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New Non-Stop Routes from LONDON UK & HAMILTON, Ontario, CANADA to TAMPA

Travelling will be easier (and less expensive) for our guests from LONDON UK & HAMILTON, Ontario, CANADA as Tampa International Airport announces new non-stop routes and a new carrier.
For our London guests, the drive from Tampa International Airport to Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals – 601 Gulf Dr. N. Anna Maria Island, Florida 34217 is 1 hour verses 3 hours to Orlando International Airport. That 2 hours in time savings means you have already been to the supermarket, arrived at your condo, loaded up the refrigerator, unpacked and are now heading to the beach before your flight has even landed in Orlando.
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As Tampa International Airport recently announced a new, non-stop flight from Tampa to London on Norwegian Airlines we shouted “hooray! Beginning October 31, the direct route from Tampa Airport to London’s Gatwick Airport will operate twice weekly on Wednesdays and Saturdays. The Norwegian flights will fly out of Tampa at 10:50 p.m. Wednesdays, arriving in London at 10:45 a.m. Thursdays. On Saturdays, flights will leave at 10 p.m. with arrival in London at 9:55 a.m. Sundays. From London, the flights will leave Wednesdays at 2:55 p.m. to arrive in Tampa at 8:35 p.m., and on Saturdays at 2:05 p.m. to arrive in Tampa at 7:45 p.m.
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Norwegian Airlines boasts it is the world’s sixth largest low cost airline and is a great choice for budget conscious traveller looking for international flights. British Airways already flies daily between Tampa and Gatwick so now passengers will have a choice of two nonstop airlines to London. As of today’s date, I checked for a Tampa to London round trip on the same days in November and found Norwegian’s introductory air fares much lower on the outbound and return flights than on British Airways. Check for yourself, bookings are available online at Norwegian’s web site with some introductory one-way economy fares available.
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Tampa International Airport is also offering new nonstop flights to Canada via a new carrier, Swoop. As a subsidiary of West Jet, Canada’s second largest airline, Swoop, was formed in June of this year and is Canada’s first true ultra-low-cost carrier. Swoop announced in August its entrance into the United States market with five new international flight routes, including one for Tampa and one to Orlando. It began October 20 offering nonstop flights between Tampa, Florida and Hamilton, Ontario. The new routes are offered in three weekly services.
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As Canadians know, it is expensive for airlines to operate out of Toronto, therefore making air travel out of reach for some. For many people that have been driving to Buffalo, New York looking for less expensive airfare (yes we are among those) flying out of Hamilton is a great option and welcome news. Hamilton is such a great location, easy to reach from in or around the greater Toronto area. According to the director of research at the Tampa International Airport, working with Swoop has resulted in lower fares and greater competition which in the end benefits passengers. Today, I checked flights from Hamilton to Tampa and got unbelievable one-way fares of $119 Canadian dollars including taxes! Check out their low fares at flyscoop.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
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.
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NEW FLIGHTS TO SARASOTA-BRADENTON AIRPORT (SRQ)

