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WHY WE LOVE BRADENTON BEACH (ON ANNA MARIA ISLAND)

Anytime is a good time to soak up the beautiful Florida sunshine on Bradenton Beach, Anna Maria Island! Spend your vacation on the beach, jet skiing, kayaking, or shopping, dining and listening to live music on Bridge Street. Bradenton Beach offers plenty of fun things to do for everyone! Enjoy your next vacation with Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals-601 Gulf Dr. N. Anna Maria Island, Florida 34217 as you make memories that will last a lifetime.
 Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals
We are located in Bradenton Beach on Anna Maria Island, Florida, on the Gulf Coast only a short drive from Bradenton and Sarasota. Bradenton Beach is a small city and home of Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals. Well known for its sugar-white sand beaches, turquoise waters, bright blue sky, fishing piers and a quaint strip of shops, family owned restaurants and businesses. Upon your arrival you will notice the slow pace of Anna Maria Island. The speed limit on most of Gulf Drive (the main road on Anna Maria Island) is 25 mph with some small stretches a maximum of 35 mph. You will not find any hi-rise buildings and drive-through restaurants are prohibited here. Shunning the building of hi-rise hotels and condominiums, Bradenton Beach has kept that friendly family-oriented feel. Instead you will find companies offering bicycle, kayak, paddleboard, sailboats, Segways and fishing equipment rentals. You can rent a car, but most everything on Bradenton Beach is walkable. There is a FREE Island Trolley that rides north to the City of Anna Maria and south to Coquina Beach with lots of stops in between. For your convenience there is a trolley stop right out front of our condo. There is a Publix grocery store and Walgreens on the Island, both a quick trolley ride away.
 Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals
The Beach — With miles of beach right out front of our condo, spend your days basking in beach paradise. Each day you will wake to a different beach.  Always soft white sand scattered with beautiful shells, the waters are generally calm, but the wave height can vary from a foot to barely a ripple. Take walks on the beach, run on the beach, find sea shells and listen to the waves gently lapping against the shore. You can see porpoise swimming by, maybe putting on a little show for you. Expect to see lots of pelicans and other wildlife, fishermen and sometimes manatee. You will find beach chairs provided in your condo, then pick your spot on the beach and relax as you breath in the fresh Island air. Soak in the sunshine and the gorgeous Island atmosphere then cool off off in the crystal clear Gulf of Mexico water. Grab a cooler and enjoy some snacks as you relax in paradise.
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Lots of Activities — Book a Parasailing tour and get a different view of Bradenton Beach. Floating above the clear, blue water of the Gulf of Mexico, parasailing off the coast of Anna Maria Island is like sailing in paradise. With breathtaking panoramic views of the Gulf and intracoastal waterways, dolphins, turtles or stingray can possibly be seen.
Rent a Jet-Ski, sailboat or kayak and explore the local waters. With several boat and eco-tours—you are sure to find something that will suit everyone in your party!
 Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals
Bradenton Beach Scenic Highway — the word highway confuse some people, because a highway on the quiet, quaint little city of Bradenton Beach, well that’s just not possible. But, it does meet the criteria of a highway (often referred to as a byway). The Bradenton Scenic Highway is a 3 mile section of Gulf Drive/SR 789 beginning at Longboat Pass Bridge extending to the northern city limits of Bradenton Beach. It is pedestrian friendly and you can safely walk or ride a bicycle along this waterfront stretch. It is beautifully greenscaped and offers amazing views of the Gulf of Mexico, Sarasota Bay and Coquina Beach. Walk or ride a bike along the route and stop to view the wildlife, picnic areas The byway intersects Bridge Street in Bradenton Beach, which continues
The island community located along the Scenic Corridor provides both environmental and historic educational opportunities that have maintained the Old Florida ambiance of both the architectural and natural flavor.
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Dining on Bradenton Beach — Whether you consider yourself a foodie or not, you can’t help but love the variety of local dining available. Waterfront dining, French, Italian or Mexican food, dining with live entertainment— Bradenton Beach has it all! Ice cream shops? Pick your flavour cause we have those too! Enjoy a meal or sweet treat from the list below.
Anna Maria Oyster Bar on The Pier
BeachHouse Restaurant
Big Olaf Creamery
Blue Marlin Grill
Bridge Street Bistro
Bridge Tender Inn
French Table
Gulf Drive Café
Island Creperie
Island Time Bar and Grill
Joe’s Eats and Sweets
Oma’z Pizza and Italian Restaurant
Sharky’s Seagrill
Smoqehouse
The Kokonut Hut
Wicked Cantina
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Shopping — If your looking to find the perfect souvenir, piece of jewellery or treasure then you have come to the right place. Search the quaint and cozy boutiques and shop for pieces of Bradenton Beach to take home with you and keep as memories of your vacation. Some great shops to check out are: Bridge Street Bazaar, Back Alley Treasures, Bridge Street Interiors, Green Turtle Shell & Gift Shop, One Stop Shell Shop, Sea-Renity Spa and Boutique and Tide & Moon Jewellery.
Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals invite you to call us today to book your most peaceful and relaxing vacation.
TripAdvisor Reviews-March/April 2018
  1. My husband and I stayed five days at Bradenton Beach on Anna Maria Island. Our intention was just to unplug and relax. This beach community is perfect! There are good restaurants and access to public beaches easily within walking distance. A free trolley will take you to other communities on the island which makes shopping convenient as well as just exploring the island. Many tours and activities are available from kayak tours, where you’ll likely see dolphins, sea turtles and manatee, to Segway tours. We visited after spring break and the crowds were light. I can see where this area would become less desirable during heavy tourist times because these are small, quaint fishing villages with limited space. I highly recommend this location to enjoy amazing sunsets, fresh fish and tropical cocktails!
  2. Lots of parking. Beautiful white sandy beaches. Nice walking/running path adjacent to the beach. Fun shops and restaurants on Bridge Street.
  3. It was my kids’ first beach vacation. We went to Lido Beach day one, Bradenton Beach day two, and Siesta Key day three. They enjoyed Bradenton the most. Lido sand was pretty rough, Siesta Key’s sand was too fine and was a good quarter mile to get to the water, but they loved Bradenton the most since they had something to do. It wasn’t as busy and there decent sized small shells to find. It kept them interested for hours. Not to mention that the seagulls at Bradenton weren’t nearly as aggressive as Siesta Key.
  4. The ocean is truly good for the soul. I crave the ocean water and waves. Being from northeast North Dakota, one week of beachtime is a means for revival and survival! It’s beautiful living where I do, but there is something medicinal about the ocean! I love the privacy of Bradenton Beach near the location where we stayed. It was our own oasis! Walking on the beach or swimming in the gulf waters were an asylum for us/me. I look forward to coming back for a few more sunsets and the whispering and sometimes turbulent ocean breezes!!
  5. We spent a long weekend here and had a great time enjoying the beach and the beautiful sunsets!! Loved this place!!
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 offer 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.
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ROD & REEL PIER — ANNA MARIA ISLAND RESTAURANT 

