ANNA MARIA ISLAND – RAINY DAY THINGS TO DO ….

 

Every once in a while it rains in Paradise. If you happen to be on Anna Maria Island on a rainy day there is still plenty to do. Below is a list of a few things we do to endure a rainy day. Those listed off the Island, can be found on Manatee Avenue or Cortez Road in Bradenton, all a short drive from the condo.

  • Bowling at AMF Bradenton Lanes-4208 Cortez Road West-Only 10 minutes east of Anna Maria Island you will find open bowling on Cortez.
  • Take in a movie at Oakmount Theatre – 4901 Cortez Road West, Bradenton is only 10 minutes from Anna Maria Island.  There you will find all the normal requirements necessary to enjoy the latest blockbuster of a movie.  Popcorn, reclining seats, hot dogs, candy, soda, everything you need to ensure you are on a true vacation.
  • Trolley Hopping (bring an umbrella) – Take the entire day and hop on the free Island TROLLEY. Get off at the many stops and enjoy the many stores, bars and restaurants along the way. Make your last stop at the Island Grocery Store and buy fresh seafood to cook for dinner that night.
  • Visit the Bradenton Beach Library – Relax and read a good book or catch up on the latest magazine gossip or news at the Tingley Memorial Library, 111 2nd Street N. Bradenton Beach. Located two blocks south of Cortez Road, within walking distance of the condo and near a Free Trolley Stop. You do not need to be a member of the library to use the services. You will need a library card if you plan to take books, CD’s, or DVD’s home.  Enjoy their free 24/7 Wireless Access to use with your own device or use their on-site computers with Internet. They have current popular fiction and non-fiction large print books and an amazing collection of movies, as well as magazines and puzzles available for check-out or purchase. They have an ongoing book sale including first editions and rare books. The children’s area has plenty of books, games, a computer for their use as well as toys to play with.
  • Spa Day – Pamper yourself with a SPA DAY.  Anna Maria Island offers many spas that can accommodate your every whim. Massage, pedicure, hair, sea wraps, you name it.  Anna Maria City, Holmes Beach, and Bradenton Beach boasts several spa choices to choose from.  In addition there are several individuals that will come to your VACATION RENTAL and give you a massage in your accommodations. It’s a bit tough to schedule a rainy day in paradise but you should be able to plan your spa day last minute as there are plenty of choices on Anna Maria Island.
  • Enjoy your Anna Maria Island beach rental – The benefit of a beach rental is the feeling of being in a home and not just a hotel room. Our beach rentals offer great amenities and activities. During your visit you may find DVD players, board games, books and wireless internet to keep you entertained. Or, curl up on the couch and take a nap. What better place to do that than in your luxury beach rental.
  • Our last suggestion is to wait a few hours. Anna Maria Island rarely has weather where it rains all day. If you are lucky you just might look outside and the sun will be shining again.
  • 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

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MARIETTA MUSEUM OF ART AND WHIMSY IN SARASOTA

The MARIETTA MUSEUM OF ART AND WHIMSY is a delightful place to visit with the entire family. You’ll find a large variety of interesting works to see from fine art to kitsch. The Marietta Museum offers a traditional museum setting as well as a beautiful sculpture garden too. This museum and sculpture garden is unique in offering light hearted paintings, sculpture and a wide range of artworks. The different artworks include a mosaic mirror in the ladies room offering choices of “who will I be today”.  Your children will find enjoyment as they see the stainless steel rocket ship, the cool bench that looks like a toucan, as well as the very realistic police officer that is actually a soft sculpture.

We loved the sound and light show. When we talked or exclaimed the lights on the walls and ceiling reacted with a crazy dance.

Founder and Curator Marietta (Mary) Lee was an emergency room nurse for many years and found art helped her to de-stress. Her passion to share her love of art is what led her to start this attraction. She had a great desire to share her collection at this museum and to create a space for people to relax and enjoy art. Her wish was that art be inclusive to all. A unique feature of this museum is half the artists are women, half men, and almost all are still living.

You can’t miss the museum on North Tamiami Trail as the exterior is painted bright pink with Key West accents.

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Annual Christmas Cookies N’ Cans Party December 9, 2017 Saturday from 1 to 4 PM

The museum’s yearly cookies swap.  Visitors can bring homemade or store bought cookies to eat and exchange.  Cans or nonperishables can also be brought to be put under the Christmas tree for the All Faiths Food Bank.  Any Left over cookies are packaged for local police, firemen, Sarasota Building Dept., and the Sarasota Library.

