The beach flag warning system is meant to protect all of us from potentially dangerous situations and elements.
It’s not only smart but fun to learn about beach safety. We all want to get out in the beautiful beach water as quickly and often as possible, but we also need to stay safe! When you are staying at one our our AMI Locals Beachfront Properties this information can be especially useful, but really it is just great information to know.
Let’s check on the meaning of each flag:
Green Flag – Low Hazard
A green flag means that the threat of danger is low, and you should be safe when heading out into the water. However, the green flag does not mean that we should throw caution to the wind. We still need to exercise safety in the water and watch children and weak swimmers closely. There is never a reason to take chances. Better safe than sorry.
Yellow Flag – Medium Hazard
The yellow flag does means that there is a potential for danger, though not life-threatening. We must use extra caution when we see the yellow flag. Ocean conditions could be more rough than usual with moderate surf and/or currents! Anyone swimming or enjoying the water should be extra aware. Again, children and weak swimmers may be more vulnerable when the yellow flag is out. When possible, stay near a lifeguard station or sit out on the beach and enjoy fun on the side until the water calms.
One Red Flag – High Hazard
HIGH ALERT! One red flag means business! It is a sign of dangerous currents, high surf or both. The red flag is the most serious among the beach warning flags, and everyone is strongly discouraged to enter the water.
Two Red Flags – Closed to Public
Two red flags means – STOP – the beach and water are closed to the public because of extremely dangerous conditions. Do not attempt to swim or enter the water when there are two red flags under any circumstances!
Purple Flag – Dangerous Marine Life
The purple flag indicates that there is dangerous marine life out on the water or beach. This could mean stingrays, jellyfish, sea snakes, or other marine life. Anything except sharks – If a shark is in the water, then a red flag or double red flag will be hoisted. Not taking any chances with those guys!
Red over Yellow Flag
Lifeguard on duty! The is a welcome flag. The red over yellow flag does not mean something is inherently dangerous. It is saying, hey you are in good hands. The red over yellow flag signifies a recommended swimming area that has lifeguard supervision.
If available at your beach, we always recommend swimming within red over yellow flag areas.
Black and Whiteor quarted Flag
The black and white or Quartered Flag sometimes used in pairs and spaced apart, indicate a designated area or zone along a beach or waterfront that is being used by those with surfboards and other non-powered watercraft. They are just to make sure beach goers are aware of this and stay safe from the hazard of collision with any type of watercraft.
The Black Ball Flag
Opposite of the black and white, quarted flag the black ball flag prohibits the use of Surfboards and other non-powered watercraft where this flag flies.
There are multiple national and regional variations, but the majority of signs are universal. Jump in and enjoy – but as always, be cautious!
Rip Tides – Currents
Rip tides and currents can catch you off guard, sweep you out into deep waters very quickly and cause you to lose control. Rip tides can be very powerful especially when there is larger surf, and even if you are a very strong swimmer there is still a possibility you can be pulled out by these harsh currents. Areas near Bays, river mouths, estuaries or piers are usually the most dangerous areas for rip tides and currents to arise.
If you do get caught in a rip current, the RNLI advice is to:
– Stay calm, and try not to panic
– If you are able to stand, wade rather than swim
– If you have a board, keep hold of it as it will help you float
– Raise your hand and shout for help
– Swim parallel to the beach until you are out of the rip, then make your way to shore.
Everyone should learn how to stay safe in the surf, sand, and sun. The beach and the ocean hide many hazards. Make sure to be aware of these visual signs that can be spotted on your favorite beaches.
Now that you know the drill, get out there and enjoy our island!
Independence Day is on its way and there is no better place to stay than with AMI Locals. Celebrate with Parades, Food, Fireworks and Beach Vibes!
