Experience Anna Maria Island wildlife with AMI Bird Nerd

Anna Maria Island – Bird Watching on Anna Maria Island is a must for visitors! Home to a wide variety of migratory and year round species, the Island is teaming with Birds from small passerines and large waders to the most common and rare. Bird Watchers on Anna Maria Island are never disappointed by their findings.

AMI Bird Nerd is here to assist visitors in choosing places to Bird watch and provide tools to effectively find and learn about local birds and wildlife. AMI Bird Nerd provides Binocular Rentals, Free Informational Mobile Apps and suggested places to find birds.

AMI Bird Nerd is committed to providing Anna Maria Island vacationers the opportunity to learn about and view local wildlife and birds. AMI Bird Nerd intends to fulfill this commitment in several ways. First, by providing Free Mobile Apps featuring local birds, birding tips, the importance of Florida ecosystems like Marsh and Mangrove, and navigation instructions through local nature viewing locations. Secondly, by providing Binocular rentals to visitors so they can experience wildlife up close from a distance and; therefore, helping alleviate the disturbance to species in their habitat. Last, AMI Bird Nerd will contribute 10% of profits to local and international wildlife conservation efforts.

Co-owner Bonnie Ferran elaborates on AMI Bird Nerd. “The challenge for beginning bird watchers is overcoming frustration. Often times, at first, bird identification can be overwhelming making the hobby too difficult to enjoy. Our intention is for AMI Bird Nerd to assist beginners in learning skills to better identify birds while avoiding frustration. Beyond birds, We want to help educate Anna Maria and Manatee County locals and visitors about vital Florida ecosystems and safe wildlife viewing practices”.

 Click HERE for rent your bird watching binoculars today!


Boat Rentals with Bradenton Beach Marina

Bradenton Beach – Whether staying at one of our properties with boat access, or simply wanting to enjoy boat rentals for a day trip, Anna Maria Island has you covered. Of all the boat rental companies on the island though, Bradenton Beach Marina is the company with the broadest amount of options.

Located near the Cortez bridge on Bradenton Beach, the Bradenton Beach Marina is a full service marina and offers wet and dry boat storage. Inside high and dry storage for boats up to 40’ and wet slip dockage for boats up to 65′ in length. Liveaboard dockage, transient dockage for the day, week or month. Water, electric, telephone, and pump out service. Other services include; Boat repair & maintenance, boat rentals and boat sales.


Bradenton Beach Marina Rates

Book Your Boat Rental Today!

Half Day Morning Rentals run from 8:30 am to 12:30

Half Day Afternoon Rentals run from 12:30 pm to 4:30

Full Day Rentals run from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm


For all questions and to book by phone please call 941-704-5441. Island Real Estate does not handle the reservation of boats.


Bradenton Beach Marina is centrally located between Tampa Bay and Sarasota Bay, we are just minutes from the Gulf of Mexico via Longboat Pass.

How to Get to Us

By land: From I-75 exit on State Road 70 West (Exit 217B). Head west for approximately 10 miles until you reach the intersection of Cortez Road. Turn left on Cortez Road and follow it out until it dead ends on Anna Maria Island. As you come across the Cortez Road Bridge, you will see Bradenton Beach Marina on your left side.

By water: Located on the west side of the Intracoastal Waterway between marker 49 and the Cortez Road Bridge in Bradenton Beach on ANNA MARIA Island. Our nearest Gulf access is Longboat Pass approximately 1 1/2 miles south of the marina.


AMI Rental Equipment

AMI rental equipment is a great way to enjoy this place like no other! White sandy beaches and a small town atmosphere with unique opportunities at every corner too!

AMI Rental Equipment

So now that you’ve arrived your noticing all these great ways to spend your time jet skiing, paddle boarding, biking and more. But where does one go to acquire these items? Here are some of the best rental companies on the Island.

Rentals on land

Bikes, golf carts, beach supplies and baby equipment can all be rented from both Fun and More Rentals  and from Beach Bum Rentals. Both of these companies offer free delivery/pickup and excellent service.

Rent scooters and bikes hourly or daily from The Island Scooter Store

Also rent electric bikes and scooters hourly or daily from Segs by the Sea

Binoculars can be rented by the hour from AMI Bird Nerd to take in our varied avian wildlife.

