Anna Maria News

All the latest stories from the Island of Anna Maria.

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


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.


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


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

Anna Maria Island is a wonderful, romantic destination for all couples. From first vacationers to honeymooners, or even couples looking to rekindle a spark, there is something for everyone. 

couple on the beach

Perhaps the best activities are the ones that you can truly be done together and not simply done besides one another. In order to get the most out of your trip, try some of the best couple activities in Anna Maria Island.


Kayaking in Anna Maria Island is a time-honored tradition. For added romance (and a little teamwork), consider a two-person kayak rental. You and your significant other can spend the day together exploring Florida while taking in the abundance of fauna and wildlife. For a truly unforgettable experience, reserve a sunset kayak tour for you and other half. Cozy up in your two-person kayak and watch as the sun sets over the Gulf of Mexico.

Alternatively, consider a kayak fishing charter with your partner as a way to bond. It’s truly one of the best ways to explore Florida’s nooks and crannies while experiencing the fishy side of Florida! Companies such as Happy Paddler will provide everything you may need including the kayak, fishing rods, bait, and safety gear. Simply show up as a couple and get ready for an exciting day!


Considered by many to be the fastest growing watersport, paddleboarding has blossomed in Anna Maria Island as a universal activity for all. You have the opportunity to explore the Floridian waterways with your significant other while creating lifelong memories. Unlike kayaks, paddleboards can be utilized as makeshift surfboards for small waves out in the Gulf of Mexico. Whatever your preference may be, paddleboarding in Anna Maria Island has become a must-do couple activity.

Wildlife Cruises

Wildlife cruises in Anna Maria Island are a memorable bonding experience for any couple looking for an outdoor adventure. These cruises are a great way to not only explore the ecosystem in and around Florida but give couples an amazing opportunity to experience the wildlife as well. On any number of wildlife cruises, couples can see a number of birds, crabs, manatees, and even the occasional dolphin. Cozy up with your significant other and enjoy all that nature has to offer.

Sunset Cruise

Nothing says romance quite like a sunset. That’s why sunset cruises in Anna Maria Island have consistently been rated as one of the best activities for couples. Sail out into the Gulf of Mexico and partake in one of the best sunsets on the planet. This can be a perfect activity to end your wonderful day of bonding.

Many sunset cruise charters will allow passengers to bring some snacks and even alcohol on the ride to make It a truly enjoyable experience. Grab a bottle of yours and your partner’s favorite drink, snacks, and take in the truly gorgeous hues in the sky over the Gulf of Mexico.

anna maria overhead shot

Relax on the Beach

Of course, you don’t have to do anything extravagant to have an incredible day with the one you love most. Simply grab a blanket or a couple of beach chairs and bring your picnic lunch for an unforgettable afternoon on the beach. You can spend your hours getting your tan on the sand, wading in the tide, or splashing around in the water. There’s always plenty of room to set up your own spot on the shoreline, and you’d be hard-pressed to find a better view!

There’s no better place to reconnect with your partner than on Anna Maria Island. Couples’ activities abound here, no matter what you and your sweetheart like to do. Now all that’s left to do is find a place to stay! Our Anna Maria Island vacation rentals provide the ideal blend of comfort and luxury, allowing you to escape your worries and truly relax. Contact us today to get started!

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


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


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.


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 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.

Beaches Near Anna Maria Island

If you need a break from winter weather and choose to spend a long weekend or week on Anna Maria Island, an island off the Gulf Coast of Florida, you’re certainly in for a treat.

There’s nothing like sun, sand and lots of outdoor activities to make you forget about subzero temperatures and nor’easters. You’ll enjoy your time sunbathing, paddleboarding, snorkeling and, of course, eating all right on the island.

Of course, all of these activities are made even better by not just being next to the beach, but right on it. Anna Maria Island, and the surrounding communities are coated with hidden nooks, big escapes, and activity-filled beaches to see. Below we take a look at most, if not all, of the local beaches. Whether they are right on the island or within a short drive, there’s an amazing beach at every turn.

beaches to visit near Anna Maria

Beaches on the Island

For obvious convenience, you may want beaches closest to the Anna Maria Island houses for rent. Fortunately, don’t even need to get behind the wheel to get to some of the best beaches on the Gulf Coast.