A few of our AMI Locals favorite recommendations for delicious food to start and finish the day :
1. Ginny’s and Jane E’s Café and Gift Shop
A fun, funky, Bakery/café serving breakfast and lunch, in a relaxed, atmosphere with loads of crazy fun things to look at and/or purchase. Try the giant cinnamon rolls to get your weekend off to a great start. Located at 9807 Gulf Dr. Anna Maria Island, FL 34216 941.778.3170
A beautiful beachfront seafood restaurant serving classic dishes that will be sure to satisfy any appetite. The Sandbar is located on the north end of Anna Maria Island and has been a favorite of locals for decades. Dine with your toes in the sand and a drink in your hand on the waterfront deck or enjoy inside dining. The Sandbar offers a gulf to table, farm to fork, and pasture to plate award winning menu. Specials vary weekly -100 Spring Ave, Anna Maria, FL 34216 941.778.0444 * Fireworks just after sunset over the Gulf have been canceled this year to protect nesting turtles!
3. The Beach House Restaurant
On the beach, amazing views and delicious food. The Beach House will not disappoint. The Beach House Restaurant is located on the Bradenton Beach end of AMI and a second option for toes in the sand and beach vibe dining. Seafood is their specialty offering some of the worlds best Oysters, Shrimp and Fish; but don’t worry you can also order up amazing New York Strip and many other delicious selections as well – 200 Gulf Dr N, Bradenton Beach, FL 34217 941.779.2222 * Fireworks just after sunset over the Gulf have been CANCELED to help protect sea turtle nesting!
JULY 3rd – Parade Time!
The July 3 parade will begin at Coquina Beach in Bradenton Beach at 10 a.m., proceed through Holmes Beach and end near City Pier Park in Anna Maria at approx. 11:30. The parade is a fantastic event by the Privateers held annually and loved by all.
Looking for a place to lay your head after a fun-filled day?
www.AMIlocals.com has availability with spectacular properties and a wonderful team to assist you with property needs. Here are just a few examples:
This gorgeous and unique home will leave you breathless, and with plenty of space and privacy for a single-family, multi-family, or large group of friends and/or family combined – everything you could want in a luxury beach vacation rental home is found here at The Ritz. This home features 7 bedrooms, with 6 King beds, a Full over Full bunk bed, and a Queen sleeper sofa bed.
Island Paradise is a beautiful beachfront condo with absolutely, incredible views. It makes you feel like you are living right on top of the beautiful blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico! The property has 3 bedrooms and 2 full baths.
For more information check out www.amilocals.com – take a look around and give us a call when you find your dream home away from home. We will get you all set up for the vacation of a lifetime.
We are so excited to hear from you and share our Independence Day here on Anna Maria Island.
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.
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.
How to identify scam vacation rental listings? We recently have been alerted to the growing issue of copycat scam listings of some of our rental properties, being posted on unverified websites. Often, we are unaware of these duplicated fraudulent listings until it is too late and unknowing guests show up to check in to a property that they have not legitimately rented through AMI Locals.
Unfortunately, in cases like this we are unable to do anything to help. Since the booking was not taken by our AMI Locals reservation team, we have no notification of the reservation, or any of the funds you may have paid to secure the property.
If you are searching online for a vacation rental property on Anna Maria Island, start with verified travel booking sites and listings. Such as our amilocals.com website, or Vrbo.com, Airbnb.com, Booking.com, Expedia.com, for instance.
Here are some other tips for spotting these fake listings:
• If it seems “Too Good to be True”! • If there are no reviews • If the listing was recently created, usually within a few weeks • Google search the name on the listing of the company that manages the property • If the contact information is not connected to the management company in any way, be especially wary of booking through this channel • Trust your gut! If your instincts are telling you that something seems fishy, it probably is! • If the “host” requests payment in an unusual form, such as Venmo or PayPal, or cash
And if you are unsure of any part of the booking process, please do not hesitate to reach out and call AMI Locals at 941-757-8226. We appreciate your assistance with identifying fraudulent websites so we are able to report them and have them taken down.
Easy and fun tips for eating healthy while on vacation! Life is all about balance. At least, that’s what we are told ever since we were kids.
