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.

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.

Respect our feathered friends while relaxing at the beach

Anna Maria Island – Anna Maria Island birds and wildlife are very important to locals, and the success of our environment. Bird nesting season is here and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, FWC for short, is asking beachgoers to watch out for and avoid disturbing nesting shore birds. With nests built out of sand, respecting local wildlife is especially important during high traffic times like Spring Break. A lot of these birds face conservation challenges and taking into consideration a few do’s and don’t can go a long way towards helping preserve our local ecosystem.

Anna Maria Island birds and wildlife

Rules for beachgoer’s

Keep your distance, whether on the beach or paddling watercraft along the shore. If birds become agitated or leave their nests, you are too close. A general rule is to stay at least 300 feet from a nest. Birds calling out loudly and dive-bombing are giving signals for you to back off.

Never intentionally force birds to fly or run. They use up energy they need for nesting, and eggs and chicks may be left vulnerable to the sun’s heat or predators. Teach children not to chase shorebirds and kindly ask fellow beach-goes to do the same.

Respect posted areas. Avoid posted nesting sites and use designated walkways when possible.

Do not take pets to the beach.

Keep the beach clean and do not fee wildlife. Food scraps attract predators such as raccoons and crows, which can prey on shorebird chicks. Litter on beaches can entangle birds and other wildlife.

Rules for wildlife photographers

Remain beyond the posted area, with no part of you or your camera equipment extending beyond the string or signs.

Restrict photography to no more than 10 minutes. Too much time photographing near the nest may stress birds.

Don’t “push” birds around the beach. Stay far enough away so the birds do not change their behavior in response to your presence. They need to feed and rest without disturbance.

If you see someone disturbing nesting birds report their behavior to the FWC Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-FWCC(3922), #FWC or *FWC on a cell phone or by texting Tip@#MyFWC.com.

Black Skimmer
Black Skimmer feeding it’s babies during nesting season on Anna Maria Island.

AMI Bird Nerd Announces Launch of Indiegogo Crowd Funding Efforts for New Anna Maria Island Business

New Anna Maria Island Business AMI Bird Nerd announces Indiegogo Crowd Funding Efforts.

AMI Bird Nerd

Saturday, September 27th marked the launch of AMI Bird Nerds 30 day Indiegogo Crowd Funding Campaign. The Campaign needs help covering start up expenses and equipment. Additionally, funds are needed for Co-owner Bonnie Ferran to begin a Florida Master Naturalist Certification. This organization is also committed to educating visitors about Florida’s environment.  To fulfill this commitment they will provide free Mobile Apps about local birds and wildlife and Binocular Rentals to Manatee County’s Islands.

Indiegogo Crowd Fund

According to the Indiegogo website, “Indiegogo is the world’s most established crowdfunding platform. Crowdfunding is the process of pooling money from many different people to make an idea happen. Indiegogo is a way to discover projects that people are passionate about all over the world; where you can take action to help create more of what you love.”

Bonnie Ferran Co-owner says, “ As a Bradenton Beach Resident I am extremely fortunate to experience a great variety of birds and wildlife residing on and migrating through the Island every year, and I wanted to make my passion a full time endeavor. Beside my personal enjoyment of Florida wildlife and bird watching, I want to become an advocate of our fragile ecosystem and work to educate visitors about the threats affecting Florida environment and help locals understand what uniqueness local wildlife has to offer.”

Eco-Tourism

About the business aspects of eco-tourism based AMI Bird Nerd, Bonnie’s husband Co-owner  Hector Ferran mentions “Our previous marketing and business experience in running The VIllage Magazine positions us to succeed at creating and running AMI Bird Nerd. We’ve developed two SEO strong websites, one for AMI Bird Nerd and one for our Bird Blog StarlingAndGrackleAreFriends.com, and are currently developing free and paid mobile apps to help birders in the area whether they use our Binocular service or not. ”

AMI Bird Nerd $5 Perk from IndieGoGo campaignContributors to the AMI Bird Nerd Indiegogo campaign get really fun perks. As little as a $5 contribution gets a perk. They include having the contributors face photoshopped on to an original image of local bird photographs also by Hector. Additionally, Perks offered include a recipe to Bonnie and Hector’s favorite libation Island Juice, A corn dog bird sticker reminding people not to feed the gulls, Binocular rentals for two or four people.

Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch

Anna Maria Island – Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch monitors the nesting activities of sea turtles and shorebirds from May 1st – October 31st. It is the mission of the AMI Turtle watch to insure a suitable habitat for people, sea turtles and shorebirds.

Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch Excavations

When their season is winding down, and almost all the nests have hatched AMI Turtle watch will still have some excavations.  The excavation is conducted three days after hatchlings emerge, and they count empty shells, whole un-hatched eggs, and occasionally rescue a trapped hatchling and return it to the Gulf.  The excavations are usually at 7:30 pm (depending on weather).  If you call they may be able to show you an excavation.