  • Coquina Beach: Coquina Beach is one of the most popular beach escapes on the island, famous for its idyllic beachside expanse, its bright-white sand, and views of the nearby marine life.
  • Bayfront Park: Bayfront Park has a small beach area, but it is actually more known for its expansive picnic area, public grills, convenient amenities, playground, and close proximity to the local pier.
  • Palmetto Ave Beach: On the west side of the island, facing the gulf, is this popular escape. We have a number of Anna Maria Island houses for rent right in this popular area.
    Manatee Public Beach: Manatee is the defining public beach on the island. With many annual events, an array of boutique shops, bike trails, and rentals, and playground area, the majority of visitors wind up settling here for the day.
  • Bean Point: Bean Point is on the northern point of the island, and is only moderately well-known. It’s a reclusive and isolated beach escape, even enough to where there’s no clear signage and no available public parking!

Anna Maria is filled with beaches, and they all offer something a little different. Our Anna Maria lodging is located right by some of these top destinations. Whether you are looking for a big beach to socialize or a quiet escape, the island has it.

Beaches About 20 Minutes from the Island

You may want to venture off the island for a bit, and that’s perfectly okay! There are some lovely day trips or afternoon getaways you can make from your Anna Maria Island lodging to see a little more of the Gulf Coast of Florida. Below are some of the best beaches you can find within a short drive.

  • Beer Can Island: Beer Can Island is usually only accessible by boat. Snug between Anna Maria Island and Longboat Key, the name hardly does this powdery white sand beach justice.
  • Cortez Beach: Cortez Beach is technically in Bradenton Beach and is still on the island, but it is quite far south compared to other beach stops. It boasts its own unique and charming identity compared to the center and northern parts of Anna Maria.
  • Longboat Key: Longboat Key has about 12 small beach access points, all of them subtly tucked between private homes and rentals. Head south past the island about 10 minutes and keep your eye out for some of this quiet enclaves amidst some of the best sandy points in the whole gulf coast.

While some beaches are highly-trafficked, others lack even the most basic of amenities. What are you looking for on a vacation escape? What does your dream beach locale look like?

Top Resorts and Hotels on Anna Maria Island

As you would expect from a prime vacation spot like Anna Maria Island, there’s no shortage of top resorts and hotels to choose from when you book a stay on this beautiful barrier island.

Need accommodations for a large family? Or will a simple one-bedroom do? Looking for two baths? Fully equipped kitchens? Beachfront views?

Staying on Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria Island has it all when it comes to things to do and fine restaurants, but you’ll also find that the island offers a wide range of houses, condos and cottages for rent.

Here are a few of the top resorts and hotels you can consider when it’s time to book your long-awaited trip to Anna Maria Island. The below is an overview of our best places to stay for small groups.

Gulf View Rooms

It’s easy to use words like “perfect” and “superb” to describe our assortment of Gulf view rooms in Holmes Beach. These accommodations feature full kitchens or kitchenettes, large beds, dishwashers, community pool access and patios or balconies.

You’ll be able to enjoy the glowing gulf sunset every evening from this home away from home.

Deluxe King Resort View Rentals

Our fully-equipped Deluxe King Resort View rentals give you everything you need to spend a comfortable and memorable vacation on Anna Maria Island.

The rentals are idyllic romantic escapes. Their one-bedroom one-bath accommodations can help you relax right into the vacation experience.

You are within a short walk to the beach, and you can always lounge out quietly by the pool. Enjoy high-speed WiFi, oversized armchairs, and more.

Anna Maria Island Luxury Suite

As one of the finest hotels not only on the island but on the entire Florida Gulf Coast, our Anna Maria Luxury Suite offers a truly magical place to stay. It has everything you could ask for. A double vanity, two sofas, a shower and tub, high-speed internet, accessible parking accommodations, stocked kitchen cabinets, nightstands, lovely beach décor, and a lot more. You can always wander right down to the water or to the large turquoise pool.

Beachside hammocks. Tropical gardens. Perfect gulf views. You can prepare entire meals in fully-equipped kitchens and enjoy them outside. It has everything you need to make a great vacation better.

anna maria island lodging

Gulf Front Suites

What can be lovelier than spending a Florida vacation in a Gulf front suite? Achieve an old Florida feel with a mix of modern amenities with our selection of suites facing right out into the gulf.

