How to Identify Scam Vacation Rental Listings



How to identify scam vacation rental listings? We recently have been alerted to the growing issue of copycat scam listings of some of our rental properties, being posted on unverified websites.  Often, we are unaware of these duplicated fraudulent listings until it is too late and unknowing guests show up to check in to a property that they have not legitimately rented through AMI Locals.

Unfortunately, in cases like this we are unable to do anything to help.  Since the booking was not taken by our AMI Locals reservation team, we have no notification of the reservation, or any of the funds you may have paid to secure the property.

How to Identify Scam Vacation Rental Listings

If you are searching online for a vacation rental property on Anna Maria Island, start with verified travel booking sites and listings.  Such as our amilocals.com website, or Vrbo.com, Airbnb.com, Booking.com, Expedia.com, for instance.

Here are some other tips for spotting these fake listings:

• If it seems “Too Good to be True”!
•  If there are no reviews
•  If the listing was recently created, usually within a few weeks
•  Google search the name on the listing of the company that manages the property
•  If the contact information is not connected to the management company in any way, be especially wary of booking through this channel
•  Trust your gut! If your instincts are telling you that something seems fishy, it probably is!
•  If the “host” requests payment in an unusual form, such as Venmo or PayPal, or cash

And if you are unsure of any part of the booking process, please do not hesitate to reach out and call AMI Locals at 941-757-8226.  We appreciate your assistance with identifying fraudulent websites so we are able to report them and have them taken down.

Best Florida beaches to visit for Labor Day weekend



Where are the Best Florida beaches to visit for Labor Day weekend? Thinking of a little getaway for the long weekend? One of the safest way to travel in this Covid time is a road trip to a private beach house!

The best beaches in Florida await you on Anna Maria Island for Labor Day weekend. Less crowded than Miami, Clearwater, and St. Pete, and with tons more charm and small town feel. There are also 7 miles of pristine white powder soft sand and crystal clear turquiose water for you to explore.

Why not stay within walking distance to the beach, in a private luxury beach house? AMI Locals offers only the best vacation rental homes in the best locations on the best island in Florida!

Surfer's Dream - Vacation Rental Anna Maria Island FL

For a family and friends staycation, you should check out Surfer’s Dream! 4 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms plus a bonus loft area that the kiddos will go crazy over! Pillow forts and late-night ghost stories for the win! Which also means the adults can enjoy happy hour in the large, open plan kitchen in peace and quiet.

AMI Locals has vacation rental homes of all different shapes and sizes, to accommodate any group! We hope to see your smiling faces (underneath your masks) soon!

Call our reservations specialists today at 941-757-8226 and let us help book you into your dream vacation – all safe and socially distanced as you choose to be.

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.

Best Beachfront Homes on Anna Maria Island

rooftop views at Sea Swept

Searching for the best beachfront homes on Anna Maria Island?AMI Locals is proud to offer the best beach rental properties on Anna Maria Island. And our beachfront luxury vacation rental homes in particular are the best you can find on the Island! Let us show you.

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Best beachfront 8 to 10 bedroom vacation rental homes

These are the largest beachfront luxury vacation rental properties we offer at AMI Locals! If you’re planning to vacation with family & friends but still would like to have your own space, such as a private bedroom and bathroom, consider one of these amazing beachfront homes.

Best Beachfront Rental Homes on Anna Maria Island
SEA SWEPT • 10 bedrooms | 8 bathrooms
Best Beachfront Homes on Anna Maria Island
BEACHFRONT PARADISE • 8 bedrooms | 6 bathrooms
Best Beachfront Homes on Anna Maria Island
PARADISE BEACH • 8 bedrooms | 6 bathrooms

Luxury beachfront wedding locations

On the other hand, are you looking for the best beachfront vacation rental location to hold your destination wedding or small gathering while you stay here? Look no further! And, The Tiki and Palm Tree Paradise A & B can be rented all together to accommodate your wedding party for the festivities.

