Palma Sola Botanical Gardens is a great Anna Maria Island venue

Palma Sola Gardens is just a few minutes off Anna Maria Island.  The garden has two buildings that are offered for rent.  They do offer their buildings for weddings.  The garden is open to the public and there is a playground located in the gardens.  The Sola Gardens is 10 acres in a micro-climate that offers frost free winters.  This allows the volunteer staff to plant rare flowers and plants open to the public for viewing.  If you enjoy botanical gardens and you are visiting Anna Maria Island it is a must visit.  Just a few minutes of the island on Manatee Avenue, North on 75th street West, West on 17th street at 9800 North West 17th Street.  The garden is open most days from 8 AM to dusk.  Visit the Palma Sola Botanical Gardens website for more information.

Here are some more ideas of things to do while visiting Anna Maria Island.

Sea World is just 2 hours from Anna Maria, Florida

Sea World offers a great mix of entertainment for children. Just a 1.5 – 2 hour drive away from Anna Maria Island, it offers a great full day get away.  Jump in the car and within a two hour drive you can be in Orlando soaking up the Florida Sun, getting entertained by some of the Worlds best shows.

Sea world is a great amusement park for the entire family.  Teenagers love the roller coasters, water log ride, and who does not love a tunnel aquarium?  Younger children love the wild sea lion, and dolphin show. Adults will love it just as much as the kids. And nothing beats seeing the look of wonder on your family’s faces.

Aside from the fun rides, and entertaining shows, SeaWorld also offers incredible animal experiences. You can take a behind the scenes tour and see how the trainers care for the animals! Now that’s cool!

Helpful Tip:  It is best to go straight to Sea World and use parking at the park itself.  Parking runs about $17 and it is well wroth it to walk from your car to the park.  One trick if you are hungry as you arrive is to stop by Denny’s for a quick breakfast.  You can see the Sea World main entrance sign from the Denny’s parking lot on International Drive.

Click Here for Directions

Address: 7007 Sea World Dr, Orlando, FL 32821
Park Hours: Open Everyday of the Week, 9am – 9:30PM
Customer Service: 1 (407) 545-5550

Want some more ideas on quick day trips from Anna Maria Island?  Visit our daytrip idea page.

Anna Maria Island and Bradenton, Florida area golf courses

Visiting Anna Maria Island provides for a great vacation.  We do see a few golf vacations however the Anna Maria Island area is still unfound territory in regards to golfing holidays.  Island Real Estate and vacation rentals can assist your group in finding the perfect large home holiday villa or several vacation rentals in the same village or condominium complex.

Buffalo Creek Golf Course
Open to the Public
8100 Erie Road
Palmetto, Florida, 34221
(941) 776-2611

IMG Academies Golf and Country Club
Private golf course
4350 El Conquistador Parkway
Bradenton, FL, 34221
(941) 758-1466

Imperial Lakewoods Golf Course
Semi-Private Golf
9680 Buffalo Road
Palmetto, Fl, 34221
(941) 747-9432

The links at Greenfield Plantation
Open to the Public
10325 Greenfield Plantation Blvd
Bradenton, Fl, 34202
(941) 747-9432

Manatee County Golf Course
Open to the Public
6415 53rd Avenue West
Bradenton, FL, 34210
(941) 792-3288

Pinebrook/Ironwood Golf Club
Executive Golf Course
4260 Ironwood Circle
Bradenton, Fl, 34209
(941) 792-3288

The River Club
Semi-Private Golf Course
6600 River Club Blvd
Bradenton, Fl, 34202
(941) 751-4211

River Run Golf Links
Open to the Public
1801 27th Street
East Bradenton, Fl, 34208
(941) 708-6331

River Strand Golf Club
Semi-Private Golf Course
7155 Grand Estuary Trail
Bradenton, Fl, 34212
(941) 708-3617

