3 Unique Restaurants to Visit While You Stay on Anna Maria Island



Are you looking for a few new places to eat at when you are on vacation at Anna Maria Island? We at AMI Locals know of 3 unique restaurants to visit while you stay on Anna Maria Island. These restaurants are a favorite among the locals and many tourists. Let’s look at what restaurants they are and what makes them unique.

The Waterfront Restaurant

3 Unique Restaurants to Visit While You Stay on Anna Maria Island

The Waterfront Restaurant is where you and your family will be able to immerse yourselves in a new dining experience. This restaurant has an open-air patio with views of the Tampa Bay for you to enjoy while you eat. This restaurant uses fresh, natural flavors and has a daily menu with some rare seasonal items. Some of the items that you will find on the menu are Baked Brie and Mahi Salsa De Langosta. A few of the unique drinks that you can find here are the Jalapeño Margarita and the Dead Guy Ale. Enjoy a little slice of paradise as you dine here on your next vacation.

Rod & Reel Pier

3 Unique Restaurants to Visit While You Stay on Anna Maria Island

The Rod & Reel Pier is one of Anna Maria Island’s hidden treasure for dining experiences. Located on the far North end of the island you will find this restaurant which has a little bit of “old Florida” serving its traditional fare and famous fish specials. This restaurant opened in 1947 and has been renovated into a two-story restaurant that is directly out on the Gulf of Mexico. Grab breakfast here and catch the sunrise or come for dinner to see a glimpse of the famous Florida sunset. You can find Fried Clam Strips, Mexican Grouper, Sea Scallop Dinner, Soups, Salads and more. They do have a kid’s menu as well that all kids will want from Hot Dogs to Grilled Cheese to Fish & Chips. Don’t miss this favorite among the locals and where you and your family can get a taste of Anna Maria Island here.

The Sandbar Restaurant

3 Unique Restaurants to Visit While You Stay on Anna Maria Island

Another fabulous and unique restaurant that is located on Anna Maria Island would be The Sandbar Restaurant. Located at the North end of the island this has been a favorite with many of the locals and tourists for its fresh Florida seafood. Here you and your family will be able to enjoy a beautiful sunset as you dine from the covered deck on the white sand beach by the Gulf of Mexico. If you are looking for the perfect location for a beach wedding, The Sandbar is it. Some of the unique things you can find are Pickled Shrimp, Bradley Store Pork Cheeks. Don’t forget about the signature drinks for the adults such as the Le Grand Fizz and Five O’clock Somewhere. Just sit back and enjoy your meal as you enjoy watching the sun go down over the Gulf of Mexico!

There are many other restaurants that you and your family can enjoy while you vacation on Anna Maria Island, but these are the 3 that are unique and are favorites among the locals. If you are still searching for a beautiful Anna Maria Island vacation rental, we suggest taking a peek at our inventory. We hope that we will see you and your family on your next trip to Anna Maria Island this year!

Coquina Beach Market – come explore with AMI Live

Coquina Beach Market

Who doesn’t love to shop in the sunshine?
During the months of November – July you can visit the Coquina Beach market! And it happens every Sunday and Wednesday from 10 am – 4 pm. It is located at Coquina Beach Park in Bradenton Beach, the southernmost point of Anna Maria Island. Very nearby you can stay with AMI Locals at The Sandbar or Atlantis Beach House and ride the free MCAT Trolley to the Market!

Come enjoy live music by the AMI String Band as you stroll the Coquina Beach Market. Accordingly, you will find many friendly AMI vendors with booths offering fresh produce, cotton candy, jewelry, beachy apparel, local artists, health and beauty items, and much more. In any case, you’re bound to find a treasure or two to take home with you!

Unfortunately, the Coquina Beach Market is not dog-friendly due to the Manatee County rules for the park. Just a heads up before you bring your four-legged family member.

So, take a sunny little walk through the market with us:

https://www.facebook.com/AMILOCALS/videos/560918361051988/

If you go:
The Coquina Beach Market is located at 2650 Gulf Drive S, Bradenton Beach, at the trolley stop/concession stand area. Specifically look for bright yellow and red signs that say Beach Market Today! They will guide you and there is usually plenty of free parking.

While you’re there, why not stop into the Coquina Beach Cafe and enjoy a Pina Colada and a lovely casual lunch on the beach? You can order that fun tropical frozen cocktail and be on “island time” with a fabulous view!