Rentals on Water

Boats can be rented from Anna Maria Island Boat Rentals and the Bradenton Beach Marina

Jet skis can be rented from H2O water sports  and Wavesplash Watersports

Kayak tours and rentals are available from Fun and More Rentals , Beach Bum Rentals , and Happy Paddler Kayak Tours

Exotic rentals

Flyboards can be rented from Top Gun Flyboards for a truly unique experience.

Parasailing can be done through Yolo Parasail  as well as Bradenton Beach Parasailing


AMI Rental Equipment
Kayak Rentals take visitor around the Intracoastal waterways.

Anna Maria Island Hotel and Accomodation Information – Hotels

Anna Maria Island is a barrier island that contains three separate cities.  Bradenton Beach is the most Southern beach and contains many condominium communities for rent as well as some single family homes.  Approximately 1,500 people call Bradenton Beach home.

Anna Maria Island Beach
Beaches of Anna Maria

Holmes Beach is the next Northern city on Anna Maria Island and has more than 5,000 permanent residents.  Holmes Beach is mostly single family homes with a fair amount of condominium’s close to the beach.  Finding accommodations in Holmes Beach needs to be done with care as it is the widest area of Anna Maria Island.  There are accommodations on the Bay as well as the Gulf of Mexico.  Many sections of Holmes Beach are not considered a flip flop walk to the beach.  There are a few thousand vacation rentals in Holmes Beach.  There are no hotels in Holmes Beach however there are a few accommodations that allow for nightly stays.  The Harrington House Bed and Breakfast is a Gulf Front property that allows adult nightly stays.  The Bed and Breakfast is very romantic and has a minimum age limit.  There are many condominium rentals which can substitute for a hotel and do offer daily maid services.  Island Real Estate can offer daily maid services the same as a hotel and many agree the absence of hotels on Anna Maria Island helps to make it quaint and peaceful.

Anna Maria City is the most northern city on Anna Maria Island and much of the city coastline has wonderful views of the Skyway bridge as well as the Tampa Bay.  Anna Maria City has an estimated 1,500 full time residents and is primarily made up of single family homes with very few condominium complexes in Anna Maria.  Anna Maria City is very quiet and yes, still no hotels.  Most visitors to Anna Maria love the low key nature of the city and vacation rentals are the only option you have in Anna Maria.

Many ask why no chain hotels on Anna Maria Island?  Primarily the reason is our low key nature which also restricts drive up windows for dining such as McDonalds or Burger King.  In fact more than 30 years ago Anna Maria Island established a building ordinance which does not allow constructing a building more than 37 feet high.  I have not seen many hotels less than 37 feet high.  Have you?  Thus slowly Anna Maria Island has found other ways to allow visitors to holiday on the beaches of Anna Maria.  Vacation rental accommodations have replaced the need for hotels and most likely this will not change anytime soon.

Holmes Beach Office
Holmes Beach Office

Island Real Estate has made attempts to offer hotel amenities but in our vacation rentals.  Many of our rentals enlist in our premium linen program.  We utilize hotel quality linens which we professionally clean in our property and linen facility located in Holmes Beach.  With state of the art laundry equipment we utilize the least obtrusive cleaning process available, ozone.  In addition, we rate all our vacation rentals against hotel standards so that you can rest assured that following our rating structure will allow for no surprises.  Want the luxury of a Ritz Carlton hotel, no problem.  Choose one of our 5 star properties.  Prefer high value like the Holiday Inn Hotel, that is closer to our 4 star category and the list goes on.  Normally to create value most of our rentals do not include a daily maid service as you would find in a hotel.  Our standard holiday rental includes one clean at the end of your stay however if you prefer a daily maid service similar to a hotel please ask our vacation specialists for this service and we would be happy to provide daily cleaning services.

Island Real Estate offers a free guest services area very similar to a hotel however the only difference is our guest area located at our Marina drive office is free of charge.  Don’t forget our real estate lobbies are chalked full of information on the area and things to do.  With two locations on Anna Maria Island we are easy to find and easy to get to.  All other accommodations on the island are open 5 days a week.  Island Real Estate vacation rentals works very hard to resemble hotel like amenities but for less cost.  Our offices are open 7 days a week with a human operator on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Still not convinced, Trip Advisor one of the largest on line accommodations raters on hotels as provided Island Real Estate a measure of excellence when it comes to neutral reviews from visitors that stay in our rentals.

