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 rental property 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.
Anna Maria Island Vacation Rentals and Accommodations
Island Real Estate offers the largest selection of Anna Maria Island vacation rentals with almost 300 to choose from! For the perfect Florida vacation make your reservation with Island Real Estate today!
Anna Maria Island Activities – As a teenager myself I know it can be hard to find fun activities for teens on Anna Maria Island without the parents that won’t worry them like crazy. However, here on the island there is such a variety of activities it will seem almost too easy to get away and make memories with your friends.
Anna Maria Island Activities for Teens
1. Bike around the island
A great way to experience the island is biking. With the island only being seven miles long the trip isn’t strenuous, and is a great way to find shops and explore the island. Also, it’s a great way to keep in shape and help the environment, which is something Anna Maria prides itself on. Some great places to rent bikes are Beach Bums, Just 4 Fun, and AMI Beach Fun. Check out the Anna Maria Island bike guide here!
2. Go paddle boarding
Paddle Boarding around the island is one of the most fun ways to explore new places and sea life. For beginners, it’s recommended to find a place with calm water to learn on. Some good places to launch off of are the pier on 63rd street, Bimini Bay, and Bayfront Park. Many places are accessible by Anna Maria’s free trolley that goes through Anna Maria, Holmes Beach, and Bradenton Beach. Find the trolley schedule here.
3. Catch ’em all
With the newest app Pokémon Go being released on July 6th, 2016 Anna Maria has become the perfect place to find tons of poke stops and gyms during your stay. Not only is the game extremely fun, it gives you the chance to explore the island, and meet new people along the way. Collect pokeballs and powerups at the Florida Friendly Demonstration Garden while experiencing a place you might not have known about otherwise. Also, since you’re so close to the ocean you get to find water Pokémon such as Psyduck and Squirtle. This helps add to your collection AND find better Pokémon to battle with! Want a playlist to catch ’em all to? Click here to add some spunk to your adventure! Just remember if you’re driving to be safe and #DontCatchAndDrive.
I can proudly say eating different food is one of my favorite parts of vacationing, and Anna Maria doesn’t let down. Start your day off with Minnie’s Beach Cafe for breakfast on Holmes Beach, where they serve delicious pancakes and sandwiches! For lunch try Anna Maria Island Beach Cafe where they serve delicious sandwiches and platters. Dinner is served at Anna Maria Oyster Bar on the Pier where there is yummy sea food and a pretty view. Also, if you’re craving a treat The Donut Experiment makes tasty made-to-order donuts, or Two Scoops is the home to 32 different flavors of ice cream.
5. Shop Shop Shop!
Who doesn’t love to shop while on vacation? The Island has the coolest shops, providing fun presents for the family and fun activities for teens on Anna Maria Island. Some of the best shops are:
Anna Maria Island vacation rentals and accommodations
Island Real Estate offers Anna Maria Island’s largest selection of vacation rental homes perfect for the entire family including teens! Visit IslandReal.com first when looking for the perfect family friendly vacation rental!
Holmes Beach – If you’ve ever been to Anna Maria Island you probably are familiar with the middle island city called Holmes Beach. This island community is the largest of the three island cities with a population of less than 4,000. A quiet coastal Florida town, Holmes Beach is a wonderful place to live and vacation.
Holmes Beach was at one time dense jungle where it wasn’t uncommon to see Panthers, Rattle Snakes and a variety of Florida wildlife. The middle section of the island was first homesteaded in 1896 by Sam and Annie Cobb. Shortly after the Cobbs moved into their 160 acres they were followed by John R. Jones and Jose Casanas. John piloted boats from Tampa to Cuba, and Jose had moved from the Canary Islands in search of Mullet.
Holmes Beach got it’s name from Jack Holmes who developed 600 acres of the island after World War II. The city became incorporated in 1950.
In 1947 Jack Holmes used a 30 acre space to build an air strip because he believed World War II air pilots would be interested in using it. While the strip was being laid, Jack Holmes was contacted by the movie giant Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer to use the strip to help in producing the film “On An Island With You”. The filming of the movie created great excitement which fueled Jack Holmes development of the Holmes Beach. Eventually the airstrip was removed in 1970, but excitement about Anna Maria Island has never waned.
Today the island’s middle city is a quiet and bustling town welcoming thousands of visitors every year with pristine beaches and beautiful vacation rentals.
Holmes Beach offers approximately three miles of powder sand Gulf of Mexico beaches peppered with public accesses and beach front homes. Where Manatee Avenue/State Road 64 comes to an end is where you’ll find the most popular beach area in Holmes Beach called Manatee Public Beach access. Manatee Public Beach offers tons of fabulous amenities including life guards, public restrooms and changing facilities, showers, a playground, volley ball courts, picnic areas, trolley stops, tons of parking and gorgeous tall Australian Pines that the island is known for. You’ll also find concessions at the AMI Beach Cafe along with Florida’s oldest Surf Shop.
Heading north or south from Manatee Public Beach you’ll find plenty of smaller beach accesses many of which offer public parking.
Holmes Beach offers no shortage of great places to enjoy a meal and a cold drink. From laid back to fine dining, and breakfast to dinner you’re sure to find a delicious place to eat in the middle of Anna Maria Island. In the center of the island you will also find the local chain grocery store Publix along with CVS and Walgreens Pharmacies. Click on the links below for information.
Holmes Beach offers many fun events throughout the year including Spring Fest, Winter Fest, The Halloween Trail of Treats, and Art Walks.
In the middle island city you’ll find plenty of activities to keep you entertained. In addition to beautiful beaches, you’ll find The Island Branch Library on Marina Drive along with the baseball field, shuffle board courts, skate park, the city play ground and the dog park.
