Day Trip to 3 Theme Parks on your Anna Maria Vacation

Father, daughter and mother with their hands in the air on a ride

Did you know that Anna Maria Island is within driving distance of several theme parks in Florida? That’s right, and we have all the details to share with you and your family. Staying in one of our Anna Maria Island vacation rentals will keep you and your family close to the fun. Look below at three theme parks within driving distance of our beautiful island.

Busch Gardens Tampa

roller coaster high in the summer sky at theme park most excited fun and joyful playing machine

Busch Gardens Tampa is your ticket if you’re looking for an unforgettable memory at a local theme park. They are in North Tampa, only an hour from our beautiful island. Fun for the whole family, you’ll be able to enjoy rides for the thrill seekers and rides for the younger kids too. This park offers guests of all ages the chance to check out many different animals you’ll find here in Florida and some from other countries. And if you’re looking for a fun waterpark, check out their Adventure Island.

Legoland

a child girl in an amusement park in the summer eats cotton candy near the carousels in sunglasses, the concept of summer holidays and school holidays

Do you have a young child who loves to build with Legos? Then Legoland is your perfect ticket for a fun day at a theme park. They are in Winter Haven, which is about 2-hours from the island. Legoland is ideal for children 12 and under as they have perfect kid-sized rides. Legoland also offers a waterpark with “heated pools seasonally” and a wave pool, lazy river, body slides, and even a Duplo safari to enjoy. Think of this theme park to enjoy Legos as an adult without the chance of stepping on them in the middle of the night.

SeaWorld Orlando

Amusement park ride purple and red with palm trees

SeaWorld Orlando is another great theme park to visit for the day and is in Orlando, about a 2-hour drive from Anna Maria Island. This park is often overlooked by too many who visit the other theme parks in the area, but it is one we wanted to share with you. For the younger kids in the family, and as it says, sunny days keeping the clouds away is perfect as you can step on into Sesame Street Land and feel like you’re right in the TV show. If the bigger kids want something to do, there are plenty of rides such as Mako, Kraken, and Journey to Atlantis to check out. Plus, don’t forget to check out the different animals, such as the manatees, manta rays, and more.

Many other theme parks in the area would make great day trips; we wanted to share these. If you haven’t booked your next stay with us in one of our Anna Maria Island vacation rentals, now is the time. We can’t wait to hear which theme park was your favorite on your next stay with us!

Best Coffee Shops on Anna Maria Island

Best Coffee Shops on Anna Maria Island

If you and your family are coming to Anna Maria Island for vacation, then we must tell you all about the Best Coffee Shops on the island. Many of the locals find that getting their daily dose of caffeine at these shops will help you enjoy your vacation a little more. And if you happen to be staying in one of our Water Access vacation rentals, then you won’t be far off from any of them. Let’s look at our picks for the best coffee shops on Anna Maria Island.

North Shore Cafe

You’ll find a quaint coffee shop in the heart of Anna Maria Island called North Shore Café. Here you’ll be able to grab a nice cup of coffee and some wonderful breakfast selections. Many of their customers rave about the different kinds of coffee drinks they have, along with their specialty teas and their smoothies. And if you’re up for something the kids will enjoy, check out the gourmet popsicles they offer. Something about this little coffee shop will make you continue to visit for years to come. Don’t forget to check out their little store and bring home a souvenir to remember this fantastic coffee shop!

Ginny’s & Jane E’s Café

Best Coffee Shops on Anna Maria Island

If you are searching for a coffee shop that has some amazing food, coffee and that “Old Florida” feel, then we suggest Ginny’s & Jane E’s Café. Here you and your family will not only be able to get coffee, but you can get Breakfast and Lunch from 7:00 am to 4:00 pm every day. Some of the coffee that you will be able to get are eclectic and many of the locals love them!  They have many different options of drinks that you can get including smoothies and Frappuccino’s. Many of the local’s love heading here for more of their signature drinks that they have to offer you and your family.

