If you have visited our wonderful little island of Anna Maria, then you have probably been to Bridge Street in Bradenton Beach. If you haven’t, then you’re missing out on a lot!
Especially if you are on the Island anytime between November and April. Because that is when the Bridge Street Market takes place!
Bridge Street Market is held from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm every Sunday in November, through April. The market is located at 107 Bridge Street in Bradenton Beach. Visit your favorite vendors and enjoy fantastic food, beautiful art and jewelry, great local musicians, fresh produce, and much more!
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
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.
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!
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Anna Maria- If you’re looking for a fun activity with the family, why not have a photo scavenger hunt on Anna Maria Island? Great for all ages, grab your camera and go explore some of the best features of Anna Maria! Don’t forget to post your pictures on our Facebook page at the end of your trip!
Photo scavenger hunt on Anna Maria Island
1. Selfie in your vacation rental
What better way to start your vacation? Take a selfie in your new vacation rental and make all your Facebook friends jealous! Plus we always love seeing our guests satisfied with our properties.
2. Buried treasure on the beach
Make like a pirate and find some buried treasure while staying on Anna Maria Island! Many times loose change can be found, and every once in a while jewelry! Take a lap around the beach and see what you might find.
3. Sunset Scavenger Hunt on Anna Maria Island
Anna Maria is home to some of the most beautiful sunsets. Good places to view these lovely colors are White Avenue and Bean Point.
4. Triple-Decker ice cream cone
When in the hot Florida sun it’s always nice to cool off with some cold ice cream! Stack on multiple scoops for the ultimate ice cream cone. Delicious places to go to are Two Scoops and Holy Cow Ice Cream.
5. Wild Parrots
One of the best characteristics about Anna Maria is the occasional sighting of wild parrots. These beautiful creatures can be found all over the island, and are definitely picture worthy. Just please don’t try to feed or disturb them!
6. Seagulls (Do not feed!)
Some of the most common birds in Florida are seagulls. Found all over the beach, seagulls are the perfect addition to your vacation photos. However, do not feed them as they can be very aggressive and won’t leave you alone once you do!
7. Selfie on the free trolley
A great feature on Anna Maria Island is the free trolley that goes through Bradenton Beach, Holmes Beach and Anna Maria. As you’re traveling around the island make sure to snap a picture to record your travels! You can find the schedule for the trolley here. All we ask is to not take a photo in front of the trolley as it will hold the driver up and put it off schedule!
If you like sweets The Donut Experiment is an absolute must to go to. With delicious donuts that make for great pictures you can’t go wrong here. Plus, you get to choose EXACTLY what goes on your donuts as they are made-to-order. There will be a little wait however as they are extremely popular!
9. Spell your name in shells
Leave a little of yourself behind and spell your name out in the sand! Anna Maria has pretty shells littering the island, and is a great way to get creative on your vacation. Plus it makes your pictures a little more personalized!
10. Build a sand castle
What better way to show off the island’s beautiful sand than creating sand castles? Show off your creative skills and build your own or be on the look out for professionals creating theirs! This is also a great activity to do with the family, and adding kids into the picture only makes it cuter! Get inventive and have fun.
Known for their delicious burgers and cold beer, Duffy’s Tavern is the perfect place to go for food. Make sure to document you’re meal for the scavenger hunt on Anna Maria Island!
12. Selfie at the beach
The best part of vacationing at Anna Maria is the beach! With pretty water and cool wildlife you’re sure to get some awesome pictures. Take a selfie (or selfies!) with the family, you’re sure to get some Instagram-worthy pictures!
13. Visit the Historic Green Village
Located on Pine Avenue, the Historic Green Village is one out of 100 places worldwide to have achieved the highest possible green building standard. With cool shops such as ami Outfitters and Beach Bums there’s a lot to see and do! Learn more about this historical place here.
Have fun with this scavenger hunt on Anna Maria Island, and remember to be safe!
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 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.
Bradenton beach – Don’t miss the Manatee Miles Sea Turtle Stroll on Saturday May 9th at 9am.
