Bean Point – Anna Maria Island’s Secret Serenity

Bean Point is a must stop spot on Anna Maria Island. it’s a local secret that provides the most breathtaking views of the sunset on a pristine beach.  Named for George Emerson Bean, the first permanent resident of Anna Maria Island, Bean Point is located on a secluded stretch of beach at the northern end of what was Bean’s original homesteaded property.

You won’t find a parking lot, or any large signs, to direct you to this treasure of nature.  To get there you’ll need to head North of the City Pier in Anna Maria on North Bay Blvd.  The “main entrance” to Bean Point is located at a small crossroads.  You will notice the tree lined path that divides the two properties at the the intersection of North Bay Blvd & North Shore Dr.  If you ride your bicycle, you can ride right up the path, and park just to the side of the classic, wooden footbridge that sets the tone for your Anna Maria beach experience.  If you drive your car, you have a few options.  There are actually entrances at the corners of Fern St & N. Shore Dr, and Gladiolus St. & North Shore as well.  Each of these entrances is marked by a small white posted sign that merely states “Public Beach Access”.  Using the intersection of North Bay blvd and North Shore will provide immediate access to the famed “Bean Point” but half the fun is getting there?  Using the public beach access point to the South will allow you to walk along the beach and take in the sites where the Bay and Gulf meet.  When parking you can choose a spot near any of these entrances, and take the path out to the beach.

Local Tip: parking regulations are strictly enforced on Anna Maria Island.  If it says No Parking, don’t do it. Unless you want a ticket. If you do park on the roadside be sure your tires are off the asphalt street. If just 1″ is on the street you most likely will return with a bad surprise after your leisurely stroll along Bean Point. There are spots along the side streets, including Gladiolus and Fern.  To park near the footbridge entrance, I would recommend heading down to Jacaranda to find an empty (and legal) parking place.

Once your car is settled, head up the nearest path to the gorgeous turquoise waters where the Gulf of Mexico meets the Tampa Bay.   After your leisurely stroll down the path, turn right when you get to the sand, and head north to the point, for spectacular views that include the Sunshine Skyway Bridge.    If the tide is low, you can see the sand bar just off the coast.  Just a little wading into the warm water will take you there, and you can shell ‘til your heart’s content!  The views are amazing, the water is inviting, and the atmosphere is relaxed and serene.  There are quiet spots to sit and enjoy the view, and watch the waters and the wildlife.  I love where the water collides as the tide shifts from the East side of Anna Maria Island to the West side.

There are signs of life relaxing all over the Point. There is always something to delight the bird watcher too, with several different types of birds to entertain you as they guard their beach turf from one another.

So head over to Bean Point and capture a quiet beach moment or a breathtaking sunset, and enjoy one of the most relaxing spots on an island famous for its relaxation.

Harrington House Bed & Breakfast

While searching for your perfect Anna Maria Island property, it’s nice to have a “home base” to relax and enjoy everything our special paradise has to offer. The Harrington House Beachfront Bed and Breakfast offers island hospitality and comfort in order to help you decide which AMI place is “the one” for you! When you’re making your reservation, make sure to tell them you are working with an Island Real Estate Sales Professional for VIP treatment!

The Harrington House is a fantastic direct Gulf Front Bed and Breakfast located on Anna Maria Island.  They offer nightly accommodations and they provide a perfect get away from the busy life.  Each morning you will be awakened by the smell of in house chef made breakfast, breads and coffee. Each bedroom has a charm all of its own, it’s best to speak to one of the very knowledgeable staff to determine which room would best meet your expectations.

Harrington House Breakfast

They also serve breakfast by appointment only for locals and visitors alike.  Sit outside and listen to the Gulf of Mexico while you enjoy one of several specialty breakfasts.   You can also dine inside in the dining area with direct views of the Gulf of Mexico.  Either way, the breakfast is fantastic and the views are free.  If you have a special occasion be sure to stay at Harrington House or at least visit them for breakfast but please be sure to call ahead. Reservations are always required and seating is limited.

One last note, Harrington House will also host a tea party, wedding, or wedding reception so be sure to call them if you have a need for a special group outing.

Harrington House
5626 Gulf Drive
Holmes Beach, FL, 34217
(941) 778-5444

Outdoor Dining Anna Maria Island – Dine and Drink El Fresco!

Outdoor Dining 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.

Outdoor Dining Anna Maria Island

Sandbar – 100 Spring Ave, Anna Maria

Direct Gulf front

Sandbar

The Waterfront – 111 South Bay Blvd, Anna Maria
Bay views

Waterfront

Anna Maria Pier – 100 South Bay Blvd, Anna Maria
Out in the middle of the Tampa Bay

Pier

Bridgetender – 135 Bridge Street, Bradenton Beach
Direct bay front

Bridgetender

Island Time Bar & Grill – 111 Gulf Drive South, Bradenton Beach
Open-air setting, across the street from the Gulf

Island time

The Beachhouse – 200 Gulf Drive North, Bradenton Beach
Direct Gulf front

Beachhouse

Coquina Café – 2650 Gulf Drive South, Coquina Beach
Direct Gulf front

Outdoor Dining Anna Maria Island

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.

