Anna Maria News

All the latest stories from the Island of Anna Maria.

Things To Do With The Family On Anna Maria Island

Ah, family vacations. They are great opportunities for you to bond with your kids and significant other. But what happens when the kids get bored? Some vacation spots don’t have a lot of kid-friendly sites, but there are plenty of things to do on AMI.

From kayaking to shelling, there are a ton of activities going on every day. There are also a vast number of shops scattered across the island that are fun for kids to browse. Get the kids out of your Anna Maria Island rentals and away from their tech gadgets with fun outings on the beach and to AMI’s numerous natural and historic sites.

Dolphins swimming in the water

Take a Dolphin Tour

Anna Maria Island is famous for its dolphin tours. Dolphins swim along the coastline, and you can see them when you take a boat tour. You might also glimpse an aggregation (a fancy word for ‘group’) of manatees, which typically contains six or fewer members. Seeing them is something of a rare treat, but it does happen around the coast.

Quite a few boat rental shops offer guided dolphin tours. You and your kids or grandkids can learn about the local wildlife populations and why this particular ecosystem is the perfect habitat for them.

The tours tend to have flexible hours and give discounts on group or family tours. You can book your tours in advance by calling one of the local rental shops, but you can also stop in during business hours.

Fun Shops for Kids

Bring your children to one of Anna Maria Island’s many souvenir shops and you will quickly find that these places offer so much more than just mementos. You can find awesome crafts, beach attire, and interactive toys that are fun for the whole family.

Shiny Fish Emporium on Pine Avenue offers sand dollar painting, and Island Bazaar on East Bay Drive is loaded with beachwear. Beach Bums Recreational Rentals & Gift Shop, located on Pine Avenue, has everything from golf carts to kayak tours where you can enter mangrove forests and find prime spots for manatees.

Shells on the beach

Shelling

Shells are the most naturally beautiful souvenir you can take home, and, of course, Anna Maria Island’s beaches are loaded with them. Getting everyone out for a few hours of shelling can turn into an exciting adventure.

Look for shells along Manatee Public Beach, Palmetto Avenue Beach, Bayfront Park, Bean Point, or Coquina Public Beach. You can even find shark teeth buried in the sand if you are lucky!

Go shelling when it is low tide. This allows you access further out and reveals shells that would otherwise be hidden under the water. Shark teeth do more tumbling about in waves while shells will roll to and fro where the sand and water collide.

TreeUmph Adventure Course

Leave your AMI vacation rentals behind for a day of unparalleled thrills above the ground. TreeUmph Adventure Course is a 45-minute drive inland from AMI and features a 14-acre self-guided ziplining adventure.

You and your kids will not be rushed through the course, so take it easy and go at your own speed. The course culminates in a 650-foot zip line that flies you through the trees. You will be given a waiver to sign and will be trained on how to use safety harnesses before you get started.

Embark on a Fishing Expedition

Take the family out for a relaxing offshore fishing tour or hang out on one of the docks and cast your lure. Either way, you’re bound to have a relaxing and enjoyable time. The coastline is home to diverse schools of fish and other marine life, so there is a good chance you will hook a nice catch. Just imagine your child’s face when they reel in a mackerel!

Just make sure you have the proper fishing permits and meet all other regulations. The island has numerous beach fishing spots, and you can get all the gear you need from places like Fun and More Rentals. Some of the best spots are the Rod and Reel Pier and Longboat Pass.

If you want to head out onto the water to find bigger fish, charter a boat skippered by one of AMI’s experienced captains. Captain Logan is always in demand, as is Captain Tom with Dolphin Dreams Charters.

You will find that there are endless possibilities when it comes to fun family outings on Anna Maria Island. There is also a good deal more located just a few minutes inland. Your kids won’t be saying “I’m bored” while staying on such a family-friendly island paradise.


Burger Restaurants on Anna Maria Island

Want to get your grub on by grabbing a mouth-watering burger at one of Anna Maria Island’s burger restaurants? You will find that there is no shortage of delicious burger joints on AMI; it is enough to get visitors out of their Anna Maria Island rentals and into some fantastic local eateries.

Smoqehouse

Situated in the heart of Bradenton Beach, Smoqehouse features American barbecue lunches and dinners. They’ve been hailed as the best restaurant in Bradenton Beach and the best spot for a quick bite to eat. They’ve even won the Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence for 2019!

Smoqehouse is a casual dining experience that serves up some amazing hand-crafted dishes. They started in Faribault, Minnesota in 2016 and expanded to AMI in 2017. Their laid-back atmosphere is a perfect fit for the island, and diners rave about their food.

Everything here is fresh and served to order. Gluten-free options are available. You can get sandwiches without buns, which are subbed out for a gorgeous bed of greens. There are also some great vegetarian and vegan options.

Duffys Tavern Burger || AMI

Duffy’s Tavern

Duffy’s Tavern has a long history on Anna Maria Island. When you’re out and about looking for things to do on AMI, stop by for a bite to eat in a place with a throw-back vibe. Duffy’s is a family-owned restaurant that has been voted as one of the top 10 hamburger heavens by USA Today.

Their burgers are modestly priced and ooze deliciousness. The crumbled blue cheeseburger is mouth-watering. You can add extras like sauerkraut, havarti cheese, or applewood smoked bacon. Add a side for just a little bit more. Of course, if you aren’t feeling like having a burger, you can opt for a soup/sandwich combo.

Skinny’s Place Incorporated

Skinny’s is another classic AMI restaurant known for its fantastic burgers. You can opt for a Skinny Burger (a single patty) or a Fatty (a double patty). If you’re up for the challenge, grab the Mid Island Pounder – a whole pound of fresh patties set on a single bun. They’re layered with cheese and hearken back to the ‘Mid-Island Drive-In’ from the 50s.

Skinny’s hot dogs, grilled cheese, and buffalo chicken pieces are yummy alternatives to one of their burgers. Vegetarians can order the Boca Burger and customize it to their liking as there are plenty of delicious extras.

Harrys Grill Burger || AMI

Harry’s Grill and Bistro

Want to rock out to live music from local artists? Every Monday, Tuesday, and Friday, live music kicks off at 7 PM. This burger joint has a pet-friendly patio, and you can play a rousing game of cornhole after you eat! Dine-in or carry out, you’re bound to get an excellent burger from Harry’s.

Harry’s ½ pound burgers are practically celebrities here on the island. The Smokehouse Bacon Cheeseburger is also a favorite with its bacon, pulled pork, and cheese served on a toasted ciabatta bun. All burgers come with your choice of Seashore fries, Harry’s slaw, or Island rice. You can also sub for a garden salad with your choice of cheese.

If you’re really hungry, try Harry’s Pounder with Cheese. Two 8 oz. patties topped with four cheese slices, this burger is only meant for those who crave a challenge.

Treat the kids to some Little Harry’s Burgers, which are equally scrumptious as their adult counterparts.

Hurricane Hank’s

Hurricane Hank’s has a vibrant, lively atmosphere that screams “FUN!” Their burgers are insanely delicious, and their craft beer and cocktails are great for sloshing them down. They serve lunch and dinner, and both of those menus feature some fantastic eats.

As far as their burgers go, The Original remains a favorite with its juicy patty. The Big Texas Roadhouse is also marvelous with its beer-battered onion rings and smoky flavored barbeque sauce.

These burger joints are some of the most well-known and well-loved on Anna Maria Island. Each one offers a unique dining experience, so make sure your budget allows for trips to these amazing restaurants. Even if you break the bank doing it, getting a taste of each delicious burger on AMI is totally worth it. Also, most of them offer take-out options if you prefer to feast on a burger from the comfort of your AMI vacation rentals.


Golf Cart Rentals on Anna Maria Island

When you are browsing the Internet for things to do on AMI, you might want to consider looking up golf cart rentals. Renting a cart can help you navigate Anna Maria Island with ease. While there is a free trolley that you can take around the island, golf carts get you to your destination more quickly.

