 306 55th Street in Holmes Beach.

Casa Calienta has a fully equipped Tiki bar with grill, sink and mini fridge. Additionally this hut is in the screened lanai with the heated pool! Relax with a drink and a swim too! Sleep 6 with 2 bedrooms.

Anna Maria Beach Rentals
Casa Calienta 217 Pine Avenue in Anna Maria.

Starfish also has a backyard Tiki hut, and a swim up Tiki umbrella in the heated pool. This hut is a nice spot no matter the weather. Sleep 6 in this rental with 3 bedrooms.

Anna Maria Island vacation rentals Holmes Beach
Starfish 6802 Marina Drive.

A Sassy Seahorse has a Tiki area in the backyard in addition to heated pool and spa! A shady spot for cool drinks on a hot day. Sleep 6 in this 2 bedroom rental.

Beach rental anna maria island Florida
A Sassy Seahorse 264 Gladiolus in Anna Maria.

Summer Breeze offers a fun covered Tiki bar too! Here you’ll find a swinging chair, Foosball table and flat screen T.V. Sleep 10 at this 4 bedroom rental.

Anna Maria Beach rental
Summer Breeze 313 61st Street in Holmes Beach.

Island Time offers a large pool side Tiki Umbrella. The perfect spot for watching the day drift by with a cold drink. Sleep 8 in this 3 bedroom with heated pool.

Holmes Beach vacation rental
Island Time 309 62nd Street in Holmes Beach.

Coral Reef is an Anna Maria Island beach rental with a great Tiki and laid back feel. Sleeps 10 with 5 bedrooms.

Anna Maria Island Beach Rental
Coral Reef 215 64th Street in Holmes Beach.

Mango Breeze has a Tiki just a short walk to Gulf beaches! Relax by the heated pool with 8 in this 4 bedroom rental!

Anna Maria Island beach rental
Mango Breeze 141 50th Street in Holmes Beach.

Anna Maria Island Tiki Restaurants

While visiting Anna Maria Island beach rentals you’ll also find great local Tiki style restaurants too! On Bridge Street you’ll find The Bridge Tender Inn and Dock Side Bar. Here you’ll enjoy views of Sarasota Bay in addition to great food and drinks. Also in Bradenton Beach, there is Gulf Drive Cafe and Tiki bar. This restaurant offers direct gulf views. Finally, In Holmes Beach you will find an outdoor Tiki atmosphere at The Ugly Grouper.

Anna Maria Island Fall Tourist Guide

The Anna Maria Island fall tourist guide is a great resources for visitors and locals alike! After a hot summer, fall welcomes cooler weather and fun activities! Along with these great activities, also check out suggested Fall family beach rentals.

Anna Maria Island Fall Tourist Guide

Here are our top eight things to do, and know during Fall on Anna Maria Island. Furthermore, find out why this is a fantastic time of year to plan an Anna Maria Island beach vacation!

Anna Maria Island Fall Tourist Guide
Fall is a lovely time of year for an Anna Maria Island Vacation! Enjoy the Anna Maria Island Fall Tourist Guide, and plan your stay today!

Morning Beach Walk

Fall is an amazing time for a quiet walk on the beach with the sunrise. This is also a great time to catch up on some beach combing. Early morning temperatures are beautiful in Autumn. However, you will find that fall doesn’t necessarily mean it won’t be hot by mid day. For this reason, it’s nice to get up early while there is a crisp morning breeze off the gulf. Grab a cup of coffee, slip on your flip flops, and enjoy the peace of the beach at day break!

Beach Markets

Mid Fall, usually in November, is when all the beach markets begin their season. With the produce growing season underway, and weather that’s a tad less hot, markets are a great fall attraction. The Coquina Beach Market and Bridge Street Market are the two most popular on Anna Maria Island. However, here is a list of local markets to visit off island as well.

Wildlife Viewing, fall migration and local parks

As early as late summer you will notice an increase in local wildlife. For the expert wildlife viewers, it’s no secret that fall is the height of migration in Florida. This is when both the human and feathered snow birds make their early descent to Anna Maria Island.

Fall is an amazing time of year to get out to our local parks and preserves. Again, the weather is starting to cool, so enjoying the outdoors is more bearable than the summer months. During your visit check this list of parks and preserves on or around the island. These great locations give you the opportunity to get up close with Florida wildlife!

