How to be a Mermaid on Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria- Remember watching The Little Mermaid as a kid and wanting to be just like Ariel? Well, now is your chance to make that childhood dream a REALITY. With so many great shops on Anna Maria Island, transforming yourself into the mermaid you’ve always wanted to be is as easy as ever. As a fun activity for both kids and adults, make sure to grab these mermaid essentials and spend your vacation feeling like the queen of the sea!

Mermaid Essentials

Jewelry

If you’re a mermaid, it’s always important to sport some jewelry that shows your love for the sea. Shops on Anna Maria such as Bridge Street Jewelers and Tide & Moon Jewelry sell beautiful handmade and designer jewelry. Also, many shells on the beach already have holes in them. Just string them together and you’ve got your own DIY bracelet!

mermaid jewelry
Grab some beachy jewelry from The Tide and the Moon jewelry store!

Swimsuit

Every mermaid knows to have a cute swimsuit, and we’ve got you covered here on the island. The Island Bazaar and West Coast Surf Shop is one of my favorite stores to get bathing suits, cover-ups, and everything in-between. They have good prices and good quality products!

mermaid bathing suit
Every good mermaid needs a cute bathing suit! Photo courtesy of West Coast Surf Shop.

Blankets/Towels

While relaxing on the beach, having a comfy blanket or towel to sit on is always a must-have. The West Coast Surf Shop has some really cute towels to lounge on, and is the perfect way to spice up your look!

mermaid towel
Get this cute towel at West Coast Surf Shop!

Drinks

One of the best ways to enjoy your mermaid experience is by adding a yummy drink to it! For adults, treat your taste-buds at The Waterfront Restaurant & Craft Bar where they serve drinks such as Pimm’s Cup, a mix of sour, sliced lemon, cucumber, strawberries and topped with sprite. However, at Anna Maria Island Beach Cafe kids can enjoy a Coconut Créme which is essentially a non-alcoholic Piña Colada. Overall, fruity drinks make for the perfect mermaid experience!

mermaid drinks
Enjoy a fruity drink for the ultimate mermaid experience!

Books!

Every good mermaid has a good beachy book. One of my favorites is The Blue Bistro, which is about a girl who moves to the island of Nantucket in order to find herself a new job. She has had trouble with commitment to people and places in the past, but when she starts to like her new boss she doesn’t know what to do. This book is a mixture of drama and romance, and is great to read on the beach!

mermaid books
Relax by the beach with a good book!

Anna Maria Island vacation rentals and accommodations fit for a Mermaid!

Island Real Estate has the largest selection of vacation rentals on Anna Maria Island. Visit IslandReal.com first when looking for the perfect Florida vacation.

Anna Maria Island vacation rental
You’ll feel like a Mermaid when you visit Anna Maria Island vacation rental 3 Mermaids! This 4 bedroom home offers accommodations for up to 8 guests just a short walk to gulf beaches! Click on the image to reserve your stay today!

Havana Cabana, Anna Maria Island's Cuban restaurant

 

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The Havana Cabana Grill is a Cuban restaurant situated on the Marina Drive, Holmes Beach on Anna Maria Island. The restaurant has a large selection of dishes available for people eating in and ordering out. The food served is a mixture between Greek, Italian and Cuban traditional dishes and there are a variety of others. There are dinner specials available and for the adventurous spirits out there the catch of the day will offer a delicious fresh meal. Be sure to ask what it is!! There is a relaxed atmosphere in the restaurant and one immediately feels at home and welcome.

On my visit to the Havana Cabana I had an authentic Cuban sandwich and my aunt had the Sopa del Dia, both of which were extremely good. I would recommend any of the sandwiches that are made with Cuban bread. There is so much to choose from and I will definitely be going back. The restaurant is owned and managed by John Droukas who is also the chef, you can be sure one of the better chefs on the island. The best way in testing the theory is by testing the food. We were served by a kind lady by the name of Michelle Ruiz del Vizo who was very knowledgeable of the state of Florida and its cultural heritage. We learnt from her the meaning behind the term ‘cracker’, used to describe people who are born in Florida. The term derived from the crack of the whip above herds of cattle that were being herded by the first Floridian residents, early pioneers of the region. She is a proud Cuban cracker.

To view what is available you can visit http://www.havanacabana.net/ which is a website containing the menu and contact details.

Now, enough reading for you and time to crack on to the Havana Cabana grill to experience the culinary delight that awaits you.

 

Havana Cabana Grill
5904 Marina Drive
Holmes Beach, Florida 34217
941-254-4999

Top 5 Ice Cream Places on Anna Maria Island

Hey dudes and dude-ettes!!  You’re back with The Island Kid right here on Kids Corner, the best place to get the best news on Anna Maria Island.  I’m here today to tell you guys about the absolute best places on the island to get your ice cream fix. Now, here on Anna Maria Island, there are plenty of places you can go if you want a frozen treat to eat. But if you’re unsure of which places are best and which places to rule out. Read on for good info!coffee ice cream

            Best Places for Ice Cream on Anna Maria Island

ice cream
1: Two Scoops: This ice cream shop is a small shop nestled between Two Sides of Nature and across from the Anna Maria City Pier. With 32 rotating flavors, some as weird as blueberry pie and as normal as your classic vanilla, your pallet will always be pleased. They also have pastries, assorted lunch foods, and candy bars.

