Why Morning Walks are the Best on Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria Island – As someone who is typically not a morning person, I can say I don’t go for morning walks all that often. However, if I was waking up by the beach every morning I’d be up by the crack of dawn! Why you might ask? Here’s five reasons why morning walks on the beach are the best.

5 reasons morning walks are the best

1. Sunrise

If you’ve ever seen a Florida sunrise, you know how beautiful they are. But can you imagine what it looks like by the beach? While Anna Maria is known for it’s sunsets, it’s sunrises are equally as beautiful. A few good places to watch the sunrise would be Bean Point, the boat ramp at Coquina Beach, or the pier at Bridge Street.

sunrise on morning walk
Enjoy a beautiful sunrise on Anna Maria!

2. Look for shells

One of the best features of Anna Maria Island are the gorgeous seashells that can be found on the shoreline. While you can find shells at all times of the day, the morning is when you can find the newest and prettiest shells. This is because they haven’t had the chance to be stepped on or picked up by other people. You might even be able to find full shells from hermit crabs!

shells on your morning walk
Find shells on your morning walk!

3. Watch Coquinas burrow

Even though I have been a Floridian all my life, I still love watching coquinas burrow into the sand. These cool little creatures look just like any other shell, except they’re alive! Because there’s less people around in the morning, it’s easier to spot them digging through the sand, just look by the shoreline! However, we do ask for you to be gentle with them and return them to the ocean as they do need water to survive!

coquinas on your morning walk
Find Coquinas!

4. Watch the scampering birds

If you’ve seen Finding Dory, you know that little short film called ‘Piper’. Well, those birds are actually real and we have them right at our beaches! These little birds called sandpipers are known for scampering around and finding clams on the shore to eat. You can especially see them in the morning when they have more room to run around! Here’s a snippet of the short film if you didn’t get the chance to see it:

5. Help clean the beaches

As a good civilian, it is everyone’s duty to help keep our beaches clean so we can continue enjoying them. By waking up early, not only do you have the chance to do everything listed above, but you can help out our environment at the same time. A great way to do this would be to bring a bag with you on your walk so you can pick up litter. Even just cleaning up behind yourself helps a lot more than you may think!

pick up litter on morning walks
Help out our beaches by picking up litter on your walk!

Bean Point – Anna Maria Island’s Secret Serenity

Bean Point footbridge
The footbridge at Bean Point

Bean Point is the very northern tip of Anna Maria Island.  It is a local secret that provides breathtaking views of the sunset on a pristine, and serene beach.  Named for George Emerson Bean, the first permanent resident of Anna Maria Island, Bean Point is located on a secluded stretch of beach at the northern end of what was Bean’s original homesteaded property.

You won’t find a parking lot, or any large signs, to direct you to this treasure of nature.  To get there you’ll need to head North of the City Pier in Anna Maria on North Bay Blvd.  The “main entrance” to Bean Point is located at a small crossroads.  You will notice the tree lined path that divides the two properties at the the intersection of North Bay Blvd & North Shore Dr.  If you ride your bicycle, you can ride right up the path, and park just to the side of the classic, wooden footbridge that sets the tone for your Anna Maria beach experience.  If you drive your car, you have a few options.  There are actually entrances at the corners of Fern St & N. Shore Dr, and Gladiolus St. & North Shore as well.  Each of these entrances is marked by a small white posted sign that merely states “Public Beach Access”.  Using the intersection of North Bay blvd and North Shore will provide immediate access to the famed “Bean Point” but half the fun is getting there?  Using the public beach access point to the South will allow you to walk along the beach and take in the sites where the Bay and Gulf meet.  When parking you can choose a spot near any of these entrances, and take the path out to the beach.   Local Tip: parking regulations are strictly enforced on Anna Maria Island.  If it says No Parking, don’t do it, unless you want a ticket.  If you do park on the roadside be sure your tires are off the asphalt street.  If just 1″ is on the street you likely will return with a bad suprise after your liesurely stroll along the beaches of Anna Maria.  There are spots along the side streets, including Gladiolus and Fern.  To park near the footbridge entrance, I would recommend heading down to Jacaranda to find an empty (and legal) parking place.