Go Swimming!

That’s right, you can still go for a swim in the Autumn months! Gulf of Mexico temperatures hang around 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit between September and December. This is not to say we don’t occasionally get below the 70’s, but these water temperatures are still swimable. Especially if you are visiting from the north, you will find Gulf temperatures very nice. On the other hand, locals tend to stop swimming a bit earlier. Really personal preference plays a big part in Fall island swimming.

Stone Crabs and Fishing

Stone Crab season starts mid October for the Florida gulf coast. While one of the countries oldest fishing villages lies just inland from Anna Maria Island; this is an anticipated time of year. Cortez fishing village is a great place to find fresh off the boat seafood. You’ll find Stone Crab so fresh it goes from the boat, to the boiling pot to your mouth! Going on in early November, check out the Cortez Stone Crab Festival too!

Anytime of year is great for Florida fishing, and Fall isn’t too bad either! Florida boasts the title “Fishing Capital of the World” because of great year round weather and angling. Fishing charters are just as popular in the fall as any time of year on the island!

Fall Festivals

This is the time of year when festival season starts for Islanders. There are several annual events that happen as the weather starts to change. You’ll find the Fall Festival, The Trail O Treats, Arts Hop and Bay Fest all going on throughout Autumn.

Find Fall colors with a sunset

While the trees and leaves may not turn to the striking hues of ocher, umber and rust orange, the sunsets surly do! Experience the turning of the season with one of the sunsets the Florida west coast is know for. Gather your family and friends to enjoy the peace of a sunset. This is one of the best times of day for beach photography too!

Anna Maria Island Fall Tourist Guide Beach Rentals

Autumn is a lovely time of year to gather the family at a beach rental! What Anna Maria Island Fall tourist guide would be complete without suggested accommodations? Island Real Estate has the island’s largest selection of homes to choose from, so plan your vacation today!

Anna Maria Island beach rentals

Casa Sierra 205 B is an excellent beach rental just a short walk from the gulf. This condo style home sleeps up to 6 guests with 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. Fall family beach trips were never so relaxed!

Anna Maria Island beach rentals
Casa Sierra 205 B 36th Street in Holmes Beach. 2 Bedroom.

A Mermaid Crossing is a lovely family gathering place for up to 6 guests with 3 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms. This spacious home offers a heated pool and decor with a designer look. Less than a block to the beach!

Beach rental Anna Maria Island
A Mermaid Crossing 120 50th Street in Holmes Beach. 3 Bedroom.

Beachy Blue is just down the street from gulf beaches, and offers lovely accommodations. Enjoy the heated pool and spa with great coastal decor! Sleep up to 8 guests with 4 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms.

Anna Maria Island vacation rentals Holmes Beach
Beachy Blue 129 52nd Street in Holmes Beach. 4 Bedroom.

My Sisters Beach House sleeps up to 10 guests with 5 bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms. This fun house offers a gorgeous heated pool and spa along with canal views and a short walk to Tampa Bay beaches! You’re family will love the game room and outdoor balconies too!

Anna Maria vacation beach rentals
My Sisters Beach House 520 Bay view Place in Anna Maria. 5 Bedroom.

Waterfront Retreat is a unique canal front home made for entertaining large groups! This 6 bedroom house offers accommodations for 14 guests with 3 full bath and 2 half baths. Enjoy the heated pool, canal views and fantastic bar area!

Anna Maria beach rentals
Waterfront Retreat 5132 Loquat in Anna Maria. 6 Bedroom.

National Guacamole Day Anna Maria Island

September 16th 2016 is National Guacamole Day. Everyone loves guacamole and Anna Maria Island is no exception.

National Guacamole Day

Guacamole is the perfect blend of creamy and tangy. Sometimes it has tomatoes, and sometimes it has a hint of spice. It’s great on tacos, chips, toast and serves as an amazing topping on just about anything. Some even use it in Ice Cream too!

Guacamole Facts

  • Guacamole dates back to the 1500’s when Aztecs made it.
  • “Guac” is a common short name for guacamole.
  • Use Florida, California or Hass avocados to make a good guacamole.
  • Different types of Avocados have a different flavor and texture.
  • Restaurants always charge for extra “Guac”.
  • Everyone loves guacamole because it’s amazing!

