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!

3 Things to Do this Spring on Anna Maria Island

Beautiful Sand Dunes and Sea Oats on the Coastline of Anna Maria Island, Florida

This spring, do you have a family vacation planned to come to Anna Maria Island this spring? If the answer is yes, allow us to share three things you can do in the area. Staying in one of our Anna Maria Island vacation rentals will allow you to be close to the action. Let’s look below at what you and your family can do this spring on the island.

Snorkeling Fun

A family snorkeling in the crystal-clear water

One of the best things about vacationing to Anna Maria Island is getting to experience something you’ve never done. If you’ve ever vacationed in the Caribbean, you might have had the opportunity to snorkel, but our crystal-clear water allows you to do it here. Some of the wildlife that you’ll be able to spot while in the water are shells, dolphins, manatees, and even stingrays. If you don’t have your equipment, have no fear as there are a few different tour companies that offer snorkeling tours around the island. Think of the new memories that the whole family will have by getting out in the water and seeing what you can spot in the water.

Bean Point Beach

Another great location that many locals and visitors love to visit is Bean Point Beach. This is one of our best-kept secret spots on the island because you won’t be able to find large signs showing the way. You will go a little north of the Anna Maria City Pier to see this beautiful spot, just past the crossroads. You can get to this location by car or even biking. There is much different wildlife that lives there that you can admire, swim or walk with the family. Don’t forget to stay to see the sunset and grab that picture for Instagram!

Mini Golf with the Family

Teenagers, 14 and 15 years, playing miniature golf

Playing mini-golf together is a tradition for many families who vacation to the beach every year. One of the places where you can head to play a round or two of mini golf is The Fish Hole in Bradenton Beach. If you’re concerned about the heat being too much during the day, don’t worry as they have cooling misters throughout the course. Some of the other things that you’ll be able to do while playing are grabbing a souvenir to take home, grabbing a cool drink, and you can feed the Koi.

There are many other fun things that you can do this spring, but we wanted to share these few with you. Now is the time if you haven’t booked your next trip to Anna Maria Island. We can’t wait to hear what you did this spring on your vacation!

Why Should You #BookDirect with AMI Locals?

Hands holding digital tablet with application booking flight travel search ticket holiday and hotel on website discounted price, concept technology online marketing and promotion.

Are you and your family planning a vacation to Anna Maria Island this year? We need to tell you why you should #bookdirect with us if you are. Many online third-party vacation rental sites can add a 5%-20% additional fee to your reservation. We know that your vacations are significant and may limit how much you can spend each year. AMI Locals wants to make sure that you get the most out of your money when visiting Anna Maria Island. The only way that you’ll be able to enjoy your vacation without getting hit with that unexpected fee is by booking direct today!

family sitting in sand building a sandcastle with water in the background and sunny day with little clouds making new memories

What You Need to Know About Booking Direct

On February 2nd, 2022, we celebrate the 5th Annual Book Direct Day, which was created to help educate vacation rental guests on the benefits of booking directly through an owner or Property Management Company vs. using a Third-Party agency such as Airbnb, HomeAway, VBRO & TripAdvisor.

While you may recognize these big-name companies and their gimmicks in helping you save money, you will soon learn that they will charge you a fee for using their website. Who wants to pay extra just to try and save a little money? Some of the expenses that you may incur when you book with an OTA can range from 5%-20% of the total cost of your vacation rental, which in turn can cost you thousands of dollars extra depending on which rental you choose.

Why You Should Book Direct with Us

When you book direct with AMI Locals, you will not only speak with one of our vacation specialists who are local to Anna Maria Island and can give you the best information on the area. We know all the details on each property because we have personally been to them. We can provide you with our recommendations on where to dine, play, shop, and visit businesses in the area. Our office is conveniently on Anna Maria Island, so if any problems arise while you’re on vacation, we’re here to help.

How You Can Book Direct with AMI Locals

You will find that booking directly with us at AMI Locals is easy! We encourage all guests to book their vacations directly through our safe & secure website, www.amilocals.com, or call our office at (941) 757-8226. Rest assured that we will never charge any hidden fees, and we will always provide you with the best available rates on our professionally managed vacation rentals. We don’t want you to have to pay anything extra so that you can use that money to go out to eat, explore the island or make a local day trip. We understand that your money is precious, and we can help you see that your vacation to Anna Maria Island is the best one it can be each year!

