Peach’s Restaurant in Holmes Beach – Laid Back, Homestyle Breakfast Food

For a good homestyle breakfast, that won’t break the bank, check out Peach’s off East Bay Drive in Holmes Beach. They are open early (6am), and close after lunch (2:30pm). There is nothing fancy about Peach’s, which is why so many people like it. It’s a nice laid back spot with friendly staff.

Peach’s Restaurant is actually a small chain restaurant, with 6 locations, all in the local area. Everything on the menu is served all day. So if you want a burger at 8am, go for it! Pancakes for lunch? No problem.
Speaking about the menu, here’s what you can expect. They have all the classic breakfast items, like omelets, benedicts, pancakes, waffles, etc. Then they have dishes like Biscuits & Gravy, a Breakfast Burrito, and Chicken Fried Steak n Eggs. There are quite a few things to choose from.

For the lunch portion of the menu there are fresh salads, sandwiches, and wraps. A few examples of dishes on the lunch menu include their Tuna Melt, Rueben, Buffalo Chicken Wrap, and the Southwest Salad.

Peach’s Restaurant
3240 E Bay Dr, Holmes Beach, FL 34217
(941) 779-0738

Airport Transportation to Anna Maria Island

Recently more airport transportation businesses have decided to service Anna Maria Island. Between local vendors and Uber, there are tons of airport transportation options to AMI.

While services below focus on transport from the Tampa International, other Florida airports are also serviced. Sarasota/Bradenton airport is so close to Anna Maria Island most visitors grab a taxi. However, many options are now available.

Review the vendors below and call Island Real Estate with any questions.

Airport Transportation to Anna Maria Island
Coastal Elite Limousine

This services offers a fleet of Town and Country Luxury Minivans and Ford Expedition Sport Utility Vehicles meet any transportation needs. This local Driver was born and raised on AMI. Driver is familiar with state roads and venues well! For more rates including hourly, call now (941) 348-4791. Airport Service to Tampa starts at $100 and $55 to Sarasota. Coastal Elite Limousine rates include gratuity! Coastal Elite Limousine is great for transportation for airports, restaurants, theme parks, doctors and to the Tampa port authority for Cruises.Anna Maria Island Airport

Anna Maria Isle Transportation

This vendor has been a Member of the Chamber of Commerce since 2008. They offer clean non smoking Lincoln’s and Cadillacs too. Car and booster seats are provided at no extra cost for children. Also no charge for those picking up keys for a vacation rental. Rates to Tampa/St. Pete start at $85 up to 4 people. Seven person SUV now available with Tampa/St.Pete starting at $125. Call them at (941) 527-5602.

Cartier Limousine Services 

Cartier is a member of the Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce.  They offer airport transportation as well as transportation for special venues such as weddings or special events.  They have several vehicles to choose from and transportation to Tampa International airport for one person starts at $70 one way.  Call at 612-868-7290 or visit their Anna Maria Island transportation airport rates page for more details.

Shuttle Services of AMI

Shuttle Services of AMI focus their business on island. While you visit the area we suggest this service for any unique transport needs. Additionally, this company has a large service area. Rates start at $64 to Sarasota and $125 to Tampa and will include automatic gratuity. This service offers a fleet of sedans and larger vehicles upon request. Rides to Orlando and Ft. Myers also available. Call (941) 580-5777  for Anna Maria Island Shuttle.

This information has been gathered as a convenience for our guests.We cannot guarantee the rates.  Please call individual vendor for details. Info. current as of 2020. 

How to clean seashells: Anna Maria Island Insider Tips

seashells bradenton beach
Good day at the beach!

Day 3 at your Anna Maria Island rental and it is starting to resemble a seashore in its own right. Bags of moon snails, calico scallops, kittens paw, and banded tulips spill out onto the kitchen table as though they are trying to escape. You even managed to find a few of the elusive sand dollar and even one sea fan skeleton. There are at least two bags dedicated to the coquina shells because your daughter says “they look purply and I want to make necklaces for my friends”.

It is a beautiful day and you have the window open to enjoy the smell of the ocean breeze when something less pleasant catches a ride on the air. After a moment of investigation you realize that it is the bags of beach bounty that seem to be the source of the offending odor.

Have no fear, the pool water is here! I learned this on my first vacation to Anna Maria Island before we moved here. We had so many shells from Bradenton Beach that I think we paid twice the baggage fee on the way home!

