Bean Point – Anna Maria Island’s Secret Serenity

Bean Point is a must stop spot on Anna Maria Island. it’s a local secret that provides the most breathtaking views of the sunset on a pristine 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 most likely will return with a bad surprise after your leisurely stroll along Bean Point. 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. There is always something to delight the bird watcher too, with several different types of birds to entertain you as they guard their beach turf from one another.

So head over to Bean Point and capture a quiet beach moment or a breathtaking sunset, and enjoy one of the most relaxing spots on an island famous for its relaxation.

AMI Rental Equipment – Boats, Kayaks, Etc.

Welcome to Anna Maria Island! We are sure you will find so many fun activities to partake in while you are here in paradise. To make your vacation a little easier, we have included different rental options below and the companies that provide them.

The rentals you will find on this page are for: Golf carts, beach equipment, scooters, boats, jet skis, bicycles, kayaks, and paddle boards.

Golf Carts

We have an entire blog dedicated to golf cart rentals on the island, check it out! 

Beach Bums Recreational Rentals & Gift Shop
Address: 427 Pine Ave, Anna Maria, FL 34216
Phone: (941) 778-3316

Golf Coast Cart
Phone: (877) 778-7264

Fun and More Rentals
Address: 5347 Gulf Dr, Holmes Beach, FL 34217
Phone: (941) 462-2719

AMI Beach Buggys
Address: 5348 Gulf Dr, Holmes Beach, FL 34217
Phone: (941) 773-3800

Lux Carts
Phone: (941) 254-7775

Robinhood Rentals
Address: 9802 Gulf Dr, Anna Maria, FL 34216
Phone: (941) 920-1996

Island Scooter Store
Address: 5321 Gulf Dr, Holmes Beach, FL 34217
Phone: (941) 778-2255

Beach Equipment

We have an entire blog dedicated to beach equipment rentals on the island, check it out!

Beach Bums Recreational Rentals & Gift Shop
Address: 427 Pine Ave, Anna Maria, FL 34216
Phone: (941) 778-3316

Fun and More Rentals
Address: 5347 Gulf Dr, Holmes Beach, FL 34217
Phone: (941) 462-2719

ABC Baby Furniture Rental
Address: 5352 Gulf Dr, Holmes Beach, FL 34217
Phone: (941) 929-1850

Just 4 Fun Rentals
Address: 5358 Gulf Dr, Holmes Beach, FL 34217
Phone: (941) 896-7884

Scooters

Island Scooter Store
Address: 5321 Gulf Dr, Holmes Beach, FL 34217
Phone: (941) 778-2255

AMI Beach Fun Rentals
Address: 3228 E Bay Dr, Holmes Beach, FL 34217
Phone: (941) 896-9780

Robinhood Rentals
Address: 9802 Gulf Dr, Anna Maria, FL 34216
Phone: (941) 920-1996

Boats

H2O Water Sportz
Address: 4110 127th St W, Cortez, FL 34215
Phone: (941) 538-4290

AMI Watersports, Boat and Jet Ski Rental
Address: 505 56th St b, Holmes Beach, FL 34217
Phone: (941) 773-7175

Bradenton Beach Marina
Address: 402 Church Ave N, Bradenton Beach, FL 34217
Phone: (941) 778-2288

Cortez Watersports
Address: 4328 127th St W, Cortez, FL 34215
Phone: (941) 798-3721

Anna Maria Island Boat Rentals
Address: 524 69th St, Holmes Beach, FL 34217
Phone: (952) 393-1894

Jet Skis

AMI Watersports, Boat and Jet Ski Rental
Address: 505 56th St b, Holmes Beach, FL 34217
Phone: (941) 773-7175

Coastal Watersports
Address: 1301 Gulf Dr N, Bradenton Beach, FL 34217
Phone: (941) 778-4969

H2O Water Sportz
Address: 4110 127th St W, Cortez, FL 34215
Phone: (941) 538-4290

Bradenton Beach Marina
Address: 402 Church Ave N, Bradenton Beach, FL 34217
Phone: (941) 778-2288

Cortez Watersports
Address: 4328 127th St W, Cortez, FL 34215
Phone: (941) 798-3721

Bicycles 

Beach Bums Recreational Rentals & Gift Shop
Address: 427 Pine Ave, Anna Maria, FL 34216
Phone: (941) 778-3316

Fun and More Rentals
Address: 5347 Gulf Dr, Holmes Beach, FL 34217
Phone: (941) 462-2719

Just 4 Fun Rentals
Address: 5358 Gulf Dr, Holmes Beach, FL 34217
Phone: (941) 896-7884

AMI Beach Fun Rentals
Address: 3228 E Bay Dr, Holmes Beach, FL 34217
Phone: (941) 896-9780

