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.

Beach Bistro – Fine Dining Anna Maria Island

sunset view at the Beach BistroThe Beach Bistro is a fantastic restaurant that offers a dining experience to remember. Several courses are served, or you can order how you like.    Reservations are strongly recommended, but you can also try to grab a seat at the bar.  The bar has a little more limited menu and provides some “lighter fare” options.  If you are looking for a romantic spot with limited gulf views and price is no option then we strongly recommend the Beach Bistro.  Average meal prices are well over $35, so be sure you are comfortable with their prices.

Younger children are welcome, but are not recommended if you plan on having a long dining experience.  Parking can be a bit of a challenge but if you can find a “legal” spot go for it otherwise be sure to use their valet parking.  One additional note, the seating for two is normally fairly intimate so be prepared to get to know your neighboring diners.

We’ve provided some information below to help you contact them or find them once you’re on the island!

Beach Bistro

The Bistro is located in Holmes Beach, FL
Tripadvisor Rating: 4.5 stars – based on 377 reviews

6600 Gulf Drive
Holmes Beach, FL 34217

Phone Number: (941) 778-6444
Website: www.beachbistro.com
Menu: Browse our Menu and Wine List
Hours: .

Cuisine: Gulf Coast Seafood, American

Price Range: $$$
Takes Reservations: Yes

Beach Bistro, Direct Gulf Front fine Dining in Holmes Beach, FL

Get Directions from your Current Location

The Beach Bistro is located at the end of 66th.

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.

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.

Egmont Key!

Anna Maria Island – Taking a vacation to Anna Maria Island is an amazing experience all on its own.  While you’re here, you should spoil yourself even more and take a day tegmontblog6rip to Egmont Key!

Egmont Key is an island north of Anna Maria that is only accessible by boat.  Bring your boat

 

from home, rent one while you’re here or hop on one of the boat tours (just ask us who to contact).

Not only is Egmont Key a State Park, but there is so much to do while you’re there.  Just anchor your boat close to shore along the secluded beach, sunbathe, snorkel, collect shells, picnic, go kayaking, explore the ruins, visit the turtles, see the birding location, and don’t forget to check out the lighthouse that’s stood since 1858.

It is only a quick and beautiful ride from Anna Maria, only about 15-20 minutes.  As you ride through the warm blue wat

egmontblog3

er, enjoying the Florida breeze and sun on your skin, keep a look-out for dolphins!  You’re bound to see some, and sometimes they will even swim right up to the boat.

Egmont Key has a natural and cultural history which is truly a pristine place to spend the day.  You can visit any time from 8 am to sun down, all year round.

 

egmontblog1egmontblog2 egmontblog4 egmontblog5

New Street Lights, Turtles – Anna Maria Island Turtles are a little safer

Anna Maria Island – New Street Lights Turtles on Anna Maria Island.

New Street Lights for Turtles

New Street Lights Turtles

Locals are happy! Sea turtles on Anna Maria Island are important to locals. We are serious about protecting our hard-shelled friends on their journey to the Gulf. In fact, they are getting a very promising present from Florida Power and Light, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and Florida Department of Transportation. These companies have put together an idea to protect and help these sea turtles get safely to the water with a plan to install turtle-friendly street lights along the coastal roadways. You can learn all about this at the Islanders website.

In addition to the efforts made by these organizations, visitors and locals can help sea turtles too! During nesting season, May-October, be sure to keep exterior lights off. Alternatively, if you live near the beach, you can install turtle friendly lights.

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!

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

Bean Point – The perfect Island Wedding Destination.

Anna Maria – When looking to plan your destination wedding at the best beach on Anna Maria Island you really don’t need to search for it. The white sand along the 7 mile stretch of island is simply beautiful. Pick any of the public beach access paths and you will not want to leave. Yet, there is just one spot on the very North end of the island called Bean Point, that might be a bit special.

Bean Point is named after the first island settler George Bean, who made his home here in 1893. Parking is sparse, but find limited parking on the side streets of North Shore Drive, Gladiolus or Fern Street. The beach entrance to Bean Point is located at the end of North Bay Boulevard at the 3 way stop sign. Walk the shaded path to the wooden bridge and you enjoy gorgeous views of Tampa Bay, the Gulf of Mexico and Egmont Key to the North. You can spot the lighthouse that still sends out light signals. It is the most romantic spot on the island and serves for a perfect wedding background.

Bean Point is an absolutely gorgeous location for weddings because it may be one of the most secluded beaches due to lack of public parking.

Wedding at Bean Point
Wedding at Bean Point

During low tide you will see the remnants of Passage Key located less than a mile to the North. This island of 30 acres discovered in 1513 by Spain, and designated as a bird sanctuary in 1905 by Theodore Roosevelt  was slowly washed away by severe weather and erosion. Nowadays it is only a sandbar popular with the seabirds.

Endless water views
Endless water views

For the perfect Anna Maria Island wedding ceremony location consider beautiful Bean Point.

If you are looking to spend your Honeymoon on Anna Maria Island follow the link to a list of our gorgeous 1 bedroom vacation rental homes perfect for a cozy and romantic couples getaway.

Anna Maria and Holmes Beach Gulf Beach Wildlife Information for 2013

Anna Maria Island Wildlife
Anna Maria Island Beaches

Anna Maria Island Wildlife – Here on Anna Maria Island we have beautiful beaches and all of the Beaches along the Gulf of Mexico on Anna Maria Island are public. There are private entries and Public Beaches with lots of parking but once you get to the sand and Gulf waters, the beaches are everyone’s to enjoy. You can find a beach access point almost anywhere on the island, just look down the street from your house or Anna Maria Island Vacation Rental I’m sure you will find one.

There are three main Public Beaches on Anna Maria Island: Bay Front Park, Manatee Public Beach, and Coquina Beach. Bay Front Park is located at the north end of the Island in the City Of Anna Maria. At Bay Front Park you will find quite beaches, spectacular views of the Sky Way Bridge, and offers lots of free parking, covered picnic tables, grills, public restrooms, and a play ground on the beach for children.

Manatee Public Beach is located in Holmes Beach where Manatee Avenue runs right into the Gulf of Mexico. Manatee Public Beach has free parking, picnic tables, public restrooms, a playground on the beach for children, a café right on the beach with food and drinks, and a lifeguard on duty.

Coquina Public Beach is located in Bradenton Beach just south of Bridge Street at the south end of Anna Maria Island. Coquina Public Beach has lots free parking, picnic tables, grills, public restrooms, a play ground on the beach for children, a café right on the beach with food and drinks, and a lifeguard on duty.

We hear many questions regarding, which beach is the best to go to?  All of our beaches have white sugar sand with some shells on the beach depending on the rise and fall of the tide. The number of people on the beach can be dramatically different depending on where you are.  Anna Maria City beaches are the quietest followed by Holmes Beach then Bradenton Beach. When comparing our beaches to most other Florida beaches we are VERY quiet.

There is plenty of entertainment to be found on our gorgeous beaches, Shelling, Bird Watching, just walking along the beach or searching for the perfect vacation rental or “peace of paradise”.  Going to the beach is the perfect way to relax and enjoy the moment!

If you are interested in hiking, biking or just taking in the wonderful wildlife on and around Anna Maria Island be sure to visit our great post on Wildlife on Anna Maria.