Anna Maria Island is the Perfect Vacation

Anna Maria Island will be your perfect tropical getaway. Once you come visit this beautiful seven mile stretch of white sandy beaches and blue gulf waters you might never want to leave, you’ll just keep coming back for more!

What’s perfect about Anna Maria Island? The short answer is EVERYTHING! There’s so much to do and see, and in this “Old Florida” paradise. Here are just some of the things that make a trip to Anna Maria Island the perfect vacation.

  1. Our seven mile stretch of white sandy beaches says it all! A day spent on the beach relaxing taking in the beautiful gulf views is the perfect way to unwind, clear your head, and just enjoy peaceful serenity.
  2. Life on Anna Maria Island is laid back and easy. Whether you’re walking around, shopping, or out eating, life is lived in flip flops. The relaxed atmosphere of our island allows you to take a step back, look around, and just enjoy the beauty.
  3. Whether you’re looking for that perfect family photo, or just love taking in nature, there are photo ops everywhere! Between the gorgeous ocean views, and our PERFECT sunset viewing location, your photos will be amazing!
  4. When you feel refreshed, and ready to explore, the island has so many exciting ways to find adventure. Between walking trails where you can view  some of our local wildlife, to water adventures, to bikes and more, there are so many ways to get out and have an amazing time! Our Island activities are endless!
  5. What’s better than fresh seafood during an island escape? There are many restaurants offering fresh seafood, some of these are even equipped with gorgeous ocean views.

We’re confident that after your visit to Anna Maria Island, you’ll understand why it is the perfect island vacation!

Where To Grab A Bite to Eat On Anna Maria Island

If you’ve come to Anna Maria Island for an island escape, you’ve come to the right place! Our beautiful gulf coast location won’t disappoint. With beautiful blue water and sugar sand beaches, it sure is a sight to see!  Of course all those beach activities will work up an appetite, so here are some places to grab a bite to eat on Anna Maria Island.

Grab a bite to eat

Pancakes on the Beach

What’s better than having pancakes on the beach? Yes, pancakes on the beach with your feet in the sand. The Anna Maria Island Beach Café features breakfast with unlimited pancakes, as well as other breakfast favorites. Sit with your feet in the sand, gazing at the water, perhaps seeing a dolphin or two in the waves. What a perfect way to start the day! Of course it’s also a great place to end the day with live entertainment and gorgeous sunsets too!

Make your own donuts

At the Donut Experiment, every donut is your own creation! Their donuts are made fresh daily, then, you pick from their tremendous selection of icing and toppings to make it your own!

The Sandbar Waterfront Restaurant

The Sandbar is another waterfront restaurant which features an array of fresh Florida seafood, salads sandwiches and appetizers. It is located on the north end, and has been a favorite among visitors and locals alike. Here too you can dine with your feet in the sand and view the gorgeous gulf and spectacular sunsets!

High Quality Mexican Street Food

At Poppo’s Taqueria, you’ll find high quality fast casual food that transfers to their drink selection as well. It’s located in the heart of Anna Maria Island on Bridge Street. They serve fresh to order tacos, burritos, bowls & quesadillas! You won’t be disappointed!

Island Grill Bar & Restaurant

If you’re looking for some American classics, then the Island Grill Bar and Restaurant is for you! With an exquisite menu and a hip environment, it is the ultimate casual dining experience.  This is the perfect complement to your island vacation. 

5 Fun Ways to Explore Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria Island is the perfect winter getaway. It’s really perfect any time. But to be here during the winter experiencing our warm weather gazing at the beautiful Gulf waters sure beats the snow! If you’re here and would like to enjoy the island in a laid back and relaxed way, we’ve got 5 ways to explore Anna Maria Island!

