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!
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.
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
Anna Maria- Even though Anna Maria has extremely fun activities, it’s nice to find enjoyable things to do out of town. With so much surrounding the island you’ll have no problem finding something the whole family will enjoy. Here is a list of some of my favorite things to do off the island.
Out of Town Activities
Sarasota is located about 40 minutes south of Anna Maria Island. If you’re looking for a fun mind game, visit Escape Countdown located off of Tamiami Trail. Here you get to pick a themed room such as Jail Break or Mad Hatter and find clues to escape it. The challenge, however, is the 60 minute time limit. You may have up to three clues for free and each added clue takes off two minutes of your time. It’s a lot of fun to do with family and friends and you can have a group of up to eight people. You can reserve a time online or just walk in. Sarasota Lanes is the perfect place to go for anyone who loves bowling, or visit Stardust for a pleasant afternoon rollerskating.
Ellenton is about 30 minutes away and is home to Ellenton Premium Outlets and Ellenton Ice and Sports Complex. The Premium Outlets offers shops such as Aeropostale, Michael Kors, and Vans. With around 120 different shops, there’s definitely something for everyone. After shopping outside all day, cool off at the ice rink and enjoy one of their two hour long public skates. Wristbands are only $15 and includes rental skates.
If you love golfing, Top Golf is the perfect place for you! Located about an hour away from the island, Top Golf is one of the coolest places to go play golf. Imagine dart boards all over the ground, but instead of throwing darts you’re trying to hit the bulls-eye with a golf ball. Also in Tampa is the Adventure Island Water Park. Here you can find tons of cool water slides, a lazy river, and fun pools to play in.
Overall there’s so much to do on and around the island you’re sure to never get bored. Make sure to check these places out at have fun on your vacation!
Anna Maria- While playing by the beach is always a good time, relaxing at your Anna Maria Island cottagey with some good movies can be just as fun! Many websites such as Netflix, HBO, and Amazon offer these movies to stream, and because most of our properties come with WiFi you can watch what you’d like at your leisure! While there are many great movies to watch when vacationing by the beach, here’s a few of my favorites.
5 Movies to Watch on Vacation
1. 50 First Dates
Personally one of my favorite romances, 50 First Dates is about a man named Henry who sets his heart on a girl named Lucy. However, little does he know that he has a huge obstacle in his way, Lucy’s short term memory loss. Because of this, every morning Henry must woo her again. This movie is comical, heart-warming, and overall the perfect movie to watch on vacation! This movie is PG-13.
2. Teen Beach Movie
Any kid or family who loves music and the beach will love this Disney movie! Surfers Brady and McKenzie are magically thrown into a 1960’s movie musical, and are forced to make friends with the characters in order to get back. However, they accidentally change the story line when the movie’s main hero and heroine fall in love with them instead of each other! As the movie takes place at a beach, (of course!) any family is sure to enjoy this movie while vacationing on Anna Maria Island. If you’re looking for a movie marathon, there is also Teen Beach Movie 2. This movie is rated G.
3. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
If you love adventure and romance this movie will be one of your favorites. Captain Jack Sparrow finds himself at Port Royal with no ship and no crew. His timing couldn’t be more perfect however as later that day a pirate ship attacks the town and takes none other than the governor’s daughter. A blacksmith named Will Turner happens to be in love with her, and allies with Jack in order to get her back. With so much adventure and an ever exciting plot, you’re sure to love this movie! It is rated PG-13.
4. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
This movie is perfect for vacationing teens who are keeping in touch with their friends back home. Four best friends named Carmen, Tibby, Lena and Bridget are spending their first summer apart. Before they leave, Carmen finds a pair of “magic” jeans at the thrift store that happen to fit all the girls different body types. In order to keep in touch, the girls decide to send each other the jeans over the summer for luck. While the girls are facing tough times, they know their friends will be there for them in the long run. A touching and funny movie, this movie is perfect for all ages and is rated PG.
If you’re into scarier movies, Jaws is right up your alley. Beginning when a young women is killed by a shark, Sheriff Martin Brody wants to close the beaches. However the mayor and a few other businessmen are not happy with this idea as it will lower revenue. Brody is forced to back down, when that following weekend a boy is killed by the predator as well. The boys mother proceeds to put a price on the capture of the shark, and soon a local fisherman and an archaeologist join Brody to find the Great White Shark. While this movie is fantastic I do have a warning! As you ARE vacationing at the beach, if the thought of sea creatures such as stingrays and sharks makes you squeamish to go into the water I wouldn’t recommend watching Jaws. This movie is rated PG.
Island Real Estate located at 6101 Marina Drive has dominated the local Anna Maria Island Real Estate market for several decades. That means for you we have the most listings on the island that our professional sales staff has intimate knowledge of.
Bradenton – Don’t miss out on trying TREEUMPH Adventure Courses just off the island in Bradenton. Enjoy a day of outdoor play in the trees at Southwest Florida’s only elevated adventure course. Bring the family, get together with friends or grab a group from the office for an adrenaline-pumping activity that has something fun for everyone ages 7 and older.
>>> Ages 7 to 9 challenge themselves on our child only course – about a 1.5 hour experience.
>>> Ages 12 and over experience 5 adventure courses and our giant zip line – typically a 3 to 4 hour excursion!
>>> Ages 9 to 11 experience 3 of the 5 courses and our giant zip line – a 2 to 3 hour tour!
