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!

Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport

After spending hours on the flight, the last thing you want to do is travel even longer in a car and deal with traffic. Especially Tampa traffic. Which is why I always suggest flying into the Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport if you can. Unlike Tampa International Airport, the Sarasota Airport is only a 30 minute drive away from AMI. With TPA being over an hour away.

While this airport may be closer, it unfortunately does not offer as many airlines/destinations as TPA does. Unlike Tampa which has over 60 non stop flights (including international flights), Sarasota-Bradenton only has 20, with none being international. However, they do appear to be slowly adding more destinations, so hopefully one day there will be more options. As for now, if you can get a flight to this airport rather than Tampa, I would highly suggest it.

 

Categories
Activities Family Fun Out of Town Recreation Shopping

The Sarasota Farmer’s Market

The Sarasota Farmer’s Market has been a local favorite since starting back in 1979. It has continued since then in serving the community with local plants, produce, flowers, and more.

You can really find some great treasures here. There are orchids and seasonal flowers to buy, along with great local produce. My personal favorite are the artisans the Sarasota Farmer’s Market feature. These skilled people really produce some phenomenal work. You can find amazing art work from Pea’s Easel Art, to Arte Canales who makes amazing art out of metal & cooper. There are some adorable jewelry and fashion vendors as well, including Sugar Sand Jewelry and Clothes 2 Dye 4.

This market is one of the only, if not the only, local farmer’s market that is open year-round. It runs from 7am – 1pm every Saturday, rain or shine!

Sarasota Farmer’s Market
1 N. Lemon Ave., Sarasota, FL 34236
(941) 225-9256

 

Check out a few other local farmer’s markets, like the Coquina Beach Farmer’s Market or the Bradenton Farmer’s Market in Downtown Bradenton.

Categories
Activities Bradenton Beach Family Fun Out of Town Recreation Shopping The Things that Locals Know!

Farmer’s Markets On and Off Anna Maria Island

Farmer’s Markets, who doesn’t love them? I know I sure do! Below you will find some great information on a few of our local Farmer’s Markets.

Anna Maria Island:

  • Bridge Street Market (107 Bridge St. in Bardenton Beach):
    The outdoor Bridge Street Market runs every Sunday, November – April, form 10AM – 3PM. This Bradenton beach tradition is a great place to find local artwork, jewelry, produce, and live music.
  • Coquina Beach Market (2650 Gulf Dr S, Bradenton Beach, Florida):
    The beach market at Coquina Beach takes place two days of the week, Sundays and Wednesdays. The Sunday market starts in November and is held every Sunday through July. While the Wednesday market takes place December – April or May. Both last from 10AM – 4PM. This is the only beach farmers market in the area, so don’t miss out. The Coquina Beach market is wheelchair and stroller accessible. Dogs are NOT allowed within Coquina Park. Stop by to find some great food, fresh produce, purses, pottery, and more!

Bradenton

  • Bradenton Farmers’ Market (Old Main Street/ 12th St W.):
    The Bradenton Farmers Market in Downtown Bradenton is hosted every Saturday in October through May, from 9AM – 2PM. This farmers market is very popular with the community and is a great way to start your Saturday. Fresh produce, live upbeat music, free activities for the family, etc. On the 3rd Saturday of each month during the farmers market season, they do “Mainly Art”, where local artists/craftsmen display and sell their work.
  • Red Barn Flea Market (1707 1st St.):
    At this market everyone in the family is sure to find something they want. The Red Barn Flea Market is located about 25-30 minutes away from Anna Maria Island. But the drive is worth it, and its bound to be a few hours of shopping and walking. This Market has over 600 vendors! Out of the 145,000 sq.ft area, 80,000 sq. ft. is indoor and air-conditioned. The indoor area includes shopping, fresh produce, entertainment, and a food court. Trust me, the Red Barn Flea Market is worth a visit while you’re in the area!

Sarasota:

  • Sarasota Farmers’ Market (Main St. & Lemon Ave.):
    Established in 1979, the Sarasota Farmers Market continues to carry the tradition of providing the community with plants, local produce, prepared foods, and artisans. With 80 vendors, there is quite a bit to check out here. Rain or shine, the Sarasota Farmers Market is open all year round, from 7AM – 1PM. This market is about 40-45 minutes away form AMI, though because this market is held earlier in the day, traffic shouldn’t be an issue.

 

Want more ideas on what to do in the local area, check out some of our other blogs, including; Big Cat Habitat & Gulf Coast Sanctuary, Myakka River State Park, and Fun Children Attractions near AMI .

 

Categories
Events Vacation Rentals

2017 World Rowing Championships – Anna Maria Island Accommodations

If you are planning to attend the 2017 World Rowing Championships at Sarasota’a Nathan Benderson Park, Anna Maria Island offers a multitude of accommodations just a short drive from the event. Offering a minimum of three-seven night stays, Anna Maria Island has beach front condos, villas, cottages and single family homes. Any would be perfect for a relaxing respite from the excitement of the competition.

2017 World Rowing Championships

From September 23 – October 1st, 2017 Nathan Benderson Park will be hosting the World Rowing Championship. This is a fabulous time of year to visit Anna Maria Island as the weather is perfect. Also, Fall is a quieter time of year for travel and tourism in Florida. While visiting Anna Maria Island in the off season you’ll enjoy empty beaches and a slower pace of life in an old Florida beach town setting.

Anna Maria Island is about 45 minutes south of Sarasota boasting over seven miles of powder sand Gulf of Mexico and Tampa Bay beaches. In addition to some of the best beaches the gulf has to offer, Anna Maria Island also has great boutique shopping, award winning restaurants. It’s also less than an hour drive to St. Petersburg, Tampa and Sarasota making it centrally located to tons of attractions.