Golf carts are street legal on AMI, and they are an eco-friendly way of navigating the island. That is why you should consider renting a golf cart while you stay on AMI.

Golf cart rental in anna maria island

Gulf Coast Carts

Gulf Coast Carts boasts a cool new line-up of STAR carts. These carts have an impressive 60-mile range on one charge! Each cart is powered by a 48-volt battery which helps to lessen the amount of time you will need to spend on charging it. If you rent this cart overnight, you can plug it in at the end of the day and have it fully charged and ready to go in the morning.

There are a few different rental options. You can rent a 4-seater for $100 per day, $250 for three days, or $400 for the week. If you need extra seats, the 6-seater is available for $100 per day, $300 for three days, or $500 for one week. Everything you need – including delivery and pick-up fees – gets included in the price.

Oh, and these carts come with a radio for you to listen to while cruising along!

Robinhood Rentals AMI

One of the most popular Anna Maria Island rentals is Robinhood Rentals AMI. They have just about every type of beach rental you can imagine: kayaks, umbrellas, bikes, and, of course, golf carts! You can even rent a ScootCoupe Mini Car to get around the island.

The golf carts they have available are gasoline-powered, so you do not have to worry about charging any batteries. You can get a 4- or 6-seater, depending upon how much space you need. The 4-person golf carts start at $155 while the 6-person carts start at $195.

Bear in mind that you must be 21 years of age or older to rent these vehicles. Younger people can ride in them as passengers, but in order to rent and drive one, you must be at least 21.

6 and 8 person golf cart rental in anna maria island

Fun and More Rentals

Fun and More Rentals really lives up to its name. This shop has everything from tandem bikes to baby walkers! Need a grill? How about a bocci ball set? You can get just about everything you need; just swing by their storefront on Gulf Drive in Holmes Beach or book online.

Of course, golf carts are in stock at Fun and More. Like all their other rentals, delivery and pick-up are totally free. Their top-of-the-line golf carts come as either gas-powered or electric and are decked out with all the modern convenience and safety features you need. If something malfunctions, they have a skilled mechanic on-hand to make repairs.

Their prices are some of the most competitive you will find on AMI. The 4-seater LSV goes from $100 to $375, while the 6-seater LSV goes from $150 to $440. There is a massive 8-seater LSV available which ranges between $200 and $525. Some rental places do not offer an 8-seater, so if you have a large party with you, this is the best option.

When you are booking your AMI vacation rentals, keep your transportation needs in mind. While walking or taking the trolley can save you a lot of money, golf carts make getting around a lot more convenient. Plus, they let you see more sites than you might otherwise. And, let’s face it, they’re really fun to drive.


How to Choose the Best Vacation Rental For You

Anna Maria Island rentals are numerous and situated all throughout the island. Each one has something unique about it, from the interior décor to the outside pool set-up. And, yes, most of the rentals on AMI have pools!

But which spot is right for you? How do you know which rental will best cater to your needs? Picking the perfect spot isn’t exactly easy when you are faced with so many wonderful choices. Here are a few things to keep in mind when shopping around for AMI vacation rentals.

View from balcony of beachfront condo in Anna Maria Island

Find the Right Number of Beds

Anna Maria Island has all different types of rentals. From beachfront condos to luxury homes, you get a lot of variety. Be sure to check every listing you see for the number of people they can sleep. There are 1-, 2-, and 3-bedroom rentals that can sleep anywhere between two and ten people. Some of them come equipped with massive king-sized beds and pull-out sleeper sofas that can be great for kids.

You’ll also need to make sure that your rental has an adequate number of bathrooms for all guests and that there are enough seats around the kitchen table.

Get Close to the Attractions You Love

Think about what you want to be closest to in Anna Maria Island. Being close to the free trolley is a smart idea if you need a swift way to get around and do a lot of exploring.

When you have a lot of things to do on AMI, finding a rental near town might be ideal. This puts you much closer to all of the restaurants and shops you want to patron. Those looking to do a lot of swimming, fishing, or boating might enjoy staying at a beachfront rental.

If you are a nature lover, you might want to be close to the spots on the island that play host to trails or kayaking tours. Robinson Preserve, Neal Preserve, and Leffis Key are all just a short distance to the east of Anna Maria Island and provide you with peaceful immersion in nature.

Dog at the dog park in Anna Maria Island

Stay Somewhere with the Right Amenities

Which amenities are absolute necessities, and which can you stand to forego while on vacation in Anna Maria Island? This is something that demands a bit of contemplation. Do you want a private pool, or are you okay with sharing a community pool? How about having a private laundry facility versus a community one?

Make sure that you know exactly which amenities you will have in your vacation rental. When you are browsing through all of AMI’s wonderful rental properties, pay careful attention to which amenities are listed.

Also, if you plan on bringing your dog, check to be certain that the rental you book allows them to stay there with you. Sometimes, this means looking for a ‘pet-friendly’ label or simply a paw print on that particular rental’s display image.

Just bear in mind that the public beaches do not allow dogs. You will likely want to stay somewhere that is close to one of the island’s dogs parks. To the north, there is the Bayfront Park, which allows dogs and is a beautiful place to walk.

Price

This probably seems like a no-brainer, but you need to consider how much you and your guests are willing to spend on your lodgings. How many people will be going with you? How much can you afford to split? What do you need to leave room for in your travel budget?

If you need to keep it affordable, there are some 1- and 2-bedroom rentals that have very reasonable rates, especially if you split the cost with your travel companion(s). If you want to go all-out and can work out a good spending plan between yourself and your companions, check out some of the luxury rentals; they’re absolutely stunning and offer a ton of privacy and amenities.

Knowing what you are looking for before you start your search can help you find the best vacation rental for you on Anna Maria Island. However, no matter where you stay, you are bound to have a memorable and relaxing time.


The Sandbar Restaurant

When planning your Florida vacation, you’ll want a location that helps you escape from life’s every day worries. For the ultimate relaxing stay, visit Anna Maria Island, a quaint stretch of land that will have you swimming and dining right alongside the locals. Here, you’ll find all the fun in the sun you expect from a Florida vacation, but you won’t be fighting tons of other tourists for a spot on the shoreline. Anna Maria Island also boasts tons of incredible restaurants, and one of the most popular is the Sandbar. Read on to discover why locals and tourists alike love the Sandbar, just minutes away from our Anna Maria Island rentals.

Outside view of the Sandbar Restaurant in Anna Maria Island

History

More than 100 years ago, Anna Maria Island was only accessible by boat. Many guests sailed in from Tampa and came to The Pavilion, the meeting place that’s where the Sandbar Restaurant is today. It served as a casual meeting place as well as a hub for adventure, as a diving platform was installed and fishing was easy right off the side of the dock. After The Pavilion mysteriously went up in flames in 1946, two old army barracks were placed on the premises, giving life to the Sandbar.

Over the next few decades, the Sandbar met several different owners and received renovations like a dance floor. The building was damaged by a hurricane in 1950, but after years of extensive remodeling, the restaurant was repurchased in 1979 by Ed Chiles, and the rest is history! Today, the Sandbar is a favorite of many and is dedicated to maintaining the rich history of the building and the island.

Seafood dish at the sandbar restaurant in Anna Maria Island

Menu

At the Sandbar, you will find “authentic old Florida” recipes, made with the most ecologically responsible produce and fresh seafood pulled right from the Florida coast. Enjoy scrumptious appetizers like The Sandbar Smoked Fish Dip or sautéed lump crab cakes, or indulge in chicken and waffles, seafood and grits, or a fried shrimp platter. They also offer plenty of options that are gluten-free, such as their shrimp ceviche and islander scallops, as well as vegan options like the acorn squash and green curry or the vegan burger.

Even the littlest member of your party will love the Sandbar, thanks to the extensive kid’s menu. Your child can enjoy classics like grilled cheese and pizza, or they can take advantage of the seafood as well with fish or shrimp. When they’re done, they will get a frozen treat to help keep cool! Parties of all ages and sizes love eating at the Sandbar with its incredible food and breathtaking views.