Places to Celebrate National Guacamole Day on Anna Maria Island

There are several restaurants on Anna Maria Island that serve guacamole. Below we have three suggestions for enjoying a heaping serving of the tasty green stuff.

Poppo’s Taqueria is a local small restaurant chain. The first store also opened on the city of Anna Maria’s Pine Avenue. This Tex-Mex style restaurant offers scratch made flour tortillas, hormone free meat, and organic veggies. Poppo’s guacamole is out of this world amazing. Poppo’s makes all their food right in front of you, and you get to choose all your toppings too! Their menu includes tacos, burritos, quesadillas and meals in bowls. Poppo’s staff prepares everything on site including their guac, sauces, and slow roasted meats, just to name a few. You’ll love the food in addition to their local craft beers, high fructose free soda, and Kombucha probiotic drink.

Tortilla Bay Southwest Grill is also a great option for a guacamole fix. Located in Holmes Beach, Tortilla Bay is quick and inexpensive lunch or dinner. They offer many Tex-Mex favorites along with salads. Not only do they have a fantastic guac, but the queso dip is a must! Tortilla Bay has a kids menu along with a beer and wine menu.

Wicked Cantina is located in Bradenton Beach, and specializes in Austin style Tex-Mex. In addition to their traditional Tex-Mex they also offer great burgers and seafood options. Wicked Cantina has a full service bar with craft cocktails. Try the Margarita! Often times they offer live music in their outdoor seating area. When you visit, be sure to try the guacamole bites. For this appetizer they roll guacamole in tortilla chips, deep fry, and serve with a side or ranch dip. Delicious!

National Guacamole Day
A big batch of Guacamole made fresh daily in the kitchen at Poppo’s Taqueria.

Hurricane Hermine Anna Maria Island

Hurricane Hermine blew across Anna Maria Island leaving tons of rain, but minimal damage. The first hurricane to make landfall in Florida in over 10 years, Hermine was a category one storm.

Prior to storm landfall

The day prior to Hermine making landfall seven inches of rain fell on Anna Maria Island. The mixture of the high tide and rain created flooding in the streets. Some vehicles struggled to make it through however most made it to their destination safely. All the rain made for one soggy island.

Hurricane Hermine Landfall

There was continued rainfall the day the storm passed to the north of Anna Maria Island. Some neighborhoods experienced black outs, however this was not the case across the island. Manatee County Schools closed along with many of the local businesses.

Anna Maria Island experienced minimal damage. Flooding was worst on north island. A few ground level homes did take on water.

Hurricane Hermine
Hurricane Hermine dumped a lot of sand on the beaches of Anna Maria Island. You can see the bottom of the beach bench is buried in several inches.


Hurricane Hermine
Exploring the beach during the storm! An Island Real Estate staff member found a lost crab trap buoy among other debris. There were still shore birds scurrying about, and just a few washed out sea turtle eggs. 
Hurricane Hermine
This is what the beaches looked like as the storm passed to the north. Tides were very high.

After the storm

After the storm cleared the beaches looked great! The Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch reported minimal loss of turtle nests. Overall, Hermine left the island unscathed with no permanent damages.

Hurricane Hermine
This picture is from one week after Hurricane Hermine passed the island. Gulf of Mexico waters were a little murky from all the fresh rain water, but still beautiful. Rain water also cools down the gulf temperatures. In the hot late summer it is very refreshing hopping into cool water!

Anna Maria Island Labor Day Activities

Relax with a beach break and Anna Maria Island Labor Day activities. A quiet island holiday, Labor Day is a time to enjoy beaches, family and friends, and an extra long weekend.

September is off the off season on Anna Maria Island. Generally speaking, Islanders love this time of year. Visitors to the island will not find many events happening, but will enjoy fewer crowds. End of summer things to do are the focus of Labor day. Grilling food, enjoying cold drinks and relaxing on the beach with friends are among popular things to do.

Anna Maria Island Labor Day Activities on the beach

Everyone loves a Labor Day beach break! Additionally,  beach games are a fun way to relax during the holiday. Frisbee, corn hole, tag football and volleyball are good old beach game standbys.