Once your car is settled, head up the nearest path to the gorgeous turquoise waters where the Gulf of Mexico meets the Tampa Bay.   After your leisurely stroll down the path, turn right when you get to the sand, and head north to the point, for spectacular views that include the Sunshine Skyway Bridge.    If the tide is low, you can see the sand bar just off the coast.  Just a little wading into the warm water will take you there, and you can shell ‘til your heart’s content!  The views are amazing, the water is inviting, and the atmosphere is relaxed and serene.  There are quiet spots to sit and enjoy the view, and watch the waters and the wildlife.  I love where the water collides as the tide shifts from the East side of Anna Maria Island to the West side.

There are signs of life relaxing all over the Point.  My children love pointing out the crab holes in the sand.  There are a few turtle nests marked off right now, that are ready to hatch by the end of this month.  There is always something to delight the bird watcher too…with several different birdies to entertain you as they guard their beach turf from one another.  Off in the distance you can see the shores of Egmont Key, and there are always the boats to enjoy watching as they pass by.

So, head to Bean Point to capture a quiet beach moment, or a breathtaking sunset, and enjoy one of the most relaxing spots on an island famous for its relaxation.  Check out Vacasa’s Vacation Rentals to find your perfect spot to capture all that Anna Maria Island has to offer.    Call them toll free, at 800 778 6066, and one of our Vacation Rental Specialist can help you find your perfect spot.

Looking for a vacation rental close to Bean Point?  Grand Haven is just a few properties to the South and is a great bet for a Bean Point vacation as well.

Historic City Pier Anna Maria – Take A Stroll on Tampa Bay

City Pier Anna Maria The city Pier Anna Maria is a great site to see when visiting Anna Maria Island, Florida.  (Sorry, since 2017 Irma the City pier is temporarily closed.  However, there is still plenty to do in the ara and all the below information is accurate) Grabbing an ice cream at Two Scoops and walking the pier is a must!  Another great past time, swing over to Two Sides of Nature and do some shopping. Stop in at the Waterfront. restaurant, across the street, for a great bite to eat.

At the end of the pier you can grab dinner and lunch, or pick up some hand made jewelry.  If you like fishing then stop in to gab with the fishermen on the pier and see what is biting.

City Pier Anna Maria is a historical site

The sign at the entrance of the City Pier Anna Maria says it all.  “The Anna Maria Development Company built this pier and wharf in 1911-1912 to provide dockage for ships from St. Petersburg and Tampa.  It has since withstood hurricanes and lesser storms too numerous to mention.  Although parts were damaged in storms in 1918, 1935, 1974, 1988, 2017 it has each time been restored to its approximate  original form.  Unfortunately the pier as of 2017 is closed for major repairs.  The City of Anna Maria as well as Manatee County are initiating plans to repair the pier and brint it back to all it’s glory.  The Anna Maria City pier is 678 feet long so it is no small task to repair it’s infastructure.  The wharf extends another 58 feet into Tampa bay. Over the years it has nurtured the hopes of fisherman and the dreams of lovers. Provided roosts for pelicans and other sea birds, and has also been a friend to residents and visitors alike.

Over the center of the tin roof, from the third shore bench to the south of this marker, on clear nights can be seen the North star. Guardian of the mariners since the first sailor looked up for guidance of the night sea.

When the pier opens again, hopefully soon… walk the planks. Beneath the Roof of this City Pier is the Place to sit with Shrimp and Beer. While Lightening in the distance plays and thunder rumbles across the bays. “Summer Storm”…CMV ”

Anna Maria Beach Real Estate

There are plenty of gorgeous Anna Maria beach cottages available through Island Real Estate! Check out the selection of homes, and be sure to seek real estate advices from one of our full time sales professionals.

Top 5 Activities for Teens on Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria Island Activities for teens – 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.

Anna Maria Island Activities for teens
Bay Front park is a great place for Paddle boarding!

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.

Activities for teens on Anna Maria Island
Anna Maria Island is a really fun place to explore with Pokemon Go!

4. Eat!

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.

Activities for teens on Anna Maria Island
Anna Maria Oyster Bar (AMOB) on the pier is a great place to eat for teens on a budget!

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- Three Island Monkeys, Two Sides of Nature, White Egret LLC

Holmes Beach- Sand Dollar Gift Shop, Island Bazaar, West Coast Surf Shop

Bradenton Beach- Bridge Street Bazaar, Green Turtle Shell and Gift Shop, The Hive Creations

Coquina Bike Path ~ Bradenton Beach – Anna Maria Island’s Best on The Beach

Anna Maria Island is a great place to take a family walk, bike ride, or just enjoy the breath taking views of the Gulf of Mexico. Don’t let the name fool you, the Coquina Bike path is not for just bikes but includes patrons strolling down the Gulf Waters.  The Coquina bike path is paved and stretches between Coquina beach and Cortez Beach.  Located in Bradenton Beach just south of Bridge Street, you will find Cortez Beach.