That same bucket you used to make the epic sand art earlier in the day can come in handy once again. Start by brushing most of the sand out, then rinsing with water to not get sand in the pool. Fill half way with water, then simply add shells so that they are all completely immersed. Leave overnight and voila most of that ‘not quite the beach smell you like’ is gone! No pool because you went for a direct waterfront property? No worries. Some hydrogen peroxide and water from your local Publix at a 10:1 ratio in the same multipurpose bucket will also do the trick.

Fast forward to unpacking the luggage after the flight home. You now have your own personal collection of bubble shells, fighting conch, tritons trumpet, and yes, even lightning whelk. Because, as your son astutely pointed out, you didn’t have those ones yet.

As you sort through your treasures you find some perfect specimens. Alas, more often than not they have a bit of a green tinge and a crusty, leathery outer coating in places. That simply won’t do! You have big decorating plans for those shells. The good news is that there are simple ways to get those shells back to their former luster.

Conch
Crusty!

The eco friendly ways~

1~The miracle of Vinegar! Simple, easy and cheap. Poor a small amount of vinegar into a bowl or cup. Use a soft toothbrush saturated with the vinegar and gently scrub the shell. You may have to do this several times. Then wash with soap and water. Don’t soak in the vinegar though, it will cause a reaction between the acid in the vinegar and the calcium carbonate of the shells. The shells will actually dissolve. It is kind of fun to watch it happen to at least one though:-)

2~ Another cleaning wonder is hydrogen peroxide. Simply put the shells in a bowl and poor enough peroxide to sufficiently cover the shells and let soak for several hours or until a film covers the top. The peroxide has invasive properties making easy work of any bacterial cleanup. Rinse thoroughly and place to dry on a towel.

The not-so eco friendly ways~

1~ Soak your seashells in a 50/50 solution of bleach and water. The length of time depends on the type of seashells and the number of seashells being cleaned. Just be sure to remove them when the periostracum (that crusty, leathery covering that I mentioned earlier) is gone. I am not a huge fan of bleaching because the shell can absorb the smell. It can also lighten the color. If you try bleaching your shells, try not to leave them in the solution too long.

2~ Without question muriatic acid is the fastest and easiest way to clean your shells. It will almost magically strip the shell of any barnacles or algae and bring the color to back to life! Use only glass jars and plastic tongs due to the caustic reaction with muriatic acid and metals. Wear gloves and eye protection. In your first jar place 3/4 of a cup of water and 1/4 of muriatic acid. Fill the second jar with plain water. Take the plastic tongs and dip in the first jar for about 3-4 seconds then immediately place into the jar with water and place on paper towel or rags to dry. Be careful not to splash any of the liquid onto your skin. It can cause a nasty little burn. You can pick up muriatic acid at a local hardware store or pool supply company. Some states won’t allow you to flush hydrochloric acid unless you neutralize it first. Neutralize hydrochloric acid with baking soda. Wearing your protective garments and working in a ventilated area well away from children, pets, heat and metals, prepare a base mix. Mix 1 lb of baking soda with plenty of water. Slowly add the hydrochloric acid. The mixture will fizz. Add more baking soda until the fizzing stops. This means the hydrochloric acid is neutralized and can now be flushed down the sink with large quantities of water. I have only used this method once. It made me extremely nervous to work with such a strong acid.

There seem to be about a million and one ways to clean shells. My neighbor uses ants to remove any decaying material. I have heard that boiling works well. Some sites will tell you to bury them or freeze them. One of my friends puts her shells in the dishwasher. I have not tried any of those yet….. but you never know. If you know of another effective way please let me know by commenting below.

Now that you have a treasure trove of clean shells check our next blog at islandreal.com for suggestions on how to preserve them and some fabulous costal design tips using your new collection!

Mandatory Electronic System Travel Authorization for foreign travelers

In 2008 Congress enacted legislation to expand the U.S. Visa Waiver Program (VWP). The new law required that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) develop an Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) to gather biographic information from nationals of the soon-to-be 34 VWP countries traveling to the U.S. in advance of their visit.

ESTA is mandatory for all VWP travelers beginning January 12, 2009. Information required through ESTA mirrors the data travelers already submit through the I-94W paper form currently filled out upon arrival at a U.S. port of entry; however, it simplifies the process by allowing visitors to complete the form online prior to arrival.

Question and Answers about the program

Sign of the Mermaid Anna Maria – CLOSED as of 2019

Open for Breakfast, lunch and dinner the Sign of the Mermaid Anna Maria offers a unique dining experience.