Two Scoops

Two Scoops is not like any coffee shop that you have probably been to and is very unique to many visitors to Anna Maria Island. Here you will not only be able to take advantage of the ice cream goodies, but you will also be able to enjoy Breakfast & Lunch as well as the coffee. Located at 101 S. Bay Blvd in Anna Maria Island, Two Scoops is open 7 days a week from 9:00 am to 10:00 pm. Here you are able to grab a quick bite to eat, have a few cups of coffee and then to finish off the visit grab yourself a scoop or two of ice cream. This is not like any other coffee shop that you have been to and we highly recommend you check it out too.

The Donut Experiment

Best Coffee Shops on Anna Maria Island

If you and your family love donuts, then this is a café that you must visit on your next vacation to Anna Maria Island. Locals consider this café to have some of the best donuts around and we can tell you that we too agree. Why not head to The Donut Experiment, grab a dozen of donuts as you make your own creations with different toppings and a cup of coffee or two. Sit back and enjoy the scenery and also some of the staples that many are looking for as far as coffee goes. Here you are able to grab a hot cup of coffee, iced lattes and even cold brew. We promise you that this is a place you need to visit on your next vacation to the island!

While there are other coffee shops that are on Anna Maria Island or in nearby Bradenton, we thought that you’d enjoy these. And if you are still searching for the right place to come stay in on Anna Maria Island, the you must check out our Water Access vacation rentals today. We look forward to seeing you and your family soon as you stay with us at AMI Locals.  

Don’t Miss These Fun Events This December on Anna Maria Island

Sandy christmas snowman in red santa hat and sunglasses at sunny beach. Holiday concept for New Years Cards.

Do you and your family have a vacation planned to Anna Maria Island in December? If the answer is yes, allow us to share a few fun things in the area. Staying in one of our Anna Maria Island vacation rentals will allow you and your family to be close to the fun. Let’s look below at when and where you’ll be able to attend these fun events on Anna Maria Island.

Did Someone Say a Boat Parade?

Boats lit up with Christmas lights parked at the dock in Florida

 One of the best things about vacationing on Anna Maria Island during December is seeing the boat parade. This year head over to Bradenton Beach for the 4th Annual Holiday Boat Parade. The event will take place on Saturday, December 3rd starting at 6:00 pm along the Intracoastal Waterway. You and your family will be able to see the parade from two different locations – Longboat Pass Bridge and Bradenton Beach City Pier. Think of the memories you’ll make while watching the beautiful boats pass by, all decorated for the holidays.

Privateers Christmas Parade

This December the Privateers Christmas Parade will be island-wide and will run the entire island length. The fun parade to see with the family is happening on Saturday, December 10th, 2022, from 10:00 am until 12:00 pm. This parade is presented by the Anna Maria Island Privateers and can’t be missed. After the parade, don’t leave as Santa & Mrs. Claus will be making their appearance and will have a party for the kids. Get in the Christmas spirit with the whole family as you enjoy your day together on the island.

Annual Christmas on Bridge Street

Another fun event that is returning in 2022 is the Annual Christmas on Bridge Street celebration in Bradenton Beach. On December 17th, 2022, starting at 3:00 pm and ended at 9:00 pm on Bridge Street is where you’ll be able to locate this fun-filled event. There will be plenty for the whole family to do, including a kid’s zone, holiday crafts, shopping, and food. Don’t miss out on this event this year as you help us celebrate the holidays.

Two hot cocoa drink on a bed of snow and white background, close up. Concept of christmas winter morning

Many other things are happening in the area this December, but we had to tell you of the ones listed above. If you haven’t booked your next stay in one of our Anna Maria Island vacation rentals, give us a call today. We hope to see you out there and can’t wait to hear which event was your favorite.

Fun Events on Anna Maria Island in November

Fun Events on Anna Maria Island in November

Are you and your family coming to Anna Maria Island to vacation during the month of November? If the answer is yes, then we can tell you all about the fun events happening around town. Anna Maria Island is a great location to visit year-round and staying in one of our Anna Maria Island vacation rentals will keep you close to everything. Let’s look below at a few of the fun events happening on Anna Maria Island next month.

