1. Visit the Historic City Pier
Celebrating its centennial year in 2011, the City Pier is very special to Anna Maria Island, and is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the area. Enjoy food at the City Pier restaurant, stroll along and watch fishermen with their catches, or keep on the lookout for manatees and dolphins. A very simple pastime, but very beautiful!
2. Have a Romantic Dinner!
Nothing can compare to the setting, the food, the wine and the service of the Beach Bistro. An award winning 5 star dining experience, the Beach Bistro is as it says, on the beach or ‘surfside’ as they like to say. Offering the self-proclaiming World’s Best Burger’, ‘the Real Grouper Sandwich’ and the instantly acclaimed ‘Bistro Slider’, the Beach Bistro is a must visit for something magically romantic.
3. Catch a Sunset and a Sunrise!
Anna Maria Island is famous for it’s magnificent sunsets and sunrise. Watch the sun set over the Gulf and the sun rise over the Bay. Simply breathtaking! Good spots include Bean Point at the very northern tip of the Island, where you can catch both (if you’re there all day), but many of the beach rentals on the Gulf side, are also idyllic places to sit and watch, in the luxury of your own holiday home!
4. Sample some local wines
Local vineyards and merchants come to the Waterfront each week (usually a Wednesday) to share with you their amazing produce. The restaurant also offers us some delicious canapés to enjoy alongside. $ 10 for the evening, this is a favorite spot for Island residents, who are so wonderfully welcoming to visitors, that by the end of the evening you will have made some friends for life. Definitely a must-do if you’re an Anna Maria rentals vacationer.
5. Hire a Segway
Segways are awesome fun! A Segway, if you’re not sure, is a two-wheeled self-balancing electric personal vehicle. Hire one for an hour or a full day, or even book a scenic tour (Segs by the Sea) and enjoy Anna Maria balanced on two wheels. The Islands eco-friendly way to play!
6. Try Yoga on the Beach
Engage your mind, body and spirit with a yoga class directly on the beach next to your Anna Maria Island rentals. Island Wellness offer Yoga classes twice a week and ask for donations of between $ 2 and $ 10 to participate. You’ll struggle to find a more incredible setting for Yoga.
7. Have a Beach Massage
If Yoga is just still too strenuous, then what about a massage on the beach? Island Wellness has set up the first and only private tiki hut on the beach where ‘swaying palm trees and ocean waves soothe you, while the energy of the sun and experienced hands regenerate you
8. Kayak Eco-Tour
Great for families, Beach Bums on Pine Avenue, offer 2 Kayak Tours, Anna Maria’s own Bimini Bay or Manatee County’s newest Park: Robinson Preserve. Venture out, as a minimum party size of 4, with either Captain Scott, (Sea Captain and retired marine biology teacher) and Guide Brian, and they will take you on a 2-3 hour tour to through the reed and mangrove swamps, sea grasses and sand reefs, capturing all the beautiful wildlife that resides on Anna Maria.
9. See a Turtle in its Natural Habitat
Anna Maria Island is home to the beautiful sea turtle and between each May-October, mothers come to shore to lay their eggs. Turtle Watch is an organization set up for the protection of turtles and shore-birds, and works tirelessly with the Island community, educating them on how to live alongside and help protect these beautiful animals. During June, July and August, Turtle Watch offer morning nesting beach tours – a chance to see them in their natural habitat. Dependent on weather, they also give visitors the chance to take part in excavations. Conducted three days after hatchlings emerge, their volunteers count empty shells whole un-hatched eggs and occasionally rescue a trapped hatchling and return it to the Gulf.
10. History in the Making
Through 2011, history is being made on Anna Maria, with the development of the Anna Maria Historic Green Village. The Green Village is a unique and sustainable project, comprising a selection of new and compassionately renovated green buildings for both commercial and retail use. Significantly, the whole village will be powered by renewable energy such as solar power and ground sources, and is aiming to achieve the highest level of ‘green’ certification recognized in the US for environmental building and development. The Green Village can be found on Pine Avenue. Go take a look at one of the most exciting projects ever to happen on Anna Maria!