Anna Maria Island Historical Museum ~ Belle Haven Cottage ~ Old City Jail 

This small museum is worth the stop! The staff are welcoming and extremely knowledgable. All sorts of interesting facts – ie: one of the original island residents was the creator of the Fig Newton recipe! – Or, tourists used to rent WOOL bathing suits at the beach when they visited the island!
We stopped in on a whim while shopping on Pine Avenue and really enjoyed it. You can browse and spend just an hour or you could take your time and spend hours reading and investigating all they have to offer. Great for both adults and children. They offer a scavenger hunt for kids with a prize at the end. Admission is free, but please remember to leave a donation!
Just a short free trolley ride from Anna Maria Island Condo Rentals – 601 Gulf Dr. N. Anna Maria Island 34217
Learn about the early settlers and the Museum Building that was constructed as an icehouse in 1920. It went on to serve as an automotive garage, a sea turtle hatchery, and a public administration building. In 1992, the City of Anna Maria began leasing the building to the Historical Society for use as a museum. The museum’s exhibits tell the story of the first settlers on the island and their legacy including archived records for research into families and businesses. You can also learn the Island’s fishing and baseball history.
After seeing the Museum visit The Belle Haven Cottage which is a historical cottage furnished with heirlooms and antiques demonstrating early island living. The cottage was originally built on the City Pier in 1920 and was used as a fish packing plant, rental cottage and bait shop. In 1926 it fell into Tampa Bay Bay and was pulled from the waters to become a family home on the Island for decades. Belle Haven was rescued from demolition in 2001 and moved to the Historical Park being restored in 2006.
Continue to the Old City Jail that was built in 1927 to detain local troublemakers and house the rowdies who had a little too much to drink at the local roadhouse. It was used as a jail until it caught fire in the 1940’s. Left with no roof, no windows bars and no door it is used as a photo op for visitors. The jail is one of the most photographed attractions on the island and a  “must-see” site that was featured in Ripley’s “Believe it or Not”.

Sale of Settler’s Bread-On Wednesdays, November through March come for food and fun in the Historical Park.

Taste the original Settler’s Recipe Bread. Proceeds benefit theAMIHS Scholarship Fund. 

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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.


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.


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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