MLB Spring Training and an AMI Beach Vacation



So if you’re anything like us, you can’t wait for the day that baseball players report for MLB Spring Training. Finally, we can enjoy the sunshine, hot dogs and cold beer, and BASEBALL! And Florida is lucky enough to host the Grapefruit League, so there are plenty of teams and stadiums within a very short road trip of Anna Maria Island. Then why not enjoy a relaxing Anna Maria Beach Vacation along with an MLB Spring Training game? Let AMI Locals show you how.

National Anthem before an Orioles Spring Training Game at Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota.

Play ball! Spring Training begins in February.

Beginning in February, there are many Major League Baseball teams that come to Florida to play baseball in the mild Winter and warm Spring days that we enjoy here; such as the Pittsburgh Pirates, Boston Red Sox, Baltimore Orioles, and New York Yankees. We here at AMI Locals are ready to be your guide to planning a grand slam vacation!

First, take a look at the Grapefruit League Spring Training schedule and available tickets. Second, find your favorite MLB team and choose a game (or several!) that you’d like to attend. With this in mind, get your cheering section together and book one of our fabulous AMI Locals luxury vacation rental homes for your adventure. After all, we have a wide variety of homes available for any size group. Such as Just Beachy with 6 bedrooms, or Island Life with 3 bedrooms, all the way up to our 9 bedroom beauty Island Sol! When you are combining a beach vacation with a Spring Training game in the same trip, it’s bound to be a home run of fun!

Our view from the bleacher seats at LECOM park in Bradenton.

Nearby Bradenton and Sarasota MLB Spring Training Stadiums

For example, Anna Maria Island is within a very short distance of two Spring Training fields. The Pittsburgh Pirates play at nearby LECOM Park in downtown Bradenton, an easy 20-minute drive from AMI. So be sure to head out for the game early and stop by one of our favorite breweries!
Additionally, The Baltimore Orioles’ Spring Training home is at Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota. So it’s a fun way to spend an afternoon there! Afterwards, why not explore downtown Sarasota’s Main Street for shopping and happy hour while you are in the neighborhood?

  • LECOM Park – 1611 9th St W, Bradenton, FL 34205
  • Ed Smith Stadium – 2700 12th St, Sarasota, FL 34237

Tampa area MLB Spring Training Stadiums to visit

Then, about an hour away, you have the Bronx Bombers, The New York Yankees spending their Spring Training time at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa. Also, The Philadelphia Phillies play at Spectrum Field in Clearwater,  The Toronto Blue Jays at Dunedin Stadium in Dunedin, and The Detroit Tigers at Publix Field in Lakeland.

  • Steinbrenner Field – 1 Steinbrenner Dr, Tampa, FL 33614
  • Spectrum Field – 601 N Old Coachman Rd, Clearwater, FL 33765
  • Dunedin Stadium – 373 Douglas Ave, Dunedin, FL 34698
  • Publix Field – 2301 Lakeland Hills Blvd, Lakeland, FL 33805
Representin’ the St. Louis Cardinals, Tampa Bay Rays, and the NY Yankees at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa. Baseball and friends – what a great way to spend a day!

Teams worth traveling a little further to see – The BoSox and beyond

Next up on the tour, the Tampa Bay Rays play at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, about an hour and 15 minutes away. Our hometown Rays are always fun to watch!

  • Charlotte Sports Park – 2300 El Jobean Rd, Port Charlotte, FL 33948

Then, you’ll hear Sweet Caroline playing when the Boston Red Sox win at JetBlue Park in Fort Myers, and the Minnesota Twins also take the field at Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers, about a 2 hour drive south of Anna Maria Island.

  • JetBlue Park – 11500 Fenway South Drive, Fort Myers, FL 33913
  • Hammond Stadium – 14100 6 Mile Cypress Pkwy, Fort Myers, FL 33912

Visit Orlando to see ATL

Finally, the Atlanta Braves play at Champion Stadium in Lake Buena Vista, just outside of Orlando, about 2 ½ – 3 hours from Anna Maria Island.

  • Champion Stadium – ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, 700 S Victory Way, Kissimmee, FL 34747
Watching the Orioles play at Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota. Night games are also a great way to enjoy your beach days and then an MLB Spring Training game!