Plan. Play. TreeUmph! Book your reservation, come prepared, then swing into action on wobbly bridges, hanging nets, bungee swings, swinging logs, foot bridges, Tarzan ropes, ZIP lines and more. Book your adventure now!
The Anna Maria Island Wedding Festival is a great resource! There is no better way to walk down the aisle on your special day than with toes in the sand. Enjoy the island breeze dancing on your skin with the captivating Gulf of Mexico as your back drop. Truly a romantic experience.
Anna Maria Island wedding Festival
Anna Maria Island has many festivals and events happening annually throughout the year. However, one of those festivals is Anna Maria Island’s Chamber of Commerce Wedding Festival! Meet with photographers, venues, caterers, florists, hair and make-up professionals and other wedding vendors. These folks can all help in planning your dream-come-true day!
There are prize giveaways including a wedding package which will has many of the amenities for a wedding. Examples of the prizes include dinner gift certificates, spa services, beach or wedding portraits, floral arrangements, music or DJ services, jewelry, island business gift certificates, complimentary resort stays, water sport certificates and sailing certificates too!
Upon check-in, you will receive a complimentary wedding festival tote to collect information in throughout the day. Also an island map to all the vendor sites and a schedule of activities and events happening throughout the day. You can then travel by the island’s free trolley or a mode of transport of your own to visit with vendors that interest you. In the evening, everyone will meet at a beach location for the Grand Finale. Additionally, food, prize giveaways and a mock wedding are just some of the events planned for this festival!
The Havana Cabana Grill is a Cuban restaurant situated on the Marina Drive, Holmes Beach on Anna Maria Island. The restaurant has a large selection of dishes available for people eating in and ordering out. The food served is a mixture between Greek, Italian and Cuban traditional dishes and there are a variety of others. There are dinner specials available and for the adventurous spirits out there the catch of the day will offer a delicious fresh meal. Be sure to ask what it is!! There is a relaxed atmosphere in the restaurant and one immediately feels at home and welcome.
On my visit to the Havana Cabana I had an authentic Cuban sandwich and my aunt had the Sopa del Dia, both of which were extremely good. I would recommend any of the sandwiches that are made with Cuban bread. There is so much to choose from and I will definitely be going back. The restaurant is owned and managed by John Droukas who is also the chef, you can be sure one of the better chefs on the island. The best way in testing the theory is by testing the food. We were served by a kind lady by the name of Michelle Ruiz del Vizo who was very knowledgeable of the state of Florida and its cultural heritage. We learnt from her the meaning behind the term ‘cracker’, used to describe people who are born in Florida. The term derived from the crack of the whip above herds of cattle that were being herded by the first Floridian residents, early pioneers of the region. She is a proud Cuban cracker.
So here’s what I would do if I wasn’t working today! I would drive past my office in Holmes Beach and head straight to Bay Front Park in Anna Maria, unload my bicycle and go for a ride. As my stomach starts to grumble with hunger I would stop at the Rod N Reel Pier for some breakfast. Remember that breakfast is the most important meal of the day even if you’re eating bacon, eggs, & home fries at your favorite island restaurant.
After breakfast it’s time for a little adventure so I would go see my friends at Yolo Parasail for a relaxing boat ride and sky high view of Anna Maria Island. If you have never been parasailing off the coast of Anna Maria Island you should put it on your to do list!
As the morning comes to an end and the afternoon is just about to begin I would go soak up some rays on Holmes Beach for a couple of hours while looking at the amazing pictures I took from my parasailing adventure. If you are at one of the public beaches you can enjoy some ice cream too.
Now it’s time to go see my good friends at Segs By The Sea in Bradenton Beach for a SEGWAY tour. We start our tour on Bridge Street and head to the beach. Travelling south along the paved beach path through Coquina Beach and up over the Longboat Key Bridge and back. If you have never been on a SEGWAY before don’t worry one of the fabulous tour guides will teach you how to ride, and in about five minutes you will be comfortable and confident on a SEGWAY.
As the Sun is setting on our return trip to Bridge Street the day is almost over but the night is just beginning and now I’m hungry once again. In the mood for good food and live music I head just a couple of doors down to The Blue Marlin where I meet friends and family for diner & drinks. The Blue Marlin is famous for their fresh fish & seafood that they purchase daily from local seafood markets. I’m not the biggest seafood lover but absolutely love the burgers, steak sandwich, and of course ice cold beer outside in the Trap Yard where on the weekends you can enjoy live entertainment from local musicians.
So that’s what I would do if I wasn’t working in paradise today… But I am working today at Island Real Estate on Anna Maria Island and would like to get you here too!
Tell us your story on facebook title it my perfect day on Anna Maria Island and let us know what you did or would do… “Remember life’s better on the beach!”
We have four holiday parades a year on Anna Maria Island, each with its own distinct flavor. St. Patrick’s Day is a little more whimsical with an appearance by local celebrity Judy the Elephant and the Fourth of July is just to warm you up for fireworks and a dip in the clear, blue water of the Gulf of Mexico.
Get ready for the Anna Maria Island WINTERFEST – the annual Fine Arts and Craft show held in the Holmes Beach City Hall Field this Saturday and Sunday December 8th and 9th from 10-4:30 each day. Parking and admission are free, leashed pets welcome. Perfect place to pick up local art for holiday gifts!