Anna Maria Island Turtles Need the Dark

Nesting sea turtles depend on dark quiet beaches to reproduce successfully. Today these turtles are endangered in part because they must compete with tourists, businesses, and coastal residents to use the beach.  Man-made coastal developments may result in artificial lighting on the beach that discourages female sea turtles from nesting and can disorient hatchlings. The light may cause them to  wander away from the beach where they often die of dehydration, predation, or being run over as they try to cross the road.

Here Are A Few Ways You Can Help Sea Turtles:

Minimize lighting visible from sea turtle nesting beaches, and use Turtle Safe lighting.

Avoid using flashlights or flash cameras. Lights disrupt or disorient nesting turtles and emerging hatchlings.

Stepping on hatchlings is easy in the dark, so avoid nesting areas.

Do not drive any unauthorized vehicles on the beach at night.

Turn off or shield lights visible from nesting beaches.

If disoriented hatchlings are found away from the sea, do not put them back in the sea.  Call AMITW 941 778 5638 or local law enforcement.

Pick up litter, fill in holes and never leave furniture or debris lying on the beach. Adopt-a-Hatchling or Adopt-a-Nest through IslandTurtles.com to help raise awareness.

 

WILDLIFE, INC. EDUCATION & REHABILITATION CENTER ON ANNA MARIA ISLAND

I started my morning with Melinda Bordes at Wildlife Inc. in Bradenton Beach on Anna Maria Island.  Wildlife, Inc. is a nonprofit organization that specializes in the rehabilitation of injured and orphaned wildlife, so they can return to the wild.  Melinda Bordes is a hard working realtor here at Island Real Estate, and gives back to the community by volunteering at Wildlife Inc.

Continue reading WILDLIFE, INC. EDUCATION & REHABILITATION CENTER ON ANNA MARIA ISLAND

Coquina Beach Sunset In November 2010

 

Coquina Beach –  Thanksgiving is almost here, the weather is perfect, Anna Maria Island beaches are soaked in sun, and here is another reason to take an Anna Maria Island Vacation.  While millions of people are starting to endure the long hard winter, Anna Maria Island Vacationers are enjoying perfect weather, and amazing sunsets.

Take a look at the video below, featuring a beautiful Blue Heron eating a fish at sunset on Coquina Beach.  Coquina Public Beach is located in Bradenton Beach just south of Bridge Street at the south end of Anna Maria Island.

 

CURRENTLY CLOSED: FREE BEER!!!…Tomorrow ~ As Always At Rotten Ralph’s On Historic Bradenton Beach Pier

 

Our beloved Rotten Ralph’s is currently closed, but Anna Maria Oyster Bar will be taking it’s place.   

Not to worry!  Visit our restaurant summary page with lots of other choices.  Currently Anna Maria Island Oyster Bar is slotted to go in the Bradenton Beach pier spot.

It doesn’t matter if you live in Florida or if you came to Anna Maria Island for vacation, Rotten Ralph’s Restaurant on Historic Bradenton Beach Pier is a great place for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You can come by land or sea to eat, drink, go fishing, and enjoy beautiful views of Sarasota Bay. Rotten Ralph’s is a full service restaurant and offers inside and outside dinning, a floating boat dock, a bait shop, and fishing is free on the pier.

Continue reading CURRENTLY CLOSED: FREE BEER!!!…Tomorrow ~ As Always At Rotten Ralph’s On Historic Bradenton Beach Pier

Beautiful Holmes Beach on Anna Maria Island October

Grab your beach chairs, pack up a cooler and spend the day at the beach. It is eighty six degrees outside, the average water temperature this time of year is eighty five, and the sugar sand beaches on Anna Maria Island have never been more beautiful. Pristine beaches as far as my eyes can see, and everyone is enjoying their favorite outdoor activities.

Continue reading Beautiful Holmes Beach on Anna Maria Island October

Robinson Preserve Information

Bradenton – If your family is looking for something adventurous and would enjoy a bike-ride on newly-paved trails, a walk along the nature paths, kayaking through the paddle trails, a climb up an Observation Tower or would just prefer to enjoy the wildlife, then Robinson Preserve is the perfect way to entertain the whole family!

Robinson Preserve Butterfly

The Robinson Preserve is located in Northwest Bradenton, about a 10-15 min drive off Anna Maria Island. Open year-round, Hours: Sunrise to Sunset.  Free Admission and parking.  Tours only by request and usually last about 2 hours.  Make an appointment by calling ahead of time.

Robinson Tower

Bring your bathing suit if you would like to go for a swim.  The Preserve also has plenty of picnic tables across from the Visitor Center to have a meal or a little snack. Make sure to bring plenty of water and sunscreen as it can be very hot, especially during summer!!

Are you bringing your dog on vacation? Bring them to Robinson Preserve! Just make sure that you bring a leash and plenty of water!

Robinson Preserve Eagle

Robinson Preserve Kayak

1690 99th St NW

Bradenton,FL 34209
(941)748-4501