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.

Celebrate the 4th of July on AMI

July 4th on AMI

Independence Day is on its way and there is no better place to stay than with AMI Locals. Celebrate with Parades, Food, Fireworks and Beach Vibes!

A few of our AMI Locals favorite recommendations for delicious food to start and finish the day :

1. Ginny’s and Jane E’s Café and Gift Shop

A fun, funky, Bakery/café serving breakfast and lunch, in a relaxed, atmosphere with loads of crazy fun things to look at and/or purchase.  Try the giant cinnamon rolls to get your weekend off to a great start.
Located at 9807 Gulf Dr. Anna Maria Island, FL 34216  941.778.3170

2. The Sandbar Restaurant

A beautiful beachfront seafood restaurant serving classic dishes that will be sure to satisfy any appetite. The Sandbar is located on the north end of Anna Maria Island and has been a favorite of locals for decades. Dine with your toes in the sand and a drink in your hand on the waterfront deck or enjoy inside dining. The Sandbar offers a gulf to table, farm to fork, and pasture to plate award winning menu. Specials vary weekly -100 Spring Ave, Anna Maria, FL 34216   941.778.0444  
* Fireworks just after sunset over the Gulf have been canceled this year to protect nesting turtles!

3. The Beach House Restaurant

On the beach, amazing views and delicious food. The Beach House will not disappoint. The Beach House Restaurant is located on the Bradenton Beach end of AMI and a second option for toes in the sand and beach vibe dining.  Seafood is their specialty offering some of the worlds best Oysters, Shrimp and Fish; but don’t worry you can also order up amazing New York Strip and many other delicious selections as well – 200 Gulf Dr N, Bradenton Beach, FL 34217  941.779.2222
* Fireworks just after sunset over the Gulf have been CANCELED to help protect sea turtle nesting!

JULY 3rd – Parade Time!

The July 3 parade will begin at Coquina Beach in Bradenton Beach at 10 a.m., proceed through Holmes Beach and end near City Pier Park in Anna Maria at approx. 11:30. The parade is a fantastic event by the Privateers held annually and loved by all.

Looking for a place to lay your head after a fun-filled day?

 www.AMIlocals.com has availability with spectacular properties and a wonderful team to assist you with property needs.  Here are just a few examples:

Surfer’s Dream

Welcome to Surfer’s Dream, a beautiful new construction home perfectly located just a short walk off beach! This 4 bedroom, 6.5 bathroom home, plus loft, is absolutely amazing.

The Ritz

This gorgeous and unique home will leave you breathless, and with plenty of space and privacy for a single-family, multi-family, or large group of friends and/or family combined – everything you could want in a luxury beach vacation rental home is found here at The Ritz.
This home features 7 bedrooms, with 6 King beds, a Full over Full bunk bed, and a Queen sleeper sofa bed.

Island Paradise

Island Paradise is a beautiful beachfront condo with absolutely, incredible views. It makes you feel like you are living right on top of the beautiful blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico! The property has 3 bedrooms and 2 full baths.

For more information check out  www.amilocals.com  – take a look around and give us a call when you find your dream home away from home. We will get you all set up for the vacation of a lifetime.

We are so excited to hear from you and share our Independence Day here on Anna Maria Island.

Easy Ways to Explore Anna Maria Island on your Next Vacation

Easy Ways to Explore Anna Maria Island on your Next Vacation

Do you and your family have a vacation coming up to visit Anna Maria Island? If the answer is yes, then we have to tell you all about the ways you can explore the island. Staying in one of our Water Access vacation rentals can keep your family close to the water. Getting around the island is easy as 1, 2 , 3 and we are here to let you know how you can explore the island for free!

Anna Maria Island Trolley

Take a FREE local trolley when exploring Anna Maria Island.