With Low Fares to High Demand Destinations
The Sarasota/Bradenton International airport is one of my favourite airports. It is convenient, only 15 minutes from Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals-601 Gulf Dr. N. Anna Maria Island, Florida 34217, but that’s only one reason I love SRQ. This airport is so inviting with its friendly and welcoming staff. It is small, modern, clean, with comfortable seating and Free strong/super fast wi-fi. The airport is easy to navigate which for me completely takes away the dread associated with large airports. The baggage area is easy to find and the car rentals are in the same area. These last two are both very favourable considerations, especially if your vacation leave is only one week. Less time spent travelling, means more time spent enjoying the reason that you are here, your vacation.
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So what’s not to love about SRQ? Some travellers complain that there are very few airlines that fly into SRQ and those airlines that do, require a transfer or stopover along the way. The limited number of restaurants and stores and their early closing hours, with some not open on the weekends. Another complaint is that there are not enough low budget airlines to book flights with.
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Well, flying into the Sarasota/Bradenton airport (SRQ) just got easier as well as less expensive. Frontier Airline recently announced they will be offering direct, non-stop flights from Atlanta beginning December 10, 2018. Flights between Sarasota Bradenton International Airport and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport will be offered three times a week on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. As an added bonus to this already great news, Frontier is offering special introductory fares as low as $39 each way!
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This is the latest in a series of new destinations offered via budget airlines. Earlier this year, SRQ and Frontier announced new non-stop flights to Cleveland and to Philadelphia. Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport and Frontier Airlines will provide the service to Cleveland and Philadelphia beginning in December. The flights to Philadelphia International Airport begin on December 10, 2018 with flights offered Mondays and Fridays. In April of this year, Allegiant launched its first Sarasota routes, flying to Pittsburgh, Indianapolis and Cincinnati.
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Since the addition of Allegiant and Frontier to the airport this year, traffic numbers are increasing. According to airport authorities July saw a 30 percent increase in passenger traffic, with a 23 percent increase in June, and a 16 percent increase in May. So, what will SRQ do to keep up with this increased traffic flow? The airport authority has authorized the expenditure of $228,501, plus a 10 percent contingency, to install 148 more feet of baggage belt in three locations in the terminal. Also, airport officials are beginning to think about overflow parking this winter and the long-term possibility of adding a parking garage. With the growth of SRQ airport bringing in increased revenue to area businesses I’m sure we will be hearing news of many improvements over the next few years.
Recent Yelp Reviews —
  1. What a great airport! I always think the small ones have the best customer service, since they’re not nearly as busy as the large ones. This airport is super clean & that includes the bathrooms – which is always a plus! The women’s restrooms come with an additional shelf for your purse or bag – which is ALWAYS appreciated :)There’s a small selection of places to eat/drink past security. But it’s sufficient and does include a Starbucks! Gates have lots of charging stations in the seating area so you aren’t searching for a place to plug in (or have to sit on the floor in the corner). Ride-sharing is clearly labeled so if you need an Uber or Lyft it won’t be complicated to find where to go. And there are plenty of people waiting to pick you up so you won’t wait forever in the heat. Overall, I love flying in here – stress free & clean!
  2. It’s got everything you need for a tiny airport – 1 coffee shop & a restaurant before security and the same on the other side.  As someone who use to fly every week for 5 years, this little airport is growing but still super easy to get in and out of.  Only way to make it better would be the parking shuttles frequency but so long as it isn’t raining ya a very easy walk. Overall very clean and friendly airport
  3. Very small airport yet so simple. Time frame from entrance to boarding gate was about 40 minutes. Air mall is practically non existant. There is a Starbucks and one bar which included very little seating. Overall it went smoothly
  4. Tiny airport, no lounges, very limited eating and drinking options, but very helpful staff from check-in to boarding.
  5. This is a great airport, easy in and out. Now parking is even better since the addition of the covered area.
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.
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ANNA MARIA ISLAND RED TIDE UPDATE

Sandy and I walked the beach from the Moose Lodge to the Manatee Public Beach and back today, we walked for about 90 minutes and then sat on the beach for another hour. Was there a smell of red tide in the air? Yes. Was it a very slight smell? Yes. Did we cough once? No. Is the water a brown colour along the shoreline? Yes. Is it horrible? No. What did we witness? People enjoying the beach. Families with children enjoying the beach. Kids playing in the water and on the beach. People sunning themselves and sleeping on the beach. Jet skies and boats in the Gulf. Did we see one person regardless of age or gender covering their mouth and nose with anything? Not a chance. There were no news agencies on the beach looking for the biggest pile of dead fish and reporting from the scene because we did not see one dead fish in the water or on the beach. We did see a few dead crabs and one dead stingray. I guess good news is no news because they are no where to be found. We had to come up from the beach at 3:00pm because the rain moved in or we would still be out there now. Fortunately all these people and their families did not get the memo the world is coming to an end or they would have missed a beautiful day at the beach.

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A TASTE OF ABSINTHE — ART SHOW — THE DOCTOR’S OFFICE

You are invited to A Taste of Absinthe tomorrow, Friday August 17, 2018 at the Anna Maria Island Art League Gallery.
The Doctor’s Office is hosting an evening event featuring: Sips from The Doctor’s Office amazing absinthe fountain!

Dating back to the 19th century, the affectionate name given to the absinthe drink was The Green Fairy. Absinthe is a lost spirit with a rich history that is being rediscovered. Absinthe has long been associated with fun and sharing and Picasso, Van Gogh, Oscar Wilde and many other artists loved to consume it. Absinthe was so popular as part of the 19th century French culture that the wine industry worried about their loss of market share to absinthe. They created fake news and as a concession to winemakers it was made illegal through most of the 20th century. Absinthe became rehabilitated around 2000 as scientists downplayed the dangers of wormwood and liquor marketers could recognize a great marketing opportunity when they saw it.