We fit our suites with some top accommodations. Relax on a pillowtop mattress with convenient and comfortable duvet. Enjoy the fully-stocked kitchen, so you can easily prepare any meals you need without having to fully rely on dining out.

Rollaway beds can accommodate additional guests and a spacious dining and separate living room area can give you all places to lounge around.

At this location, you are very close to the warm Gulf of Mexico. The water is just a few steps away. If you don’t want to head to the beach, you can always stay in and enjoy the courtyard grills, swimming pools, and cabana areas.

Our gulf front rentals are also close to Bridge Street, with its many attractions and among the best restaurants on Anna Maria Island.

Explore Our Many Rentals

Anna Maria Beach Resort has plenty of Anna Maria Island houses for rent.

We offer 31 suites and deluxe and standard rooms, many with pools and views of the ocean. Our homes have multiple bathrooms, sleeping accommodations for 10 or more, fully stocked kitchens, decks, patios, balconies. The rentals offer so many outdoor spaces, you won’t know where to sit to enjoy the breathtaking vistas Anna Maria has to offer.

Review our full list of Anna Maria Island lodging to see and experience Florida’s premiere island destination. With our available Anna Maria Island houses for rent, you are never short of possibilities for the perfect vacation getaway in southern Florida.

Where to Eat – Anna Maria Island

When it comes to food you’ll find that Anna Maria Island boasts many top-rated eateries and five-star restaurants that are favorites of both locals and tourists. From breakfast to brunch and dinner to cocktails, there’s a place for everyone when it comes to Anna Maria Island dining.

Anna Maria Places to Eat

Restaurant Choices on Anna Maria Island

Let’s take a closer look at five restaurants that’ll answer the question: Where to eat on Anna Maria Island?

Sandbar Restaurant

According to TripAdvisor, nearly 80% of patrons rate this restaurant as “Excellent” and “Very Good”. Many reviews note the restaurant’s atmosphere, beach views and, of course, favorite dishes, such as blackened grouper and the shrimp sandwich.

The Sandbar Restaurant has lunch and dinner specials, a nice list of red and white wines, appetizers and, of course, premium seafood fare.

Classics include the Sandbar Steak, fried shrimp platter, stuffed shrimp and crab cake. You can also choose non-seafood dishes such as a gourmet burger, chicken n’ waffles, ribs, steak burger and sausage hoagie.

Waterfront Restaurant

“Amazing food.” “Delicious food.” “Great food and atmosphere.” “Perfect”, “wonderful” and “delightful.” These are the descriptions you’ll see in the many positive reviews written about the Waterfront Restaurant.

With mouth-watering main dinner dishes such as maple mustard salmon, mahi salsa de langosta (made with fresh Gulf Coast fillet), frutti di mare (Key West shrimp, mussels, clams and scallops) and apricot-glazed pork tenderloin, you can’t go wrong at the Waterfront.

The lunch menu features the Waterfront Chicken Sandwich, a fresh catch fish sandwich, the Waterfront signature burger and so much more. There’s even a vegan quinoa bake! Check out the kids’ menu, too.

Outdoor dining, specialty drinks, daily specials and a list of draft and craft beers make the Waterfront a must-visit if you’re looking for a relaxed dinner, a family meal or maybe a date night with your partner.

Beach House Restaurant

Beach House Restaurant in Bradenton Beach gets top ratings for food, service and atmosphere.

Covering 650 feet of beach, this restaurant was renovated in 2017 and has been an island favorite since 1993. Those renovations boast environmentally-conscious lighting and stunning landscaping.

From seafood gumbo and fish platter to burgers and short rib tacos, there’s something for everyone on the menu. There are fresh catch dishes, specialties (such as pork, snapper and even wild boar!) and house-made desserts.

Bridge Street Bistro

Referred to as “Anna Maria’s Hot Spot”, it’d be remiss not to mention at least one restaurant on Bridge Street. One place you can try is Bridge Street Bistro. It’s fairly new in town, but people are talking.

Highlights include Potato-crusted Grouper, Seafood risotto, Veal and chicken dishes, and an expansive list of wines from around the world. Nearly 90% of reviews on TripAdvisor rate this restaurant as “Excellent” or “Very Good”–if you’re shopping and need to stop for a bite, check out Bridge Street Bistro.