General Information

The Sandbar is located at 100 Spring Avenue in the city of Anna Maria. They are open Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. until 10 p.m., Saturday from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m. The Sandbar does not accept reservations at this time.

The Sandbar is just one of the fantastic restaurants on AMI for you to enjoy. While this spot is more casual and laid-back, the island is also full of other eateries perfect for a fancy or date night. If you still can’t find what you’re looking for, take a quick trip to nearby Sarasota for even more dining and entertainment options.

At the end of a long day of sightseeing, rest your head in one of our Anna Maria Island rentals. We have options available for parties of all sizes, and no request is too big for our team to handle. For more information on the Sandbar, other local restaurants, and our full selection of Anna Maria vacation rentals, contact us today!


Average Fall Temperatures in Anna Maria Island

Planning a Florida vacation means fun in the sun all year long. Popular vacation destinations like Panama City Beach or Orlando are fun for some, but if you’re looking to truly escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life, visit Anna Maria Island. The seven-mile stretch of land is perfect for getting away from it all. You won’t spot high-rises and tons of crowds, but instead, you can ride your golf cart around the island or stroll alongside the locals as you head into town. While Anna Maria is beautiful any time of year, it’s especially nice in the fall, and you’ll get a nice respite from the heat.

Sunset over anna maria island in the fall

Fall Weather in Anna Maria Island

The months of September, October, and November bring pleasant temperatures to Anna Maria Island. Average highs during the day range between 70 and 80 degrees, while low temperatures range from 60 to 70 degrees. October marks the end of the hot season, so temperatures are much more bearable than they are in the middle of summer. Often, you are more than able to jump in the water during the warmer morning and early afternoon, but the late afternoon showers help to cool everything down for a pleasant evening.

Fall in Anna Maria Island is also the start of the dry season, so while you may spot a shower or two, it won’t be enough to ruin all of your plans for the day. Rain chances in September range around 40 to 50%, while that chance drops to about 20% in October and November. When it does rain, Anna Maria Island only accumulates about 2 to 4 inches of rain during the fall months.

What to Pack

Of course, the weather often dictates what you plan to pack for your vacation. Since Anna Maria Island is still warm during the fall, you will be fine packing your usual t-shirts, tank tops, and shorts. However, you may also want to add a light jacket to your suitcase for the evening breezes, and it may be helpful to pack an umbrella as well in case you hit an afternoon shower. While flip-flops are great for the beach, we also recommend bringing a sturdier pair of shoes for walking around the island. Finally, don’t forget sunscreen and a hat to protect you from the beating sun.

Fall Events on Anna Maria Island

Along with the cooler temperatures, fall also means great events in the area for you to partake in. On October 19th, visit the city of Anna Maria for the 19th Annual Bayfest, an all-day street festival full of classic cars, live music, incredible food, and fun for all ages. If you are on the island for Halloween, be sure to bring your kids out for the Trail of Treats, a safe way for your kids to trick-or-treat while you can browse the local businesses.

Visiting in November? Check out Arts Hop, an annual three-day event showcasing local theater shows, arts and crafts, music, and food. Just down the road in Sarasota, the Chalk Festival will leave you in awe by filling the street with a burst of color.

There are so many things to do on AMI, your only problem will be deciding what to do next! Of course, you can always enjoy the beaches, fresh seafood, and unique shopping all year round, but visiting in the fall is a special way to make the most of your trip to Anna Maria Island. For more information on the area and our Anna Maria Island vacation rentals, contact us today!


All About Holmes Beach

Anna Maria Island has long been one of Florida’s best-kept secrets. This quiet locale is the perfect place to get away and truly relax and unwind. You’ll find locals strolling down the street or riding golf carts into town, and as the whole island is just seven miles long, you can find every nook and cranny that AMI has to offer. The island is actually split into three towns: Anna Maria, Bradenton Beach, and Holmes Beach. While Anna Maria and Bradenton Beach are on the edges of the island, Holmes Beach is right in the middle, giving you the best access to everything on AMI just minutes from our Anna Maria Island vacation homes.

Sunset over Holmes Beach

What to Expect

While the whole of Anna Maria Island is laid-back, the vibe is perhaps strongest in Holmes Beach. You won’t see many condos, so our Anna Maria property rentals fit right in. Everything is easy to reach, and there are plenty of unique shopping opportunities to help you find the perfect souvenir, as well as gorgeous views, delicious food, and unique activities for every age. Holmes Beach contains a little of everything that makes AMI so special.

Fun Attractions on Holmes Beach

One of the most popular spots in Holmes Beach is Manatee Public Beach, which draws visitors and locals alike every single day. There are tons of amenities here, like sports courts, playgrounds, bike racks, showers, and a café. Lifeguards are on duty, so you can rest assured knowing your family will be safe. This is a great place to spend the day since you can find everything you need right on site!

There is truly an attraction for everyone in Holmes Beach. Art lovers will want to visit Island Gallery West to stand in awe of the local art that is eclectic and unique. If you want to explore the area with an experienced guide, do a tour with Segway by the Bay. Surfs Up Water Sports is perfect for the adrenaline junkie, while those looking for some extra relaxation will find it with a massage at Island Therapeutics. Everyone in the group has something to discover!

Holmes Beach also has some great dining spots, like The Beach Bistro. If you’re looking to have a romantic dinner with your sweetheart, this is the place for you. They offer the freshest seafood prepared in unique and innovative ways, all with the breathtaking backdrop of the water. For a more casual experience, eat here will suit your needs, where the food is globally inspired and takes full advantage of local ingredients.

Free Island Trolley in Holmes Beach

Getting Around

As Anna Maria Island is so small, it’s not too common to see people traveling by car. Many choose to either walk or rent a golf cart. One of the best options, though, is the Anna Maria Island Trolley, which will take you all around the island for absolutely free. The air-conditioned trolleys have multiple stops all throughout the island and are wheelchair accessible. You’ll have the freedom to come and go as you please, all while enjoying the beautiful views as you pass by.

Holmes Beach is full of fun things on Anna Maria Island, but be sure to discover everything there is to offer in Bradenton Beach and the City of Anna Maria as well! Is the Gulf calling your name yet? Our experienced and knowledgeable team is ready to help you plan the getaway of your dreams. Our rental options all over AMI are designed with you in mind and will meet any request. For more information on Holmes Beach, Anna Maria Island, and all of our property rentals, contact us today!


Explore the Mote Marine Aquarium

Anna Maria Island and the surrounding area is an ideal spot for a family vacation. This island is a hidden gem among visitors, so you won’t find a ton of high-rises or crowded attractions. Instead, locals will wave as you pass on the quiet streets, and there are family-friendly attractions everywhere you look. With so many things to do on AMI, it can be tough to prioritize, but there is one spot down the road that you just can’t miss. In nearby Sarasota, you’ll find the Mote Marine Aquarium, known for its vast variety of wildlife as well as its conservation efforts.

Close up of fish at Mote Marine Aquarium in Sarasota, FL

History

Originally known as the Cape Haze Marine Laboratory, this establishment opened its doors in 1955. William R. Mote was influential in growing the lab, later lending it his name. Since the beginning, this aquarium and lab have made it its mission to educate the public in a thorough and entertaining way. Mote Marine Laboratory is a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to using sustainable practices and informing others of the efforts we can take to save our planet.

To this day, Mote is one of the last remaining private marine research laboratories on Earth, and they are incredibly passionate about their programs and partnerships. Having such a strong research department makes it possible for this aquarium to provide the most up-to-date and educational information to guests, making it a fun destination for the whole family.