The Rod & Reel Pier
Address: 875 N Shore Dr, Anna Maria, FL 34216
Phone: 941-778-1885
Hours: Mon – Sun 8:00 am – 9:00 pm

At the north end of the Island about a ten minute drive on the free trolley from Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals-601 Gulf Dr. N. Anna Maria Island, Florida 34217 you will find one our favourite restaurants, the Rod & Reel Pier. One of our top three favourites, it is a definite must try when you visit beautiful Anna Maria Island. This is not a fancy pier restaurant, but an Island favourite for locals and tourists and a perfect place to start your day with breakfast, enjoy a mid-day lunch meal or a relaxing sunset dinner. The restaurant is located at the end of the Rod and Reel Pier offering casual dining, serving great food at a reasonable price. The Rod & Reel serves breakfast, lunch and dinner with a great selection on every menu. Seating is available inside or on the covered outside deck. They don’t take reservations so there is often a wait for a table. Our wait time isn’t usually to long and to pass the time we go downstairs to their unique bar that serves beer and wine. The staff are all very down-to-earth and make you feel at home. The menu is fairly simple, and while the menu dishes are really good, I have found their fresh seafood specials are often better. They have several specials on the blackboard and you’re given the options of having your fish fried, grilled or blackened. Our last visit the blackened Mahi dinner I ordered was the best I have ever tasted. I enjoy the Fish and Chips as well. I always like to end the meal with their delicious key lime pie.
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But, it isn’t only the food we go for, the spectacular views of the clear turquoise waters of the Gulf of Mexico and the Sunshine Skyway Bridge keep us coming back. I saw my one and only Green Flash while dining at the Rod & Reel, so for me it’s also the thought of seeing my next green flash. An unforgettable experience for me, one I hope everyone will get to experience.
After your meal you can watch folks fishing from the pier and enjoy the warm bay breezes. Talk to some of the locals, most enjoy sharing their stories of life on Anna Maria Island. For a small fee rent a pole and fish right off the Rod & Reel dock or walkways. With any luck you just might catch your next meal.
One more piece of beauty on Anna Maria Island awaits you in the relaxing atmosphere at the Rod & Reel Pier.
TripAdvisor Reviews April 2018
1. I love this place. Tiny little restaurant on fishing pier ot north end of island. It has spectacular views of the sunset and Sunshine Parkway Bridge to St Pete. Although they don’t have many tables, they turn over fast. Service is friendly and fast. Reasonable prices especially on beer. It’s the only place I have been able to find amberjack. Several daily fresh catch specials, grouper, ahi, tuna and steak. I always look forward to going back and have never been disappointed

2. Great location! Very informal service and set up but the staff are lovely and it is as much a locals place as it is for tourists. Head up early to watch the sunrise, you may see dolphins and can watch the fisherman at work. Great view whilst in the restaurant too. Definitely worth a trip.

3. The seafood dishes were excellent very fresh. My fried oyster platter was amazing! They don’t take reservations so you need to get there early or be prepared to wait quite a bit. They do have a bar you can order drinks while you’re waiting and have a pretty good view of the sunset. It’s not very big but it’s right over the water which was perfect for our family of six. We enjoyed watching people fish from the pier as we were waiting. We wished we had room for their key lime pie but we were stuffed!

4. As informal as it gets but great food and service, best views ! Walk up but if there is a wait, grab a brew and sit out with the fishermen and watch for manatees and dolphins

5. If you like your fish.. this is one of the best places to eat in Anna Maria. The range is huge and how you have it cooked .. blackened, chipotle .. it’s a bit more restricted for non fish eaters but burgers and sandwiches are on the menu. Busy place so will need to go put name down and then watch the world go around in the pier. My boys loved it.

