Anna Maria Island Easter Bonnet Contest

easter bonnetDon’t miss you chance to be a part of the 3rd Annual Easter Bonnet Contest March 30th, 2013 on Anna Maria Island.  The contest will begin at 10am in the parking lot located at 315 Pine Avenue in the City of Anna Maria. The Easter Bonnet contest will have a 1st place winner for children and a 1st place winner for the adults. 1st place winner in the adults contest will win a 2 night stay at the Anna Maria Guest House on Pine Avenue. 1st place winner in the children’s contest will win a lunch party for 4 at the Sandbar Restaurant.  Check out our Easter Egg hunt information page.

For more information call 941-778-8710

Check here for this year’s Easter Worship Services Schedule.

 

Top 10 Things for Kids on Anna Maria Island

Top 10 Anna Maria Island Things To Do With Kids

Anna Maria Island Things To Do
Today’s blog is about the Top 10 Anna Maria Island Things To Do With Kids.  Essentially,  the best stuff to do on Anna Maria Island.  I’ve come up with a list of the best places to go & the greatest things to do while on your vacay on the island. It’s filled to the rim with mind-blowing fun for everyone, whether it’s mini-golfing or grabbing exotic ice cream – just read this list & choose one, some, or all of the activities to do during your summer, & it’s sure to be a blast.

Top 10 Must-Do’s of Your Summer on A.M.I:

1: Hang at Bayfront Park & have a picnic. This park is right on the beach  located on the north end of the island in Anna Maria & is sure to entertain everyone. They have a playground, covered eating areas, & grills for all of your needs

2: Go fishing off of the Rod & Reel or City Pier. Both located in Anna Maria on the north end of the island, these piers are sure to help you get some big fish. Buy your bait there or bring your own. You don’t even need a license. Just bring your gear to fish &    there’s always someone to help you out.

3: Bring your skateboard and visit Bradenton Riverwalk which is just 20 minutes into Bradenton, Florida.  For Anna Maria Island skating visit the Holmes Beach Skate Park.

4: Go for a round of mini-golfing at the Fish Hole on Bridge Street.  This place is located on the Historic Bridge Street in Bradenton Beach & is tons of fun. With 18 different holes each named after a different fish, fun history, & fish feeding, the Fish Hole is a great place for a post-beach activity.

5: Play volleyball or build a sand castle on the Public Beach. This place has two volleyball courts in the sand, a playground, a cafe right on the beach, & a lifeguard on duty. It also has an ice cream &  gift shop with all of your beach necessities.

6: Rent a kayak & explore the island waters. Many places on the island offer low-rate kayak renting prices with different styles & sizes, as well as the amount of time you can rent them. You can freely take your kayak out into the Gulf of Mexico & paddle along as you travel across the shore & see the sights.

7: Search for unique & pretty shells on the shore near you. On the A.M.I. beaches you can find endless different types of shells, clams, & coquinas in many different shapes & colors. Some of the shells have holes in them, perfect for making a necklace, bracelet, or other jewelry. This multi-purpose task is loads of fun for everyone.

8: Play soccer, football, or baseball at the Holmes Beach or Community Center fields. These places offer the free use of their fields. All you need to bring is your sports gear & a good time. This is a fun way to spend your time, especially if you like sports.

9: Walk down Pine Avenue & explore all the cool shops & attractions. Pine Avenue is known for its unique shops & historic sites. With many boutiques, eateries, & history, the activities are endless. The activities include bocche ball outside of the Olive Oil Outpost, small festivities in front of the Flip-Flop Shop & Candy Stop. The Flip-Flop Shop is also a must-do for kid island vacationers that love sweets & small treats. Yum!

10: Have fun & enjoy your stay on A.M.I. Pick a beach & bodysurf, swim, or soak up the sun. With all of these activities to do & more, you’ll have so much fun.

Just follow these steps and you’ll be guaranteed to enjoy your summer lots & lots. Stick around, because more Kid’s Korner is coming your way. Enjoy your summer!!!

