Bean Point – Anna Maria Island’s Secret Serenity

Bean Point is a must stop spot on Anna Maria Island. it’s a local secret that provides the most breathtaking views of the sunset on a pristine beach.  Named for George Emerson Bean, the first permanent resident of Anna Maria Island, Bean Point is located on a secluded stretch of beach at the northern end of what was Bean’s original homesteaded property.

You won’t find a parking lot, or any large signs, to direct you to this treasure of nature.  To get there you’ll need to head North of the City Pier in Anna Maria on North Bay Blvd.  The “main entrance” to Bean Point is located at a small crossroads.  You will notice the tree lined path that divides the two properties at the the intersection of North Bay Blvd & North Shore Dr.  If you ride your bicycle, you can ride right up the path, and park just to the side of the classic, wooden footbridge that sets the tone for your Anna Maria beach experience.  If you drive your car, you have a few options.  There are actually entrances at the corners of Fern St & N. Shore Dr, and Gladiolus St. & North Shore as well.  Each of these entrances is marked by a small white posted sign that merely states “Public Beach Access”.  Using the intersection of North Bay blvd and North Shore will provide immediate access to the famed “Bean Point” but half the fun is getting there?  Using the public beach access point to the South will allow you to walk along the beach and take in the sites where the Bay and Gulf meet.  When parking you can choose a spot near any of these entrances, and take the path out to the beach.

Local Tip: parking regulations are strictly enforced on Anna Maria Island.  If it says No Parking, don’t do it. Unless you want a ticket. If you do park on the roadside be sure your tires are off the asphalt street. If just 1″ is on the street you most likely will return with a bad surprise after your leisurely stroll along Bean Point. There are spots along the side streets, including Gladiolus and Fern.  To park near the footbridge entrance, I would recommend heading down to Jacaranda to find an empty (and legal) parking place.

Once your car is settled, head up the nearest path to the gorgeous turquoise waters where the Gulf of Mexico meets the Tampa Bay.   After your leisurely stroll down the path, turn right when you get to the sand, and head north to the point, for spectacular views that include the Sunshine Skyway Bridge.    If the tide is low, you can see the sand bar just off the coast.  Just a little wading into the warm water will take you there, and you can shell ‘til your heart’s content!  The views are amazing, the water is inviting, and the atmosphere is relaxed and serene.  There are quiet spots to sit and enjoy the view, and watch the waters and the wildlife.  I love where the water collides as the tide shifts from the East side of Anna Maria Island to the West side.

There are signs of life relaxing all over the Point. There is always something to delight the bird watcher too, with several different types of birds to entertain you as they guard their beach turf from one another.

So head over to Bean Point and capture a quiet beach moment or a breathtaking sunset, and enjoy one of the most relaxing spots on an island famous for its relaxation.

Top Fitness Activities – Anna Maria Island

When visiting Anna Maria Island there are plenty of fitness activities to keep you feeling healthy during your paradise getaway. Enjoy a great vacation guilt free when you try out these Top 11 fitness activities on Anna Maria Island.

Top 11 Fitness Activities

1. Going to the gym: Kick boxing class with Reggie is best! I love working out with my personal trainer Brenda and doing the different boot camps offered!  Recently Island Fitness has relocated to the Anna Maria Island Center formerly known as the Anna Maria Island Community Center.
Island Fitness: 407 Magnolia, Anna Maria City, FL 34216
– Phone: (941) 778-5200

2. Fit Crew: Great boot camp style work out (very similar to CrossFit) sometimes they have a beach work out on AMI!
– First class is free! Come and see if you like it!
– 608 19th Ave West, Bradenton, FL 34205
– Phone : (941) 447-9272

3. Bike riding from the Anna Maria Island to the Robinson Preserve and back. If you are looking for other parks nearby check out our list here.
– I love the 11 mile back ride, easily done in 1 hour, always able to spot local wildlife!
– Robinson Preserve: 1112 Manatee Avenue West, Bradenton, FL 34205
Phone: (941) 748-4501

bicycling on anna Maria Island
Riding a bike is a great fitness activity on Anna Maria Island.