Harry’s Grill

If you’re on Gulf Drive, check out Harry’s Grill. Voted Best Burger on Anna Maria Island!

Tacos, quesadillas, chicken strips, fish sandwiches–this is a place the whole family will love.

It features a pet-friendly patio, live music, karaoke, and even cornhole! Stay, eat, play, and relax. You can make a whole afternoon or early evening when you happen by Harry’s Grill.

Every Friday from 3-5 is Harry Hour, with live entertainment and discounts on food and drinks.

Anna Maria Places to Stay

Where to Stay?

So whether you’re looking for formal, relaxed, fun–Anna Maria Island has a food establishment that will cater to your current mood.

In addition, there are lots of Anna Maria Island lodging options close to these and other restaurants and eateries. From beachfront houses to 1-bedroom cottages, you’ll find accommodations that comfortably sleep up the whole family, with two or more baths, private patios, pools and more.
Anna Maria Beach Resort has everything you’re looking for, book your stay today!

New Years Events on Anna Maria Island

Vacationing during the holidays can really provide for a memorable experience. You’ll be able to plan some fun activities to celebrate some of your favorite traditions.

And if you love to celebrate the New Year watching a ball drop or enjoying a big island event, you are in the right place. There is plenty to do on Anna Maria Island to kick it off right. New Year’s Eve is just around the corner and there are many ways to celebrate.

Anna Maria New Years Eve

Where to Watch the Fireworks

One of the most popular Anna Maria Island New Years things to do is, of course, watch the fireworks. You can do it from the comforts of your vacation rental or you can check out one of the fun spots on the island.

A local favorite is The Beach House on Gulf Drive North. Grab something to eat from their special dinner menu up until 10 p.m. and kick back with a few drinks until the fireworks go off.

This fireworks show is one of the most highly anticipated events all year long on Anna Maria Island. You can watch the incredible light show right from the beach as you say goodbye to the old year.

Other great spots to ring in the New Year on Anna Maria Island include Bortell’s Lounge on Gulf Drive and D Coy Ducks Bar and Grille on Marina Drive. Both bars are open past midnight and provide unique atmospheres to watch the ball drop on television and get ready for a brand new year in front of us.

Explore the Island

You can always check out some of the attractions that might be busier at other times of the year. Take this off-season time to check out some spots that will be much less crowded than usual. Explore the historic City Pier, Bean Point, and Coquina Beach. These areas may be remarkably quiet in the days leading up to the New Year.

You’ll still be able to spot some dolphins, birds, and other wildlife. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can rent a kayak or go on a boat tour to see some incredible views. Holiday hours may vary by boat availability, but there’s almost always a group heading out into the Gulf for a sunset or dolphin cruise.

Anna Maria New Years Eve

Nearby Celebrations

Anna Maria Island lights up with lovely New Year’s Eve events. Below are a few more that you can check out in and around the island.

Main Street Live is a big block party on Old Main Street in downtown Bradenton. The whole thing kicks off in the late afternoon with live music, food trucks, vendors, and more. Of course, as the clock ticks closer and closer to midnight you’ll want to find the best spot to watch the ball drop.

Additionally, you could head to Main Street in Sarasota for the downtown New Year’s Eve Party. Festivities start in the afternoon with music and dancing. The night highlights local musicians and performers, as well as a delicious collection of food and drinks from local-only vendors. The most unique thing about this party is that as the old year leaves and we ring in the new one—a “Pineapple Ball Drop” counts us down to midnight. This event is definitely one to add to the bucket list.

No matter how you choose to enjoy New Year’s Eve on Anna Maria Island, we’re sure you will have a fantastic time. It’s a holiday you won’t soon forget.

Celebrate it surrounded by friends and family during your holiday vacation to Anna Maria Island.

Anna Maria Island Weather

For many, spending some time away from home is what makes a good vacation. But, what can make for an even better vacation is heading somewhere with some more comfortable weather. That’s where a trip away to Anna Maria Island can be the perfect option for a winter getaway.

The weather in Anna Maria Island is balmy and beautiful nearly the entire year. This makes it a wonderful option if you’re looking to get away from some of the more frigid temperatures up north.

