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7th Annual Cortez Stone Crab & Music Festival Coming November 10-11, 2018

Cortez Stone Crab and Music Festival
November 10 & November 11 @ 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Saturday November 10 and Sunday November 11, 2018 marks the 7th annual Cortez Stone Crab & Music Festival in the historic fishing village of Cortez.
Enjoy fresh stone crabs and listen to live music at this annual November festival held in the parking lot at the Swordfish Grill and Tiki Bar, 4628 119th St. W. in Cortez, Marker 49 by boat.
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Come out and support the locals – local artists, local musicians, local vendors, local business, local restaurant workers and local fishermen!
This Free outdoor event featuring stone crabs, stone crabs and more stone crabs and of course, live music on three stages both days.
Those attending this years festival can be sure of plenty of fresh seafood supplied by local fishermen, Florida Blue Crab and 1,200 pounds of stone crab, and counting is ready, which include jumbos and colossals. There will be lots of ice cold drinks to compliment your stone crab with some amazing live music. Don’t miss the Saturday performance by Berry Duane Oakley, son of original Allman Brothers Band bassist Berry Oakley. The music will continue into the evening on stages at Swordfish Grill & Tiki Bar and The Cortez Kitchen.
A large tent will be set up for sun or rain protection, local artists will be displaying their goods and there will be an awesome Kid’s zone for the little ones to enjoy. Fun for everyone!
Check out the weekend schedule of the many talented local music acts appearing on three different stages:
Saturday, Nov. 10
10 a.m. – TH & C – main stage
Noon – Doug Deming & The Jewel Tones – main stage
Noon – TC & Randy – Swordfish Tiki stage
2 p.m. – Alowicious – main stage
4 p.m. – Berry Oakley’s Jive Ass Review – main stage
6 p.m. – IPA – Cortez Kitchen stage
6 p.m. – The Kat Crosby Band – Swordfish Tiki stage
Sunday, Nov. 11
10 a.m. – Terry Helm – main stage
Noon – Memphis Rub – main stage
Noon – TC & Randy – Swordfish Tiki stage
2 p.m. – Twinkle and Rock Soul Radio – main stage
3 p.m. – Doug Deming & The Jewel Tones – Cortez Kitchen stage
4 p.m. – Damon Fowler – main stage
5 p.m. Dr. Dave Band – Swordfish Tiki stage
This festival began as a block party for the locals and fishermen when John Banyas, 4th generation fisherman and the owner of Cortez Bait & Seafood, Inc. wanted to give the fishermen a party to kick off stone crab season. Over the last number of years it has grown exponentially; last year there were close to 20,000 people in attendance.
This years festival will benefit the Manatee Chapter of Fishing for Freedom and and the children of Port St. Joe, the sister city of Cortez. Who is Fishing for Freedom and what do they do? Fishing for Freedom is a growing organization of volunteer citizens dedicated to preserving our constitutions, the environment, economy and citizen’s rights through responsible scientific, ecological and biological management. The local chapter spends much of their time fighting against net bans and other legislation that make it extremely difficult for commercial fishermen to do their jobs and make a living. They also organize and participate in rallies and Coastal Cleanup events right here in Manatee County.
When you arrive or before leaving the festival, you might like to wander around the charming village of Cortez. Cortez is the oldest active fishing village in Florida and a great place to watch the local fishermen as they unload their daily catch. Or, take a walk through the historic village and visit the old fish houses and a boat yard. Admire some beach bungalows and charming cottages along the way with views of the Cortez water with pelicans, herons and egrets gathering nearby.
Enjoy your day!
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How to get there from Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals — 601 Gulf Dr. N. Anna Maria Island, Florida 34217
Walk – A very walkable distance, it takes approximately 25 minutes and is an easy route from your condo. Take Gulf Drive, left on Cortez, then right on 119th Street West. When you get close there are signs posted and the crowds are sure to give it away.
Monkey Bus – You might catch one along the way or call ahead This is a fun way to get around, on and off the Island. This is generally tip for service bus, but going off the Island (even though it is very close) there might be a fee for service. Better to call ahead and ask 941-565-6542.
Drive – Free parking will be available at the FISH Preserve, 116th Street West, with shuttles to the festival. Guests are advised to enter at 116th Street. Various volunteers will be running shuttles all day long.
Boat – Marker 49
For the latest up to date news, things to do, special offers, travel tips and more continue to follow our blog @ Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals/Blog
Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals
Note: Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals offers the above company names and affiliated links as suggestions only. We are not receiving commissions from the above and are listing only to assist our guests. We recommend services that we or close friends and family have experienced.
The content of this blog is not to be copied, adapted or shared without the written consent of Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals.
sandblast-sculpturing-anna-maria-island-condo-rentals

