FIVE FUN THINGS TO DO ON ANNA MARIA ISLAND

​1:​Paint a Sand Dollar – The Shiny Fish Emporium is one of my favorite places to go on Anna Maria Island. The owner’s vision was a place that children could enjoy as much as their parents. When you enter the store you will see for yourself that vision is a reality with a shop decorated in whimsical decor featuring unique heirloom quality toys, hand curated clothing and gifts for adults. The owner shares her art with youngsters in art classes, painting sand dollars and other projects. We painted sand dollars and the staff set us up on a large table and provided smocks and 100’s of colors of paint and encouraged us to get creative. You cannot leave without trying their fantastic ice cream. I usually go for Hawaiian Bubbles and hang out on the couch.  I love the owners style and have bought so many of her clothing, most of which I have never seen anywhere else. A hidden gem on Anna Maria Island and one that can be enjoyed by toddlers to teens, and even mom and dad!
​2:​Get Donuts – You will need to make at least one trip to The Donut Experiment while you are on the Island.  We first discovered Donut Experiment during spring break 2016. Since then, we’ve visited many times and brought lots of family and friends – all have loved it. We absolutely love the donuts and all the combinations. We’ve tried many! Don’t be surprised to see a line-up, but don’t worry, it moves fast. The donuts are always fresh because you place your order and watch as they are being made right in front of you. You have the choice of multiple glazes and toppings. The wonderful staff is friendly and helpful. The ordering process is easy and efficient. It is a fun atmosphere too – eating donuts right on the front porch. The donuts from Donut Experiment are simply the best!

​3:​Play Miniature Golf – The Fish Hole Adventure Golf is a great course with nice features throughout including turtles and fish. It is well laid out with some areas of shade for anyone wanting to escape the sun. A great activity for all ages, even littles ones. Not only is it a fun little course, but it is on Bridge Street only minutes from the condo.  Bridge Street has lots of shops and restaurants so you can spend a whole morning or afternoon there. While there take a walk to the Bradenton Beach Pier at the East end of Bridge Street. Taking in the scenic view looking over Sarasota Bay, you will see plenty of people fishing and families stopping to watch the boats pass by.

​4:​Dining with your toes in the sand – Seat yourself with your feet in the sand while your food is being creatively prepared. The Sandbar Restaurant is the only place on Anna Maria Island where you can actually eat on their large outdoor patio with your toes in the sand. A casual atmosphere where kids can run and play in the sand while waiting for their food. This locally owned eatery uses goods grown in their own farm, serves fish fresh from the docks at Cortez and they make their own breads. Beautiful beach view literally yards from the water directly on the beach.
​5:​Go to the Beach!  This is my #1 fun thing to do. Our favourite and a favourite for everyone is to spend lots of time at the beach. The beauty for our guests is that you just cross the street and you’re there. No packing up the kids and having to load up the car to drive. Gotta love that! Bradenton Beach is long and flat with plenty of clean, beautiful, white sand and lots of shallow water for young kids to play in. We take our beach chairs, beach towels and umbrellas that give us a nice amount of shade and perfect for little ones to play under.
The free Anna Maria Island trolley which stops nearby, will take you to all of these fun things while taking away the worry of driving and looking for parking. Riding the trolley itself is another fun thing to do and a fun way to see the Island.  Kids and adults love it.

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

Looking for a dinner suggestion?

A Must try – The Island Creperie – 127 Bridge St,Bradenton Beach, Anna Maria Island, Florida
Located just a five minute walk from Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals – 601 Gulf Dr. N. Anna Maria Island, Fl 34217.
For dinner, considering there are so many fantastic restaurant options on Bradenton Beach, sometimes it is tough to choose. One evening recently, as we walked along Bridge Street we were having a difficult time deciding where to dine. It seemed someone must had overheard our conversation because much to our surprise our favourite breakfast restaurant was in front of us and open.  Island Creperie is a small, quaint cafe previously open only for breakfast and lunch. We have eaten there many times and each time enjoyed many of their delicious crepes.
Once we were seated, our server explained the restaurant had just recently opened for dinner, Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings.
Looking over their extensive menu, we started with some appetizers and ordered bruschetta and Ahi Tuna.  Both were delicious. A nice variety of entrees offered, another tough decision. We were both happy with our choices, Half roasted duck and Marsala salmon, delicious! We didn’t have room for dessert, but from what I saw being served to other tables I had a pang of regret. I will make sure to save room for dessert next time. We were pleased with their nice selection of affordably priced wine. Our red wine complimented our meal very nicely.
The service was fantastic! Our server, Joni was outstanding and her friendly conversation added to our dinner enjoyment. We didn’t meet the owner personally, but she was there and always smiling in the background.
We love the atmosphere at The Island Creperie. I can describe it as casual and cozy, but maybe “Perfect” is a better word.
In our opinion, The Island Creperie serves some of the best food on Anna Maria Island and we will be returning soon. We highly recommend it and hope you enjoy it as much as we do!
Tip-Parking is challenging in the area. My advice is to walk or take the Free Island Trolley. It is about a five minute walk from the condo and one minute walk From the Trolley stop located at the corner of Gulf Drive & Bridge Street.