While visiting Anna Maria Island, vacationers like to rent many different types of equipment to enhance their stay including bikes, kayaks, paddle boards and more. When looking for equipment rentals there are several options including Just 4 Fun, Island Scooter Rentals, Fun and More and AMI Beach Fun Rentals.
Holmes Beach Vacation Rentals and Accommodations
Island Real Estate offers almost 200 vacation rental homes in Holmes Beach. Whether you are looking to accommodate a couples getaway, or a family beach holiday, Island Real Estate has the perfect accommodations.
Anna Maria Island – While visiting the island the most obvious choice for fun activities and relaxation is the beach. With over seven miles of powder sand beaches, crisp blue water, endless sunshine and spectacular shelling, the beach will always be the first choice activity. Anna Maria Island has so much more to offer than just the amazing beaches, so Island Real Estate has compiled a list of our top ten activities and things to do during your stay.
If you’ve ever visited Florida, especially in the summer months, you know rain is to be expected. With this in mind there are plenty of things to do to keep you entertained while waiting for clearer skies.
The Anna Maria Island Historical Society Museum is a must for visitor to the island. Tour the exhibits in the recently updated Museum building, learn about the old Belle Haven Cottage originally located on the pier, and see the old city jail house. The museum is fun for all ages, and gives visitors a taste of Anna Maria Island from days past. The Museum is located at 402 Pine Avenue.
The Island Players Theater offers several different shows each season running from October to May. Tickets are $20 each or purchase a season ticket for $92.50 at the box office or by phone. The Island Players Theater is located at the corner of Gulf Drive and Pine Avenue. A fun place to catch a play, the Players Theater is a gorgeous and historical landmark of Anna Maria.
Anna Maria Island may only be seven miles long and one mile wide, but it does offer fabulous nature viewing opportunities. One of the areas most unique nature features can be found on the south end of Anna Maria Island at gorgeous Leffis Key. Open from sunrise to sundown, Leffis Key offers amazing Mangrove tunnel lined boardwalk trails, salt marsh lagoons and the Island’s best bird watching. Also, use this handy guide to spot both White and Brown Pelicans around Anna Maria Island’s Leffis Key!
There are tons of great places to shop for unique items on Anna Maria Island. Whether you are looking for island themed gifts and souvenirs, local art or just gorgeous little things, you’ll be sure to find it in one of the great shops on the island.
Across Anna Maria Island there are several great parks with kid friendly activities. Find play ground equipment, a skatepark, concessions, and all the outdoor fun your kids could hope for. If you are looking to head off island for nature viewing check out our list of parks and preserves in Manatee county.
With so many equipment rental shops on Anna Maria Island there are lots of options for entertaining activities. Rent just about any type of equipment you need on the island including kayak/canoes, bikes, jet skis, beach accessories, golf carts, fly boarding, baby rentals and much more! Check out the Anna Maria Island Bicycle Guide for route suggestions and more.
Anna Maria Island has a fabulous art scene with many local creatives offering their wares in galleries across the island. While visiting Anna Maria Island be sure to stop in one of the galleries listed, and take a piece of paradise home with you. If you visit the Island in November, be sure to visit annual event ArtsHop!
Sunset is one of the most magical times on Anna Maria Island. Always the best way to end the day or get the evening started, sunset is the time of day to reflect on the incredible beauty of the Anna Maria Island experience. You can’t leave the island without catching at least one sunset!
After perusing our list of Anna Maria Island activities we are sure you’ll have to come back a second time to experience everything the island has to offer! Enjoy your time in paradise, and don’t forget to apply your sunscreen liberally!
Anna Maria Island Vacation Rentals and Accommodations
When planning a trip or an extended stay to Anna Maria Island, Island Real Estate has the largest inventory of vacation rental homes to choose from with almost 300 properties. You’ll find the perfect accommodation along with great customer service when you use Island Real Estate!
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!”
Island Real Estate has plenty of vacation rentals on Anna Maria Island. Be sure to contact us for help on which vacation rentals are in your favorite spot on Anna Maria Island.
The Selby Public Library will be hosting the 3rd annual “Looking Into the Crystal Ball” fundraiser sponsored by Friends of the Selby Public Library. The event will be on January 9th from 7pm to 10pm with over two dozen local restaurants and food vendors providing delicious samples of their specialties. A cash bar will be provided by Libby’s Cafe + Bar. Continuous performances will take place near the library’s signature staircases including singer/performer Jimmy Mazz, the Fred Astaire Ballroom Dancers, belly dancers, musicians, palm readers, intuitive readers, and other specialty acts. Art, wellness and author exhibits will be there plus much more. Past Looking Into the Crystal Ball fundraisers have had over 1500 attendees so get your tickets while they’re hot.
Event proceeds will support the hundreds of free Selby Library activities and events for teens and children. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door.
The 2nd Annual Lifestyles After 50 Fun Fest will be held at the Robarts Arena on January 10th from 10am to 3pm. Free admission and parking will start your day of fun on the right foot. Free coffee and goodies from Perkins and Sams Club will be provided through the day and lunch starting at $4.50. Entertainment will include Denise Looney the “DJ with a twist” singing and playing music from the 50s, 60s, and 70s. The Knockouts will also dazzle you with their singing and the “One Man Circus”, Fritzy, will amaze and surprise you.
Activities include a Prize-A-Palooza for a chance to win $100 as well as $1000s of other prizes, senior-friendly sports arena, and free bingo for prizes. Also, free health screening will be available throughout the day.