anna-maria-island-city-pier

LATEST UPDATE –  REBUILDING ANNA MARIA CITY PIER 

News just in from “The Islander” newspaper — Work on the Anna Maria City Pier will commence in May 2018. All work should be completed by December 2019.

Such great news for local Islanders and tourists alike! Looks like we will be walking on the iconic Anna Maria City Pier before the end of 2019. The view from the Anna Maria Island City Pier is a picture-perfect snapshot.The pier draws thousands each year and takes us back to the pictures, many years ago when people first arrived on the island and they came to this pier. I can’t count the number of times our family visited the Pier, sometimes just to walk, sometimes for lunch or dinner.  One thing our visit always included was the “family photo shoot”. The Pier is such a popular site. We have been so fortunate over the years to meet people from all over the world, but not this year 🙁

The 678 foot pier built in 1911 was already scheduled for renovations when it suffered major damage from Hurricane Irma in September 2017.   Fortunately most of Anna Maria Island sustained little damage from Irma, but the waves and wind made a mess of the foundation and decking at the historic Anna Maria City Pier. The roof was torn off the bait shop and there was significant damage on the northwest side to the wooden planking. In the days following the hurricane an inspection of the pier was done and it was deemed unsafe and  closed immediately. It was unclear at that time when the City Pier and its restaurant would re-open to the public.

anna-maria-island-city-pier

According to the VP of project engineering firm Ayre Associates, the firm in charge of rebuilding the pier, demolition will begin early May 2018 with a completion date of early September 2018. The planks part of the decking will be removed around May 15, 2018. After removal, the engraved planks that were part of the decking will be used to build a custom fence on the perimeter of City Pier Park and at the Anna Maria Island Historical Society. Work on the platform is expected to begin in late August 2018 and work on the restaurant is set to begin in April 2019.

As for the buildings on the pier, a decision has been made on the siding and meetings are underway to discuss changes to the restaurant area. Any changes will not alter the look as Anna Maria Mayor Dan Murphy has stated that the design and architecture will look exactly the same as it does today.

The new pier should reopen by the end of 2019. I think most will be happy with the decision to keep the look the same; no one wants their image of the 100 year old City Pier to change. The only change anyone wants to see is the removal of the large signs that read, NO TRESPASSING – PIER CLOSED.

The countdown is on … approximately… 597 days until we see …. ANNA MARIA CITY PIER OPEN!!

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

LOOKING FOR A CULINARY AND HISTORICAL TOUR?

Book a WALKING & HISTORICAL TOUR OF BRADENTON, FLORIDA with Taste Dining & Travel.
Located just a twenty minute drive from Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals – 601 Gulf Dr. N. Anna Maria Island, Fl 34217.
Tuesday or Thursdays enjoy a walking tour of downtown Bradenton and see some of its historic neighbourhoods. Combined with visits to some popular and unique restaurants makes for a fantastic day!
Here’s what you can expect… The walking tour is 1.5 miles so dress appropriately, rain or shine and wear comfortable shoes. You will receive food from each restaurant, included in price.  Price also includes non-alcoholic beverages. A beer is provided at Motorworks. Gluten and vegan dietary restrictions are not available.
Tour #1 on Thursday @ 1:00 pm sharp. Explore The Village of the Arts which is a charming mix of art, galleries, specialty shops and restaurants in houses built from 1920 to 1930. Full of interesting and uniques finds in these early 20th century bungalows add an interesting touch to this quaint community. You will enjoy cuisine sampling’s at Arts & Eats Restaurant, Ortygia and Sugar Cubed.
Meet at the Motorworks Brewing-1014 9th Street West, Bradenton, FL in the beer garden. Cost is $45 which includes brewery tour and a craft beer.
Tour #2 on Tuesday @ 1:00 pm sharp. Explore Old Main Street, a rivertown with an energizing history. See the classic buildings that have endured for more than a century, a 1926 shopping arcade and Carnegie Library. At The Fish and Sage Biscuit Cafe sample some of the chef’s specialties.
Meet at the South Florida Museum at 201 10th Street West, Bradenton, FL for a tour which is a $19 value and finish with desserts served by Sugar Cubed artisan bakery.
Cost is $55
Reservations are a must for all tours and must be paid prior to your tour. Call Taste Dining & Travel 941-366-7950 or visit their website www.tasteweb.net
 
TripAdvisor Reviews
1. During our tour, we visited several studios/galleries and three local, privately owned restaurants — all stops were fantastic! We enjoyed food samples from Arts and Eats, as well as Ortygia and Sugar Cubed. Each sampling was unique and outstanding! Our tour concluded at Motorworks Brewery with a beer (included in the tour price) and a behind-the-scenes brewery tour. Neal Finelli, with Taste Magazine, put together an amazing tour and provided a memorable afternoon. Looking forward to joining another tour in the near future!

2. Tour #1 is the Artistic Foodie Tour offered on Thursdays. A group of 8 of our friends just completed this wonderful outing. Our friendly and knowledgeable guides escorted us on a scenic walking tour of the Village of the Arts, introduced us to local shop owners and included plenty of photo ops. The outstanding food and beverages were generous in amount, creatively presented, well-balanced in flavor, and the chefs were very attentive and engaging. This Foodie tour is a true value, well worth the price of admission!