Are you ready to plan your vacation today? #BookDirect with AMI Locals today to have the best-planned vacation year after year!

Winter is an Excellent Time of the Year to Vacation on Anna Maria Island

Entrance to the beach at dusk. purple in sky, sunsetting, anna maria island, white sand, crystal clear water,

It’s hard to believe that winter is here and in several parts of the country is dumping snow like crazy too. One of the best things about vacationing to Anna Maria Island during the wintertime is no snow. Just our sandy white beaches, crystal clear water, and incredible temperatures are what you get to look forward to. Staying in one of our Anna Maria Island vacation rentals will allow you and your family to enjoy our beautiful island. Let’s look below at why winter is an excellent time of the year to spend your vacation on Anna Maria Island.

Less Crowded

Colorful Umbrella and Chair on the Sandy Beaches of Anna Maria Island

One of the best things about vacationing to Anna Maria Island during the winter is the crowds are much less. You’ll not only be able to find all of the best spots on the beach in the morning, but you’ll have a prime spot sitting in the waves. The kids will have all the space they could ever want to build their little sandcastle village, including a moat. Less crowded means that you won’t have long waits at stores, restaurants, and experiences around the island.

Amazing Temperatures

Group of five happy peoples run and jump to sea beach against sunset sun

Another big reason winter is a great time to visit Anna Maria Island this winter is the temps. During January, you’ll find that the average temperature during the day is 71 degrees, with a low of 52 degrees. February has a little better temp with the average during the day being 74 degrees with a low of 55. March brings warmer temps with a daily average of 77 degrees and a low of 58 degrees. You’ll also find that it may rain 3-5 days total during each month which allows you to enjoy the weather a little more.With the weather being perfect, you’ll still be able to get in and enjoy the water with the family, it’s just like you’re in the Caribbean.

While there are other reasons why winter is an excellent time of the year to vacation on Anna Maria Island, we wanted to share these few with you. If you haven’t booked your winter stay with us in one of our Anna Maria Island vacation rentals, give us a call today. We can’t wait to see what you think of our winter compared to your winter back home!

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 3rd Annual Holiday Boat Parade. The event will take place on Saturday, December 5th 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.

Annual Christmas on Bridge Street

Another fun event returning in 2021 is the Annual Christmas on Bridge Street celebration in Bradenton Beach. On December 4th, 2021, starting at 3:00 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.

3 Natural Springs State Parks Near Anna Maria Island for a Day Trip with the Family

Lithia Springs State Park with a squirrel on a palm near Tampa Florida.

Have you ever wanted to head to a state park in the past but didn’t know which one to try? We at AMI Locals wanted to share 3 Natural Springs State Parks with you that are within a few hours’ drive of the island. Staying in one of our Anna Maria Island vacation rentals, you’ll be able to not only enjoy our beautiful beaches, but you’ll be close to some of the natural springs state parks too. Let’s look below at where you and your family can head for the day to check out three of the many natural springs state parks in Florida.

Weeki Wachee Springs State Park

Weeki Wachee Springs River with blues and greens

Have you ever heard of Weeki Wachee before? Too many tourists, it sounds like a fun name to pronounce, and as locals, we can say it is. The Weeki Wachee Springs State Park is located about 2-hours from our beautiful island and is one state park that we couldn’t mention. This Park first opened in 1947 and has been a favorite for many locals and tourists to head to for some fun in the sun. We must mention that during the summer months, they will reach capacity early and so be sure to get there as soon as they open at 9:00 am. A few of the things you can do while there are snorkeling, swimming, boat tours, mermaid shows, and even the waterpark. Be sure to add this to your list to check out your next vacation to Anna Maria Island.

Rainbow Springs State Park

The gardens at Rainbow Springs in Dunnellon, Florida.

Rainbow Springs State Parks is located a little further north of Weeki Wachee Springs State Park but is another beautiful park to visit. Located about two and a half hours from Anna Maria Island, you could easily make this another day trip with the Family. Some fun things you can do at this state park are snorkeling, swimming, tubing down the Rainbow River, Geocaching, and more. Think of the fun the Family will have to get to tube down the river after spending the morning doing some geocaching.