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

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DIGGING IN THE SAND? OK, BUT DON’T FORGET TO FILL THOSE HOLES & BEGINNING OF TURTLE NESTING SEASON MAY 1st

One of our family’s favourite pastimes at the beach is castle building and that includes lots of digging. I have always associated digging holes in the sand as a fun and harmless activity. But, after reading several articles I realize it has become an issue over the past few years and can have serious consequences. There have been cases of injury caused from those seemingly harmless large pits that we beachgoers love to dig. When we first visited Anna Maria Island we were not aware of the beach rules and I’m sure some of our guests at Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals – 601 Gulf Dr. N. Anna Maria Island, Florida 34217 aren’t either. Hopefully by sharing this information we will increase awareness for the safety of the sea turtles and all visitors.
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Because May 1st marks the official beginning of turtle season on Anna Maria Island I will start with this as the first reason why when we dig the holes we need to fill the holes.
The Loggerhead Turtle is the most common species of sea turtle that nests on Anna Maria Island. Turtle nesting season which runs from May 1 to October is when the sea turtles swim to land and lay their eggs. They crawl up the beach, typically during the night, dig nests, usually by the seagrass, and lay their eggs. As you walk along the beach you might have see marked nests scattered throughout the white sand beaches.
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Anna Maria Island has several enforceable rules to help protect sea turtles and native animals. These include, filling in holes on the beach, not leaving objects overnight such as beach chairs/umbrellas or tent canopies that pose as an obstacle, no littering/pick up trash on the beach, turn off artificial light (no flashlights or flash photography) that could cause disorientation and lastly, if you see a turtle nesting stay back and watch from a distance. Holes also can become traps or impediments for female sea turtles, which must make their way on land to nest.
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So while we are having a great day at the beach digging our holes, remember the only time these female sea turtles leave the water is to nest and these holes can become traps for them. Lights out because baby turtles follow the reflection of the moon on the water so house lights or flashlights will confuse them causing them to travel to land instead of the water. Anna Maria Island is fortunate to have many volunteers that do as much as they can to ensure as many babies as possible make it safely to the water. These volunteers also keep track of the nests and pay close attention as each nest gets close to hatching. With the decrease in sea turtle population let’s all do our part to assist the Island volunteers as they do their part.
Well helping the turtles here are some additional reasons why we should not dig deep holes in the sand:
  • These unexpected holes can injure those walking or running when their foot catches in one. A twisted, sprained or worse a broken ankle is something we all want to avoid.
  • Holes in the sand become dangerous obstacles and make it more difficult for emergency vehicles to get to where they need to be. Those that patrol the beach on 4 wheelers or in any emergency vehicle must navigate around these holes slowing their response time and creating a major hazard for the vehicles as well.
  • Large holes or even smaller holes dug with toy shovels can be harmful not just to the turtles but to other wildlife as well.
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There are endless ways to spend time on our beautiful beach, whether you are in the sand or on the water.
Spending time at the beach is something we all enjoy, so please avoid digging large holes creating a safer beach environment for all of us as well as the turtles. Our beaches are meant for fun and relaxation, so let’s work together to reduce mishaps and injuries allowing everyone a wonderful beach experience.
Well it’s okay to dig, and if you want to dig deep, please do not leave the holes. It is imperative for all beachgoers, to make sure any holes you dig are filled in before you leave the beach.
And, if you see holes left by others do a good deed and fill them in.
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 content of this blog is not to be copied, adapted or shared without the written consent of Anna Maria Condo Rentals.
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YOUR ANNA MARIA ISLAND VACATION – MAKE IT YOUR BEST!

Once you step foot onto Florida’s Anna Maria Island, walk on the white sand beaches and view the crystal turquoise coloured water and stunningly beautiful sunsets you may not want to return home. Come taste delicious seafood at the many waterfront restaurants, soak up the abundant sunshine and experience all the features of an exotic, tropical vacation on this seven mile long Island on Florida’s west coast. Surrounded by the Gulf of Mexico, Anna Maria Island is comprised of three friendly little towns: City of Anna Maria in the north, Holmes Beach in the middle and Bradenton Beach to the south. All over Anna Maria Island you will find quaint boutiques, family owned restaurants with none of the commercialization associated with many vacation destinations.
 Anna Maria Island flights
Getting to and Getting Around Anna Maria Island
Book your flight into Sarasota Bradenton International Airport (only 20 miles from the Island), Clearwater/St. Petersburg (45 minutes from the Island) or Tampa International Airport (1 hour from the Island). Anna Maria Island is a small island and is easily walkable. Or, you could consider renting a bicycle from one of the many rental companies on the island that at your convenience will drop off and pick up your bicycle. Bike from Bean Point, the northern point of the Island to Coquina Beach which is a beautiful beach at the South of the Island. We recommend touring the whole Island, the Island is small, but there is lots to see and do.
 Absolute Anna Maria
Your Accommodations 
Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals offers accommodations for all types of travellers. Check out our website annamariaislandcondorentals.com for properties available. All condos offer complimentary Wi-Fi, fully equipped kitchens and washer/dryers for your laundry needs as well as heated swimming pools Some condos come with screened lanais and access to a grill. Book a condo with poolside, bayside or gulf-facing views. At the recently renovated condos offering upscale details like walk-in showers and granite or quartz countertops and all new kitchen appliances.
Our condos are perfect for a week (or more) away with family.
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Dining
With so many fine restaurants on Anna Maria Island you will find it hard to decide where to dine. But, one thing they all have in common with no exception is their fresh seafood. 
Order the catch of the day on the covered deck at the Beach House Restaurant, Blue Marlin Grill or Waterfront Restaurant, just to name a few. Once you book your vacation with Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals we will provide you with a complete list of our favourite places to dine. Many restaurants in Bradenton Beach offer live music while you dine. On your way back to the condo stop at Big Olaf’s for some of the best ice cream on the Island.
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Quiet Night In or Out 
Anna Maria Island is certainly not a party island and most people come to the island to relax and enjoy the old Florida vibe. With no night club atmosphere, we find many of our guests like to enjoy a late night swim in the pool or relaxing in their comfy condo. If you do want a late night out wander down to Bridge Street to one of our favourite restaurants/bars like Bridge Tender Inn, Island Time Bar & Grill or Drift In, all are in Bradenton Beach. With live music playing you can dance the night away and then walk back to the condo in five minutes.
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Plan Your Outdoor Activities 
There is no shortage of outdoor activities on Anna Maria Island (AMI). With the beach directly out front of your condo, sunbathing or building sand castles might be top of your list, but if you’re looking for adventure AMI has lots to offer. Whether you’re interested in paddling, cycling, ziplining, and of course plenty of swimming AMI has it all. Take to the water with an afternoon of kayaking, diving, snorkelling or paddle-boarding. There is a rental company less than a five minute walk on the beach that rents boards, kayaks, sailboat and jet-skis. You might enjoy exploring the Island on your rental bike followed up with a nature walk at one of the several preserves nearby. Want to see Anna Maria Island from the sky? Consider Parasailing and enjoy the beauty of the Island from above. Looking for dolphins, manatees, stingrays or sharks? Anna Maria Island has an abundance of tours available. If you are interested in booking a dolphin tour, deep sea fishing trip, chartering a boat, or something specific, we can make recommendations according to your interests.
Avid golfers can easily head across the Cortez Bridge to the mainland for a round of golf at nearby Manatee Public Golf Club. If you’re not feeling like 18 long holes of golf try the Fish Hole, an awesome mini-putt course on Bridge Street less than 5 minutes from your condo.
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Whatever you choose to do, we promise you can’t go wrong on Anna Maria Island.
But, please don’t take our word for it, contact Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals today and experience it for yourself!
*Please note — Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals offer the above company name 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.
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FLYBOARDING ADVENTURE NEAR ANNA MARIA ISLAND