Island Scooter Store
Address: 5321 Gulf Dr, Holmes Beach, FL 34217
Phone: (941) 778-2255

AMI Paddleboard Adventures
Phone: (941) 896-6422

Kayaks

Beach Bums Recreational Rentals & Gift Shop
Address: 427 Pine Ave, Anna Maria, FL 34216
Phone: (941) 778-3316

Fun and More Rentals
Address: 5347 Gulf Dr, Holmes Beach, FL 34217
Phone: (941) 462-2719

Kayak Jacks 
Phone: (941)-538-1448

AMI Paddleboard Adventures
Phone: (941) 896-6422

Happy Paddler Kayak Tours & EcoVentures
Phone: (941) 773-1920

Paddle boards 

Beach Bums Recreational Rentals & Gift Shop
Address: 427 Pine Ave, Anna Maria, FL 34216
Phone: (941) 778-3316

AMI Paddleboard Adventures
Phone: (941) 896-6422

Kayak Jacks 
Phone: (941)-538-1448

Fun and More Rentals
Address: 5347 Gulf Dr, Holmes Beach, FL 34217
Phone: (941) 462-2719

Happy Paddler Kayak Tours & EcoVentures
Phone: (941) 773-1920

Salty Buddha Paddle & Yoga Co
Phone: (941) 932-3671

Where to Rent Beach Equipment on AMI

This blog is here to make your next trip to the beaches of Anna Maria Island a bit easier and less stressful.
Below is a complete list of rental companies on the island that supply beach equipment you can rent.

Beach Bums Recreational Rentals & Gift Shop
Located on Pine Avenue in Anna Maria City, Beach Bums offers a variety of necessities to rent for your perfect day in the sun. The beach equipment  you can rent from here includes; Umbrellas, beach chairs, neso tents, coolers, beach carts, and even corn toss! all of Beach Bums beach supplies are high quality, and they even offer free delivery.
Address: 427 Pine Ave, Anna Maria, FL 34216
Phone: (941) 778-3316
Hours: Open everyday of the week from 9am – 5pm
Click here to see rental and pricing info

Fun and More Rentals
If you are totally unprepared for a day at the beach, Fun and More Rentals has got you covered. If you forgot to bring a beach towel to dry off, no problem, they have some that you can rent! I mean they basically have EVERYTHING you could ever need for the beach, including; Party barges, boogie boards, corn hole, beach toys, gas grills, children’s life jackets, chairs, umbrellas, and so much more! They even do beach wheelchair rentals!
Fun and More Rentals also offers free delivery.
Address: 5347 Gulf Dr, Holmes Beach, FL 34217
Phone: (941) 462-2719
Hours: Open everyday of the week from 9am – 6pm
Click here to see rental and pricing info

ABC Baby Furniture Rental
Don’t worry, ABC Baby Furniture Rental’s offers more than just cribs and highchairs. They actually offer a lot more than just baby gear, including beach equipment. They have supplies for the little ones like baby floats, kids beach wagons, and beach toys. But they also offer beach umbrellas, chairs, and more. ABC Baby Furniture Rental’s also has pick-up locations in Sarasota and Siesta Key.
Address: 5352 Gulf Dr, Holmes Beach, FL 34217
Phone: (941) 929-1850
Click here to see pricing and rental info 

Just 4 Fun Rentals
Just 4 Fun Rentals carries all the basic beach necessities you’ll need. Their rental options include; chairs, umbrellas, wagons, canopies, and boogie boards! Free delivery is also available!
Address: 5358 Gulf Dr, Holmes Beach, FL 34217
Phone: (941) 896-7884
Hours: Open everyday of the week from 9am – 5pm
Click here to see rental and pricing info

The Anna Maria Island Beach Cafe

The AMI Beach Cafe is a great toes in the sand dining spot! Imagine this, the beach, the sun, the sand, people watching, AND FOOD! It doesn’t get any better than that!
This is the perfect place for breakfast on the island. Enjoy your cup of coffee, maybe even an order of their all-you-can-eat pancakes, and take in the gorgeous Gulf view. Oh, you didn’t wake up for breakfast did you? That’s okay because they serve lunch and dinner too! Don’t worry they didn’t forget about you late risers.  If you think I skipped telling you about putting on regular clothes, your wrong, I didn’t. You can wear anything here, your swim suit, pajamas, work clothes, wedding dress, anything. Ordering is quick, simple, and fun. Just pick your favorite menu option, place your order at the window, pay for the meal, grab a number, then sit back and wait.

