A Huge Thank You To Judy & Jerome For Their Awesome Review!!!!

Don’t come here, I want it all to myself.
Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals – 601 Gulf Dr N, Bradenton Beach, FL, 34217, United States
Well obviously we liked it well enough to rebook after two days at home. We have rented a lot of properties both here and in Europe, and I must say that this was the most well equipped of any we have ever had. The kitchen is beautifully done, with high quality cabinets, new appliances and about all the equipment you would need. I had a chuckle when in the description, Terry said that if there was some special utensil you needed, bring it from home. I don’t think so, though I only cooked two meals while I was there. The condo is very comfortable, the beds are Terrific!! and the sofas in the living room are great to curl up on. And there is more storage space than we have at our own condo! We were there 10 days, and we saw 9 glorious sunsets. Try to beat that! Aside from the great accommodations, the main reason we are re-upping is the location. It truly can’t be beat, especially if you are managing without a car which we were and will be. There are at least 4 don’t miss restaurants (I am a foodie) and several others where you can catch a decent lunch or dinner without breaking the bank. And the AMI trolley stops outside your front door. And Bridge Street is six short blocks away for fun shopping, nothing serious. And Publix, which I found to be quite a good supermarket is but a trolley ride away. If you have too much to carry, call the Beach Monkey..Free, just give them a nice tip. Are you convinced? I hope not because I want to come back and come back!!
My Response:
Hi Judy, Thank you for the awesome review. Our condo is our pride and joy. We continually invest thousands of dollars in upgrades every year and we are thrilled you enjoyed them. We are really looking forward to having you as our guests again next year as well. You are a pleasure to work with. Thank you again for being our guests. Sincerely, Terry, Sandy & Family
For the latest up to date news, events, special offers, things to do and more continue to follow our blog @ Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals/Blog

Island Players Live Theatre-Anna Maria Island

Come out for a fun night at the Theatre – time is running out, but some tickets still available for the remaining dates

BEYOND A JOKE ~ by: Derek Benfield

Directed by: James Thaggard

January 11– 28, 2018
Where – The Island Players, Inc.
Phone: 941 778-5755  

A comedy …

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

Preview–People have a habit of dying at Jane and Andrew’s country house!

Six people have died suddenly while working at Jane and Andrew’s country house in England. Unfortunate and embarrassing accidents, but when their daughter Sally brings home her fiancé Geoff for the weekend things get really confusing. Is Jane and Andrew’s pleasant country house accident prone or is some suspicious activity going on? Geoff mixes up overheard conversations and mistakenly concludes that the deaths were not accidents but murders. Hysteria takes over when the body count goes up and a body is discovered in the cupboard. Then a visiting vicar passes peacefully away in the garden. Unexpectedly, Geoff’s parents call and for appearances Jane and her sister-in-law persuade Andrew to hide evidence. Geoff begins to think maybe the deaths were just accidents and helps them move the bodies in wheelbarrows. But, he is unaware that one of the bodies has been mistakenly stowed in the trunk of his parents’ car.

If you need a little laughter in your life — and who doesn’t? – come out to see The Island Players Theatre presentation of Beyond a Joke.

Some helpful information about The Island Players Theatre  …

Founded in 1949, The Island Players, Inc. is an organization dedicated to providing artistic experiences for the communities of Anna Maria Island through the presentation of stage productions.

The Island Players Theatre is located in the Old Community House on the corner of Gulf Drive and Pine Avenue in the city of Anna Maria on the North end of Anna Maria Island.

There are 137 seats in the theatre in tiered rows (stadium seating). There are 4 chairs on the right side of the theatre and 2 chairs on the “fireplace” side, giving a total seating capacity of 143.

Tickets are $20 (US) per performance for season’s five primary plays.

Food and beverages not allowed in the theatre.