Symphony on the Sand

Fun Events on Anna Maria Island in November

Join in this year for the 8th Annual Symphony on the Sand happening on Saturday, November 12th beginning at 4:30 pm at Coquina Beach. This event features the Anna Maria Island Concert Chorus & Orchestra and will last about 3 hours. This year it is located at the Gulfside Park and the ticket prices begin from $25 and goes up to around $125 per person. There will also be plenty of local vendors that will be there to grab some pretty amazing local food such as Coquina Café, The Lazy Lobster of Longboat, Eliza Ann’s Coastal Kitchen and Hometown Desserts. What a fun event that you and your family can attend to hear some amazing music!

“Old Soldiers and Sailors” Veteran’s Day Parade

Anna Maria Island loves to help honor the Veteran’s on Veteran’s Day. This year the parade will begin at 1:00 pm at City Hall on Friday, November 11th, 2022 and will go down Pine Avenue to the City Pier Park. The parade will feature 3 local high school marching bands, floats, over 100 marching veterans and there will be a military fly-over. After the parade, you will get to go enjoy a free Ice Cream Social at the Anna Maria Island Historical Museum. What a great way to honor the veterans and get to enjoy a fun parade.

Siesta Key Crystal Classic

Fun Events on Anna Maria Island in November

If you have kids who love to build sandcastles, then this event is perfect for your family. Head over to Siesta Key Beach on Beach Road in Sarasota beginning on November 11th – 14th. This is where you will be able to see around 24 international artists visit Siesta Key Beach have some amazing sand sculptures. The Siesta Key Crystal Classic is one of the area’s best sand sculpting competitions and the family will enjoy. Some of the other things that your family can experience is the sand sculpting lessons and demonstrations, and the local vendors you will get to grab food at. Don’t forget the camera as you visit where you can take pictures of the sculptures!

While there are many other fun events happening this November on Anna Maria Island, these are the few we wanted to share with you. Staying in one of our Anna Maria Island vacation rentals will make sure you’re able to relax and enjoy your vacation too. We hope to see you next month as you join in on the fun with the family.

Don’t Miss this Year’s BayFest 2022 with the Family

Don’t Miss this Year’s BayFest 2019 with the Family

Are you coming to Anna Maria Island next month for your family vacation? If the answer is yes, then we have to tell you all about a fun event you don’t want to miss. Anna Maria Island during the fall months are wonderful to visit because the weather has cooled off a bit, the water is still warm and Bayfest will be here before you know it. Staying in one of our Anna Maria Island vacation rentals will keep your family close to the fun festival activities. Let’s take a peek below at what some of the fun things that you can enjoy at the 2022 BayFest on Anna Maria Island.

Food for Everyone to Love

Don’t Miss this Year’s BayFest 2019 with the Family

Who doesn’t love going to a festival where food is going to be? The smell of the food when you first arrive makes you want to eat all day long. BayFest will have an assortment of food that your family can enjoy all day. From ice cream to hearty food, there will be something for everyone. Don’t miss out on the adult drinks that you can get as well for you to try. What a fun start to a wonderful day at the festival!

Kids Zone

Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce didn’t forget about the kids during the BayFest. There are going to be plenty of things that the kids can do while the festival is going on. The kids can enjoy a fun bounce house, fun inflatables they can play on and let’s not forget the fun Pirate Ship they get to enjoy. Let all the kids burn their energy out while enjoying the BayFest this year!

More Fun Activities for the Family

Don’t Miss this Year’s BayFest 2019 with the Family

There will be so much more for anyone in the family to enjoy such as getting to do a little shopping with some of the Arts & Crafts vendors, seeing some of the Classic Cars at the Car Show & dancing a little with the family. What a fun day you and your family can do and enjoy on your next vacation to Anna Maria Island!

When is BayFest 2022?

The 21st Annual BayFest will be held on Saturday, October 15th beginning at 10:00 am. The event will be held on Pine Avenue in the City of Anna Maria Island. When staying at one of our AMI vacation homes, you will be able to take the trolley for free to Pine Avenue on the day of the event. If you’d like to drive to event from your vacation rental, you will be able to park at Crosspointe Fellowship Church located on Gulf Drive which is on the north end of Holmes Beach. There also may be a few other locations nearby that will allow you to park but please make sure to read all the signs before doing so.