JOIN US AT THIS UPCOMING EVENT ON ANNA MARIA ISLAND 

SandBlast Sand Sculpting Competition – November 1-3, 2018
Manatee Beach Lifeguard Tower 4000 Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach
Free Clinics taught by master sculptors Team Sandtastic — Thursday, November 1 and Friday November 2, 2018 from 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Main Competition — Saturday November 3, 2018 from 9:00 am – 2:00 pm
Sand Sculpting – 9 am to 1 pm
Judging – 1 pm to 2 pm Awards – 2 pm
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Enjoy this Free annual fun family event at the Manatee Public Beach, one of the many beautiful beaches Anna Maria Island offers. Learn Tips, Tricks and Techniques of sand sculpture from professionals and watch as amateur school teams and adult divisions take part in a sand sculpture competition. Funds raised help support programs of Keep Manatee Beautiful, a group dedicated to environmental improvement throughout the country. A non-profit organization, Keep Manatee Beautiful and its affiliates, Keep America Beautiful and Keep Florida Beautiful boasts more than 10,000 volunteers. Keep Manatee Beautiful was established in the spring of 1991 with a goal to make Manatee County cleaner and more beautiful and a mission of providing solutions to littering, recycling, solid waste disposal and illegal dumping. The organization inspires the community to get involved in litter cleanups, outdoor beautification projects and tree planting.
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Register or sponsor a team by Oct. 31 at www.manateebeautiful.com,
keep@manateebeautiful.com or 941-795-8272
For those wishing to participate ….
Beverages & Snack Bags Provided! Lots of Awards & Pizza Parties for 1st Place Winners!
Great Family Fun In the Sun!
Sand Themes: Free Form or Wildlife. Elementary-Middle School or High School-Adult
$300 entry fee with up to 15 members per team.
Each 15′ x 15′ plot will be mounded with sand prior to the event.
Bring spades, shovels, buckets and trowels to create your winning sculpture. Arrive at 8:00 a.m. the morning of the event to be assigned
your plot on a first-come/first-serve basis at the check-in table.
Also, donations to this non-profit organization, Keep Manatee Beautiful, are gladly accepted and gratefully appreciated anytime!
For the latest up to date news, things to do, special offers, travel tips and more continue to follow our blog @ Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals/Blog
Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals
Note: Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals – 601 Gulf Dr. N. Anna Maria Island, Florida 34217 offers the above company names and affiliated links as suggestions only. We are not receiving commissions from the above and are listing only to assist our guests. We recommend services that we or close friends and family have experienced.
The content of this blog is not to be copied, adapted or shared without the written consent of Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals.
Coquina-Beach-Market

