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!

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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!

Blues, Brews and BBQ on Bridge Street – Bradenton Beach Event

Bradenton Beach Event – Back for it’s second year Blues, Brews and BBQ will be serving up a great event May 21st on Bridge Street. From 3-9pm the event will offer great music, cold beer and delicious barbecue with proceeds to benefit the All Island Denomination’s Food Pantry at Roser Church. Admission is $5 with children under 12 free. The gates opening at 2pm for those looking to find the perfect spot to enjoy the music.

Bradenton Beach Event Blues Brews and BBQ
Blues, Brews and BBQ is hosted by the Bridge Street Merchants and Sponsored by Grayhawk Window Systems and The Bradenton Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Bradenton Beach Event Music

Gene “Sarasota Slim” Hardage will headline Blues, Brews and BBQ. An internationally acclaimed guitarist, Sarasota Slim offers a unique sound incorporating blues, funk, boogie and slide guitar. Local favorties Pig Blues will take the stage at 4:30 before Sarasota Slim with the music starting at 3pm with Mac McConnell.

Food

Barbecue ribs and pulled pork platters will be provided by Island Time Bar and Grill with Fire and Stone serving BBQ pizza. Motorworks Brewery will have craft beers, there will also be a full liquor bar along with alcohol free selections. Patrons may bring their own blankets and chairs, but no coolers or outside food will be permitted into the event.

Happenings

Event goers may leave and re-enter the event at anytime to peruse the shops and deals offered on Bridge Street. Take advantage of the silent auction during the event!

Parking for the event can be found along Bridge Street, in the parking lot behind Island Time, at the Tingley Library and along the beach south of the event. The free trolley will be running until 10:30pm the night of the event.

Bradenton Beach Accommodations

Island Real Estate offers a large selection of Anna Maria Island vacation rentals with almost 300 homes to choose from. Book your stay today!

Bradenton Beach accommodations
Safari Suite is a great Bradenton Beach vacation rental just across the street from Gulf Beaches. And also a short walk to Bridge Street. Click on the image to learn more about Safari Suite.

Anna Maria Island Top 10 Activities

Anna Maria Island – While visiting the island the most obvious choice for fun activities and relaxation is the beach. With over seven miles of powder sand beaches, crisp blue water, endless sunshine and spectacular shelling, the beach will always be the first choice activity. Anna Maria Island has so much more to offer than just the amazing beaches, so Island Real Estate has compiled a list of our top ten activities and things to do during your stay.

Top Ten Activities!

1. Rainy Day Activities on Anna Maria Island

If you’ve ever visited Florida, especially in the summer months, you know rain is to be expected. With this in mind there are plenty of things to do to keep you entertained while waiting for clearer skies.

 

Anna Maria Island storm
A stormy day on Anna Maria Island is still gorgeous!

2. Anna Maria Island Historical Society Museum

The Anna Maria Island Historical Society Museum is a must for visitor to the island. Tour the exhibits in the recently updated Museum building, learn about the old Belle Haven Cottage originally located on the pier, and see the old city jail house. The museum is fun for all ages, and gives visitors a taste of Anna Maria Island from days past. The Museum is located at 402 Pine Avenue.

3. Catch a show with the Island Players

The Island Players Theater offers several different shows each season running from October to May. Tickets are $20 each or purchase a season ticket for $92.50 at the box office or by phone. The Island Players Theater is located at the corner of Gulf Drive and Pine Avenue. A fun place to catch a play, the Players Theater is a gorgeous and historical landmark of Anna Maria.

4. Coquina Bay Walk at Leffis Key

Anna Maria Island may only be seven miles long and one mile wide, but it does offer fabulous nature viewing opportunities. One of the areas most unique nature features can be found on the south end of Anna Maria Island at gorgeous Leffis Key. Open from sunrise to sundown, Leffis Key offers amazing Mangrove tunnel lined  boardwalk trails, salt marsh lagoons and the Island’s best bird watching. Also, use this handy guide to spot both White and Brown Pelicans around Anna Maria Island’s Leffis Key!

 

Leffis key at Coquina Baywalk
Leffis Key overlooking Sarasota Bay.

5. Shopping on Anna Maria Island

There are tons of great places to shop for unique items on Anna Maria Island. Whether you are looking for island themed gifts and souvenirs, local art or just gorgeous little things, you’ll be sure to find it in one of the great shops on the island.

6. Family Fun at Anna Maria Island Parks

Across Anna Maria Island there are several great parks with kid friendly activities. Find play ground equipment, a skatepark, concessions, and all the outdoor fun your kids could hope for. If you are looking to head off island for nature viewing check out our list of parks and preserves in Manatee county.

7. Equipment Rentals

With so many equipment rental shops on Anna Maria Island there are lots of options for entertaining activities. Rent just about any type of equipment you need on the island including kayak/canoes, bikes, jet skis, beach accessories, golf carts, fly boarding, baby rentals and much more! Check out the Anna Maria Island Bicycle Guide for route suggestions and more.

8. Art Galleries

Anna Maria Island has a fabulous art scene with many local creatives offering their wares in galleries across the island. While visiting Anna Maria Island be sure to stop in one of the galleries listed, and take a piece of paradise home with you. If you visit the Island in November, be sure to visit annual event ArtsHop!

9. Anna Maria Island Dining

Dining on Anna Maria Island is always an entertaining activity. Here’s an extensive list of everything you need to know about dining island style!

10. Sunset

Sunset is one of the most magical times on Anna Maria Island. Always the best way to end the day or get the evening started, sunset is the time of day to reflect on the incredible beauty of the Anna Maria Island experience. You can’t leave the island without catching at least one sunset!