4. Bike riding to Harry’s Continental Kitchen on Longboat Key.
– The food is amazing!
– This is about a 16 mile bike ride.
– Harry’s continental Kitchen: 5600 Gulf of Mexico Drive, Longboat Key, FL 34228
– Phone: (941) 383-0777

Insider tip:  The Coquina Bike path is a great low key bike path that takes you off the streets and lets you bike on a side walk close to the Beach!

5. Paddle boarding or kayaking around the bayous and gulf side. Love the workout and being able to be out on the water while getting a tan!

6. Playing golf at one of the many area golf courses.

7. Rollerblading around the many back streets on Anna Maria Island.

8. Playing tennis at the local free tennis courts, or shooting some hoops at the public Basketball Court.

Fitness activity
Tennis is a great fitness activity during your Anna Maria Island vacation.

9. Go Legs Spin Studio very close to IMG Academies. Hour long spin sessions and toning with weights.
– 2 projectors in the studio to watch music videos and replays of real
Cycle races such as the Tour de France.
– 3549 53rd Ave. West, Bradenton, FL 34210
– Phone: (941) 896-7885

10. Activities at the Anna Maria Island Community Center are great for keeping you in shape during your stay on Anna Maria Island.

fitness activities
The Anna Maria Island Community Center offers great fitness activities

11. Last but not least: going on a sunset beach run along the water. I love taking pictures and watching the day end as I get a good run in!

Outdoor Dining Anna Maria Island – Dine and Drink El Fresco!

Outdoor Dining Anna Maria Island is the quintessential way to hang out in beautiful tropical climate! There’s nothing better than when going out to grab a bite to eat or drinks, having the warm island breeze surrounding you. Some of the wonderful restaurants I’ve listed below have beautiful water views of either the crystal clear Gulf or Bay, or an open-air setting directly across the street from the beach.

The fresh air of AMI always makes your food taste that much better and your drinks that much tastier, bringing you relaxing vibes that will be sure to lift your spirit. I have suggested different places from smaller and more quant spots, to casual any-time spots, to romantic night spots.

Outdoor Dining Anna Maria Island

Sandbar – 100 Spring Ave, Anna Maria

Direct Gulf front

Sandbar

The Waterfront – 111 South Bay Blvd, Anna Maria
Bay views

Waterfront

Anna Maria Pier – 100 South Bay Blvd, Anna Maria
Out in the middle of the Tampa Bay

Pier

Bridgetender – 135 Bridge Street, Bradenton Beach
Direct bay front

Bridgetender

Island Time Bar & Grill – 111 Gulf Drive South, Bradenton Beach
Open-air setting, across the street from the Gulf

Island time

The Beachhouse – 200 Gulf Drive North, Bradenton Beach
Direct Gulf front

Beachhouse

Coquina Café – 2650 Gulf Drive South, Coquina Beach
Direct Gulf front

Outdoor Dining Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria Island Water Shuttle and the Island Pearl

anna maria island sunset cruiseWhy drive when you can take a water shuttle to Anna Maria Island hot spots? The Anna Maria Island Water shuttle offers leisurely trips along Florida’s historic waterways as well as fun day trips, Anna Maria Island sunset cruise, dolphin watches, history tours, Egmont Key excursions, and day trips to Sarasota.

Homeport
Twin Dolphin Marina
1200 1st Avenue West
Bradenton, FL 34205
941-780-8010

Historic Manatee Cruise
Enjoy a 2 hour narrated cruise along the Manatee River.

Sarasota Tuesday’s
Set sail for Marina Jack Restaurant and Marina in downtown Sarasota. A great day for the whole family!

Thirsty Thursday’s
Thursday evening Gulf Sunset Party leaving from the Historic Bradenton Beach Pier.

