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EXPERIENCE BRIDGE STREET — BRADENTON BEACH, FLORIDA

While you are enjoying your vacation with Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals – 601 Gulf Dr. N. Anna Maria Island, Florida 34217  enjoy a few hours, the day or an evening on Bridge Street. Any day is a great day to visit Bridge Street and being only a five minute walk from your vacation rental you will probably visit more than once! From our condo you can walk south along Gulf Drive to the roundabout or, enjoy a beautiful stroll on the white sand beach of the Gulf of Mexico; when you reach the bright blue building “The Moose Lodge” you will know you have come to Bridge Street.
Anna Maria Island is known for its laid back Florida charm and as you walk along Bridge Street you will experience that feeling first hand.

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A little bit about Bridge Street …. Bridge Street is a walkable community with spectacular water views from the both the pier and the gulf beach. To the East at the end of Bridge Street, is the Pier which at one time was a wooden bridge and the only way on or off Anna Maria Island from the mainland. Now there is a beautiful fishing pier in place of the bridge with wonderful views of Sarasota Bay and Cortez. Historic Bridge Street is an active, beautifully landscaped street spanning from beach to bay where you will find minutes turn into hours, Shopping – Dining- or Playing. With no high-rise condos or shopping malls on Bradenton Beach, here on Bridge Street you will find quaint buildings with a mix of boutique style shops, restaurants and bars.
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The Pier is always a place we make a point to go. This pier is free and is nice to walk, to fish or watch others fish. You can rent fishing equipment and there is a fish cleaning stations with places for multiple rods. For those not wanting to fish there are places to sit in the shade with some old fashioned wooden swings at the end inviting you to sit and stay awhile. You will see lots of fish, we have often seen dolphin and there are pelicans and cormorants and many other types of birds as well. Just watching the boats pass by while the Cortez bridge goes up is so relaxing.
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Fish Hole Adventure Golf is home to our annual family golf outing. This unique miniature golf course is an old Florida fishing village themed course on Bridge Street. They have a ‘fish fact’ plaque at each hole and it is neat to read about the different type of fish. It has misters, which are really nice on a hot day. It is fairly priced and at the end you have a chance to win a free game which we have been lucky enough to do.

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Bridge Street Interiors – I absolutely love this store. This shop is deceiving, looks small from the outside, but once inside you will be surprised how much stuff is packed in. The store has lots of beautiful handcrafted jewelry, the best mermaid jewelry, home accessories, original prints, incredible wall art, scents, candles and tropical apparel.

They offer interior design services and are happy to help you with your decorating needs. Find a piece that won’t fit it in your luggage? That’s okay, they ship!I have been visiting this store for more than 25 years and purchased many treasures here. It is actually one of my favourite stores not just on Bridge Street, but in the whole Bradenton/Sarasota area.
Bridge Street Jewellers – a hidden treasure on Bridge this shop is definitely worth going into. The selection of jewelry is wonderful. It has some exquisite one-of-a-kind pieces, as well as sea life and other fine jewelry. You will see some amazing custom make pieces here. Every time we visit we find the staff to be very helpful, always taking their time with us and eager to answer any questions we have.
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Bridge Street Bazaar is such a cute shop with lots of beachy things, summer shoes, hats, t-shirts, sweatshirts, purses and those delish coconut patties you can only get in Florida!

Back Alley Treasures is funky little spot. It’s like walking into a treasure chest full of original little treasures you won’t find at home. The Back Alley is home to several local artists’ work, unique jewelry, handmade gifts, great coffee and tasty treats. They don’t just sell home brewed coffee, they also serve espresso creations either hot or cold, island smoothies, frozen lemonade, as well as craft beer & fabulous wine.Live music on popular Bridge Street happens nightly and often in the afternoon as well. On any given day you might hear rock, blues, country, steel drum, and even Irish music. With a lot of great local talent on Anna Maria Island there is always a spot on Bridge Street to sit back and relax or get up and dance. The great thing about Bridge Street is if you don’t care from one s few minute walk will take you to another that’s more suited to your taste.

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Restaurants are plentiful on Bridge Street. A few of our favourites are:
Bridge Tender Inn – Indoor or outdoor dining with live entertainment. Great food and entertainment too! Right on the water overlooking Sarasota Bay with awesome views, great tropical drinks and good service.

​-​Island Creperie – We love this restaurant. Great food and service. Serve breakfast and early lunch and only open for dinner Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
​-​Island Time – Right across from the beach this is a fun place to grab some food, drinks and listen to music. Nice indoor or outside seating. Always good live entertainment.
​-​Bridge Street Bistro – We have always had excellent meals here. The food is awesome with good drinks and a nice wine menu. Nice dining room with white table clothes. Located on the second floor offers a great view, a perfect place to watch the sunset.
Parking is limited on Bridge Street, so we recommend leaving your car at the condo and walking or using the FREE island trolley (there is a stop right in front of our condo).
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.

THE ROD & REEL PIER

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


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


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Historic Bridge Street on Anna Maria Island