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The Things that Locals Know! Travel Skills

AMI Golf Cart Rentals

The roads of Anna Maria Island are perfect for golf carts. With the highest speed only being 35 MPH, golf carts are legal to drive throughout the Island and are very popular among not just visitors but also those who live year-round on AMI. So if you are planning an upcoming trip here, and are interested in getting a golf cart for part or all of the stay, contact AMI Golf Cart Rentals.

AMI Golf Cart Rentals offers electric luxury carts as well and electric economic carts. You can choose between a 4 seat cart or a 6 seat cart, and they have single day rental, 3 day rental, and full week rental options. Worried about picking up/dropping off the cart? Don’t be. AMI Golf Cart Rentals will take care of it, just contact them when you want a cart picked up/dropped off and they will be there promptly.

AMI Golf Cart Rentals
941-212-2402

Categories
Top Ten Things to do

Top Fitness Activities – Anna Maria Island

When visiting Anna Maria Island there are plenty of fitness activities to keep you feeling healthy during your paradise getaway. Enjoy a great vacation guilt free when you try out these Top 11 fitness activities on Anna Maria Island.

Top 11 Fitness Activities

  1. Going to the Gym: The Fitness Center at The Center of Anna Maria Island is a great place to go get your workout in. The Fitness Center consists of a Cardio Center, Weight Center, Specialty Fitness Room, and a Stretch and Mobility Room. They also offer some awesome fitness classes and are always adding new ones. Iron Yoga, Body Blast, and Tai Chi are just some of the classes done here. For none-members, classes are $15.
    The Fitness Center at The Center of Anna Maria Island: 407 Magnolia, Anna Maria City, FL 34216
    – Phone: (941) 778-1908

2. Fit Crew: Since 2010, Fit Crew Bradenton has been offering Personal Training, Sports Specific Training, Nutritional Services, and Cross Training Group Classes. It is also the biggest non-commercial gym in Bradenton. This is a great place for challenging yourself both physically and mentally, while also forming bonds with others and forming friendships.
Fit Crew Bradenton: 608 19th Ave West, Bradenton, FL 34205
– Phone : (941) 749-0400

3. Bike riding from Anna Maria Island to the Robinson Preserve and back. I love the 11 mile bike ride, and it can easily be completed in 1 hour. Plus you always see local wildlife!
Robinson Preserve: 1112 Manatee Avenue West, Bradenton, FL 34205
Phone: (941) 742-5923

4. Bike riding to Harry’s Continental Kitchen on Longboat Key is another decent ride. This lets you get familiar with Longboat Key and try the delicious food at Harry’s.
Harry’s Continental Kitchen: 525 St Judes Dr, Longboat Key, FL 34228
– Phone: (941) 383-0777

Insider tip:  The Coquina Bike path is a great low key bike path that takes you off the streets and lets you bike on a side walk close to the Beach!

5. Paddle boarding or kayaking around the bayous and gulf side is an awesome fitness activity. Love the workout and being able to be out on the water while getting a tan! And you basically always see marine life, whether it be dolphins, rays, sea turtles, and more!

6. Playing golf at one of the many golf courses in the area. Click here to see all the Golf Courses on and near AMI.

7. Rollerblading is back baby! Rollerblading has become more popular recently, and the back streets of the Island are great for rolling around.

8. Playing tennis at the local free tennis courts, or shooting some hoops at the public Basketball Court.

9. Pure Barre: Located in Northwest Bradenton, Pure Bare offers 4 different group class formats that are concentrated on lifting & toning muscles using low impact, high intensity movements. Everyone I know that has tried out Pure Barre has loved it!
Pure Barre: 6745 Manatee Ave W, Bradenton, FL 34209
– Phone: (941) 792-8663

10. Activities at the Anna Maria Island Community Center are great for keeping you in shape during your stay on Anna Maria Island. There’s tennis, pickleball, and adult & youth sports.
The Center of Anna Maria Island:  407 Magnolia Ave, Anna Maria, FL 34216
– Phone: (941) 778-1908

11. Last but not least, going on a sunset beach run/walk along the water. I love taking pictures and watching the day end as I get a good run in!

