Why Should You #BookDirect with AMI Locals?

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

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

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

What You Need to Know About Booking Direct

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

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

Why You Should Book Direct with Us

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

How You Can Book Direct with AMI Locals

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

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

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

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

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

Less Crowded

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

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

Amazing Temperatures

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

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

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

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!

We can’t wait to travel again!

What to Pack for Your Vacation to Anna Maria Island

Things we can’t wait to do when it’s ok to travel again…

We don’t know about you, but the time spent at home with our loved ones has been wonderful… but… we can’t wait to travel again! The beaches of Anna Maria Island especially are calling our name. So, here are the things we most look forward to visiting in the near future!

Anna Maria Island Vacation Rentals

We can’t wait to…

  1. Spend a beach day in the warm Florida sunshine at Manatee Public Beach, beginning with all-you-can-eat pancakes at AMI Beach Cafe!
  2. Stroll down Pine Avenue and shop in person instead of just Amazon shopping online. We are great at spending money either way (whoops!) but we love the warm ambiance of the city and saying hello to the local shopkeepers.
  3. Enjoy a Sazerac with our friends at The Doctor’s Office. It’s not often you find the perfect cocktail, but this one is pretty darn close.
  4. Play a round of miniature golf at The Fish Hole on Bridge Street. And then walk over and check out the new Daiquiri Deck.
  5. Get our hair cut at Acqua Aveda!!! And also our nails, massages, facials…
  6. Just sit on the beach at Bean Point.
  7. Wave at the adorable manatees and grab a beer at Rod ‘n Reel Pier!
  8. Hike the mangrove trails of Leffis Key Preserve.
  9. Sit on the patio at Wicked Cantina and watch the sunset with a big group of pals, chips & salsa, and a margarita. Yum.
  10. Get out on the water with Egmont Key Adventures. Sunset cruises, Dolphin watching, maybe even go fishing!
Anna Maria Island Florida Vacations

We can’t wait to do all of these things, and to welcome new visitors back to our beautiful Anna Maria Island.

So please stay safe, stay healthy, wash your hands, and we hope to see you all soon on the beach! When you’re looking to book your summer vacation, give AMI Locals a call!

Escape Winter and Come to AMI



When temperatures in the rest of the United States dip below freezing it’s easy to stare out the window and dream about being someplace sunny. AMI Locals can help you make that dream come true. Escape Winter and Come to AMI!

Anna Maria Island Florida is famous for its beaches and incredible sunsets. During the winter months the Island comes alive with art fairs, farmer’s markets, and people visiting from all over the world. The weather is typically a balmy 70 to 80 degrees. And we usually have very little rain. So, that makes us a perfect destination for some fun in the sun!

The quaint shops on Pine Avenue

What to do on AMI

You can try your luck with a fishin’ pole on the Rod N Reel Pier or Bradenton Beach Pier, or rent a bike and cruise the Island looking for an adventure. Visit the Old Anna Maria Jail and then wander down Pine Avenue, or maybe you’ll see a friendly manatee or dolphin swimming in the water! Then stop for a quick bite at a fun local place like Ginny’s and Jan E’s before heading to the glorious beach for the afternoon. You can also book a horseback ride on the beach, go parasailing, or rent a golf cart and ride around in style. Sunset cruises and dolphin excursions are also available from local companies on the Island!

Nearby airports

Family-friendly activities abound on Anna Maria Island!

AMI is located close to Sarasota Bradenton International Airport, just an easy 35-40 minute drive away. SRQ Airport has been expanding it’s flights and airlines quite a bit the past few years, so it’s easy to find a good price and it is quite convenient. We’re also just about an hour drive away from Tampa International Airport and St. Pete Clearwater International Airport.

Island time

Anna Maria Island luxury vacation rental homes
Bay View Beauty • 7 bed | 7 baths

What will make you really fall in love with AMI is our laid-back and relaxing mindset and vibe. Island Time is a very real thing, and once you’re on it you will never want to go back!

AMI Locals is a newer and rapidly growing company. And we feature only the best luxury vacation rental homes available on Anna Maria Island in Florida. Let AMI Locals help you plan your perfect beach getaway today! Give us a call or check out our available homes online, we can’t wait to see you here!

New Year, New Adventures!



New Year, New Adventures!  2020 is a blank slate waiting to be filled up with memories.  Places to go, people to see, work to do, fun to be had.  And AMI Locals can help you cross one thing off of your to-do list. Let us help plan your perfect 2020 Anna Maria Island beach vacation!

Vacation like a local

AMI Locals manages over 150 amazing luxury vacation rental homes of all shapes and sizes, and our Reservations team works with each and every guest to ensure we put them in the perfect property.  We all live here and we all love Anna Maria Island
Please give us a call at 941-757-8226 or email reservations@amilocals.com and let us know a few key details of what you’re looking for:
the calendar dates for your stay
• number of guests (adults/children)
bringing a pet?
• must-haves (such as a heated pool)
• preferred budget
and anything else specific you are looking for… we will take it from there!  AMI Locals will tailor our recommended properties to best suit your needs – then all you have to do is choose your favorite and book directly with us.  Easy peasy.