Best Beach House on Anna Maria Island FL
THE TIKI • 4 bedrooms | 3 bathrooms

Unmatched beachfront accommodations

Thinking of a small family or group of friends trip? These are just perfect! Featuring direct beach access, amazing tropical pools great for making memories to last a lifetime.

Tropical Beachfront Luxury Rental Home Florida
SANDCASTLE • 3 bedrooms | 2 bathrooms
Coastal Decor on Anna Maria Island
ISLAND PARADISE #2 • 3 bedrooms | 2 bathrooms
Beachfront Vacation Rental Home
BEACHFRONT BUNGALOW • 4 bedrooms | 3 bathrooms

The best part about getting away to Anna Maria Island Florida is undoubtedly our bright and sunny soft sugar-sand beaches! So, why not stay right on it? That way, you eliminate and valuable time traveling to-and-from the beach once you arrive. Call us today at 941-757-8226 and book your vacation at one of the best beachfront homes available on Anna Maria Island.

Stay with AMI Locals, and #vacationlikealocal!

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, and The Villas of Anna Maria Resort and Spa or any of our available rentals.

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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!

Bring Your Dog on Your Vacation to Anna Maria Island



Bring Your Dog on Your Vacation to Anna Maria Island

Do you and your family have a vacation planned to Anna Maria Island this year but don’t want to leave your dog at home? If the answer is yes, then we have to tell you that Anna Maria Island is the best destination to bring them. And staying in one of our Pet-Friendly vacation rentals will allow you to bring them with you. Let’s take a look at the few rules that you must know before your vacation to keep your pup safe too.

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What Should You Bring?

Bring Your Dog on Your Vacation to Anna Maria Island

Packing for a vacation can be complicated at times, but it doesn’t have to be especially when you bring your pet along for the ride. We know that you will want to bring plenty of things to keep you pup safe and for them to enjoy the vacation too. Bringing a kennel or a crate with you on vacation can not only help with keeping them safe but feel like they are at home too. Be sure to bring enough treats and food that will last the length of your stay. Having their food & water dishes along with you and even their bed or blankets for the trip. Don’t forget to pack their collar, harness and leashes with you so that you can take your pet for a walk around the island.

What You Should Not Do

AMI Locals wants to guarantee that you and your dog feel at home while you stay with us. But we do have a few set rules that will keep your pup safe during your stay. No pets are allowed to be in the pool or spa at any of our rental homes. They are not allowed on the furniture and that includes the beds. We do have several different breeds that aren’t allowed to stay with us, so be sure to check out which breeds on our Terms and Conditions on Rentals. Dogs are not allowed to be on any public beach on Anna Maria Island. Be sure to take your dog for a walk, but please clean up after them. We want to keep your pup as safe as we can while you are on vacation.

Fun Places Just for Dogs

Bring Your Dog on Your Vacation to Anna Maria Island

Whenever you bring your dog on vacation, it’s nice to know where dogs are permitted besides your vacation rental. Anna Maria Island has several different places where your pup will be welcomed at. There is a small dog park on the island itself that is located in Holmes Beach. The park doesn’t have a ton of amenities, but it’s a great place to allow your pet to play. A great dog-friendly beach is the Palma Sola Causeway located on Manatee Ave. There are several different restaurants that are pet-friendly on the island as well. This can allow you and your pet to explore the island a bit more together. Some of the options you can choose from are The Waterfront Restaurant and the outside sitting area of Duffy’s Tavern. There are many more to choose from.

There are plenty of other places that you can visit that are pet-friendly on Anna Maria Island, but these are just a few we recommend. Whether you are coming during the summer months or the off-season, there is always something that you and your pup can enjoy. If you are still looking for a Pet-Friendly vacation rental we’d love for you to check out the availability the rest of the summer. We can’t wait to see you and your family this summer as you make new memories together!

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!

