Top 10 Anna Maria Island 2018 Activities

There are some things in life that you just can’t pass up, and the top 10 Anna Maria Island 2018 activities is packed full of must do’s. While there’s always fun happenings on Anna Maria Island, this list is our suggestions for 2018.

Top 10 Anna Maria Island 2018 Activities

Top 10 Anna Maria Island 2018 Activities

A new year means new experiences. Try out these fun things to do this year on Anna Maria Island.

1 Eat at SmoqeHouse

One of the island’s newest eateries, SmoqeHouse, offers BBQ fusion for those who love meaty sandwiches. While not your traditional BBQ joint, here you’ll find something both gourmet and filling. Just about every menu item has a smoked component. From the meats and cheeses to fruits and veggies, find an unusual selection of in-house smoked delights.

Smoqe House
Smoked chicken, port wine+fig+goat cheese spread, arugula and pickled red onion

2 Feed Flamingos at Sarasota Jungle Gardens

If you’ve never made it to Sarasota Jungle Gardens this is the year to finally do it. This lovely facility isn’t too big making it the perfect morning or afternoon off-island activity. They offer a great selection of wildlife and peaceful garden trails. When you visit you simply must spend the extra $3 to feed the Flamingos. Grab a bag of Flamingo food at the front entrance. These gorgeous birds are very friendly, and will gently eat right from your hand. An experience of a lifetime!

Sarasota Jungle Garden
Feed the Flamingos at Sarasota Jungle Gardens. Photo Credit: Hector Ferran

3 Egmont Key Adventures and Scott’s Deli Picnic

When visiting the island there is nothing more quintessential then chartering a boat tour. Egmont Key Adventures offers the perfect charter for any group. From fishing to sunset cruises, these tours are great for a day of snorkeling and exploring Egmont Key.

Don’t forget to bring along a lunch on your adventure! Just give Scott’s Deli a call and they’ll make some gourmet sandwiches for your ride.

Egmont Key Adventures
Egmont Key Adventures for a boat ride.

4 Pick up some bling at Island Charms

Island Charms is an adorable shop on Pine Avenue in the city of Anna Maria. Here you’ll find a great selection of jewelry for any style. This is also a really great spot for finding souvenirs with so many great gift options. Purses, art work, pottery, home accessories and more. You’ll love Island Charms!

Island Charms
Island Charms

5 Get a Brew at Darwin’s

Darwin’s Brewery might be one of the most popular spots in Bradenton for a great local made beer. In the downtown area, this is a fun hangout for locals and visitors alike where you’ll find food trucks, trivia and live entertainment. You’ll also be close to McKechnie Field making this a great pre-game destination for beers with friends.

Darwin Brewing Company
Darwin Brewing Company

6 Eat Mullet from Cortez Fishing Village

If you’re from Manatee County, you undoubtedly have an appreciation for Mullet. A huge seafood staple of the Cortez Fishing Village, this fish is something you have to try when visiting the area. Smoked and served with a side of mustard sauce is a very typical preparation enjoyed by the locals, but you’ll also find it fried or blackened too.

Cortez Fishing Village
Cortez Fishing Village

7 Take the Ferry to Sarasota 

For years now there’s been local chatter about Ferry services and water taxis connecting Anna Maria Island with Sarasota. Set to start in early 2018, this ferry service will connect Bradenton Riverwalk, Anna Maria Island and Sarasota! Find out more information here about this highly anticipated service!

Paradise Boat Tours
Paradise Boat Tours

8 Hike Grassy Point Preserve

Few visitors ever make it to Grassy Point Preserve, making it somewhat of a hidden gem. This 34 acre plot of undeveloped Mangrove Coastline is just stunning. Find it tucked back into the northern end of Avenue C in Holmes Beach. This Preserve has boardwalk and shell paths providing a peaceful spot to stroll through nature.

Grassy Point Preserve
Grassy Point Preserve

9 Visit the Floating Jungle Gym

The floating gym is a new attraction just off the south end of Anna Maria Island. Something truly unique, this is a great family fun adventure. While only accessible by boat, the floating gym is worth it! Saturday and Sunday from 11am to 6pm you’ll see this half gym half boat structure parked Between Beer Can Island and Jew fish Key in Sarasota Bay. Welcoming folks of any age, enjoy climbing and jumping on the water for $15/person. If you need to rent a boat to get to the gym check out BluWave boat rentals.

Floating Jungle Gym
Floating Jungle Gym

10 See What’s new at P&N

The always adorable Pine Avenue shop Pink & Navy is under new ownership! With these new changes you can still expect to find all the trendiest of island gear. Stop by and see what’s new in the shop! While you’re there, be sure to head next door to Bella by the Sea too!

Pink & Navy
Pink & Navy

Book the perfect vacation rental, enjoy the beach, celebrate another new year and check out these fantastic Anna Maria Island 2018 activities!

 

Anna Maria Island Fall Shopping Guide

With so many great boutiques on the island, here is our Anna Maria Island Fall shopping guide to help you find the latest in local trends!

Anna Maria Island Fall Shopping Guide

Find something for everyone while you enjoy a little retail therapy – island style! Not only does this guide have hot new items, but you’ll love these options for the change of the season too.

Anna Maria Island Fall Shopping Guide

Bella by the Sea – All the cute socks!

We are in love with all these adorable socks from Bella. Perfect for those crisp fall nights, and also so fun. Visit Bella online.

Bella By the Sea
Bella By the Sea – Pine Avenue in the city of Anna Maria.