We have been asked numerous times if you can still visit Anna Maria Island without a car and the answer is absolutely! Not only can you explore the island by walking around it, you can also explore the island by using the Anna Maria Island Trolley. This service is available to all those who visit the area and is available 365 days a year. Depending on where you are staying at on the island will depend on which location you need to start at. Many will find that beginning at the Anna Maria City at 6:00 am and there will a trolley at each stop every 20 minutes throughout the day. If you are concerned that there will be no air, you will be pleasantly surprised that each trolley does have air-conditioning but there are a few that do offer open-air seating too.  This is a great way that you can explore Anna Maria Island for free with the family!

Island Beach Monkeys

When you visit Anna Maria Island and are headed to enjoy some nightly activities, but the trolley isn’t running that late, have no fear. Island Beach Monkeys is just the service you are looking for then. This is another free mode of transportation to get around the island. One thing that is different compared to other transportation around the island is that the drivers work for tips only. How cool is that?! Their hours of service are from 12:00 pm to 3:00 am every day which is perfect for those who love late night outings. Some of the other services that Island Beach Monkeys offers are tours, weddings, airport & cruise ship shuttles and even off-island rides too. Their fleet includes 2 mini-buses (one equipped with a karaoke, an 8-passenger golf cart limo and an SUV. Give them a call at 941-565-6542 to catch a ride on the Monkey Bus on your next vacation to Anna Maria Island!

There are many other ways that you can get around the island but these are the few we wanted to share with you. If you haven’t booked your next vacation to Anna Maria Island yet, now is the time. We hope that you and your family will enjoy using these services while on vacation

Enjoy Spring Break on Anna Maria Island



It’s hard to believe that Spring Break will be here before we know it, and now is the time to start planning it. Getting away from life at home will allow both you and your family to recharge a bit, all while relaxing in the area. Staying in one of our Anna Maria Island vacation rentals will keep you and the family together. Let’s look below at what fun things you can do this spring break with the family!

Day Trip Fun

Enjoy Spring Break on Anna Maria Island

One of the best things about vacationing to Anna Maria Island this spring break is being close to several different amusement parks. Busch Gardens Tampa is located about an hour and a half from the island and is a quick trip to make. If you’re looking to travel a little more, then you can always head to Orlando, which is about a 2-hour drive from the island. Here you and your family can choose from Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, Discovery Cove, Sea World, and Legoland. We do, however, recommend that you purchase your tickets before heading over to the parks, as Walt Disney World does require you to make Park Pass Reservations. No matter where you go for the day, know that you will be able to come back to your vacation rental and relax the rest of the week!

Play on the Water

Another great way your family can enjoy spring break this year is to enjoy time on the water. This year, either rent yourself a boat where you can sail along the coast and enjoy fishing, relaxing, and having a great time together. Suppose you’re looking for something a little more entertaining, then head on over to the Fun Life Waterpark, where you’ll be floating a long the water and enjoying some of the fun trampolines and slides into the water. There is so much to do on the water that these are just a few of the things you can do.

Enjoy a Day on the Beach

Enjoy Spring Break on Anna Maria Island

Spending time away from life at home is getting to walk to the beach from your vacation rental or driving over to the beach. Be sure to bring your beach chairs, towels, umbrella, sunscreen, and sand toys for the kids with you. If you’d like to get a book or two with you while you relax as the kids play in the sand. Bring your lunch down on the sand along with a cooler full of drinks to keep you and the family hydrated for the day. Make new memories as you spend time relaxing and enjoying your time together on the beautiful white sands of Anna Maria Island!

While there are so many other things that you can do while on vacation to Anna Maria Island, we wanted to share these with you. If you haven’t booked your spring break vacation to stay in one of our Anna Maria Island vacation rentals, now is the time. We can’t wait to see you and your family make new memories this spring break together!

Take a Romantic Getaway to Anna Maria Island this Valentine’s Day

Take a Romantic Getaway to Anna Maria Island this Valentine’s Day

Finding time for just the two of you can be a little tricky at home with the hustle and bustle of taking care of the kids to working from home. This year surprise your loved one with a romantic getaway to Anna Maria Island for Valentine’s Day. Staying in one of our 1-2 Bedroom vacation rentals will allow the two of you just to relax and enjoy your time away from home. Let’s look below what you can do while you’re on your romantic getaway here on the island.