SUNDAY BEACH MARKET ON ANNA MARIA ISLAND

A great way to spend a few hours is with a visit to Anna Maria Island’s very own beach market. When vacationing, aside from such things as diving, local tourist attractions, food, drink, beaches, festivals and enjoying the company of other travellers and locals, I have always enjoyed finding local markets. A market is a great place to sample real local life, no matter where you are. Despite the draw of the big shopping centres with the “big store” names in the Bradenton/Sarasota area over local markets, the market is still the place to get local produce and crafts or a place to hang out and meet people. For me a market is an essential part of life in the local community.
 Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals
The Anna Maria Island Beach Market on Coquina Beach is especially unique in that it is right on the beach and within walking distance of Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals – 601 Gulf Dr. N. Anna Maria Island, Florida 34217.
Anna Maria Island is known for its quiet charm and this quaint beach market is a true reflection of the Island it is located on. The setting is gorgeous under the shaded pine tress along beautiful Coquina Beach running beside the vendors’ booths with a breathtaking view of the Gulf. With over 100 vendors this is a great place to shop for treasures and have lunch at the Beach Cafe. You will find a wonderful mix of high quality and friendly vendors with a wide variety of clothing, jewelry, handcrafted goods, fresh produce, baked goods, essential oils and lots more. You get a really welcoming vibe seeing musicians wandering around playing various instruments entertaining the people.
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This is definitely a perfect place to stop when you’re out at the beach or looking to find that unique gift. Hours of shopping pleasure with lots of unusual, unique, one of a kind items you won’t find anywhere else. Many markets have several of the same types of vendors you won’t find that at Coquina Beach Market because here no two are alike.
There are lots of ways to get to the Market – you can walk, bike, drive or take the free trolley that runs the entire length of the island. From Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals you would catch the Gulf Drive southbound trolley. If you drive there is plenty of Free parking available.
Shop without the crowds in this relaxed, casual atmosphere with a beautiful view of the beach. I can’t think of a better way to shop!
JUNE AND JULY – 2018
Beach Market
When: Every Sunday between June 1 and July 29, 2018 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Find island treasures, select fresh produce, and view all the arts and crafts, jewelry and more.
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For the latest up to date news, things to do, special offers, travel tips and more continue to follow our blog @ Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals/Blog
*Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals offers the above company names and affiliated links as suggestions only. We are not receiving commissions from the above and are listing only to assist our guests. We recommend services that we or close friends and family have experienced.
*The content of this blog is not to be copied, adapted or shared without the written consent of Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals.
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GULF DRIVE CAFE & KOKONUT HUT

Located directly on the sugar white sand of Bradenton Beach, the Gulf Drive Café has been a part of Anna Maria Island’s unique history since 1981. With spectacular views of the turquoise waters of the Gulf of Mexico just steps away from Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals – 601 Gulf Dr. N. Anna Maria Island, Florida 34217, this family-friendly eatery serves breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. The Café restaurant, bar and event space covers 450 square feet of waterfront serving fresh Florida seafood, cocktails and other specialties. The Gulf Drive Café offers great food and reasonably priced drink prices with lots of indoor and outdoor seating.
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The expansion of Gulf Drive Café in 2010 with a full-service bar, The Kokonut Hut, is an ideal place to enjoy a cocktail with a warm Gulf breeze blowing and gorgeous beach views. Enjoy cocktails while listening to live entertainment in a relaxed beach atmosphere.
Gulf Drive Café/The Kokonut Hut is one of Anna Maria Island’s most appealing sites for wedding celebrations. The rustic reception space is perfectly suited for groups of 50-175 people. The staff are happy to create and arrange the perfect backdrop for your wedding or special event. Its amenities are perfect for small or large gatherings, such as special events and wedding receptions.
Excellent food, service, and wow, what a view! This coupled with your Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals accommodations makes for a perfect vacation!
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On June 13, 2018 @ 6:00 PM come join in the fun at the 2nd Annual Anna Maria Island Bar Clash — Battle of the Bartenders
Hosted by: The Kokonut Hut
For the latest up to date news, things to do, special offers, travel tips and more continue to follow our blog @ Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals/Blog
*Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals offers the above company names and affiliated links as suggestions only. We are not receiving commissions from the above and are listing only to assist our guests. We recommend services that we or close friends and family have experienced.
*The content of this blog is not to be copied, adapted or shared without the written consent of Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals.
anna-maria-island-fireworks