Historical Society is a must visit while vacationing on Anna Maria Island, Fl

Anna Maria Historical Society Location on Anna Maria IslandIf you frequent Anna Maria Island or if it’s just your first visit, the history of Anna Maria Island is quite staggering.  The Anna Maria historical society is located on Pine Avenue in Anna Maria City, Fl.   It’s free and is a great spot to visit for half an hour to an hour to learn Anna Maria Island’s journey to the 21st century.  Most of the information that follows below is thanks of the Anna Maria Island Historical Society.  The Historical Society offers a phenomenal book named “The early Days” which offers more fascinating facts about the Anna Maria Journey from 1893-1940.  Thanks to the author Carolyne Norwood who wrote the book.

The first settler of Anna Maria Island was George Emerson Bean who built on the island in 1893. George settled in Anna Maria City and his son and associates developed roads and a water system to support homes on Anna Maria, Fl.  One of the partners was Charles Roser.  Charles invested a great deal of money on Anna Maria earned by selling his invention of the Fig Newton to Nabisco.  The same business group built a pier at the end of Pine Avenue in 1911 to draw visitors from Tampa and St. Petersburgh.  The pier allowed for steamers to make daily stops to let visitors fish, bathe in the Gulf of Mexico, and enjoy the sunshine and sand.

How did Anna Maria Island get it’s name?  Well officially in 1943, Washington made the name official.  Unfortunately there are several stories that could explain the name.  One story is the name was taken from the mother of Christ, Mary and her mother, Ann.  Or…One of the early Spanish explorers of Anna Maria Island had a mother named Anna Maria.  We probably will never know for sure but there are more stories that could explain the Island’s name and of course plenty more can be learned by visiting the Anna Maria historical society.

Anna Maria City Jail located on Anna Maria Island, FloridaIn the back yard of the historical society the “old jail” can be found.  Traditionally the jail offers a fabulous photo opportunity for visiting friends and family.  The jail was built in 1927 originally to handle late disturbances from a newly formed bar on the West end of Pine Avenue.  Anna Maria City needed a spot to hold tavern goers when they created disturbances and needed time to cool off.   The jail had a wooden roof with bars that left jail goers open to a night of mosquito swarms and plenty of bites.  The jail caught fire in a wind storm in the 1940’s and ever since has been used as a popular Anna Maria City photo opportunity.

The Roser church still stands on Pine Avenue where it was originally built in 1913 and saved in the early 1930’s from the Roser Church can be found on Anna Maria Cityjungle taking the church over.   The church still stands on Pine Avenue today and is still used to this day.  In fact my son sings with other children every few Sunday’s.

The first bridge to Anna Maria Island began construction in the mid-summer of 1921.  A significant storm wiped out half the bridge however the bridge prevailed against all odds and was finished in 1922.  The bridge spanned the bay to now Bridge Street in Bradenton Beach to the fishing village of Cortez.  Bridge Tenders pulled a series of cranks to lower vehicle gates and moved to a larger crank which created a gap in the bridge to allow boats to pass by.  Once the boat passed by the bridge tenders would reverse the order to close the gap and allow cars to pass again.  The wooden planks would sometimes slam up and down making very loud noises.

What is left of Bridge Street, now a pier in Bradenton BeachWith the help of a bridge more people visited the beach and several business men started the Bradenton Beach Pavilion in the Winter of 1922.  The pavilion had hundreds of lockers, a dance floor, eating facilities and owner luxury apartments on the second floor.  The beach pavilion burned down about a year after opening and the owners rebuilt.  It burned down a second time in 1929 after the Florida Boom and was never rebuilt.

Jack Holmes first arrived on Anna Maria Island in 1925 and it was love at first site.  He served on the city commission for several years.  Jack moved away from the island first to work on a project in New Jersey where he met his wife.  Returned to Anna Maria to leave again during World War II to assist in building camps for the US Army Corps.  Finally after the war Jack returned to Anna Maria Island to purchase 350 acres in the middle of the island and began the transformation of swamp land to bay homes.  A few years thereafter, citizens held a meeting and decided to incorporate the area and name it in his honor, Holmes Beach.

Now skipping ahead 80 years, Anna Maria Island has become more popular, sees more visitors, but much of it’s simplistic nature has stayed in tact due to several zoning guidelines.  No drive thru’s allowed and no construction over 37 feet are a few of the guidelines that have helped keep Anna Maria Island special.  For more information visit Island Real Estate’s local scenewhere there is a ton of information on Anna Maria Island.  If you have never visited, what are you waiting for?  Be careful, one visit can end up being a lifetime but then again, there are worse places to live than paradise.