Romantic Dinner

Take a Romantic Getaway to Anna Maria Island this Valentine’s Day

We understand that taking a vacation with the kids can be a little hectic at times. So, while you’re on your romantic getaway to Anna Maria Island, enjoy a few romantic dinners together kid-free. Head on over to The Sandbar Restaurant located here on the island to get one of the best local cuisines in town. Ask to sit outside so that you can feel the sand under your feet as you enjoy your romantic dinner. Some of the fantastic foods you can have for dinner are Two Docks Clams, Seafood & Grits, Stuffed Shrimp, and don’t forget about the Key Lime Pie. Many other delicious foods are available on the menu, so get a few different ones and give them a try!

Explore the Island

Take a Romantic Getaway to Anna Maria Island this Valentine’s Day

Another great way that you can enjoy your romantic getaway is by exploring the island together. Whether you’re looking to do something adventurous like kayaking or looking to do something a little off the well-beaten path, there is something for everyone here. Head over to the Anna Maria City Pier and take a long walk enjoying the serene water and wildlife. Rent a bike and explore the island together by getting a little fresh air as you take your time pedaling around town. With all of the fun options available on the island, you may never want to leave to go back home.

While there are many other things that you and your loved one can do while you’re on your romantic getaway this Valentine’s Day, we wanted to share these with you. If you haven’t booked your trip to stay in one of our 1-2 Bedroom vacation rentals, now is the time. We look forward to seeing you in the next few weeks as you enjoy your time together as a couple enjoying island life!

Anna Maria Island City Pier is Now Open



Are you and your family visiting Anna Maria Island soon and looking for something to do. The good news is that the Anna Maria Island City Pier has officially opened for you to enjoy. Staying in one of our Anna Maria Island vacation rentals will keep you and your family close to the fun. Let’s look below at a little more information on the Anna Maria Island City Pier.

History of the Pier

The Anna Maria Island City Pier first opened for business in the early 1900s to provide a dock for big and small ships. This is where many imports and exports for fish for the area were a staple, and this was the perfect pier for just that. However, the dock has faced many different hurricanes and storms that would pose a port problem. In 2017 Hurricane Irma came through and caused some significant damages. It was evident that the pier would have to be repaired, and instead decided to replace it.

The New Pier is Open

Since the old pier was damaged more than most thought, it was time to build a new pier.  Instead of making the pier with planks, they reconstructed it using metal instead. This, in turn, is good that it should be able to withstand hurricanes. While the new pier was supposed to open up to the public back in March, it was delayed due to COVID-19. The pier is now officially open for all those to come and enjoy it. Go check it out on your next trip to Anna Maria Island with the family!

The Anna Maria Island City Pier has been around for more than 100 years, and we hope that it will be around at least 100 more. If you haven’t booked your next vacation to stay with us in an Anna Maria Island vacation rental, now is the time. We hope to see you and your family as you explore the new city pier too!

Experience Kayaking & Paddleboarding on Anna Maria Island

Experience Kayaking & Paddleboarding on Anna Maria Island

Do you and your family love to get outside and experience new things while on vacation? If the answer is yes, then allow us to share a few things that your family can do here on Anna Maria Island. Staying in one of our AMI Locals vacation rentals will allow your family to be close to the action. Let’s look below at how you can experience kayaking and paddleboarding here on the island.

Kayaking Around the Island

Experience Kayaking & Paddleboarding on Anna Maria Island

Have you ever been kayaking at home or even at a different destination? We can tell you that kayaking is one of our guests’ favorite things to do. Whether you have brought your kayak or you’re renting one, the time you spend on the water may become your favorite thing to do. You will find that many of our waterfront properties will allow you and the family to put your kayak into the water. Having access so close to where you will be staying will allow more time outside and having the time of your lives. If you aren’t staying in a waterfront property, then you will be happy to know we have a few places where you can go to put in your kayak around town.