CELEBRATING INDEPENDENCE DAY ON ANNA MARIA ISLAND — July 4, 2018

Fourth of July — a celebration of the signing of the Declaration of Independence dating back to July 4, 1776. On that date in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the Continental Congress approved the Declaration of Independence and formed the United States of America.
The Fourth of July has emerged to be much more than just a historic date as Americans celebrate the holiday in various ways. Even for people from all over the world, Fourth of July is one of the most talked about occasions.
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In order to celebrate the Fourth of July with as much patriotism as possible, many Americans like to have picnics, barbecues or family reunions followed by fireworks and are sure to have the American flag waving outside their homes.
While others are celebrating in every corner of the land each year our family looks forward to celebrating Independence Day on Anna Maria Island. The annual Anna Maria Island Privateers parade signals the start to what is always a fun filled day. The 2016 parade was attended by 20,000 Parade Watchers with 115 Parade Entries and over 850 participants. The 7 mile parade route begins at 10:00 am from Coquina Beach in Bradenton Beach (South Entrance) proceeding along Gulf Drive and ending at the City Pier in Anna Maria. It passes right in front of our condo – Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals – 601 Gulf Dr. N. Anna Maria Island, Florida 34217 so getting a spot is never a problem and front row viewing is guaranteed.
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Following the parade, we like most others love spending the day at the beach. To honour the day you can spot me wearing my red, white and blue swimsuit. You will find our beach relatively quiet compared to the public beaches on the Island that are packed with people socializing and looking to catch some rays before the evening fireworks.
Following a nice day at the beach it’s then barbecue time with our American friends. We pull out our beach chairs and gather around the pool side grill. Many of our friends have their own Fourth of July recipes that they share with us and we enjoy year after year. As Canadians we like the idea of celebrating the occasion with red, white and blue foods. My favourite to make is a white parfait topped with blueberries and strawberries. Traditionally it’s blue lemonade for the kids and red or blue cocktails for the adults. I let my imagination go a bit wild at our Fourth of July celebration showing patriotism for all Americans.
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Pretty much every city in America has a fireworks celebration and the Anna Maria Island fireworks display rates right up there with the best. The Sandbar Restaurant, 100 Spring Avenue, Anna Maria will be hosting its 32nd Annual Sandbar Restaurant Fireworks Spectacular. If you plan to go there for dinner seating at the restaurant is first come, first served. The fireworks display begins after dark, weather permitting and is is free. We will be travelling to the Sandbar firework display on the Free Island Trolley or Island Beach Monkey, tip only service. If you have questions or need assistance we are always happy to help, so please contact us.
With lots to do on Anna Maria Island go out and celebrate the founding of America. If you, like us are not American, join in the fun enjoying quality time with friends and family.
Book your next vacation with Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals and be part of our 4th of July celebrations.
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 For the latest up to date news, things to do, special offers, travel tips and more continue to follow our blog @ Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals/Blog
*Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals offers the above company names and affiliated links as suggestions only. We are not receiving commissions from the above and are listing only to assist our guests. We recommend services that we or close friends and family have experienced.
*The content of this blog is not to be copied, adapted or shared without the written consent of Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals.
happy-fathers-day-anna-maria-island

CELEBRATING FATHER’S DAY ON ANNA MARIA ISLAND 

— JUNE 17, 2018 —
“Dad”- Biological, step-Dad, Father-in-law, special father figure or role model. How are you planning to honour your “Dad” this year? Plan to treat good old Dad to A Father’s Day meal? Here is a deal that is sure to please everyone, including Dad.
Print this offer, bring it in or show it from your phone and dad’s lunch or dinner entree will be half price.
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Valid on Father’s Day, June 17th, 2018 only, at any one of these three waterfront restaurants…
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Beach House Restaurant — 200 Gulf Drive North, Bradenton Beach
This location is just a few minute walk from Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals and is directly on the beach. Here you will find waterfront dining with a laid-back casual atmosphere featuring air-conditioned indoor seating as well as climate friendly outdoor seating. Serving superb, fresh seafood as well as other fabulous entrees the Beach House is a great choice when dining on Bradenton Beach. If you are planning dinner at this beautiful gulf-front restaurant you will have the perfect spot to watch a beautiful Anna Maria Island sunset. The beach House can accommodate large groups, but call ahead to check if advanced seating or reservations are available.
Mar-Vista Restaurant — 760 Broadway Street, Longboat Key
The MarVista is located on the northern part of Longboat Key about a 7 minute drive south of your Anna Maria Island Beach Rentals condo. The structure was originally built in 1912 and is considered one of the twelve oldest surviving structures on Longboat Key. This restaurant has recently underwent some renovations with a new kitchen and dining room. You will find seating in the quaint dining room or on the outdoor covered deck under the Buttonwood tress overlooking picturesque Sarasota Bay. There is sometimes a wait for a table, but they have a beautiful dock to walk out on with your drinks. If you coming by boat, Mar Vista has a private dock with 14 slips.
Enjoy lunch or dinner with a fresh Florida seafood meal or choose other delicious menu items. We have always found the food to be great and the service excellent.
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Sandbar Restaurant — 100 Spring Avenue, Anna Maria
Inside and outside dining, literally yards from the water. Enjoy being seated around a table with your feet in the sand while your food is being prepared creatively and with a wait staff that’s friendly and prompt. Sound inviting? If you are looking for a truly locally sourced dining experience we recommend the Sandbar restaurant. Goods grown in their own farm, serving fish fresh from the docks at Cortez and they make their own breads. Their menu features picked and plated produce, locally grown clams and locally grown fruits and vegetables. Have Brunch on the Beach and start Dad’s day off right with live Jazz music!
To every “Dad”, Happy Father’s Day from Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals!
For the latest up to date news, things to do, special offers, travel tips and more continue to follow our blog @ Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals/Blog
*Please note — Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals – 601 Gulf Dr. N. Anna Maria Island, Florida 34217 offers the above company names and affiliated links as suggestions only. We are not receiving commissions from the above and are listing only as an aid for our guests. We recommend services that we or close friends and family have experienced so we know you will be well taken care of.
*The content of this blog is not to be copied, adapted or shared without the written consent of Anna Maria Condo Rentals.

