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!

NCAA Bowl Games & An Anna Maria Beach Vacation



NCAA Bowl Games & An Anna Maria Beach Vacation

NCAA Football Bowl time is upon us! It’s time to pencil in a luxury beach vacation to Anna Maria Island on your bracket. In December and January, Florida hosts eight NCAA Bowl Games.  Four of those are within driving distance from the beautiful beaches of Anna Maria, Florida.

bowl games are fun

NCAA Bowl Games in Florida

Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl

The Bad Boys Mowers Gasparilla Bowl starts at 8:00 pm on December 20th in Tampa at Raymond James Stadium. The local South Florida Bulls will take on the Marshall Thundering Herd. The Fan Invasion starts at 4:30 pm outside the stadium so be sure to arrive early.

Camping World Bowl

Next up, the Camping World Bowl will be played in Orlando on December 28th, and the match-up between the Syracuse Orangemen and the West Virginia Mountaineers is sure to be a good one! Kick-off starts at 5:15 pm.  FanFest will begin at 1:15 pm on Tinker Field next to the Stadium for this NCAA Bowl Game. Admission is FREE with lots of fun activities for everyone in your group.

Outback Bowl

On New Year’s Day, the Outback Bowl kicks off in Tampa at noon and has the Iowa Hawkeyes playing vs. the Mississippi State Bulldogs. It’s held at Raymond James Stadium and there’s no shortage of excitement leading up to the game. The Pregame Bowl Bash starts at 9:00 am with live music and a Pep Rally outside the stadium, and food and refreshments will also be available.

Citrus Bowl

Finally, the VRBO Citrus Bowl starts at 1:00 pm in Orlando on January 1st, 2019.  The Penn State Nittany Lions will take on the Kentucky Wildcats at Camping World Stadium. FanFest begins at 9:00 am on Tinker Field next to the Stadium. Admission is FREE featuring interactive games, face painting, and food and beverages available for purchase from local vendors.

 

Where to Stay

With Anna Maria just a short drive away, why not enjoy a relaxing week at the beach before or after the big game? Traveling with all of your family and friends? Atlantis Beach House has plenty of room and a waterslide! Or, Nautical Tides features a fantastic rooftop deck overlooking the Bradenton Beach Marina. While Blue Pearl has a lush and tropical backyard oasis to escape to after a long day of adventures. So, plan on a day in Tampa, Orlando, or St. Petersburg for the big game, and then spend the rest of your time on the sunny shores of the Gulf of Mexico beaches!

What’s Your Next Move?

Well, grab your playbook, call an audible to an agent, and get yourself booked into one of our available vacation rental homes! There’s not much more for you to do once you touchdown in Anna Maria Island, but relax!

2017 Outback Bowl Fans

FALL in Love with Anna Maria Island

Fall-On-Anna-Maria-Island-Uncrowded-Beach-AMI-Locals

Fall on Anna Maria Island

Fall in Love with Anna Maria Island. It is not hard to do when you vacation during the months of Fall on Anna Maria Island.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to vacation on Anna Maria Island during the fall months of September, October and November? Well, here is a little secret…this is my favorite time of year on the island! Even though it may not necessarily feel like colder weather and there are no landscapes of color changing leaves to look at…the spirit of Fall takes over Anna Maria.

Less Crowds

Generally, by this time of year, the crowds have dwindled. You can really get a feel for what it is like to live like a local on Anna Maria Island during the Fall months. By now, most of the kids have all returned to school and the beaches are quiet. So, head out to the beach for a secluded and relaxing day. Grab a book and read. Or, close your eyes and soak up plenty of warm rays from the sun.  There is nothing like getting a tan in the Fall on Anna Maria Island. During the Fall on Anna Maria Island the lack of crowds are evident everywhere. After your relaxing day at the beach, feel free to explore the uncrowded restaurants, shops, and bars. Just jump on the free Anna Maria Island trolley, and explore the island from end to end. Maybe find a new favorite spot to grab a bite to eat. During the Fall on Anna Maria Island, you will find much shorter wait times for a table at most of our popular dining options!