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

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

Anna Maria Island-Top Ten Seaside Towns

ANNA MARIA ISLAND NAMED IN “TOP 10” HAPPIEST SEASIDE TOWNS 2018 By Coastal Living Magazine 

Top 10 Nominees – Anna Maria Island FL, Bellport NY, Bluffton SC, Cambria CA, Cannon Beach OR, Cape Charles VA, Hampton Beach NH, Ocean City NJ, Traverse City MI, Vero Beach FL

To choose the 2018 finalists, nominations were called via social media. Then Coastal Living looked at their rank on the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, percentage of clear and sunny days, healthiness of beaches, commute times, walkability, crime ratings, standard of living and financial well-being of locals, geographic diversity, and Coastal Living editors’ assessment of each town’s “coastal vibe.” The result is an all-star list for 2018 from coast to coast! (Previous winners were not eligible.)

Anna Maria Island was in fourth place spot in the week leading up to the polling closed. I voted as often as they would allow, I sure hope it was enough!

I am one of the many “happiest people” when I’m on the Seaside Town of Anna Maria Island, so the results won’t change anything for me. But, it sure is nice to see Anna Maria Island named in the Top 10. Whether the result is first or tenth anyone living or visiting Anna Maria Island already know the “Happiness in Paradise’ feeling you get while you are there.

The final rankings will be revealed online Tuesday, June 12, 2018. Will Anna Maria Island be declared the happiest seaside town in the United States? We will have to wait a few months to find out. Stay tuned, I will post the results as soon they’re in.

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 

Anna Maria Island - Beach House Restaurant

OLIVE OIL OUTPOST-Anna Maria Island

One of my favourite shops to visit, the Olive Oil Outpost is so much more than olive oil! This wonderful little shop has a beautiful selection of wine, cheese, infused oils and balsamic vinegars of all different flavours. I have bought some of the most awesome lemon balsamic and coconut balsamic vinegar.

Located at 401 Pine Ave, Anna Maria, FL 34216, USA and just a short trolley ride from Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals – 601 Gulf Dr. N. – Anna Maria Island, Florida 34217.

One visit I found some Himalayan salt, artisan pasta, honey and Ethiopian coffee. At this unique shop you can expect to find everything from, jellies, organic products, artisan pasta, a coffee bar and various gift items.

They also bring in fresh fruit – locally picked strawberries were just coming in when we went last time, and they’re the best I’ve ever had! They regularly stock limes, lemons, onion, squash, and the biggest best green peppers.

As for cheese, seems like every time I go there has been a great selection of cheese out for tasting. And an olive bar. Loads of pasta and sauces and condiments.

When you don’t feel like cooking they have whatever you need for a fabulous meal. Pick up some cheese, local pickles, bread, oranges, honey and don’t forget the wine. Makes for an easy and delicious meal!

We have enjoyed the wine tastings here. Friendly and informative. The wine is usually from one or two places, mostly Italy, but not all. The owners come and discuss their wineries and the wines. They also provide a few trays of tasty small bites for sampling. bar is good and reasonably priced. Very enjoyable low key approach.

Friday is bread day and they have all kinds, ciabatta, Tuscan rounds and rings, semolina, baguettes, focaccia, tomato bread, almond ring, pepperoni rolls and more! The order sometimes gets delayed because they travel to a bakery in St. Petersburg to bring it back fresh.

Depending on the traffic they are sometimes later getting back to the Island. If you come after 1:00 PM it should be there and there should be lots. Trust me, it is worth the wait!

Added attractions: Outside areas to sit and on chilly nights a separate seating area around a fire pit!  Ice water with lemon inside and very friendly service.

This place is just wonderful! A little gem right here on Anna Maria Island with friendly staff offering great products that are reasonably priced. Doesn’t get any better than that!

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


WATER TAXI SERVICE DELAYED, BUT COMING SOON …

In October Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals – 601 Gulf Dr. N. – Anna Maria Island, Florida 34217 wrote, The Sarasota Bradenton Ferry water taxi service will be launching in early 2018. It has now been announced the project has been delayed. We anticipate the launch will take place mid 2018 and promise to keep you updated.

The service will connect downtown Sarasota and downtown Bradenton to Bradenton Beach. The drive between Sarasota and Bradenton Beach (Anna Maria Island) can take approximately 40 minutes without traffic, but the commute by water is expected to take just 28 minutes. With the approval by all three cities in 2017, Captain Sherman Baldwin, owner of Paradise Boat Tours in Bradenton is ready to provide this innovative service. Unfortunately, a Bradenton Beach floating dock is delaying this long-awaited water taxi service.

Sarasota Bradenton Ferry is all ready to launch its 149-passenger high speed catamaran. The docks from the 10th Street Pier at Centennial Park in downtown Sarasota and the Bradenton Riverwalk in downtown Bradenton have been secured. The installation of the Bradenton Beach floating dock to unload and load passengers at the Historic Bridge Street Pier is the only thing holding the project back. Lenders will not release the ferry until all three docks are cleared for use. So until Bradenton Beach gets its dock in place this service is docked so to speak.

