Bridge Street Market in Bradenton Beach

If you have visited our wonderful little island of Anna Maria, then you have probably been to Bridge Street in Bradenton Beach. If you haven’t, then you’re missing out on a lot!
Especially if you are on the Island anytime between November and April. Because that is when the Bridge Street Market takes place!

 

 

Bridge Street Market is held from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm every Sunday in November, through April. The market is located at 107 Bridge Street in Bradenton Beach. Visit your favorite vendors and enjoy fantastic food, beautiful art and jewelry, great local musicians, fresh produce, and much more!

Address: 107 Bridge St, Bradenton Beach, Florida 34217
Contact Number: (215) 906-0668

 

My Grandmother Told Me to Tell You She’s Sorry

Fredrik Backman’s amazing comedic novel will touch your heart – all of your heart – with its honesty, warmth and pure, innocent love.

Seven year old Elsa has always felt peculiar, never fitting in with her peers yet preferring the company of her best (and only) friend in her grandmother; a seventy seven year old crazy woman with a wild and free spirit, refusing to sugar coat her opinions or justify her actions.

As far back as she can remember, Elsa’s grandmother has been telling her stories every day about the “Land of Almost Awake” with unforgettable, vibrant characters that are brave, strong and more than often also a bit scary. When she passes away one evening, she leaves Elsa with a box full of numbered letters to be delivered, thus sending the young girl on an adventure. Each letter sends her in the path of seemingly odd and brilliant drunks, protective monsters, loyal attack dogs and the like. Brave Elsa slowly learns that the fairy tales her grandmother told her were more than just that, they were true stories of lonely misfits who are also viewed as “different”. She also learns about her grandmother’s live before she was born, her loves and adventures better than any fairy tale ever told.

Along this adventure, Elsa accepts herself and looks at those around her with new eyes. The maternal bond extends to her mother who has the last touching letter. The love between these women extends through to death and back again.

This story will stay with you long after you turn the last page. Life and death has never been celebrated more beautifully.  The tears spilled into the last pages of my copy and I actually held the book to my heart when I finished, yet it was happy tears with a smile which I believe are the best kind.

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
PO Box:
1449, Anna Maria, FL 34216
Mixon Fruit Farms Address: 2525 27th St E, Bradenton, FL 34208

 

The Red Barn Flea Market in Bradenton

Located in Bradenton, Florida, is an immense shopping center known as the Red Barn Flea Market. This place is massive, seriously, it might just take you a couple days to get through!

 

Fresh produce at the Red Barn

With more than 600 flea market booths and shops you’ll need to devote a couple hours to cover the full 145,000 sq. ft. complex (80,000 of this space being air-conditioned). With so much to do it may be better to plan out your routes ahead of time with this handy market guide and  market map.

The Red Barn Flea Market also has an awesome food court area. Get some kettle corn, jerky, Italian ice, and so much more! Make sure you stop by Miller’s Snack Shack and Meaney’s Mini-Donuts for more delicious treats.

 

Every Friday and Saturday they have live music in the Main Food Court, and they also do Garage Sale Weekends where you have even more of a chance of finding a hidden treasure.

The Red Barn Flea Market is in East Bradenton and about a 25-30 minute drive from Anna Maria Island. It is definitely worth spending a day, or two, checking out everything it has to offer.

 

If you visit the Island often, you should do yourself a favor and visit the Red Barn Flea Market.

 

Phone: 941-747-3794
Email: info@redbarnfleamarket.com
Address: 1707 First Street East Bradenton, FL 34208

Hours:
 

Monday – Closed
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday the plaza only is open 10am – 4pm
Friday, saturday, and sunday entire market is open 8am – 4pm

The Annual DeSoto Grand Parade

 

Parades are a big thing on Anna Maria Island. It seems that every holiday there is a coordinating parade that takes place. People will line up off the road and wait for the floats to come by. It’s truly always a fun time, no matter what occasion the parade is for.

 

However, there is an extremely impressive (and massive) parade that takes place in Bradenton every year since 1939. The DeSoto Grand Parade is a huge event, and in recent years, it has brought in a crowd of over 200,000 spectators. To give a little background, In the early 1500’s, Conquistador, Hernando DeSoto, and his army of soldiers walked the grounds of Bradenton, making local and national history.

 

The parade travels 2.4 miles in a 3 hour time span with over 150 illuminated floats/entries. The parade starts at Manatee High School, and then travels to Manatee Avenue where it continues until it reaches Downtown Bradenton.

 

The event takes place on a Saturday, typically in the month of April. You’ll know the parade is going to start soon once you see lawn chairs out on the side of Manatee Avenue. This brings me to another important aspect of the DeSoto Parade, GET THERE EARLY! Walking to the parade is the best to avoid traffic. So if you have a friend or family member that lives close to the parade route, I’d ask to park at their place. Remember, Manatee Avenue will be closed starting around 5PM from 44th Street West, to U.S. 41.