Looking for a different type of adventure while staying with Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals? – 601 Gulf Dr. N. Anna Maria Island, Florida 34217

For those of you that enjoy snowboarding there is a very good chance you will love Flyboarding. They are similar in that the balance of your body is used to control the board and when you are practicing either, both boards feature boots and straps to ensure that your feet are bound to the board.
I had no idea what Flyboarding was until our friends said they were going to try it. After doing a little research this is what I came up with — The Flyboard is a device that is attached to a watercraft. The watercraft follows behind the rider. The Flyboard is roughly the size of a skateboard with bindings or boot attachments for your feet. The binders are there is to ensure that you won’t fall off the board in mid air. Your Flyboard is connected to a hose that connects it to the jet exit of the jet ski. Propelled from water jets from below the device, the water it pumps out is what provides the thrust to get you out of the water and keep you up in the air. How high you go is controlled by the water pressure from the watercraft/jet ski.

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Our friends had a blast when they recently went Flyboarding with Top Gun Flyboards (no, I wasn’t brave enough and decided bystander would be a better title for me). After watching them and talking about their experience here are a few tips/suggestions we put together:
—Before you go having a basic understanding of what Flyboarding is all about. Go on the companies website or watch some on-line videos so you are better prepared for your adventure.
—Book the right amount of time. For a beginner 30 minutes is probably enough. You don’t want to overdue it and be sore and then not be able to enjoy the remainder of your vacation. For those that have done it before, go ahead and book an hour or an all day session for those really adventurous ones.
—While you are flying, focus on something around you rather than constantly thinking of falling. Maybe pick a focal point from the great view around you. This will give you something else to concentrate on rather than the thought of falling.
—You will be wearing a helmet, but a head first crash will still hurt so you want to break the surface of the water to reduce the impact. Hopefully you won’t crash, but if you do try to dive into the water putting your arms above your head, one hand on top of the other much like diving.

Imagine being propelled into mid air soaring above the open ocean. You can experience just that. Book with a local company TOP GUN Flyboards to try this one-of-a-kind adventure. Whether you’re already a fan of flyboarding or if you’ve never tried it, we’re certain it will be an adventure to remember.

TOP GUN Flyboards

Top Gun Flyboards — 9715 Manatee Ave W Bradenton FL — 941-565-1727
topgunflyboards.com

TripAdvisor Reviews-February & March 2018
Top Gun Flyboards
Awesome experience, very friendly and professional. My 16 year old son loved it! Would definitely do again.
Excellent Adventure/Activity! So much fun!
Great company! Very professional! The guys made sure our entire group had a great experience! Easy enough for everyone to learn how to do!
2-3 attempts to get used to it and then was flying the rest of the time. Safety gear all brand new and staff very helpful and informative.
Very professional organization. New equipment. . John is a skilled teacher. Will be doing this again.
Amazing feeling, great service, great lesson, teacher very polite and patient to teach. I definitely recommend this company
obstacles. Bring a water bottle with a strap or something if you tend to get really thirsty 🙂

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 offer the above company name 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.