Rock Springs Kelly Park

Happy cute caucasian boy swimming in watermelon inflatable ring. Vacation on sea side. High quality photo

Rock Springs Kelly Park is located about two and a half hours from Anna Maria Island and is just north of Orlando. Depending on how you’re arriving at AMI, you could either do this Park before you come to your vacation rental or on your way home. They limit the number of vehicles in the park each day, so we thought it was a great way to start your trip or end it on a fun adventure. Some of the things that you’re able to do at the park are Kayak, Paddleboard, or even tubing. If you’re going to do a little tubing, they do offer rentals for tubes, or you can bring your own, which in turn, you could use on your trip to Anna Maria Island.

While there are many other natural springs state parks within a few hours of Anna Maria Island, we wanted to mention these. If you haven’t booked your next trip to stay in one of our AMI Locals vacation rentals, give us a call today. We’d love to hear all about your adventures to one of these amazing parks!

2 Fun Festivals to Enjoy this Fall with the Family on Anna Maria Island

Collection of autumn pumpkins on a blue background

Fall is an excellent time of the year to visit Anna Maria Island for many different reasons. You and your family can do plenty of fun things, and we are here to tell you about them. Staying with us in one of our AMI Locals vacation rentals will keep you and your family to the fun. Let’s look below at two fun to enjoy with the family on Anna Maria Island this fall.

20th Annual BayFest

Classic cars in a row parked on asphalt parking lot

We are so excited that Bayfest is returning to Anna Maria Island this year for the 20th year. Happening on Pine Avenue on Saturday, October 16th, 2021, from 10:00 am to 9:00 pm is where your family can join in the fun. There will be live music during the day, arts & crafts, a car show, fantastic food and more. Admission to this fun event hosted by the Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce is free. There will also be plenty of vendors that you can purchase things from to bring home with you. Think of the fun that the whole family can enjoy while you enjoy this fun event together!

30th Annual Pumpkin Festival

boy picks pumpkin at the farmers market. The person in motion, defocused.

Another fun thing that your family can take advantage of this fall is the 30th Annual Pumpkin Festival. This festival will be at Hunsader Farms in Bradenton, Florida, for several weekends in October. While this festival is not free to attend, the cost is $12 per person over ten years old, and parking is $5. They are only accepting cash right now, but some of the vendors at the festival may accept cards. The dates you can attend are October 16-17th, 23-24th & 30-31st from 9 am to 5 pm. Some things you can do at the farm are pony rides, corn maze, hayrides, arm painting, pumpkins, and more. How cool would it be to bring a pumpkin back to your vacation rental for the remainder of your stay?

While there are other fun things that you can enjoy this fall, including our white sandy beaches and vacation rentals with pools, we wanted to share these. If you still are looking for a quick getaway to beautiful Anna Maria Island this fall with the family, give us a call today. We hope to see you soon so you can enjoy these fall festivals too!

Hunt for Shells on Anna Maria Island

Hunt for Shells on Anna Maria Island

Do you like to collect shells for something at home, or a project your working on? If the answer is yes, then we suggest vacationing here on Anna Maria Island this winter. Anna Maria Island has crystal clear waters, white sandy beach and a healthy amount of Florida sunshine. If you are staying in one of our Beach and Gulf View vacation rentals, then you will be close to where you’ll find the shells. There is something for everyone when you vacation on Anna Maria Island including looking for rare Florida seashells. Let’s look at where you and your family can hunt for the shells and what shells you’ll find.

Early Morning

Hunt for Shells on Anna Maria Island

Many of the families who visit Anna Maria Island have kids who like to get up at the crack of dawn even while on vacation. So why not go ahead and head to the beach in the early morning to hunt for some seashells. Walk slowly by the water searching for that perfect shell that you’d been wanting. You may find several different kinds of shells, but we know of the few you may find. Many shells may have washed up on the beach during the night and so this can be the perfect time to find some. If it is low tide you may be able to find a few starfish but be sure to check if they are alive or dead. If they are alive, please leave them there and give them another chance at living more.

Where to Shell?