Anna Maria Island Beaches Certified “Blue Wave”!

Anna-Maria-Island-Beaches

The National Clean Beaches Coalition has awarded it’s highest rating of “Blue Waters” to the five beaches on Anna Maria Island.  This certification is granted by the Washington D.C. based council.  A ceremony was held Wednesday November 14th at Coquina Beach where the five “Blue Water” flags were given to city officials by coalition founder Walter McLeod signaling that our beaches are healthy and clean.  These flags will fly over the certified beaches of Coquina Beach, Cortez Beach, Manatee and Holmes Beach and Anna Maria Beach.

These five local beaches were chosen based on criteria and extensive testing that include water quality, beach and intertidal conditions, safety, services, animal habitat conservation and erosion management.  This Clean Beaches Coalition is the first national environmental certification of beaches.

Locals are thrilled yet not surprised at the award – we know we have the best and cleanest beaches anywhere!

Anna Maria Island oil spill

Grab your beach chairs, pack up a cooler and spend the day at the beach. It is eighty six degrees outside, 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.

Continue reading Anna Maria Island oil spill

AMI Beach Cafe – Anna Maria Island Beach Cafe

cafe-on-beach-front

AMI Beach Cafe is located at Manatee public beach on Anna Maria Island.  It is a great inexpensive indoor and outdoor casual restaurant located on Anna Maria, Fl.  The Anna Maria Island restaurant has seating outside under roof or under beach umbrella’s just feet from the gorgeous white sand of Anna Maria Island.

Continue reading AMI Beach Cafe – Anna Maria Island Beach Cafe

Top ten things to do while staying on Anna Maria Island

(Note, there are several links below with further information.  Just look for the underlined items…example, this link is to Island Real Estate’s web site.)
10. Go gift shopping…There are lots of shops on the island in Anna Maria City, Holmes Beach, and Bradenton Beach.  Don’t spend all Gift Shoppingyour time looking for the perfect trinkets or gifts for the dog or house sitter…but it’s allowed to spend one or two afternoon’s checking out our local artistic and craft flavor.  Don’t forget to try out the FREE Anna Maria Island trolley that runs the entire length of the island.  This makes traveling the island carefree, what more could you ask for?

9. Take a day tripHeading South down to Sarasota is a neat experience and the journey provides plenty of entertainment.  Take Gulf Drive South through Longboat Key and enjoy the Gulf scenery on the 30 minute drive South.  If you have children go to the Mote Aquarium which has fantastic things to do for children.  When complete with Mote, go just down the street to St. Armand’s Circle where you can take in lunch or dinner and briefly walk through shops in the early evening.  You can also make St. Armand’s circle an entire day trip for those of you that are shop-a-holics.  Just be sure to bring lots of money, it’s not uncommon to see T-shirts for $25 – $50 per pc.

8. Grab a kite, Frisbee, football, volleyball and get out on the beach and get some exercise.  Throw it around with your children.  kids chasing birdsBuild a sandcastle or just a wall that holds back the Gulf water.  So much to do on the gorgeous white sandy beaches of Anna Maria Island.

7. Rent a bicycle and ride around Anna Maria City.  There is something great about biking up and down the streets of Anna Maria City.  Start at White avenue and work you way North up the streets.  Be sure to take a ride down Beach and Park while the Huge trees still exist.  They are gorgeous and offer a once in a life time view of PURE nature.  Bicycle riding also lets you search for your next vacation rental or “peace” of paradise.  There is nothing like searching for Real Estate while feeling the breeze through you hair.  If Real Estate is more your speed, check out our properties for sale.

6. Anna Maria City Piers…Go up to Anna Maria City and take a walk on the Historic Anna Maria City Pier at the end of Pine Avenue or Anna Maria City Pierwalk the pier at the Rod and Reel Restaurant.  If you try the public city pier at the end of pine street, stop at the outdoor plaza just across the street where you can find great shopping and even better, ICE CREAM.  Grab a ice cream cone and walk the pier or grab lunch or Dinner at Rod and Reel pier.  If you like fishing, bring a fishing pole and pick up an inexpensive fishing license and try fishing off one of the piers.

5. Take a Nap…So you know you have achieved “Anna Maria” relaxation if you are able to take a nap in the mid day.  I know, this is too good to be true especially if you have young children.  I can promise you if you make this a priority it can happen on Anna Maria.  There is nothing better than hitting the beach in the morning, having a bite to eat, and then taking a mid day nap! aaaahhhh

4. Local Dining….Go to a local burger hang out and eat like the locals.  There are several fabulous local dining areas where you can Lunch on the beachpony up to the bar or just have a good down to earth hamburger with french fries.  If you are still not out of the work mode and you want to multi task then hit the Manatee public beach and eat lunch at Cafe on the Beach or at Skinny’s just across the street.  If you have been successful in your journey to RELAXATION and multi-tasking is not necessary then try Hurricane Hanks, Duffy’s, or Rod and Reel pier.