Do more things that make you happy in 2020!

Family Vacations

Traveling with multi-generations in the same family – mom and dad, you and your spouse, kids, siblings and cousins in the New Year? We have homes with detached mother-in-law suites or even separate guest houses.  Take a look at Freckled Fin, Blue Marlin, Daiquiri Deck, Blue Pearl, and Blue Bay. You can stay together and still have plenty of personal space!  And there is plenty to do on Anna Maria Island.  Rent bikes from Beach Bums and explore!  Fishin’ and lunch at Rod N Reel Pier, nature hiking at Leffis Key Preserve, The Fish Hole at Bridge Street for mini-golf, and of course plenty of time at the beach.

Daiquiri Deck 4 bedroom 4 bathroom Anna Maria Island Vacation Rental Home
Daiquiri Deck • 4 bed | 4 baths

Friends Trip

Vacationing with 5 other couples that you have been friends with since college?  We have beautifully located new construction homes where every bedroom has an ensuite bathroom, so you can hang out and enjoy each other’s company without feeling like you’re back in the dorm! Check out Ocean Star, Hidden Treasure, Crystal Waves Oasis. Or, each couple can book a private villa at our Islands West Resort.  Anna Maria Island has cute locally-owned shops and art galleries, restaurants & bars, and some of the nicest local people you will ever meet! 

Crystal Waves Oasis 7 bed 7 baths Anna Maria Island FL luxury vacation rental home
Crystal Waves Oasis • 7 bed | 7 baths

Business Travel or Corporate Retreats

Traveling for business and pleasure in this New Year?  All of our luxury vacation rental properties feature free Wi-Fi so you can easily stay connected while you are staying with AMI Locals.  And, we feature homes with large open gathering spaces for brainstorming and networking. All with amazing views and amenities. Mondays are always easier if you’re working by an amazing tropical pool, right? Some of our best homes for corporate retreats include Bay View Beauty, Sea Swept, and Ocean Star. Plus, we can help with the details of planning your company retreat so you won’t have to worry about a thing.

Romantic trip for two

Romantic getaway to celebrate a special Anniversary?  Newlyweds and booking your honeymoon?  We have the perfect beach house for you. Coral Cottage, Dockside Paradise, and Fishful Thinking are all perfectly charming and private. Or, stay in one of our resort-style properties such as the Islands West Resort, Bayside Bungalows, or the Driftwood. These have shared pools and outdoor spaces and a more social vibe.

clink clink!

Let AMI Locals plan your perfect New Year 2020 stay

Whatever your vacation style is, we are here to take all of the guesswork out for you. Contact us today and let us help plan your perfect beach vacation! Happy New Year from all of us here at AMI Locals.

Labor Day weekend – Get away to Anna Maria Island!

Blue Pearl

There’s nothing better than spending Labor Day weekend at the beach! Sun, sand, friends and fun to celebrate the unofficial end of summer! So, why not run away from home and come visit Anna Maria Island? And AMI Locals has a ton of fabulous Luxury Vacation Rental Homes to choose from. Check out Feelin’ Beachy, Salt Life, or any of our available rentals.


Sunshine Skyway view from Anna Maria Island

Festivals & touristy things

If you feel adventurous, and are over 21, head up to Tampa for the Summer of Rum 2019 festival to kick off Labor Day weekend. Gotta love a cool tropical adult beverage on a hot summer day! Also, while you’re there, you can check out the Tampa Museum of Art, and Sparkman Wharf. It’s about an hour and fifteen minute drive North of Anna Maria Island. But, Tampa is a fun city to visit for the day!

Another option, head South to Sarasota for the Sarasota Sailing Squadron 72nd Annual Labor Day Regatta. It takes place over all three days of the weekend. Also, Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium is a fantastic spot to visit with the family! You can’t beat seeing sea turtles up close and personally!

holiday sunsets on Anna Maria Island

The best bet – the beaches!

Meanwhile, on the Island you’ll want to stay close to the beach. Nearly all of our properties are within a 5-minute walk to the beautiful soft white-sand Gulf of Mexico beaches. Then, spend the day on the beach, and come “home” to relax by the pool. Then, head out for dinner on the weekend with live music at Island Time Bar and Grill, or pop over to Rod N Reel Pier for a nice cold beer and views for days!

So, why not come stay and play on Anna Maria Island this Labor Day weekend… Call us at 941-757-8226 today, and let us help plan your perfect getaway!

What to Pack for Your Vacation to Anna Maria Island

What to Pack for Your Vacation to Anna Maria Island

You have just booked your next family vacation to Anna Maria Island and you have asked off work to be able to go and relax on vacation. But we know that for many families packing can be a daunting task, especially when you are vacationing with little ones. Having a plan or even a list can help you pack for the whole family so that you can relax and enjoy your beach vacation. We at AMI Locals have come up with a list to get you started on packing for your upcoming vacation.