 

So bring the kids, wear comfortable clothing, and collect some beads and other goodies at the annual DeSoto Grand Parade in Bradenton!

 

Parade Route

Click Here to View Larger Map Photo

Yoga on Anna Maria Island

beach yoga, sup yoga, and so much more! 

 

If you’re staying/living on Anna Maria Island and looking into beginning yoga, or are already an experienced yogi, then you definitely want to continue reading this blog.

 

AMI is the perfect place to get your yoga on, and luckily, there are a few different local options when it comes to finding the right instructor for you. Below are four companies based on Anna Maria Island that will definitely help with developing your yoga skills.

 

 

Starfish Yoga
Starfish Yoga offers Beach Yoga, Vinyasa Flow, Gentle Yoga, Restorative Yoga, Chair Yoga, Meditation, Breath Work, as well as Arm Balances and Inversions. You can take private yoga classes at the studio, your own home, a special event, or even the beach!
Teacher:
Rachel Kisellus
Phone: 941-405-3377

 

Take part in a beach yoga class! Photo courtesy of Island Yoga Space

 

Island Yoga Space
Along with owner/directer Cindy Phillips, there are 6 other yoga teachers at Island Yoga Space. They offer quite a few different classes, including; Gentle Yoga, Flow Yoga, Restorative Yoga Therapeutics, Basic Express Flow Yoga, and more! Island Yoga Space also does beach yoga every Saturday morning, and even has a SUP yoga class you can register to take.
Teacher(s): Cindy Phillips, Frannie Hoffman, Jenny Bieselin, Hillary Bardwell,  Rachael Croll, Nicole Cook, and Angela Simone.
Phone: 941-224-0292

 

 

A SUP Yoga class by Salty Buddha Paddle & Yoga Co

Salty Buddha Paddle & Yoga Co
Salty Buddha Paddle & Yoga Co offers SUP yoga classes. Owner/instructor, Rachael Croll, will guide the group through a yoga lesson on the water during the daytime, or the evening during her Sunset SUP Yoga.
Teacher: Rachael Croll
Phone: (941) 932-3671

 

 

Aluna Wellness Center & Spa
Aluna Wellness Center & Spa has two yoga classes, both taught by yoga teacher Jennifer VanGraupen. There is a Basic Hatha Yoga every Saturday morning, and a Yoga Nidra class every 1st and 3rd Sunday of the month.
Teacher: Jennifer VanGraupen
Phone: (941) 778-8400

 

 

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail

Wild is a fantastically written and moving memoir by Cheryl Strayed who shares her experience hiking the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT). The PCT stretches from Mexico to Canada on the United States’ West Coast. After losing her mother to cancer, Cheryl’s life fell apart over the next four years; she divorced, lost jobs, got involved with heroin, etc. Knowing her mother would be unhappy with who she had become, Cheryl decided to make a drastic life change and mapped out a plan to spend the next three months hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, picking up at the Mojave Desert and ending at the Bridge of the Gods in Portland, Oregon. With no experience and no training, Cheryl strapped on her huge pack (lovingly nicknamed “Monster”) and hiked alone battling both the physical elements and her emotions.

The terrain was more than a challenge; the weather went from oppressive heat to snow drifts. Whether climbing mountainous trails or sandy paths, Cheryl always searched for the PCT signs to keep on track. When I visited Portland in 2017 I found a PCT sign at Mt. Hood and felt a kinship with Cheryl, knowing that maybe this same sign helped her know she was still moving in the right direction.

Cheryl meets a few other hikers along the way, learning about the kindness of strangers and how PCT hikers created a “family” among themselves. By the time Cheryl reaches the end of her journey her outlook has renewed and for the first time in years she feels strong, strong enough to battle whatever lies ahead.

This book stayed with me long after I finished as one of the best memoirs I’ve ever read. It was if Cheryl’s struggles were my own and as she gained strength I did too. I strongly suggest this book for a book club, beach book or anytime you are in the mood for a great read. It’s in my Top 5 of all time.

The Tranquil Trails of Robinson Preserve

View from the Observation Tower

Located in North West Bradenton, FL, you will find the tranquil trails of Robinson Preserve. With over 682 acres of mangroves, marsh, and coastal wetland habitats, this place will turn your morning jog into a relaxing adventure through nature.

 

Along with the trails, Robinson Preserve also has kayak launches, restrooms, and picnic areas. There is also an incredible observation tower, where you can look out on to gorgeous views of the preserve, Tampa Bay, and the Skyway Bridge in the distance.