Categories
The Things that Locals Know!

Local Utility Company List

Here is a list of the local utility companies, and how to contact them:

Electric Companies:

FPL (Florida Power & Light)
800-226-3545 or 941-917-0708
www.FPL.com

Peace River Electric
800-282-3824
www.Preco.org

Gas Company:

TECO (People’s Gas)
877-832-6747 or 813-275-3700
www.PeoplesGas.com

Phone/Cable Companies:

Spectrum (formerly Brighthouse)
941-748-1822
www.Spectrum.com

Verizon Wireless
800-843-4000
www.VerizonWireless.com

Frontier FiOS
877-853-7118
www.Frontier.com

Xfinity Cable
800-934-6489
www.Xfinity.com

Water/Garbage/Sewer:

City of Anna Maria
941-708-6130
www.CityOfAnnaMaria.com

City of Holmes Beach
941-708-5768 
www.HolmesBeachFL.org

City of Bradenton Beach
 941-778-1005
www.CityOfBradentonBeach.com

City of Bradenton
941-708-7450
www.CityOfBradenton.com

City of Palmetto
941-723-4580
www.PalmettoFL.org

City of Sarasota
941-263-6793
www.SarasotaFL.gov

Manatee County Utilities
941-792-8811
www.MyManatee.org

Sarasota County Utilities
941-861-6790
www.SCGov.net

Town of Longboat Key
941-316-1999
www.LongboatKey.org

Categories
Real Estate

Top Ten Questions for Anna Maria Island Lender

Choosing the right experts to help in your Anna Maria Island property search is imperative. Zoning, Coastal Construction Lines, Riparian rights, Vacation Rental regulations, insurance, property easements and the list of important considerations when purchasing Anna Maria Island property can go on and on. One of the key professionals in a successful property purchase is choosing the correct lender. Below are the top ten questions to ask when choosing your Anna Maria Island lender.

  1. How many loans do you perform on Anna Maria Island on average a month or quarter? If the answer is one or two per year then ask if they service other barrier islands like Longboat or Lido Key. If the answer is no then we would suggest you move on. One challenge with Anna Maria Island property is mainland lenders can struggle to understand land value versus improvement value. More specifically, the land is normally worth more than the home.
  2. Where is your office located? This can be another key indicator of how local the lender is. If their office is in Omaha, Nebraska you may want to look elsewhere.
  3. What are your fees, rates, and closing costs in general? Are they negotiable? A good faith estimate will be provided by the lender however good to work through fees prior to investing your time with the wrong lender.
  4. Do you perform remote closings where paperwork can be signed elsewhere? This can be key for second homes. Most lenders provide remote closing but good to check to be sure.
  5. What loan to value is required for the property? Loan to value (LTV) is the amount put down to secure the note. For example a $1,000,000 loan that has an LTV of 20% would mean the amount needed to put down to secure the note is $200,000.
  6. What type of mortgage would you suggest? What plan would you suggest for the situation? Sometimes out of the ordinary loans can create the best plan for second home buyers.
  7. Do you offer discounts for inspections, auto-payment set up or setting up specific accounts?
  8. How long will the loan approval process take? Most lenders can approve a loan in less than a week. If the lender answers significantly longer ask why?
  9. How long will it take to close the loan? Most lenders can close within 45 days. If the lender asks significantly longer ask why?
  10. Do you have any pre-penalties for paying the loan off early? There should be no penalties for paying off the loan early.

BONUS question: If you are considering condominiums as part of your purchase ask if the lender provides condo-tel loans? This is when there is an onsite staff member that assists in booking vacation rentals. While there are not many condo-hotel properties on Anna Maria Island you may find the perfect condominium that your lender of choice cannot support. If this is a concern seek more information from your real estate professional and they can let you know if this question should be posed to your potential lender.