Pink & Navy – Mermaid gear

P & N has everything you need to feel like a Mermaid this Fall. We’re done adulting this year… lets be Mermaids!

West Coast Surf Shop – Cool Weather Clothes

While they may have all your surfing needs, West Coast also stocks a great selection of cool weather items like this trendy lightweight women’s thermal!

West Coast Surf Shop
West Coast Surf Shop in Holmes Beach.

 

Restless Natives – Wood Jewelry

Can you say CUTE!? These local made earrings are sure to fly off the shelf. And only $12… Just take our money already! Visit them online too!

Beach House – Gift Shop Goodies

Do you love eating at the Beach House as much as we do? Snag some of their branded merchandise and let everyone know your spot for toes in the sand dining!

 

Our #giftshop is bursting with the hottest fall fashions!#beachhouseami #annamariaisland #lovefl #srq #fashion #beachlife #gulfofmexico

A post shared by The Beachhouse Restaurant (@thebeachhouseami) on

Irene’s Resort Wear- White and Silver Chic

Loving this style with white clothes, silver accessories and beachy handbags. Such a chic look perfect for a day on Anna Maria Island.

Irene's Resort Wear
Irene’s Resort Wear in Holmes Beach

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Enjoy the change of the season on Anna Maria Island with this fun Fall shopping guide during your next island vacation!

Anna Maria Island Beach Picnic Guide

An Anna Maria Island beach picnic is the perfect way to enjoy beautiful weather, powder beaches and turquoise waters. Follow our picnic guide for great ideas too! Find the best picnic spots, get recipes and fun hacks to inspire your island style picnic in paradise.

Anna Maria Island Beach Picnic Guide

A day at the beach just isn’t compete without picnic snacks!

Anna Maria Island beach picnic
Head to Anna Maria Island for a beach picnic!

Finding perfect picnic spots

There are tons of fantastic spots to picnic on the island. However, the perfect spot depends on your specific needs.

Family picnics. When gathering the entire family, Manatee Public Beach access is a great destination. This access also offers all the amenities you could want and more. Find plenty of parking, picnic tables, concessions, shops, life guard, changing facilities, restrooms, volley ball, play ground and trolley stops too.

Picnic spots with grills. There are a few places that offer public grilling. This is a great idea for beach picnics! Anna Maria Island beaches do not allow open fires, or private grilling. However, you will find public use charcoal grills at Coquina Beach, Manatee Beach and Bay Front Park.

Romantic picnics. When planning a romantic picnic for two, we recommend Bean Point on north island. These beaches are more secluded, and also offer beautiful views.

Sunrise Picnics. The bay side of the island offers really great sunrises. However, a breakfast picnic at Robinson Preserve, just off island, is also lovely.

Sunset Picnics. Sunset is a gorgeous time to enjoy an Anna Maria Island beach picnic. Head to just about any gulf beach access, and you will find a stunning spot for a meal outdoors.

Island Style Picnic Recipes

Keep it easy. These Antipasto skewers would be a great option for an easy and beautiful picnic snack. Also, they would be very transportable.

Anna Maria Island beach picnic
Antipasto Skewers

Something for the kids. Try a twist on an old standby with Monster Sandwiches!

Anna Maria Island beach picnic
Monster Sandwiches

A foodie feast. When planning a more upscale picnic, try out cheese and charcuterie. This is really nice way to dress up a picnic for foodies.

beach picnic food
Charcuterie

Breakfast on the go. Try these egg muffins for a hearty and easy breakfast! Follow the recipe exactly, or experiment with other ingredients. You could even bake these off the night before!

breakfast picnic
Breakfast Egg Muffins

Lemonade in a bag. These lemonade bags are a great picnic hack! Simply make an old fashioned lemonade recipe and put it in a plastic bag for a very transportable beverage.

Anna Maria Island beach picnic
Lemonade in a bag!

Sweet and treats. Finally, you have to have something sweet for a picnic. Try a Pineapple upside down cake. This would be a great tropical island dessert.

Anna Maria Island beach picnic guide
Pineapple upside down cake

Anna Maria Island beach picnic accessories

Grab a picnic beach blanket from West Coast Surf Shop! These are super cute and trendy too!

beach picnic
Super cute beach picnic blanket from West Coast Surf Shop in Holmes Beach

Fill up a S’well bottle from Pink & Navy Boutique. Not only do they keep your drink cold, but they also help reduce plastics on the beach!

beach picnic accessories
S’well bottles from Pink & Navy Boutique in Anna Maria.

Head over to Salt Air Boutique and get a super cute tote for all you beach gear, or snacks that don’t go in the cooler. A tote would also be a great alternative to a bulky picnic basket.

Anna Maria Island beach picnic
Beach totes from Salt Air Boutique in Holmes Beach

Skip the food prep

For the lazy beach picnic, order food from one of the many restaurants on the island. Also, don’t underestimate the selection of prepared foods from Publix super market. For a quick option swing through for sushi, sweet tea, fried chicken or subs. Any Floridians know Publix subs can’t be beat!

Publix subs picnic
Publix Subs

Once you enjoy an Anna Maria Island beach picnic, you won’t want to picnic anywhere else!

Anna Maria Island Beach Rentals

Casa Sierra A is the perfect beach rental for picnics! This 2 bedroom villa is just a short walk from the gulf for relaxed beach picnics. Additionally, Casa Sierra 205 A offers a poolside pergola, and a covered area on the lawn too!

Anna Maria Island beach rental holmes beach
Book your stay for up to 6 guests at Casa Sierra 205 A. Click on the image to learn more about this great beach rental!