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Absinthe is best served from an absinthe fountain. Today, absinthe fountains are appearing again, appealing to both veteran absinthe connoisseurs and to folks who have just discovered the charm of the Green Fairy.The fountains come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but they all perform the same function. Although, much more than just a decorative fountain, a true connoisseur will tell you that they help to unlock the beauty, power, effects and true taste of great absinthe. The fountain delivers a steady drizzle of ice-cold water into glasses of absinthe that are placed under the taps. Small slotted absinthe spoons containing sugar cubes are balanced on top of the glasses. The water from the tiny taps drip water over the sugar diluting the alcohol-rich drink and activating the botanicals in the absinthe. As the sugared water drips into the clear green absinthe it creates a swirling cloud bespeckled with twinkling crystals from the dissolving sugar. Centuries of absinthe protagonists swear to the presence of a green fairy dancing in the swirling, sparkling cloud. Many people have never tried absinthe, much less seen a real absinthe fountain.

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Join the Doctor’s Office and Anna Maria Island Art Gallery and share The Green Fairy while enjoying a unique experience of art and lifestyle. The whole experience is novel and one that I’m sure Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals guests will find most entertaining.

When: Friday, August 17, 2018
Where: Art League Gallery 5312 Holmes Blvd. Holmes Beach, FL
Time: 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm

Artwork by Anne Abgott
A display of the accomplished works by Anne Abgott, world-renowned artist
and best-selling author of Daring Color. Anne is a Canadian-born artist
who maintains her studio here in Cortez, Florida.
Sculptures by Woody Candish
A showing of two secret works by the Island’s most memorable and favorite
Island Son sculptor. These pieces have never been displayed before and both
are part of Sean Murphy’s private “Woody Collection”.

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The Doctor’s Office will treat attendees to bourbon punch, beer, wine,
light bites and teacup servings from the amazing Green Fairy absinthe fountain.
Donations for the Island Art League will be encouraged.

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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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.
*source The Doctor’s Office

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UPDATES ON ANNA MARIA ISLAND NEWS

Red tide – Most everyone is talking about it and there is some good news for those on Anna Maria Island.
Mote Marine Laboratory reported that as of 3 p.m. August 7th, conditions had improved at Manatee Public Beach and Coquina Beach, two popular public beaches on Anna Maria Island. At Manatee Beach, Mote reported the water was dark in colour and that beachgoers were reporting lessened amounts of respiratory irritation, but there was no red drift and only some dead fish on the beach.
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The south end of the Island at Coquina Beach the conditions had improved considerably with no signs of dead fish that were seen on Monday. There was almost no smell and the water appeared clear. Some families ventured onto the beach with their coolers and umbrellas some even slashing in the waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
Tuesday morning canals on Holmes Beach still saw an accumulation of dead fish, while the conditions on the Gulf side were much improved. Volunteers were seen cleaning the beaches removing dead fish and disposing of them.
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Red tide conditions were also better yesterday at the Rod and Reel Pier in the city of Anna Maria than they had been the previous day. There was lots of activity on the pier with diners and visitors fishing or enjoying the sunny day. Our friend who lives in Bradenton Beach was among those fishing and when we spoke to him last evening he told us he didn’t catch anything, but was happy to just cast his line into the water.
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Sea Turtles – As you walk along the shore line on Anna Maria you will see areas marked off where sea turtles have nested. Nesting season runs from May 1 to October 31 and this year a new record has been set with 507 nests being laid so far. So has red tide affected the hatchlings? According to executive director of Anna Maria Turtle Watch, Suzi Fox, because the hatchlings are surface swimmers they have done well. Fox says they race straight out to the weed line, often passing the red tide. It seems turtle disorientation is more of a concern. The hatchlings follow the light from the moon leading them to the water. Non-friendly exterior lights from along the beach disorient the hatchlings causing them to crawl inland rather than toward the sea.
When the hatchlings become disoriented they run around and lose the energy they need to swim. Especially during red tide these hatchlings need their energy to swim past the red tide. 
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Anna Maria City Pier Construction – If you have been following our previous blogs regarding about the Anna Maria City pier, closing in September 2017 due to damage cause from Hurricane Irma, the demolition in July of this year then you will be happy to know another piece of the pier puzzle is complete. All federal permits are in place as the city has received the approved Army Corps of Engineers permit needed to build a new city pier. Next is the bid proposals from construction companies interested in building the new pier.
When the reconstruction work is completed, the new pier and structures should look pretty much identical to the old. The new will include a 12-foot-wide by 683-foot-long pier with a 58-foot-long by 111-foot-wide T-head which will be home to a restaurant as well as a bait and tackle shop.
The projected date for construction for completion of the new pier is expected to be late 2020.
*A special thank you to our current guests from the UK Pat and Ginette O’Higgins for the daily red tide updates and photos*
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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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.
ANNA MARIA ISLAND AREA BEACHES