  • Experience Anna Maria Island on the back of your very own scooter from the Adventure Center. With many different options, it’s the perfect way to explore the island. They offer 4 and 8 hourly, daily and weekly rentals. Book your adventure here or for same day reservations please call 1-844-522-6654.
  • Segs by the Sea is rated one of the top things to do on Anna Maria Island, Florida. Experience all the beauty in the sights over the Longboat Key Bridge, or learn the history of the Cortez Fishing Village, don’t forget to view spectacular sunsets along the Coquina Trail on Bradenton Beach. Book early and go back in time in this little island paradise.
  • Do you want to view the sunset from the water? “Island Pearl” is available for Private Sunsets. Sailing times are seasonal, two hours before sunset. She can also travel to multiple locations in and around Anna Maria Island, Bradenton, Cortez, Longboat Key, and Sarasota. Call1-844-522-6654 or book online
  • Bike riding is a perfect way to enjoy the island on “island time”. There’s no need for hustle and bustle on Anna Maria Island, the whole island is bike friendly providing limitless exploration to the many places to visit and see on the island. You can bike to restaurants, the beach, shops, the grocery store, ice cream shop, the pier, Pine Avenue and much more!
  • Finally, if you really want to just sit back and relax, hop on the Anna Maria Island Ferry. Did we mention it’s free? The Trolley Service travels daily up and down the island between Anna Maria Island and Coquina Beach, from 6AM- 10:30PM, about every 20 minutes. It is a cool ride on a hot day. 

 Explore Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria Island Holiday Events

Holiday EventsThe holidays are here, and it’s a great time to check out holiday events while on your beautiful beach getaway!

Shop Small Business Saturday, this Saturday November, 25th at any of our many unique local island businesses. It’s the perfect place to find that one-of-a-kind gift to top off your shopping list, or to find a special treat for yourself as a memento.

On Friday December, 1st from 5-9pm, come kick off the Holiday Season with the AMI Chamber of Commerce’s holiday tree lighting and the Holmes Beach downtown merchants’ holiday open house and art walk. Many shops and stores will remain open until 8 or 9pm providing holiday treats, eats, libations, live music and specials to get you in the spirit of the season. Santa and his sleigh along with Crosspointe Fellowship Holiday Carolers will add plenty of cheer to the evening. Be sure to be at the AMI Chamber of Commerce parking lot at 6pm to witness the festive annual tree lighting celebration.

Anna Maria Islands Holiday of Treasures is from 4:30pm-8:00pm on December 8th.  Stroll Pine Avenue and visit the shops and merchants who will be open late showcasing holiday specials, entertainment, snacks, and holiday cheer.

December 9th is the Privateer’s Christmas Parade and Santa Open House. The parade takes place the entire length of Anna Maria Island. It’s your chance to celebrate the Holidays Island Style! You’re invited to come out and watch OR be in the parade itself. Whether you have participated in the past or if this is your first time, we know you will enjoy the experience and spread the joy to others! The Christmas parade begins at Bayfront Park in the City of Anna Maria then travels south along Anna Maria Island, through the three island cities.  The parade ends at Coquina Beach, where the man in red will be handing out gifts to the youngsters.

Don’t forget about Christmas on Bridge Street, here you will experience the joys of the season with this festive celebration on Bridge Street in Bradenton Beach. Enjoy the holiday decorations, music, games, food and drinks while shopping for unique holiday gifts at local merchants.

Fun on Anna Maria Island in November

Anna Maria Island Fun in NovemberAre you planning a trip to Anna Maria Island this November? The calendar says fall, but it’s always summer here! Our beautiful beaches are warm and inviting, with plenty of white sand, blue water, and warm Gulf breezes.

There are some fun family friendly events such as Keep Manatee Beautiful’s America Recycles Day at Sandblast, which draws attention to nature and our beautiful beaches. The event is held on the shores of the Gulf at Manatee Public Beach on Anna Maria Island. The evet features amateur teams in both school and adult divisions competing in a sand sculpture competition. It’s always fun to see the beautiful sculptures and you can even learn the “Tips, Tricks and Techniques” of sand sculpture at free clinics taught by master sculptors Team Sandtastic from 5 to 6 p.m. on Thursday and Friday November 2nd and 3rd, while the competition is 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday November 4th.

Another family friendly event is the Annual Symphony on the Sand taking place on beautiful white sandy Coquina Beach on Anna Maria Island on Saturday November 11th. Here you can bring the family and introduce children to Strauss and Mozart. The orchestra also performs American Classics, Operas, and Broadway songs.  The attire is casual to cocktail, but the whole event takes place on the sand, so wear flip flops! More information and tickets for Symphony on the Sand can be found here.

