Bradenton – The De Soto National Memorial was created in 1948 to commemorate the 1539 expedition of Spanish conquistador Hernando De Soto. This memorial also reminds us of the impact he made on southeast American Indian societies. Open all year long, the Park offers many different outdoor activities. You’ll also find educational opportunities to learn about the controversial history of the area.
Canoe and Boat
The park is located in Bradenton on a 26 acre plot of land. This is where the Manatee River meets Tampa Bay. De Soto National Memorial offers fabulous kayak and canoeing along the 3000 feet of shoreline. Launch your kayak, canoe or paddle board from the northwest shore of the park. You could also leave from Riverview Point Preserve located just south of De Soto Memorial. Paddle north across the river to explore Emerson Point Nature preserve, or head west through shallow grass flats to Anna Maria Island. De Soto Memorial does not offer a boat launch, however, does offer a temporary anchorage area in the small cove east of De Soto Point.
De Soto National Memorial trails and beaches
The nature trails at De Soto Memorial offer different Florida ecosystems including Mangrove wetlands. Walking trails have signage explaining both the natural history of the area along with information about the 1539 expedition. Pets are welcome on the trails, however bicycles are not.
There are several areas for enjoying the beach at the Memorial with areas located west and south of De Soto Point. Beach goers are urged to swim with caution as there are no lifeguard stations. The beaches south of De Soto Point are more popular as they don’t experience the strong currents sometimes found on the western beaches.
A picnic shelter can be found near the parking lot on a first come first serve basis. Grills and alcohol are not permitted in the park or picnic area.
The Memorial offers seasonal events great for the entire family.
December through April the parks living history area “Camp Uzita” is open. The Camp is an example of a 16th century Native village. It’s complete with living history reenactments and educational information.
In the winter the park offers several special events including a Halloween themed event called “Desoween”. This is for adults and kids 7 years and older. In December luminaries light the trials for one night. Also, information is available describing how people from the 16th century celebrated the winter. February brings a music festival to the park. March offers a five centuries of history event. Additionally, April brings a live reenactment of the Landing of the De Soto expedition.
May through October the park offers Ranger led kayak tours. learn how early settlers utilized the bay and estuary along with an explanation of Florida’s unique ecological systems.
In June and July a kids Junior Ranger program is also available. This teaches kids 6-10 about the history, ecology and conservation of the park.
The visitor center is open daily 9am-5pm, and the parking lot also closes at 5pm. However, the park is open dawn to dusk. Any cars left in the parking lot after 5pm will remain locked in the lot until the next morning. Cars are subject to ticketing. New Years day, Thanksgiving and Christmas the park closes. Entrance into the park is always free, but donations are welcome. Groups may visit the park registering ahead of time. For additional information about the park call 941-792-0458 or visit online.
De Soto National Memorial:
8300 De Soto Memorial Hwy
Bradenton, Florida 34209
Bradenton vacation rentals.
If you are looking for the perfect vacation rental while visiting the area Island Real Estate has almost 300 homes to choose from!
It’s no secret that some of the most beautiful Gulf of Mexico coastline can be found on Anna Maria Island beaches. Powder white quartz sand, clear blue waters, exotic wildlife and endless sunshine make for the perfect place to relax all day and let your cares wash away.
Anna Maria Island Beaches
There are several things to keep in mind when visiting Island beaches. So, Island Real Estate has come up with our top ten list of things to know about Anna Maria Island beaches. From deciding which beach to visit to where to find parking, Here’s everything you need to know for fun in the sun.
If you are a Floridian you have a complete understanding and respect for the necessity of sunblock. It only takes one really bad sunburn to learn your lesson, and no one should suffer from this mistake on vacation. Even on an overcast day it’s possible to get sunburned! It is extremely important to slather on the sunblock at least 20 minutes prior to heading to the beach to allow your skin to properly absorb sunblock. Be sure to reapply sunblock every few hours, especially on the kids. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you are safe from the sun in the water; you still need to use every precaution to avoid a bad burn. In addition to sunblock consider a hat, sunglasses, lots of water for keeping hydrated and a loose fitting shirt to cover bare skin.
2. Places to Beach
Anna Maria Island has over seven miles of beaches to explore, but finding the perfect beach for you is important for having the ultimate island experience. One great thing about Anna Maria Island is the abundance of public beach accesses all along the gulf and bay sides of the island; however, not all public accesses have available parking. With each beach offering a little something different, here are four options to better curate your beach excursion.