  • Bimini Bay – this is located in the Holmes Beach area and is one of the best places to launch your kayak from. You can also launch directly from the pier and paddle away together as a family.
  • Robinson Preserve – this is another excellent location that is along the Manatee Avenue Causeway.
  • De Soto National Memorial Park – this happens to be a national park, and if you’re interested in learning a little, they do offer ranger-led tours.

Paddleboarding

Experience Kayaking & Paddleboarding on Anna Maria Island

Another fun activity that you can do while you are on vacation to Anna Maria Island is paddleboarding. This is another activity that is excellent exercise and fun for the whole family. Whether you have been paddleboarding before or not, the laughs are too much to handle at times. There are many different rental locations around the island that no only will give you tours, but they will also deliver your paddleboard to your vacation rental. Again staying in waterfront property will allow you to have access to the water a little easier, but you will still be able to access the water elsewhere too. Many of the locations above will allow you to put your paddleboard into the water, but we do suggest that taking a tour is the way to go.

While there are many other fun things to do here on Anna Maria Island, we wanted to share these with you. If you haven’t booked your next vacation to stay with us in one of our AMI Locals vacation rentals, now is the time. We can’t wait to hear about the adventures you have on the water!  

Stay in an AMI Locals Vacation Rental While You Visit Local Theme Parks



Do you and your family have plans to visit one of the many theme parks located in Central Florida this year? We at AMI Locals have the details on when they are opening and how you can enjoy a relaxing vacation in a beach home too. Staying in one of our many Anna Maria Island vacation rentals will allow your family to enjoy some privacy along with the white sand beaches and the relaxing waves. Let’s look below at a few of the reopening plans with several of the theme parks located in the area.

Walt Disney World Parks

Stay in an AMI Locals Vacation Rental While You Visit Local Theme Parks

Walt Disney World has recently released its reopening plans, and we couldn’t be more excited to get back to the parks ourselves. On July 11th, Magic Kingdom Park & Animal Kingdom will be opening up. On July 15th, Hollywood Studios & Epcot will be opening back up along with the Food & Wine Festival kicking off a little early. To visit each park, you will have to have tickets or annual passes and use their reservation system to gain access to one park a day. Everyone over the age of 2 has to wear a mask within the park and will require each person in the party to have their temperatures taken. Disney Springs has already opened and is available for you to come and shop the day away before heading back to your vacation rental.

Universal Studios

Universal Studios has already opened its parks and has a similar system to gain entry to each ride. They, instead of making reservations for each day, are allowing people to enter the park, but it is based on first come first serve. Once the park has reached its new capacity, then you will not be able to gain entrance to the parks. The water park, Volcano Bay, is open, and while you are swimming, the face masks are not required, the central common areas they are. Also, while inside Universal Studios, they do have a U Rest, which is where you can take off your mask for a minute and remember to social distance.

SeaWorld

Stay in an AMI Locals Vacation Rental While You Visit Local Theme Parks

SeaWorld is open back as well, and they, just like Universal Studios, has the same concept. Aquatica is open as well, and they do not allow masks to be worn while riding the rides and swimming but do in the common areas. They have also launched a new reservations system just like Walt Disney World, and you will need to have some to gain entrance to the parks. If you, however, have date-based tickets, you don’t need to worry about using the reservation system. The parks are also opened for five days a week and are closed on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Legoland Florida

If you have younger kids and they love Legos, then head on over to Legoland for the day. They have been open since June 1st, and they are no requiring face masks to be worn by guests but are recommending them. If you forgot your mask, then you will be able to grab a complimentary one from the park. Legoland will be open from 10 am to 5:00 pm daily, and the waterpark will be open from noon to 4:00 pm. You will find that this is a great park for the younger crowd and will win you brownie points with each kid!