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SUNSET TOURS-ANNA MARIA ISLAND

Watch as day turns into night off the coast of Florida on a sunset cruise from Bradenton Beach, Anna Maria Island. Enjoy the scenery and peaceful calm of a sunset cruise on board a catamaran vessel with plenty of space for everyone. Enjoy the narrative as the captain shares his/her knowledge of the Island. You will have the best views to take your best photos of a colourful Anna Maria Island sunset, while you cruise past multi million dollar homes and get an up close view of the beauty of Anna Maria Island paradise. Settle in to watch the tropical magic of the flaming sun as it meets the horizon and sinks into the Gulf of Mexico. A sunset cruise is perfect for families, couples, honeymooners, and kids alike!
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We suggest booking with a premier boat tour company right here on Bradenton Beach. Walk or drive, this tour company is at the East end of Bridge Street on the Pier. Only a five minute walk from your Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals – 601 Gulf Dr. N. Anna Maria Island – vacation property. Or, take the FREE Island Trolley service, with a stop right out front of your condo.
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Paradise Boat Tours – 200 Bridge Street, Bradenton Beach 941-465-8624 paradiseboattours.com

Prices are as follows ….
• Children ages 3 to 13 are $20 and Under 3 isfree
• Seniors are $25
• Adults $30
Advertised on their website — 95% of Tours see Dolphins and great for all ages. Very safe and stable catamaran.
You are allowed to bring food and beverage (including alcohol) on board with you.

Bring a jacket, as the night air on a sunset boat ride tends to be cooler at times.
Arrive early especially if you’re driving as parking is very limited. If you come too early, no worries, there’s lots to see and do on Bridge Street. Stroll along the pier, watch people fish, or admire the beautiful boats as they pass by. There is always something to see on the Pier.
Enjoy your sunset cruise, a perfect way to end your day!

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Recent reviews, TripAdvisor & Yelp

Our family with little ones ranging from 1 year to 10 years old traveled with First Mate Jessica and Captain Chris tonight for a sunset cruise. We saw a ton of dolphins and had a wonderful time. Chris and Jess were amazing. Such a great, worthwhile experience.

Wonderful company that makes you feel welcome and right at home. Captain Chad and Firstmate Jessica were very friendly and knew the exact spots to go to find dolphins and see the sunset. They knew the history of the area, pointed out certain landmarks and narrated the tour which was wonderful!

We took our daughter and granddaughter on a sunset cruise and had a fantastic time! First Captain Chris took us to see dolphins and first mate Jessica explained all about the dolphins. She told us what kind of dolphins they were, how much they eat, how they sleep and how the nicks on their dorsal fin distinguishes which dolphin they are. Then we sailed out between Anna Maria Island and Longboat Key just far enough to watch the sunset.

Jessica even took pictures of each family using their own camera/phone and a special light so you could still see our faces with the sunset behind us.
Wonderful sunset cruise with Jake and Chad! Not only fabulous sunset with pictures by Jake but also saw several pods of dolphin along with informative dialogue. Highly recommend!!

We visit AMI every spring. Last week, we had the pleasure of taking a boat tour with Captain Mike & Erin. They were fantastic; very friendly & knowledgeable of the area & the wildlife. We saw several dolphins & our hosts even knew their names! We took the last cruise & enjoyed a stunning sunset. This is also a great choice for kids; our girls were treated so nicely & were gifted with a dolphin trinket, which they really appreciated. Parking in this area can be an issue, so allow plenty of time to find a spot, or take public transportation. We look forward to taking this cruise again next year.

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 offer the above company name and affiliated links as suggestions only. We are not receiving commissions from the above and are listing it 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.

parasailing-anna-maria-island

PARASAILING ON ANNA MARIA ISLAND

Florida is the most popular place in the United States to go parasailing because of its breathtaking beauty. To highlight your vacation with Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals – 601 Gulf Dr. N. Anna Maria Island, Florida 34217 consider hitting the skies on a parasailing adventure. Whether you’re looking for something to do with your teens or with your recently retired parents, parasailing is truly a once in a lifetime experience.

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PARASAILING! While gently floating high above the clear, blue water of the Gulf of Mexico, parasailing off the coast of Anna Maria Island is like sailing in paradise. With breathtaking panoramic views of the Gulf and intracoastal waterways, dolphins, turtles or stingray can possibly be seen. As you soar over the glistening water and the coastline unfolds before your eyes, parasailing will probably be the most exciting thing you have done all year or maybe ever!

PARASAILING For the First Time?  Here Are A Few Tips to help you confidently book your Adventure —

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— Lifejackets on before you step foot on the boat. For your sail you will be fitted with a special harness and gently launched and retrieved with the use of a hydraulic winch system. You take-off and land directly on the boat. Take-off’s and landings are very slow and gentle.

— There are myths that to parasail you need to be able to swim. Not true, you do not need to be a swimmer to parasail. Parasailing is actually one of the only watersports where no swimming is required to fully enjoy it.

— Most companies have weight and height restrictions. Be sure to check these upon booking to see if they affect anyone in your group.

— Check the local weather before you parasail. Clear and bright days are best for maximum visibility for sightseeing as well as for good communication with the boat captain. Prior to booking check the companies inclement weather policy, most will not leave the dock. As we have no control of the weather I suggest planning your parasailing during the first part of your vacation, that way you still have time if rescheduling is necessary.

—   If you have a fear of heights or panic easily parasailing might not be for you. This might be true for some, but our last time parasailing a group ahead of us shared that he is terrified of heights and she is terrified of falling, and they both loved parasailing. So if they weren’t afraid while they were parasailing, maybe you won’t be either. If someone has told you it is like a rollercoaster, I think it is more like sitting in a swing gently floating up and back down. There is none of that sinking feeling in your stomach like when you go down the hill on a roller coaster.

Vacationing and Parasailing should be serene, peaceful and memorable. Neither require skill or any previous experience. Both allow you to sit back, relax and enjoy. We hope while visiting with us your experiences leave you with wonderful memories you won’t soon forget.