Exhibits

Mote Marine Aquarium has exhibits for a countless variety of incredible sea creatures. The shark zone exhibit lets you get up close and personal with these majestic animals, or you can learn about alligators and crocodiles. For something a little tamer, visit exhibits dedicated to seeing turtles, otters, or manatees. This is just a handful of the creatures you can learn about at this aquarium. Presentations about sharks, manatees, river otters, crocodilians, and sea turtles happen throughout the day as well and are included with your admission price.

You can also find tons of events going on throughout the year. Happenings like Breakfast with the Sharks or the Sarasota Lionfish Derby gives visitors of all ages a hands-on experience with beautiful wildlife. The Aquarium’s website has a full calendar with all the events, so be sure to check it out before your visit!

Close up of manatee at Mote Marine Aquarium

Experiences

There are even more ways for you to enjoy Mote, and they come in the form of experiences. While the exhibits listed above are open to the public, these experiences often have to be booked in advance. Plan your child’s birthday party at the aquarium, or take an eco-boat tour around the area to see gorgeous animals in the wild. Go kayaking or choose a shark encounter if you’re feeling a bit more adventurous!

General Information

Mote Marine Aquarium can be found at 1600 Ken Thompson Parkway in Sarasota, just a short drive from our Anna Maria Island rentals. They are open daily, including holidays, from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Tickets can be purchased in person or online, and adult (ages 13+) admission is $24, while children aged 3-12 are $18 and children 2 and under are free. Active military receives free admission with proper ID. If you’re traveling with a large group, you may be eligible for a group rate with a reservation.

Mote Marine Aquarium has long been a staple of the Sarasota area, bringing visitors from far and wide. It may be one of the best family-friendly activities near our Anna Maria vacation rentals! We can’t wait to help you plan the vacation of your dreams, and we have the ideal vacation home for your party. For more information on the area and our full range of rentals, contact us today!


Parasailing on Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria Island is the ultimate hidden gem among Florida’s vacation destinations. This quaint spot is only 7 miles long and features some of the best local food and attractions. In place of the high-rises and crowds, you’ll find cute cottages and golf carts. One of the best features of AMI is the incredible view from all around, but to get the best image of the water, you have to experience it from above! The parasailing opportunities available near our AMI vacation rentals will add an unforgettable memory to your dream getaway.

Parasailing on Anna Maria Island

AMI Adventure Rentals

Situated in Bradenton Beach is AMI Adventure Rentals, where one of the most popular activities is parasailing. You can sail high above the waters and admire the view down below as you hover over Bradenton Beach and Holmes Beach. Choose to fly solo or with a friend or two, and see if you can spot some marine life under the water! You can take your whole journey and stay dry, or your driver can dip you down in the waves to cool you off at the end of your trip.

Your 10-minute journey will cost $79 per person, while you will receive a $10 discount per person if you opt for a tandem or triple flight. If someone in your party doesn’t want to fly, they can boat the boat and watch for $20. AMI Adventure Rentals operates Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m., and reservations can be made on their website.

Bradenton Beach Parasailing

Bradenton Beach Parasailing has been serving guests for over 22 years and boasts a perfect safety record since its beginnings. Your USCG Master Captain will take you high above Anna Maria Island and let you gaze down on the beauty below. Look out for dolphins, turtles, manatees, and more! Your ride is guaranteed to be smooth and pleasant, and you won’t believe the peace you feel being so high above the hustle and bustle on the ground.

You can choose to stay dry or get wet during your flight, and up to three people can parasail together. They welcome guests of all ages, even if you’ve never been parasailing before. Your experience will last about an hour, and reservations are required. Please contact Bradenton Beach Parasailing for availability and pricing. They are located at 200 Bridge Street.

Parasailing in the Gulf of Mexico

YOLO Adventures

Sail over AMI and the surrounding areas with YOLO Adventures, which offers great parasailing trips for the whole family. You will fly 400 feet in the air to check out the view of Anna Maria Island, Cortez, and more. Guests will have the thrill of a lifetime with friends and family, and your licensed captain will be there to ensure everything goes according to plan. Takeoffs and landings are smooth and easy, so anyone with any amount of experience can join in! This company also offers fishing charters, boat tours, snorkeling, and more.

YOLO Adventure’s parasailing trips last about an hour and cost $79 per person with discounts available for tandem and triple flights. Flights can be booked online and start as early as 10 a.m. YOLO Adventures is located at 135 Bridge Street.

Parasailing is a fun and safe activity for the whole family to enjoy! It has quickly become one of the most popular activities near our Anna Maria vacation rentals, and once you experience it for yourself, it’s not hard to see why. The view and the adrenaline rush is enough to make anyone want to come back for more! For more information on parasailing in the area and to learn about our vacation homes on Anna Maria Island, contact us today.


Top Anna Maria Island Coffee Shops

There’s nothing better than a cup of coffee to get your day started or to help you take a break in the afternoons. Anna Maria Island is full of fun activities, but sometimes you need a little extra boost to keep you going! Luckily, our AMI vacation rentals are located near some of the best coffee shops on the island. No matter your taste, you can find a delicious cup of joe just down the street. Here are a few of our favorite coffee shops on Anna Maria Island.

Close up of coffee drink at Island Coffee Haus in Anna Maria Island

Island Coffee Haus

Since 2012, Island Coffee Haus has been welcoming guests to experience a comforting and inviting environment in Holmes Beach. Not only can you come in for a hot cup of coffee, but you can also try one of the fresh-baked pastries, or grab a breakfast sandwich to take with you. If someone in your group isn’t a coffee drinker, they also serve teas, smoothies, and green juice. This quaint shop is the perfect place to unwind and take your time enjoying your morning.

Island Coffee Haus is located at 5350 Gulf Drive. They are open Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. until 4 p.m. and Sunday from 7 a.m. until 1 p.m.

Ginny’s & Jane E’s

Ginny’s & Jane E’s is your one-stop-shop for coffee, snacks, and souvenirs. This cute and quirky store is the brainchild of sisters Ginny and Jane, who have loved serving their guests for decades. Their coffee selections include lattes, breves, macchiatos, and more, or you can opt for a tea or smoothie. Pick a pastry to go with your drink, like a scone or cinnamon roll. Finally, browse the shelves in the shop to find beach supplies, antiques, and truly unique souvenirs. Ginny & Jane E’s is a fun and special spot that you have to pop into while you’re in town.

Ginny & Jane E’s is located at 9807 Gulf Drive. They are open daily from 7 a.m. until 4 p.m.

Backalley Treasures

Locals and visitors alike flock to Backalley Treasures for a refreshing drink and a unique shopping experience. Choose something as simple as a black cup of joe, or go fancier with a frappe or cappuccino. You can also pick a smoothie or frozen lemonade, or if you want something a bit harder, have a beer or a glass of wine or have the staff add some liquor to your regular drink! Then stroll through the aisles to admire the locally crafted jewelry and crafts to find the ideal souvenir to bring home.

Back-alley Treasures is located at 108 Historic Bridge Street. They are open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. until 8 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.

Close up of donuts from The Donut Experiment in Anna Maria Island

The Donut Experiment

While they may not be exclusively known for their coffee, The Donut Experiment is a great place to stop in for a cup. They offer hot and cold drinks, as well as cold brew, and even those who don’t like coffee will want to come to grab a fresh-made donut! Personalize your pastry with whatever toppings you wish, and wash it all down with your delicious drink. The Donut Experiment is an ideal destination for breakfast or after lunch.

The Donut Experiment is located at 210C Pine Avenue. They are open daily from 7 a.m. until 1 p.m.

A great cup of coffee is just moments away from our Anna Maria rentals. Any time of day, you can grab a pick-me-up and enjoy the local businesses that help the area thrive. For more information on local coffee shops and to learn about all of our vacation homes on Anna Maria Island, contact us today!


Romantic Anna Maria Island Rentals

When planning a couple’s getaway to Anna Maria Island, where you stay is important. In fact, Anna Maria Island lodging you choose can deeply impact the enjoyment of your trip. Make sure that you book the perfect vacation rental for you and your partner to make this vacation one to remember.