But if you are anything like us here in the AMI Locals office, we tend to eat whatever we please while we are on vacation… figuring we will just go on a diet when we get back home. However, swimsuit season is all year round in Florida! So we asked our friend and expert Personal Chef Sarah Subrize of Cook.Bake.Nourish for some advice.
Q: We tend to go overboard and eat whatever we like, instead of eating healthy while on vacation. Can you share some tips on making better choices at restaurants?
Tip #1: Before you go out to eat, if you are feeling incredibly hungry, be sure to have a healthy snack that’s rich in fiber, healthy fats, or protein and it’s ideal if you can snack on a combination of the three. You know the saying of do not go grocery shopping while you’re hungry? Well, the same applies to you when you go out to eat, go to a party, or any social gathering around food. It is so easy to entertain the “eat everything in sight” mentality when you’re incredibly hungry and when we usually do this it ends up not even being that enjoyable and we never tend to feel satisfied.
Tip #2: Look at your day as a whole and pick where you want your indulgences. If you want a few cocktails poolside during the day but know you are going out to a restaurant later, perhaps choose a veggie loaded balanced meal at the restaurant, or if you’ve eaten well during the day get that meal you’ve really been wanting on the menu.
Tip #3: Aim for 1 veggie heavy meal per day when eating out. When I am away on vacation, I look at my day and try to aim for at least 1 veggie heavy meal per day. This could be a produce-packed omelet, a big loaded salad with a protein like grilled chicken, or a plate full of grilled veggies with a protein.
Tip #4: Think in terms of adding in the good vs cutting out the bad. When eating out try ordering a side of veggies with your meal or adding in a salad (only if that’s what you enjoy – never force yourself just because its considered “healthier”.) Eating additional vegetables can help you get in the fiber your digestive system needs to help with fullness, which helps keep your blood sugars stable. This helps you not overindulge later.
Tip #5: Opt for cooking methods that include steaming, broiling, baking, roasting, over frying.
Tip #6: Talk to your server. Ask your server about how the food is prepared, sometimes a simple dish such as chicken and vegetables can have many hidden oils, salt, and sauces. Restaurants in general tend to use more of all of those to boost flavor. Most of the time in amounts you would not expect/don’t know about. Having this simple conversation and knowledge will allow you to ask for adjustments about how you want the meal to be prepared. You’ll be able to ask for some items on the side, so you have more control over your meal.
Tip #7: Have a ‘when in Rome’ mentality when on vacation. Seek out what the locals eat. Ask around to what the best places are and if you are looking for a more health focused restaurants ask your neighbors or whoever around if they have any good suggestions. People are so friendly in this area, they will for sure share their go to spots. I always gravitate towards restaurants I know get their foods from local farms and have freshly caught local fish coming in, too and the locals will know those details better than anyone.
Tip #8: Eat what you want but be mindful of your portions. It is easy to overeat at restaurants especially when we are out with a group. It adds up with an app, entrée, drinks, and desserts. Overstuffing never feels good. Eat until you’re full but not stuffed. Ask for a box when they bring out your meal. Once we feel full and ask for a box, its easy to eat a bunch more bites just because it is sitting in front of us before the server gets a chance to bring back the box. Getting your box first allows you to box up your meal when you are ready, so you do not feel overstuffed.
Tip #9: Savor what you are eating and slow down to enjoy it. Overall, my biggest tip and this might be the most important – when it comes to vacation it is important to enjoy yourself and not put too much stress on anything—go ahead, indulge, and enjoy. Just remember to SAVOR what you are eating by slowing down and remember that portion size counts. Take the guilt out of your choices. Because if we allow ourselves to fully enjoy something, we will more likely be fully satisfied and not go back for something else. I think in general if you try and take away the packaged, processed foods in your house and fill your meals with colorful veggies and real ingredients for most of your meals you are doing well even if you indulge at restaurants.
Q: Can you share some ideas for healthy travel snacks to throw in the car/travel bag?