Tickets may be purchased in person at the Box Office


by phone – (941) 778-5755

Regular show performances are: Tuesday through Saturday evenings at 8:00 pm Sunday matinees @ 2:00 pm

*Additional information available on their website —  theislandplayers.org

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

Palma Sola Botanical Garden

Just a ten minute drive from Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals – 601 Gulf Dr. N. Anna Maria Island, Florida 34217
Palma Sola Botanical Garden is a ten acre botanical garden at the end of a residential area in the heart of NW Bradenton. It is designed around three ponds with two attractive “Old Florida style buildings” as well as several nice gazebos. There is an enclosed picnic pavilion, a small playground for children and lovely shelled walkways and bench areas.

Not an overly large park, it is a great place to walk along the paths running throughout the sculptured gardens that show off rare palm trees, fruit and flowering trees and a butterfly garden. You can relax with your lunch and a good book and enjoy nature while sitting beside one of the three sizeable ponds. We saw some very unusual things including, native and tropical plants, a succulent garden, lotus pond and an exotic fruit tree section. There is a nice gazebo near one of the ponds with an attractive bridge that connects the rare fruit tree area to the back of the park. The rare and unusual tree exhibit is one Palma Sola Botanical Garden’s major attractions. There is a post beside each tree that identifies what it is.

Two outstanding finds for us, the Screw-Pine from Madagascar and ceiba which was blooming beautifully.

All the Buildings are modern and well maintained. The Galleria is an educational and administrative building and on a large green space is the Baden Building. The Baden Building, a reception/multipurpose building for small group gatherings, weddings, public events and festivals. It is also host to several events throughout the month, such as yoga, plant sales, antique sales and kids events.

PALMA SOLA BOTANICAL PARK is a private, non-profit foundation. Funds to keep the park open come from individual donations and the rental of on-site facilities. Also insuring this Park remains open are Volunteers from the community that help with planting, trimming and maintenance as well as helping at the events that the Park holds.

Open from 8:00 AM until sunset.

There are not any paved paths or a visitor Center. The Park has an adequate parking lot with Public restrooms and water fountains.

Entry to the Park is FREE and it is pet friendly.

This community Botanical Park is terrific. Bring your lunch and enjoy the day!

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

Florida State Fair

The Florida State Fairgrounds once again will soon come alive for its premiere event, bringing livestock shows, entertainment and more to the Tampa Bay area.The Florida State Fair is held annually at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa.

Date: February 8 – 19, 2018
Phone: 813-621-7821
The 2018 Florida State Fair brings 12 Days of Fun, featuring rides, amazing agricultural exhibits featuring over 5,000 animals, excellent craft show and a great variety of fantastic food. It includes indoor and outdoor exhibits allowing the state to showcase its agricultural industry.
A great place for history lovers is the Cracker Country living history museum. You will see original structures dating from 1870 to 1912, including homes, a general store, railroad depot, print shop and more. The Museum offers a look of what it was like for those living in rural Florida communities before the turn of the 20th century.
Agricultural buffs will not want to miss the Fair’s pavilions which showcase the state’s agriculture industry. Come see the cattle that roam Florida’s prairies to the fruits and vegetables that provide food for the nation.
For the little ones, Paw Patrol and Rusty Rivets will be at the Fair!
The Fair also showcases great games, awesome Midway rides, superior shopping, cultural exhibits and FREE entertainment with admission.

Today, Monday, January 15, 2018 is Half Price Hook Up.

Purchase an unlimited ride all day armband today for just $17.50, good any one day of the 2018 Fair, February 8-19. Hook up quantities are limited and will sell out, so buy now.

Thursday, February 8, 2018 is Opening Day/Heroes’ Day when military and first responders receive FREE admission to the Fair for them AND three family members.
Buy your tickets in advance and receive a significant savings.

For more information go to www.floridastatefair.com 

Just a one hour drive from Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals – 601 Gulf Dr. N. – Anna Maria Island, Florida 34217

Be sure to check their Facebook page where they will be announcing flash sales.

Fun and excitement for all ages! See you there!