The Bradenton Beach dock contractor, Technomarine were to begin work in September 2017, butte active  hurricane season put them behind. We were in Bradenton Beach when Hurricane Irma swept through the area which gives us a better understanding of the delay. Installation of the dock is now scheduled for February 2018.

This long term project becoming a longer term project has work commuters, locals and tourists waiting a little longer. One thing we are sure of is that this long-awaited water taxi service will be worth the wait.

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


UPDATE ON ANNA MARIA CITY PIER – repurposing of the wooden pier planks

In one of my recent blogs, I wrote about the tearing down and rebuilding of of the Anna Maria City Pier due to extensive damage sustained from Hurricane Irma. The estimated date to re-open the Pier is 2019. In that blog, I questioned, what would happen to the wooden planks carved with names and remembrances?

We know that the planks that currently line the Anna Maria City Pier will be removed and replaced as part of the city’s plan to rebuild the pier, but what would happen to these personalized planks? Since Hurricane Irma swept through the state of Florida in September 2017 many people have asked the same question. I thought that the planks would be sold and people would line up to buy a piece of what remains of their pier.

Well, a decision has been made and my guess was wrong. On January 5, 2018 the Anna Maria city commissioners approved Mayor Murphy’s proposal. The decision made is to use the 1,100 engraved planks in making a custom fence on the perimeter of City Pier Park and at the Anna Maria Island Historical Society. Anyone that sponsored a plank can request to have it returned. Requests will be received by the City of Anna Maria until January 26, 2018.

The proposal included an offer from an Anna Maria Island contractor, Frank Agnelli, who offered to pull up and store the planks for free until they are used to build the new fence. Kudos to Frank Agnelli as the City had received estimates of $50,000. to pull the planks up. What a wonderful and charitable thing for Mr. Agnelli to offer to do.

The fence project will take approximately one year at an estimated cost of $10,000. Obviously, and understandably, the pier will take much longer, the contractor Ayer Associates are allowed sixty-two to eighty-two weeks to rebuild.

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


SYMPHONY ON THE SAND ON ANNA MARIA ISLAND

A Musical Event in the Key of the Sea — SYMPHONY ON THE SAND

The 5th annual Symphony on the Sand is a celebration of the music and art of the island. A musical and gourmet event hosted by the Anna Maria Island Concert Chorus & Orchestra is a one-night concert taking place at Coquina Beach on Saturday, November 11th, 2017, at 4:30pm.
With a golden sunset as the backdrop and sand between your toes, the Symphony on the Sand is the perfect way to spend your day at the beach. The event features live music performances and a sand sculpture competition. Catered food from local restaurants including Beach House Restaurant, Coquina Cafe, Harry’s Continental Kitchen and two others will add to your experience Whether it’s the grand symphony or a soloist serenading you with their instrument, the musical performances are always truly inspirational.
Enjoy an elegant evening on picturesque Coquina Beach featuring three hours of fine food and music provided by the island’s own 45-piece orchestra, Anna Maria Island Concert Chorus & Orchestra. Noted local soloists, supported by a professional chorus will provide local talent.
Pricing for official events varies depending on the different types of tables. There will be open seating for blanket and beach towel lovers, VIP dining tables and VIP corporate sponsor seating areas.
All tickets must be purchased in advance from the Anna Maria Island Concert Chorus & Orchestra website.
Sponsors and $125 VIP ticket holders enjoy complimentary wine, select beer, and access to luxury restrooms exclusive for VIP table guests. Patrons, VIP Corporate and Table Sponsors are seated on the beautiful white sand overlooking the Gulf of Mexico while musicians perform renowned selections of international and American musical compositions, with the famed Anna Maria Island sunset as a backdrop. Bring the family and introduce the children to Strauss and Mozart. The Orchestra will also perform popular American Classics, selections from famous Operas, Broadway productions and movies, plus selections honoring our courageous veterans.

Saturday, 11/11/2017 SYMPHONY ON THE SAND, 4:30 pm – 7:30 pm
$125 – Ticket/Person Includes: Table Seating (at table of 10) with delicious small plates by area restaurateurs, complimentary fine wine and select beers
$50 – Ticket/Person Includes: Concert Chair with 2 drink vouchers per ticket & concessionaire food purchase options
$20 – Ticket/Person Includes: General Admission bring your own seating with cash bar & concessionaire food purchase options
VIP Sponsorship opportunities available, contact – www.SymphonyOnTheSand.com

If you are in the area and don’t have tickets, then walk out to our private beach access, turn left (south) walk along the beach (approximately 30 minute walk.)
Or, take the free Island trolley. Stop is out front of the condo on Gulf Drive and stops right at Coquina Beach (be sure to take the south bound trolley.)
Listen to the music accompanied by the gentle lapping of the waves and enjoy!

Symphony on the Sand is the perfect way to spend the day!

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This post was created by Terry Whyte


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