Enjoy some grown up time with Elite Family Care

Anna Maria Island’s Family Charm

Looking for the perfect vacation for your family on the beach?  Anna Maria Island offers white sand beaches, beautiful emerald waters, and an old Florida charm.  Anna Maria Island is known as a favorite place to go for families.

Anna Maria Island is seven miles long, and a few blocks wide.  You can hear the sounds of waves and watch beautiful sunsets.   Enjoy walks on the beach, great restaurants, shopping, and all kinds of wonderful accommodations through Island Real Estate.

What makes this island so great?  Fast food and high rise condos do not exist on Anna Maria.  The speed limit is 35 and flip flops are welcome.  You can get away from the hustle, bustle of life and yet have plenty to do.

Golf anyone?  Take the kids to play adventure golf at The Fish Hole.  Enjoy a recreational scooter from Island Scooter Store, or take a tour with Zegway by the Bay.

Elite Family Care - Professional Child Care that comes to you

 Looking for some grown up time?  Enjoy time away knowing that your children are well cared for.  Whether you need an extra set of hands or time away we can help!  Day or evening Elite Family Care has wonderful nanny/babysitters who are screened, CPR & First Aid certified, trained, and experienced. We send our caregivers out based on the ages of the children. Our caregivers will engage your children in games, toys, and arts and crafts while you are away.  Outdoor fun such as swimming in the pool, or playing in the sand is permitted with signed consent forms.  Book your sitter at Elite Family Care under vacationing families.

Now that the children are taken care of you can enjoy some pampering at Anna Maria’s largest day spa, Body and Soul Spa & Wellness.  They offer massages, facials, and yoga classes.  Or enjoy a quiet dinner at one of our favorites, Bridge Street Bistro on Bradenton Beach.  This little romantic getaway offers favorites like Gulf Coast Grouper Sautee with key lime dill butter, capers, and a trickle of pomegranate reduction, or how about Roasted Maple Leaf Duckling, dressed, slow-baked, de-boned and crisped, with a spicy three peppercorn, Cognac demi-glaze or fruit and berry sauces.  Another favorite is Beachhouse Restaurant, enjoy seafood at its best with menu items such as Coconut Crusted Flounder, Maryland Crab Cake Dinner, Sesame Seared Tuna, Seafood Medley and King Crab Legs.  After dinner a nice walk on the beach will top off the evening!


Debra Fortosis

Elite Family Care

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


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


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


Bridgetender – 135 Bridge Street, Bradenton Beach
Direct bay front


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


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

Outdoor Dining Anna Maria Island

Vacation Rentals perfect for bringing your Furry Friend!

Pet Friendly Properties with Island Real EstateAnna Maria Island – If you’re like me, your pet is an important part of your family and you want to bring them everywhere with you. Well, you’re in luck if you book with Island Real Estate, because about 30% of our inventory is Pet Friendly! For a $150 fee, you can pack your buddy so they can share our Florida sunshine right along with you.

Dogs are not permitted on the county beaches yet there is a stretch of beach along Manatee Ave called the “Causeway” where pets of all kinds are welcome to splash, play and dig. You’ll find both small and larger dogs there and sometimes even horses! There is also a fun dog park behind Holmes Beach City Hall with shade, water and a small dog section. Robinson Preserve has natural trails that you may enjoy with your pet as well.

Here are some pet friendly vacation rentals that have the comfort of your pet in mind:

Peaceful Palms, located at 7302 Palm Dr in Holmes Beach has a large fenced yard with lots of grass and plenty of natural shade provided by a beautiful tree. Also, this is one of our budget friendly homes!
Click here for more on Peaceful Palm!

4808A Gulf Dr, Holmes Beach has a fenced yard and is less than a 5 minute car ride to the causeway or Robinson Preserve. There are quiet residential roads behind the house, perfect for walking.
Click here for more on 4804 A Gulf Drive!

All Decked Out, located at 509 South Bay Blvd in Anna Maria City is super close to the City Pier so you can bring them along fishing or strolling. On the other side of the city pier there is small park where you can relax in the shade and let your pal investigate the surroundings. The house has a small fenced yard yet a large covered garage and game area by the pool.
Click here for more on All Decked Out!

Sandy’s Getaway, located at 122 Peppertree in Anna Maria City has a large grassy yard and a shady open porch. It is also very close to Pine Ave – perfect for walking your dog while you shop or grab a snack. Your puppy will love meeting new friends! You’ll find most shops and restaurants along Pine Ave have bowls of water available at their entrance for your pup to stay hydrated in the Florida sun.
Click here for more on Sandy’s Getaway!

Coastal Sands, located at 213 70th St in Holmes Beach has a caged pool yet an open patio area. Also, at the end of 69th St (just one block up) there is a small park nicely landscaped that has benches. A great and short stroll to walk your dog and let her enjoy Florida nature.
Click here for more on Coastal Sands!

This is just a sample – please visit www.IslandReal.com to see more pet friendly properties and pick your favorite.

Silhouettes at Sunset April 27, 2014 The Green Flash

Anna Maria Island Sunset
Anna Maria Island Sunset

Once again I witnessed another bold sunset and had the pleasure of sharing it with some lovely ladies who had just arrived that day for another adventure on Anna Maria Island! They have stayed with Island Real Estate over the years and commented on how great our rental department had treated them in the past. They also bragged on our maintenance department claiming how helpful they had always been if they needed anything. They are part of a group and other family members will be joining them to make some wonderful memories and enjoy the fragrances of the Island! After our exchange it was time to get serious about the sunset before us. It was quickly dropping into the Gulf of Mexico and the skies were so blue and not a cloud to be found! Just as soon as the top of the sun dropped out of sight there was a splash of deep aqua green that seemed to spray up from the sunset…The Green Flash! We all started asking “did you see that”? You could hear people clapping up and down the beach! It was a perfect sunset and the green flash was the exclamation point at the end of the sunset! Perhaps it is time to put your toes in the sand and capture one of our sunsets that make you go aw-w-w-w-w! Enjoy the sunset! 