This beach offers free parking and lots of it!  As you move further south into Coquina Beach, you will find public restrooms, picnic tables, beach showers, and lifeguards on duty.  Coquina beach also has a café that serves burgers and hot dogs right on the beach.

One of my favorite things to do is take a nice, easy bike ride through Coquina Beach. I start at the south end of the island under the Long Boat Key Bridge and head north towards Cortez Beach along the paved path. Take the time to enjoy island wildlife as you are greeted by squirrels, native birds like the Blue Heron, and if you are lucky, you may see dolphins or manatees enjoying their Florida lifestyle.

If you can’t bring your own bicycle, there are lots of places to rent them on Anna Maria Island.   Most folks love Bradenton Beach because there are plenty of accommodation choices as well as dining and shopping within a stroll away.

The Waterfront Restaurant has bay views in Anna Maria city

Great view of  Tampa Bay and the Sunshine Bridge is only the beginning at this wonderful local seafood restaurant on Anna Maria Island.  The food choices at the Waterfront are fantastic.  From wonderful fresh soups and salads to gourmet meals, salmon and steak.  The Waterfront located in Anna Maria City also offers vegetarian choices as well that are made fresh and homemade right at the restaurant.  Waterfront of Anna Maria Island is famous for their delicious fish taco appetizer and outdoor seating taking advantage of the wonderful bay views.  The giant fish tank that separates the main dining room from the bar area is beautiful and adds charm to the dining experience.

The Waterfront restaurant also offers a wonderful  selection of beers and wine from all over the world.  UPDATE: The Waterfront now serves liquor and phenomenal cocktails.  If you are in the mood for something new, ask one of the friendly bartenders for some suggestions.  My wife loves the Jalapeno Margarita.

The wait staff  of the waterfront in Anna Maria city is always inviting and prompt with their service. If you are in the mood for great service, great views of the bay, excellent food, this is the place for you to come as a family or as a couple.  One last note, try the lobster bisque, trust us, you wont be sorry.  It melts in your mouth.

The Waterfront Restaurant

Tripadvisor Reviews: 4.5Out of 501
Address: 111 S Bay Blvd Anna Maria, FL 34216

Phone: (941) 778-1515
Website: The Waterfront Restaurant
Menu: Waterfront Restaurant Menu
Hours:


Cuisine: Gulf Coast Seafood & Fish

Price Range: $$
Accepts Reservations? yes
Driving Directions: Driving Directions – Google Maps

Visit the following link for more information on Anna Maria City Dining.

Eat Anna Maria Island Oysters While Vacationing

Anna Maria- When vacationing on the coast eating fresh seafood is a must, and Anna Maria Island Oysters are no exception. With countless restaurants on the island, finding some delicious oysters to eat is easier than ever!

Anna Maria Island Oysters

Many people believe humans have eaten oysters since the Roman times from evidence of oyster farms in France and the United Kingdom. Crazy right?

Oysters can be found in all of the world’s oceans. They are bivalve mollusks that have rough irregular shells. While most oysters are edible, there is a difference between food oysters and pearl oysters. Even though it is possible, most food oysters don’t produce pearls. Both are also in two different families of bivalves.

Surprisingly enough, oysters breathe much like fish, using both gills and mantle. They can be both male or female, and can change genders one or more times throughout their life.

Health Benefits

Oysters are one of the most nutritionally balanced foods because they have proteins, carbohydrates, and lipids in them. Just eating four or five medium sized oysters supply the recommended daily source of iron, copper, iodine, magnesium, calcium, zinc, manganese and phosphorus!

Where to celebrate!

With so many restaurants on the island, there’s plenty of options for eating Anna Maria Island Oysters! Here’s a few to think of going to:

AMOB on the Pier– Located in Bradenton Beach, enjoy delicious oyster platters such as Grandma Georgie’s Chipotle Oysters, Rockefeller or an oyster sampler.

Anna Maria Island Oysters
Eat at AMOB on the Pier!

 Island Gourmet Grill– Serving baked oysters with toppings such as cheese, bacon, and jalapenos, there’s no way to go wrong here! You can find Island Gourmet on Holmes Beach.