It is easy to go for something greasy or extra sweet when you are super hungry. Avoid making quick choices by being prepared and packing some healthy, filling snacks for the journey. This will help you make nutritious choices when you’re in a pinch.
There are a couple of key things I look for when packing my travel snack bag including foods that are portable, require no refrigeration, going to keep me hydrated, and are satisfying.
This can be as easy as a handful of almonds/trail mix, fruit like an apple and nut butter, or a bag of raw veggies and hummus.
· Packing hummus and veg is a classic snack combo for good reason. Crisp raw veggies are loaded with filling fiber, hydrating water, healthy nutrients phytochemicals, while hummus provides more fiber, satiating protein, and fat. All particularly important things so you aren’t starving once you get to your destination or stop at a rest stop/airport shop and then reach for anything you can get your hands on. Although most stops nowadays have great choices.
· I like to pack some fruit and a nut butter packet. I always pack the heartier fruits like apples they can still last even if they are thrown around in my bag. And nut butter packets make it so easy to keep the snacks less messy which is essential with traveling.
· I also try to plan and make a homemade snack. Something like a chia pudding, bliss balls, or vegetable fritters if I can pack an ice pack with them in my bag. I like to keep these in a sealed glass container to keep them fresh and avoid them getting crushed in my bag. If you have time to prep a bit before traveling, there are a ton of great recipes that are loaded with nutrients to keep you fueled while you’re in the car or on the plane.
· And as always making sure you drink water and staying hydrated is always important!
Q: What sort of meals are you able to provide at our AMI Locals beach houses? What are some of your customer favorites?
This all depends on what each client wants and how much they want. It also depends if I am doing a meal prep situation which involves me preparing a much of meals/ items for them to enjoy later or if I am cooking in home and serving the meals. I customize the menus to fit each individual/ family or friend group. A bachelorette weekend will look different than a family vacay full of kids.
Overall, for breakfasts my meal prep clients love having a frittata on hand, individual chia puddings and/or I also set up yogurt parfait bars with homemade granola and fresh fruit. My sweet potato and veggie hash bowls that they can heat up with some fresh eggs on top is always a hit too. Breakfast items are also great for snacks, but my clients also love all sorts of things they can take to the beach with them or snack on poolside especially dips with crudité, vegetable fritters with spreads and delicious bliss balls (strawberry shortcake is probably my most requested flavor).
For lunch and dinner, it all depends on what each individual wants and likes and is looking for during their vacation stay. I make everything from starters, salads, pastas, grains & hearty veg mains, pure proteins. My meal service is focused on local, seasonal and health supportive cooking, but still cook classic dishes as well as sweats/treats. Everything is just as delicious as it is nutritious. My clients love when I set up a taco bar with all the delicious toppings. It is something pretty much everyone loves and stocking the fridge with plenty of options makes it easier for everyone so they can pick and choose what they want. Grilled lemon, herb and garlic chicken and/ or shrimp skewers, chimichurri steak and my citrus salsa verde salmon are also always big hits. I love to include different sauces and dressings to the meals I provide, as well because meals can be repurposed and customized for the whole family. I have a sample menu here that shows a few options, but all menus look different. Oh, and homemade ice cream (dairy free or dairy full) in the freezer is always loved, as well. And the kids always love an ice cream sundae bar.
Q: What is your favorite Florida seafood dish?
I love to take advantage of Florida’s local seafood. One of my favorite seafood dishes to make (and eat) is blackened local snapper with a mango salsa. A little bit of heat and a little bit of sweet. In season, Florida mangoes are one of my favorite things. Mixed with a little jalapeno, lime zest and a spritz of lime juice is so good! Honestly, when foods are eaten as local and seasonal as possible, not much needs to be done to it to make it delicious!
Thank you for sharing your expert tips & tricks for eating healthy while on vacation with AMI Locals and our guests, Sarah!
We appreciate your taking the time to chat with us, and we definitely will keep these in mind on our next vacation (or even our next trip to Publix!) Check out our AMI Locals luxury vacation home listings for availability, and of course, to check out all the amazing kitchens you could be enjoying this Thanksgiving and Christmas season with your family!