FLORIDA RED TIDE – WHAT IS IT & WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW 

Red tide is the result of a harmful algal bloom which generally occurs in late summer or early fall. Fortunately, Anna Maria Island does not often see severe outbreaks as the blooms occur in the South Western Gulf of Mexico and don’t always make their way into our region.
In most of the cases in Florida and the Gulf of Mexico the species is called Karenia Brevis or K. Brevis as it’s commonly known. The microscopic organism exists offshore throughout the year and It only becomes a problem when the algae blooms at high concentrations.
Red tide is not something new, records show red tide in Florida for decades.
Some people believe that pollution has made the situation worse, but there is no direct link. Florida red tides develop 10-40 miles offshore, away from man-made nutrient sources and were observed in the mid-1900s before the coastlines were heavily developed. The wind, currents, and weather are factors in transporting red tide inshore. Once red tides are inshore the blooms can grow using man-made nutrients. Some believe that harmful algae in the water discharged from Lake Okeechobee (a freshwater lake located in SW Florida) might have caused or worsened the situation, but scientists say that this is not true.
Florida red tide can discolor water a red or brown hue, but the water can also remain its normal color during a bloom.
Red tides can last as little as a few weeks or longer and can subside and then reoccur. Dissipation depends on many factors including, sunlight, nutrients, water temperature and water currents.
The Florida red tide organism produce toxins that can affect a variety of marine animals. The accumulation and persistence of brevetoxins in these marine animals and environments such as seagrass and sediment can eventually lead to the transfer of these toxins to larger animals, including sea turtles, birds and marine mammals.
Karenia Brevis can only survive in marine waters, but when waves crash onshore, the cells break open allowing the breveto cells produced to become airborne. When the K. Brevis is present and winds blow onshore some people experience tearing eyes, sneezing, runny noses, coughing or scratchy throats. Offshore winds usually keep respiratory effects experienced by those on the shore to a minimum. The Florida Department of Health advises people with severe or chronic respiratory conditions, such as emphysema or asthma, to avoid red tide areas.
Swimming during a Florida red tide is safe for most people. For some people, it can cause skin irritation and burning eyes. If you experience irritation, get out of the water and thoroughly wash off.
During a red tide it is safe to eat local finfish as long as the fish are filleted before eaten. Although toxins may accumulate in the guts of fish, these areas are disposed of when the fish are filleted. Shellfish bought in store or served in restaurants are safe to eat during a bloom because the shellfish are tested monitored by the government for safety. Any illegally harvested and unregulated shellfish are particularly dangerous and should never be consumed. The Florida red tide toxin can not be seen or tasted and cooking or freezing does not destroy the toxin.
The harmful effects of a red tide are caused when the organism dies and toxins are released. Control of Florida red tides by killing the red tide organism and eliminating toxins in the water while not harming the environment is a complex issue. Presently there is no practical or acceptable way to do this.
Florida red tide is a natural phenomenon, but it can be an unwelcome and inconvenient occurrence for vacationers. There are lots of things to do other than going to the beach. Here are a few suggestions:
-Shop local boutiques — Bridge Street on Bradenton Beach or Pine Avenue on Anna Maria
-Kayaking, Paddle boarding, jet skiing in Intercostal waterways not affected
-Visit Aquariums — Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium, Sarasota or South Florida Museum, Bradenton
-Art galleries on Anna Maria Island — Artists Guild Gallery, Studio at Gulf & Pine, Island Gallery West
-Walk, bike or bird watch at a nearby preserve — Robinson Preserve, Perico Preserve
-Rent or charter a boat
-Horseback riding
-golf, mini put, adventure and obstacle courses that are outside the reach of the airborne toxins
Any questions or for additional information please call us Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals
Links & Sources: 
Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission — myfwc.com
Mote Marine Laboratory Inc — mote.org
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.
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THE ROUNDABOUT WAY ON ANNA MARIA ISLAND WILL TRAFFIC SIGNALS BE OBSOLETE ?