Weather Anna Maria

Average Temperatures

Anna Maria Island Florida weather holds a year-round average of about 75 degrees. In the summer, temperatures are a little higher, averaging around 80 degrees. And even though the winter weather on Anna Maria Island can sometimes be a bit cooler, it’s still warm enough generally to enjoy all the outdoor activities the area has to offer. You’ll still be able to take a walk along the shoreline, kayak, and explore many of the beautiful natural attractions of the island.

On, and In, the Water

The beachside wind chill shouldn’t scare you away. AMI can provide perfect weather for catching some rays. You’ll likely be able to enjoy a day sitting by the pool or even on the beach as the weather in December can be anywhere between 60 to 70 degrees, with lower dips in the 50’s. Bright a light jacket to prepare and enjoy- the sun will probably still be out in the heart of the winter.

However, if you’re looking to actually get in the water, you might want to hold off. The Gulf of Mexico can cool down dramatically as the winter months approach. It’s better to stick to a heated pool if you’re looking to get in some swimming time.

Winter Anna Maria

Winter Things to Do

One of the best things about the sensational temperatures on Anna Maria Island in the wintertime is the opportunity to experience your favorite holiday activities without the fear or frostbite or a snowstorm. Imagine singing Christmas carols or looking at light displays without shivering and bundling up in layers.

You can even cozily enjoy New Years Eve outside. On Anna Maria Island, you’ll be able to wear your favorite summertime outfit to watch the ball drop without chattering teeth the entire time. The balmy weather in Anna Maria Island can definitely provide some unique opportunities to make your vacation even more special and exciting than you may have thought before.

Although there are some hiccups in the winter months, sometimes the summer months on Anna Maria Island can be just as unpredictable. Just like anywhere else, Anna Maria Island Florida weather can change quickly.

The biggest hurdle in the summer months is the rainfall. Some months have seen upwards of 7 inches of rain, and it can vary from month to month or even week to week. When a rain shower comes through, it can cool things down considerably. So, you may want to pack a rain jacket or a light sweatshirt just in case you get caught in one of those famous Anna Maria Island sun showers.

Regardless of what season you plan your vacation for, the weather is sure to give you a handful of lovely days to explore everything from your Anna Maria vacation rental. You’ll almost always be able to take a stroll on the beach, enjoy a cocktail on an outdoor patio, or sit by the pool. This is the magic of Florida island living. You get the winter without the winter. You get a family getaway for the season that only requires a light jacket and a smile.

Two Bedroom Houses for Rent on Anna Maria island

Anna Maria Island is an elegant and quiet vacation destination tucked away along the Gulf coast of Florida. You can see the breathtaking views for yourself and a loved one by enjoying our many 2 bedroom houses for rent on Anna Maria Island.

Below are 10 incredible 2 bedroom houses for rent today.

Two Bedroom Houses for Rent on Anna Maria Island

Magnolia Breeze

Magnolia Breezes infuses a little bit of that key West flavor into a quaint little canal front cottage. The bright open floor plan is a delight. You are within walking distance of the acclaimed Historic Anna Maria City Pier.

Two Bedroom Houses for Rent on Anna Maria Island

Tropical Breeze

This beach cottage provides you a virtually uninterrupted view of the gorgeous gulf front. Take advantage of some convenient amenities, including a private washer and dryer, linen program, three televisions, and eight big beach chairs. The open air deck is your place to lounge out and see the gulf over a coffee, a beer, or a book.

Two Bedroom Houses for Rent on Anna Maria Island

Blue Oasis

The ground floor Blue Oasis is a nice secret alcove with a private heated pool, a fully stocked kitchen, and a beautiful back patio space with chairs, umbrellas carts, and bikes.

The Blue Oasis is titled appropriately. Stroll about two minutes down through the backyard for a gorgeous and expansive stop on the gulf front beaches of Anna Maria Island. Dip on back and enter the private pool. You can’t go wrong with this cozy island escape.

Two Bedroom Houses for Rent on Anna Maria Island

The Gulf Front

The Gulf Front has some of the most spectacular views on the island. The undisturbed view is in a quiet part of the beach line, where local wildlife plays, naps, and strolls around. There’s a TV in every room, a private walkway to the water, and an elevator to the front door. The Gulf Front is designed to maximize convenience and relaxation.