Guests of Island Real Estate!
Guests of Island Real Estate!

    By Melinda Bordes 941-705-0146 or melinda@annamariasunset.com…Whether buying or selling on Anna Maria Island or the surrounding areas let me assist you in the process of owning the perfect piece of real estate where you can fill your sand bucket full of sunsets!

How to Use the Island Real Estate Remote Entry System

The island Real Estate remote entry system is easy to use and convenient too! Our manual key box and wireless remote entry systems are something new. We’ve implemented this to help you get started with your vacation as soon as possible. No driving through traffic and waiting in our office to get your key, just head to your vacation haven, take your shoes off and start relaxing on Anna Maria Island.

island real estate remote entry systemIsland Real Estate remote entry system:  

The code to enter your property is automatically fed into the remote lock and is ready to use at 4:30 PM EST on the day of your arrival. It also stops working at 10AM on the day of your departure. This is automatic and there is no human intervention required. Simply enter the code and you are set to go.
Manual Box Entry:
The key to your property will be stored in a manual lock box on the property. At 4:30 PM on your day of arrival, enter the code into the Manual Entry Key Block and retrieve your property key. Upon your departure, just return the keys to the Manual Key Box and head on your way. Simple!

Havana Cabana, Anna Maria Island's Cuban restaurant



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

Meet Tami Turtle! The Anna Maria Island Turtle!


Heeeey guys! I’m Tami Turtle and I’m blogging’ to you  from right here, my hometown of Anna Maria Island. I wanted to tell all you ALL about my kind, the loggerhead sea turtle. Since we’re the most common sea turtles here on AMI, I thought you should know a bit about us.  Visit Island Real Estate at Pine Avenue if you want to take a fun photo as seen above.
Loggerhead Sea Turtle swimming
First of all we are pretty important. I mean, we are a big part of the marine food chain. We can live up to 75 years, sometimes longer. We usually get to be about 3 feet tall and weigh 250-300 pounds. We have dark yellow-brown skin with a greenish-brown shell. And guess what! When we lay eggs we always go back to the same beach where we were born. Pretty cool, huh?
Turtle Tip Time!! Don’t keep your lights on at night ’cause we are attracted to them. Don’t leave your trash or beach chairs on the beach either or we’ll think they’re food or get stuck in them. And please, please, PLEASE DO NOT touch us or dig up our nests! It’s breaking the law. Thank you!
Loggerhead Sea Turtle Baby
We live in nearly every ocean (except the Arctic) and in shallow waters. We mainly eat jellyfish, corals, sea anemones, squid and flying fish. Maybe not yummy to you, but delicious to us!

If you wanna come and check us out head over to Mote Marine or the Florida Aquarium and “sea” what we’re up to! ‘Til next time this is Tami Turtle signing off. Turtley, dude!

Carol Bernard Celebrates Her 17th Year At Island Real Estate!

Congratulations to Carol for her 17 years with Island Real Estate!  Island Real Estate has been so lucky to have her all these years, and we would not know what to do without her.  Carol has held office throughout the building over the years, and knows this place like the back of her hand!  She is our fearless leader of the Rentals Department, and can answer every property question that you have.  Continue reading Carol Bernard Celebrates Her 17th Year At Island Real Estate!

Silhouettes At Sunset ~ New Years Eve ~ 2010

Sunset Love on Anna Maria Island

Promises of a beautiful sunset on Anna Maria Island on New Years Eve were in the late afternoon sky as I watched clouds clear and the water calm. This gave me reason to grab my camera and  head gulf side to the beach. Just as I arrived I noticed a couple standing at the surf wrapped in the glow of the sunset and each other so my silhouettes were in place. The sunset that would unfold was nothing short of amazing. It was as though the sky had been brushed with scarlet and golden tones and the colors ran across the water to the shore. Gian Carlo and Ivelisse had positioned themselves to become a part of the magic. Gian Carlo is originally from Venezuela and Ivelisse is from Cuba. The two met in college in Lakeland, FL seven years ago and both became music majors. Gian Carlo is now an orchestra director and Ivelisse is a lawyer.  Four months ago their friendship turned into much more.
When you watch such a couple become one with the sunset it becomes obvious how romantic a sunset can be when shared with just the right person. New Years Eve may have been the mark for many couples who are beginning a new relationship and testing the waters of love. Whether it be long distance or best friends I am sure new love was sparked across the globe as friends gathered to ring in 2011. Or perhaps you decided to take the next step in your relationship as you charted out your New Year’s resolutions. Thank you to my silhouettes tonight as I witnessed the connection they shared with the sunset as their backdrop. Who knows…maybe we will see them taking the next step and planning a beach wedding on Anna Maria Island.  Please enjoy the sunset and click on the photos to enlarge them. Island Real Estate wishes you all a Happy New Year for 2011!

Written by Melinda Bordes ~ 941-705-0146 ~ melinda@annamariasunset.com ~ Whether buying or selling real estate on Anna Maria Island or surrounding areas please feel free to contact me for all of your real estate needs. Start 2011 off right and come to Anna Maria Island and fall in love…she has been waiting for you!

Beautiful Holmes Beach on Anna Maria Island October

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 Beautiful Holmes Beach on Anna Maria Island October