Sign of the Mermaid Anna Maria – Closed as of 2019

Sign of the Mermaid is located in the city Anna Maria on Gulf drive. The restaurant is in a quaint house renovated to accommodate dining guests.  Built in 1912 this restaurant is an old home. Creaking floors, artwork, and fabulous antiques are just a few of the items that define the decor of this unusual home.

The food

Meal at the Sign of the Mermaid Anna Maria tend to be larger. They offer seafood, pasta, chicken, lamb, steaks, wonderful appetizers, and out of this world desserts. For breakfast try out the Eggs Andrea. A delicious spin on a traditional Benedict. The dinner menu also has tons of classic favorites with a unique twist. Additionally, in season we recommend reservations, and the atmosphere accommodates children. Sign of the Mermaid has mixed reviews mostly due to the age of the restaurant and the decor. If you prefer the journey to a dining experience we would suggest Sign of the Mermaid.

Sign of the Mermaid – CLOSED
9707 Gulf Drive
Anna Maria, FL, 34216
(941) 778-9399

Need more choices of Anna Maria City restaurants and fine dining.  No fear, Island Real Estate is here.  Take a look at our Top Ten Anna Maria Island restaurant information page.

Duffy’s Tavern has great hamburgers and COLD beer

Holmes Beach – Duffy’s Tavern is an Anna Maria Island landmark and has been since it first opened in 1958. Family owned and operated, “Miss Duffy” and her 5 daughters proudly serve their “world famous burgers and the coldest beer this side of heaven” from a two-story cracker shack located across the street from the Manatee Public Beach on Anna Maria Island, Florida. In March of 2003, Duffy’s relocated across the street from the Holmes Beach City Hall and skate park. Now with air conditioning and a fireplace, it is a great place to hang out where you are never too hot or cold and can mingle with the locals. You can still expect the same service and quality in both the beers and the burgers. Everything comes with chips, never fries.

scavenger hunt at Duffy's Tavern
Get the best burgers and beer at Duffy’s Tavern!

Duffy’s has fabulous cheeseburgers and try one with everything on it.  There is a bar as well as spots to sit down.  They have an outdoor eating area under roof as well as one out the back which is not under roof.  The regular dining area can be opened up with garage door size screens to let the breeze in on balmy breeze days.  On cold days they get the fireplace roaring and it offers a nice cozy eating spot.  Walk up to the bar and put in your order and Duffy’s will bring the food out when ready.  Plenty of cold beverages at Duffy’s, beer, soda all with Televisions behind the bar to watch your favorite sports team.

Duffy’s hours as of this posting:

Monday – Saturday: 11am – 8pm
Closed on Tuesday
Sunday: 12pm – 8pm
No credit cards, CASH only!

Duffy’s
5808 Marina Dr,
Holmes Beach, Fl 34217 – Anna Maria Island
Phone (941)  778-2501

3rd Quarter Real Estate Snapshot for all Anna Maria Island

Larry Chatt here, I hope everyone is enjoying their summer? Real Estate on Anna Maria Island has been a mixed bag of results for buyers and sellers for the last six to twelve months. If you are a buyer looking for product that is 5+ years or older and may need a renovation here or there then life is grand. There is plenty of great real estate for sale on Anna Maria Island and sellers are recognizing demand is low which requires reducing price as needed. Of course a great situation for buyers but not so good for sellers.
On the other hand, if you are a buyer looking for new construction you are likely becoming frustrated over the high demand of new real estate. High demand correlates with little negotiating room for buyers and sellers know it. Sellers are still negotiating but very little. New construction prices are being driven higher and higher and appear no relief in sight. At least for the last five years one thing is true, if you are a buyer of new construction, the sooner you buy the less it will cost.
Our local naughty 7 letter word, Red Tide, did impact real estate on Anna Maria Island last year. This is evidenced by inventory absorption for the last quarter of 2018 and first quarter of 2019. Inventory absorption often provides a leading indicator of the health of supply and demand for real estate in an area. Our chart measures how many months of real estate is for sale during a given snapshot in time. The chart shows for the first time in almost 10 years we saw two data points of Anna Maria Island real estate inventory exceeding 12 months. The good news is that in the second quarter of 2019 demand has bounced back and we seem to be back in normal territory.
If you have any questions about Anna Maria Island Real Estate please call on any of our full time real estate sales professionals. We would love the opportunity to help!

Harrington House Bed & Breakfast

While searching for your perfect Anna Maria Island property, it’s nice to have a “home base” to relax and enjoy everything our special paradise has to offer. The Harrington House Beachfront Bed and Breakfast offers island hospitality and comfort in order to help you decide which AMI place is “the one” for you! When you’re making your reservation, make sure to tell them you are working with an Island Real Estate Sales Professional for VIP treatment!