Where are the Best Florida beaches to visit for Labor Day weekend? Thinking of a little getaway for the long weekend? One of the safest way to travel in this Covid time is a road trip to a private beach house!
The best beaches in Florida await you on Anna Maria Island for Labor Day weekend. Less crowded than Miami, Clearwater, and St. Pete, and with tons more charm and small town feel. There are also 7 miles of pristine white powder soft sand and crystal clear turquiose water for you to explore.
Why not stay within walking distance to the beach, in a private luxury beach house? AMI Locals offers only the best vacation rental homes in the best locations on the best island in Florida!
For a family and friends staycation, you should check out Surfer’s Dream! 4 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms plus a bonus loft area that the kiddos will go crazy over! Pillow forts and late-night ghost stories for the win! Which also means the adults can enjoy happy hour in the large, open plan kitchen in peace and quiet.
AMI Locals has vacation rental homes of all different shapes and sizes, to accommodate any group! We hope to see your smiling faces (underneath your masks) soon!
Call our reservations specialists today at 941-757-8226 and let us help book you into your dream vacation – all safe and socially distanced as you choose to be.
Planning a corporate retreat? With all that is going on in the world regarding Covid, we know it is going to be difficult to plan corporate retreats like we used to in the good ol’ days. Ballrooms and large conferences may unfortunately to be a thing of the past for the forseeable future. We have an awesome solution! Book an Anna Maria Island Corporate Retreat in one of our many private multi-bedroom luxury homes!
AMI Locals Corporate Retreats – Luxury island properties with meeting spaces that offer warmth and security of a large beach home.
Anna Maria Island, Florida is a prime location for executive and corporate retreats, meetings and team-building activities. Anna Maria offers miles upon miles of pristine, sugar white beaches as well as nature preserves and state parks. Our large homes are located either directly on the beach or within a block from the beach. What a perfect location to combine the fun of outdoor activities and the relaxation of a real vacation with enough space for serious corporate meetings!
Why Anna Maria Island, Florida?
The state of Florida offers many locations for corporate retreats, so why choose Anna Maria? The reason is simple; Anna Maria is conveniently located between two larger cities, Tampa and Sarasota. Although easily accessible, it is more secluded and removed from all the unwanted distractions found at urban convention sites. Anna Maria Island also offers superb award-winning restaurants and the most beautiful beaches in the country.
Fun Facts About Corporate Retreats with AMI Locals
• Adventure – 300 Days of Sunshine, water activities such as kayaking, paddle boarding, parasailing, fishing, and sunset catamaran tours! • Nature – State parks offering hiking and horseback riding, untouched nature preserves to witness the local beautiful wildlife, dolphin/manatee watching. • Access – TPA International Airport features many major airlines with direct flights throughout the US and connecting flights nationwide. There is also nearby SRQ airport located 30 minutes south in Sarasota, FL.
In addition to our unparalleled natural setting – a backdrop of the aqua blue waters and sugar white beaches – our homes demonstrate a commitment to excellence by inspecting, upgrading and renovating them before required. This, in addition to the large indoor and outdoor spaces our homes have to offer, are just a few reasons why AMI Locals homes are one of the best corporate retreat locations in the the Tampa Bay area of Florida.
AMI Locals specializes in providing a unique environment in which you can effectively combine business and pleasure – and unlike large convention resorts, AMI Locals brings together large meeting spaces with the warmth and intimacy of a large beach home.
• In-home catering companies can be recommended. • Free High-Speed Wi-Fi throughout all homes. • Additional tables and chairs can be arranged for an additional charge. • Discounted Golf Carts, Bicycles, and Beach Equipment rentals, upon request.
Make it less of a required meeting and more of a luxury business retreat!
Where are the Best Beaches in the World? According to a new post by Travel Addicts, Bean Point Beach on Anna Maria Island is one of the World’s Best Beaches!