Anna Maria Island has many beaches that you and your family can head to find those perfect shells. Holmes Beach, Coquina Beach, Bayfront Park and Bean Point are great places to start to look for those beautiful shells. Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty a little because sometimes the best shells you will find may be buried a little in the sand. We suggest that you bring a bucket (borrowing one from the kids will work), a small shovel, sunscreen and water shoes or flip flops. If you are bringing the kids with you, we suggest that you bring a towel with you as well because we know they will get wet.

What Shells Can You Find?

Hunt for Shells on Anna Maria Island

One thing that you might have to remember that when you go shell hunting, you need to know what you are looking for. So, we have a few that we know you will be able to find on Anna Maria Island. Here are a few of the shells you may come across while you are on your shell hunt.

  • Cockle Shell – These are very distinctive and found by many because of their fan shape they have.
  • Coquina Shell – These tiny, cute looking shell are what we call coquina shells. They are not any bigger than a dime and will come in a variety of colors and patterns.
  • Junonia Shell – This shell is one of the rarest that you will come across on the island. Because it’s so beautiful, many shell collectors consider this one to be the best one.
  • Banded Tulip Shell – This shell is named after it’s colored bands that can be seen on the exterior.
  • Horse Conch Shell – This shell has been Florida’s state shell since 1969 and is a beautiful shell. You’ll often find this shell in a larger size but you’ll find them small too.
  • Murex Shell – The Murex shell is often identified by the spines located on the outside of the shell. Many will get these shells mixed with a whelk but they are bright in color compared to whelks.

While there are many other shells that you will come across while hunting for them, these are just a few we thought you’d enjoy. And a few little tips to remember while you shell, it’s best to go after high tide in the morning. We highly suggest wearing water shoes or flip flops, so your feet don’t get cut in the process of wading through the shallow waters. Beach and Gulf View vacation rentals will keep you and your family close to the fun and action on Anna Maria Island. We can’t wait to see you as you come down to stay with us.

3 Restaurants to Try on Anna Maria Island this Summer



Summer will be here before you know it, and now is the time to start getting excited over the food you’ll find on the island. Anna Maria Island has many different restaurants that provide seafood, kid-friendly food, and southern food. Staying in one of our AMI vacation rentals will keep your family close to several of these delicious places to eat at. We understand that you’re on vacation and who wants to cook all week while you’re relaxing. Let’s look below at three restaurants to try Anna Maria Island this summer with the family.

Mr. Bones BBQ

bbq ribs smoked

Does your family love pulled pork, BBQ ribs, BBQ chicken & more? Then look no further as you can find all that southern deliciousness at Mr. Bones BBQ in Holmes Beach. This restaurant opened up in 1992 and has become a staple to get some fantastic BBQ on the island. Some of the things you’ll find on the menu are spare ribs, baby back ribs, BBQ chicken, jambalaya, and more. If you get stuffed at the restaurant, then take your leftovers back to your vacation rental and savor them for another day or night. Mr. Bones BBQ is one restaurant that is a must-try on the island!

SMOQEHOUSE

Another restaurant that your family may enjoy is the SMOQEHOUSE located over in Holmes Beach. This is another restaurant where you’ll find traditional BBQ dishes like the SMOQEHOUSE Cuban, Pulled Pork Sandwich, Brisket Burger, and Sarasota Special. For the kids, they offer grilled cheese, pulled pork sandwiches, and cheeseburgers. Their hand-cut fries are just like you’d find on a boardwalk on the east coast and are to die for. This can become your new favorite restaurant to give a try on your next vacation to Anna Maria Island this summer!

Brick’s Smoked Meats

sandwich with beef brisket, fries and coleslaw

While Brick’s Smoked Meats is not located on Anna Maria Island, it was one that we wanted to mention—located in Bradenton is where you’re going to find this Texas BBQ-style restaurant. The family will love some of the menu items from their “OMG” Brisket Chili Cheese Fries, Pulled Pork Platters, St. Louis Ribs, Bacon Burnt Ends, and more. Don’t worry about the kids not having something to eat because there is something for everyone on this menu. This is a restaurant that is worth trying on your vacation to Anna Maria Island if you’re looking for a home-cooked southern BBQ.

There are many other fun restaurants that we could mention in this post; we wanted to share these with you. If you haven’t booked your next vacation to stay in one of our AMI vacation rentals, give us a call today. We can’t wait to see you and your family this summer and about how you enjoyed one of these restaurants!