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.
Grab your beach chairs, pack up a cooler and spend the day at the beach. It is eighty six degrees outside, it’s Anna Maria Island Fall weather and 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.
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 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 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 – For most folks, all it takes is crossing over the causeway for the stresses of the real world to be washed away by sunshine and salty air; others may need a reminder or two. Once you see that beautiful “Welcome to Anna Maria Island” sign, you can relax, you should relax, you paid good money to relax, you came here to relax, that should include when you are behind the wheel of your car.
You work hard all year, meet deadlines, crunch numbers, pay bills, raise kids, fight traffic so that you can come here and chill. There are no hurries or traffic jams in our magical paradise.
So, during your stay here take a deep breath and ‘cruise’. Try to remember what it was like to actually enjoy a scenic drive. Because you will be hard pressed to find better scenery than this.
To help you transition into ‘Zen Island Driving’ here are some handy tips:
#1 You must stop at a designated crosswalks WHEN pedestrians are present.
#2 You DON’T stop at every designated crosswalk when there are no pedestrians present and I am behind you on my way to work!
#3 The trolley is NOT a school bus. If you are in oncoming lanes, you don’t
need to stop. (unless you are at a crosswalk and there are pedestrians present.)((Or unless it isn’t a trolley and it IS a school bus!))
#4 It is easy to get distracted by all of the palm trees swaying in the breeze, but keep an eye out for unexpected stop signs, bicyclists, club cars, golf carts, segways, beachgoers and most of all, other distracted drivers!
#5 There is no rush on Anna Maria. PERIOD! So slow down! Our speed limits are set to protect our residents and guests and they are STRICTLYenforced!
#6 Forget your car has a horn– they upset our wild parrots and whoever you are beeping at is probably lost or doesn’t care.
#7 Take the FREE trolley! There are trolley stops up and down the island and you can hop on and off as much as you like all day, every day!
The whole point of being here for visitors and residents alike is to be in paradise. As a guest on Anna Maria Island, we welcome you and hope you enjoy every ray of sunshine and every wave dancing up to the beach. We also want you to be safe and happy, so go do it.!
Outdoor Dining on 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.
Since 1988 they have cared for thousands of animals every year. 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. They also supply medicine, food and surgeries for injured or orphaned animals until they can be released to the wild. Their mission is supported by an all-volunteer staff. During the course of a week 10-15 volunteers are helping to achieve this goal alongside the two primary operators Ed & Gail Straight.
All funding comes from donations and occasional grants. Springtime is usually the busiest for them, but they are always in need of supplies and funding. The next big fund raiser for Wildlife, Inc is the upcoming 14th Annual Blood Drive on Saturday, June 7 and 8, 2014 at 9 am – 4 pm, Saint Bernard Catholic Church, 248 S Harbor Dr., Holmes Beach. Please visit this link to stay informed about the organization’s activities.
If you find an animal in distress or like to get involved please call the center at 941-778-6324.
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:
1. 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!
5. 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 Maria 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!