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


In recent years Anna Maria Island has become a traveler’s paradise. It is known for its Old Florida charm and The Rod & Reel Pier is one of the most renowned Anna Maria Island Restaurants. As you take your first step on the pier planks you can feel the history and see the true beauty of the Island that surrounds you. With spectacular views of the Gulf of Mexico, Anna Maria’s beautiful beaches and the Sunshine Skyway Bridge all that is left is enjoying a great meal in a most relaxing atmosphere.

Enjoy a free trolley ride from Anna Maria Island condo rental – 601 Gulf Dr. N. – Anna Maria Island, Fl 34217 all the way to the north end of the island to the restaurant every local refers to as the best restaurant on Anna Maria Island “The Rod & Reel Restaurant”

The Rod and Reel Pier is a one of Anna Maria Islands hidden treasure dining experiences. It is located on the North end of the Island in the City of Anna Maria on one of the oldest fishing piers in the United States. Built in 1947, it serves hundreds of thousands of visitors each year serving traditional fare, local favorites and famous fish specials.  The Rod & Reel Pier was recently renovated and is a two story building directly out on the Gulf of Mexico. Experience the appeal of not just dining near the water, but over the water where the pier extends into the Gulf. The views are phenomenal with indoor and outdoor seating. Dining on the quaint covered outside deck will give you a true Old Florida experience. Downstairs there is a casual unique bar serving beer and wine.

An Island favourite to many locals and tourists, there is often a wait to be seated so go early and catch a view of dolphin, Manatee or stingray. Or, enjoy watching people fish off the dock, they are always pulling something out of the water.

The Rod & Reel is best known for its casual dining for the whole family serving freshly cooked American fare. It offers a great selection, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. The unique location and stunning view is matched by its menu, which features a diverse selection of traditional Southern favourites, such as crab cakes, jalapeño poppers, and onion rings. Other American classics (or versions of them), like the Grouper Reuben, steak and cheese sandwich, and the Pier Burger are also available. The main courses are local seafood, seafood, and more seafood – making perfect sense for a restaurant that’s essentially in the ocean. You can get a little bit of everything with the Seafood Combo, which includes Grouper, shrimp, and scallops either grilled, blackened, or fried. All seafood on the menu carries current market prices.

To top your wonderful dining experience, you can rent a fishing pole for a small fee, and fish right off the dock and walkways. If the sun is still high when you finish dinner, you might want to stick around for another unforgettable experience. Stay and enjoy the unobstructed view of the sun setting over the Gulf Mexico. If you are lucky you might even see the Green Flash.

Not sure what a Green Flash is?  I’ll save that for another blog.

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

There is a New Market in The Area

Gamble Creek Farm is a twenty-six acre farm in Parrish, Florida growing conventional hydroponic vegetables, certified organic vegetables and conventional row crops. It is operated by Eric Geraldson and his son Ryan Geraldson. The Geraldson family have been Manatee County farmers for several generations. The Chiles Restaurant Group manages and supports the farm, which supplies most of the fresh produce served at Chiles’ restaurants.  Chiles grows vegetables that will be picked in the morning and served later the same day at his restaurants. Two of the Chiles’ restaurants include the Sandbar and Beach House, both well known restaurants here on Anna Maria Island.

Read more here: //www.bradenton.com/news/local/article92383007.html#storylink=cpy

The public can not come to the farm and pick vegetables themselves, but in November 2017 Gamble Creek Farm opened a brand new farm stand, The Geraldson Farm Market.  Community inspired and open to the public, the market sells a rotating variety of produce such as lettuce, peppers, kale, collards, squash and herbs. Also sold are fresh picked fruits, such as apples, honeydew, oranges, kiwi, lemons and limes. They also sell eggs, locally made jams, jellies, honey and flowers. Bread day is Saturday and pies are available every day. With plans to grow their market, they will add more fresh, locally sourced and sustainable items including seafood, soups, salads, cheese and local meats. They also have future family friendly plans for the farm, which will include weddings, cooking classes, educational community events and group gatherings.