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


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


ANNA MARIA ISLAND’S NEWEST RESTAURANT ELIZA ANN’S NOW OPEN 

Eliza Ann’s Coastal Kitchen, part of the new Waterline Marina Resort & Beach Club is now open at 5325 Marina Drive in Holmes Beach, Anna Maria Island. For those that have visited with us before, you might remember Pete Reynard’s Yacht Club Restaurant. Seems like yesterday when we dined at this iconic revolving restaurant which closed in 2001. Fast forward to 2017 and we are now able to dine on the same waterfront site at Eliza Ann’s.
Just a short trolley ride north of Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals – 601 Gulf Dr. N. Anna Maria Island, Fl 34217

Located steps from the water’s edge the restaurant has an open kitchen, reclaimed wood table tops, an oyster shell chandelier and seating for 76 in a rustic/nautical atmosphere. The restaurant has a solid fuel grill which burns live oak to give steak and seafood dishes a smoky, natural flavour. Featuring fresh seafood, locally sourced cuisine and Florida inspired cocktails they have daily specials based on local catch.

Eliza Ann’s is open for dinner daily from 4 to 10 p.m. with a late night happy hour from 10 to 11 pm on Friday and Saturday. Daily happy hour from 4 to 6 pm features beer, wine, spirits and chef’s choice small plates all for $5. Wine Wednesdays showcase half-off all bottles of wine during dinner. Brunch is available Saturday and Sunday from 10 to 4 p.m. We have only had dinner there, but the resort plans to introduce breakfast and lunch service beginning in February.

We haven’t met the Restaurant’s chef personally, but have inquired about him. We learned that Chef James has more than 20 years of culinary experience with a real passion for culinary excellence. And, after several visits we were not disappointed. The food was great. We have tried a varied number of dishes, all were well prepared and flavourful. We found the service very efficient and the staff warm and friendly.

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


Christmas Dinner Restaurants – Anna Maria Island

ANNA MARIA ISLAND & CLOSE PROXIMITY RESTAURANTS OPEN CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR’S

Many of the restaurants on Anna Mara Island are closed on Christmas Day and some on New Year’s Day, therefore, we included several off Island restaurants as well.

We suggest you call ahead or check online for reservations. You will also want to ask questions if you have dietary restrictions.

Some restaurants may have special menu options, buffets and additional holiday offerings. While others offer a limited menu and chef specials.

Many of these restaurants will require reservations so we suggest you call now to avoid disappointment.

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


Created by Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals

FAVOURITE CAFES-ANNA MARIA ISLAND

 Ginny’s and Jane E’s Cafe and Coastal Store  – Open daily 7:00 am – 4:00 pm

Super friendly staff, great food and an amazing, eclectic atmosphere. Love the inside of this place, while you wait for your food you can look at the collection of unique gifts decorating the inside. Very imaginative!
Bakery/cafe serving espresso, breakfast fare, sandwiches & cinnamon rolls in a relaxed, funky setup.
Fresh ingredients, healthy options and organic dishes. Service is quick, prices are reasonable, good quality and quantity of food.

It’s nice to sit outside and eat as you watch the island come to life, beachgoers and shoppers.

 
Anna Maria Island Beach Cafe  –  Open daily 7:30 am – 8:00 pm
Open 7 days a week! They have all you can eat pancake breakfast 7:30am-11:00. Great place to spend the day on this beautiful, clean white-sand beach located on the Gulf. Stay for the beautiful sunset while relaxing on the outdoor patio for a bite to eat while listening to music. Entertainment nightly. Lunch and dinner menu provides salads, wraps, sandwiches, tacos, and kid meals. They even have a delicious veggie burger was on the menu! Prices are very reasonable! A nice gift shop, restrooms, water fountain and ice cream shop. Plenty of free parking and beach umbrellas available for a fee.
 Paradise Bagels and Cafe  –  Open Sun 7:00am-12:30pm  Mon-Sat 7:00am-2:00pm
Definitely put this on your list of places to visit for breakfast. Their bagel/egg sandwiches can’t be beat, they are terrific. The New York bagels are delicious and fresh. Breakfast sandwiches with egg, cheese and bacon are so big be prepared to share one. The day we were there we heard others raving about the Mickey shaped pancakes, omelettes and waffles. The fresh tasting lox is a perfect lunch or try the chicken salad. Really generous serving size. Everything is fresh and homemade. The owner, Jackie, makes everyone feel at home. A casual atmosphere, great for breakfast or lunch and no worries about parking here.
Coquina Beach Cafe  –  Open daily 8:00 am to 4:00 pm
When visiting Coquina Beach you have to try the cafe. Good variety of food, generous serving serving size and the prices are that of any beach cafe. You can’t beat the Beach view! They even have ice cream and sno cones.
This place will leave you with memories to last a life time…food, drinks, ice cream, gift shop, walk up in your swimsuit type of place…the quint essential beach café and they do it well. Absolutely a must-do place.
Cortez Cafe  –  Open daily 6:30 am to 2:00 pm
Nice quaint little cafe in one of the last historic fishing villages in Florida. Casual setting,daytime cafe serving hearty breakfast fare and made-to-order lunch specials. Their specials are all wonderful and prices for the freshness of the food is unbeatable.
Good food, great prices and very friendly service.
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