Two Bedroom Houses for Rent on Anna Maria Island

Beach Isle

The beach Isle is defined by its bountiful upstairs deck. Watch the private heated pool and spa from above and appreciate the intimate privacy offered from the bold property gate. You are in your own little nook of the world, with flat screen televisions, a stand-in shower, professional linen service, and close proximity to some of the island’s most alluring and romantic restaurants.

Two Bedroom Houses for Rent on Anna Maria Island

Beach Bliss

This blissful beach bungalow is just what you need. Stay inside and enjoy the tropical landscaping, the stand-in shower, and the fully-furnished and wonderfully-decorated beach décor. Of course, you can always make your way outside for an afternoon in the private heated pool and spa or an evening walking the beaches- only two minutes away by foot.

Two Bedroom Houses for Rent on Anna Maria Island

Beach Life at the Pointe

Beach Life at the Pointe is filled with romantic energy. Spend the days of your vacation lounging out in this classic-styled Old Florida beach cottage. Make a nice meal in the newly upgraded kitchen. Afterwards, take a nice walk over to the water. You don’t even have to go anywhere. Enjoy a direct gulf front view from your screened in wrap around deck.

Two Bedroom Houses for Rent on Anna Maria island

Redfish Cottage

This one-bedroom one-bath retreat is the perfect fit for a romantic getaway. The adorable cottage is charming and rustic, with a bold Old Florida kitchen design and a community grill for an evening cook-out. Take a walk on over to the pier for a luxurious view of the bay. Redfish Cottage is an idyllic beachside bungalow for two.

Two Bedroom Houses for Rent on Anna Maria Island

Aqua Reef

The open kitchen concept really brings everything to life in this unabashed beach-themed home. Aqua Reef offers a five-minute walk to the gulf, a solar heated pool, a luxurious waterfall, a washer and dryer unit, a gas grill, and much more. The furniture is even special. Feel the wonder of a bamboo memory foam sleeper sofa. When not lounging around inside, take it outside and chill out by the water by six beach chairs and a private boat dock.

Two Bedroom Houses for Rent on Anna Maria Island

Shell Haven

Shell Haven’s grandest feature is its instant access to the beach. You can hear the morning waves settle on the coast as it sits just outside your condo. The porch overlooks the beach and a walking path to get you right to it. The fully stocked kitchen acts as a nice lunch break area.

These wonderful vacation getaways are some of the best places for you to stay on the island. You won’t get better beach access and proximity to the local hotspots anywhere else.

Christmas Things to do on Anna Maria island

Folks, if you’re looking for some great things to do on Anna Maria Island on your Christmas vacation, then look no further, as this is the page for you! This Christmas season, guests in our Anna Maria Island vacation rentals will find plenty to see and do, meaning that they don’t have to give up their family traditions just because they aren’t home for the holidays this year. You’ll have the opportunity to make even more unique memories with the ones you love most! Read on to learn more about the holiday fun you can experience this year.
lady wearing santa hat on the beach
Photo from Shutterstock

Silver & Gold Beach Minis

You have likely heard the saying before: “What’s more Florida than Christmas on the beach?!” And the answer to that, of course, is “nothing.” Indeed, nothing’s better than spending your Christmas season on the soft, white sand of Anna Maria Island. If you want something amusing and memorable for singles, couples, or even families alike, then this would be the event for you. Erica Smith Photography is hosting this event And making all the Christmas magic happen. It’s not Christmas in Florida, after all, until you’ve truly sampled a day at the beach with the one and only Silver & Gold Christmas Beach Minis event. During this event, you and your family will be able to come together and take some incredible Christmas photos right on the beach! What better way to remember the year that you spent enjoying the holiday season on the sands of Anna Maria Island? Mini photography sessions typically last about 15 minutes and produce eight images. You’ll be provided with a cozy area to sit to make your background, and since the colors tend to be neutral, you can wear whatever you please. In the past, these mini photography sessions have cost $199 each. best of all, once you’re done taking your photos, you can stick around and enjoy the beach!