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The Marietta Museum of Art and Whimsy is open November 24, 2017 to May 26, 2018

ThursdayFridaySaturday 1PM to 4PM – Closed for Major holidays

No Cafe or Retail store on site.

There is No Entrance fee, but a $5.00 Donation per person, per admission is suggested.

(Credit Cards are not accepted)

This is a non profit organization and your donations are greatly appreciated to help keep this lovely museum operating.

Just a thirty 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 at Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals/Blog 


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December Lights – Anna Maria Island

We welcome our guests to delight in a Beach Christmas when you vacation with us. No shovelling snow, instead shovel sand to build your very best sand castle. The Island is all decorated for Christmas and has many activities for you to enjoy.
 
December 8, 2017 – 5:30 to 8 pm
Anna Maria Holiday of Treasures – Stroll along Pine Avenue in the city of Anna Maria and enjoy cookies and eggnog with entertainment and a visit from Santa Claus at City Pier Park.

At 6:00 pm see the Roser Children’s Choir perform in the the Historical Park at 402 Pine Avenue

December 9, 2017 – 10 am – 12:30 pm
Privateer’s Christmas Parade and Santa Open House
The parade will go the entire length of the island, starting at the north end  (Bay Front Park) ending at Coquina Beach, where Santa will board the Privateers’ Flagship “Skullywag” for all the kids to sit on Santa’s Lap. Hotdogs, chips and soda will also be provided for all the kids.
December 9 & 10, 2017 – 10 am – 4:30 pm both days 
Winterfest – A festival of Fine Arts & Fine Crafts will be held at Holmes Beach City Hall Field. 5901 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach, Anna Maria Island
December 10, 2017 – 8:30 am – 10 am
Candles & Carols – Enjoy a presentation of the Advent Cantata “Candles & Carols” at Roser Community Church, 512 Pine Avenue in the City of Anna Maria
December 15, 2017 – 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Holiday Open House at Anna Maria Island Centre, 3246 E Bay Drive, Holmes Beach. The Shops will be open late spreading holiday cheer with entertainment, eats, treats and fun for everyone.
December 16, 2017 – 4:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Christmas Festival on Bridge Street in Bradenton Beach –  see the beautifully decorated Christmas tree with music playing, games, food and drinks while shopping on beautiful historic Bridge Street.
December 24, 2017 – 5:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Christmas Eve Candlelight Service – there will be two candlelight services held at Roser Community Church Sanctuary, 512 Pine Avenue in the City of Anna Maria.
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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SARASOTA JUNGLE GARDENS 

 A fun daytime activity if you’re looking to get away from the beach while still enjoying the sunny weather. This family attraction has been a favourite since 1939.
Visit Sarasota Jungle Gardens where you will find 10 acres of lush gardens, jungle trails and beautiful lakes. You’ll see over 200 native and exotic animals throughout the gardens including primates, reptiles, birds and free roaming flamingos that can be hand fed. Don’t miss the daily interactive wildlife, reptile or bird shows all included in your park admission.
Take the Inner Jungle Trail through the Tiki Gardens. The trail is shaded under a canopy of Palms and other Florida native trees, which makes the walk a surprisingly cool reprieve from the hot afternoon sun. Informative signs provide visitors with information about some of the animals in the Tiki Gardens (such as skunks and iguanas) as well as a little bit about the vegetation and plant life..
Walking along you can take a break in the canopy at the Flamingo Lagoon. The water is crystal clear, and you can see big fish as well as ducks and their free-roaming Flamingos. There are coin operated vending machines at the lagoon or you can purchase small or large bags at the gardens entrance. The flamingos will come right up and eat out of your hands.
Further along on the trail are the Koi Pond and Flamingo Café. In the air-conditioned the café you can enjoy lunch, snacks, cold beverages and ice cream. The pavilion near the Café is a great place for parents to kick their feet up and is within viewing range of the large Kiddie Jungle Playground.
Enjoy a stroll through the Butterfly gardens, continuing along the Outer Jungle Trail passing the waterfall and the Flamingo Nesting Island. The Jungle trail contains a handful of pretty little natural springs and is also home to the Petting Zoo, Birds of Prey and the Turtle Pond.
See a variety of large Alligators and Crocodiles by visiting the indoor area known as Reptile World where visitors can see large snakes, alligators, lizards, and other reptiles. Watch the Reptile Encounter show offering kids an opportunity to learn and hold an alligator after the show or even get a photo with one!  
The Jungle Bird show features parrots, cockatiels, macaws, and more performing a variety of different tricks including roller-skating and riding a bike. Be sure to catch Frosty the cockatoo’s twice a day act when he performs his bicycle, unicycle, and scooter tricks! After the show you will have an opportunity to pet or hold one of the exotic birds. There is a daily Wildlife Wonder show featuring red tail hawks, kookaburras, various species of owls, and other small mammals.
Many of the animals found their home at Sarasota Jungle Gardens through approved donations, rehabilitation centers or through state and federal agencies ensuring animals have a safe environment and permanent, caring home.
Go to Sarasota Jungle Gardens website to find admission discount COUPONS.