Stoneybrook at Heritage Harbour
Open to the Public
7900 Stone Harbour Loop
Bradenton, Fl, 34202
(941) 746-2696

Terra Ceia Bay Country Club
Executive Golf Course
2802 Terra Ceia Bay Blvd
Palmetto, Fl, 34221
(941) 729-7663

University Park Country Club
Semi-Private Golf Course
7671 The Park Blvd
University Park, Fl, 34201
(941) 359-9999

Waterlefe Golf and River Club
Semi-Private Golf Course
1022 Fish Hook Cove
Bradenton, FL, 34202
(941) 744-9771

Island Mail and Print of Anna Maria Island

While visiting or vacationing here on Anna Maria Island it is nice to know that you can still count on being able to take careof any mail , fax, or internet requirements you may need.  This particular Island mail store offers a wide variety of mail carrier options such as  FedEx, DHL, UPS and  USPS.  You can also log onto the Internet for a fee that is charged according to the time of usage.  Facsimiles, copies, and shipping supplies can be  found in the store as well.  They have a fairly large conference room that can be used and scheduled for a fee.  This shop has fantastic customer service.  They are very well known on Anna Maria Island for going the extra mile to ensure that your every mailing or office whim is serviced.   They ship luggage, artwork, furniture, collectibles, and various other items.  They have even shipped a few cars and kayaks!

Island Mail and Print is located next to the Whistle Stop gift shop and Subway in the Island shopping plaza in Holmes Beach, Florida.

Island Mail and Print
3230 East Bay Drive
Holmes Beach, FL, 34217
(941) 778-1911
FAX (941)  779-2493

Subway is quick lunch or dinner on Anna Maria Island

Subway is located on East Bay drive in Holmes Beach.  They have all your typical amenities that all subway’s provide.  Fresh baked bread, cookies, and a toasted sub if need be.  Watch while the Subway staff services you to make your sub in front of you.  Great for on the go or an impromptu beach picnic.  Subway also offers platters of subs for larger gatherings and they are very affordable.  They do have a small plastic table outside in case you want to eat on site outside as well as seating for about 20 people inside.  If you need a fast and inexpensive lunch or dinner then Subway could be a quick answer.

Just a quick 3 minute walk down the plaza you can find Walgreens which will offer more food supplies if need be.  Soda, chips, and other sub sandwich necessities for a larger group.  Also, lots of gift shopping around if you need to slip in some gift shopping.  Plenty to do at the East Bay Drive Plaza.

Subway
3232 East Bay Drive
Holmes Beach, FL, 34217
(941) 778-7878

Top Ten Silhouettes at Sunset

I found this very difficult because there are so many beautiful sunsets on Anna Maria Island and I was there with my camera snapping away.

These are like my children and it is not easy to kick any out. They all are such creations and for that I do not take the credit. I do love sharing them with you and especially to the visitors who are here maybe only a few weeks out of the year. This allows you to catch the sunset on Anna Maria on a weekly basis. It is my hope that you will get busy on your keyboard and click on each picture to enlarge them. That way you get details to help you make your selection. I want you to comment on your favorite and I will then try to narrow it down to the top ten. I would prefer for my viewers to select your favorite sunset. I can view sunsets every night but I post them for your enjoyment and pleasure. Please select and then enjoy the sunset!!

Written by Melinda Bordes ~ 941-705-0146 ~ Whether buying or selling real estate on Anna Maria Island or surrounding areas I can assist you with all of your real estate needs.  Please enjoy the photos below and let me know your favorites!  Want to read about the ABC’s of Anna Maria Island?  Look no further.

Photo Gallery

Skinny’s Place is the great greasy spoon of Anna Maria Island

Skinny’s Place, Circa 1952,  is quite the little burger joint that all the locals on Anna Maria Island love. The prices are great, and the food is made to order

They offer giant burgers and homemade onion rings that are dipped in a wonderful batter that is always crispy and delicious. Whether you are just out for a drive or if you are visiting the beaches of Anna Maria for the day, it is a wonderfully rustic place to visit. Call in your order and swing by to pick it up.