2: Dips: An ice cream shop near Three Island Monkeys and The Loft #5 in Anna Maria, this itty-bitty place packs the punch when it comes to ice cream. With thousands of flavors and topping variations, your experience will never be a bore.  Plus the classic candies and toys on the wall are great for a trip down memory lane.

3: Tyler’s Ice Cream is just over the bridge in Cortez Village.  Well worth the jaunt to enjoy some delicious gourmet flavors-literally hundreds over the years!  They have locally themed, as well as delicious classic flavors…and finding out what their latest is, is always part of the fun.  But creating your own flavor of shake just can’t be beat!

4: Joe’s Eats and Sweets: This place is the bomb.com. It’s got everything from chocolate to cotton candy & nerds and more! They also have pie on a stick-yes, on a stick- and various types of milkshakes and malts. This place is big colorful building right near Bridge Street in Bradenton Beach, so climb the steps, and check it out!

5: Holy Cow: No, I’m not shocked, they just have really good ice cream!  This place has many different combos of flavors and toppings, plus much more. They include a little mini gift shop inside the shop, plus indoor and outdoor seating. So feel free to enjoy your ice cream while browsing the trinkets.

Bonus tip – about 15 minutes off Anna Maria Island is a fantastic custard shop called Sweet Berries.  They mix all kinds of goodies in their custard ice cream and call it a concrete.  yum!

Whether you’re looking for just one spot or want try them all, these places are the best on the island.  So next time you’re visiting, go check ’em out! Let us know what you thought, and check back with us here on Kid’s Corner.

Lakewood Ranch a short trip from Anna Maria Island

Lakewood Ranch Main Street

Lakewood Ranch is a great day trip from Anna Maria Island! Just a 45 minute drive from Holmes Beach and you will have access to great entertainment, recreational activities and restaurants!  Lakewood Ranch has many shops to choose from with a very wide variety.

Lakewood Ranch Main Street has excellent picks for food and entertainment! Check out the Polo Grill & Bar, Lakewood Ranch Cinemas, Legacy Golf Club and the Sarasota Polo Club!

Anna Maria Island sea turtle tips from TAMI

Hi everyone! My name is Tami the Turtle and I’m a brand new resident of Anna Maria Island.

Of course, I’ve been here before on vacation – everyone knows that Anna Maria is a family friendly spot to get away and during turtle season, up to five species make the trip ashore to hatch their eggs. Loggerheads are the most common, but you’ll also spot the rarer green turtle. From the beginning of May through October, we’re all sharing the beautiful gulf coast beaches.

Tami
Our newest member of the IRE family, Tami

But how can we get along and make sure to keep Anna Maria Island the favorite spot to spend family time? Whether it be in a shell or a fabulous vacation rental property? The answer is blissfully simple: education! Know your beach etiquette during turtle season and don’t be afraid to share it with others. After a while, it will become second nature and Anna Maria Island will be a perfect place to come with your family for all of us.

Turtle Tip #1: Don’t Let Us See the Light.

Turtle hatchlings are very sensitive to lighting. They become disoriented from man-made light sources and turned away from the beach, directly towards danger. Please don’t use a flashlight on the beach at night or any flash photography. Anna Maria Island doesn’t permit any driving on the beach, but do be aware of your headlights. Minimize any beachfront lighting at your property. Also please keep in mind that if you’re walking around at night during Turtle Season that baby turtles are easily stepped on in the dark. That’s certainly no way to make friends on the beach.

Turtle Tip #2: Too Adorable to Touch

We know, we know – us turtles have heard it a thousand times before. We’re the cutest things you ever did see. But please be sure to keep your distance if you spot any baby turtles or hatching females. Mama Turtles can have a hard time laying their eggs with people around and only a professional should handle misguided babies. Get in touch with AMI Turtle Watch at (941) 778-5638 should you ever spot a distressed or dead turtle. This includes any unmarked

Turtle Tip #3: Pick Up Your Toys

We know that you would never litter – the beaches around here are famously pristine and that helps keep the sands safe for natives, tourists, and turtles alike. But also be sure to fill in any holes from building sandcastles and double check that you have all the toys you brought down to the shore with you.

To learn more about us, get in touch with our friends over at the Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch. Or visit a few of the patients in Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium’s Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Hospital. We’re all very lucky to be sharing this seven miles strip of paradise, so let’s work together to keep it the pride of Florida’s gulf coast.