Come join the fun while strolling the Beach Market at Coquina Beach every Sunday from 10-4 from November to July! Here you will find local artists, arts and crafts, produce, jewelry, plants and so much more! There are so many unique items at the Beach Market, you are sure to find that perfect souvenir of your visit. Plus, there’s plenty of white sand and gorgeous views overlooking the Gulf of Mexico.

8 Things That Make Anna Maria Island a Perfect Fall Vacation Destination

Fall VacationFall isn’t usually thought of as a vacation time in Florida, most people think of the leaf viewing up in the northern states. But really, fall is a perfect time to visit Anna Maria Island. It isn’t as crowded, and there are plenty of fun fall things to do.

  1. Bayfest is one of Anna Maria Islands most anticipated events. It is back for its 17th year on October 21st. Bayfest features music, crafts, and a food festival. It is family friendly, and free to the public. The free trolley service, makes it so easy to get to!
  2. Vacation rental rates “fall” in the fall too! It’s easy to plan your perfect fall getaway.
  3. Fall also brings with it the start of Stone Crab season. Stone Crab Season begins on October 15th and runs through May 15th. 98% of stone crabs are caught in Florida’s waters. Did you know only the claw is retained? The crab gets thrown back into the water so it can regenerate another one.
  4. Sea turtles are hatching. They begin in May, and end on Halloween. Did you know that a sea turtle nest is called a clutch? Or that on average,  110 eggs are laid in a clutch? Watching them race to the water is quite the experience.
  5. Pumpkin Spice is almost as common as the word fall. Head on over to the Donut Experiment for a Pumpkin Spice Latte, or have one of their made-to-order donuts!
  6. If you’re looking for fall color, look no further than our gorgeous orange sunsets! We have the best sunsets here, they don’t disappoint!
  7. Take a dip. The calendar may say fall, but here that doesn’t mean cold weather. Our water is still nice and warm, so it’s perfect for a trip to the beach.
  8. Farmers markets return in the fall! These are a perfect place to get some nice crispy fall fruits and vegetables. 

6 Reasons Why Anna Maria Island Is a Top Vacation Destination

Anna Maria Island is a top destination for travelers looking for warm sunny beaches. If you’ve vacationed here, you are probably already planning your next trip back. If not, here are 6 reasons why Anna Maria Island is a top vacation destination.

      1. Anna Maria Island has some of the world’s most beautiful sunsets. Viewing a sunset is something you must make time for while you’re here.Sunset on Anna Maria Island
      2. The island has beautiful views of the Gulf of Mexico’s turquoise blue water. Because the island is situated on the Gulf, the water is usually warm and perfect for swimming.
      3. Beaches. This 7 mile stretch of white sand along the Gulf has an abundance of public beaches to choose from; Coquina Beach, Manatee Beach, Bradenton Beach, Holmes Beach, Cortez Beach, Bayfront Park, Bean Point  and Anna Maria Beach.  Each beach offers something different. Bean Point is an example of a secluded and virtually untouched beach, while Coquina Beach has facilities, life guards, and plenty of parking.Top Vacation Destination
      4. Anna Maria Island is known to have manatees and dolphins swimming off the coast.  What better place to see these beautiful creatures than in their natural habitat?
      5. Anna Maria Island is “Old Florida” at its finest. Here, flip flops and bathing suits are a way of life. There are no high rise condos or chain restaurants either.
      6. Island life is laid back. You can be as busy, or as relaxed as you would like to. There are plenty of activities and fun things to do, as well as plenty of beaches to relax and take in the spectacular views.

Regardless of what you do, or don’t do, your Anna Maria Island vacation will be wonderful and full of memories. Many of our residents fell in love with our little slice of paradise while on vacation, and then decided they wanted to live here! We know you will love it too!

Island Paradise

Island ParadiseAnna Maria Island may only be 2 miles wide and 7 miles long, but it’s an island paradise packed with fun things to do! At least we think so, and once you’re here, you will too!

