Anna Maria Island is a 7-mile-long barrier island on Florida’s Gulf Coast that is a true hidden gem! Major travel publications including Travel +Leisure, The Wall Street Journal, Herald-Tribune, and Thrillist, have recently recognized Anna Maria Island as a must-visit destination. Let’s explore what makes Anna Maria Island stand out as a travel destination!
Thrillistsuggests the best way to explore the blue waters and to catch a view of our local manatees and dolphins is atop a kayak or paddleboard, or you can book a boat cruise from Bradenton Beach Marina. The restaurants are spread across the charming island and include great spots, including The Doctor’s Office and The Beach Bistro for beachfront dining, and the Rod N Reel Pier is an Instagram-worthy spot to visit and boasts Tampa Bay views. (Herald-Tribune and Thrillist). You cannot forget about Pine Avenue; it offers a unique variety of boutiques locally made, restaurants, and cute coffee and donut shops (Thrillist).
Pristine Gulf of Mexico Beaches
Anna Maria Island has six award-winning beaches with easy access that are the biggest draw for locals and visitors alike according to the Wall Street Journal. Some beaches feature ice cream shops and beachside seafood shacks (Herald-Tribune!) Visitors can enjoy the white sandy beaches and calm waters from the comfort of their vacation rental home‘s backyard or take short walks to the sparkling beaches.
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? Here is a little secret: This is our favorite time of year on the island! Even though it may not feel like colder weather and there are no landscapes of color-changing leaves to look at…the spirit of Fall takes over Anna Maria.
Generally, by this time of year, the crowds have dwindled. You can 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 is evident everywhere. After relaxing at the beach, 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!
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 island’s South end 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! Take advantage of the Trail of Treats if you find yourself here with your little ones on Halloween. This is where area businesses hand out goodies to all the dressed-up kiddos! If you get adventurous and head off the island, you will 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? Check out our area events calendar when planning your next Anna Maria Island getaway!
While the island is beautiful and sunny almost all year, the Fall months 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 toward the water is one of the most fascinating and memorable sights you will ever see!
Get Out On The Water
The Fall on Anna Maria Island is also an excellent time of year to fish. Being a barrier island, you can enjoy offshore and inshore fishing the best. 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 backyard! Or, allow you to bring your 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 on our website. With clear, sparkling aqua
What Are You Waiting For?
So, whether you want to get away for a romantic week for two or you are traveling 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 exceptional 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!
We can’t think a better way to celebrate the 4th of July than spending a day on an Anna Maria Island beach with your friends and family. So here’s our exclusive AMI Locals insider guide to the what-where-and-when!
Get an Early Start
First off, and this is important… if you plan on a beach day, get here early! Of course, parking can be tricky, and traffic tends to back up easily on Anna Maria Island, with only a few main roads to get around with. And this is just one reason why we recommend staying with us at an AMI Locals luxury vacation rental home. Perhaps a home with a rooftop deck for prime fireworks views? Such as Seaside Escape, or Ocean Breeze.
Cheer on the Parade! Celebrate America!
The Anna Maria Island Privateers Annual 4th of July Parade kicks off at 10am at Coquina Beach Park! The parade runs the length of the Island, all the way to City Pier Park. And remember to bring your sunscreen, beach chairs, drinks and snacks.
Next, get yourself to the 4th of July Celebration at City Pier Park! It starts at 12pm. The City of Anna Maria invites all to celebrate America on July 4th, 2023. With free hot dogs, chips and patriotic music… So you’ll be feeling red, white, and blue in no time!
Relax on the Beach
Then, spend a little time at one of Anna Maria Island’s famous beaches. Bayfront Park, Bean Point, Manatee Public Beach, Coquina Beach or any one of the beautiful stretches of sand on our amazing 7-mile paradise. Grab your friends and go get some sunshine.
Enjoy the show!
Finally, end the evening with dinner and a bang! Head on over to Bradenton to Pier 22 restaurant. They are hosting a wonderful Dinner & Fireworks event that you can’t miss. The fun begins at 7:00 pm where you’ll enjoy an all-you-can-eat buffet, plus the table you’re sitting at is yours for the night. In addition to the dinner, you’ll be able to view the fireworks around 9:30 pm. Be sure to make your reservations today to take advantage of this amazing event!
Usually you can also see the fireworks from just about any spot on Anna Maria Island! So grab a sparkler and celebrate America’s Independence!
Do you have a family vacation to Anna Maria Island soon but are unsure what to pack? We understand that it can be overwhelming to pack the whole family, so we have come up with a packing guide to help you. AMI Locals provide linens and a few starter items in each vacation rental for you. Let’s check out a more detailed list to get your next Anna Maria Island vacation packed and ready to go.
What We Provide in All of Our Vacation Rentals
AMI Locals vacation rentals include fresh bed linens, beach towels, bath towels, and kitchen towels. We also have a starter supply of products that provides for one small bottle of dish soap, two dishwasher tablets, one roll of paper towels, two rolls of toilet paper per bathroom, one small bar of hand soap per bathroom, one trash bag per bin and a sanitary strip on each toilet. We also provide beach chairs in our rental homes, but the number of chairs will vary by each property. Almost all of our vacation rental homes have a washer & dryer but be sure to check the amenities list on the rental you’ve booked.
Rental Home List
Laundry Detergent/Fabric Softener/Dryer Sheets
Dish Soap/Dishwasher Tablets (or liquid)
All-Purpose Cleaner/Disinfectant Wipes
Aluminum Foil/Plastic Wrap
Storage Containers/Ziplock Bags/Reusable Bags
Hand Soap for Bathrooms & Kitchen Sink
Clothes Basket/Collapsible Hamper
Reusable Water Bottles
Spices/Non-Stick Cooking Spray/Oil
Items for Your Baby
Beach Day List
Beach Wagon (to carry all the items on the beach)
SPF Shirts (a white shirt will also work well)
Floats (for the pool if vacation rental has access to one)
Beach Tote/Mesh Bag
Glasses/Contact Lenses/Contact Solution
Body Wash/Bar Soap
Laptop/Tablet plus Chargers
Waterproof Phone Pouch/Case
List of Emergency Contacts
You can pack many other things, including groceries, for your stay, but we wanted to share this list with you. If you haven’t booked your next stay in one of our Anna Maria Island vacation rentals, now is the time. We can’t wait to hear how easy it was to pack with the help of this list!
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.
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!
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?
Park – 1611 9th St W, Bradenton, FL 34205
Smith Stadium – 2700 12th St, Sarasota, FL 34237
Field – 1 Steinbrenner Dr, Tampa, FL 33614
Field – 601 N Old Coachman Rd, Clearwater, FL 33765
Stadium – 373 Douglas Ave, Dunedin, FL 34698
Field – 2301 Lakeland Hills Blvd, Lakeland, FL 33805
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! Unfortunately this year, the MLB Spring Training for our Tampa Bay Rays will be at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex due to too much damage from Hurricane Ian to our home stadium.
Charlotte Sports Park – 2300 El Jobean Rd, Port Charlotte, FL 33948
Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex – 700 S Victory Way, Orlando, FL 34747
Stadium – ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, 700 S Victory Way,
Kissimmee, FL 34747
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!
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
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.
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 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!
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?
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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
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!
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
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!
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
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
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.
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!