Dolphin Watch
Departs from the Seafood Shack every Sunday at 2pm.

Egmont Key Adventure
Enjoy an Egmont Key Adventure with shelling, snorkeling, swimming, and exploring Egmont Key.

Anna Maria Island Shuttle.

Bay Front Park On Anna Maria Island

Bay Front Park Anna Maria Island

Bay Front Park is located at the north end of the Island in the City Of Anna Maria and is one of the quieter beaches on Anna Maria Island.  Bay Front Park is the perfect place for a picnic, with covered tables, grills, public restrooms, and a playground on the beach for children everyone is happy.

Bay Front Park offers quite beaches, and spectacular views of the Sky Way Bridge, if you are coming from Bradenton take Manatee Avenue West to the beach.  Once you have gone over the bridge onto Anna Maria Island make a right onto Gulf Drive.  Keep heading north on Gulf Drive, when you come to the stop light in Holmes Beach make a right onto Marina Drive.  You will head north on Marina Drive through Holmes Beach to The City of Anna Maria and make a right onto Pine Avenue, take Pine Avenue all the way to the stop sign, make a left onto North Bay Blvd and the park is on your right.

If you are already on the island or are enjoying your Anna Maria Island Vacation and would like to go to Bay Front Park or any other Anna Maria Island beaches take the Anna Maria Island Trolley its free.

Feel like walking to a restaurant from Bay Front park?  There are a few choices.  The Waterfront restaurant is fine dining just a short walk to the South as well as the public pier restaurant.  A bit closer to the North is the Rod and Reel restaurant.

 

Top Ten Silhouettes at Sunset

I found this very difficult because there are so many beautiful sunsets on Anna Maria Island and I was there with my camera snapping away.

These are like my children and it is not easy to kick any out. They all are such creations and for that I do not take the credit. I do love sharing them with you and especially to the visitors who are here maybe only a few weeks out of the year. This allows you to catch the sunset on Anna Maria on a weekly basis. It is my hope that you will get busy on your keyboard and click on each picture to enlarge them. That way you get details to help you make your selection. I want you to comment on your favorite and I will then try to narrow it down to the top ten. I would prefer for my viewers to select your favorite sunset. I can view sunsets every night but I post them for your enjoyment and pleasure. Please select and then enjoy the sunset!!

Written by Melinda Bordes ~ 941-705-0146 ~ Whether buying or selling real estate on Anna Maria Island or surrounding areas I can assist you with all of your real estate needs.  Please enjoy the photos below and let me know your favorites!  Want to read about the ABC’s of Anna Maria Island?  Look no further.

Photo Gallery

Top ten things to do while staying on Anna Maria Island

(Note, there are several links below with further information.  Just look for the underlined items…example, this link is to Island Real Estate’s web site.)
10. Go gift shopping…There are lots of shops on the island in Anna Maria City, Holmes Beach, and Bradenton Beach.  Don’t spend all Gift Shoppingyour time looking for the perfect trinkets or gifts for the dog or house sitter…but it’s allowed to spend one or two afternoon’s checking out our local artistic and craft flavor.  Don’t forget to try out the FREE Anna Maria Island trolley that runs the entire length of the island.  This makes traveling the island carefree, what more could you ask for?

9. Take a day tripHeading South down to Sarasota is a neat experience and the journey provides plenty of entertainment.  Take Gulf Drive South through Longboat Key and enjoy the Gulf scenery on the 30 minute drive South.  If you have children go to the Mote Aquarium which has fantastic things to do for children.  When complete with Mote, go just down the street to St. Armand’s Circle where you can take in lunch or dinner and briefly walk through shops in the early evening.  You can also make St. Armand’s circle an entire day trip for those of you that are shop-a-holics.  Just be sure to bring lots of money, it’s not uncommon to see T-shirts for $25 – $50 per pc.

8. Grab a kite, Frisbee, football, volleyball and get out on the beach and get some exercise.  Throw it around with your children.  kids chasing birdsBuild a sandcastle or just a wall that holds back the Gulf water.  So much to do on the gorgeous white sandy beaches of Anna Maria Island.