An atmosphere like this is hard to find. Laid back people, sunshine and waves, live music, it is absolute perfection. Chances are, if you’ve been to the Island, you’ve most likely enjoyed a meal at the Beach Cafe. And if you haven’t, then what are you waiting for? There is a reason not only tourists, but locals as well, love this place! They also have ice cream and shopping! Yes, you can cool down with a scoop of cookies’ n cream ice cream for dessert and then stroll right on into the gift shop for some island memorabilia.

Oh, and that’s not all!

The Anna Maria Island Beach Cafe also offers beach rentals. They offer rentals for beach chairs, cabanas, and umbrellas. Even better, upon request they offer beach wheelchairs.

Where: 4000 Gulf Drive  Holmes Beach, FL 34217
Phone: (941) 778-0784
Hours: Open EVERYDAY from 7:30am – 8pm

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.

 

Support Beach clean-up efforts with new local non-profit organization Heart the Sea.

Anna Maria Island – Heart the Sea, a new local non-profit organization invites all to help clean the beach on February 28th at 4PM starting under Longboat Pass at the Southern tip of Coquina Beach located at 2650 Gulf Drive in the City of Bradenton Beach, Anna Maria Island. Beach cleaners are encouraged to bring a bucket, no plastic bags, and wear closed toed shoes. Gloves and a few extra buckets will be available. Afterwards, Cleaners are invited to Heart the Sea Sponsor Swordfish Grill; cleaners who bring their cleaning glove to Swordfish Grill will be rewarded with one free drink. Swordfish Grill is located at 4628 119th Street West, Cortez, FL 34215.

Jeff Higgins the Marketing Director at Swordfish Grill says, “We stand by Heart the Sea because just like us, they believe in making sure this natural habitat where we all live and we all love, stays that way for future generations to enjoy”

To stay up to date on Beach Clean ups follow Heart the Sea on Facebook or Twitter Contact Jenny Stonehouse at 941-702-4SEA.

 Heart the Sea Beach Clean-UpHeart The Sea exists for the protection of the Ocean and it’s inhabitants by raising awareness for waterway and beach health. Our vision is for the change of human habits for the benefit of the ocean and it’s animals.

Beach clean-ups are where tourists and locals alike can share a love for the ocean. To be intentional about picking up litter has changed people; Newbies to Heart the Sea beach clean-ups, even children, cannot help themselves from picking up litter whenever they see it after attending one of the clean-ups. All litter eventually ends up in the ocean unless intercepted, and many volunteers are surprised to collect about 5-10 lb of trash per bucket.

Founder of Heart the Sea Jenny Stonehouse elaborates on Heart the Sea and beach clean ups, “About a year ago, I met Hank the Heron on the 77th street beach access with fishing line around his ankle. Hank was wobbling begging the nearby fisherman for food. I called the AMI Wildlife Rescue who came out to try and catch Hank. The volunteer was unsuccessful as Hank did not want to be caught! In my conversation with AMI Wildlife Rescue I discovered that they had been trying to catch Hank for a while. Sadly, Hank did his best to fly down the beach only to be pummeled by another territorial Heron. Heart The Sea was born in my heart on that day. Because fishing line and other harmful items are found and discarded each month, Heart the Sea beach clean-ups are important to the health of our Beaches. Supporting Heart the Sea’s cause means increasing efforts to clean the beach and educating tourists and locals in reducing trash on our beach. We meet, we clean-up, and we go have a drink.”

For several months now Jenny and a small group of Volunteers have been meeting in various parts of Anna Maria Island for clean-ups. Recently, Jenny submitted Heart the Sea’s articles of incorporation to become a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization making Heart the Sea a truly impactful facilitator of clean beaches. In Celebration of Heart the Sea’s new beginning, Jenny will be set up at The Bridge Street Market in Bradenton Beach February 22nd from 10am-3pm. Jenny will not only be passing out information and recruiting volunteers, but as an artist, Jenny will be selling her artwork with 50% of the proceeds going directly to Heart the Sea.

Apply sunscreen at least 20 minutes early!

Anna Maria Island – Yes you heard us, don’t apply sunscreen right as you’re getting out on to the beach, but at least 20 minutes before you plan to soak up some sun. The reason for doing this is quite simple, you want the sunscreen to absorb into your skin rather than just sitting on top of your skin. This will ensure that you’re actually protected against the suns harmful UV rays. This is especially necessary if you’re planning on grabbing a tube and going into the water at the beach, or the pool at home. If you don’t plan on going into the water you’re not out of the clear. Florida is, of course, very hot and humid, which may, and probably will, cause some sweating which does not mix well with freshly put on sunscreen. If you don’t let your sunscreen set into your skin and you go into the water, don’t be surprised if you get sun burnt and turn into a lobster.

suntan lotion
This is what a local’s beach bag looks like. Lather that lotion all over!

Looking for the perfect Anna Maria Island vacation rental home for the family? Island Real Estate offers an inventory of almost 300 amazing Island homes!

