Grab your beach chairs, pack up a cooler and spend the day at the beach. It is eighty six degrees outside, it’s Anna Maria Island Fall weather and the average water temperature this time of year is eighty five, and the sugar sand beaches on Anna Maria Island have never been more beautiful. Pristine beaches as far as my eyes can see, and everyone is enjoying their favorite outdoor activities.
Learn to surf this summer on AMI
Do your children want to learn how to surf? Picture this; you relax on the beaches of Anna Maria Island as your children attend the free surf camp during your Anna Maria Island Vacation.
The Eternal Summer Surf Camp (ESSC) has been teaching children how to surf on Anna Maria Island since 2008. By their third year, they had over 300 kids sign up, and it’s now one of the largest surf camps IN THE WORLD!
Now, there are over 2,000 young attendees every summer.
But it’s not all about surfing to the ESSC, God also plays a huge role in their lessons. The Eternal Summer Surf Camp was founded by a few surfers who saw an opportunity to make Christ Relevant to kids through the instruction of surfing. Their “about” section on their website even states,
“Eternal Summer Surf Camp was started by a few surfers in Bradenton, Florida who saw an opportunity to use surfing as way of reaching kids for the Kingdom of God.”
Eternal Summer Surf Camp is a non-profit Christian surf camp that is free to kids, and operates solely on donations from generous people and organizations.
The camp typically starts the first Sunday of July, and is held every Sunday for 6 weeks. It’s two hours long, and they only require your child brings water and sunscreen. The boards will be provided.
When: Every Sunday beginning the first sunday of july for 6 CONSECUTIVE weeks
Where: the beach off of White Avenue on the north end of Anna Maria Island.
Time: 2pm – 4pm
Parking: Parking is located in the parking lot at Crosspoint Church, directly across Gulf Drive from White Ave. You can also park in the dirt parking lot on the west side of Gulf drive and White Ave.
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.
Manatee Public Beach is located in Holmes Beach where Manatee Avenue runs right into the Gulf of Mexico. Manatee Public Beach has free parking, picnic tables, public restrooms, a playground on the beach for children, a fishing pier, a café right on the beach with food and drinks, and a lifeguard on duty.
Manatee Public Beach is a great place to spend the day playing volleyball, fishing, swimming, or just relaxing in the Florida sun. If you are enjoying your Anna Maria Island Vacation and are in need of transportation jump aboard the Anna Maria Island Trolley (it’s free!!!) and can take you to all of Anna Maria Island’s Beaches. When you get hungry or feel like a cold drink you don’t even need to leave the beach, take a stroll to the café at Manatee Public Beach, they offer both inside and outside dining areas, I’m sure will find a sandwich or a tasty snack to cure your appetite. Next to the café is a gift shop with souvenirs and blow up rafts. Manatee Public Beach also has a small beach bar where you can grab a cold beer and watch the sun slowly slip away into the Gulf Of Mexico.
Most of us don’t look forward to late summer because with the heat comes major storms. Everyone breathes a sigh of relief when a hurricane misses Anna Maria Island. Surfers really look forward to near misses and travel hundreds of miles to find high surf on the Gulf Coast. High tide as well as hurricane Gustav and Ike created fabulous surfing conditions the last few weeks on Anna Maria Island. The entire island was overrun with surfers. Every beach access point was packed with cars filled with anxious surfers. Watching surfers make it to the beach to see the surf for the first time was like seeing a child on Christmas morning. I didn’t need to see smiles on the surfers faces, I could see they were smiling from the glimmer in their eyes.
Firstly, I have NEVER seen the beach as crowded as it was Sunday and secondly on a cloudy stormy day. It was a site to be seen that I wish all visitors to Anna Maria Island could have witnessed. I took many photos and I hope that these help bridge the gap for everyone to feel the awe inspiring energy that was present. It was amazing! Most of us hunker down as a storm’s arm reaches out to give us stormy weather. I think surfers of Florida showed the Anna Maria Island residents and visitors why rainbows come out on a rainy day! Who would have known such a treasured experience could be found on a stormy day?
View the video below and turn up the sound if you hear nothing.
Want your children to learn how to surf? Be sure to check out the video of the Children Surfing classes, wow!
I would love for everyone to think I am a cool surfer dude and all this advanced information came from my vast knowledge of surfing. Unfortunately, I have to give credit to a surfer web site that gives more details on the characteristics of surfing just off White avenue in Anna Maria City. WannaSurf.com…yup, the surfing on Anna Maria is a big enough deal to get discussed on surfing websites. The website discusses surf and wave quality, tide, swell and wind characteristics, as well as any dangers. The web site tells you the name of the contributor as well as (4) other individuals that added information and actually surfed Anna Maria Island. Take a look, if this website does not give you the information needed, then you will just have to come to the island to experience it yourself… Also, if you are looking to get your children involved then visit our Anna Maria Island Children surfing camp.