Your probably asking yourself why choose a vacation rental versus a hotel.  Firstly as we have mentioned, if you want to stay on Anna Maria Island there are not many other choices.  Rather than focus on the fact that you cannot stay in a hotel on beautiful Anna Maria Island lets talk about the pro’s and cons to staying in a vacation rental versus a hotel.  Pro – there is a lot more room to enjoy friends and family in a vacation rental.  The average 1 bedroom vacation rental is more than double the size of most hotel rooms.  Forget about it if you have more than two people.  An average high season vacation rental with Gulf Views in high season is around $1500 USD.  Take out a two hotel rooms for 4 people and the price tag will be almost $500 a night or $3500.  Pro – you can decide if you want to dine in or dine out.  Vacation rentals are equipped with full kitchens.  Bake a birthday cake or cook someone’s favorite meal.  Sure some hotels offer one burner and a hotel size refrigerator but the only holiday feast your cooking in a hotel room is a Swanson TV Dinner.  Pro – no extra fees.  Have you ever arrived to a hotel to find out Internet is not free?  More like $15 or even $25 a day.  Oops, parking is $25 a day.  Not so with our vacation rentals.  Internet is provided for free, no parking fees.  Pro – have you ever brought a DVD from home or rented one and tried to watch it at a hotel.  Does not work well.  They have their own media center and you bet, it costs more money.  Sure, renting a DVD costs money but the last time I checked there are not many DVD’s renting for $8 a movie.  Pro – many of our rentals offer PlayStation, XBox, Wii, you name it.  Once again, free of charge and included in your rental rate.   Pro – Have you ever watched a movie or your favorite weekly show on a 55″ big screen Television in a hotel.  I have never seen a big screen TV at a hotel let alone surround sound and more.  All that can be found in a vacation rental.  Pro – would you prefer swimming in a private pool or shared pool?  Share the spa with other hoteliers?  Not so in a single family rental.  You have all the privacy in the world.  Pro – ever try to fire up the barbie at a hotel?  No such thing, there

Pool Paradise
Private Pool Paradise

are not barbecue’s at a hotel.  What to do when you spend most of the day out on the water and want to grill up the fresh Grouper or Snapper you just pulled out of the Gulf of Mexico waters?  You are out of luck in a hotel but in most of our single family vacation rentals we offer barbecues.  Some homes have barbecue pits or systems seen on shows like “The Rich and Famous.”   Don’t forget outdoor kitchens pool side where you can enjoy cooking, swimming and pulling your favorite beverage out of the pool side refrigerator.  I cannot remember the last time I saw a refrigerator pool side at the hotel.   Hotels let us take cold beverages in the pool.  Yes, some do and they are some pretty fancy drinks for $10 a piece.  Pro – Storage for outside activities.  Want to bring your boat to a hotel?  I don’t think so, what about storing beach bicycles or kayaks at the hotel.  Nope, not a choice last I checked.

Cons to staying in a Vacation Rental versus a hotel.  Con – Normally when staying at a Holiday Inn or major hotel chain you know exactly what you are getting.  The hotel is all the same.  Pass through the lobby, into the elevator and walk down the long hallway past lots of hotel rooms.  If you don’t like your room, you call the front desk and they can move you to an exact replica with all the same furniture and amenities.  Island Real Estate has rated all our properties to ensure we offer the most consistency possible in the accommodations you choose.  Of course every vacation rental has a different brand of couch or bed but I do have to say I have

Poolside Kitchen
Poolside Kitchen

sat on a few uncomfortable couches in hotel rooms.  Last I checked I could not move to the guest room couch or to the outdoor patio to take refuge from an uncomfortable couch in a hotel.  Con – Most hotels allow you to cancel anytime for more money.  A hotel cancellation policy is easier than a vacation rental  however Island Real Estate does offer cancel for any reason travel assurance for your stay with us.  Yes it is more money but the last time I checked hotels offer lower rates if you waive your right to cancel at any time.  Perhaps a hotel offering cancel anytime as a standard is nicer than a vacation rental but would you prefer to have the choice to waive that option and save money?  Con – Many hotels have restaurants within the complex.  Is it nice to go grab a $10 beer down at the hotel bar or pick up some food?  You bet, how about visiting the grocery store, picking up what you need with a little pre-planning and using a local concierge service to deliver any meal you want from all Anna Maria Island Restaurants.  Does this take a little pre-planning in a vacation rental as compared to a hotel.  You bet but there are still lots of options to have food delivered to your Island Real Estate vacation rental.

