Rock Climbing In St. Petersburg Florida



What do some of our AMI Locals do on their day off?

Well rock climbing of course, at Vertical Ventures in St. Petersburg! With St. Petersburg being such a short drive away from Anna Maria Island, it makes it so easy to go check out this awesome Rock Climbing Gym on your vacation to Anna Maria Island. Escape the rain or the sun, and find a fun and safe place to have some fun with the whole family. Sarah, one of our AMI Locals, and her husband decided to take the day and do some rock climbing and get some great video along the way.

Picture of rock climbing gym

As you can see here, there is plenty of space to climb! This gym has everything you need to get on the wall, from rock climbing shoes to chalk. One of the other great things about this rock climbing gym is that it is an attraction for the entire family, so no one will feel left out of this excursion. Check out this video of Sarah’s first attempt on the wall:

Overall, this place is awesome and a great way to spend some time if you are trying to escape the beach for a little while or just wanting a fun and different adventure. So what should you expect when you go to rock climb?

Here is a list of things to keep in mind when you go:

  • Don’t worry, they have ropes! It’s an extremely safe way to have a lot of fun.
  • They have everything you need as far as gear. You won’t need to bring anything except maybe your friends or family!
  • They will show you everything you need to know about the gear and rock wall.
  • And if you do want to bring something, snacks and water should be top of the list.
  • Remember to have fun! This isn’t the movie Cliffhanger and you’re not Sylvester Stallone 😉

To show you what a good time you’ll have, here is a picture of our AMI Local Sarah and her husband after a great time at the rock climbing gym.

Sarah and her husband at a rock gym

 

Take A Fun Day In Downtown Sarasota Florida!



Looking to take a break from the Anna Maria beaches? Take a trip over to Sarasota and take in the beautiful views that this area has to offer. There are tons of things to see and do in Sarasota from the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens to the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art or if you have kids maybe you can spend some time at the fountains at the Bayfront Park. Sarasota is definitely a place to spend some time if you are vacationing to Anna Maria.

Check out this video of our very own Lisa and her daughter Savanna at the fountains at Bayfront Park:

The Bayfront Park in Sarasota is more than a splash pad. The views are beautiful and it’s a great way to take a walk and escape the beach for an hour or two. Here is another video of just one of the views at the Bayfront Park in Downtown Sarasota:

If you are looking for another place to take in scenery, you can always head over to the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens in downtown Sarasota. With over 15 acres of housing, 12 buildings (including 7 greenhouses) you will have plenty to look at and explore!

Here’s Our List

Also check out our list of things to do in the area here. You can also ask your AMI Local expert if you are planning a stay with us on Anna Maria Island, what they would suggest. There are so many things to see and explore around Anna Maria Island that you will want to keep coming back just to see it all.

What to Do When It Rains on Anna Maria Island



What to Do When It Rains on Anna Maria Island

Going on vacation is always fun especially when you go to the beach. But what if you have a day or two of rain when visiting Anna Maria Island? Don’t worry because there are plenty of things that you can do when it rains on Anna Maria Island. Let’s look below at a few activities that there are to do while you vacation in paradise.

Mote Marine Museum

What to Do When It Rains on Anna Maria Island

The Mote Marine Museum is a non-profit museum where you and your family can go and enjoy the day. The museum has many different exhibits that everyone in the family will want to enjoy. From their Shark Zone to the reef animals exhibits, you will be sure to learn about animals. The aquarium does offer a blend of entertainment and education with a working marine laboratory. You can visit this in Sarasota, Florida from 10 am to 5 pm seven days a week including holidays.

Anna Maria Island Jail & Historical Society

Visiting one of our historical museums can be so much fun for the whole family. You will not be disappointed if you come and visit the Old City Jail, the Anna Maria Island Historical Society Museum and more. The historical society museum was constructed in a 1920 icehouse and then became a auto garage, sea turtle hatchery and an admin building. The exhibits you will see will help tell the stories of the first settlers of the island and what they left behind. This is open on weekdays from 10 am to 1 pm. What a fun day to spent with the family!

