Mote Marine Laboratory Aquarium in Sarasota, FL

Mote Marine Laboratory Aquarium is located in north Sarasota a short drive from Anna Maria Island. The Aquarium is a wonderful day-trip full of fun activities for everybody.  Enjoy the touch pools, working labs and high tech interactive exhibits! Mote marine also has weekly shark-feedings that are fascinating to watch. You can even book an Eco boat tour during your visit. There is plenty to do and see at this wonderful non-profit organization.

Mote aquarium

Mote Marine Laboratory Aquarium

The entire facility is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m daily including all holidays.

Mote Marine has two buildings filled with Aquariums along with a shark tank, turtle tank and an Otter exhibit. You will need to walk across a street to see all the areas so be sure to wear comfortable shoes.

Also consider stopping at the Save our Seabirds (SOS) facility located in between the two Mote facilities. Admission is half price with a Mote Marine ticket. Ticket sales go to help this great organization rehabilitate injured wildlife.Mote aquarium examples

Check out Mote’s website for daily events and activities for the entire family! Island Real Estate also has more information on aquariums close to Anna Maria Island.

Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium
1600 Ken Thompson Parkway
Sarasota, FL 34236
(941) 388-4441

Captain Curt’s Crab and Oyster Bar

Looking for that “Old Florida” place to take the family, a place that will take you back in time to an era where good fresh seafood was a standard?   A place where reasonable prices, a casual family atmosphere and courteous service still exist?   Look no further… Captain Curt’s Crab & Oyster Bar is just that place.

Captain Curt’s Crab & Oyster Bar is located at Captain Curt’s Village in Sarasota Florida on beautiful Siesta Key.  Home to one of the best beaches in the world!  The Travel Channel, in their Best Beaches series, ranked Siesta Key Beach “The Best Sand Beach” and “Captain Curt’s the Best Family Restaurant on Siesta Key”.  So come to Siesta Key for all it has to offer and visit us at Captain Curt’s and enjoy great seafood, great entertainment, and great fun.

Continue reading Captain Curt’s Crab and Oyster Bar

McCurdy’s Comedy Club – Sarasota, Florida

If you are visiting Anna Maria Island, Longboat, Bradenton, or Sarasota then McCurdy’s could be just what you are looking for.  McCurdy’s is a great comedy club that is sure to get you laughing.   They bring in great comedians all year around.  The night we attended was a to be announced week which is very unusual for this comedy club.  The opening acts warmed up the crowd well and the club finished up the night with some improvisation which was fun and got the crowd involved.

The Sarasota comedy club has plenty of showtimes and it is always suggested to buy tickets prior to showtime by calling the box office for reservations… (941) 925 – 3869.  At the time of this post McCurdy’s has show times Wednesday through Sunday with lower weekday show prices and higher rates for Friday and Saturday shows.  One great option for McCurdy’s is many of the comedy shows are NON-SMOKING.  In addition, they rate each show with a brief description of what kind of jokes and profanity the comedian will use.  This is helpful for larger families traveling to Anna Maria Island.

Some quick rules of the comedy club… There is a two item purchase minimum per person.  They of course have beer, mixed drinks, non-alcoholic drinks and offer a quick bite to eat if you need a snack.  The average cost of a drink is about $8 plus tip and taxes.  I would not call their food a meal so plan on grabbing a full meal before or after.  All visitors of the comedy club must be at least 18 years of age.

Be careful with Google directions as it tried to take us off Tamiami to the comedy club and McCurdy’s is directly right off Tamiami only about 15 or so blocks to the South of the Sarasota-Bradenton Airport.

McCurdy’s Comedy Club
3333 North Tamiami Trail
Sarasota, Fl, 34234
(941) 925-3869

Chipotle Mexican Grill is quick, fresh and cheap – Mexican

Chipotle is a national chain however Anna Maria Island is lucky enough to have one in Bradenton, Fl.  Chipotle is the Subway of Mexican.  Just on Cortez Chipotle is only a 15 minute drive from Anna Maria Island.  If you are looking for an inexpensive, healthy, quick bite to eat for lunch of dinner then look no further.  In the same plaza as Lowes, Dicks and Best Buy there is plenty to do before or after eating.

