This Weekend is the De Soto Parade

A big event is returning to the Bradenton-Anna Maria Island area! After being cancelled last year due to COVID, the De Soto Parade is making a much-anticipated 2021 comeback on Saturday, April 24th.

As a heads up to our Anna Maria Island visitors who will be arriving to check in this day – traffic will be more tricky than usual! Manatee Avenue will be CLOSED late afternoon (4pm-ish) for a large section headed west toward the island, so you will need to use an alternative route if you are driving during this time.

Map of alternative route to AMI

This map outlines a little work-around! If you are coming from the highway or from US 41 and going out Manatee Avenue, instead try this:

From Manatee Avenue headed WEST, turn LEFT onto Tamiami Trail US 41.
Continue SOUTH until 44th Ave W, and turn RIGHT
Continue heading WEST until 59th Ave, then turn RIGHT
Go NORTH until you come again to Manatee Avenue, where you will turn LEFT
Then continue WEST and you will arrive on Anna Maria Island!

We hope this helps! Just pack a little extra patience, and build in the time to go around the parade route. Or, stop and enjoy the parade with the locals!! If you have any questions, please text our awesome AMI Locals Guest Services team at 941-226-8442

*IF YOU GO to the De Soto Parade

Details: 7 p.m. April 24. Free to attend.

Route: Parade begins at Manatee High School, travels west on Ninth Avenue West, north on 39th Street West and then east on Manatee Avenue West, ending at Ninth Street West.


Easy Ways to Explore Anna Maria Island on your Next Vacation

Easy Ways to Explore Anna Maria Island on your Next Vacation

Do you and your family have a vacation coming up to visit Anna Maria Island? If the answer is yes, then we have to tell you all about the ways you can explore the island. Staying in one of our Water Access vacation rentals can keep your family close to the water. Getting around the island is easy as 1, 2 , 3 and we are here to let you know how you can explore the island for free!

Anna Maria Island Trolley

Take a FREE local trolley when exploring Anna Maria Island.

We have been asked numerous times if you can still visit Anna Maria Island without a car and the answer is absolutely! Not only can you explore the island by walking around it, you can also explore the island by using the Anna Maria Island Trolley. This service is available to all those who visit the area and is available 365 days a year. Depending on where you are staying at on the island will depend on which location you need to start at. Many will find that beginning at the Anna Maria City at 6:00 am and there will a trolley at each stop every 20 minutes throughout the day. If you are concerned that there will be no air, you will be pleasantly surprised that each trolley does have air-conditioning but there are a few that do offer open-air seating too.  This is a great way that you can explore Anna Maria Island for free with the family!

Island Beach Monkeys

When you visit Anna Maria Island and are headed to enjoy some nightly activities, but the trolley isn’t running that late, have no fear. Island Beach Monkeys is just the service you are looking for then. This is another free mode of transportation to get around the island. One thing that is different compared to other transportation around the island is that the drivers work for tips only. How cool is that?! Their hours of service are from 12:00 pm to 3:00 am every day which is perfect for those who love late night outings. Some of the other services that Island Beach Monkeys offers are tours, weddings, airport & cruise ship shuttles and even off-island rides too. Their fleet includes 2 mini-buses (one equipped with a karaoke, an 8-passenger golf cart limo and an SUV. Give them a call at 941-565-6542 to catch a ride on the Monkey Bus on your next vacation to Anna Maria Island!

There are many other ways that you can get around the island but these are the few we wanted to share with you. If you haven’t booked your next vacation to Anna Maria Island yet, now is the time. We hope that you and your family will enjoy using these services while on vacation