South Florida Museum

What to Do When It Rains on Anna Maria Island

South Florida Museum is another great option to take the kids out while it rains. Here you will be able to explore the largest natural and cultural history museum on the Florida’s Gulf Coast. Not only do you get to visit all the exhibits at the South Florida Museum, but you will also be able to visit the Parker Manatee Aquarium and the Bishop Planetarium as well. Admission to get in is $19 for each adult, $17 for Seniors 65+, $12 for each child from 4-12. Children under 4 do get in for free with each paying adult. Don’t let this visit slip by when you visit Anna Maria Island!

South Florida Museum South Florida Museum is another great option to take the kids out while it rains. Here you will be able to explore the largest natural and cultural history museum on the Florida’s Gulf Coast. Not only do you get to visit all the exhibits at the South Florida Museum, but you will also be able to visit the Parker Manatee Aquarium and the Bishop Planetarium as well. Admission to get in is $19 for each adult, $17 for Seniors 65+, $12 for each child from 4-12. Children under 4 do get in for free with each paying adult. Don’t let this visit slip by when you visit Anna Maria Island!

There are many other things that you can do while it rains on your vacation, but these are just a few we thought you’d enjoy. And if you don’t feel like going out for the day in the rain, then spend your time at your gulf view vacation rental. Bring board games or play a game of cards with the family. Watch movies or just enjoy a nice afternoon nap. No matter when you come to visit paradise and a rainy day happens, there is always something for you to do!

FALL in Love with Anna Maria Island

Fall-On-Anna-Maria-Island-Uncrowded-Beach-AMI-Locals

Fall on Anna Maria Island

Fall in Love with Anna Maria Island. It is not hard to do when you vacation during the months of Fall on Anna Maria Island.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to vacation on Anna Maria Island during the fall months of September, October and November? Well, here is a little secret…this is my favorite time of year on the island! Even though it may not necessarily feel like colder weather and there are no landscapes of color changing leaves to look at…the spirit of Fall takes over Anna Maria.

Less Crowds

Generally, by this time of year, the crowds have dwindled. You can really get a feel for what it is like to live like a local on Anna Maria Island during the Fall months. By now, most of the kids have all returned to school and the beaches are quiet. So, head out to the beach for a secluded and relaxing day. Grab a book and read. Or, close your eyes and soak up plenty of warm rays from the sun.  There is nothing like getting a tan in the Fall on Anna Maria Island. During the Fall on Anna Maria Island the lack of crowds are evident everywhere. After your relaxing day at the beach, feel free to explore the uncrowded restaurants, shops, and bars. Just jump on the free Anna Maria Island trolley, and explore the island from end to end. Maybe find a new favorite spot to grab a bite to eat. During the Fall on Anna Maria Island, you will find much shorter wait times for a table at most of our popular dining options!

The-Sandbar-Restaurant-Anna-Maria-Island
Visit the Sandbar Restaurant for Gulf Side dining at it’s finest

Festivals Galore

As October and November roll in, so do all the area festivals! In my opinion, the Fall on Anna Maria Island – October to December – are the best months of the year to explore all the great happenings in and around Anna Maria Island. Maybe you keep it super local and head down to the Coquina Beach Market at the South end of the island to search for treasures from local artists and vendors all while taking in the beautiful gulf views. Also, look for Halloween style island events. From costume contests to the Anna Maria Elementary Fall Festival, there is fun to be had for all ages! If you find yourself here with your little ones on Halloween, be sure to take advantage of the Trail of Treats. This is where area businesses hand out goodies to all the dressed up kiddos!  If you get adventurous and head off island, you are bound to find some exciting events! Maybe head East and go to a good old-fashioned pumpkin festival. There are plenty to choose from! Or, take a ride on the Pumpkin Patch Express at the Florida Railroad Museum where you can journey on an open air train through the picturesque countryside of Manatee County. The train ride ends at a remote pumpkin patch. There, everyone selects a pumpkin and gets to bring back the perfect gourd for an island style pumpkin carving party. With so many things going on, how will you choose? Be sure to check out our area events calendar when planning your next Anna Maria Island getaway

Halloween-On-Anna-Maria-Island
Halloween on Anna Maria is a Scary Fun Time!