Too much information you say about accommodations?  You just need to stay on Anna Maria Island.  Well it is time to call Island Real Estate and we can help you find your perfect hotel like accommodation.  Our vacation specialists are on staff 7 days a week with Spanish, French and German translation.  Make it a great day and hope to see you on Anna Maria Island soon!

Summer Tourism on Anna Maria Island

Holmes Beach

The three townships of Anna Maria Island – Anna Maria, Holmes Beach and Bradenton Beach – contributed $717,057 in resort taxes (5% on lodging revenues) during the month of July according to the office of Manatee County Tax Collector Ken Burton Jr.  That figure is an increase of nearly $100,000 from the July 2011 report, and indicates that more than $14.3 million was spent on AMI accommodations during that month alone.

The July figures continue what has already been an outstanding year for all of Manatee County tourism, which includes part of Longboat Key, Bradenton and the surrounding boroughs.   During the first half of 2012 (Jan. – June), the Manatee County Convention and Visitors Bureau estimates the region attracted 303,100 travelers for a total 112,600 room nights (one room night equals single night rental of a hotel room, or rental home).  During the same period in 2012, the CVB estimates Manatee County had 275,500 visitors who purchased 104,500 room nights.

The increase in visitors creates added competition among rental owners, and a greater reward to those who can offer the best product, according to Island Real Estate’s New Owners Coordinator John Lefner.

“The thing I share with new owners is the need to keep (their) properties at the minimum standards and above,”   Lefner said. “We work hard with owners to guide them with decorating and maintenance of their rental.  A house that was doing well 10 years ago may not be at that point anymore because there are so many options (for vacationers).”

It’s difficult for Island Real Estate to quantify precise occupancy changes from year to year, because of the additions and subtractions to property listings.  However, early reports indicate that IRE vacation rentals accounted for more than 4,300 room nights in July 2012 after accounting for just over 3,500 July of the previous year.


Kid’s Korner on Anna Maria Island – Top things to do

Welcome to Kid’s Korner, the best place to stop by & see the latest happenings for us kids on Anna Maria. Hey Anna Maria Island kids, do you have any fun activities planned for this summer while visiting Anna Maria Island? If not, I’ve got plenty of exciting things for you to do. With a diverse choice of activities always going on, summer on A.M.I. – Anna Maria Island Kid’s corner is never a bore.

So, let’s start with some fun summer lessons.

Surf Camp Participant 2011
  • To begin, there is a surf camp run by Eternal Summer Surf Camp that occurs on White Avenue beach every Sunday from early July to the middle of August.  Instructors will give instructions & demonstrations on how to surf & let you surf tons yourself.
  • Also, there are sailing lessons by Bimini Bay Sailing happening right now. They offer 6-hour teaching courses by experienced sailors. You can choose your boat that best fits you, & go out into the water as they teach you the basics on sailing.  You’re sure to learn some new skills during this summer.

Next are the camps.

  • Anna Maria Island Community Center offers a youth & teen program called “Summer My Way”  that involves sports, arts & crafts, field trips, specialty camps, & much, much more. You can pick & choose your activities & join many others as you enjoy your summer, your way. Find out about the specialty camps, or choose a camp. You could choose one week or every week, just a specialty camp, or just the field trips.
  • Also, Crosspointe Fellowship Baptist Church runs a Vacation Bible School for K-5th graders for one week in the summer, July 16th-20th from 9 a.m. to noon. They plan to go on many adventures & uncover mysteries. Find out more at at www.CrosspointeFellowship.com. Your summer is sure to be a blast no matter which way you toss the dice.

Looking for something fun to play with?  Here on Anna Maria Island, we have equipment rental shops. These rental stores have a great variety of merchandise – you can rent anything from golf carts to sail boats & everything in between.