Categories
The Things that Locals Know!

World’s Strongest Man Competition (2020)

What was supposed to take place in Bradenton during May, is now being held in Lakewood Ranch during November of 2020. If you were on Anna Maria Island last year, then you may have been staying when the Island was hosting the World’s Strongest Man competition. The Island was graced with contestants (including Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson, who played “The Giant” on the hit show Game of Thrones) and spectators for the event that took place in Bradenton and at the Manatee County Public Beach.

Competition setup on the beach. Photo from The Islander

Now our local area will be hosting the World’s Strongest Man competition once again, though it will be much different than previous years. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic spectators this year are prohibited. Though this may be disappointing news, this does not mean you shouldn’t come and visit the area/Anna Maria Island. Check out some vacation rentals, and enjoy the competition broadcast from the comfort of your rental.

Categories
The Things that Locals Know!

Suncoast Cuisine – Private Chef

Looking for a delicious, professionally made meal, but want to stay in the comfort of your own home or an Anna Maria Island vacation rental? Well you are in luck! Chef Melissa with Suncoast Cuisine is just who you want to get in contact with.

Suncoast Cuisine brings the restaurant to you with Chef Melissa’s amazing, up-scale style dining. Don’t worry about shopping, or preparing the ingredients, Suncoast Cusine will shop and prepare the food for you. All you need to provide is a kitchen for the chef to work her magic in. 

Suncoast Cusine menus are customizable, so even the pickiest eater will be pleased. This is perfect for a causal group dinner while on vacation, or a special occasion! This is a fantastic alternative to going out to a restaurant, which can be hectic during busy season. 

Suncoast Cuisine can be contacted by phone or email
(727) 286-1352
mdedloff@gmail.com

Categories
The Things that Locals Know!

Anna Maria Island Vehicle and Airport Transportation

There are lots of choices for auto transportation on Anna Maria Island.  Sure you can pick up a Lyft or an Uber but using someone local that knows the area is half the fun!  The drivers listed below are local and they know Anna Maria Island.  Wouldn’t you rather spend your time traveling from the Sarasota or Tampa International Airport learning all the great things your driver can suggest you do on your visit to Anna Maria Island?

We have had some incredible feedback on the drivers below and imagine for 35-75 minutes having the time of a local to tell you about all fun things to do, places to eat, and out of the way local hot spots!

Don’t forget, professional transportation can help as well for that night out the town if traveling to Sarasota or Tampa as well.

Coastal Elite Limousine

Coastal Elite Limousine offers a fleet of Luxury Town and Country Minivans as well as Ford Expedition SUV’s.  The driver is local, born and raised on Anna Maria Island. Be sure to ask his favorite places to go eat, best activities, you name it! Airport service to Tampa International Airport starts at $100 and service to Sarasota airport is $55.  These estimated do include gratuity!  For more details on rates, schedules, be sure to call (941) 348-4971.  Coastal can help with any Anna Maria Island Transportation needs.Anna Maria Island Transportation

Anna Maria Island Airport Transportation

Alan and Andrea Shields of Anna Maria Island Transportation have a host of vehicles at the ready for all your local transportation needs. They currently have a Lincoln Town Car and several Sport Utility Trucks available.  Anna Maria Island Transportation has been finalist for three years in a row for the Anna Maria Island Chamber small business of the year award.  An enormous honor to just be a finalist and certainly a strong sign the are respected in the Community for their Anna Maria Island Transportation business.  For more details on rates, schedules and information call (941) 527-5602.

Please Note: This information has been gathered as a convenience.  We cannot guarantee the rates.  Please call individual vendor for details.

Categories
The Things that Locals Know!

Anna Maria Island and area golf courses

If Golf is your game then Anna Maria Island provides a relaxing central location to a great deal of local Golf Courses.  Anna Maria Island does have one private 9 hole executive golf course for members only however in the Summer they do allow short discounted memberships for the avid golfer.  Golf in the morning and go to the beach and visit with family in the afternoon.  What could be better?  There are Key Royale Vacation Rentals that surround the golf course or just a walk away.  Let our sponsored real estate professionals help find your golfing paradise or if a shorter stay is in order then review the vacation rentals available very near the Key Royale Club.