Coming during the fall months will keep you still having a great time at the beach but allowing your family to enjoy the fun festival too. If you haven’t made your reservation to stay in one of our beautiful vacation homes, now is the time. We can’t wait to see you and your family as you come celebrate with us at the 21st Annual BayFest on Anna Maria Island!

Anna Maria Island – Florida’s Secret Time Capsule

Anna Maria Island - Florida's Secret Time Capsule

If you have never been to Anna Maria Island before, you may not realize that it’s like Florida’s secret time capsule. Many visitors who come to Anna Maria Island for the first time will often ask “Where are all the High-Rises?” Being only an hour south of Tampa on the west coast of Florida, you will find one of the best beaches on the gulf coast. And if you happen to be staying in one of our Gulf View vacation rentals, then you will understand why this beach is the best.

Unlike many of the other larger cities and really most of Florida, where you can see high-rises as far as the eye can see, you won’t find that on Anna Maria Island. There is only 1 building that happens to be taller than 3 stories on the entire island which is a condo complex that was built in the 1970’s. How can this even be like a normal beach town? It’s easy, it doesn’t have those big hotels but instead has amazing vacation rentals that you get to stay in every-time you visit.

On Island Time

Anna Maria Island - Florida's Secret Time Capsule

The speed limit on the main road which happens to be a two-lane “highway” that runs the entire length of the island is a nice speed of 35 mph. While this may seem like there is no way that you can find a time capsule of a town or beach that has all of the qualities that it has, it makes you glad that they take life one day at a time. Their motto is ones you’re on the island you are on island time and many visitors like that feeling.

Year-Round Fun

While you may think that visiting the island during the fall and winter months may be unreal, think again. Anna Maria Island has casual surroundings and have a climate that is temperate which is why many consider it a year-round destination. During the winter and early spring months, you may find more people trying to come visit who live in the colder states. During the summer months you find that families will occupy the area and will spend as many hours at the beach soaking up the rays. And even Coastal Living magazine has recently named Anna Maria Island among some of the nation’s “10 Best Little Beach Towns to Visit in the Fall”. What an honor that our area has received, and we take pride on it.

Modes of Transportation

Anna Maria Island is Florida's Time Capsule

While many younger people would consider the only way to get around the island is by car, many others enjoy other modes of transportation. We mean, you are on island time so why not enjoy the scenery instead by getting around via walking, bike riding and even golf cart rentals. But please note that you must have a valid driver’s license to be able to rent a golf cart on the island. Hitch a ride on the Monkey Bus as you explore our beautiful scenery. No matter what your mode of transportation may be, you will enjoy your time while on the island with your friends and family.

These are just a few reasons that you may realize that Anna Maria Island may feel like it’s Florida’s secret time capsule, but the time spent on the island for your family vacation will feel the best. Sometimes going to a different beach and noticing the hustle and bustle there will allow you to want to vacation with us at AMI Locals. We can tell you that being on island time is always fun for everyone as you will want to vacation here year after year. We hope that we can see you and your family for your next vacation to Anna Maria Island!

Nightlife on Anna Maria Island this Summer

Happy friends cheering and drinking cocktails at beach party outdoor - Young millennials people having fun at weekend summer night - Youth lifestyle and nightlife concept - Main focus on left guys

Anna Maria Island during the day is perfect for enjoying the sun, sand, and surf with the family. But would you like to have a night out or two while on vacation kid-free? We at AMI Locals have the perfect spots where you can go this summer and enjoy the nightlife on the island. Staying in one of our Beach and Gulf view homes will keep you close to the action. Let’s look below where you can check out the nightlife here on Anna Maria Island.

The Doctor’s Office

Craft Cocktail Assortment on Well Lit Bar

The Doctor’s Office is a craft cocktail bar that will give you the ambiance as you’ve stepped back in time. The space where this bar is located has been on the island since the 1950s and was once an office for several doctors. Some items you’ll find on the menu are your typical “bar” food like light sandwiches, tacos & more. The drink menu is impressive, with cocktails such as the Painkiller, Brown Derby, Preferred Remedy, and Bees Knees. Don’t miss The Doctor’s Office on your next visit to Anna Maria Island!