Part II — THINGS TO DO ON ANNA MARIA ISLAND & NEARBY BRADENTON MARCH 2018

March 3, 2018: 9:00 am – 3 pm  Anna Maria Island Museum, 402 Pine Avenue in the Historical Park, Anna Maria Island, FL. (Trolley Stop 42)

Anna Maria Island Heritage Day with a Settler’s Market selling their famous Settlers’ Bread and herbs, honey and produce.  Live music all day plus Bar-B-Q, museum tours and settler era crafts. There will be demonstrations: Bee Keeping, Candle Making, Wool Spinning, Quilting, Knitting, Woodworking, Basket Weaving and more. Old fashioned children’s games and scavenger hunt with games and prizes will be held as well as a Pirate Jailbreak. Kids and adults will love seeing how the early settlers lived.

March 3, 2018: 9:00 am – 4:00 pm Old Main Street Bradenton, FL

Come and enjoy the Free 9th annual ArtSlam 2018 in downtown Bradenton. This annual community day showcasing collaborative creativity is a celebration of the arts and arts education in conjunction with the Bradenton Farmers’ Market. The festival’s focus this year is showcasing arts educators and their students. Old Main Street will be transformed into an interactive art zone.The free event features live performances, site-specific installations, and engaging art exhibits by Manatee County students and professional artists. 28 teams of student and professional artists are participating in ArtSlam this year, more than ever. Every team project, installation, and presentation is unique.

March 4, 2018: 10:00 am – 3:00 pm Gamble Plantation on US 301 Ellenton- one and a half miles west of I-75 (exit #224)  

It’s the Gamble Plantation Historic State Park Annual UDC 58th Annual Spring Open House. During the Mansion’s ‘free tours’ see the many lifestyle demonstrations of  the era of the 1840’s – 1870’s.  Additionally, members of the 4th Florida Volunteer Infantry will have a Confederate camp.  Music, crafts and more on the grounds.  Free admission and parking.

March 10, 2017: 11:00 am – 12:30 pm  — 1611 9th Street West at McKechnie Field, Bradenton 

The Pittsburgh Pirates 11th annual Pirate Fest with family-friendly fun, free player autographs, games, prizes, music and more all just outside the ballpark on 9th street. Free and open to the public. Tickets are required for 1:05 p.m. game with the Rays and can be purchased on-line.

March 10 – 11, 2018: Right next to City Hall in downtown Holmes Beach at 5801 Marina Drive. 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. 

The 30th annual Holmes Beach Spring Fest Fine Arts & Crafts Fest on Anna Maria Island. Fine art and fine craft exhibitors, this event will also include children’s young at art exhibit and art activities. Organized by the Anna Maria Island Art League. Free admission and parking.