The Geraldson Farm Market is fun for the whole family offering farm tours and lots of wide open spaces for the kids to run. There is also plenty of parking.

The farm located at 14950 Golf Course Road, Parrish, is an approximately forty minute drive from Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals – 601 Gulf Dr. N. Anna Maria Island, Fl 34217,

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

Anna Maria Island - Beach House Restaurant

Anna Maria Island Beach House Restaruant

Sandbar Restaurant Anna Maria Island

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


Business people were concerned after a Dunkin Donuts and Baskin-Robbins ice cream shop opened in Holmes Beach on Anna Maria Island in 2017. Will a McDonald’s be next?

Anna Maria Island has always been home to mom and pop shops so the opening of chains opens up the floodgates to, what’s next? Chains want to come to our popular Island that over the last few years has become a year-round vacation spot. What people love most about Anna Maria Island is that Old Florida feeling you get when you visit. There isn’t a McDonald’s, Burger King or Starbucks on every street corner which suits property owners and visitors alike.

For years now people have been talking about the ‘if or when’ a McDonald’s will come to the Island. Rumours have been circulating recently about a McDonald’s opening at 699 Manatee Avenue, the site of a former Bank of America. Since the branch closed permanently December 5, 2017 speculation has been rampant about possible new tenants.

On December 20, 2017 three signs reading “McDonald’s Coming Soon” were found posted on the Bank of America site at the intersection of East Bay Drive and Manatee Avenue. One of the signs was posted facing East Bay Drive traffic, one faced Manatee Avenue West and another was on the turn lane for northbound motorists from East Bay Drive to access eastbound Manatee Avenue West and the Anna Maria Island Bridge.

Not long after sign sightings, the phones at the Holmes Beach city hall were ringing off the hook.  Holmes Beach Commissioner, Pat Morton said,  “it’s somebody’s idea of a joke and it’s not going to happen”. According to Holmes Beach code enforcement officer, Nate Brown, the signs were phoney and posted illegally and he confirmed that the property is not zoned for a restaurant.  From a distance the signs appeared authentic, but looking closely the signs were made of a thin paper covering old political signs from 2016 Forward Manatee. The signs have since been removed.

Gone for now is the excitement — negative or positive — spurred by the purportedly imminent arrival of the burger chain.

My opinion – NO McDonald’s, NO problem, the abundance of restaurants and food options on Anna Maria Island are endless.

We will not be disappointed if a McDonald’s is never built on Anna Maria Island. We, like others, enjoy the quiet Old Florida charm of our beloved Island.

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


I cause of great concern for Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals – 601 Gulf Dr. N. Anna Maria Island 34217 and the residents and tourist of Anna Maria Island is the Cortez Bridge.
When we vacation on Anna Maria Island we love to sit back, relax and enjoy the surrounding beauty.
Coming on or going off the island can be challenging at times. Turning onto Cortez Road or Manatee Avenue and then there you are, stopped. Looking ahead at the lineup of cars you see the Drawbridge starting to lift and you know you will be sitting there a while.
Some people say they don’t mind waiting on the bridge for the boats to pass. But, for those on vacation who plan to just quickly pick up a few things and get back to the Beach, waiting for the drawbridge can be frustrating. It looks like some relief has arrived.
The U.S. Coast Guard has reduced the number of bridge openings from three times to twice an hour at both the Anna Maria Island and Cortez drawbridges. Cortez Bridge, with a vertical clearance of 22 feet is on State Road 684.-Cortez Road. It spans the Intracoastal Waterway between the Village of Cortez and Bradenton Beach. The Anna Maria Island Bridge has a vertical clearance of 24 feet. It spans the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway connecting Perico Island to the East and Holmes Beach to the West.The Cortez Bridge near Bradenton Beach and Anna Maria Maria Island/ Manatee Avenue Bridge near Holmes Beach are now to be opened twice an hour instead of three times an hour from 6 a.m. until 7 p.m. On demand from boaters the bridge will open at 15 and 45 minutes after the hour, daily, on a year-round basis. Both bridges are required to open on signal from boaters from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. daily. As per federal regulations any Public vessels — those owned and operated by the U.S. government, including the Coast Guard— a vessel in distress or vessels with tows may request an opening at any time.The Cortez and Manatee Avenue bridges are tended and the openings are logged 24 hours a day, seven days a week.A lengthy process, bridge timing discussions originated in 2014.  Traffic and congestion have been frequent topics of discussion at the Island Transportation Planning Organization (ITPO) meetings. ITPO includes the Anna Maria, Bradenton Beach and Holmes Beach mayors, Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) representatives and others. The MPO and island mayors requested in February to reduce the number of bridge openings. They stated that the surge of traffic previously associated with winter and spring tourism is now year round.The changes to the drawbridge opening schedules approved by The Coast Guard and The Florida Department of Transportation, which owns and operates the bridges, took effect October 5, 2017. According to the ruling the change provides reasonable needs to both land transportation and water navigation.