Beach Fun Anna Maria Island – Best Beach Toys!

Beach Fun Anna Maria Island is a day at the beach with toys! With these five small, and light to carry, toys you can ensure not even a whisper of “I’m bored” uttered! These fit easily in a beach bag and can be found in local shops around the island. Some even at the dollar store too!

Make sure to grab a Frisbee.

Played either in the sand or in the water a Frisbee is fun at any skill level or age.

Beach NoodlesNoodles!

Can you believe these are a relatively new invention? Wish we had beach noodles when I was a kid –I would have floated all day without having to blowup a raft first. Noodles are a must for the beach! Plus, bonking someone over the head with one will never get old.

Waboba Ball

Barefoot Traders on Gulf Drive carries a ball that actually bounces ON the water! A “Waboba Ball” is made of unique materials that will make the ball actually bounce once it hits the water instead of sinking. Grab one on before you park for the day and you’ll be surprised at how well it works – yet obviously better on calm water days.

Traditional Bucket and Shovel.

Even if you prefer making a drippy castle as opposed to a more “engineered” structure, a bucket and shovel can help dig wet sand needed for proper castle construction. The shovel is useful Beach Fun Anna Maria Island searching for buried treasures (shells or sharks teeth) also.

Bubbles!

Fun any time of day, yet sunset is especially great for bubbles (and snapping photos of them with the sun setting in the background). Grab a bottle with a silly oversized wand and see who can make the biggest bubbles, whose bubbles last the longest without popping or if you can “catch” one on your finger. Then the grumpiest member of your gang has to crack a smile when the bubbles come out.

Outdoor Dining Anna Maria Island – Dine and Drink El Fresco!

Outdoor Dining Anna Maria Island is the quintessential way to hang out in beautiful tropical climate! There’s nothing better than when going out to grab a bite to eat or drinks, having the warm island breeze surrounding you. Some of the wonderful restaurants I’ve listed below have beautiful water views of either the crystal clear Gulf or Bay, or an open-air setting directly across the street from the beach.

The fresh air of AMI always makes your food taste that much better and your drinks that much tastier, bringing you relaxing vibes that will be sure to lift your spirit. I have suggested different places from smaller and more quant spots, to casual any-time spots, to romantic night spots.

Outdoor Dining Anna Maria Island

Sandbar – 100 Spring Ave, Anna Maria

Direct Gulf front

Sandbar

The Waterfront – 111 South Bay Blvd, Anna Maria
Bay views

Waterfront

Anna Maria Pier – 100 South Bay Blvd, Anna Maria
Out in the middle of the Tampa Bay

Pier

Bridgetender – 135 Bridge Street, Bradenton Beach
Direct bay front

Bridgetender

Island Time Bar & Grill – 111 Gulf Drive South, Bradenton Beach
Open-air setting, across the street from the Gulf

Island time

The Beachhouse – 200 Gulf Drive North, Bradenton Beach
Direct Gulf front

Beachhouse

Coquina Café – 2650 Gulf Drive South, Coquina Beach
Direct Gulf front

Outdoor Dining Anna Maria Island

How NOT to spend a day at the beach Anna Maria Island

This is our guide on how not to spend a day at the beach Anna Maria Island. Our coastlines are a serene oasis for people all over the world. In order to keep them this way, here are a few tips on what to avoid when spending a day on the surf:

No Smoking on the beaches of Anna Maria Island1. Please no smoking on the beach!

Yes, it’s technically outside yet our wildlife is accustomed to our fresh clean salt air. Please do everyone a favor and don’t light up on the sand.

2. As tempting as it can be, please do not feed the seagulls.

If you’ve ever been the victim of a seagull swam fighting over a Cheeto, you’ll thank me for this warning.

3. If you see a turtle nest – please do not touch!

The nesting turtles are endangered and protected by law. Not only will harassers get a fine, the dirty looks from surrounding beachgoers may haunt your entire vacation!

4. Don’t be loud!

The natural sound of the waves crashing, the salty wind and sea birds calling is music to our ears – no loud radios necessary! Please leave the boom boxes at home and enjoy the soothing sounds of the Gulf of Mexico live in concert!
And Finally…

Respect the Sea Turtles on Anna Maria Island5. Don’t leave trash

When heading home after your glorious beach day, please make sure to gather all your belongings as well as any trash. Most beach access roads have large trash cans provided that you can use. Strive to leave your area of the beach even better than when you arrived – maybe start a game offering treats for the kids in your party to find extra trash!

When we all do MORE than just our share we can ensure the beautiful beaches of Anna Maris Island will continue to be enjoyed by generations to come. If we are lucky enough to spend a day on the beach, then we’re lucky enough!