What AMI Locals Do When Everyone Else Has Snow



What AMI Locals Do When Everyone Else Has Snow

While most of the Northern States are dealing with the pending snow storms this weekend, we will be enjoying our time soaking up the sun and going on a fun adventure. Biking on Anna Maria Island is one of the best ways to see the island and to enjoy being on island time. If you have ever come to Anna Maria Island, you may have realized that we would rather be riding a bike, than driving our car and getting a fun workout in as well. Let’s take a look at some of the other reasons that riding a bike on the island is fun for the whole family.

Biking Options on Anna Maria Island

What AMI Locals Do When Everyone Else Has Snow

Anna Maria Island has wonderful inner workings of using different biking options for you and your family to enjoy. One of our favorite places to go to would have to be Bean Point on the north end of the island. This is like a secluded beach that you can relax at while you are on your biking journey. And while visit Bean Point head over to the Rod N Reel Pier for a quick bite to eat and a gorgeous view of Tampa Bay.

What AMI Locals Do When Everyone Else Has Snow

Another few local favorite places that we love to visit would be Bay Front Park, Gulf Front Park and City Pier Park along with the Anna Maria City Pier.

Where to Rent a Bike

What AMI Locals Do When Everyone Else Has Snow

We at AMI Locals has a few places that we like to recommend to our guests to rent from. One would be RobinHood Rentals and the other one would be Beach Bums. RobinHood Rentals offers our guests staying with us 10-20% off all their Rental equipment where you can get bikes for the whole family including the kids.

What AMI Locals Do When Everyone Else Has Snow

Beach Bums offers guest up to 10% off their rental equipment and has different bike options for your family needs from a Beach cruiser, tandem bikes and even gear for your little ones. Both of these companies have reasonably priced rentals and we highly recommend them both to our guests.

Be Adventurous

What AMI Locals Do When Everyone Else Has Snow

Whenever we want to be a little adventurous, then we like to enjoy the scenery a little more. But with this little adventure, it means that we will be going on a lengthy trip that will include plenty of water views including riding along the coast all the way to Lido Key. This trip is a total of 16 miles one way so be sure to take lots of breaks, bring plenty of water, walk on the beach and possibly grab a bite to eat too. This is a serious bike ride, so be prepared for it to take at least 4 hours to get there and if you can’t finish, take advantage of the free island trolley. You will be able to ride the trolley and if it is two of you being adventurous, then you will be able to mount your bikes on the trolley. What a fun adventure this can be, so be sure to plan the day out before you decide to do it, especially if you don’t ride a lot at home.

Rules to Remember

One of the things that we at AMI Locals wants is for you and your family to stay safe on your next biking vacation. Though the roads are bike friendly in Anna Maria, we want to point out a few safety precautions that should be considered.

  • As a bicyclist, it’s important to always obey traffic signs and laws.
  • Use proper hand signals for your safety and those who share the road with you. Drivers may not see you due to low visibility with the sunlight and possible blind spots.
  • Ride with the flow of traffic on the right side of the road.
  • Bicyclists must yield right of way to pedestrians when you are riding on crosswalks and sidewalks.
  • Bicycles should be equipped with brakes that allows you to stop within 25 feet when going 10 mph on clean dry pavement.
  • You may want to consider wearing safety gear such as sunglasses and helmets (always make a child 16 years or younger wear a helmet.)
  • Don’t use headphones when you are riding your bike.
  • You must ride with a regular fixed seat.
  • It is best to ride with the amount of people the bike is intended to.
  • Its required by law to provide your bicycle with the right safety equipment such as a lamp on the front and a red reflector.
What AMI Locals Do When Everyone Else Has Snow

AMI Locals has several affordable vacation rentals in bike friendly areas of Anna Maria Island for you and your family to enjoy. If you are still looking for a reason to escape the cold, winter weather and head elsewhere for the winter, come to Anna Maria Island. You will never want to leave to go back home and will want to stay on island time forever!