Before you Start Packing

  • Going on vacation can be fun, exciting and relaxing but knowing a few things before you start to pack can help you in the long run. Always check the local forecast before you leave on vacation and yes, even before you pack. You know that you will need your swimsuits and shorts for your vacation, you may also need to bring a rain jacket or even a lightweight sweater as well depending on the time of year you visit.
  • Make a list of activities that you’d like to do with the family including day trips, outings or eating out. Be sure to make a list for the whole family of what you will need. We suggest doing this a few weeks before your trip just in case you need to add a few things at the last minute.
  • Organize a wardrobe for each day especially for the little ones including underwear and sleepwear too. To help keep you organized when packing the little ones, grab a box of gallon sized Ziploc bags and put two outfits in each one for each day. This can not only help you stay organized but can also help keep up with what they will wear each day too.

Clothing

  • Beach Clothing | This should consist of swimsuits (we suggest at least 2 for each family member), hats, flip-flops and cover ups (a lightweight dress will do too).
  • Everyday Clothing | Each member of the family should have at least 1 outfit for each day of vacation plus a couple extra ones for emergencies. For the younger children, we suggest at least 2 outfits a day and that includes underwear and socks.
  • Footwear | We understand that some shoes are bulky, and you don’t want to bring them, so we suggest bringing 3 pairs for each family member. A pair of comfortable tennis shoes for walking any distance, a pair of flip-flops and a nicer pair in case you want a date night or two.
  • Nighttime Clothing | Don’t forget about packing your pajamas and plenty of underwear and socks.

Toiletries

What to Pack for Your Vacation to Anna Maria Island
  • Haircare Products | Shampoo, Conditioner, Hair Ties, Hair Gel, Shower Cap, Hair Dryer, Flat Iron, Brushes, etc.
  • Mouth Care | Toothbrush, Toothpaste, Floss
  • Eye-care | Contacts & Case, Contact Solution, Glasses, Sunglasses
  • Everything Else | Safety Pins, Feminine Products, Razors, Body Wash, Soap, Cotton Swabs, Air Freshener, etc.

Medicine Bag

  • Prescription Medication | Bring all medications in their original bottles in case you need to go see a doctor while on vacation you know what you are on. (Also have a list on your phone in case of an emergency.
  • Over the Counter Medications | Benadryl, Motrin, Tylenol, Vitamins
  • First Aid Kit | Band-Aids, Neosporin, Sunscreen, Aloe, etc.

Miscellaneous

What to Pack for Your Vacation to Anna Maria Island

These are the other items that you will need to bring with you on vacation such as things for the beach including a beach bag, chairs, towels, sand toys, beach umbrella and more. Also, if you’d like to bring your bikes you can especially for the younger kids so they can have fun at your AMI Locals vacation rental. Books and things that the kids can color with can help keep them busy on a rainy day too.

There are so many other things that you can pack for your family vacation, but we felt this list should do the trick. If you still haven’t booked your next family vacation to Anna Maria Island, we suggest you check out our availability. We can’t wait to see you and your family on your next adventure to our beautiful island!

Mini Golf at the Fish Hole with AMI Locals

Mini Golf at the Fish Hole

There’s a great mini golf course located right on Historic Bridge Street, called the Fish Hole! It is fun for all ages. And several of our AMI Locals’ properties are within walking distance of all the shops and restaurants on Bridge Street in Bradenton Beach. Gulf View Beach House, Bayfront Retreat, and Coastal Cove, for instance. Come visit us on Anna Maria Island, grab your friends and follow our lead for a round of mini golf!

Time to Take a Swing at Mini Golf!

Mini Golf on AMI

First, choose the color of your golf ball. This is a very important decision and can set you up for a very successful round. Next, choose your putter. Now, choose who gets to keep score – remember that the competition can get very heated in golf, mini or just the regular type. So choose the scorekeeper wisely. Fore!

Mini Golf on AMI

Also, all of the holes at the Fish Hole course are named after different kinds of fish! For example, Swordfish, Grouper, and Hogfish. And you can learn more fun facts about these fish on each sign, along with what number Par is for that particular hole.  Then as you move through the course, there is all kinds of fishy décor, a Koi pond, live turtles, and a waterfall. Not to mention, it really is a great place to cool off after a long day at the beach.

https://www.facebook.com/AMILOCALS/videos/2285715158371376/
Mini Golf on Anna Maria Island - Koi fish

To be sure, family vacations are a great way to get to know Anna Maria Island. You will make memories to last a lifetime, and the vibe of the Island is very laid-back and relaxed. Book your getaway with AMI Locals and we will be sure to show you how to #vacationlikealocal!

If you go: The Fish Hole is located in Bradenton Beach on Bridge Street. And it’s open from 9 am – 10 pm every day. Check out their facebook page for more info! https://www.facebook.com/thefishholeami/

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