Created by Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals

DINING OUT FOR THANKSGIVING – 2017-Anna Maria Island

 DINING OUT FOR THANKSGIVING – 2017
If you are one of the lucky ones to be staying at Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals for the
Holiday, we have a few suggestions for Dinner. Whether you are looking for dining
casual on the beach or finer dining, these restaurants, are sharing their Holiday to
make yours special.  Find your perfect fit and call soon for reservations.
Anna Maria Island Beach Cafe ~ open from noon to 5 pm  – 400 Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach,
Manatee and Gulf Drive directly on the beach. Trolley stop right in front of restaurant.  –
Phone: 941-778-0784Picnic and patio, this beach side cafe is perfect for those who prefer a laid back
beach atmosphere.
Bridge Street Bistro ~  Opens at noon – Accepting reservations- last reservation is 8:00 pm
Upstairs above Island Time Bar & Grill. –  111 Gulf Drive South, Bradenton Beach – Phone: 941-782-1122
Upscale-casual bistro with a seafood-centric menu, a bar & a deck that offers Gulf of Mexico views.
Comfort food · Great cocktails · Great wine list
Bridge Tender Inn ~ 11:30 am11:00 pm135 Bridge Street, Bradenton Beach –  Phone:
941-778-4849Enjoy the indoor dining room or outdoor water view. All day football with music and
friendly service the Bridge Tender Inn is open and happy to celebrate the holiday with you.
Walking distance or short trolley ride from the condo.
Gulf Drive Cafe and Kokonut Hut ~ 7 am to 7 pm – 900 Gulf Drive North, Bradenton Beach –
Phone: 941-778-1919Beach-side dining as you like it, Inside or outside it is a very casual dining
experience. The service is good and the food is above average. Directly on the beach. Beautiful seaside
view! It does get very busy and parking can be a problem. Our guests can walk there in less than 3
minutes.
Island Time Bar & Grill ~ 11:30 am – 10:00 pm111 Gulf Drive South, Bradenton Beach – Phone :
941-782-1122Open-air bar with a patio featuring cocktails, seafood & upmarket bar fare in a laid-back
setting.. Great food, service and a perfect Island atmosphere.Walking distance from Anna Maria Island
Condo Rentals.
The Sign of the Mermaid ~ Open Breakfast/lunch 9:00 am – 1:00 pm  Dinner 4:00 pm – 9:00 pm
9707 Gulf Drive, Anna Maria Island  –  Phone: 941-778-9399Take the trolley north from the condo –
Trolley stop 34Open, but not with a traditional Thanksgiving meal. An island favourite continental
eatery featuring aseafood-oriented menu in an antiques-filled house built in 1912. Award winning pies.
Kid friendly options.
Thanksgiving is a time to reflect and be thankful for our blessings. We are grateful for
each and every one of you, our guests.
Happy Thanksgiving from our family!  ~ Anna Maria Island Beach Rentals 
For the latest up to date news, events, things to do, special offers and more continue to follow our blog

Created by Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals

SMOQEHOUSE RESTAURANT ANNA MARIA ISLAND

LOCATED at : 1701 Gulf Drive North, Bradenton Beach
Phone: 941-242-5340. Currently accepting call ahead orders.

Getting there is easy. Jump a short walk from Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals – 601 Gulf Dr. N. Bradenton Beach, Fl 34217.

We were so excited when we saw this new restaurant had opened on Gulf Drive a short walk from our condo. We love good barbecue and Smoqehouse didn’t disappoint!

Andrew Kubes, co-owner of Smoqehouse and his wife, Heidi, opened the restaurant on July 31, 2017. The couple own two other somewhat similar restaurants in Minnesota.

This Bradenton Beach restaurant has a rustic modern setting. It is casual which suits the laid back atmosphere on Anna Maria Island. Love the decor – painted black walls, suspended Edison bulbs and picnic tables. The exterior of Smoqehouse is is also painted black, accented by a metal roof. Overall a great look inside and out!