Below are two local companies to consider (Both are about a 5 minute walk from Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals).  —

bradenton-beach-parasailing-anna-maria-island

Bradenton Beach Parasailing – 200 Bridge Street #3, Bradenton Beach, FL   941-961-2065
bradentonbeachparasail.com

yolo-para-sailing-bradenton-beach

YOLO – 135 Bridge Street Bradenton Beach, FL  941-778-5000
parasailflorida.com

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 offer the above company names and affiliated links as suggestions only. We are not receiving commissions from any and are listing them 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 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.

anna-maria-island-condo-rentals

FLORIDA SUNSHINE SAFETY TIPS FROM YOUR HOSTS AT ANNA MARIA ISLAND CONDO RENTALS

Vacation is the perfect time to recharge your batteries and spend time with your family or friends.
When you stay with Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals – 601 Gulf Dr. N. Anna Maria Island, Florida 34217  you will experience first hand why Florida is known as the Sunshine State. Year round sunshine makes for a beautiful vacation, but please be aware and take precautions as needed.
Over the years members of our family have all suffered the side effects from too much sunshine. It is easy to forget just how intense that beautiful sunshine can be.
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Here are some helpful tips:

— Dress for the weather and stay cool by wearing loose-fitting clothing made from breathable fabric. Cottons or natural fabrics are best.

— Drink plenty of cool liquids, especially water to stay hydrated. Don’t wait until you feel thirsty, drink lots to decrease your risk of dehydration. Drinking alcohol affects the body’s fluid levels and can dangerously dehydrate you. Salty snacks can cause your body to lose fluids and sports drinks and sugary soda can act similarly. Avoid sweet or alcoholic drink until the cooler evening.

— Wear a wide-brimmed hat to avoid sun exposure.

— Protect you eyes by making sure you wear sunglasses that provide protection against UVA and UVB rays.

— Limit your time in the sun especially between the hours of 11:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.when UV light is strongest.

— Use sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor of at least 15. The sunscreen should also say “broad-spectrum” on the label, to screen out most of the UVA and UVB rays. Sunscreen will protect against the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays, but not from the heat so remember to stay hydrated. An important tip is to reapply. Many people think their initial application is all they need. Not so, you are wise to reapply every 2 hours and always after swimming.

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— Sunburn is not fun and can spoil your day. Please remember reflections off water and sand increase the effect of UV rays.  While the symptoms of sunburn are usually temporary, skin damage is cumulative. Protect yourself on cloudy days as well as when you’re in the water swimming.

— Too much sunshine can lead to heat stroke. Heat stroke can cause nausea, confusion, disorientation in an effort for the the body to cool. You can cool your body with a cool wash cloth or air conditioned room. Don’t hesitate to seek medical attention if in doubt.

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Traveling with Baby. For some, going away on vacation with a young baby may seem like a crazy thing to do when you are already sleep-deprived and exhausted, but with some planning and routines in place, your vacation can really be what it is supposed to be. Maybe this will be when your baby starts sleeping through the night 🙂
Babies are vulnerable to changed routines, jet lag, bacteria, and the sun’s rays. Many babies the change is of no bother and they enjoy their new environment.
— For items such as high chair, car seat, play yard, crib or anything else you can think of please contact us. Anna Maria Condo Rentals are happy to help you with your baby needs.
— Sunbathing is a no for baby skin so make sure to protect your baby completely from the sun until your infant is at least 1 year old. If you want your baby to have the pleasure of a swim in the middle of the day, try to find some shadow and use sun hat and protective clothing. Baby skin is very thin and delicate and can’t handle the sun very well. Sunscreen cream is really a last resort solution, as it can contain harmful substances. If you really need to use sunscreen, use one specially made for babies and with really high sun protection factor.
— Swimming for a wee baby the recommended the water temperature should be at least some 90 F (32 C). Babies get cold really quickly and might find a lower temperature uncomfortable. Chlorine used in pools can make your baby’s skin very dry so put some baby oil on your baby’s skin before going in. Many babies get crazy with happiness when splashing the water. Just remember to let your baby decide if he/she wants to just dip his/her toes or go right in.
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Don’t forget to put on a swim diaper before letting your baby into the pool. Swim diapers are available both as disposable swim diapers and reusable swim diapers. The reusable ones, are best both from an environmental perspective and to save space and money.
— If you haven’t yet bought a mosquito net for your baby’s stroller, consider buying one that contains UV protection for your child. More convenient might be a sunshade for your stroller. They allow air flow into the stroller better than most mosquito nets and many of them protect from mosquitos as well.
While staying with Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals we want our guests to have an enjoyable, memorable and safe experience. We hope you have enjoyed every minute of your visit.
Please visit us again 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 content of this blog is not to be copied, adapted or shared without the written consent of Anna Maria Condo Rentals.

SCUBA DIVING OR SNORKELING BRADENTON BEACH, ANNA MARIA ISLAND, FL

Imagine being able to dive or snorkel directly across from your vacation property. When booking with Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals – 601 Gulf Dr. N. Anna Maria Island, Florida 34217 you can do just that!
The Bradenton Beach shipwreck of the Regina makes for a fun Anna Maria Island dive. The dive site sits approximately 175 feet off shore at about 7th Street in only about 20 feet of water and is marked with a buoy. The wreckage itself is over 200 feet long.