Beautiful Weather

While the island is beautiful and sunny almost all of the year, the months of Fall on Anna Maria island are very refreshing. They can bring a nice break from the high humidity, and hot, sticky days that rule the Summer. While the days are warm and pleasant with temperatures hovering in the 80’s, the evenings can often bring a nice breeze and cool down into the low to mid 70’s. This makes those evening strolls on the beach even more enjoyable. You may still even be able to catch a glimpse of the spectacular sea turtle nests. Some of the eggs will still be waiting to hatch. Sea turtle season runs until the end of October every year. Each nest is marked and secured with “caution tape.” Witnessing the hatching of a nest and watching all those tiny sea turtles take off towards the water is one of the most fascinating and special sights you will ever see!

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Watch the Baby Turtles hatch on Anna Maria Island

Get Out On The Water

The Fall on Anna Maria  Island is a great time of year to fish as well. Being a barrier island you can enjoy the best of both offshore and inshore fishing. This time of year trout, flounder, redfish, cobia, snapper, and permit take center stage for near shore fishing. Perhaps one of our spectacular Waterfront Homes would give you the best opportunity to do a little fishing right in your own backyard! Or, allow you to bring your own boat and secure it behind your vacation home. You can always book a local fishing charter to show you all the best spots to drop a line. Or, just head out to one of the island’s piers. Whichever you choose, we can help point you in the right direction. If fishing is not your forte, then perhaps a leisurely cruise around the coastline of our little island is more your speed. We have some excellent suggestions for dolphin cruises, sunset cruises and snorkeling excursions found on our website here. With clear, sparkling aqua waters and the endless array of beautiful sunsets, there is an adventure out there for everyone!

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Boating, Fishing, and Diving are great in the Fall.

What Are You Waiting For?

So, whether you want to get away for a romantic week for two or you are travelling with a group, we have a unique and luxurious vacation home waiting just for you. Visit our AMI Locals Rental Page to pick your next vacation home from our list of amazing properties. Or, contact one of our property managers to make your vacation dreams a reality this Fall on Anna Maria Island. Let us show you how to vacation like a local!

Daily Beach Conditions September 12th, 2018



This post is the first of many showing off our live videos of our beautiful Anna Maria Island! We want everyone to stay updated on the conditions of our wonderful little island and we also like to show it off… because let’s face it, who doesn’t love Anna Maria Island? This most recent LIVE video was taken at the public beach at the end of Manatee Ave.

On this day we caught some people enjoying the clear beaches and even had some snorkelers out in the water. Most people don’t know that right now is one of the best times to visit Anna Maria Island because there aren’t many crowds and you can find some AMAZING deals when it comes to vacation rentals. Much like Montego Bay which is 40% right now as an “end of summer” deal!

Check out this video and you will see exactly what we mean and you may even want to experience it for yourself?

Sports + Beach Vacations



Combining Sporting Events and Beach Vacations

Combining Sporting Events and Beach Vacations? You’re probably wondering, is that really a thing? Combining sporting events and beach vacations might not be something you’ve ever thought of before; but, it can be done! Furthermore, sporting events and beach vacations makes for one amazing trip! So, let AMI Locals show you how to do it right!

The Tampa Bay Buccanneers

Since the NFL Season is right around the corner, let’s start with a look at our local team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This season, the Bucs have some great home games to play at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.

First and foremost, lets take a look at the schedule:

Now, look over these games, and figure out which sporting event works best with your beach vacation plans. Then, contact AMI Locals to help to plan your getaway around it!