March 17 – 18, 2018: 10 am – 5:00 pm both days —  5801 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach, FL   

It’s time to enjoy the 10th Annual Anna Maria Taste of Arts & Crafts Show. The show will feature the creations of talented artists and crafts people from all over. It takes place right next to City Hall in downtown Holmes beach.. Free admission and parking.

March 31, 2018: 9:00 am sharp Sandbar Restaurant,100 Spring Avenue, Anna Maria, FL, Anna Maria Island, FL.  

The Sandbar Restaurant will host its 32nd Annual Easter Egg Hunt at the Pavilion at the Sandbar. Make sure to bring your own basket(s) for the Easter Egg Hunt. After the hunt kids will be led by the Easter Bunny down Pine Avenue where the Easter Egg Roll and Bonnet contest will take place. Refreshments will be provided by the Sandbar.

WE HOPE YOU WILL ENJOY THESE ACTIVITIES AND ARE ALWAYS HAPPY TO ASSIST YOU WITH ANY QUESTIONS YOU MIGHT HAVE. 

For the latest up to date news, things to do, travel tips, special offers and more continue to follow our blog @ Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals/Blog


Come out and Enjoy these MARCH HAPPENINGS on Anna Maria Island 

March 1 – 31, 2018: Beach Market 
Every Wednesday & Sunday 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Find island treasures, select fresh produce, tons of arts and crafts, jewelry and more.
All activities and attractions are a short trolley ride from Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals – 601 Gulf Dr. N. – Anna Maria Island, Florida, 34217

March 3, 2018:Anna Maria Island Museum402 Pine Avenue in the Historical Park, Anna Maria,  FL 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Don’t miss Anna Maria Island Heritage Day with a Settler’s Market.
The market will be selling their famous Settlers’ Bread and herbs, honey and produce.  Enjoy the all day live music, Bar-B-Q, museum tours and settler era crafts and demonstrations. See how the early settlers lived with Bee Keeping, Candle Making, Wool Spinning, Quilting, Knitting, Woodworking, Basket Weaving and more. Old fashioned children’s games and scavenger hunt with games and prizes. Kids will love a Pirate Jailbreak.
8:00 AM – 3:00 PM  Free Admission 
It’s the Anna Maria Island Privateers Thieves Market, a Flea Market only Pirate Style! 100’s of Vendors. Treasures to be found for everyone. Lots of food to eat. Hamburg’s hotdogs and more.  Buy some fresh veggies while you’re there. Custom Handmade Jewelry, Sharks Teeth on a String, T-Shirts, Golf paraphernalia, Fishing Lures, Antiques Real and not,  BBQ Brisket to Hot Links. Hang with some Pirates, see their 60 foot Pirate Ship.
March 10 – 11, 2018: Next to City Hall in downtown Holmes Beach at 5801 Marina Drive Anna Maria Island 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Organized by the Anna Maria Island Art League. Free admission and parking. The 30th annuaHolmes Beach Spring Fest Fine Arts & Crafts Fest on Anna Maria Island. Fine art and fine craft exhibitors, this event will also include children’s young at art exhibit and art activities.
All of the above are within a short drive from our condo. Or, let someone else do the driving and hop on the Free Island Trolley!
Please keep reading our blogs, more March Happenings will be posted soon!
For the latest up to date news, things to do, special offers, travel tips and more continue to follow our blog @ Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals/Blog

The Florida Maritime Museum

The Florida Maritime Museum   – 4415 119th St W, Cortez, FL 34215

Just a short walk from Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals – 601 Gulf Dr. N. Anna Maria Island, Florida 34217