There are options on the mainland.  North West Bradenton has several courses, Bradenton, Lakewood Ranch and Sarasota are all great options as well.  See our list below of golf courses worth visiting.

Anna Maria Island Golf

Buffalo Creek Golf Course
This is a public golf course
8100 Erie Road
Palmetto, Florida, 34221
(941) 776-2611

IMG Academies Golf and Country Club
This is a private golf course
4350 El Conquistador Parkway
Bradenton, FL, 34221
(941) 758-1466

Imperial Lakewoods Golf Course
This is a Semi-Private Golf Course
9680 Buffalo Road
Palmetto, Fl, 34221
(941) 747-9432

The links at Greenfield Plantation
This is a public golf course
10325 Greenfield Plantation Blvd
Bradenton, Fl, 34202
(941) 747-9432

Manatee County Golf Course
This is a public golf course and closest to Anna Maria Island
6415 53rd Avenue West
Bradenton, FL, 34210
(941) 792-3288

Pinebrook/Ironwood Golf Club
Executive Golf Course
4260 Ironwood Circle
Bradenton, Fl, 34209
(941) 792-3288

The River Club
This is a Semi-Private Golf Course
6600 River Club Blvd
Bradenton, Fl, 34202
(941) 751-4211

River Run Golf Links
This is a public golf course
1801 27th Street
East Bradenton, Fl, 34208
(941) 708-6331

River Strand Golf Club
This is a Semi-Private Golf Course
7155 Grand Estuary Trail
Bradenton, Fl, 34212
(941) 708-3617

Stoneybrook at Heritage Harbour
This is a public golf course
7900 Stone Harbour Loop
Bradenton, Fl, 34202
(941) 746-2696

Terra Ceia Bay Country Club
Executive Golf Course
2802 Terra Ceia Bay Blvd
Palmetto, Fl, 34221
(941) 729-7663

University Park Country Club
This is a Semi-Private Golf Course
7671 The Park Blvd
University Park, Fl, 34201
(941) 359-9999

Waterlefe Golf and River Club
This is a Semi-Private Golf Course
1022 Fish Hook Cove
Bradenton, FL, 34202
(941) 744-9771

Categories
Top Ten Things to do

Anna Maria Island Top Seven Ice Cream Shops

This information page provides Anna Maria Island top ten ice cream shops.  Well summer is here once again!  Nothing is better than spending a day on the beach soaking up the warm Florida Sun, and swimming in the Gulf of Mexico. One of my favorite things to do after a day at the beach, and one of the best ways to cool down during the summer heat on Anna Maria Island is to grab an ice cream treat.  So I spent the day traveling the Island in search of the best ice cream and candy treats in the area.

Categories
The Things that Locals Know!

Anna Maria Island Newspapers

Anna Maria Island has two local newspapers for the island. Both newspapers are located in Holmes Beach but provide news to the entire island.  Anna Maria Island is fortunate to have two local papers as well as one mainland newspaper that handles Bradenton, Florida newsworthy events.

Bradenton Local news coverage

The Bradenton Herald is by far the largest newspaper as it primarily focuses on Bradenton which is the mainland just to the East of the island.  Anna Maria Island is covered within the newspaper however normally a small portion of the news since Bradenton is a much larger city than the island.

Anna Maria Island local newspapers

We have two newspapers on Anna Maria Island.  The Anna Maria Island Sun covers Anna Maria Island and is located in Holmes Beach.  They have been providing local news for decades.  The second Anna Maria island local newspaper called the  Islander covers Anna Maria Island newsworthy events.  Believe it or not, the Islander has been around even longer than the Anna Maria Island Sun.  Both newspapers are sure to attend large events and especially attend our three city local governmental meetings and a great resource for city government happenings.  After all there are three cities on the island!