  • For example, at Beach Bums on Pine Avenue, you can rent different types of bikes & boards, kayaks, golf carts, & more. My family & I have rented a golf cart previously, & they’re pretty cool. On Anna Maria Island, they let you drive your golf cart on the street, so it’s pretty awesome.  (Not on all streets.  Be sure to Contact Island Real Estate for more information)  But because they allow you to ride them on the street, your parents will be the ones doing the driving, while us kids get to ride in style. These golf carts vary in size, color, & designs, & you could have one for just 2 people, or one for you & your entire family. They offer the free use of helmets & life jackets with rental. Their bike types include regular two-wheelers, quad-bikes, cruisers, tricycles, tandems, electric & surrey bikes, along with bike seats for babies & toddlers. They have nature hikes & other kids activities you’re sure to love, as well.
  • What’s more, Bimini Bay Sailing offers rental sailboats for a small fee. You can choose your sailboat & how long you wish to rent it. They  offer Sunfish, Lasers, Zumi, & everything in between. They go from an hour to a month, & delivery is optional. More facts can be found on the same site as their sailing lessons. These rentals are a unique way to get around the island.  Need a vacation rental that accommodates a sailboat?  No problem, Island Real Estate has many boat friendly vacation rentals to choose from.

So no matter what you do or when you do it,  at Anna Maria Island Kid’s corner it’s certain you’ll have a great summer here on Anna Maria Island.

Lightning Bugz 100% Electric Vehicles For Rent On Anna Maria Island!

Sorry, Lightning Bugz is now CLOSED and they do not rent out electric golf carts. HOWEVER, Beach Bums does rent golf carts as well as other rental equipment companies on Anna Maria Island.  Instead of renting a car for your next Anna Maria Island Vacation check out the Lightning Bugz in Holmes Beach.  Lightning Bugz LSV’s in Holmes Beach rents 100% electric, street legal vehicles to vacationers on Anna Maria Island and surrounding areas.

Lightning Bugz LSVs are similar to a traditional golf cart, but an LSV can travel on roads with speed limits of 35mph, and may be driven at night.  Each Bug has a storage space for chairs, toys, coolers, seat belts, and is child seat friendly.  Enjoy your vacation knowing that you can park your car, and travel Anna Maria Island in an eco-friendly LSV from Lightning Bugz.

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Segs By The Sea On Historic Bridge Street

Segs By The Sea On Historic Bridge StreetDiscover the Charm of Old Florida with Segs by the Sea.  Segs by the Sea offers: scenic tours and custom rentals of the very popular and innovative SEGWAY Personal Transporter.  You can also rent electric bikes, beach cruiser bikes, and paddle boards.   So make sure that you stop in to Segs by the Sea and find your Anna Maria Island adventure.  Conveniently located in the heart of Historic Bridge Street, just 1 block from the beach!


SEGWAY Tour Options Include 1 Hour – 1.5 Hour – 2 Hour:

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Anna Maria Island Vacation Rental Info

Anna Maria Island Vacation Rentals – (FAQ) Frequently Asked Questions

Anna Maria Island Beach Vacation Rental
Anna Maria Island Beach Vacation Rental

What Accommodations are offered on Anna Maria Island?

There are very few hotels on Anna Maria Island.  They can be very difficult to find and when they are found availability can be difficult to find.  There is one Bed & Breakfast on Anna Maria Island we highly recommend, the Harrington House Bed & Breakfast receives rave reviews and we strongly recommend it for guests looking for a romantic getaway.  Vacation Rentals are the most prevalent Accommodation option for visitors to Anna Maria Island, Florida.

What is a vacation rental?

Vacation rentals on Anna Maria Island could be a home, condominium or Multi-Family all rentals.  Vacation rental homes are a growing accommodation option for travelers all across the world. Vacation Rentals offer a fantastic value for families, extended families, friends and groups.  Anna Maria Island Vacation rentals allow visitors to stay under one roof while providing considerably more space than a hotel room.  In many instances, amenities found in Island Real Estate’s inventory offer more choices than your normal home.  Playstations, Big screen TV’s, unlimited long distance, wireless internet, outdoor bars, tiki huts, pool tables, and much much more.
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Happy New Year 2009 from the Island Real Estate team

This year was no different.  At noon on December 31st the staff at the Island Real Estate office celebrated New Years a bit early with sparkling cider, hats, and horns.  We expressed our thanks for our loyal customers and those that are new.  We are blessed to live in our little piece of paradise known as Anna Maria Island.  One by one we gave our New Year’s resolutions, Health & Happiness to all, more great customers, more great owners, and lots of buyers were the most popular wished for 2009.  Of course we wished for no Hurricanes or Red Tide.  John van Zandt was kind enough to snap a picture of the rental team.   First Row Left to Right: Sheila, Carol, Kacey.  Second row Left to Right: Katie, Larry, Lynn, Katie.

Happy New Year, Island Real Estate Rental Staff Picture

Happy New Year from your Island Real Estate of Anna Maria Island, Inc team!