 

The NEST

In early 2018, Robinson opened their new expansion to the preserve, called the “NEST”. The NEST is short for the Mosaic Center for Nature, Exploration, Science and Technology. The new space is a beautiful, multi-purpose building that is home to a ton of hands-on interpretive programming for all ages. You can even rent out the NEST for your own private event.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Robinson’s Preserve has a variety of activities to indulge in while you’re there, including:
. Hiking/walking the nature trails. You can always bring your four-legged, furry friend along with you (as long as their on a leash)
. Kayaking/Canoeing through the numerous trails through the mangroves (this activity I highly suggest, it is simply a wonderful experience)
. Biking
. Rollerblading
. Long boarding
. Managed fishing
. Bird Watching
. Wildlife viewing areas
. Group Camping (by reservation only)

 

Accessibility to the trails isn’t an issue. The trail that begins at the entrance is paved, and travels the entire preserve. However, most of the other trails are packed shell.

 

So take the trip out to Robinson’s Preserve, get outdoors, and enjoy nature!

Address: 1704 99th St NW, Bradenton, FL 34209
Hours: Open daily, THOUGH HOURS vary by season
Phone: (941) 742-5923

 

AMI Rental Equipment – Boats, Kayaks, Etc.

Welcome to Anna Maria Island! We are sure you will find so many fun activities to partake in while you are here in paradise. To make your vacation a little easier, we have included different rental options below and the companies that provide them.

 

The rentals you will find on this page are for: Golf carts, beach equipment, scooters, boats, jet skis, bicycles, kayaks, and paddle boards.

Golf Carts

We have an entire blog dedicated to golf cart rentals on the island, check it out! 

 

Beach Bums Recreational Rentals & Gift Shop
Address: 427 Pine Ave, Anna Maria, FL 34216
Phone: (941) 778-3316

Golf Coast Cart
Phone: (877) 778-7264

Fun and More Rentals
Address: 5347 Gulf Dr, Holmes Beach, FL 34217
Phone: (941) 462-2719

AMI Beach Buggys
Address: 5348 Gulf Dr, Holmes Beach, FL 34217
Phone: (941) 773-3800

Lux Carts
Phone: (941) 254-7775

Robinhood Rentals
Address: 9802 Gulf Dr, Anna Maria, FL 34216
Phone: (941) 920-1996

Island Scooter Store
Address: 5321 Gulf Dr, Holmes Beach, FL 34217
Phone: (941) 778-2255

Beach Equipment

We have an entire blog dedicated to beach equipment rentals on the island, check it out!

 

Beach Bums Recreational Rentals & Gift Shop
Address: 427 Pine Ave, Anna Maria, FL 34216
Phone: (941) 778-3316

Fun and More Rentals
Address: 5347 Gulf Dr, Holmes Beach, FL 34217
Phone: (941) 462-2719

ABC Baby Furniture Rental
Address: 5352 Gulf Dr, Holmes Beach, FL 34217
Phone: (941) 929-1850

Just 4 Fun Rentals
Address: 5358 Gulf Dr, Holmes Beach, FL 34217
Phone: (941) 896-7884

Scooters

Island Scooter Store
Address: 5321 Gulf Dr, Holmes Beach, FL 34217
Phone: (941) 778-2255

AMI Beach Fun Rentals
Address: 3228 E Bay Dr, Holmes Beach, FL 34217
Phone: (941) 896-9780

Robinhood Rentals
Address: 9802 Gulf Dr, Anna Maria, FL 34216
Phone: (941) 920-1996

Boats

H2O Water Sportz
Address: 4110 127th St W, Cortez, FL 34215
Phone: (941) 538-4290

AMI Watersports, Boat and Jet Ski Rental
Address: 505 56th St b, Holmes Beach, FL 34217
Phone: (941) 773-7175

Bradenton Beach Marina
Address: 402 Church Ave N, Bradenton Beach, FL 34217
Phone: (941) 778-2288

Cortez Watersports
Address: 4328 127th St W, Cortez, FL 34215
Phone: (941) 798-3721

Anna Maria Island Boat Rentals
Address: 524 69th St, Holmes Beach, FL 34217
Phone: (952) 393-1894

Jet Skis

AMI Watersports, Boat and Jet Ski Rental
Address: 505 56th St b, Holmes Beach, FL 34217
Phone: (941) 773-7175

Coastal Watersports
Address: 1301 Gulf Dr N, Bradenton Beach, FL 34217
Phone: (941) 778-4969

H2O Water Sportz
Address: 4110 127th St W, Cortez, FL 34215
Phone: (941) 538-4290

Bradenton Beach Marina
Address: 402 Church Ave N, Bradenton Beach, FL 34217
Phone: (941) 778-2288