The Harrington House is a fantastic direct Gulf Front Bed and Breakfast located on Anna Maria Island.  They offer nightly accommodations and they provide a perfect get away from the busy life.  Each morning you will be awakened by the smell of in house chef made breakfast, breads and coffee. Each bedroom has a charm all of its own, it’s best to speak to one of the very knowledgeable staff to determine which room would best meet your expectations.

Harrington House Breakfast

They also serve breakfast by appointment only for locals and visitors alike.  Sit outside and listen to the Gulf of Mexico while you enjoy one of several specialty breakfasts.   You can also dine inside in the dining area with direct views of the Gulf of Mexico.  Either way, the breakfast is fantastic and the views are free.  If you have a special occasion be sure to stay at Harrington House or at least visit them for breakfast but please be sure to call ahead. Reservations are always required and seating is limited.

One last note, Harrington House will also host a tea party, wedding, or wedding reception so be sure to call them if you have a need for a special group outing.

Harrington House
5626 Gulf Drive
Holmes Beach, FL, 34217
(941) 778-5444

Baby Toddler equipment rentals

ABC Baby Toddler equipment rentals is a fabulous resource for Anna Maria Island.  They deliver equipment and pick it up on the day of your departure.

Baby Toddler Equipment Rentals

Be sure to ask for baby toddler linens when renting beds. Island Real Estate only offers standard bed linens. They are integrated into our office and deliver items to your vacation rental.  Anything required is set up in your vacation rental home or condo.  You can rent toddler beds, cribs, baby seats, strollers, swings, and toys.   In addition to renting legos to life jackets for toddlers, they also rent bicycles, joggers, kites, beach umbrellas, and beach chairs.   All items can be rented daily or weekly and most rentals are less than $40.   ABC does have two locations, one in Holmes Beach on Anna Maria Island and one location in Sarasota.

ABC Rentals
4519 South Tamiami Trail
Sarasota, FL, 34231
(941) 929-1850

2018 Market Summary for Anna Maria Island by Lawrence Chatt, Broker

Results are in for Anna Maria Island Real Estate for 2018. I would like to discuss each category of real estate then will move on to the overall health of Real Estate on Anna Maria Island.

Single family homes on average were flat for 2018. The amount of single families sold (234), average sold price ($1,050,000), and days on market (135) are all flat as compared to results from 2017. One notable difference this year is the amount of single family homes on the market at 179 versus end of 2017 at 139. Average for the last 4 years has been 170 single family homes on the market in December. While a big jump from last year the inventory of 179 falls right in line with a normal year.

Condos for sale on average improved versus 2017. Condos have lagged single family home results so not big surprise condos caught up a little in 2018. More specifically, on average condo prices were up 3%, transactions were flat (131), Days on the market flat (138) and inventory was down 15% (73). If you have been considering selling a condo, now might be a good time to throw your hat into the ring since the average inventory in the last 4 years has been 85 and currently our supply is low.

Multi-family/ Duplexes and Land are all relatively flat as compared to 2017. There is relatively no movement for duplexes however for vacant land there are two noticeable results for 2018. The first is appreciation on average of 6% versus 2017. Fairly significant however the “mix” of sold vacant land could be the culprit as only 9 vacant lots were sold versus an average year of 19 and 2017 of 18. Of course as vacant land becomes more and scarcer on the island this stat is expected to continue to reduce slowly. However I believe escalating building costs and the fact land plus build cost in most cases exceeds the price of relatively new product on Anna Maria Island has contributed to the slowdown in 2018.

Finally where would be in this world without charts? Below is a chart that provides the quarterly sales since 2005. Of course this is the demand side of the Anna Maria Island absorption rate. Sales for the 4th quarter of 2018 is low and the last time we saw transactions for the 4th quarter hovering around 60 was in 2011. 2018 transactions, (397) ended a little higher than the 4 year average of 390 so 2018 for demand was an average year. Red tide is likely the culprit of the 30% drop in sold properties for Q4 and its encouraging our new governor of Florida is taking red tide seriously and within weeks of being sworn in is taking some progressive steps towards ensuring red tide is stamped out. Definitely something we will all keep our eye on for 2019.

As always, email or call if you have further questions. We would love the opportunity to help find your “peace” of paradise on Anna Maria Island or its surrounding areas. Here’s to a prosperous, healthy and red tide free 2019. I very much appreciate your business!