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Anna Maria Island sunset

After perusing our list of Anna Maria Island activities we are sure you’ll have to come back a second time to experience everything the island has to offer! Enjoy your time in paradise, and don’t forget to apply your sunscreen liberally!

Anna Maria Island Vacation Rentals and Accommodations

When planning a trip or an extended stay to Anna Maria Island, Island Real Estate has the largest inventory of vacation rental homes to choose from with almost 300 properties. You’ll find the perfect accommodation along with great customer service when you use Island Real Estate!

Holmes Beach vacation rental
Casa Sierra 205 B is a fun and relaxing Anna Maria Island vacation rental located in Holmes Beach. In the central portion of the island, Casa Sierra is two blocks from the beach. It is a great spot to enjoy island activities too! Click on the image above to reserve your stay at Casa Sierra 205 B today!

 

 

Lester Family Fun Day at the Anna Maria Island Community Center

Lester

The 12th annual Lester Family Fun Day is drawing near. Free admission for the whole family…old-fashioned fun at old-fashioned prices!

Bring your camera to capture those big smiles as Santa Claus arrives on a Fire Truck at noon! Awesome raffle prizes and drawings for turkeys will keep you on the edge of your seats. From Manatee Player’s Dickens Christmas Carolers to Tony the Balloon Guy, this is a good, old-fashioned family day at our community center. Pony rides, a bounce house, face painting, card making, cookie decorating, crafts and more will keep kids of all ages entertained. Bring your appetite as well, as you may want to snack on hot dogs, snacks, sodas and even the famous Duffy Burgers!

So mark your calendar for Saturday, December 7th , to have a great time from 10:30am through 2pm at the Anna Maria Island Community Center, located at 407 Magnolia Ave, Anna Maria!

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: Stir it Up: Recently opened on Pine Avenue, this is a frozen yogurt shop with some colorful walls. . . and toppings, too! Pick a flavor or two, or all of them, then add the topping(s) of your choice. This place charges frogurtby the ounce, so take as much as you desire. With many revolving flavors and 36 different garnishes, the possibilities are endless! 🙂

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 Insider Tip:   One more for good measure- 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.  Their ice cream sandwiches are delish!  But creating your own flavor of shake just can’t be beat!

Bonus 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.

Sarasota – St. Armands Military Appreciation Day

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Sarasota’s St. Armands Circle will be honoring the men and women who have served in the United States Armed Forces. On Memorial Day St. Armands Circle will be holding its Military Appreciation Day where participating businesses offer discounts and special offers to everyone who has served in the military with proof of service.

The participating businesses of St. Armand’s circle include: Lynches Pub & Grub, Island Pursuit Men’s store, Island Pursuit Women’s store, Dream Weaver, Destination Florida, Big Olaf, FantaSea Seashells, Terra Nova, Ivory Coast, Binjara Traders, Sahara, Ben & Jerry’s, Bennington’s Tobacconist, Edward Jones Investments, Dana Tyler, Tasti-D-Lite, Taffy’s, Baron D’Orr, The Flip Flop Shop, Uniquity, Oh My Gauze, The Spice & Tea Exchange, Casa Smeralda, The Giving Tree, Le Colonne Restaurant, Jude Connally, St. Armands Antiques & Gifts, Chase Bank, Jewelry By Cole, Sun Glas Hut, Cha Cha Coconuts, Natural Discoveries, Tommy Bahama Retail Store, Blue Dolphin Restaurant, Cafe L’Europe Restaurant, The Daiquiri Deck, Tommy Bahama Restaurant, Breezin’ Up, Touch of Africa, The Stadium Gallery and the Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium.

 

St Armand’s Circle Association
300 Madison Dr #201,
Sarasota, FL 34236
(941) 388-1554

Sarasota – The Ringling Art Museum Celebrates International Museum Day!

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The Ringling Art Museum in Sarasota will be observing International Museum Day on May 18th. This post has been updated for 2015.

While at the Ringling Museum make sure to take a stroll through the Bayfront Gardens. The gardens are open to the public from 9:30am – 6:00pm and do not have an admission price.

The Ringling Art Museum
5401 Bayshore Rd
Sarasota, FL 34243
(941)359-5700

Visit our Sarasota information page for more information.

Palmetto – 5th Annual River Regatta Race

River-RegattaThe Regatta Pointe Marina hosts the 5th annual River Regatta race held Saturday, June 29th, 2013. All races are held on the Manatee River. The competitors schedule is as follows: Friday, June 28 6:00pm to 7:00pm Check-in/On-site Registration; 7:30pm Skippers Meeting (All race meetings will include complimentary food and beer!) Saturday, June 29 10:30am Warning Signal for race; 5:00pm Awards Ceremony & Party (Race day will also include complimentary beer & entertainment!)

The race will be governed by the current Racing Rules of Sailing and the West Florida PHRF Class Rules. Participants without a PHRF certificate will be assigned a rating at the discretion of the Regatta Chair. Its open to all Sailboats. Classes you can expect to see include: Spinnaker, Non-Spinnaker, True Cruiser, Pocket Cruiser, Racer Cruiser, and Multihull.

If you would like to compete eligible boats may enter by completing the entry form which can be found at the Riverhouse Reef & Grill website and only costs $45 to register. All registrations received after Monday, June 17, 2013 will be charged a $10 late registration fee. Each entry will receive one Saturday night dinner ticket, one regatta shirt and one regatta hat. Shirts and hats for late applicants are subject to availability.

Regatta Pointe Marina
1005 Riverside Dr
Palmetto, FL 34221
(941)729-6021

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!

Click here for more shopping information when visiting Anna Maria Island.