The Regina is Florida’s 10th Shipwreck Underwater Archaeological Preserve. The SS Regina built in 1904 in Ireland, sank during a nasty storm in 1940 in about 20 feet of water just off Bradenton Beach, Anna Maria Island. The 247 foot long steel steamer was carrying over 350,000 gallons of molasses between Cuba, Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico to US ports along the Gulf of Mexico and East Coast shorelines. The molasses was primarily used for making rum and other items. The Regina was en route to New Orleans which is a principal port of the world’s molasses trade. The vessel, which had been converted to a tanker barge, was being towed by the tugboat Minima when it encountered a cold front, freezing temperatures, with strong winds and 8 to 12 foot waves. As they attempted to seek shelter in Tampa Bay the towing cable broke and they helplessly drifted toward Anna Maria Island running aground on a sandbar. Only 200 yards from shore the crew stayed aboard, afraid that abandoning the ship would drag them under the turbulent waters. Nighttime approached and the Regina’s hull cracked and broke apart. Anna Maria Island residents built fires along the shore to let the crew know they had been seen, unfortunately their wait was not over. The Coast Guard was unable to reach the stranded vessel and several attempts at shooting a line from the beach to the barge by the Bradenton Beach Police proved unsuccessful. The only non-survivor of the crew of 8 was the ship’s cook and his dog. The cook jumped overboard followed by his German Shepherd and disappeared minutes later beneath the waves. The remaining crew were rescued, but the barge and its cargo were lost.

Read more here: http://www.bradenton.com/news/local/article34736421.html#storylink=cpAs they attempted to seek shelter in Tampa Bay the towing cable broke and they drifteThe vessel was seen by a local resident, who reported the situation to the St. Petersburg Coast Guard Air Station. Help would soon arrive, but would it be soon enough?
Read more here: http://www.bradenton.com/news/local/article34736421.html#storylink=Anna Maria Island residents built fires to let the crew know they had been spotted, unfortunately their wait was not over. The Coast Guard was unable to reach the stranded vessel and several attempts at shooting a line to the barge by the Bradenton Beach Police proved unsuccessful. The only non-survivor was the ship’s cook who jumped overboard into the stormy sea, followed by his German shepherd, and in minutes disappeared beneath the waves. The remaining crew members were eventually rescued, although the barge and all of its cargo were lost.

Seeking shelter from storm

A cold front swept across the Gulf of Mexico, bringing with it strong winds, 8- to 12-foot waves, and freezing temperatures. Those aboard Minima planned to seek shelter from the storm in Tampa Bay, but before they could reach safety, the towing cable attaching the tug to Regina was torn apart in the storm.

Regina and the eight crew members on board began to drift helplessly toward Anna Maria, before running aground on a sandbar.

The vessel was seen by a local resident, who reported the situation to the St. Petersburg Coast Guard Air Station. Help would soon arrive, but would it be soon enough?

As nighttime approached, Regina’s hull began to crack and break apart. The crew stayed on board. Although they were just 200 yards from shore, they feared abandoning the ship would mean getting dragged under the turbulent waters. Instead, they sought shelter in the cramped crew’s quarters at the front of the vessel, despite flooding that reached almost up to their shoulders.

Along the shore, residents built fires to reassure the stranded crew they had been spotted. Unfortunately, their wait was not yet over. USCGC Nemesis and patrol boat CG145, both dispatched from St. Petersburg, were unable to reach the stranded vessel at night in such shallow waters.

Several attempts were then made to shoot a line from the beach to the barge, but each effort fell just short of the stranded vessel. A Coast Guard plane dropped life preserves down to Regina’s crew. All but one were returned to shore by the wind and waves.

One didn’t make it

A man, later identified as the ship’s cook, chose to risk the perilous swim to shore. Onlookers watched in horror as he jumped overboard into the stormy sea, followed just moments later by his German shepherd, only to disappear beneath the waves.

Fortunately, the remaining crew members were eventually rescued, although the barge and all of its cargo were lost. Over the years, the wreck has become a popular destination for scuba divers and snorkelers because of its close proximity to shore.

In fact, Regina is now one of 11 Underwater Archaeological Preserves recognized in the state of Florida. Each site contains interesting archaeological features, and plays host to an abundance of marine life. For more information on these sites and how to find them, visit museumsinthesea.com, and please remember to always use safe diving practices.

Read more here: http://www.bradenton.com/news/local/article34736421.html#storylink=cpy

The Regina was being pulled by the tugboat Minima moving towards shelter of Tampa Bay when the tow lines snapped. The Regina drifted south in the storm and finally grounded on a sand bar. The storm was so bad the Coast Guard couldn’t get to the ship and several attempts by the Bradenton Beach with a line-towing gun proved unsuccessful. The heavy, high seas beat the barge to the point that it finally cracked and broke apart. AMI residents saw the ship in distress and built bonfires on the beach to let the ship’s crew know they had been seen. The crew was afraid to abandon the ship because the water was so rough and eventually all but the ship’s cook and his dog, were rescued and the Regina sank.Below is a video of what can be found while diving the Regina Sugar Barge.

This wreck is located across the street from the Sea Kat Dive Shop where you can get information about snorkeling / diving. If you’re are looking to dive the Regina wreck or for any Island dives we suggest calling Sea Kat Divers. They can assist you with any scuba diving/snorkelling inquiries. Sea Kat Divers is conveniently located at 105 7th Street North, Bradenton Beach, FL. 941-779-0100. It is a only a couple minute walk from the condo, therefore, parking is not an issue.