Manatee Public Beach Access is perhaps the island’s most popular, and therefore, busiest of beach spots. With just about all the amenities you could want for the beach, Manatee Public Beach is an island hot spot. Located at the very end of west Manatee Avenue, this public beach offers tons of free parking, lifeguards, bathrooms, showers, gift shops, concessions, changing rooms, free trolley and public bus stop, volley ball nets, tourist information, picnic tables under shady Australian Pines and a fabulously sandy playground for the kids. This Beach Access is truly the heart of the island beach scene.
Coquina Beach Access is located along the south end of Anna Maria Island running up the gulf side. This popular beach has tons of parking, grill and picnic areas, playground, lifeguard, bathrooms, trolley stop, concessions, and an absolutely gorgeous walking/bike path running along the sea oat sand dunes.
Bay Front Park
Bay Front Park Beach Access is located on the northern end of Anna Maria Island south of Bean Point running along Tampa Bay. This park has an updated playground, picnic grills and shelters, bathrooms, some parking, and nearby Trolley stop at the Anna Maria City Pier. The beaches are narrow along the bay side, but there are views of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, Tampa bay and gorgeous sunrises.
Bean Point Beach Access is one of the most secluded and sought after beach destinations on Anna Maria Island. Parking is extremely limited making this beach more accessible by foot or via bicycle. Bean Point beaches are mostly deep and expansive with powder sand, sea oats, dunes and wildlife. Enjoy great views of Egmont key, Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico.
3. Beach Safety
Beach Safety is an important thing to keep in mind when swimming and enjoying a day at the beach on Anna Maria Island. Be sure to observe all signs regarding swimming conditions including rip tide warnings. Look for one of the five colored flags posted to understand current swimming precautions.
Beach Combing and shelling are a fun beach activity for the entire family when visiting Anna Maria Island. With so many different species of shells and wildlife you never know what you’ll come across when strolling the powder white sand beaches of the Gulf of Mexico and Tampa Bay. There are plenty of places to find shells on the island with some of the best finds washing up after stormy weather.
5. Beach toys
No matter how young or old beach toys are a must for the beach. Making sand castles with bucket and shovel, throwing around a Frisbee or clinging to a noodle; beach toys are always a fun addition to your beach trip.
Regardless of when you visit Anna Maria Island the weather and water temperature are almost always gorgeous. In the summer expect seasonal afternoon showers, and bath like water temperatures. Some visitors even swim in the winter, but we’ll leave that up to your judgement.
7. Turtle Season, Birds, Dolphins, and Wildlife.
Anna Maria Island is fortunate to be the year round, and seasonal home of many different species of wildlife. Each year between May 1st and October 31st we find several species of Sea Turtles coming ashore to lay eggs. In the spring and winter months Anna Maria Island is home to many birds nesting on the beaches including the stoic Black Skimmers and Least Terns. Sea mammals like dolphin and manatee can be spotted around Anna Maria Island at various times throughout the year. With so much wildlife it is important to respect these beautiful inhabitants.
8. Respect the beach – Clean up
The beach is a beautiful public place that must be cherished and protected. There are wrong and right ways to utilize this resource. When visiting the beach follow all posted rules, avoid feeding the seagulls and be sure to clean up all your trash and debris when you leave. It only takes two minutes to keep trash and litter off our pristine beaches!
Anna Maria Island may not be the first place that surfers flock to for huge waves, but the locals still enjoy our laid back surf culture and climate none the less. White Avenue in the city of Anna Maria is one popular surfing spot. If you aren’t into surfing try out wake boarding during your stay!
10. Day Trip to Egmont and Fishing
If you are looking for a great place to bring your boat and go for a swim Egmont Key is always fun and beautiful. Located just off the northern tip of Anna Maria Island, Egmont is a great short day trip into bay waters.
Stay up to date with everything about fishing on Anna Maria Island on the Island Real Estate local scene blog page Fishing Report. From the Intracoastal waterway to the Gulf of Mexico and Tampa Bay there are plenty of great fishing opportunities.
When visiting Anna Maria Island be sure to stay safe, have fun, put on your sunscreen and enjoy lounging on beautiful Florida beaches!