A visit to Sarasota Jungle Gardens is a fun escape from the beach, and a must do for all ages.

Just a short drive from Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals – 601 Gulf Dr. N. Anna Maria Island, Fl 34217

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

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OUTDOOR ICE-SKATING RINK OPENS IN SARASOTA

 
Yes, an outdoor ice skating rink in Florida – with real ice!
The outdoor, tent-covered skating rink opened Friday, November 17th as part of the mall’s “Holidays on the Green” at University Town Center (UTC). The mall at UTC is a retail paradise conveniently located at I75 and University Parkway in Sarasota. Now when you shop, you will see this seasonal holiday village nestled among strings of illuminated palm trees between the mall and North Cattlemen Road. The festive “winter” village will be open to the public through Jan. 15.

At the grand opening on Friday of Holidays on the Green there was a featured meet and greet with Ana and Elsa and then a movie showing of Disney’s “Frozen”! The village will also feature various holiday character meet-and-greets throughout the season. There will be a list of characters updated on the mall’s holiday village website – mallatutc.com Read more here: //www.bradenton.com/news/business/retail/mall-at-university-town-center/article185334933.html#storylink=cpy

Just a short drive from Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals – 601 Gulf Dr. N. Anna Maria Island, Fl 34217.

Each Saturday at 7 p.m. there are plans to show a holiday movie on a big screen. Classic movies such as, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman and Elf are some of the suggested, but not confirmed. Visit their website for an updated list.

There is also a free small off-track train that children can ride throughout the village.

The ice skating rink sitting under a tent filled with string lights, is equipped with real ice. The cost is $10 to rent skates and use the rink for 90 minutes. If the temperature is 78 degrees or below, the tent flaps will be open. Skating completely outside in the warm Florida air sounds inviting, doesn’t it?

Holidays on the Green Hours (Nov. 17, 2017 – Jan. 15, 2018) weeks 

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

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What To See On Anna Maria Island – Exhibitions – 11th Annual artsHOP-Anna Maria Isalnd

11th Annual artsHOP – Art walk & Seahorses Public Art Launch – Saturday, November 11, 2017 – Bradenton Beach

Looking for a fantastic way to spend an afternoon?

Bridge Street in Bradenton Beach on Anna Maria Island is celebrating the 11th Annual artsHOP by hosting an Art Walk and Seahorses public art launch on Saturday November 11th from Noon to 5pm. Bridge Street will be offering plenty of art, music, food and fun.

The Art Walk is a low-key event which is typical of the Island. It is a stand-alone activity for locals and visitors to the island. Larry Wilhelm, of Longboat Key, will provide the live entertainment for the Art Walk as a pirate strolling minstrel.

The Art Walk will also be the start of the 3rd Annual Bridge Street Public Art Project. Seahorses will be first available for pickup for a $30 refundable fee at one of the Bridge Street shops, Sea-renity (Stop # 4)

Historic Bridge Street features the beach to the west and the bay on the east.

Bridge Street is a walkable community with spectacular water views from both the pier looking out over Sarasota Bay and the Gulf of Mexico beaches.

All of Anna Maria Island provides you with an “Old Florida” experience, but the feeling is exceptionally vibrant on Bridge Street. Here you will feel what Florida was like decades ago.

As you look for that perfect piece of art, grab a bite to eat at one of the many restaurants on Bridge Street. Enjoy some shopping at any of the quaint boutique style shops and take in the scenic view of the water with a walk on the Bridge Street Pier.

This tourist attraction is a former bridge, once the only way to access the island. You will see plenty of fishermen there and families stopping to watch the boats pass by.

Hop on the free Anna Maria Island trolley which stops nearby so you’ll be able to get to Bridge Street easily while taking away the worry of having to pay for transportation or parking.

ArtsHOP on Bridge Street is a place to enjoy the art and also a fun day trip to this scenic, family friendly area.

