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!

Shopping
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 IslandReal.com. You’ll find almost 300 great homes!

 

Anna Maria Island Trolley – Chamber of Commerce Giving Back

If you’ve been to the Island before, then you probably have seen The Anna Maria Island trolley driving around. Available to ride free of charge, the trolley takes you from north to south across Anna Maria Island. On January 9th, the Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce is holding an event to celebrate keeping the trolley free. While also recognizing local island non-profits.

Save the Anna Maria Island Trolley

Taking place from 5:00pm-7:00pm at the Tortuga Inn at 115 3rd Street South in Holmes Beach. There will be music by Chuck Caudill Island DJ, food prepared by The Feast Restaurant, beverages provided by Timesaver and more. We look forward to seeing you there!

Send an email to info@amichamber.org for any questions or information.

Tami the Turtle from Island Real Estate riding the Anna Maria Island Trolley

 

1st Annual Lighting of Bridge Street on Anna Maria Island!

holiday lightsMark Saturday, November 30th on your calendar ~ we have a great way to get in the holiday spirit!

That evening from 5pm through 10pm, we are all welcome to enjoy the first official holiday Lighting of Bridge Street.  Bring your friends, family (both human and furry) to Bradenton Beach on Anna Maria Island. The night will come alive with live holiday music by “Ted Stevens and the Doo Shots”.  There will be shopping, crafts, food and a full bar available. The exact location is 107 Bridge Street, Bradenton Beach….but leave the car at home!  You can let loose, have a good time and shake your tail feathers by taking the free Anna Maria Island Trolley!!

What a fun way to follow up an island Thanksgiving!

This is the first of many merry holiday events on Anna Maria Island, beginning in the city of Bradenton Beach.

For more information on the host, Bridge Street Merchants, click here.

Ist Annual Lighting of Bridge Street