This is a come as you are place, not a fancy night out on Anna Maria island, Holmes Beach.  That is why it is great for people who have children as well.  Drink selections go from draft beer to old fashioned soda in the bottle. Often have beer specials for $1 – $1.50 per glass.

Skinny’s was even featured in Southern Living Magazine back in 2011.
“Janice and Carl “Skinny” Freeman fell in love with this remote patch of sand on their honeymoon in the 1930s.  Today, the screened-in watering hole on ANNA MARIA ISLAND dishes scrumptious burgers- their trick is seasoning the grill- and beer in frosted mugs under walls packed with family photos.  You can still find the 94 – year – old Janice sweeping behind the bar and hear stories of Old Florida from charming regulars.”
– Southern Living Magazine

They do not accept credit cards so remember to bring some cash!

Skinny’s is located in Holmes Beach on Anna Maria Island across the street from the Manatee Public beach and cafe.  Many beach goers walk across Gulf Drive and get a few cold one’s at Skinny’s as well as a hamburger.

Address: 3901 Gulf Dr, Holmes Beach, FL 34217
Phone: (941) 778-7769
Hours: Closed Monday, Open Tuesday through Sunday 11am – 8pm

Amalie Arena offers wonderful venue for Anna Maria, Florida

The Amalie Arena is the permanent host to the Tampa Bay Lightning Hockey team as well as the Tampa Bay Storm football team.  The arena offers Anna Maria Island residents and visitors big time entertainment.  At the time of this writing, Amalie Arena is hosting many big name entertainers.  Neil Diamond, Wiggles, AC/DC, Celine Dion, and Dane Cook the comedian.

The Amalie Arena has a fantastic interactive Seating diagram that allows you to see the view you can expect when choosing your seats.  130, 101, 102 and 117, 116, and 115 are first level and in the middle of the Forum.

The Arena has several ATM’s.  There are two Tampa General Hospital first aid offices in the forum.  Smoking is not permitted inside although there are several outside areas provided.  Disabled seating can be purchased at (813) 301-6536.  Amalie restricts Alcohol, food or beverages, bottles, cans, laser pointers, large banners or signs, chains, fireworks, weapons, and no video or audio recording devices.  Be careful, if your camera has video recording capabilities you may be required to make a long trek back to your vehicle to deposit your camera.

There are plenty of food choices at the Forum however expect to eat for twice what you would at Mcdonalds for similar eats.  Hamburgers, Chicken Nuggets, Pizza, ice cream, peanuts, cotton candy, french fries, hot dogs, just about anything you can imagine.

The Amalie website has great directions but in case you need directions from Anna Maria Island: travel along Route 64 East to RESIDENTIAL State Route 41 North (The Non-Business Route).  Take 275 South and move on to I-75 North to Tampa, Florida.  Off of I-75, take State Route 618 also known as Crosstown West until Exit #7.  Take Exit 7 which is known as Downtown West exit and follow the exit loop.  There is a parking lot to your immediate left once the exit ramp ends.  Turn left on East Bell Street and Park.  Parking at the time of this article is $8.

Amalie Arena
401 Channelside Drive
St. Petersburg, Fl, 33602
(813) 301-2500 For Entertainment tickets
(813) 301-6600 For Sports tickets

Visit our Tampa Bay visitor page for more information on Tampa Bay.

Tampa Bay Hockey is great big city sports entertainment

Tampa Bay Lightning offers wonderful “big city” sports entertainment for Anna Maria Island residents and visitors.   Tampa, Florida entertainment starts in early October and regular season games end in Mid-April.  Post season games typically last until late May, early June.  The drive from Anna Maria via East of Tampa is about a 1 hour drive and West of Tampa is about 1 hour and twenty minutes.