A perfect way to spend another perfect day on Anna Maria Island!

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

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TAKE A DAY TRIP TO – –  MYAKKA RIVER STATE PARK

One of the oldest and largest state parks. An absolutely beautiful park located nine miles east of Sarasota approximately 50 minutes from Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals – 601 Gulf Dr. Anna Maria Island, Fl 34217.
The Myakka River, flows through miles of wetlands, prairies, hammocks, and pinelands.
In my opinion this is one of the best outdoor family experiences in Florida. The rangers at the station are very helpful and they have brochures available that literally plan your day.
You can enjoy various activities from wildlife viewing from a boardwalk that stretches out over the Upper Myakka Lake, or a stroll along the canopy walkway. The park´s river and two lakes provide boating, freshwater fishing, canoeing, and kayaking. Kayaking is very enjoyable – lots of alligators, herons, egrets, white pelicans if you are lucky, ospreys, bald eagles, ibis, and maybe even some wild boars.
 Scenic lake tours are offered daily on two large airboats with quite a few departure times throughout the day. This is not your typical airboat tour, it is a large boat that happens the be powered by a big fan and suitable for young and old alike. A very up close and personal tour you can expect to see many alligators and various birds. There is a nice picnic area near the airboat pavilion.
Hikers can explore the many miles of trails that cross large areas of rare Florida dry prairie. The bicycle trails are also enjoyable.
 Safari tram tours of the park´s backcountry are offered from mid-December through May.
This is one of the most beautiful parks I have been to and I can not recommend it highly enough. Unbelievably the entrance fee is only $6. Tour fees, bicycle and boat rentals are available at an additional fee.

Myakka River State Park is open every day of the year from 8am until sunset.

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

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Where to golf on and around Anna Maria Island!

10/03/2017

“FORE” OUR GOLF GUEST ENTHUSIASTS!

Anna Maria Island/Bradenton/Sarasota Golfing

Anna Maria Island is only 7 miles long so you may not be too surprised to learn that there is only one golf course on the Island. What are other golfing options? The Bradenton and Sarasota area, like most of Florida, hosts a massive and diverse number of golf courses most of which are open to the public. You can reach 10 different and unique golf courses within a 30-minute drive from the Island. There is nothing better than 18 holes of golf on a beautiful Florida morning followed by some beach time in the afternoon.

Key Royal Club – 700 Key Royale Drive, Anna Maria Island 941-778-3055

The Key Royale Club, a private members club, is the only golf course on Anna Maria Island. It is a beautiful 2,017 yard par 32 nine hole walking course. Open from sunrise to sunset, the course allows for a wonderful golfing experience.

For the seasoned golfer, the par 32 layout provides the opportunity to use every club in your bag. For the 18-hole experience, playing from the forward tees and back tees allows 3,949 yards to test all your skills. For the higher handicappers, generous fairways are less intimidating, making for an enjoyable time for all.

Key Royale Club offers golf, corporate, junior, and social memberships. Many choose to become full members but the club does offer an introductory 6 month membership to get started.

Pinebrook/Ironwood Golf Club ~ 5260 Ironwood Circle, Bradenton 941-792-3288

Nestled inside a beautiful community in the heart of Bradenton, Florida Pinebrook/Ironwood Golf Club has a challenge for golfers of all ages and handicaps. The greens were renovated in the summer of 2003 with “Champion Ultra Dwarf Bermuda”. This putting surface is far superior to the traditional bermuda grass seen on most courses. If you would like a true roll then these are the greens for you. Sixteen of the fairways are bordered by water with 37 bunkers surrounding the eighteen greens. The amenities include a pro shop, snacks, refreshments and putting green. This club is only a short distance from Anna Maria Island.

Manatee County Golf Course ~ 6415 53rd Avenue West Bradenton 941-792-6773

This municipal course opened in 1977 and is still a locals’ favorite. Aside from the fact that is located next to a water treatment plant that sometimes gives off a foul odor, the course has been rated 4 Stars by Golf Digest. It offers lots of challenges, including getting onto the well-bunkered greens. The course plays pretty long, too, and there’s no break at the end – the par-5 No. 18 is 567 yards, the longest hole on the course, and it’s got water on left and a bunker on the right. The course plays 6,703 yards from the back tees and there are five sets of tees.