I’m really looking forward to us being friends. Keep an eye out for me around Island Real Estate’s website and blogs.

Shells and kisses, Tami 

Seaduced Watercraft Adventures: Power meets water

Power meets the sea with Seaduced Watercraft Adventures.  Seaduced, is located at Mainsail Marina just south of Island Real Estate’s main office in Holmes Beach.  Seduced Watercraft Adventures rents everything from power fishing boats to large pontoons and deck boats.

Anna Maria Island’s geographical location creates lots of opportunities to explore.  The Gulf of Mexico opens up to its east, Tampa Bay to the North, the Manatee River to the west and Sarasota Bay to the south.  No matter which direction you choose to explore, Seaduced has the equipment and expertise to make it an unforgettable adventure.  It now offers excursions, including nature tours, sunset sails and discovery sailing courses.

For more information, check out their website or give them a call (866) 835-7995.

Want more great information on boats and watercraft?  Island Real Estate has plenty of information to help with your prefect Anna Maria Island Vacation.  Visit our fishing and boat tour information page.

31st Annual Cortez Commercial Fishing Festival

cortez commercial fishing festival

What were you doing 31 years ago? In Cortez, just 10 minutes south of Anna Maria Island, the 1st Annual Commercial Fishing Festival was fast approaching.

February 16 -17, 2013 will bring the 31st Annual Cortez Fishing Festival to the community along with live music, children’s activities, nautical arts & crafts, environmental exhibits, beer, and were we forgetting something? Oh yeah, seafood!

This event is a must for anyone considering themselves a fisher or looking for a fun filled festival, and attracts an average crowd of around 25,000 guests. Entertainment will include live music from Passerine, Shanty Singers, Eric von Hahmann, Soul R Coaster, Razing Cane, Soupy Davis and his Band, Shotgun Justice, and Scott’s Garage. Check below for a full schedule of live music! Proceeds benefit the Florida Institute for Saltwater Heritage (F.I.S.H.) Preserve.

Bring the whole family for some fun! Admission is $3 for adults. Kids 12 and under attend free! The event runs from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM on both days.

Parking can be found at Coquina Beach with shuttles to Cortez ($2 round trip). Expanded free parking will also be available one block east of 119th Street off Cortez Road, in the village (5 minute walk).

Cortez Village
119th Street
Bradenton, FL 34209

Main Stage Schedule

Saturday February 16th

10:00 – 11:30 am Passerine
11:30 – 12:00 pm Shanty Singers
12:00 – 12:15 pm Awards and Introductions
12:30 – 2:00 pm Eric von Hahmann
2:30 – 4:00 pm Soul R Coaster
4:30 – 6:00 pm Razing Cane

Sunday February 17th

10:30 – 11:30 am Soupy Davis and his Band
12:00 – 1:30 pm Eric von Hahmann
2:00 – 3:30 pm Shotgun Justice
4:00 – 5:30 pm Scott’s Garage

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2012 Home Games

Tampa Bay Buccaneers logoEnjoy NFL action live and in person at the next home Tampa Bay Buccaneers Game, just less than an hour from the beaches of Anna Maria Island!  Sunday November 25th at 1pm in Raymond James Stadium the Bucs take on the Atlanta Falcons in a classic NFC South Divisional matchup.  Catch Josh Freeman, future Hall of Famer Ronde Barber and the November 4th Offensive Player of the Week RB Doug Martin in action.  Tickets available from just $35 at www.buccaneers.com.

Sarasota Medieval Fair is great day trip for Anna Maria Visitors

Renaissance Festival

Hear ye, hear ye!  The Sarasota Medieval Fair occurs annually in the month of November.  Just a short trip from Anna Maria Island it is a perfect day trip for visitors.  The Sarasota Medieval Fair is located at the Sarasota Fairgrounds on Fruitville Road rain or shine from 10-6 each weekend.  Enjoy performances by Jousters and Human Combat Chess.  Jump in and participate in craft demonstrations of pottery, basket weaving, blacksmith work, torched glass beading and even leather working.  Bring your appetite because the turkey legs are HUGE and the beer is served cold.

Tickets are available at the Medieval Fair website.

Visit Island Real Estate’s top ten list of things to do for more ideas of what to do when visiting Anna Maria Island.

Home Depot Workshops for Kids

Kids' Workshop near Anna Maria IslandThe Home Depot offers Kids’ Workshop near Anna Maria Island on the first Saturday of every month.

Designed for children ages 5-12, the kids can enjoy making a FREE craft project from 9am-12pm on the first Saturday of each month.  They receive hands on instruction, a commemorative pin and certificate of achievement, not to mention, their very own Home Depot workshop apron.

Check with their website each month to see what they will be making.

Check out Island Real Estate’s top ten things to do information pages that make your visit to Anna Maria Island a breeze.  Visit our top ten things to do as a family.  Top ten things to do if you are a kid on Anna Maria Island.  AND lots more top ten lists of things to do!