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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


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


Beach-Sands-Condo-anna-maria-island-condo-rentals

BREAKING NEWS-WE ARE THRILLED TO ANNOUNCE THE BEACH SANDS CONDO RENOVATION COMPLETE!!!!!

We are thrilled to announce to our incoming guests, past guests and future guests the renovation to the Anna Maria Islands Beach Sands condo is now complete. This redesigned gem now offers you:

✔️a new designer kitchen
✔️quartz counter tops
✔️matching quartz backsplash
✔️new state of the art graphite appliances
✔️two new complete renovated washrooms with quartz counter tops
✔️two new walk in showers
✔️all new contemporary doors
✔️all new contemporary baseboards
✔️completely repainted
✔️all new Hunter Douglas window coverings
✔️all new contemporary Floridian lighting
✔️all new bedding
✔️all new Tommy Bahama furniture-Ocean Collection
✔️new king size body temperature controlled mattress
✔️60″ television
✔️50″ television
✔️HD television with over 200 channels
✔️all new contemporary wall art
✔️all new dishware
✔️all new cutlery

Treat yourself to unforgettable views of the Gulf of Mexico, nightly sunsets, private beach access, one of the largest heated pool on Anna Maria Island, walk out onto the beach and walk for hours in either direction, rent jets skies and all watercraft rentals on the beach.

Additionally you could park your car for your entire vacation because the location of the condo which is located just a few minutes walk from the islands best restaurants and bars featuring live music seven days a week including:
✔️Tiki Hut
✔️Wicked Cantina
✔️Beach House
✔️Omas
✔️French Table
✔️Island Time
✔️Beach Bistro
✔️Freckle Fin
✔️Blue Marlin
✔️Back Ally
✔️Island Creperie
✔️Bridge Tender
✔️Anna Maria Island Oyster Bar
✔️Tide Tables
✔️Seafood Shack


HUNTING FOR SHARKS’ TEETH

Many people find shark teeth simply strolling along the beach scanning the sand for the shiny black teeth. In our 30 years walking the Anna Maria Island beaches we have unfortunately seen very few.
The best place we have found to look for sharks’ teeth is beach accesses south of the Venice Jetty including Casey Key, Sharky’s Beach and Caspersen Beach.
Casey Key Beaches—
Nokomis Beach
The sand and water here are impeccable and generally very low on seaweed. You will find lots of shark teeth here either washed up on shore with the seashells, or by sifting in the sand just a few feet into the water.
North Jetty
Head South on Casey Key Rd. a couple miles and you will dead-end at the North Jetty. First, you will hit a large parking lot on your right which leads to the beach, pavilions with grills and playground area. Or continue a couple feet to the North Jetty parking lot. Public restrooms are accessible from either parking lot as well as a concession stand. Lots of shark teeth here as well.
Sharky’s Beach
Travelling down Tamiami Trail on Venice Island (Business 41) turn right on San Marco Dr. When this dead-ends on Harbor Dr. turn left and travel about ½ mile. You will see Sharky’s on the Pier restaurant on your right along with a lot of parking for the beach right next to the restaurant. Public restrooms and rinsing stations are available. If you park at the restaurant, you can walk the pier for a great view, or dining is reasonably priced.
 
Caspersen Beach
At the extreme south end of Venice’s beaches. Travel south on Tamiami Trail (Business 41). Turn right on San Marco Drive. Continue South on Harbor Drive you will dead-end on this beach. The sand isn’t quite as nice, and there are more large rocks in the water. It’s generally a quieter beach with less people. This beach is also good for scuba diving. They have public restrooms here, and there is a playground with a pavilion in the parking lot farthest South.
Here are a few things you need before you start your Shark teeth search. Some people use a plastic/metal beach shovel, a shovel with a screened basket fitted onto the handle, a kitchen strainer, or just scoop the sand and shells with their hands. Basically any sifter will do, but the plastic hand-held ones are better for kids. Look for something that isn’t going to bend or break with some wet sand in it. Visit any Beach Shop, Wal-Mart, Ace Hardware (there is one on Anna Maria Island) or the Dollar Store is always a great place to buy a strainer.
You might find fossil parts, bits of coral, interesting shells or small pebbles, but it is likely that at least one or more teeth will be found in most large scoops.

Some will tell you the best time to collect teeth is often after a storm, but that is not always true. It is different with every storm, some will bring a lot of teeth in or it may carry them further out.

To make your day more enjoyable don’t forget your hat, sunscreen, water shoes (optional) and small bag or container for your shark teeth.
Have fun!
For the latest up to date news, travel tips, things to do, 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
 
Where: FLORIDA STATE FAIRGROUNDS
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


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
 
Where: FLORIDA STATE FAIRGROUNDS
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


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


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


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