What should you look for in a vacation rental? Ambiance? Beachfront access? Close proximity to top attractions? All of the above? Here are some of our highlighted one- and two-bedroom romantic rentals.

Back yard view of pool at Anna Maria Island vacation rental

Anna Maria Island Breeze

This rental is just a minute’s walk from the bay and about three minutes from the glorious Gulf of Mexico. We can’t recommend the beachfront enough. This prime location is ideal for romantics. To round it off, it also has a sparkling, aquamarine pool. You are never far from the water – salt or chlorine!

When comes to a couple’s getaway, you can’t go wrong with a water-access rental.

Kitchen view of vacation rental in Anna Maria Island

Redfish Cottage

There are a variety of Anna Maria Island houses for rent with convenient access to the heart of the island. One of these is our delightful Redfish Cottage, which lies just back from the beach and over the bridge. Step out onto the deep-water dock and admire the water. This feature is especially great for boat lovers and fishers. You can rent a boat form a local provider and dock it right here at your rental – or bring your own! Vacation rentals with gulf-facing decks are a definite plus for getting the rest and relaxation you need. This cottage offers a tranquil escape like no other – perfect for couples looking to reconnect in nature.

Front view of Anna Maria Island vacation rental

Palm Isle Village

One of the highlights of this little rustic, blue-and-white home 600 feet from the gulf, is its lush, tropical ambiance. Its stunning landscaping includes vibrant, tropical plants, setting a carefree, romantic tone for your getaway. Walk-out units allow you to enjoy the gardens close-up – lay back in a lounge chair as the leaves palm leaves rustle in the wind above your head.

It also has a fully equipped kitchen so you can treat your special someone to a home-cooked dinner for two. This rental is also part of the Professional Linen Service Program, meaning you don’t have to bring sheets, towels, or other such necessities on vacation – or do you have to wash, dry, and fold them upon departure. Something as simple as clean sheets and towels during your romantic getaway is a definite bonus to consider when choosing your rental.

Living room of unit at the Anna Maria Beach Resort

Anna Maria Beach Resort

The beach resort offers a whole host of different amenities. Seek out Anna Maria Island lodging with comfortable, luxurious amenities and features. When you think of a romantic getaway, you want access to features that you may not enjoy on a regular basis. Look for heated pools, hot tubs or spas for ultimate luxury and entertainment. Our resort-style pool will ensure you and your partner have a fun and relaxing stay at our island resort.

For romantic rooms right on the beach, 201, 203, 204 are great options. Rather than staying at rental homes a few blocks from the waterfront, stay a few steps from the powdery sand at our Anna Maria Beach Resort. After a long day in the sun, you’ll love the resort’s many amenities, including daily cleaning, WiFi, a walk-in shower, and, of course, elegant outdoor spaces where you can read and enjoy a glass of wine under a shady tree.

Anna Maria Island: Your Home Away From Home

Your Anna Maria Island rental is your home away from home – but with a little something extra. What does your romantic getaway look like? Does involve early morning shelling on the beach? Watching the sun go down on your own private balcony? Lounging by the pool while you prepare a meal on the grill?

Creating the perfect romantic experience starts with your Anna Maria Island lodging. Decide what you want, and book the right room for you. Don’t settle for less. Browse our available Anna Maria Island houses for rent online today to get your vacation started.


Anna Maria Island Couple Activities

There is nothing better than a couple’s getaway to reconnect with the one that you love. Why not consider Anna Maria Island for an intimate escape.

You and your beloved are sure to enjoy connecting on the beautiful white sand beaches of Anna Maria Island.

Couple on the beach in Anna Maria Island

Nature for Lovers

If you and your beau enjoy spending time in nature, there are numerous gems throughout Anna Maria Island just waiting to be explored. Bean Point is a must visit as it is the perfect place to enjoy the island in a more intimate manner.

This beach haven is located on the northern part of Anna Maria Island. Thus, it can be somewhat secluded making it the perfect spot to take long, peaceful walks on the beach, view gorgeous sunsets and marvel at the local marine life.

You and your love should consider visiting one of several nature preserves. The Robinson Nature Preserve makes for an interesting day trip where the two of you can explore the numerous trails and stroll over numerous bridges while getting glimpses of all types of birds, insects, wildlife and plants indigenous to the area. While at Robinson Nature Preserve, take a hike out to the lookout tower where you and your sweetheart will enjoy a spectacular panoramic view of Anna Maria Island.

Sunrise over Bean Point in Anna Maria Island

Enjoying the Beach

A couple’s getaway to Anna Maria Island is not complete without spending time on the beach. If you really want to enjoy the beach to the fullest, consider Anna Maria Island houses for rent right against the water. This way, you’ll get to wake up to the beach for your entire trip.

Consider a picnic on the beach at sunset. You pack all of your favorites to eat and head out to a secluded part of the beach where you both can enjoy each other’s company while watching the sunset. Horseback riding on the beach is another great idea. There are several companies. The most popular is likely Great World Adventures’ BeachHorses.

The small crew offers horseback riding experiences by the hour, with special excursions down by the local dunes. Horseback riding on the coasts and the surrounding waters of Anna Maria Island is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that you both will always remember.

A dolphin tour is another fantastic activity to enjoy as a couple. You can take a private boat tour out to popular dolphin “hangouts.” You can also take a low-key ecotour. Book a dolphin tour using a kayak or paddle boat so that you both can get up close and personal with the dolphin!

Love and Adventure

Anna Maria Island is the perfect place to make wonderful memories. Take a walk on the wide side with some adventurous activities. Parasailing is a wonderful way to explore Anna Maria Island as a couple. You both will be high in the sky enjoying an aerial view of the sea-green waters beneath you. What an amazing experience to have with someone special!

If soaring above the waters of Anna Maria Island isn’t daring enough, consider snorkeling. There are several local companies that offer snorkeling experiences, such as Egmont Key Adventures. You and your beloved will get to explore the gulf waters, seeing schools of fish and coral reefs to old ruins and abandoned islands, snorkeling is a romantic adventure, every time.

When you set up your Anna Maria Island lodging, forgo a traditional car rental for a beach buggy. Driving a beach buggy during your stay is a great way to really explore the island. You both will enjoy feeling the warm breeze on your skin as you travel throughout the island. Simple things like buying groceries for your vacation are much more fun when you’re in a beach buggy. Easily go from sand to street without skipping a beat.

Make your couples getaway to Anna Maria Island one you’ll always remember with fun, exciting activities for two.


What Animals Can You See on Anna Maria Island?

Even though many people will boast about Anna Maria Island’s beautiful waters and soft sands, there is so much more to the area that surrounds you during a vacation here.

Rich with wildlife and opportunities to see the animals that inhabit the island, you’ll be amazed to see some of the creatures that are right under your nose. So head out from your Anna Maria Island lodging and get into the great outdoors to see what’s there. All you have to do is know what you’re looking for and where to look and you’re sure to spot some of the area’s animals.

Turtle swimming in the Gulf of Mexico

Marine Life

With so much water in the gulf and also the marshes that are found throughout Anna Maria Island, you won’t be surprised to find those marine creatures are some of the most commonly spotted animals in the area.

Known as a fantastic fishing spot, it’s clear that you can expect to see lots of different types of fish if you look into the waters in and around Anna Maria Island- and you don’t have to go far. Any waters near many Anna Maria Island houses for rent will give you an opportunity to spot some of these fish. Keep your eyes out for mackerel, snook, trout, amberjack, redfish, snapper, grouper, cobia, mahi, and more. You may even be lucky enough to see a wide range of shark species if you head out into deeper waters.

On top of the fish species you can find around Anna Maria Island, you’ll also have the opportunity to see some dolphins playing in the Gulf waters, jellyfish, sea turtles, stingrays, and other marine animals. Sometimes even stingrays, a gopher tortoise, or manatees can be seen as well.

Your best chance to spot a dolphin or even some whales possibly is by taking a tour out into some of the deeper waters. Here, you’ll be able to see dolphins in their natural habitat.