3. ShellingWalking the beach looking for nature’s little treasures is a wonderful way to unwind.  This is one of the best things to do on your first day of your vacation.  I often find it difficult to unwind from work so creating a task for myself lets me take step one of many steps before I can just lay on the beach and do nothing.  Going cold turkey and laying on the beach the first day can be difficult for a lot of people so searching for shells conveniently has a goal and your children canparticipate in the fun!

2. Of course, Go to the beachhave a day or several days at the beach.  A beach umbrella can make a summer visit a little more on the beachenjoyable but there is no better way to relax but to go to the beach and enjoy the Gulf of Mexico.  Remember, leaving items behind or equipment on the beach overnight is a big no-no.  Sea turtles climb up on the beach at night and can easily get caught up in beach equipment and die.  Reminder no dogs allowed on any Anna Maria Island Beaches.

1. Walk, Drink, watch a SunsetTake a walk about 2 hours prior to Sunset time.  Either bring beverages Sunset on Anna Maria Islandwith you or stop in at one of many of the Gulf Front Restaurant’s on the island and have an appetizer, cold beverage, reconnect with family and friends while watching the sun go down over the Gulf of Mexico.  If the conditions are perfect who knows you might even see the green flash!!

SandBar Restaurant Anna Maria City

Sand Bar Restaurant located in Anna Maria CityFor many, the Sandbar restaurant Anna Maria city is a must visit while staying on the island.  The atmosphere is wonderful and it’s one of the few restaurants where you can dine outdoors while listening to the surf.  The most popular time at the Sandbar is just prior to sunset.

The restaurant offers good food with an outstanding view. Preferred seating is accepted for large groups. About one hour prior to Sunset time you can expect to wait over an hour for a seat outside. There are a few tables outside where you can still put your feet in the sand while most are on the wooden deck covered by an open air cathedral tin roof.  Inside seating is 3 to 4 rows of with one row along the West wall which offers Direct Gulf Front views. The Sandbar Restaurant Anna Maria City offers a full bar with a smaller seating selection and some but, limited views of the Gulf.

Sandbar Restaurant Anna Maria City Menu

The Sandbar offers fresh local sustainable seafood, salads, hamburgs, children meals such as chicken fingers, Macaroni and cheese, pasta, and seafood.  I have had the seafood salad, stuffed flounder, salmon, and a specialty salad and all meals have been good. The Key Lime pie is very good as well as the Calamari. Be careful if you order the Calamari. Be sure to order a half plate unless you have more than 4 people eating.  The Full order is huge and could serve as a meal for two or three.

One local favorite thing to do is to walk the beach to the Sandbar and grab a drink or meal.  here is nothing like working off your meal by walking the Gulf of Mexico. The Sandbar has an outdoor entry area however you do need to plan to have a shirt on to enter the restaurant.  The walk is about 20 minutes from Peppertree or White Avenue in Anna Maria City.  From La Casa Costeria on 73rd Street, it’s about a 35 minute walk to the Sandbar.Sand Bar of Anna Maria City Logo

Sandbar Restaurant

Tripadvisor Reviews: 4 Out of 986
Address: 100 Spring Avenue ,Anna Maria ,Florida34216

Phone: 941 778 0444
Website: Sandbar Restaurant
Hours:

Accepts Reservations? No
Driving Directions: Driving Directions – Google Maps

Sandbar outdoor seating views
Sandbar outdoor seating views
Restaurant Front
Restaurant Front

Anna Maria Island Gulf Water Temperatures

Anna Maria Island gulf water temperatures are gorgeous. Northern visitors may even swim all year long! The Gulf of Mexico as well as the Tampa Bay offer warmer swimming temperatures amazingly early in our Spring season. On warm days you can usually see a child or even adult taking a dip in our gulf waters any month of year. However, the length of time you might want to swim in the Gulf or Bay has much to do with the month of the year.

Anna Maria Island gulf water temperatures and safety

As usual we suggest all the same common sense safety practices while swimming with children.  Keep younger children in a water height that will easily allow them to get their head above water.  They will  also need to gather their footing quickly if they are knocked over by a large wave.  Normally the Gulf is very calm and a toddler can play in the Gulf with little to no effort.  If you are concerned about a toddlers swimming safety purchase some arm floater’s at anyone of the local shopping centers on Anna Maria Island or in Bradenton.  Take a look below at the AVERAGE sea temperatures to give you an idea of what time of year you find swimming in the Gulf acceptable.

High                Season                 Low
85                   Spring                   77
89                   Summer                80
86                   Fall                        68
77                   Winter                   65