8 Unusual Attractions Near Anna Maria Island

Looking for unusual attractions near Anna Maria Island? Check out this list of ideas! For an authentic Florida vacation you must see something unique or weird! This list is not just your usual collection of roadside stops, but a collection of artistically inspired places to visit.

8 Unusual Attractions Near Anna Maria Island

While some of these places are local, all the attractions on our list are under two hours away.

Mr. Bones BBQ in Holmes Beach.

Mr. Bones offers the areas best Barbecue in a unique atmosphere. This is a must stop for those looking for a different experience. When you enter you’ll find a coffin full of ice cold beers along with the restaurants mascot skeleton. Serve yourself a beer from their large selection and you’ll be seated in the dining room. The walls are covered with interesting masks with decor as eclectic as the menu too! Not only do they have the best barbecue, but you’ll find vegan and Indian dishes as well.

Unusual Attractions Near Anna Maria Island
The dining room at Mr. Bones BBQ

A word of advice for those visiting this funky family owned eatery, do not ask for salt, pepper or ketchup! The foods so good you won’t need it and they don’t serve it.

Mr. Bones BBQ Holmes Beach
Don’t even ask!

The Sea Hagg in Cortez Fishing Village.

You never know what you’ll find in Cortez Fishing Village, but there are three things you can always count on. Fresh off the boat seafood, the “Real” old Florida atmosphere, and The Sea Hagg. This Gift shop is one of the most interesting places to find anything nautical. The front yard of The Sea Hagg is referred to as the Salvage Garden. Here you’ll find old boats, sculptures and an array of interesting items. Once inside you’ll find floor to ceiling Nautical curiosities, antiques and gifts.

The Sea Hagg in Cortez
The Sea Hagg is a unique stop for nautical gifts, antiques and more.

Arte Coyoacano in Downtown Bradenton’s Village of the Arts.

In the southern portion of downtown Bradenton there is a residential-commercial neighborhood full of arts, galleries, specialty shops and restaurants. Known as the Village of the Arts, it’s full of early 20th century bungalows adding an interesting touch to this quaint community. While the area is peppered with interesting finds, Arte Coyoacano gallery has some of the most unusual.

Village of the Arts
Visit the Village of the Arts and Arte Coyoacano for a unique look at a work play live neighborhood. Alfredo Garcia Sculptures.

Artist Alfredo Garcia’s sculptures and paintings are truly authentic Mexican Folk Art. His works are both technically brilliant and whimsical too. He implements bright colors and traditional Mexican Folk art themes in one of the areas most unique gallery/studios.

Village of the Arts
Alfredo Garcia Acrylic on canvas “La virgen”

Marietta Museum of Art and Whimsy in Sarasota.

The Marietta Museum of Art and Whimsy is a lovely place to visit with the entire family. You’ll find a large variety of interesting works to see from fine art to kitsch. There is no entrance fee, but there is a suggested donation of $5 per person to this wonderful non-profit. The Marietta Museum not only offers a traditional museum setting, but a beautiful sculpture garden too. The museum is open November through May.

 

Marietta Museum of Art and Whimsy
Flaming in the sculpture garden at Marietta Museum.

Founder and Curator Marietta Lee is passionate about sharing the works in her Museum. She wanted to create an interesting space for people to relax and enjoy art. She wanted art to be inclusive to all. A unique feature of this museum is half the artists are women, half men, and almost all are still living.

Marietta Museum
A wax figure dutifully sits at the Marietta Museum.

Solomon’s Castle in Ona.

Solomon’s Castle is like nothing you’ll ever see. Tucked into a wooded area of Ona, Florida this attraction has all the makings of an artists dream. Howard Solomon is a metal artist who began creating his castle in 1972. The large metallic structure houses his works. This not so average roadside attraction has gained international attention.

Solomon's Castle
Solomon’s Castle in Ona, Florida is a one of a kind attraction.

The Salvadore Dali Museum in St. Petersburg.

The Salvadore Dali Museum celebrates the works of the artists entire life from 1904 to 1989. This collection includes over 2000 pieces in addition to rotating featured exhibits from other artists. Salvadore Dali was an influential artist know for his interesting style across several mediums. If you are looking for a unique attraction this is a sure bet.

The Dali
The Dali Museum in St. Petersburg

Whimzeyland in Safety Harbor.