While vehicle wait time has been shortened, boaters adjust to the new bridge time openings. Next time going off or coming on the Island you might try to avoid 15 and 45 past the hour. That is, unless you enjoy watching the boats lined up to pass under the bridge, which is be a truly beautiful site. It’s your vacation, we’ll let you decide.

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

Created by Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals

Anna Maria Island City Pier Restoration

ANNA MARIA CITY PIER – repurposing of the wooden pier planks:

In one of our recent blogs I wrote about the tearing down and rebuilding of the Anna Maria City Pier due to the extensive damage sustained from Hurricane Irma. The estimated date to re-open is 2019. In that blog I touched on what would happen to the wooden planks carved with names and remembrances. My thoughts were that they would be sold and people would line up to buy a piece of what remains of their pier. It appears we are not the only ones wondering what will happen to these memory pieces. We do know 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, it has not yet been decided what to do with the engraved planks once they are removed.

You might be wondering about the origin of the wooden planks? I was curious and after doing some research this is what I found out –The pier opened in 1911 and to launch it’s 100-year celebration the Islander newspaper and the Anna Maria City Pier restaurant sponsored the engraved wooden plank project. The total number of sold out planks installed was 1,000 with a base cost of $100 which included a 12-character inscription carved in the plank. The engraved plan sponsor, The Islander newspaper is said to have have received many calls and lots of people have contacted Pier management directly. Anna Maria Island mayor Dan Murphy created an e-mail address specifically for people to send in their suggestions and it has been reported that he received a great response. According to Mayor Murphy, there are three popular recommendations. 1. Returning the planks to the people who purchased them. 2. Building a boardwalk in the city. 3. Repurposing the wood inside the City Pier Restaurant when it reopens. According to Mayor Murphy the third option appears to be the most popular and he likes that option as well. He suggested the engraved planks could be used for paneling on the walls or to rebuild the bar. The Mayor will be bring the options to the city commission at the next city meeting scheduled for Nov. 9/2017.

What to do with the old planks is not the only question being asked. There have been concerns raised about what will replace them. The engineering firm hired for the pier project recommended using lumberock. A recent Islander poll conducted, respondents say they prefer wood planks. Lumberock has a longer lifespan than wood, but the city has not committed yet. If the city uses wooden planks they would have to be replaced sooner. I’m sure the initial cost of the lumberock is more, but if it lasts longer one I would guess that would more then offset the initial cost? This is just one of many decisions to be made in the approved rebuild plan, which is estimated to cost $5 million.

Although it may be cost prohibitive, I am presently in favour of repurposing the planks inside the restaurant. Stay tuned!

For the latest news, events, thing to do, special offer and more continue to follow our blog @ Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals/Blog-601 Gulf Dr. N. Bradenton Beach, Fl 34217

Created by Sandy Whyte