Anna Maria Island Vacation Rental Homes and Accommodations
If you are looking for the perfect vacation rental home visit IslandReal.com today! Enjoy the largest selection of vacation rental accommodations to choose from on the island along with great customer service!
Anna Maria Island – All over coastal Florida the Sunray Venus Clam is gaining recognition as a sustainable, and delicious new addition to the state aquaculture market, and Anna Maria Island has hopped on this new trend.
The Sunray Venus Clam has a softer shell than most farmed clams making it a little pricier on the current market. These Clams have a sweet briny conch like taste, and a large tender meaty foot. When frozen fresh Sunray Venus Clams have an almost 100% open rate; much higher than most species. Sunray Venus Clams grow from South Carolina to Florida and get to be about 3 inches long. They have a beautiful shell that turns a pink salmon color when cooked.
Recently Bruce Barber a Professor of Marine Science at Eckerd College has started research on Sunray Venus Clams around Anna Maria Island’s bay side. In July Barber received an $82,000 grant from Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer service’s Division of Aquaculture to specifically study the eating and reproductive habits of Sunray Venus Clams. During the year long project, Barber will be studying a natural population of the clams just south of the Anna Maria City Pier to gain information to better inform shell fish fisheries like locals run Bay Shellfish company.
In Florida all submerged coastal land is state owned. Currently only 2,250 of 280,000 acres of this submerged land are leased for aquaculture. With such a great deal of available space there is a lot of potential for growing Sunray Venus Clams that could be a great boon to the Florida shell fish market.
Anna Maria Island restaurateur and partner at Bay Shellfish company Ed Chiles is on the forefront of supplying the Island with this delicious bivalves. Currently the Sunray Venus Clams can be found at all three of Chiles restaurants The Sandbar, Beach House and Mar Vista Dockside. Chiles believes Tampa Bay waters to the north of Anna Maria Island are the perfect area to grow Sunray Venus Clams because of water temperature, quality and nutrient content.
Next time you visit Anna Maria Island be sure to support local aquaculture and try out Sunray Venus Clams.
Anna Maria – When looking to plan your destination wedding at the best beach on Anna Maria Island you really don’t need to search for it. The white sand along the 7 mile stretch of island is simply beautiful. Pick any of the public beach access paths and you will not want to leave. Yet, there is just one spot on the very North end of the island called Bean Point, that might be a bit special.
Bean Point is named after the first island settler George Bean, who made his home here in 1893. Parking is sparse, but find limited parking on the side streets of North Shore Drive, Gladiolus or Fern Street. The beach entrance to Bean Point is located at the end of North Bay Boulevard at the 3 way stop sign. Walk the shaded path to the wooden bridge and you enjoy gorgeous views of Tampa Bay, the Gulf of Mexico and Egmont Key to the North. You can spot the lighthouse that still sends out light signals. It is the most romantic spot on the island and serves for a perfect wedding background.
Bean Point is an absolutely gorgeous location for weddings because it may be one of the most secluded beaches due to lack of public parking.
During low tide you will see the remnants of Passage Key located less than a mile to the North. This island of 30 acres discovered in 1513 by Spain, and designated as a bird sanctuary in 1905 by Theodore Roosevelt was slowly washed away by severe weather and erosion. Nowadays it is only a sandbar popular with the seabirds.
For the perfect Anna Maria Island wedding ceremony location consider beautiful Bean Point.
If you are looking to spend your Honeymoon on Anna Maria Island follow the link to a list of our gorgeous 1 bedroom vacation rental homes perfect for a cozy and romantic couples getaway.
Bean Point is the very northern tip of Anna Maria Island. It is a local secret that provides breathtaking views of the sunset on a pristine, and serene 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 north of the intersection of N. Bay & N. 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. & N. Shore Dr. as well. Each of these entrances is marked by a small white posted sign that merely states “Public Beach Access”. 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. 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. Also, be aware of your tires. In Anna Maria your tires need to be off the street when parking roadside.
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. My children love pointing out the crab holes in the sand. There are a few turtle nests marked off right now, that are ready to hatch by the end of this month. There is always something to delight the bird watcher too…with several different birdies to entertain you as they guard their beach turf from one another. Off in the distance you can see the shores of Egmont Key, and there are always the boats to enjoy watching as they pass by.
So, head to Bean Point to capture a quiet beach moment, or a breathtaking sunset, and enjoy one of the most relaxing spots on an island famous for its relaxation. And of course, check out Island Real Estate’s Vacation Rentals to find your perfect spot to capture all that Anna Maria Island has to offer. Call us toll free, at 877-778-6066, and one of our Vacation Rental Specialist can help you find your perfect spot.