River Run Golf Links ~ 1801 27th Street East Bradenton Florida 941-708-8459

Fast greens and tight fairways are the hallmark of this municipal course that was originally designed by Ward Northrup. Jed Azinger and Gordie Lewis redesigned the track in 2005, but it still has an old Florida feel, as Spanish moss drips from the oak trees along the fairways. The course is fairly flat and though it has some bunkering and water features, players can recover from mishits and still post a good score. The course is a par-70 and plays 6,293 yards from the back tees. There are three sets of tees, the women’s tees are fairly short (4,709 yards).

Waterlefe Golf ~ 1022 Fish Hook Cove, Bradenton 941-744-9771

An 18-hole luxury golf course at Waterlefe Golf & River Club. Waterlefe’s unrivaled natural setting along the Manatee River is composed of a collection of signature golf holes designed by course architect Ted McAnlis. The competitive layout presents a challenge for golfers of all skill levels. There are five sets of tees ranging in length from 4700 to 6908 yards. Features include five unforgettable holes that touch and border the scenic Manatee River. When you arrive you are promptly greeted by a staff member with a cart to help load your clubs and offering help with where to go. Before you tee off there is water and ice and plenty more found along the course. The carts have GPS which work well. The course mixes some relatively easy holes with others that really test your game.The closing stretch can be really tough but good course management can get you through (you just have to hit the right shots!). That aside this is a really great course with an excellent club house.

Legacy Golf Club ~ 8255 Legacy Blvd. Bradenton, Florida 941-907-7920

Legacy is known for its beauty and challenging greens. An Arnold Palmer design, Legacy Golf Club’s central feature is an enormous lake that comes into play on several holes. The course brings amateurs and professionals together to explore the challenging layout and stunning surroundings of the greens. The course has really wide fairways, elevated tees and nearly every hole is framed by sand and water, creating a picturesque place to test your abilities. Visitors relate the atmosphere to that of a world-class private facility.The course has been honored by Golf Digest and Zagat as a Best Place to Play and prides itself on offering good service.

Rosedale Golf & Country Club ~ 8678 54th Avenue Cir E Bradenton 941-755-4099

Consistently recognized as the “Best Place to Play” in the Bradenton/Sarasota area with lush fairways, nicely groomed traps and flawless greens. It is a challenging course, narrow fairways, plenty of water and a true test of your golf game. Be warned that you will not be hitting your driver much, but we’ll let you decide. The fairways are VERY tight and driver on the par 5s is probably not a good idea with water on the left at 250 yards off the tee on all 4 of them. All the times we played the greens were in excellent shape. True practice range, not hitting over water to targets as is often the case in Florida, several practice greens, a great offering in the pro shop and plenty of water on the course.

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Anna Maria Island Donut Experience at the Donut Experiment!

08/04/2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Donut  Experiment began life in 2012 as Anna Maria Donuts in Anna Maria, FL. The original mad scientists are the husband-and-wife team of Shawn and Cecilia Wampole. Hailing from the Philadelphia area of Pennsylvania, the couple was surprised to find that there was not a donut shop on Anna Maria Island when they vacationed there. What originally started out as a joke about opening a donut shop, eventually led to, after some number crunching and careful planning, the couple quitting their jobs, selling their house and moving to Florida.

Located at 210 Pine AVE and Anna Maria Island’s only donut shop. The Donut Experiment features made-to-order donuts. You may ask, what exactly is a made-to-order donut? Well, starting out with a vanilla cake donut, that is made right in front of you, and then you pick your icing and topping. Offering a minimum of four icings and 14 toppings to choose from, so the possibilities are endless. Served fresh roasted, fresh ground and fresh brewed coffee. With a constant rotation of coffee flavors, you never know what we are brewing up.

The Donut Experiment typically sells between 800 and 1,500 doughnuts in a single day, with most customers ordering at least a dozen at a time.

So popular is the Donut Experiment it is not uncommon to see long line ups out the door for one of the worlds most beloved treats.

Enjoy a scenic ride on the free trolley which stops directly in front of Absolute Anna Maria at trolley stop 34S all the way to the north end of the island to the Donut Experience.

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Guest reviews – The Hamilton Family Review

A special thank you to the Hamilton Family for this awesome review. It was our pleasure having the Hamilton’s as our guests.

“We stayed at this condo for 10 perfect days. The condo was great, clean with great appliances, comfortable king sized master suite etc. One minute to an amazing beach! The condo pool was perfect in the evenings. The free Trolley is right outside to take you to a great grocery store next to any “spirits” you need. Lots of restaurants. The sunsets over the gulf is almost indescribable it’s so wonderful. Zero complaints, it’s heaven…..go for it!”

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