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!

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!

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!

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!

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.

21st 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 21st year. Happening on Pine Avenue on Saturday, October 15th, 2022, 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!

31st 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 31st 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 $15 per person, 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 15-16th, 22-23rd & 29-30th 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.