Anna Maria Island Oysters
Enjoy yummy oysters at Island Gourmet!

Island Fresh Market– Specializing in locally caught and grown food, the Fresh Market serves oysters caught right around the island! You can order them cooked or raw. You can find them on Holmes Beach!

Be sure to enjoy Anna Maria Island Oysters on your next visit!

4 music playlists to listen to on Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria- When lounging at the beach on Anna Maria Island it’s always smart to have some music playlists you love. According to greatist.com, listening to music can help reduce stress and elevate mood. Mix that with chilling by the ocean and you’re sure to be your happiest self! Whether you’d rather relax or play at the beach, we’ve created playlists for however you’re feeling. Jam out and have fun!

Beach music playlists
Lounge by the beach with your favorite music playlist!

Music playlists for the beach

1. Beach Vibes

With artists such as Jimmy Buffett, Zac Brown Band, and Bob Marley you’re sure to get in a beachy mood! Made up of songs new and old, this playlist is great for relaxing or hanging out with the family.

2. Pop Music

Upbeat and fun, this playlist includes songs such as ‘This Is What You Came For’ by Calvin Harris and ‘Can’t Stop the Feeling!’ by Justin Timberlake.

3. Rock Music

Taking it back a few years, this playlist includes Steve Miller Band, The Who, and Rolling Stones. Turn up the music and rock out to your favorite RnB songs! (But not too loud as to not disturb other islanders!)

4. Indie/Alternative Music

Featuring artists such as Arctic Monkeys, Young the Giant, and The Black Keys this playlist is perfect for playing at the beach.

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Beach Warning Flags – Swim Safely on Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria Island – While relaxing on the beautiful beaches of Anna Maria Island you may notice beach warning flags. A notice of swimming conditions, You’ll see them flying from the lifeguard stands at Manatee Beach in Holmes Beach and Coquina Beach in Bradenton Beach. These are color coded flags to warn you about different conditions that you as a beachgoer should be aware of.

What the beach warning flags mean

Double Red – No swimming allowed

Red – Swim with extreme caution due to strong currents or rough surf

Yellow – Swim with caution due to strong currents or rough surf

Green – Swimming allowed, calm conditions

Purple – Presence of marine pests such as jellyfish, sharks, stingrays or red tide

In 2005 the Florida Legislature introduced the uniform beach flag system. Florida’s beach flag program uses four colors accompanied by interpretive signs along the beach to explain swimming conditions. All public beaches in Florida with lifeguards must use the state flag system. With a quick glance at the lifeguard stand beachgoers are informed about the existing water conditions. Life guards will monitor conditions changing the flags throughout the day in order to keep patrons informed. Follow the link for swimming conditions prior to your beach visit.

Just in time for the summer season 2014 additional beach flags will be posted at two fire stations in MANATEE COUNTY. One fire stations is on the island: Fire Station No. 1 at 6001 Marina Drive on Holmes Beach next to the Island Real Estate office and the second fire station is on the way approaching the island via Cortez Road: 10350 Cortez Road, Bradenton.

Lifeguards will communicate with firefighters to change the flags as necessary.

So, just check today’s beach flag color, apply sunscreen and enjoy your day on the beautiful beaches on Anna Maria Island. You might also like to check out what the Island Real Estate team brings along in their beach bags or take a live look at the beach via the Island Real Estate beach cam.

 

Tuesday Turtle Talks on Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria Island – The Tuesday Turtle Talks begin this month at the Anna Maria Island Community Center and will continue through the summer at the Annie Silver Community Center in Bradenton Beach.

Anna Maria Island TurtlesAnna Maria Island Turtle Watch and Shorebird Monitoring volunteers will take kids in the Center’s after school program to the beach on May 12 and May 19 at 4 p.m. to search for sea turtle and shorebird nests, with a final activity at the Center on May 26. From June through August, Tuesday Turtle Talks will move to the Annie Silver Community Center on 23rd Street one block off Gulf Drive in Bradenton Beach from 10 to 11 a.m.

The talks will replace morning tours of the nesting beach and will include a presentation, handouts and Q&A time. In August, volunteers will demonstrate nest excavations on the beach, Turtle Watch Director Suzi Fox said.

All summer a new event, Turtles on Bridge Street, will be featured with scavenger hunts to find turtles, free temporary turtle tattoos in Bridge Street businesses and other events.

If you would like to register your child to attend the Anna Maria Island Community Center Tuesday Turtle Talks, call 941-778-1908.