 How do you feel about roundabouts?
There have been many debates on how roundabouts affect safety and how traffic flow is affected. Improved roads, safety, and better traffic flow are the results in mind for road reconstruction, I’m not sure all are achieved with a roundabout. In general, I am not an opponent of roundabouts. There are some that I avoid at all costs, and a few others that I navigate out of necessity, despite feeling uncomfortable every time I enter them.
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Presently, we have one roundabout on Anna Maria Island located in Bradenton Beach, but a recent traffic study by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) tells us more are planned. The Bradenton Beach roundabout is in the middle of the city, on Gulf Drive and Bridge Street. This very popular area of the Island built the roundabout in 1994, replacing a two-way stop.
Not everyone likes this Bradenton Beach roundabout. Some of their Longboat Key neighbours to the south are not at all happy with it. Longboat Key Mayor Spoll believes it bogs down Island traffic flow, causing traffic jams for drivers traveling north through his city and recently said he would like Bradenton Beach city leaders to remove it. Congestion is certainly a problem in this area. Travelling between Longboat Pass Bridge, on the north end of Longboat Key, and the Cortez Bridge, on the north end of Bradenton Beach, especially during the winter months, the travel congestion can be compared to that of a very bad nightmare.
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Bradenton Beach Mayor Chappie said the roundabout needs to stay in place to help keep pedestrians and motorists safe. He said the roundabout, with its yield signs and four crosswalks, helps to separate pedestrians from motorists, preventing accidents.
While I agree with Mayor Chappie that pedestrian safety features should be in place, I feel that unbearable traffic congestion needs to be addressed as well.
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With traffic backups on the island, The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is looking at adding roundabouts as part of its Barrier Island Traffic Study. These roundabouts would improve island traffic flow. Three roundabouts on Anna Maria Island have been proposed, one at East Bay Drive and Manatee Avenue which would include removing the traffic signal, another at the intersection of Palm/Marina-Key Royale Drive, in Holmes Beach and the third one for northbound motorists on Gulf Drive at Cortez Road in Bradenton.
Roundabouts may not be the answer to all the Island traffic issues, but the elimination of traffic signals as planned in the barrier island traffic study would be a real benefit when not having to wait for power to be restored during a storm, hurricane or evacuation. 2017 Hurricane Irma is a strong reminder of that.
Now for a few facts as sourced 7/18 from the Florida Department of Transportation
Benefits of Roundabouts
Roundabouts are increasingly becoming more popular due to the benefits that they provide. These benefits include dramatic reductions in serious injury and fatality crashes as well as reductions in delay for road users. Benefits of modern roundabouts have been shown to occur in both urban and rural areas under a wide range of traffic conditions.
The Federal Highway Administration designated roundabouts as one of nine proven safety counter measures. Roundabouts provide a number of benefits as described below:
Safety
• Fewer crashes, 90% fewer fatalities and 75% fewer injuries
• Fewer severe crashes
• 10 to 40% fewer pedestrian/bicycle crashes
• Roundabouts are safer for beginner and elderly drivers
• Can be used in multiple road intersections
Time Savings 30 to 50% increase in traffic capacity for intersection, less delay waiting at stops and signals
Environmentally Friendly
• Reduces pollution (from cars not waiting at traffic signals), reduces noise, reduces fuel consumption
• Roundabout islands can be landscaped with native plants and trees
• Roundabouts generally take less land than traditional intersections as they don’t require turning lanes
Saves Money
• Without traffic signals, no cost for traffic signals and yearly maintenance
• Intersection still operates in power outages, no need for police to direct traffic
• Roundabouts can help  improve sales at nearby businesses across the country as more people can walk or easily drive to locations compared to traditional intersections
• Can act as a marker to a business or downtown district
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My question is, will these proposed roundabouts on Anna Maria Island eliminate delays allowing vehicular traffic to move quicker in congestion areas while providing safe conditions for pedestrians?
The third phase of the FDOT’s Barrier Island Traffic Study begins this fall with completion expected in Spring 2019. According to DOT projects such as roundabouts typically take 1-3 years to complete.
Whether we agree or disagree there may be no way ‘round it. Traffic signals on Anna Maria Island could become obsolete as discussions go round and round.
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.
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ONE PLANK REMOVED & ANNA MARIA CITY PIER IS ONE PLANK CLOSER TO REBUILD