This is a small, but interesting museum housed in the former Cortez village school on the Cortez Nature Preserve. It is located in the historic fishing village of Cortez and has some wonderful exhibits that tell the history of the only fishing community left in Florida dating back to pre WWII. Founded on the importance of the regional commercial fishing industry, the museum tells a number of stories pertaining to all aspects of Florida’s maritime history.
Very enjoyable displays of the local history, including vintage photos of the founding settlers and the local economy, commercial fishing boat models, a terrific collection of shells from the Gulf of Mexico and other historic artifacts. One particular exhibit focuses on the Cuban fishing ranchos in Tampa Bay. For more than 100 years, Cuban fishermen established seasonal fishing camps along the Gulf Coast where they would catch fish, salt them and ship them back to Cuba to sell. The exhibit explores what brought the Cubans to Florida and what happened to them.
We were fascinated by the dioramas depicting how commercial fisherman and boat builders of the Gulf Coast have historically made their living.
The museum also is home to a research library relevant to maritime subjects research. With an emphasis on Florida’s Golf Coast the library offers a variety of books, diaries, letters, logs and records.
We had a guided tour because they weren’t busy, but you can do a self guided tour and read the information. Our volunteer guide was friendly and passionate about the history of the founding of Cortez settlement. He described the native Americans, Cubans and settlers from North Carolina, who all played a part in the history of the area. He also told us about the history of the local fishing industry. After the tour, which took about 30 minutes, we wandered around and look at the exhibits in detail.
The Museum is very educational surrounded by beautiful grounds to enjoy a walk around. On the second Saturday of each month they have Music on the Porch, which is quite entertaining.

There is a gift shop with some interesting nautical items. The museum is free, but donations are appreciated.

When we left the Museum we strolled down to the Cortez fishing harbour, which is also interesting and only a few blocks away.  Along the way we passed some tiny cute historic cottages and enjoyed a late lunch at a great seafood restaurant.

I highly recommend the Florida Maritime Museum and am so glad we went. What a great place to spend an afternoon!

For the latest up to date news, events, things to do, special offers and more continue to follow our blog @ Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals/Blog 


First Sarasota-Bradenton EARTH FARE Grocery Store to open Jan. 27, 2018

Earth Fare, founded in 1975 in Asheville, N.C. will open its newest store January 27, 2018 in The Green shopping centre at Lakewood Ranch, Florida. The shopping centre is located on the northeast corner of Lakewood Ranch Boulevard and State Road 70 East.
Just a short drive south along the Gulf of Mexico from Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals – 601 Gulf Dr. N. Anna Maria Island, Florida 34217.
Earth Fare is passionate about clean foods and the connection to their shopper’s healthy, longer lives. They pride themselves on providing healthy food choices that are easy and enjoyable.
Earth Fare will join other Manatee/Sarasota boutique-style markets like Trader Joe’s, Fresh Market and Whole Foods.
The 23,500 square foot store wont be selling just groceries, will feature Earth Fare’s Heirloom Organic Café and Juice Bar. Enjoy, coffee, smoothies and juices at their Cafe/Juice Bar.
I have shopped at a couple of Earth Fare stores in other states and in both stores the aisles were filled with foods with no additives, hormones, antibiotics, artificial sweeteners under any name, bleached or bromated flours, transfats, or artificial colours and their selections were amazing.
The fresh fish counters featured excellent choices at reasonable prices and we have enjoyed their shrimp, cod, snapper, tuna, and crab cakes… including gluten free versions.
Their meat departments were extensive areas with many tempting offerings in various cuts of beef, pork, lamb, chicken and sausages. I have also visited the olive bar and bought assorted olives and pickled mushrooms adding tasty treats to our meals.
The bakery, amazing, I love the carrot cake varieties! The breads, so many varieties, all tempting as well.
As for the deli case – I am prisoner to their various potato salads, so far the herb style being my favourite. The cranberry-almond chicken salad and tuna salad were delicious. They had a super choice of lunch meats and cheeses galore which were not loaded with nitrates and salt!

On another trip I headed straight to the fresh food court where you can have salads, sushi made in front of you, sandwiches pre-made or made fresh for you, along with pizza ( including gluten free pizza) and soups or hot dishes of various varieties. This area appeared successful as there was a crowd there with many people eating in the tabled area provided. A great store to people watch, I saw many running in to get fresh meals to go.The stores I have shopped in have been so clean and service oriented, I think Earth Fare it is sure to be a growing success.

I look forward to shopping at their new Bradenton-Sarasota store.
For the latest up to date news, events, things to do, special offers and more continue to follow our blog @ Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals/Blog