So, our secret is out. But we’ve been saying for years that Anna Maria Island is home to the best beaches in the United States and one of the best beaches in the World. Our 7-mile long stretch of powder-soft white sandy beaches is one of the best beach vacation destinations you can choose to visit. Better yet, the beautifully clear turquoise waters and quiet beach town atmosphere are all available to you without even having to leave the country!
First, let’s take a look at Bean Point Beach.
Located on the northern tip of Anna Maria Island, Bean Point Beach is breathtakingly beautiful. It is also one of the more peaceful beach spots to watch a sunset, as crowds tend to favor the more easily accessible Manatee Public Beach. Bean Point Beach is a great spot for walking. You can observe the Florida wildlife such as birds and fish, dolphins, and more. Breathe in the fresh salty air and exhale all of your stress and worries.
Manatee Public Beach is another great location where your family can see the sunset on the island! With plenty of parking, the AMI Beach Café, and amenties such as the public bathrooms onsite, it is one of the most convenient and usually more busy beach destinations on Anna Maria Island. It’s a beautiful and family-friendly place to gather and enjoy the sun and sand!
Located on the southernmost point of Anna Maria Island, Coquina Beach features parking, public amenities, walking trails, and great views of the Longboat Pass drawbridge. The waves kick up a bit more at this beach, and the breeze is so nice! Coquina Beach Market happens here during season, too, so you can browse our local artists’ work and souvenirs.
Things we can’t wait to do when it’s ok to travel again…
We don’t know about you, but the time spent at home with our loved ones has been wonderful… but… we can’t wait to travel again! The beaches of Anna Maria Island especially are calling our name. So, here are the things we most look forward to visiting in the near future!
Stroll down Pine Avenue and shop in person instead of just Amazon shopping online. We are great at spending money either way (whoops!) but we love the warm ambiance of the city and saying hello to the local shopkeepers.
Enjoy a Sazerac with our friends at The Doctor’s Office. It’s not often you find the perfect cocktail, but this one is pretty darn close.
We are all looking forward to the days when life gets back to normal and the uncertainty has settled. One thing we will take away from this is how important it truly is to Carpe Diem, and enjoy every moment! So in the midst of COVID-19 you might be thinking we need a vacation, we need to escape and relax, and we need to have fun. But where is the Best Place to Vacation Post COVID–19? What is the future of travel after Coronavirus?
Travel in the United States and support local businesses
Here are a few things to keep in mind while planning your next vacation. Consider staying state side and travel in the United States. Also consider areas where you can support local business and economy. Major cities like New York and theme parks like Disney have been heavily impacted and will take time to get back to their usual hustle and bustle. A better option is planning a beach vacation. One place remains pristine and ready for new guests, and that’s Anna Maria Island.
Get your “Vitamin Sea” post COVID-19
Visit the best white sand beaches in Florida here in Anna Maria Island! We’ve got 7 miles of beautiful Gulf front beaches with sparkling blue water and views for miles with no high rises insight! Come Vacation like a Local and let AMI Locals help you plan your post quarantine getaway. We work with professional cleaning companies and you can rest assured linens and sheets are sterilized between every guest by our professional linen program. We have over a 160 homes in the area, and are experts in island living. Hands down the Best Place to Vacation Post COVID-19!
The beach offers a much needed serenity and the resilience of the island make it a top pick for post COVID–19 travel. Shawn Kaleta, who owns multiple homes on the island, says in regards to Anna Maria Island, “we have been through recessions before and we will get through this one. There is no better place to visit, especially after a time like this.”
So we say Carpe Diem, “Seize the Day” and plan your next trip to Anna Maria Island with AMI Locals. The Best Place to Vacation Post COVID-19. There’s no better time than now! AMI Locals is a newer and rapidly growing company. We feature only the best luxury vacation rental homes available on Anna Maria Island in Florida. Let AMI Locals help you plan your perfect beach getaway today! Give us a call or check out our available homes online, we can’t wait to see you here!