Cortez Watersports
Address: 4328 127th St W, Cortez, FL 34215
Phone: (941) 798-3721

Bicycles 

Beach Bums Recreational Rentals & Gift Shop
Address: 427 Pine Ave, Anna Maria, FL 34216
Phone: (941) 778-3316

Fun and More Rentals
Address: 5347 Gulf Dr, Holmes Beach, FL 34217
Phone: (941) 462-2719

Just 4 Fun Rentals
Address: 5358 Gulf Dr, Holmes Beach, FL 34217
Phone: (941) 896-7884

AMI Beach Fun Rentals
Address: 3228 E Bay Dr, Holmes Beach, FL 34217
Phone: (941) 896-9780

Island Scooter Store
Address: 5321 Gulf Dr, Holmes Beach, FL 34217
Phone: (941) 778-2255

AMI Paddleboard Adventures
Phone: (941) 896-6422

Kayaks

Beach Bums Recreational Rentals & Gift Shop
Address: 427 Pine Ave, Anna Maria, FL 34216
Phone: (941) 778-3316

Fun and More Rentals
Address: 5347 Gulf Dr, Holmes Beach, FL 34217
Phone: (941) 462-2719

Kayak Jacks 
Phone: (941)-538-1448

AMI Paddleboard Adventures
Phone: (941) 896-6422

Happy Paddler Kayak Tours & EcoVentures
Phone: (941) 773-1920

Paddle boards 

Beach Bums Recreational Rentals & Gift Shop
Address: 427 Pine Ave, Anna Maria, FL 34216
Phone: (941) 778-3316

AMI Paddleboard Adventures
Phone: (941) 896-6422

Kayak Jacks 
Phone: (941)-538-1448

Fun and More Rentals
Address: 5347 Gulf Dr, Holmes Beach, FL 34217
Phone: (941) 462-2719

Happy Paddler Kayak Tours & EcoVentures
Phone: (941) 773-1920

Salty Buddha Paddle & Yoga Co
Phone: (941) 932-3671

 

 

Golf Cart Rentals on Anna Maria Island

There are plenty of ways to explore the beautiful Island of Anna Maria, including golf carts!
Luckily, the Island has plenty of different golf cart rental options.
Take a look at all the lovely rental companies on AMI that are able to get you all set up with easy transportation for you’re time in paradise.

 

 

Beach Bums
Beach Bums on Pine Avenue provides 4 seat golf carts, 6 seat golf carts, and 8 seat gold carts. You can rent a cart for an hour, a day, 3 days, or a whole week.
Address: 427 Pine Ave, Anna Maria, FL 34216
Phone: (941) 778-3316

 

Golf Coast Carts
Located in Anna Maria City, Golf Coast Carts offers 4 seat golf cart rentals, and 6 seat golf cart rentals. Their carts are able to be rented for a single day, 3 days, or a week.  This company will deliver your cart and pick it up, no need to go anywhere to pick it up yourself!
Phone:  (877) 778-7264

 

Fun and More Rentals
Offering free delivery and pickup for their rentals is Fun and More Rentals in Holmes Beach. They have 4 seat, 6 seat, and 8 seat golf carts to pick from. You can do a single day rental, a 3 day rental, or a week rental.
Phone: (941) 462-2719

 

Lux Carts
If you’re looking for looking for something a little more “fancy” than your average golf cart, Check out Lux Carts! Lux Carts only does weekly rentals rather than daily or 3 day rentals. Though, they have a nice variety of different carts. There are three different 4 seat golf carts (Luxie, LuxVader, and Lux Taxi), two different 6 seat golf carts (Big Lux and DeLux), and a 8 seat golf cart (Lux Limo).
Phone: (941) 254-7775

 

AMI Beach Buggys
AMI Beach Buggys in Holmes Beach has 2015 Polaris GEM® electric golf carts for rent. They have 4 seat carts and 6 seat carts available. This company will also drop off, and pick up your golf cart.
Phone: (941) 773-3800
Address: 5348 Gulf Dr, Holmes Beach, FL 34217

 

 

Robinhood Rentals AMI
Unlike the other golf cart rentals on Anna Maria Island, Robinhood Rentals AMI offers gas powered golf cart rentals, rather than electric. They have 4 and 6 seat carts available that can be rented for a single day, three days, or one week.
Phone: (941) 920-1996
Address: 9802 Gulf Dr, Anna Maria, FL 34216

 

Island Scooter Store
The final rental company on our list is Island Scooter Store in Holmes Beach. Pick from a 4 – 6 seat golf cart, or a 6 – 8 seat golf cart based on your group size. The carts are rented for; a full day (returned by end of business day), overnight (24 hours), 3 days, or one week.
Phone: (941) 778-2255
Address: 5321 Gulf Dr, Holmes Beach, FL 34217