Their name suggests a traditional barbecue restaurant but their tag line which says “barbecue fusion” is actually more accurate. All menu items at Smoqehouse including sauces and dressings are made from scratch. Their cheeses are smoked in-house and their fruits for their vinaigrettes are smoked. Salads are fresh and interesting and the special of the day is always tempting. It has only been open a few months, but we have made our way there many times and have never been disappointed! Make sure you order the fries…hand cut and crispy! And, save room for their creative signature dessert consisting of vanilla soft-serve ice cream with Chilean olive oil and black lava sea salt – Fabulous!

You order at the counter and they call your name when it is ready. Our food has always been delivered in a very few minutes. The only problem we encountered was when ordering choosing between the Cubano sandwich, brisket burger, the tempting special, smoked chicken or, my favourite – the amazing vegetarian sandwich! A difficult decision for sure!

I was pleased to see that there was a caffeine-free diet soda fountain option (light lemonade). A beer and wine license is pending.

They do accept credit cards (I used AMEX)..

There is limited parking but that goes for pretty much any place on Anna Maria Island. The trolley stops within 100 yards of their front door – please, do not be tempted to park in places other than obvious restaurant parking spots, as it is very likely you will be towed. Take this tip from your friends at Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals – walk, ride the free trolley or call Island Beach Monkeys.

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

Created by Sandy Whyte

Craving Pizza on Anna Maria Island? We Can Help!

09/29/2017

Pizza is the perfect food to enjoy while on vacation.

These are a few of our favourites.

On Anna Maria Island Pizza Restaurants

Oma’s Pizza in Bradenton Beach

On the south end of the Island you’ll find Oma’s Pizza and Italian Restaurant at 201 Gulf Drive N. and just a few minutes walk from www.annamariaislandcondorentals.com

Oma’s restaurant is run by the Manning family and has been on Anna Maria Island since 1982. Oma Pizza and Restaurant is a local pizza gem for casual diners where you’ll find a family-friendly menu and ambience. Outdoor dining doesn’t get much better than the quaint patio at Oma Pizza and Restaurant.

Oma’s offers big slices of pizza along with many of the traditional family style Italian specialties. All pizzas are hand made to order. Two crust styles, the hand tossed and inch thick Sicilian. Their claim to fame is pizza so give it a try. On their menu you will find lots of Italian meals; ziti, chicken parmesan, spaghetti, meatballs, salads, sandwiches, and desserts. They offer a good selection of beer and wine as well as other beverages.

Need a night in? You can carry it out or have them deliver it straight to you.

Solo’s Pizza in Holmes Beach

This casual restaurant is located in the Anna Maria Island Shops plaza at 3244 East Bay Drive in Holmes Beach. Solo’s is a mix between a pizza joint and a sports bar. They also have thin sliced pizza, sandwiches and pub grub fare.

The Feast in Holmes Beach

Not only can you find great pizza here, but also an assortment of great seafood and something for everyone. The Feast is casual, but slightly higher end. This isn’t really a pizza place, but an nice restaurant that also offers fantastic pizza pies. Find the Feast in the Island Shopping Center at 5406 Marina Drive.

Off Anna Maria Island Pizza Restaurants

There are also plenty of pizza restaurants off Anna Maria Island. Here are a few we’re sure you will enjoy.

Fire and Stone

Located minutes from the Island on Cortez Road — 10519 Cortez Road West, Bradenton

A family-friendly restaurant everyone will love. This pizzeria serves all ages, so little ones are always welcome. All you can eat pizza buffet and a salad bar. The pizza is stone oven thin crust. Loads of choices but if you don’t see yours they will make it for you. Hot soup and a large salad bar plus you get a sundae for dessert. All for one incredibly low price. They have a perfect selection of beer and wine to go with your meal. Beverage is extra. You really can’t beat it.

Lots of free parking in the connecting lot.

Don’t forget to bring cash. Fire & Stone Pizza does not accept credit cards.

Danny’s Pizzeria in Bradenton

Located at 7220 Manatee Avenue in West Bradenton, Danny’s is a very popular spot. They serve delicious NY style pizza, the best garlic knots, eggplant, sandwiches and delicious Italian specialties. Excellent pizza wings along with a great meatball! Danny’s also offers pizza by the slice.

Village Idiot Pizza in Bradenton

This pizza shop is located at 11904 Cortez Road West just past the city of Cortez. Village Idiot has many specialty pizzas, tacos and daily specials.

One of the best pizza places in the Bradenton/Cortez area. The meats and vegetables used in the pizzas are freshly prepared, and the woodfire stove just adds that extra bit of flavor! Definitely give this place a try.

Click here for more local information about #wheretoeatanddrinkannamariaisland

This post was created by TerryWhyte


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