The-Sandbar-Restaurant-Anna-Maria-Island
Visit the Sandbar Restaurant for Gulf Side dining at it’s finest

Festivals Galore

As October and November roll in, so do all the area festivals! In my opinion, the Fall on Anna Maria Island – October to December – are the best months of the year to explore all the great happenings in and around Anna Maria Island. Maybe you keep it super local and head down to the Coquina Beach Market at the South end of the island to search for treasures from local artists and vendors all while taking in the beautiful gulf views. Also, look for Halloween style island events. From costume contests to the Anna Maria Elementary Fall Festival, there is fun to be had for all ages! If you find yourself here with your little ones on Halloween, be sure to take advantage of the Trail of Treats. This is where area businesses hand out goodies to all the dressed up kiddos!  If you get adventurous and head off island, you are bound to find some exciting events! Maybe head East and go to a good old-fashioned pumpkin festival. There are plenty to choose from! Or, take a ride on the Pumpkin Patch Express at the Florida Railroad Museum where you can journey on an open air train through the picturesque countryside of Manatee County. The train ride ends at a remote pumpkin patch. There, everyone selects a pumpkin and gets to bring back the perfect gourd for an island style pumpkin carving party. With so many things going on, how will you choose? Be sure to check out our area events calendar when planning your next Anna Maria Island getaway

Halloween-On-Anna-Maria-Island
Halloween on Anna Maria is a Scary Fun Time!

Beautiful Weather

While the island is beautiful and sunny almost all of the year, the months of Fall on Anna Maria island are very refreshing. They can bring a nice break from the high humidity, and hot, sticky days that rule the Summer. While the days are warm and pleasant with temperatures hovering in the 80’s, the evenings can often bring a nice breeze and cool down into the low to mid 70’s. This makes those evening strolls on the beach even more enjoyable. You may still even be able to catch a glimpse of the spectacular sea turtle nests. Some of the eggs will still be waiting to hatch. Sea turtle season runs until the end of October every year. Each nest is marked and secured with “caution tape.” Witnessing the hatching of a nest and watching all those tiny sea turtles take off towards the water is one of the most fascinating and special sights you will ever see!

Turtles-On-The-Beach-Anna-Maria-Island-Florida-AMI-Locals
Watch the Baby Turtles hatch on Anna Maria Island

Get Out On The Water

The Fall on Anna Maria  Island is a great time of year to fish as well. Being a barrier island you can enjoy the best of both offshore and inshore fishing. This time of year trout, flounder, redfish, cobia, snapper, and permit take center stage for near shore fishing. Perhaps one of our spectacular Waterfront Homes would give you the best opportunity to do a little fishing right in your own backyard! Or, allow you to bring your own boat and secure it behind your vacation home. You can always book a local fishing charter to show you all the best spots to drop a line. Or, just head out to one of the island’s piers. Whichever you choose, we can help point you in the right direction. If fishing is not your forte, then perhaps a leisurely cruise around the coastline of our little island is more your speed. We have some excellent suggestions for dolphin cruises, sunset cruises and snorkeling excursions found on our website here. With clear, sparkling aqua waters and the endless array of beautiful sunsets, there is an adventure out there for everyone!

Fishing-Boat-Tampa-Bay-Anna-Maria-Island-Florida
Boating, Fishing, and Diving are great in the Fall.

What Are You Waiting For?

So, whether you want to get away for a romantic week for two or you are travelling with a group, we have a unique and luxurious vacation home waiting just for you. Visit our AMI Locals Rental Page to pick your next vacation home from our list of amazing properties. Or, contact one of our property managers to make your vacation dreams a reality this Fall on Anna Maria Island. Let us show you how to vacation like a local!