Accommodate 2-4 Guests

The Bay View Inn is a four unit complex of 1 bedroom condominiums perfect for accommodating 2-4 guests. Each of the units were updated late in 2015 with the addition of a shared pool. The Bay View Inn is just a couple of blocks from Gulf of Mexico beaches. While you visit also enjoy great shopping and dining on historic Bridge Street.

 

Anna Maria Island vacation rental in Bradenton Beach
Anna Maria Island vacation rental Bay View Inn.

 

Direct Beach Front Accommodations

The Beach House Resort offers accommodations for 4 guests on direct beach front with 1 bedroom and 1 bath in Bradenton Beach.

Luxury Condominium La Casa O’Bar sleeps 6 guests with 3 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms. It offers gorgeous gulf views in Holmes Beach.

 

Anna Maria Island accommodations
La Casa O’Bar is a gorgeous Anna Maria Island vacation rental directly on beach front.

Accommodate large groups in Single Family Homes

Coral Escape spaciously accommodates 14 guests just a few blocks to gulf beaches. This home also offers 6 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms with a gorgeous heated pool and spa.

Sleeping up to 8 guests with 3 bedrooms Almost Heaven is less than two blocks from Gulf beaches.

 

Anna Maria Island vacation rental
Coral Escape is located in Anna Maria Island’s Holmes Beach, and accommodates up to 14 guests.

 

 

 

Categories
Shopping

Top 10 Guide to Shopping Anna Maria Island and Beyond

There are many fun little stores, boutiques, specialty shops and outfitters to explore for shopping on Anna Maria Island. Anna Maria Island does not offer large retailers or department stores. It is a really unique and charming shopping experience. In many of the shops you’ll be greeted by friendly shop owners and locals.  They are all willing to help you find that perfect something! Find everything from clothing, jewelry, art, outdoors equipment, gifts and tons of island themed wares on the island.

With so many options for shopping on and around Anna Maria Island, we have put together our Top 10 Guide to Shopping on and around Anna Maria Island.

1. Shopping on and around

Holmes Beach Publix
Publix Grocery Store on Holmes Beach

Maybe you are just looking for groceries, house hold items or a pharmacy. Anna Maria Island offers all the basics; however, if you are looking for a larger big box retailer you will have to go off island. Bradenton is the city located just inland, and offers all the big box and chain retailers you are accustomed to.

2. Must Shop

Olive oil outpost anna maria
The Olive Oil outpost is located on Pine Avenue.

The locals will tell you there are just some spots on Anna Maria Island you MUST visit during your stay. An eclectic list of specialty shops, check out these 10 awesome spots across the island.

3. Shop ’til you drop

West Coast Surf Shop
West Coast Surf Shop is located just south of the Manatee Avenue Public Beach.

Arrive at opening and leave at closing, there are some fabulous spots for you! From the Island Real Estate team Reservations Manager, Carol has personally hand picked 9 places for you to shop ’til you drop!

4. Souvenirs

Sand Dollar Boutique
Sand Dollar is located in the Holmes Beach Plaza.

There are tons of places to buy Anna Maria Island souvenirs and memorabilia. Finding that one special thing to remember your trip by is important, and with so many options you can’t possibly just pick one! From tacky to classy, and everything in between, you will definitely find the perfect little something for yourself.

5. Boutiques

Pink and Navy Boutique
Pink & Navy Boutique is on Pine Avenue

There are several really adorable little boutiques on Anna Maria Island that we just think you will love. First, you’ll Pink&Navy, Bella By the Sea and Shiny Fish Emporium in the city of Anna Maria. Then last, head south to Bradenton Beach to visit Back Alley and all the fun little places on Historic Bridge Street.

6. Farmers Markets

Bradenton Farmers Market
Bradenton Farmers Market located on Old Main Street in downtown.

There are fabulous Farmers Markets located near Anna Maria Island. Visiting in the late summer months markets you will also enjoy Anna Maria Island off season without the busy spring crowd.

7. Jewelry

The Hive Creations
The Hive is located on Bridge Street

Finding the perfect piece of Anna Maria Island jewelry is a fabulous way to spend your time shopping. We have put together a list of Top 5 Jewelry shops on Anna Maria Island.

8. Shopping in Sarasota

Main Street in Sarasota
Sarasota Main Street

To find high end boutiques, and luxury shopping take a trip into Sarasota. A beautiful city with tons of outdoor sculptures, a fabulous downtown and amazing restaurants, Sarasota is about 30 minutes south of Anna Maria Island. We suggest driving south along Anna Maria Island and Longboat Key for a gorgeous scenic trip.

9. Ellenton Outlet Mall

Outlet mall in ellenton
Ellenton Outlet Mall

The Ellenton outlet Mall is a great outdoor mall offering just about all the department stores and chain shops you love. Don’t let the term outlet detour you, Ellenton is a very accommodating and lovely shopping experience. Ellenton is about a 30 minute drive east from Anna Maria Island.

10. Lakewood Ranch Shopping

Main Street
Lakewood Ranch Main Street

A new and upcoming area, Lakewood Ranch offers a quaint little shopping district on their Main Street. With great little shops, restaurants and a movie theater, Lakewood Ranch is about a 45 minute drive from Anna Maria Island.

We hope you enjoy shopping on Anna Maria Island just as much as we know you’ll love the beach. Get your wallet ready and enjoy a little vacation retail therapy like an Island Local!