You walk in to Chipotle to an industrial atmosphere that is very simple but comfortable.  Walk up the glass domed bar and order up your favorite burrito.  They serve vegetarian, Pork, Chicken or steak.  Most of the dishes are served with a soft tortilla however you can take it “naked.”  They put everything in a dish and you eat it like a salad.  Choose your meat then grab black beans, pinto beans, grilled onions, grilled peppers, fantastic white long rice with what appears to be Cilantro mixed in with sour cream, cheeses, and three salsas to choose from.  Mild, Medium, or hot.  I love the medium because it is a corn salsa and really hits the spot.  Don’t forget to grab a bag of nachos with some salsa, guacamole or sour cream or what the heck, your on vacation – all three!  They have a fountain drink machine or plenty of specialty soda’s to choose from.  Most can eat for less than $10 and you are in and out within a half an hour.

My favorite is a Carnita – Buritto bowl.  My mouth is watering just thinking about it.   Take a look at the picture supplied, it is most of the menu.

Chipotle
1608 Cortez Road W
Bradenton, FL, 34209
(941) 752-0425
(941) 758-5926 Fax

Chipotle – Sarasota
97 N. Cattlemen Road
Sarasota, FL 34243
(941) 359-6757
(941) 355-8728 Fax

Need to drive in to Sarasota – No worries there are a few Chipotle Mexican Grill’s in Sarasota, too.  Just a 20-30 minute drive from Anna Maria Island.

The Ringling -The John and Mable Ringling Museum

The Ringling museum is a great day trip from Anna Maria Island into Sarasota. The museum is located right off Sarasota Bay just a short 30 minutes drive away. This is truly an amazing museum, and a must visit for art lovers!

John and Mable Ringling built their home and museum in 1927 and left their beautiful grounds and buildings to the State of Florida. The museum opened to the public in October of 1931. The history behind this gorgeous waterfront property is incredible, to read more please go to www.ringling.org.

The museum includes the Ringling Museum of Art, the Circus Museum, Rose Garden, Ringling Courtyard, and the Ca d’Zan Mansion.

Exhibits at The Ringling

You will fall in love with the historically significant art found here. Works from Baroque painter Peter Paul Rubens fill an entire room. These pieces are huge and astonishing. Additionally many other famous names decorate the walls.

The Circus Museum is fun for everyone! Yes, this is the John Ringling of Ringling Circus. You will find interesting circus history, and fun things to see.

Ca d’Zan is the summer home of John and Mable. It’s like visiting a palace on Sarasota Bay. This mansion is one of a kind. You’ll never see anything like this luxurious home. The Ringlings held amazing balls and also loved entertaining here.

One of the galleries at the museum is for rotating exhibits. This is an excellent place to catch traveling shows.

The museum offers complimentary tours with admission of the Ringling Museum and the Circus Museum.

Saturdays at the Ringling Museum are family fun days with story time, exploration stations, family friendly exhibition tours and more all with paid admission.

Also located on the grounds, Banyan Café and the Treviso Restaurant are great for dining.

 Located at the end of University Parkway on beautiful Sarasota Bay.

For more things to do in Sarasota, visit our top ten list.

Anna Maria airport transportation

Flights To Anna Maria Island Florida

If you need to fly to the area the choices are Tampa Airport or Sarasota Bradenton International airport. The Tampa airport is about an hour and a half drive from Anna Maria Island. Sarasota Bradenton Airport is about 45 minutes away.

Some less used airports to fly into are the St Petersburg/Clearwater airport. This one is about the same distance as the Tampa Airport.  For international flights another alternative is one of two Orlando airports. Orlando also offers some very competitive airfares. The one way car trip takes about 2 hours in light traffic. Many guests also enjoy visiting Orlando for the theme parks.

Click the link for more information on transport services to Anna Maria Island from the Tampa International Airport or Sarasota/Bradenton Airports.

Travel to an Anna Maria Island rental by car

Traveling to an Anna Maria Island rental by vehicle is also a choice. Many guests come from with in Florida. Anna Maria Island also has many guest from Ohio, Indiana and Michigan. Many of these guests also travel by car. See below for estimated mileage from a few major North American cities.

Montreal, Quebec – 1550 Miles  :  Toronto, Ontario – 1400 Miles
Milwaukee, WI – 1300 Miles       :  Chicago, IL – 1220 Miles
Syracuse, NY – 1325 Miles          :  New York, NY – 1175 Miles
Boston, MA – 1420 Miles             :  Pittsburgh, PA – 1075 Miles
Orlando, FL – 122 Miles               :  Atlanta, GA – 500 Miles

Nearly all Anna Maria Island beach rentals offer wireless internet. Find information on Wireless Internet Hot-Spots on Anna Maria Island