Holiday Craft Fair

An entire–day event taking place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., the Holiday Craft Fair is here to save the day and bring on the fun! It’s loaded with crafts to do (and even to buy, if you’re not up for making your own or don’t consider yourself to be very creative!), as well as baked goodies that you can purchase to help support the cause. Try to make it with your significant other, at least, for some peaceful and fun craft-making time. Maybe you can even get inspired for some fun crafts to make when you get back home! Those kids need a good cookie to keep them happy and jumping for joy, too, do they not? Plus, you could sip on a cup (or two…. or three….) of their best homemade hot apple cider or hot cocoa with marshmallows. Yum! Nothing beats a nice, warm beverage during the winter months (even though it’s already pretty warm on Anna Maria Island at the time!), but of course, you do need to “feel” like it’s winter to help make the moment just a bit more “magical.” Contact Roser Church to find out more, as that’s who is hosting this event.

Annual Christmas Parade

Don’t miss it; this is a big one. It happens on December 4th and will start at around 6:30 p.m. It happens at DeSoto Square Mall, found at 301 301 Blvd W, Bradenton, FL. Keep in mind that this event actually starts on the mainland and not on Anna Maria Island itself, but we promise it’s worth the short drive if you want to be directly where the parade starts! (If you don’t feel like driving, consider taking the trolley for about a dollar per person!) If you don’t want to leave the island, don’t fret! The parade comes from Bradenton onto Anna Maria Island before heading to Longboat Key, St. Armands Circle, and Siesta Key. This event is so well-liked that some have even gone ahead to make a nickname for it: the BJC Christmas Parade. The Sarasota Jeep Club tends to host this event every year, and of course, you get to see all kinds of Jeeps lining up, decked out in lights, driving by as they pass you through in the parade. Super fun! It just doesn’t feel like the holiday season without witnessing an incredible parade, so we urge you to make every effort to attend this phenomenal event if you happen to be in town while it’s going on.
person painting on the beach
Photo from Shutterstock

Painting with a Twist – Christmas on the Beach

If you’re looking for something a little bit more adult, or an activity that you can do just with your spouse or partner, for instance, as you leave the kids in good care for a couple of hours, then this next event might be one that you want to try out. And that, of course, is to check out the local branch of Painting with a Twist. If you’re not familiar with Painting with a Twist, this establishment takes you through a unique paint class, perfect for artists of all skill levels. It helps you create a one-of-a-kind masterpiece as you enjoy some delicious wine and some incredible company as well. To be clear, Painting with a Twist is a fun destination that you can visit any time of year. However, it’s exhilarating during the holiday season. On December 4, the local Painting with a Twist branch in Bradenton (on the mainland, not to be confused with Bradenton Beach here on the island) will be holding a special Christmas on the Beach painting session! You’ll get to tap into your creative side and craft a one-of-a-kind work of art to hang in your home as a souvenir or to give to a friend as a thoughtful, hand-crafted Christmas present. What could be more unique and memorable than that? Guests are welcome to bring their food and drinks, but all dishware will be provided. Classes with Painting with a Twist typically cost around $40 per person.

Where to Stay

Well, folks, we’ve come to the end, and now, you have to make the critical decision that lies ahead. Are the shores of Anna Maria Island calling your name yet? Are you ready to spend your holiday season enjoying the warm Florida sunshine instead of braving the ice and snow back home? We’d encourage you to head down here and be a snowbird with us for a while! If you’re seeking to venture out onto the beach and stay in a nearby beach rental, we’ve got you covered! Anna Maria Island is a stunning destination, and we are proud to maintain a comprehensive catalog of vacation homes all over the island. Whether you’re traveling with your sweetheart, small family, or the whole crew, we’ve got a vacation rental that is sure to suit your needs. Vacation rentals on Anna Maria Island are truly abundant, and we can help you make the best decision possible for your group. We offer everything from luxurious vacation homes to convenient condo rentals and everything in between. You can be right in the heart of town or in one of the more secluded areas of the island. We’ve got every type of rental you can think of that you will ever need while on the beautiful Anna Maria Island. Check out our Anna Maria Island vacation rentals collection for accommodations with up to five rooms for larger groups. Plus, we offer rentals in Bradenton Beach, Holmes Beach, and the City of Anna Maria, so you can choose exactly where you want to stay. Each rental comes uniquely designed to hold the creature comforts of home and some truly unique features like pools, Gulf views, and so much more. Through it all, you’ll have our phenomenal customer service team by your side, too. We are dedicated to making sure your dream vacation truly goes off without a hitch. Nothing should stand in the way of you and your family having the Christmas trip of a lifetime! If you’re ready to start planning your getaway, contact us today to learn more about all of our properties.