Where else can you swim with manatees – for free? Yes, manatees are locals here on the island,  if you’re swimming at Bean Point, you’re likely to encounter them, and swim alongside them! If you’re nervous about swimming with them, there are plenty of tours available for sightseeing, dolphin and manatee viewing, or just for fun.

 

Anna Maria Island has a free and convenient way of traveling from one end of the island to the other. The trolley is air conditioned, and runs from end to end about every 20 minutes. With this great option, there’s no need to rent a car, you can travel to different beaches, restaurants, and shops almost anywhere on the island. Of course this island paradise has other options. Scooters, bikes, Segways, and legal street golf carts are rental options for more island exploring.

You can’t get any more beautiful photo ops than you can here on the island. We are surrounded by some of the most beautiful nature preserves and parks. These are full of boardwalks, trails, numerous kinds of local wild life, along with some of the best views around. The closest one, Leffis Key is right across the street from Coquina Beach.

Are you looking to get your blood pumping? Coastal Watersports offers many different options for getting out on the water. Here you can Jet Ski, sail, kayak and paddle board all on the beautiful blue gulf waters. Get an aerial view of the island and beyond with Yolo Parasailing.

Anna Maria Island is sure to provide you and your family with memories which will last a life time. Make sure you take in a sunset, we do have the best! Oh, and don’t forget your camera!

Anna Maria Island July 4th Events

Anna Maria Island July 4th Events

4th of July

It’s always a great time to vacation on Anna Maria Island, but if you’re going to be here during the 4th of July, then you’re in the right place for a grand old time.

Start your fourth holiday out by going to the Anna Maria Island Privateers annual 4th of July parade. The parade route stretches the length of Anna Maria Island, 7 miles long! Last year about 25,000 people attended. The parade begins at 10am starting at the South end of the Island at Coquina Beach and goes all the way to the North Anna Maria City Pier. This parade isn’t just meant for viewing, you can participate too! Everyone is welcome. Bring a chair and watch, or be in the parade yourself!

Following the parade, there is a party taking place at the Ugly Grouper; this is where the Privateers will announce the Scholarship recipients of over Twenty thousand dollars. There will also be live music and food, of course.

Spend the rest of the day at the beach. Our beautiful blue water is so inviting. Sit back, relax and enjoy the view! The beach can fill up quickly, so reserve your spot early!

The fun isn’t over yet! After your fun filled day, stick around for the fireworks display! The 31st Annual Sandbar Restaurant Fireworks Spectacular takes place at the Sandbar Restaurant on the north end of the island next to Pine Avenue. If you can get tickets inside, there’s a VIP party with limited seating. If not, don’t worry. The fireworks can be viewed from just about any place on the island. What’s more American than fireworks on the beach with friends and family?

There’s no better place to celebrate Independence Day than on Anna Maria Island. We hope you all have a safe and happy Fourth!

Memorial Day Weekend on Anna Maria Island

Memorial Day Weekend on Anna Maria Island

Memorial Day is a time to remember those who have fought for our freedoms and paid with their lives. It is also the unofficial start of summer, although it’s always summer on Anna Maria Island, isn’t it? Whether you’re going to a parade or a ceremony or having a cook out with friends, this long weekend is a special one. If you’re visiting this weekend, there is plenty to do both on and off the island.

Memorial DayJust off Anna Maria Island, Lakewood Ranch is having their “Tribute to Heroes” Parade. The parade takes place on Main St, Sunday, May 28, with a pre party beginning at 6:00 PM and lasting after the parade until 10:00 PM. Each year thousands of residents line up to see veterans, residents and businesses parade through Main Street honoring our local heroes.

 

Here on Anna Maria Island, head on over to the Freckled Fin Restaurant and Public House to see Dan Signor Live and get Unleashed Memorial Day.

Of course, no beach vacation, OR long weekend for that matter would be complete without a beautiful day at the beach with friends or family. What better way is there to spend your family vacation than here on our beautiful 7 mile stretch of white sandy beaches to relax and unwind on? We have something for everyone here, from shopping, to water activities, dining and more! Don’t forget to take in a sunset while you’re here. Our sunsets are the best!

We hope you all have a wonderful and safe holiday weekend!