7. Rent a bicycle and ride around Anna Maria City.  There is something great about biking up and down the streets of Anna Maria City.  Start at White avenue and work you way North up the streets.  Be sure to take a ride down Beach and Park while the Huge trees still exist.  They are gorgeous and offer a once in a life time view of PURE nature.  Bicycle riding also lets you search for your next vacation rental or “peace” of paradise.  There is nothing like searching for Real Estate while feeling the breeze through you hair.  If Real Estate is more your speed, check out our properties for sale.

6. Anna Maria City Piers…Go up to Anna Maria City and take a walk on the Historic Anna Maria City Pier at the end of Pine Avenue or Anna Maria City Pierwalk the pier at the Rod and Reel Restaurant.  If you try the public city pier at the end of pine street, stop at the outdoor plaza just across the street where you can find great shopping and even better, ICE CREAM.  Grab a ice cream cone and walk the pier or grab lunch or Dinner at Rod and Reel pier.  If you like fishing, bring a fishing pole and pick up an inexpensive fishing license and try fishing off one of the piers.

5. Take a Nap…So you know you have achieved “Anna Maria” relaxation if you are able to take a nap in the mid day.  I know, this is too good to be true especially if you have young children.  I can promise you if you make this a priority it can happen on Anna Maria.  There is nothing better than hitting the beach in the morning, having a bite to eat, and then taking a mid day nap! aaaahhhh

4. Local Dining….Go to a local burger hang out and eat like the locals.  There are several fabulous local dining areas where you can Lunch on the beachpony up to the bar or just have a good down to earth hamburger with french fries.  If you are still not out of the work mode and you want to multi task then hit the Manatee public beach and eat lunch at Cafe on the Beach or at Skinny’s just across the street.  If you have been successful in your journey to RELAXATION and multi-tasking is not necessary then try Hurricane Hanks, Duffy’s, or Rod and Reel pier.

3. ShellingWalking the beach looking for nature’s little treasures is a wonderful way to unwind.  This is one of the best things to do on your first day of your vacation.  I often find it difficult to unwind from work so creating a task for myself lets me take step one of many steps before I can just lay on the beach and do nothing.  Going cold turkey and laying on the beach the first day can be difficult for a lot of people so searching for shells conveniently has a goal and your children canparticipate in the fun!

2. Of course, Go to the beachhave a day or several days at the beach.  A beach umbrella can make a summer visit a little more on the beachenjoyable but there is no better way to relax but to go to the beach and enjoy the Gulf of Mexico.  Remember, leaving items behind or equipment on the beach overnight is a big no-no.  Sea turtles climb up on the beach at night and can easily get caught up in beach equipment and die.  Reminder no dogs allowed on any Anna Maria Island Beaches.

1. Walk, Drink, watch a SunsetTake a walk about 2 hours prior to Sunset time.  Either bring beverages Sunset on Anna Maria Islandwith you or stop in at one of many of the Gulf Front Restaurant’s on the island and have an appetizer, cold beverage, reconnect with family and friends while watching the sun go down over the Gulf of Mexico.  If the conditions are perfect who knows you might even see the green flash!!

Anatomy of an Anna Maria Sunset

The anatomy of an Anna Maria Sunset.

I could mention how the layers within our atmosphere redirects light. A phenomena called scattering causes the orange, red and even green colors of a sunset.

Anna Maria Sunset

Lets get to the good stuff – Pictures! See below for photographs that show the progression of a wonderful sunset. These images were shot in March of 2008 in Anna Maria City.  (This is a warning….those who view the entire series of photos below will normally find their blood pressure lowered as well as a little lost time due to planning the next trip to Anna Maria!)

Anna Maria sunset

Sunset Number 3

Sunset 4

Sunset Number 3 and Birds

Sunset 5 - Wow could it get any better?

Sunset Final - Wow