Manatees are also one of the creatures you can keep on the lookout for. They tend to hang out in the warmer shallower waters in the harbor—sometimes where they think they can get a sip of fresh cool water from a hose. This endangered species is beloved in Anna Maria Island and in Florida as a whole.

Bird watching on Anna Maria Island beach

Bird Watching

Anna Maria Island can be known as a bird watchers paradise. It’s not just because of the wonderful weather or the sandy beaches, it’s because the island is situated at a major migration point as well as a nesting territory for many different types of land and sea birds. Keep your eyes peeled for herons, sandpipers, osprey, vultures, eagles, storks, egrets, pelicans, and more.

Just head to a quiet beach and you’ll be able to spot just a few of the many species of birds. Some of the best locations include the Coquina Beach Baywalk and Bean Point.

Small brown common lizard in Florida

Other Wildlife

Although most of the wildlife on Anna Maria Island can be found in the water and in the air, there are some other animals you may happen to see during your day to day travels around the island. Small lizards are very common to see skirting around the edges of buildings and seeking out some cool and shady areas. Some people have also reported seeing armadillo wandering the island, and snakes and raccoons are also common to see hanging around.

Be ready to explore all the island has to offer in the way of wildlife, from turtles nesting up on shore to birds sailing through the open blue skies.


Best Beachfront Condo Rentals on Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria Island is known for having some of the most beautiful white sand beaches. On your vacation here you’ll be sure to want to spend as much time as possible soaking up the sun and enjoying the gorgeous water. What better way to do that then to look for some Anna Maria Island houses for rent that are right on the beach? Luckily, we’ve got some of the best beachfront condo rentals for you to choose from.

Beachfront condo rental on Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria Beach Resort (Room 105)

This is a great pick for anyone who doesn’t plan to spend a lot of time inside their vacation rental but is more concerned about having a prime location for his or her trip. This spot offers room to sleep a total of 5 people and is an apartment style setup with a full kitchen and is completely furnished. You’ll have a view of the beach and water right through the sliding glass doors, and this ground level lodging makes it simple to step right out and take a short walk to the beach.

View from deck of beachfront vacation condo in Anna Maria Island

Beach Life At the Pointe

This is the Anna Maria Island lodging you want if you’re trying to get the authentic Old Florida to feel out of your trip. This direct beachfront cottage has two bedrooms and two bathrooms and sleeps a total of 4 people. A private and screened in wrap around deck gives you beautiful views of the soft sands and glistening waters. Plus all you have to do to enjoy the beach itself is a step outside. In the heart of Holmes Beach, this property is dog-friendly and has a newly upgraded kitchen. It is all quite spacious, giving you and your crew all the space you need to prepare a meal (and dine on the deck).

Ocean view from living room of vacation rental in Anna Maria Island, FL

Casa on the Beach

This 3 bedroom, 3 bathroom vacation home rental is a wonderful pick if you’re looking to feel like you’re staying in a home away from home this trip. Sleeping up to 6 people, this property comes with bikes, a beach wagon, beach chairs, foosball table, and a gas BBQ grill. Of course, the crowning glory of this rental is its easy access to the beautiful beach front. However, there is also a fantastic heated pool that will give you options to enjoy the outdoors of this home at the North end of the island.

Front view of beachfront vacation rental

Moondance

This Gulf front elevated home has a unique style that will give you easy access to the beach, along with lots of quiet privacy to enjoy your relaxing vacation. You can take an easy walk over to tons of restaurants or shopping areas, or just enjoy the amazing view of the beach you have from your private balcony. With two bedrooms and 1.5 bathrooms, this location can sleep up to 6 people.

Well decorated living room of vacation rental in Anna Maria Island

Shells and Sunshine

Located on the north end of the island, this vacation home is very tranquil and will ensure you get the rejuvenation you desire from a beach getaway. With an outdoor deck and private walkway to the beach, there are plenty of ways to enjoy the sunshine and salt air of Anna Maria Island. This rental sleeps a total of 8 people in the 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom home. With two living levels, this location will give you plenty of privacy even with a bigger group of people.

Ocean view from deck of a vacation rental in Anna Maria Island

The Big Yellow House

Aptly named, you can’t miss this massive beach home that reflects the sunny personality you’ll find all over Anna Maria Island. With 5 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms, this spot is ideal for bigger groups as it sleeps up to 14 people. Not only is it beachside for optimal fun and a view of the best sunsets, but there’s also a heated pool if you prefer that option instead. Close to all of the popular spots on Pine Avenue, this rental will give you everything you want in a luxurious vacation getaway.


Is Anna Maria Island Pet Friendly?

With the beautiful weather that surrounds Anna Maria Island during most times of the year, it can feel like the perfect place to head with your pet. Luckily, there are many pet-friendly areas that will be more than happy to accommodate you and your four-legged friends. From places to eat, ways to enjoy the ocean, and available Anna Maria Island lodging, pet friendly options can be found at every turn of your island beach vacation.

anna maria pet friendly vacation rentals

Restaurants

Sometimes when you’re out for a walk with your pet or just exploring the area you’ll both get a little hungry or thirsty. Of course, you want to make sure when you stop for a bite it’s a good place for everyone involved. Anna Maria Island has several eateries that will let you bring your pet right in with you.

Most spots that allow dogs to come in are patio friendly. Harry’s Grill, The Waterfront Restaurant, and Poppo’s Taqueria are all spots that will allow your pup to sip some water on the patio while you grab a meal.

Beach Rules

Anna Maria Island is known for having some of the most beautiful beachfronts in the world. So, naturally, you’ll probably want to take your pets along with you as you explore the sands and the waves. But, before you do that, make sure to know the pet friendly rules of the area beaches. Not all the beaches are pet friendly, so your best option is to stick to the ones that are.

Palma Sola Causeway on Manatee Avenue is one of the best spots to take your dog for a run or a swim. This area is close to the road, so make sure you keep your dog on a leash or that they are very well trained to come when you call. This area is just about a 10 minute drive from Holmes Beach.

Parks

There are a few off-leash dog parks where you can take your dog to get some exercise and play with some other pups. The Holmes Beach Dog Park is located at the corner of 62nd street and Flotilla Drive. There’s a small dog area and a large dog are at this grassy park.

Another fantastic option is the Happy Tails Dog Park at 2811 51st Street West. If you’re more concerned about dog size, this park is wonderful because it splits up into 3 sections depending on how big the dogs are.

Where to Stay

One of the most important things when taking your furry friend on vacation with you is finding an affordable and pet friendly place to stay. The good news is that there are plenty of pet friendly Anna Maria Island houses for rent. Pet friendly rentals vary in size and type, so you won’t have to give up anything you’re hoping for during your vacation to find the perfect spot to stay.

Just a few options include the Anna Maria Chateau which sleeps up to 8 people, the South Seas rental that has room for 12 people, and even a smaller rental option like the Sideways location which will comfortably fit up to 4 people.

No matter what you’re looking for in your Anna Maria Island lodging, we can help you find the premiere location for you and your pet. Many come complete with private pools and backyards so everyone will have the best vacation ever.

One rule to definitely keep in mind is to keep your dog leashed at all times unless you bring them to one of the previously mentioned off-leash parks. Other than that, get ready to have a wonderful time with your dog on vacation and if you have any questions about pet friendly policies our friendly staff can answer any of your questions. We can guide you to the most appropriate Anna Maria Island rentals for your vacationing needs.


Announcing the Brand New Beach Resort in Anna Maria Island

What is a vacation to Anna Maria Island like?

Anna Maria Island is a paradise of fun under the sun. From the beaches to the restaurants, the museums to the theatrical shows, the island is a paradise just ready for exploring. But you don’t even need to leave the hotel to have an enthralling time.

If you stay at one of our Anna Maria Island accommodations, you get instant access to gorgeous blue pools, the epic (and famous) gulf beach, and many luxury amenities.