Whimzeyland, also known as the Bowling Ball House, is an interesting attraction, and the creation of two artists. In 1985 Todd Ramquist and Kiaralinda bought a house in Safety Harbor. They began decorating their yard and house with an artistic touch. After coming upon 10 free bowling balls at a Flea Market, the two really started to push the house into a new realm of creativity. They decorated the balls and began accepting artists bowling balls from all over.  Since 1985 the couple has purchased adjacent properties in their neighborhood employing the same fun themes. The grounds are free to wander, but are not open all year.

Whimzeyland The Bowling Ball House
Whimzeyland in Safety Harbor

Dysfunctional Grace Art Co in Tampa’s Ybor City.

Dysfunctional Grace Art Co is a collaborative gallery of true art oddities. You won’t soon find a more unusual collection of works. From the adorable to the deplorable, and everything in between, this Tampa art shop is a must visit.

Dysfunctional Grace Art Co
Dysfunctional Grace Art Co in Ybor City

Enjoy these unusual attractions near Anna Maria Island and enjoy a true Florida experience!

Gluten Free Dining on Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria Island – In the ever changing list of fad diets, Gluten-Free has proven itself a steadfast member in the restaurant community. Whether you enjoy a healthy life style choice or are coping with Celiac Disease, the Gluten Free menu is becoming more and more popular in today’s dining circuit.

Anna Maria Island is no stranger to the trend and has a variety of restaurants that offer Gluten Free menus. Some advantages to this lifestyle is that the many people who convert note that they feel radically better physically and emotionally after their body cycles out any gluten. While only about 1% of the population are true Celiac disease sufferers, many more have a gluten sensitivity which causes cramps, fatigue,  stomach pains from eating excessive amounts of food containing gluten.  Many people have no symptoms but feel much “lighter” and energetic after cutting out the ingredient. Something to be careful of however, is many people go Gluten-Free to lose weight assuming it is a healthier choice-unfortunately this can be a myth as many pre-packaged gluten free products can be very high in calories and saturated fats! I like to stay somewhere in the gray area – I’m not anti-gluten but I am gluten-sensible!

Thanks to the increasing recognition of gluten caused discomfort, island eateries have a high demand for gluten free menu options; check out our list below for Island Real Estate’s favorites:

 

100 Spring Ave | Anna Maria, FL   | (941).778.0444

5315 Gulf Dr | Holmes Beach | (941).778.0411

212C Pine Ave  | Anna Maria, FL  | (941).254.7941

9807 Gulf Dr  | Anna Maria, FL  | (941).778.3170  

875 North Shore Dr | Anna Maria FL | (941).778.1885

1701 Gulf Dr N | Bradenton Beach FL | (941).527.0123

3007 Gulf Dr, Holmes Beach | Bradenton Beach FL | (941).778.6614

314 Pine Ave | Anna Maria, FL | (941).896.9754

111 S Bay Blvd | Anna Maria, FL | (941).778.1515

MR. Bones BBQ -Have a beer from a coffin?!?

No that’s not a typo, Mr. Bones BBQ off Gulf Drive makes grabbing a cold one an entertaining experience. Not only is their BBQ hands down the best on the island and in town, but also their HUGE variety of beer is placed upfront in a coffin for you to take.

Mr. Bones BBQ Coffin of Beer

Trust me it’s not as creepy as it sounds, in fact it feels quite normal in the Mr. Bones atmosphere to just simply drink a beer from the coffin and not even think twice about it.  If you enjoy some well made barbecue and having a fun dining experience, don’t be afraid to come in to Mr. Bones.
Mr. Bones BBQ

Anna Maria Island Top Ten Restaurants

Anna-Maria-Island-RestaurantsLooking for tasty food while you’re on the Anna Maria Island? Well you’re in luck we have composed list of island restaurants from fine dining, to beachfront restaurants, pizza, and where to get the best burger on the island. We have plenty of tasty restaurants to choose from on AMI but the ten restaurants below are a MUST VISIT!

1) Beach Bistro in Holmes Beach – Enjoy fine dining on the Gulf of Mexico with an excellent wine selection and amazing entrée’s.

6600 Gulf Drive
Holmes Beach, FL, 34217
(941) 778-6444

2) Sign of the Mermaid in The City of Anna Maria – A unique dining experience on Anna Maria Island with award winning key lime pie.

Gulf Drive
Anna Maria, FL, 34216
(941) 778-9399

Continue reading Anna Maria Island Top Ten Restaurants