Busch Gardens Tampa

Stay in an AMI Locals Vacation Rental While You Visit Local Theme Parks

Busch Gardens Tampa and Adventure Island are open back to the public. They, just like many of the other parks, are implementing those who are two and older, will be required to wear face masks. There are relaxation areas where you can take a breather and not wear your masks or while eating or drinking. They also will be doing temperature checks when you enter the park, and if you have a fever of 100.4 or higher, you will not be allowed to enter the park.

Staying in one of our Anna Maria Island vacation rentals will allow your family to relax and enjoy the peace and quiet. Some of the things that you may experience at your vacation rental is a private pool, beach access, and spending time with the family. We understand that going to a theme park can be fun but sitting back and relaxing at your rental is just what every family needs and wants.  We can’t wait to see you and your family as you come vacation with us and still have the exciting thrill of going to a theme park for a day or two!

Anna Maria Island Corporate Retreats



Planning a corporate retreat? With all that is going on in the world regarding Covid, we know it is going to be difficult to plan corporate retreats like we used to in the good ol’ days. Ballrooms and large conferences may unfortunately to be a thing of the past for the forseeable future. We have an awesome solution! Book an Anna Maria Island Corporate Retreat in one of our many private multi-bedroom luxury homes!

AMI Locals Corporate Retreats – Luxury island properties with meeting spaces that offer warmth and security of a large beach home.

Anna Maria Island, Florida is a prime location for executive and corporate retreats, meetings and team-building activities. Anna Maria offers miles upon miles of pristine, sugar white beaches as well as nature preserves and state parks. Our large homes are located either directly on the beach or within a block from the beach. What a perfect location to combine the fun of outdoor activities and the relaxation of a real vacation with enough space for serious corporate meetings!

Why Anna Maria Island, Florida?

The state of Florida offers many locations for corporate retreats, so why choose Anna Maria? The reason is simple; Anna Maria is conveniently located between two larger cities, Tampa and Sarasota. Although easily accessible, it is more secluded and removed from all the unwanted distractions found at urban convention sites. Anna Maria Island also offers superb award-winning restaurants and the most beautiful beaches in the country.

Fun Facts About Corporate Retreats with AMI Locals

• Adventure – 300 Days of Sunshine, water activities such as kayaking, paddle boarding, parasailing, fishing, and sunset catamaran tours!
• Nature – State parks offering hiking and horseback riding, untouched nature preserves to witness the local beautiful wildlife, dolphin/manatee watching.
• Access – TPA International Airport features many major airlines with direct flights throughout the US and connecting flights nationwide. There is also nearby SRQ airport located 30 minutes south in Sarasota, FL.

In addition to our unparalleled natural setting – a backdrop of the aqua blue waters and sugar white beaches – our homes demonstrate a commitment to excellence by inspecting, upgrading and renovating them before required. This, in addition to the large indoor and outdoor spaces our homes have to offer, are just a few reasons why AMI Locals homes are one of the best corporate retreat locations in the the Tampa Bay area of Florida.

AMI Locals specializes in providing a unique environment in which you can effectively combine business and pleasure – and unlike large convention resorts, AMI Locals brings together large meeting spaces with the warmth and intimacy of a large beach home.

Why Use AMI Locals?

Multiple 7+ Bedroom homes offering up to 3,500 square feet of lodging and gathering space.
• Private heated pools and spas.
• Gourmet kitchens and outdoor BBQ grills (with provided propane).
• Homes can accommodate a large number of guests.
• Several side-by-side homes available to accomodate larger groups.
• Concierge available for organizing team-building activities and other special requests.

Corporate Amenities

• In-home catering companies can be recommended.
• Free High-Speed Wi-Fi throughout all homes.
• Additional tables and chairs can be arranged for an additional charge.
• Discounted Golf Carts, Bicycles, and Beach Equipment rentals, upon request.

Make it less of a required meeting and more of a luxury business retreat!

Contact AMI Locals today to arrange your next corporate retreat!
941-757-8226 • reservations@amilocals.com