Dcoy Ducks

Dcoy Ducks is famous to the locals and is in the Holmes Beach area. They are known to many as “The Spot” to hang out with friends from 10:30 am until 2:30 am. Dcoy Ducks hosts many events during the month each day and is one you don’t want to skip on your kid-free night out. Think of the fun you’ll have on Margarita Thursdays or Fireball Friday, including Happy Hour every Friday & Saturday Night.

Hurricane Hanks

Hipster friends toasting multicolored fancy drinks at fashion bar - Trendy people having fun together drinking cocktails at happy hour - Food and beverage party time concept on vivid contrast filter

Hurricane Hanks is another great nightlife spot for many of our guests and even the locals. They are located on Gulf Drive in Holmes Beach and open until 11 pm every night. Some items you’ll find on the menu are wings, bacon-wrapped scallops, sandwiches, and more. They offer craft beers, cocktails, and great food that can’t be missed. Hurricane Hanks offers different events during the day like Tiki Time, Retro Hour, and more.

The nightlife on Anna Maria Island is full of different things to do, but we wanted to share these with you. If you haven’t booked your next stay in one of our Beach and Gulf view homes, now is the time. We can’t wait to hear how you spent your kid-free night on the town!

3 Best Places to Grab Breakfast on Anna Maria Island in 2022

breakfast on a table showing bacon, eggs, toast

One of the best things about going on vacation anywhere is eating out for breakfast. Taking a break at any time of the year can be just as exciting, especially when you don’t have to cook at least once while you’re gone. Staying in one of our Anna Maria Island vacation rentals will keep you close to some of the exciting places. Let’s look below at where we recommend our picks for the three best restaurants to eat breakfast on the island.

Anna Maria Island Beach Café

tables and chairs with place settings along with trees and umbrellas on the beach overlooking the blue water

Would you like a beautiful beachfront view while you’re eating breakfast? If the answer is yes, we’d love to tell you about Anna Maria Island Beach Café. This is an excellent pick for an early morning breakfast option on the island that comes with a fantastic view. Their menu includes All-You-Can-Eat Pancakes, French Toast, Eggs, and Bagels, and we can’t forget about the Breakfast Tacos. Don’t miss out on eating at this restaurant on your next vacation to Anna Maria Island.

The Waffle Press

The Waffle Press is another great place to grab breakfast on Anna Maria Island. Get your family one of their scratch-made waffles, including the Camper (Smores), Grand Slam, Canadian, Waffle Sandwiches, and more. They also have an excellent menu for coffee and baked goods that you may want to try. And if you have young kids or just want a snack, grab their mini waffles too to take back to your vacation rental.

The Donut Experience

donuts with fruit loops, oreos and chocolate frosting on them.

Did someone say Donut?! If you have kids or like eating donuts, and you’re looking for something a little different, then The Donut Experience is for you. Located in the heart of Anna Maria Island is where you’ll find this gem that many forget it’s here. One of the things that many love about this restaurant or donut shop is that you can pick what goes on them. First, you will pick out your icing. Next, you will pick out the toppings to go onto your donuts, and then you choose which drizzle you’d like. This can be a fun thing to do with the kids on a rainy day or as you’re getting ready to go check in for your vacation.

While there are many other fun places to grab breakfast from on Anna Maria Island, we wanted to share these with you. If you haven’t booked your vacation to stay in one of our Anna Maria Island vacation rentals, call us. We can’t wait to hear where your favorite breakfast was from on the island!

4 Fun Beach Games that the Whole Family will Love

Father and daughter playing frisbee

Do you and your family have a vacation planned to Anna Maria Island this year? If the answer is yes, then allow us with AMI Locals to share a few games to play on the beach. Staying in one of our Anna Maria Island vacation rentals will allow you and your family to connect. Let’s look below at what four fun beach games we’d like to share with you that the whole family will love.