Our Anna Maria Island beach resort is a special addition to the island. It is not just another motel in a sea of waterside places to stay. We made sure to add something wholly unique, spectacular, and memorable to every square foot of our 31-suite beachside haven.

anna maria island hotel resort

History of the Blue Water Beach Resort

So where did it all start?

Our Anna Maria Island resort on the beach used to be called the Blue Water Beach Resort. It perfectly exemplified the Old Florida aesthetic of Anna Maria Island. But the hotel lacked modern conveniences. While it had a classic design, we thought it was a little “too” classic.

This is why we revitalized the property, retaining its history yet adding a whole array of modern luxuries and conveniences.

anna maria island beach resort

Grand Opening

We then launched the brand new Anna Maria beachfront motel to the world. Anna Maria Beach Resort opened its doors March 2019. People adored the chic look with modern touches including:

  • stunning resort pool and hot tub
  • rich beach décor and rich contrasts
  • wide-open patio and balcony spaces
  • wood trimmed interior
  • and much more

Interestingly, the core of the hotel floor plans and structure remained intact. The old Blue Water Beach Resort was actually developed closer to the gulf water than what current law allows, giving all our guests first-rate access and proximity to Florida’s finest beach side.

The team struck that delicate balance between classic and new, providing vintage style with a classy and sleek new look.

beachfront hotel anna maria island

What Sets the Resort Apart

Our Anna Maria Island beach hotel is luxury living. Guests can hop from one of two resort pools, a hot tub, and the beach without ever losing vacation time. Everything is right here, with top-quality guest amenities like cabana rentals, beach gear, a firepit, a children’s playground, and more.

This is all offered in a revitalized and contemporary space, a far cry away from the basic Florida beachside motel you could find anywhere. Inside your room you can find gorgeous kitchens, high-speed internet, flatscreen televisions, gulf and resort views, and extensive living space. Across all 31 suites and rooms, you will find something to adore, with the gulf as your always-present vacation companion.

Is The Resort Right For You?

So is it right for you? Different guest experiences can be found at different Anna Maria hotels. The Beach Resort is right for you if you want elegance, ease, and a trusted company to book with.

Families will just love the fact that our resort view rooms offer instant access to the resort pool. Guests can watch their kids play from the patio or balcony while they enjoy the beach ambiance under the shade. We know how hard it can be to get the kids out of the pool- so why make them! Let them play the vacation away.

Our smaller-spaced and intimate rooms are great for couples. Couples can seek a romantic walk down to the beach. Our thatch-roofed cabana offers a tropical flair if you want a shady spot to relax with your loved one.

Larger-sized groups can also find plenty to love. Our spacious suites and deluxe hotels give plenty of room to stretch out for larger groups. With all the many on-site activities (and the trolley location at the resort) anyone can find something fun to do without affecting the whole crew.

Contact us for more information about our special Anna Maria Island accommodations.


Best Places to Golf Near Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria Island is one of the best places to stay if you are an avid golfer. There are many courses near the island that are sure to impress just about anyone who loves to get out on a good green.

The beautiful weather and sunshine make this part of Florida one of the premier locations for gorgeous golf courses. So grab your clubs and set a tee time at one of these fabulous local golf courses during your stay on Anna Maria Island.

There are many golf courses near Anna Maria Island to experience on your vacation.

Key Royale Club

This is the only golf course that is actually located right on Anna Maria Island. If you’re looking to do a lot of golf during your trip, it might be smart when you’re looking for places to stay on Anna Maria Island to scope out the proximity to the Key Royale Club.

The course itself is a par 32 nine-hole walking course. Open from dawn to dusk, the Key Royale Club was designed specifically to provide an enjoyable and relaxing experience to those with a higher handicap.

The club is located at 700 Key Royale Drive. It features a dining room banquet and luxury facilities. You also do not necessarily need to schedule a tee time in advance to use this course.

Manatee County Golf Course Buffalo Creek

An easy 20-minute drive from Anna Maria Island to just south of Bradenton, many consider this a fun and exciting course in the area. The 18-hole regulation course boasts TifEagle Bermuda Greens that are similar to a high-end course. A fantastic choice for players of all skill levels, even advanced players will be able to find a challenge on these greens. You can also schedule lessons for members of your group who may need a refresher.

Rates start at $16 a player and you’ll find this course at 6415 53rd Avenue West.

Pinebrook Ironwood Golf Club

Located about a 20-minute drive from places to stay on Anna Maria Island, this Bradenton golf course will be a delight for golfers of all skill levels. With a lush ultra dwarf Bermuda Greenway, the surface of this course is second to none. With a high focus on maintaining pristine grounds, the Pinebrook Ironwood Golf Course will have you feeling like you’re golfing in the lap of luxury. The course is a fun challenge for golfers of all experience levels.

Located at 4260 Ironwood Circle in Bradenton, daily fees for this course begin as low as $20.

There are many golf courses that are near Anna Maria Island for different levels of golfers.

Rosedale Golf and Country Club

About a 40-minute drive outside of Anna Maria Island, this course is great for groups of all skill levels. It’s especially recommended if you have some first timers or even brand new players in your group. The course has a professional design, and although easy enough for newer players to have fun, it also still is able to provide a challenge to more experienced golfers as well. One of the most striking things about this course is that the greens are lined with old growth trees, giving it a real old Florida feel.

Located at 5100 87th Street East, this course is just east of Bradenton Rates here start at $18 a player.

Legacy Golf Club Lakewood Ranch

This course is a little further away from Anna Maria Island places to stay but is well worth the drive if you’re looking for an upscale experience. A little under an hour’s drive away from the island, just outside the Nathan Benderson Park, Legacy Golf Club is known as one of the best courses in all of Southwest Florida. The Arnold Palmer Signature design of the 18-hole course will make you feel like a pro. Suggested for golfers with an intermediate skill level, daily rates here start at $19 per player.


How to Get to Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria Island is a wondrous vacation getaway, and one of the top gulf coast destinations in Florida.

But the big questions may still remain: where is it? How do you get here?

We cover the best routes to the island, what airport to use, and how you can find this majestic beachside nook for your upcoming vacation escape.

directions to anna maria

Where is Anna Maria Island on the Map?

First, we start by zooming out wide. Anna Maria Island is located right along the Gulf of Mexico in Florida. Look about halfway down Florida’s boot, just below Tampa, and you are sure to settle somewhere along Anna Maria Island’s seven-mile stretch. It is snug tight between Sarasota and Tampa.

What Airport Do You Fly Into?

There are three main airports near the island. Which airport you use depends on your travel itinerary and the city you choose to fly into. The three closest major airports are Tampa International Airport (TPA), Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport (SRQ), and Orlando International Airport (MCO).

The closest is SRQ, though flights are expectedly limited. The furthest airport is in Orlando, but it is one of the largest airports in the state and a perfectly reasonable flight-in if you end up spending any time at Disney World.

main ami roads

What’s the Most Direct Route to the Island from the Cities?

Which major road you take to the island will depend on which city you start at. If you wind up in Orlando, you are certainly going to take I4 west to the island. This is the major route across the state of Florida, and one you will likely utilize if you head to the eastern side as well. There is no toll road on I4. The drive from Orlando to Anna Maria Island takes about two hours.

If you are coming in from Tampa, 75 South will be your main road to the island. It carries southwest, but you will want to jump off near Bradenton to get to Anna Maria Island. This drive will take at least an hour.

Lastly, visitors from Sarasota will have a nice non-highway ride to their destination. The most direct route is along 301 as it carries directly east of the island. You will eventually want to hit a left at 64 or 684 in Bradenton proper or South Bradenton to reach the island. This drive will take, on a good day, about 40 minutes.

How do You Get to the Island?

After zooming in a bit, you will eventually see the local streets in and around Anna Maria Island. There are three total main roads onto the island. The first is at the northern point. This is by 64, locally called Manatee Ave. This will take you close to Anna Maria city.