Sea Kat Divers is a locally owned licensed dive shop run and operated by PADI Dive Instructor Jim who has years of experience and local knowledge. Your one stop shop on Anna Maria Island offers friendly, family oriented, full service. This dive shop is ready to meet any of your scuba or snorkelling needs, rentals , gear, service, tank fills, and private chartered trips for both scuba and snorkel. They offer personalized daily snorkel trips for $60.00 per person (3 person minimum) to Egmont Key and a two tank scuba dive trip starting at $90.00 per person (3 person minimum) to multiple reefs, wrecks and local dive spots. Each snorkel and dive trip departs around 9:00 a.m. (weather permitting) from the Kingfish boat ramp on Manatee Avenue. To participate on any of Sea Kat Divers trips you must call or stop by the shop to book! All trips are customized to the individual customers wants and generally last around 4 hours. No need to worry if you didn’t bring your equipment, Sea Kay Divers offer offer rentals and sales on everything you might need. If you’re looking for something specific ask Jim and he will try his best to customize your trip.

Reviews Tripadvisor …

1. We dove with Captain Jim on Thursday, November 2nd at a wreck. The visibility wasn’t that great because the gulf was stirred up, but a day on the water can’t be beat. They called us the day before our scheduled dive on Tuesdaybecause the visibility was so bad and kept in touch with us to reschedule. Lesley in the shop is wonderful. Captain Jim did a great job. We will dive with them when we travel to the Bradenton area again.

2. I did my PADI Certification with Jim over Labor Day weekend. Jim did a great job of getting us up to speed quickly! The visibility was a challenge because of all the storms over the past few weeks but Jim found a way to make it work and took us out to the Regina Ship Wreck only about 75 yards off shore right across the street from his Shop. We had a great time and saw a lot of neat stuff. Jim was patient and a great job showing us the ropes. By the last dive everything felt completely natural!

3. What a fun family charter. Saw four Goliath Groupers, a large school of snook, and tons of assorted reef fish. Very helpful and professional. All gear was on the boat ready. At the end of the dive just grab your stuff and walk away. Jim and Joe took care of everything. I also can’t forget Keith at the store. Always helpful always happy and always available for information or to kid around with. Overall a wonderful group of people.

*Please note Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals offers the above company name and any affiliated links as suggestions only. We are not receiving commission and are listing it only to aid our guests. We only recommend services that we or close friends and family have experienced so we know you will be in good hands.
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
 

PADDLEBOARDING ON ANNA MARIA ISLAND

If you have ever wanted to try stand up Paddleboarding what better place to do it then while vacationing here on Anna Maria Island. Enjoy the warm Gulf waters and gorgeous bay as you explore the natural beauty around you. The scenery is beautiful and catching a few waves and swells is thrilling as you paddle along the coast. Stand up paddle boarding is an excellent way to get in shape and have fun at the same time, and the best thing is, all you need is a body of water which is included in your stay with Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals – 601 Gulf Dr. N. Anna Maria Island, Florida 34217.
The amazing part of Paddleboarding is that because it is so much fun, you don’t feel like you are working out. It is an amazing core workout and it isn’t hard on the joints like running. You get a full body workout using all your muscles to balance on the board while staying in a constant squat to steady yourself. Plus, you also work out your arms, shoulders and back while paddling. It’s like paddling while standing on an excersize ball for two solid hours and you don’t notice how much of a work out it is until later that day/night and you start to feel it in your arms, abs and thighs.
When you’re ready to go we suggest AMI PADDLEBOARD
You can Book Stand up Paddle Board Rentals and tours as well as Kayak rentals and tours direct from their website. All rentals and tours are on Anna Maria Island and Longboat Key, Florida.
AMI PADDLEBOARD offers lessons, tours and board sales providing great service and products. They specialize in teaching first timers how to Stand Up Paddleboard while keeping everyone dry and making sure everyone is having a great time. They also offer private paddleboard parties, corporate “board” meetings, and paddleboard adventure trips. They have boards from 9-14ft to suit 50lbs-350lbs and guarantee everyone can learn to paddleboard. They offer 100% Customer Satisfaction and have taught many ages 6-85 how to Stand Up Paddleboard.

Paddleboard & Kayak Rentals

1 hour – $25 — 2 hours $40 — Half Day (4 hours) $55 —

Full Day (24 hours) $75 — 2 day $145 — 3 day $165 — Week $225

FREE Delivery with  Delivery starting at 8 am

Paddleboard & Kayak Tour – $50 per person

Paddleboard & Kayak Lessons – $50 person

Here is a sample of some great reviews we found —

1.  Amazing tour-went kayaking with Ben from AMI this afternoon – he was wonderful – very knowledgeable about the local area and fun to be with! Highly recommend using AMI paddle and kayak rentals when visiting Anna Maria island or Holmes. Would definitely do again.

2. Enjoyable kayak and paddle boarding tripWe had a great time on an 11 am mangrove tour. Our guide Ben was informative, friendly, and helpful. I received many useful tips standing on and moving around the paddleboard. It was an excellent experience for a beginner. The water is shallow enough that the threat of falling in was no concern. The mangrove tunnel portions added plenty of variety to the scenery. Just a fun and relaxing trip that was absolutely worth taking.

3. SUP AMILovely paddleboard session around the Neal Preserve at 9am on Christmas Eve. The guide Ben and I had the area to ourselves and all was peaceful and quiet. The shallow water meant that we were able to see any critters clearly and I was thrilled to see a starfish as well as horseshoe crabshells and lots of birds including roseate spoonbills. Highly recommend it.

Learn more about AMI PADDLEBOARD in the video below …

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