Looking for a few vacation rentals close to Bean Point? The Palms is a fabulous large North Shore Vacation rental. Grand Haven is just a few properties to the South and is a great bet for a Bean Point vacation as well.
Just a short drive over the Sunshine Skyway Bridge brings you to the Dali Museum in St. Petersburg. It is the permanent home of the world’s most comprehensive collection of the renowned Spanish artist’s work. With over 2000 pieces compiled by the private collector A. Reynolds Morse and his wife Eleanor Morse over a 45-year period, it is celebrated for its 96 oil paintings. In addition to the 96 oil paintings, the collection includes over 100 watercolors and drawings, 1,300 graphics, photographs, sculptures and objects d’art, and an extensive archival library. Periodic rotations of the collection and special exhibitions allow museum goers to view new work on repeat visits.
Magnificent are the 6 oversized masterpieces. Free tours explain the artist’s renderings. The Hallucinogenic Toreador (1969-1970) is one of those paintings that Dalí conceived while in an art supply store in 1968. Another well know painting is the The Disintegration of the Persistence of Memory(1952-1954).In this work of 1954, Dalí reinterprets his popular 1931 painting entitled The Persistence of Memory in order.
The priceless collection of Dalí’s work, which is the largest outside his home country of Spain, desperately needs protection from the elements and adequate room for display. The new Dalí will overlook Tampa Bay in the beautiful Florida West Coast city of St. Petersburg, just 20 minutes from Tampa International Airport. With a two-year construction timetable, the new museum should be completed in fall of 2010. Grand Opening celebrations will occur in the winter months of 2011. The new Dalí is designed by internationally acclaimed architect Yann Weymouth of Hellmuth, Obata + Kassabaum, Inc. (HOK). He worked alongside architect I.M. Pei on the renovation of the Louvre in Paris. The museum will be a work of art reflective of Dalí’s unique juxtaposition of classical and fantastic elements. A huge glass structure will flow forth from a “treasure box” housing the artwork, and a giant boulder from Dalí’s homeland will appear to support a corner of the building.
In the meantime the Dali exhibition is still displayed in the current museum.
Salvador Dalí Museum
1000 Third Street South
St. Petersburg, FL 33701-4901
Admission: General Admission – $17.00
Senior citizens 65+ – $14.50
Teachers with ID/US Police/Military & Fire – $14.50
Students* ages 10+ (18+ with ID) – $12.00
Children ages 5 to 9 – $4.00
Children ages 4 and under – FREE* Thursdays are $5 (5 p.m. – 8 p.m.)
For more things to do visit our Anna Maria Island blog.
Information as of 03/10. Please call and verify prices.
The Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce is firing up their Friday Festivals right on schedule. If you have never made it to a Friday “Fest” you are missing a real treat. The first Anna Maria Friday Festival of 2010 is scheduled for Friday February 19, 2010. The time starts at 3 PM and the Music and vendors stop at 10 PM.
The Festival is held up on Pine Avenue in Anna Maria City at the EAST end by the public pier. Most folks park on Pine Avenue as they find a spot traveling EAST along Pine Avenue. There is some serious parking at the church and the market across from the Roser church on Pine Avenue.
The Friday Festivals held by the Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce are always a good time because there are lots of arts and crafts booths as well as food booths to wet your appetite with our local flavors of food. The Chamber offers alcohol to patrons. I have been told by many it’s the coldest beer you can find on a Friday night at just $3.00 for a good size beer. There is also white and red wines available as well as in the past a mixed drink like a rum-runner. While you are having some great eats you can listen to some great local bands with live music. The best of all – the EVENT is FREE. Yes, it is FREE.
So if you are an Anna Maria Island Visitor or live here year long it is a fabulous event for young and old. Go check out some great live music outside with the Tampa Bay in the background at the Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce Friday Festival.
Be careful, if you are a visitor you may never go back and don’t worry, if you have to miss the Friday festival in FEB there are plenty more throughout the entire year!
The Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce presents:
Island Music Festival FRIDAY FEST Date: Friday February 19, 2010 Time: 3pm to 10pm Location: Pine Ave & Bay Blvd Village of Anna Maria
Proceeds to benefit The AMI Chamber of Commerce Scholarship Fund; Participating Island Businesses and Local Not for Profit Agencies. If you are interested in participating in future Friday Festivals as a music venue, craft booth, or eatery just email the Chamber of Commerce.
For a location of the event see the map below and it is on the NORTH WEST corner of Pine Avenue and Bay Blvd.
The city Pier Anna Maria is a great site to see when visiting Anna Maria Island, Florida. Grabbing an ice cream at Two Scoops and walking the pier is a must! Another great past time, swing over to Two Sides of Nature and do some shopping. Stop in at the Waterfront. restaurant, across the street, for a great bite to eat.
At the end of the pier you can grab dinner and lunch, or pick up some hand made jewelry. If you like fishing then stop in to gab with the fishermen on the pier and see what is biting.
City Pier Anna Maria is a historical site
The sign at the entrance of the City Pier Anna Maria says it all. “The Anna Maria Development Company built this pier and wharf in 1911-1912 to provide dockage for ships from St. Petersburg and Tampa. It has since withstood hurricanes and lesser storms too numerous to mention. Although parts were damaged in storms in 1918, 1935, 1974 and 1988, it has each time been restored to its approximate original form. It is 678 feet long. The wharf extends another 58 feet into Tampa bay. Over the years it has nurtured the hopes of fisherman and the dreams of lovers. Provided roosts for pelicans and other sea birds, and has also been a friend to residents and visitors alike.
Over the center of the tin roof, from the third shore bench to the south of this marker, on clear nights can be seen the North star. Guardian of the mariners since the first sailor looked up for guidance of the night sea.
Come walk these planks. Beneath the Roof of this City Pier is the Place to sit with Shrimp and Beer. While Lightening in the distance plays and thunder rumbles across the bays. “Summer Storm”…CMV ”
Anna Maria Beach Rentals
There are plenty of gorgeous Anna Maria beach rentals available through Island Real Estate! Check out the selection of homes, and book your Anna Maria beach rental today!
With June appearing as the face of our calendars, we have slowly slipped from spring into summer on Anna Maria Island. With rentals at their peak this year we never witnessed a slow period and do not expect to see that happening anytime soon. The sugar white sandy beaches are already brimming with families from a diversity of locations wanting to feel the warmth of the sun, swim in the salty,warm gulf waters or catch a magnificent sunset.
You can catch one or two weddings nightly surrounded by the beauty that this tropical oasis provides as such a romantic destination. The beaches are deep and the gulf water is crystal clear offering a playground for all ages. As everyone huddles close to the shore you can almost hear a pin drop as everyone watches in amazement as the sun disappears once again leaving the sky in an array of purple, pink, red and orange. Without giving it another thought it is just a fact that Mr. Sun will be peaking his sleepy head up over the bay in just a few hours. Then we all wait for the sun to set again watching in awe just as though we have never seen a sunset. We should never take this awesome experience for granted. Anna Maria Island is very blessed to be able to witness such a sunset and turn around shortly and see the sun rise across Tampa Bay. So if you sleep through the sunrise, please enjoy the sunset!
Written by Melinda Bordes~941-705-0146~Whether buying or selling on Anna Maria Island or the surrounding areas feel free to contact me for all of your real estate needs. The price is right to become an owner of a slice of paradise. Timing is everything when making such an investment. You will be investing in many years of beautiful memories and unforgettable times to add to the pages of your journal. Invest in the enhancement of life!!
Great view of Tampa Bay and the Sunshine Bridge is only the beginning at this wonderful local seafood restaurant on Anna Maria Island. The food choices at the Waterfront are fantastic. From wonderful fresh soups and salads to gourmet meals, salmon and steak. The Waterfront located in Anna Maria City also offers vegetarian choices as well that are made fresh and homemade right at the restaurant. Waterfront of Anna Maria Island is famous for their delicious fish taco appetizer and outdoor seating taking advantage of the wonderful bay views. The giant fish tank that separates the main dining room from the bar area is beautiful and adds charm to the dining experience.
The Waterfront restaurant also offers a wonderful selection of beers and wine from all over the world.
The wait staff of the waterfront in Anna Maria city is always inviting and prompt with their service. If you are in the mood for great service, great views of the bay, excellent food, this is the place for you to come as a family or as a couple. One last note, try the lobster bisque, trust us, you wont be sorry. It melts in your mouth.