Traveling to Anna Maria Island

So, who’s your home team? Are they listed above? If they’re headed this way when it’s snowy and cold at home why don’t you be the ultimate football fan and travel along?  Getting here is easy, and you have tons of options. Either drive down, or fly into the Sarasota or Tampa airport and rent a car. Or, get fancy and hire a car or limo to take you between your destinations.

For example, if you’re a Carolina Panthers’ fan, you can fly from Charlotte, North Carolina to Tampa on December 1st, 2018 roundtrip for about $230. Then, add on a week’s stay at one of our lovely 2-3 bedroom Anna Maria Luxury Vacation Rentals such as Island Time East for about $2,450. Combine it all, and boom, you have a fantastic sporting event and beach vacation planned for just under $3,000.

How to Get to the Buccaneers Stadium from Anna Maria Island

Here’s your game plan for game day when you’re combining sporting events and beach vacations! How do you get from here to there? Tampa is about 35 miles north of Anna Maria Island. An easy 1 hour drive, and it’s very scenic! Especially if you take the Sunshine Skyway Bridge.

First, you will need to take one of the bridges to the mainland, SR-64, or Cortez Road. From there you’ll hop on to I-275 N to cross the beautiful Sunshine Skyway bridge. Then, continue through St. Petersburg and then on to Tampa. The highways are easy to navigate and the exits to the stadium are clearly marked.

Parking and Tailgating at the Stadium

Parking is plentiful around the stadium, with 14 official parking lots just outside of the stadium. Furthermore, there are other parking facilities within easy walking distance. Remember to bring some cash to pay for parking! Most parking lots average around $25 per vehicle. With most people driving to the games, tailgating around the stadium is always fun. Because of that, make sure you bring some snacks and a favorite beverage or two. As a result, you’ll hang out and engage in some friendly rival team banter with the locals. After the tailgate, you’ll head into Raymond James Stadium for kickoff and the big game. Remember to #vacationlikealocal and take photos by the pirate ship, mate! Tag us @amilocals!

Other Professional and College Teams

Maybe NFL Football isn’t your thing. That’s fine, there are more options for comining sporting events and beach vacations. Instead, maybe MLB Baseball, College Football, NHL Hockey, or NBA Basketball is more your speed. Well, you’re in luck!

Within 45 minutes to 3 hours of Anna Maria Island, we have everything you need! Located 45 minutes away, we have the Tampa Bay Rays, with a season running from March-October. Also, there are some great NCAA College Football teams within 1-3 hours of Anna Maria Island. Those teams include the USF Bulls in Tampa, the UCF Knights in Orlando, and the Florida Gators in Gainesville. The NCAA College Football season runs from September until late November. The Tampa Bay Lightning are about an hour away in Tampa. Their season runs from September – April each season. Finally, the Orlando Magic, are located about 2 hours away from Anna Maria Island. This NBA team offers a great sporting event to attend from October – April each season. 

Why it’s the Best Option

When you’re combining sporting events and beach vacations you become the smartest fan in any stadium. Taking that one step further, when you’re combining sporting events and beach vacations on Anna Maria Island you become one of the smartest fans in the world. The convenience of our island, and it’s fantastic proximity to so many great sport events and venues, makes this the ideal vacation for all sports fans.

Tampa has hosted the NFL Superbowl, NCAA College Basketball Tournament for Men and Women; and, Orlando, Miami, Tampa, all have NCAA Football Bowl Games including the Orange Bowl. There is so much here, within a short drive away. Skip the crowds of the big city, and commute in for the event only. Spend the rest of your time relaxing at the beach. 

Plus, most sports occur during the Fall and Winter months. Fall on Anna Maria Island is an absolutely wonderful time of year to visit. Check out our recent AMI Locals blog post, FALL in love with Anna Maria, to get a little more insight into how we locals feel about the autumn months here on the Island. Spoiler alert: we love it!

 Just remember to wash off your game face paint before applying your sunscreen!