Nine months ago today, Hurricane Irma whipped through the state of Florida leaving behind countless, unwelcome memories. While most areas in Florida were spared catastrophic damages, the historic 678 foot Anna Maria City Pier built in 1911 did not fare so well. Days following Hurricane Irma, the pier was deemed unsafe and closed to the public. The tin roof was torn off the bait shop and there was significant damage to the restaurant and to the wooden planking. An engineering assessment was completed and in October 2018 the city commission voted for the City Pier to be torn down and rebuilt from scratch. At that time the new 4.5 million dollar pier, bait shop and restaurant re-opening date was slated for late 2019.
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Demolition discussions have been ongoing and on Wednesday, June 6, 2018 a contract with Speeler & Associates was signed. According to Anna Maria Mayor Murphy work is to begin shortly and the contract calls for the demo to be completed on or before September 30. If you’re planning a visit to the pier you can expect to see the pier fenced off with barge-based cranes positioned at the end of the pier.
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As for the plank removal, local contractor Frank Agnelli and his crew from Agnelli Pools Ned Construction and Mason Martin Builders are scheduled to begin pulling the engraved pier planks in late June. For those who formally requested their plank be returned, it has been reported that pick-up will begin on July 2nd. The planks can be picked up at Anna Maria City Hall, 10005 Gulf Drive. Any unclaimed planks will be stored and used to build memorial walls at City Pier Park and in the historical park near the Anna Maria Island Historical Society Museum.
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The Anna Maria City Pier was an attraction on its own and the vast majority of the people who visited the pier never even entered the restaurant. With breathtaking views of Tampa Bay you could enjoy a stroll any time of the day or watch a spectacular Florida sunset. The Anna Maria City Pier was always a favourite gathering place for locals galore and a place where it was easy for tourists to feel welcome. Whether you were fishing, having a drink at the bar, shopping for jewelry or listening to live music at night, the pier holds a special meaning to so many.
For now, all we can do is watch as the old planks are removed with anticipation and a vision of walking on the brand new planks in 2019 and envision the what the new city pier will look like.

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 – 601 Gulf Dr. N. Anna Maria Island, Florida 34217*
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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.
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SEARCHING FOR PINK FLAMINGOS IN FLORIDA

Since buying our first condo in 1995 on Anna Maria Island, I have formed a mental image of seeing a wild flamingo. The flamingo is one of Florida’s famous trademarks and even today I still hold that image and think that by some miracle I will see a flamingo flying overhead or prancing nearby on one of our beach walks. Realistically, I know Flamingos are actually quite rare in the Sunshine State of Florida, although they did once inhabit the southernmost point of Florida about a century ago. Now they can only be seen at zoos and conservation areas. Although, recently reported on Feb. 21, 2108 in a paper published in the journal, the Candor, a team of South Florida researchers made the case that the conventional scientific wisdom of almost a century is wrong. They say, Florida in fact has flamingos – real birds, not the plastic kind. Until we know more,  I will suggest one place in our area to go see a real flamingo and that is Sarasota’s Jungle Gardens (about a 20 minute drive from Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals – 601 Gulf Dr. N. Anna Maria Island, Florida 34217

After giving up my arduous search of a pink flamingo, I did get to see some true Florida pink birds, the Roseate Spoonbills at nearby Robinson Preserve. The roseate spoonbill is a large wading bird and just as pink as a flamingo. Not as tall or as svelte as the flamingo, their body is similarly light pink with an almost coral hue and the tips of their wings are a bright reddish pink. While the flamingo has a distinct down turned black bill the spoonbill’s bill is shaped like a long spoon. Both the flamingo and the spoonbill are social animals and live in large groups. On our hike through the preserve we found some spoonbills in a shallow muddy area and watched them “fish” underwater with their spoon shaped bill to catch insects and crustaceans.

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We have found Robinson Preserve a great place to see the Roseate Spoonbills in Florida, specifically in the Anna Maria Island area. The best place to see spoonbills is on the 2.1 mile trail which is appropriately named “Spoonbill Trail” and where we found spoonbills looking for their dinner. While walking through the preserve, you’ll enjoy some of the best birding on Florida’s Gulf Coast, no matter the time of day. With trails for hikers, cyclists, and paddlers to explore, this family-friendly preserve is an excellent coastal destination. A variety of birds and wildlife can be seen throughout the preserve with its 637 acres of preserved coastal wetlands.

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I do not consider myself to be a true bird watcher, I do not know the names of many of the birds I see, but I do get excited when I sight some of the beautiful, unique birds that inhabit this area. I was especially excited to see these flamingo look-a-likes on our recent trip and couldn’t wait to tell our family and friends. Whether you are a true birder or someone like me that enjoys nature, Robinson Preserve with around 100 species of birds is a great place for Florida bird-watching. And, maybe one day my image will become a reality and I will see a Pink Flamingo!

Robinson Preserve is located at — 1704 99th St. NW, Bradenton, FL 34209

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.