The second main entrance is near the middle of the island by Cortez Beach. This is called Cortez Rd and it will land you right at the heart of Bradenton Beach.

How About the Scenic Route?

Finally, we also recommend the southernmost bridge access point by way of Longboat Key. It is likely the longest ride in, and only viable for visitors coming from the south, but it is a stunning run along the breadth of Anna Maria Island’s coastline. This route is useful for anyone coming in from Sarasota. It is a wonderful drive as you can see the water in many spots from the road. To utilize this path, you have to escape west in the Sarasota area and drive through St. Armand’s Circle and then up to Longboat Key.

anna maria island vacations

Where is the Best Anna Maria Island Lodging?

The best lodging is by the beach, of course! We want you to have an absolutely thrilling time when you finally make your way to the island. Contact us about all our Anna Maria Island houses for rent. We can connect you with the perfect home for you and your whole crew. We have beach views, furnished kitchens, pool access, and more.

Stay right by the water. Relax by the pool. Admire the view from the balcony. We have fallen in love with Anna Maria Island, and we are sure you will too.


What is Anna Maria Island Like Today?

Anna Maria Island has undergone a pretty dramatic evolution. If you happened to last see the island back before 2000, a lot has changed.

What is the island like now? What are some of the most revolutionary changes you can expect? We cover how far Anna Maria Island- and what it is like today.

Anna Maria Island has undergone a pretty dramatic change, but the island vibe is still flourishing.

Growth Came- and Quickly

If you spend any amount of time researching Anna Maria Island and how it has changed, you will certainly come across one big reality- it has grown tremendously. The growth has been at an accelerated rate, and this has created some seismic shifts in the community.

There have been some political disagreements over where and how fast developers can build new homes and businesses. There is a pushback to development, with detractors arguing that the island can only develop so far and so fast. They argue that the island is losing some of its identity. Supporters are arguing that they are bringing finances, tourists, and a strong community backbone to Anna Maria Island.

Various building subcontracts have led to new structures, but many of these projects have stalled due to government blockage and other local concerns.

The Island Vibes

With that said, Anna Maria Island still retains its Old Florida charms and island energy. While some development has occurred, it could have been more if it wasn’t for strong local support against it.

The island vibe is still flourishing. There are wide assortments of local businesses which are local mainstays. Three Island Monkeys is a colorful and exuberant local boutique shop, Beach Bums still as many beach rental offerings, the Olive Oil Outpost has local treats and delicacies, and Island Gallery West keeps the torch hanging high for local art and artisans.

As long as visitors continue to aspire towards local places, and residents support the island’s individuality by buying locally, there will be a vibrant and healthy community.

Anna Maria Island things to do

Three Distinct Parts

There are incredible Anna Maria Island houses for rent on all three parts of the island. Each one has developed its own peculiar identity. These are Bradenton Beach, Holmes Beach, and Anna Maria city.

Bradenton Beach has a very colorful Old Florida vibe. It is home to a number of antique and boutique shops, including One Stop Shell Shop, Back Alley Treasures, and Bridge Street Jewelers. There is a very eccentric vibe in Bradenton Beach, with colorful pink shops lining the beach and small casual eateries at every turn.

Holmes Beach is most well-known for its major beach access points. The most notable (and main beach access) on the whole island is Manatee Public Beach. It features the most amenities, accessible parking, and many activities for all ages.

Finally, Anna Maria Island has a very culturally-rich downtown area. The northern part of the island is soaked in small side streets, unique shops, and old city history. Anna Maria city is the top place to go for shopping and dining. Its top feature is Pine Ave, where you can find acclaimed ice cream shops, massage spas, and more.

Anna Maria Island is defined by its three main sections, and each one is worth exploring and seeing.

Transportation

Transportation has been a very important piece to keeping traffic flowing gracefully on the island. The free Anna Maria Island shuttle service is an invaluable resource for locals and visitors. The option offers a nice trolley-going experience through the smaller inner streets of downtown Anna Maria Island. See some of the best attractions and get easy transportation to and from the sights. You can use the trolley as a useful transportation tool or even a tour guide!

So what is Anna Maria Island like today? Public transportation is widely available. Each major part of the island has its own unique character. The beach access points are well-developed enough to accommodate the traffic flow without losing its charming beach vibes. The entire island is a tropical paradise, developed but still stunning, popular but still quiet in many areas.

Contact us to find Anna Maria Island lodging for your upcoming island escape. There are many reasons why the island is such an acclaimed and popular destination. The locals love it, the visitors crave more of it, and the beaches remain as vibrant as ever.


Distance from Sarasota to Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria Island is home to some of the most beautiful Florida weather nature you can find. From luxurious beaches to stunning and diverse wildlife, there’s something for everyone to see and enjoy outside. Whether you’d rather be running on the beach, trying to spot a dolphin, or discovering new beautiful sites, there’s no shortage of outdoor fun on Anna Maria Island.

So how do you get to the fun shores of Anna Maria Island from its nearby neighbor of Sarasota? Many visitors pass through Sarasota to get to Anna Maria. But navigating to the island may not always be so easy, especially for visitors unfamiliar with the gulf side of Florida.

how to get to anna maria from sarasota

Locating Sarasota on the Map

Overall, Sarasota is southeast of Anna Maria Island. Sarasota has a few small neighborhoods, including Sarasota Springs and North Sarasota. Sarasota is against the Sarasota Bay, while Lido Key is directly west, and against the Gulf of Mexico.

Sarasota is a pivotal gateway to the region. Visitors to Lido Key, Siesta Key, and, in many instances, Anna Maria Island, often pass through Sarasota on their island vacation adventure.

Many flying travelers will use SRQ Airport, or Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport. It is undoubtedly Sarasota’s largest airport, and one of the largest in the region for international travel. For travel purposes, you may want to mark the airport’s address of 6000 Airport Cir., Sarasota, FL 34243.

Locating Anna Maria Island on the Map

Anna Maria Island is an elongated island that spans about seven miles. You can almost see the water on each side because it is such a thin vacation escape. It averages about two miles wide, and spans from the city proper on the northern end to Bradenton Beach towards the south.

Anna Maria Island is directly west of Bradenton and just south of St. Petersburg across a massive body of water called Tampa Bay.

How Long is the Trip From Sarasota to Anna Maria Island?

So how far is it to the island and the many Anna Maria Island houses for rent? Travelling from Sarasota to Anna Maria Island is straightforward if you follow the major arteries.

The drive will take anywhere from 30 minutes on the short end to 50 minutes on the longer end, depending on seasonal traffic. There is no immediate and clear fastest route, as there are three viable options in total.

The two most direct routes to take are US-41 N and US-301 N. Both of these northern routes from Sarasota will take you directly into Bradenton, where you will cut west into Anna Maria Island by either route 64 or route 684. 64 is the northern entrance to the island while 684 will take you closer to the southern side. Both utilize one of two main bridge entrances from the east. If you do take 64, you will hug the water and eventually turn left onto Conquistador Parkway. You will follow this up to one of the two bridge accesses. Take the left at either 684 (44th Ave/Cortez Rd) or 64 (Manatee Ave). Keep an eye out for a left turn which will take you over to the island.

There is another bridge entrance on the very southern tip of Anna Maria Island, and this makes for the most interesting ride. When you leave Sarasota, you can choose to cross directly west into Lido Key. Here, you can follow the only route north all the way into Bradenton Beach and to Anna Maria. The majority of the time this route will be named Gulf of Mexico Drive (or Gulf Drive as you enter Anna Maria Island).

It is a sensational and scenic drive. While usually a few minutes longer than the inland driving of 301 or 41, it is far more satisfying. Beach views can be caught between the small coastal homes, and you can get an idea of the Anna Maria Island lodging as you span the Gulf of Mexico.

We love the island life, and we want to share Anna Maria Island with anyone and everyone. Sarasota is a great entry-point, but the real island life is up in Anna Maria.