Seashell Hunt

two young children, a boy and his baby brother are on the beach by the ocean shore, picking up seashells

Anna Maria Island has an abundance of seashells that you may not find on beaches that border the Atlantic Ocean. So naturally, a seashell hunt along the shoreline of the beaches can be just what your family needs. The objective of this fun game is to see who can find the most seashells or the biggest shells in a certain amount of time. When everyone is done finding their shells, you can give points on the number of shells, the size of the shells, or the color of the shells. Think of the fun the kids will have by getting to have a fun hunt on the beach.

Musical “Towels”

A fun game that is often played at parties is musical chairs, but since you’re at the beach, trade those chairs for towels. All you need is towels, a phone, and some fun songs. If you don’t have enough towels, you can use spare clothes in place of the towels. The rules for musical chairs will apply to this game. Anyone in the family can play this game, and this game can be played multiple times during the day.

Sand Mermaids

Three kids playing in the sand, burying one little girls legs in the sand.

Another fun game that the whole family will love is to make sand mermaids. This is especially fun for the little ones as most times; it’s the parents or siblings getting to become the mermaid. Have the person who is going to be the model lay in the sand, and the rest of the family will then cover their legs and waist with sand. Then the shaping of the mermaid tail begins, and then time to decorate the tail. Use the seashells you found on the beach during the seashell hunt, seaweed, and other beach finds. Don’t forget to take pictures of each person who has become a mermaid!

I Spy

For families with younger kids, this game is perfect for you. Just like you play this game on road trips in the car, it’s ideal for playing on the beach. This game can be played while eating lunch on the beach or while you’re having the kids take a break from the water. You can use different themes such as colors, nature, or items seen on the beach. Depending on how old the kids are, it is how hard you make the guessing game.

There are many other fun games that you can play while you’re on vacation; we wanted to share the above with you. If you are still on the hunt for the perfect Anna Maria Island vacation rental, give us a call today. We can’t wait to hear how you and your family loved playing the games we shared with you above.  

How to Enjoy your Easter Vacation on Anna Maria Island

Easter logo decorated by brush drawn easter eggs. Egg hunt concept as card, postcard, poster, banner, sale or promo sign.

Do you have a vacation planned to spend Easter with us on Anna Maria Island? If the answer is yes, allow us to share a few things about what you can do to enjoy your stay. Staying in one of our Anna Maria Island vacation rentals will allow you and your family to reconnect with each other. Let’s look below at what you can do and how you can enjoy your trip this Easter on the island.

Easter Egg Hunt at your Vacation Rental

Portrait Of Five Children Wearing Bunny Ears On Easter Egg Hunt In Garden

We all know that having kids and attending at least one Easter Egg hunt is a big deal, but if your kids think they’ll miss it, they won’t. Instead, have an egg hunt right there at your vacation rental. Whether you’re staying in a beachfront vacation rental or a rental with a pool, the possibilities are endless. Bring plastic eggs filled with goodies for the kids to find as you hide them around your rental or around the outside area. However, we ask that you make sure that you pick them up if the kids don’t find them, as we want to ensure the wildlife is safe. Think of the new memories you’ll make watching their faces find those eggs around your vacation rental.

Bake a Few Goodies

Colorful easter cookies in basket

Another great way to enjoy Easter this year here on Anna Maria Island is to bake some goodies. A number one goodie that most kids love to help bake and decorate is sugar cookie cutouts. We must say that cupcakes are another hit with the kids as they help decorate them with their favorite candy. With the full-sized kitchens in your vacation rental, all you need are the ingredients, lots of love, and family to help make your treats.

Beach Time

A beautiful ocean whitecap waves roll onto the sandy beach of Anna Maria Key

We can’t forget to mention spending your time on the beach with the family. With our white sand and crystal-clear water, there is never a bad day here on the island. Pack a lunch, snacks, a cooler full of ice and drinks, and the beach toys for the day. Whether you’re staying in a beachfront vacation rental or a rental where you must walk a little bit, the beach is right within reach. Don’t forget to pack those beach bag essentials to be able to enjoy your time soaking up the sun with the family.

There are many other reasons you can enjoy your Easter vacation, but we wanted to share these with you. If you haven’t booked your trip to stay in one of our Anna Maria Island vacation rentals, call us today. We can’t wait to see you and the family for Easter and Spring Break!