Specific directions from Anna Maria Island are as follows:  take Route 64 East to Route 41 North (The Non-Business Route).  Pick up 275 South and then take I-75 North to Tampa.  Take State Route 618 also known as Crosstown West until Exit #7.  Take Exit 7 which is the Downtown West exit and follow the exit loop.  There is a parking lot to your immediate left once the exit ramp ends.  Turn left on East Bell Street and Park.  Parking at the time of this article is $8.  The exact address of the Amalie Arena is 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa, Fl, 33602.

There is plenty of food to choose at the Tampa Bay Lighteing hockey games.  Westshore pizza has good pizza but I would skip the philly cheesesteak.  I absolutely love Five Guys Burgers and Fries.  They give you a bag of fries that is large enough to feed two big guys or a family of four.  Their burgers are fantastic.  Of course there are peanuts, beer, soda, pretzels, cotton candy, chicken fingers and fries, hot dogs, etc.  Yes there is a place that sells salads on the first level where Five Guys Burgers and Fries can be found.

If you go to a hockey game give yourself about 1.5 hours to make the normal 7:30 PM starting games.  They have lots of games with give-aways so plan accordingly if you the give away is a must have.  Be ready for a late night.  Normally we get back to Anna Maria Island at about 11:30 PM.

Amalie Arena
Tampa Bay Lightning
401 Channelside Drive
Tampa, Fl, 33602

Anna Maria Island Rainy Day Top 5

Paradise needs to have a rainy day or two.  If you are unfortunate enough to catch a rainy day while on Anna Maria Island there is still plenty to do.  Most things to do on a rainy day are off the island in Bradenton, FL however it is just a short drive away.  Most area attractions off Anna Maria Island can be found on Manatee Avenue or Cortez road. Below is our top five things to do while enduring a rainy day on Anna Maria.

Bowling on a Rainy Day

Just off Anna Maria Island in Bradenton you can find Bowling. Only 15 minutes from Anna Maria, FL you will find open bowling just of Cortez.  Visit our Florida Bowling Blog for more information.

Oakmont Theater

Go take in the latest big screen movie.  The Oakmont Theater is a newly renovated theater just of Cortez only 15 minutes from Anna Maria Island.  There you will find all the normal requirements necessary to enjoy the latest blockbuster of a movie.  Popcorn, reclining seats, hot dogs, candy, soda, everything you need to gain those extra 5 lbs needed to ensure you were on a true vacation.

Restaurants on Anna Maria Island

Go out to anyone of our fabulous restaurants on Anna Maria island.  Obviously outdoor seating will not work well under rainy circumstances but there are plenty of restaurants to choose from.  Whether it be a breakfast or lunch just to catch up or a 5 course meal your are sure to find plenty of choices on or off Anna Maria Island.

Read a book at the Library

Go relax and read a good book or catch up on the latest magazine gossip or news at the Holmes Beach City Library.  For a small amount you can become a member of the library.  Of course you only need a library card if you plan to take books, CD’s, or DVD’s home for review there.  It’s absolutely free to use the 8 computers they have on site with Internet as well as use their Internet hub for your laptop.  They have an amazing collection of DVD’s, VHS movies, as well as some recent publications for self help or the latest novel you have been looking to read.  The children’s area has plenty of books, games, a computer for their use as well as soft plush toys to play with.

Spa Day

Pamper yourself with a spa day.  Anna Maria Island enjoys many “full meal deal” spas that can accommodate your every whim.  Massage, pedicure, hair, sea wraps, you name it.  Anna Maria City, Holmes Beach, and Bradenton Beach boasts several spa choices to choose from.  In addition there are several individuals that will come to your vacation rental and give you a massage in your accommodations. Perhaps on a covered beach front patio?  It’s a bit tough to schedule a rainy day in paradise but you should be able to plan your spa day last minute as there are plenty of choices on Anna Maria Island.