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: 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.

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.

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 

Island Cityfest – A Holmes Beach Founders Day Festival

Island Cityfest 2013 Header
Presented By Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce

Sorry, this festival no longer happens on Anna Maria Island each year as of 2016.  Don’t worry, there are plenty of other festivals on Anna Maria Island in the Spring.  Visit the Anna Maria Island Information page for details on upcoming events.

For now, here are details of the 2013 Holmes Beach Founders day Festival.  Grab your lawn chairs and head to Holmes Beach to celebrate Anna Maria Island history. Island Cityfest 2013 “A Holmes Beach Founders Day Festival “ will be held at the Holmes Beach City Hall Field this Friday & Saturday featuring a classic car show, kids activities, food, drinks, a historical presentation, and live music!

Continue reading Island Cityfest – A Holmes Beach Founders Day Festival

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.

Shanty Singers Playing at Cortez Fishing Festival

shanty singers Cortez Fishing FestivalShanty Singers will be taking the stage at 11:30 AM on Saturday, February 16, 2013 along with other bands at the 31st Annual Cortez Commercial Fishing Festival! Only 10 minutes from Anna Maria Island!

The event will feature plenty family fun, fresh Florida seafood, and entertainment for everyone!

To learn more about the event and a full schedule of the live music and entertainment click here!

Scott’s Garage Playing Cortez Fishing Festival

scott's garageScott’s Garage will be playing at the 31st Annual Cortez Commercial Fishing Festival. Scott’s Garage take the stage at 4:00 PM on Sunday, February 17, 2013. They are the last performers and will wrap up the festival with their act so be sure not to miss it! Only 10 minutes from Anna Maria Island!

You can find fresh Florida seafood, live music, and family fun galore at the 2-day festival!

For a full schedule of the entertainment at the festival you can click here!

Passerine Opening Act at Cortez Fishing Festival

Passerine will be the opening act at the 31st Annual Cortez Commercial Fishing Festival! They will be taking the stage at 10:00 AM on Saturday, February 16, 2013. Only 10 minutes from Anna Maria Island!
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Lots of family fun, seafood, and live music to take in at this event!

For more information about the event and the other bands playing click here!