Directions and destinations from Anna Maria Island to MLB Spring Training stadiums

To get from Anna Maria Island to these ballparks, you’ll first cross the Manatee Avenue Bridge. Then you will continue eastward on Manatee Avenue – and now you need to choose your destination: Bradenton/Sarasota, Tampa area, Port Charlotte, Fort Myers, or the Orlando area.
Before you leave the Island, search by the chosen ballpark’s address that we have provided above. Our favorite is Google Maps for turn-by-turn directions and time estimates.

So, whatcha waiting for? Pack your bathing suits and baseball gloves, buy your tickets, and call your AMI Locals to book your vacation rental home. Since the peanuts and Cracker Jack will be at the stadium, there’s no need to bring that from home! Batter up!

What AMI Locals Do When Everyone Else Has Snow



What AMI Locals Do When Everyone Else Has Snow

While most of the Northern States are dealing with the pending snow storms this weekend, we will be enjoying our time soaking up the sun and going on a fun adventure. Biking on Anna Maria Island is one of the best ways to see the island and to enjoy being on island time. If you have ever come to Anna Maria Island, you may have realized that we would rather be riding a bike, than driving our car and getting a fun workout in as well. Let’s take a look at some of the other reasons that riding a bike on the island is fun for the whole family.

Biking Options on Anna Maria Island

What AMI Locals Do When Everyone Else Has Snow

Anna Maria Island has wonderful inner workings of using different biking options for you and your family to enjoy. One of our favorite places to go to would have to be Bean Point on the north end of the island. This is like a secluded beach that you can relax at while you are on your biking journey. And while visit Bean Point head over to the Rod N Reel Pier for a quick bite to eat and a gorgeous view of Tampa Bay.

What AMI Locals Do When Everyone Else Has Snow

Another few local favorite places that we love to visit would be Bay Front Park, Gulf Front Park and City Pier Park along with the Anna Maria City Pier.

Where to Rent a Bike

What AMI Locals Do When Everyone Else Has Snow

We at AMI Locals has a few places that we like to recommend to our guests to rent from. One would be RobinHood Rentals and the other one would be Beach Bums. RobinHood Rentals offers our guests staying with us 10-20% off all their Rental equipment where you can get bikes for the whole family including the kids.

What AMI Locals Do When Everyone Else Has Snow

Beach Bums offers guest up to 10% off their rental equipment and has different bike options for your family needs from a Beach cruiser, tandem bikes and even gear for your little ones. Both of these companies have reasonably priced rentals and we highly recommend them both to our guests.

Be Adventurous

What AMI Locals Do When Everyone Else Has Snow

Whenever we want to be a little adventurous, then we like to enjoy the scenery a little more. But with this little adventure, it means that we will be going on a lengthy trip that will include plenty of water views including riding along the coast all the way to Lido Key. This trip is a total of 16 miles one way so be sure to take lots of breaks, bring plenty of water, walk on the beach and possibly grab a bite to eat too. This is a serious bike ride, so be prepared for it to take at least 4 hours to get there and if you can’t finish, take advantage of the free island trolley. You will be able to ride the trolley and if it is two of you being adventurous, then you will be able to mount your bikes on the trolley. What a fun adventure this can be, so be sure to plan the day out before you decide to do it, especially if you don’t ride a lot at home.

Rules to Remember

One of the things that we at AMI Locals wants is for you and your family to stay safe on your next biking vacation. Though the roads are bike friendly in Anna Maria, we want to point out a few safety precautions that should be considered.

  • As a bicyclist, it’s important to always obey traffic signs and laws.
  • Use proper hand signals for your safety and those who share the road with you. Drivers may not see you due to low visibility with the sunlight and possible blind spots.
  • Ride with the flow of traffic on the right side of the road.
  • Bicyclists must yield right of way to pedestrians when you are riding on crosswalks and sidewalks.
  • Bicycles should be equipped with brakes that allows you to stop within 25 feet when going 10 mph on clean dry pavement.
  • You may want to consider wearing safety gear such as sunglasses and helmets (always make a child 16 years or younger wear a helmet.)
  • Don’t use headphones when you are riding your bike.
  • You must ride with a regular fixed seat.
  • It is best to ride with the amount of people the bike is intended to.
  • Its required by law to provide your bicycle with the right safety equipment such as a lamp on the front and a red reflector.
What AMI Locals Do When Everyone Else Has Snow

AMI Locals has several affordable vacation rentals in bike friendly areas of Anna Maria Island for you and your family to enjoy. If you are still looking for a reason to escape the cold, winter weather and head elsewhere for the winter, come to Anna Maria Island. You will never want to leave to go back home and will want to stay on island time forever!