A family fun run/walk coming in two flavors, a one-mile course and a 5k course, is an event whose proceeds go to the United Way of Manatee County. Registration is $35 for one adult and up to four kids, $50 for two adults and up to four kids, $25 for an adult up to April 30th and $30 after that, $15 for teens between 14 and 17 and $5 for each additional kid ages 3-13. Adults who sign up before April 30th will get a complimentary event t-shirt. The first 200 to register will also get a free stuffed koozie.
Registrations start at 8am with the walk/run starting at 9am and is located on Coquina Beach at 2650 Gulf Drive South in Bradenton beach.
United Way addresses our community’s most challenging issues by focusing on the building blocks of a good life; Education, Financial Stability and Health. By participating in the Manatee Miles Sea Turtle Stroll, participants help give Manatee County children the opportunity graduate from high school on time, help residents have access to opportunities to create financial stability for themselves and their families, and help community members make healthy choices, be safe from violence, and have access to healthcare and healthcare supports.
Online registration and additional information available is available HERE. Contact Katie Becker at email@example.com or for more information.
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.
Anna Maria Island – The city of Anna Maria and independent organizations in Bradenton Beach and Holmes Beach will be holding Anna Maria Island beach clean-ups during the last weeks of March.
Coquina Beach Clean Up
The Tampa Bay Watch Coastal Cleanup of Coquina Beach is asking you to come and help clean the beach on March 21st from 9am until noon. Bring your own gloves, hats and sunscreen as the Tampa Bay Watch will provide trash bags and trash grabbers. The meeting location is 2650 Gulf Drive, Bradenton, FL 34217. Email Michelle Leahy at firstname.lastname@example.org or call at 941-748-4501 ext. 6035 with questions about the clean up. Help keep the beach clean and the wildlife safe!
Anna Maria Beach Clean Up
Taking place on March 28th starting at the south end of Bayfront Park in the city of Anna Maria at 8am. Bring your own bag or trash can, gloves and anything else you may need. Large items can be placed on the roadside for pickup. For more information call the public works department at 941-708-6130 ext. 26.
Manatee Beach Clean Up
Heart the Sea will be holding a beach clean up at the Manatee Public Beach on March 28th from 4-6pm. Heart the Sea will provide blue plastic gloves, so bring your own bags and grabbers. After the clean up is done head over to Swordfish Grill just over the Cortez Bridge for a free drink when you bring in your blue glove. Manatee Public Beach is located at 4000 Gulf Drive in Holmes Beach. Swordfish Grill is located at 4628 119th St W in Cortez. Find out more by emailing HeartTheSea@Gmailc.om or on the Heart the Sea Facebook page.
Bradenton Beach – Whether staying at one of our properties with boat access, or simply wanting to enjoy boat rentals for a day trip, Anna Maria Island has you covered. Of all the boat rental companies on the island though, Bradenton Beach Marina is the company with the broadest amount of options.
Located near the Cortez bridge on Bradenton Beach, the Bradenton Beach Marina is a full service marina and offers wet and dry boat storage. Inside high and dry storage for boats up to 40’ and wet slip dockage for boats up to 65′ in length. Liveaboard dockage, transient dockage for the day, week or month. Water, electric, telephone, and pump out service. Other services include; Boat repair & maintenance, boat rentals and boat sales.
Book Your Boat Rental Today!
Half Day Morning Rentals run from 8:30 am to 12:30
Half Day Afternoon Rentals run from 12:30 pm to 4:30
Full Day Rentals run from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm
For all questions and to book by phone please call 941-704-5441. Island Real Estate does not handle the reservation of boats.
Bradenton Beach Marina is centrally located between Tampa Bay and Sarasota Bay, we are just minutes from the Gulf of Mexico via Longboat Pass.
How to Get to Us
By land: From I-75 exit on State Road 70 West (Exit 217B). Head west for approximately 10 miles until you reach the intersection of Cortez Road. Turn left on Cortez Road and follow it out until it dead ends on Anna Maria Island. As you come across the Cortez Road Bridge, you will see Bradenton Beach Marina on your left side.
By water: Located on the west side of the Intracoastal Waterway between marker 49 and the Cortez Road Bridge in Bradenton Beach on ANNA MARIA Island. Our nearest Gulf access is Longboat Pass approximately 1 1/2 miles south of the marina.