Many people also enjoy beach combing during labor day. Anna Maria Island has lots of pretty shells to collect. When searching for shells remember to never take living shells.

Labor Day Eats

Labor day is a fantastic time to enjoy grilled foods and tasty drinks. A Labor day gathering of family and friends just isn’t complete without firing up the grill! Open fires, grilling and alcohol are not allowed on the beaches of Anna Maria Island. However, the large public beach accesses offer designated grilling areas. Additionally, many Anna Maria Island vacation rentals do offer propane or charcoal grills.

Anna Maria Island Labor day activities
Labor Day is a great time to visit Anna Maria Island

Labor Day Business Openings

Many of the restaurants and shops are open Labor day weekend on Anna Maria Island. When you visit you are sure to find open businesses. The free trolley also runs on Labor day, so you can get around the island easily.

Labor Day Beach House Rentals Anna Maria Island

Island Real Estate offers Anna Maria Island’s largest selection of beach house rentals. Finding the perfect Labor day rental is easy when you rent through Island Real Estate!

Beach House Rentals Holmes Beach
North Beach Village 72 would make for a lovely Labor Day Anna Maria Island beach house rental. Located in Holmes Beach this rental accommodates up to 6 guests! Click on the image above to reserve your stay today!

Summer’s End Beach House Rentals Anna Maria Island

It’s not too late to enjoy end of summer beach house rentals Anna Maria Island style! Pumpkin spice latte is back on the Starbucks menu, kids are in school again, and Fall is less than a month away. Now is the time to plan that last minute summer getaway!

Summer Beach House Rentals Anna Maria Island in September

September is a fantastic time of year to visit Anna Maria Island. This is the off season, so the beaches are far less busy. During a September visit you’ll also notice there are fewer cars on the streets. The entire Island has a different vibe in the late summer. People are a little calmer as locals enjoy the respite from busy high season.

End of Summer beach Scene

Anna Maria Island beaches are as beautiful as ever in the late summer. The weather is hot and rainy during September in Florida, however, beaches are still very nice. Lots of rain may make the water a tad less blue than the normal, but it also cools the water temperature down. Gulf beaches are bathtub like in July and August, so a little rain makes them more refreshing.

End of Summer Island Activities

When you visit the island at the end of summer you may notice a few of the island’s restaurants are closed. This is when operators make improvements, and also have a little summer vacation before seasons starts again. However, there are still plenty of places to dine that are open year round. Closures are typically no more than a week long, or even just a few days.

Summer is also an excellent time to visit activities off island. With less congested roads, getting on and off the island is much easier in late summer. This is a fantastic time to drive down to Sarasota, or head into Bradenton to try new activities. You will find museums, shopping and sightseeing in both Sarasota and Bradenton.

Summer’s End Beach House Rentals Anna Maria Island have lowest rates.

The end of summer is one of the most affordable times to visit Anna Maria Island. September is when many beach houses lower their rates. These lower rates continue through to mid December when visitors from the north start to come down again. These lower rates don’t always include Labor Day weekend as this is the last busy weekend of the season. Rates for beach house rentals typically fluctuate to coincide with demand or popular seasons.

Direct Beach House Rentals Anna Maria Island

September is also the perfect time of year to reserve a direct beach front rental!

Hidden Cove is a fantastic direct gulf Front beach rental Anna Maria Island style. This is a great example of the type of rentals available in September.

Beach house rentals Anna Maria Island
Beach House Rentals Anna Maria Island style! Click on the image to learn more about this great condo!

Hidden Cove unit 1 offers accommodations for up to four guests with two bedrooms and two and half bathrooms. During your stay, enjoy direct gulf views from the master bedroom and main living space. You will love spending time on the open balcony watching sunsets, and relaxing. The quiet Hidden Cove complex also offers a community pool, and is located near free trolley stops, shopping and dining.

Beach House Rentals Anna Maria Island Florida
Click on the image to reserve Hidden Cove unit 1 for your next Beach house rental Anna Maria Island Holmes Beach.

Island Real Estate has the largest selection of Anna Maria Island beach rentals you’ll find in the area! When searching for a summer’s end beach rental be sure to check out the Sunshine Specials page for great deals.

Enjoy an Anna Maria Island paradise vacation and reserve the perfect beach rental today at!