Author: Staff

Guy Harvey

Anna Maria Elementary Makes History with Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation

Our special “Little School by the Bay” just got a lot more special with an exciting announcement. Locally, you can see many people doing Guy Harvey designs on their clothes year-round but now, our Anna Maria area just gained an even closer connection with the famous artist. Collaboration and common interests lead to the first-ever Guy Harvey Academy of Arts and Sciences at Anna Maria Elementary.

The School District of Manatee County announced their partnership with the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation (GHOF) to establish the Guy Harvey Academy of Arts and Science at Anna Maria Elementary School (AME). The academy, named for the world-renowned wildlife artist, conservationist and businessman, will focus on marine sciences, conservation and the arts.

What does that mean for AME? The same little school we’ve all known to love and support over the many years is just adding another layer to the hands-on world-class education it offers students. The collaboration between the district and GHOF will begin this school year with development of a K-5 curriculum that will include a special aquarium to be installed at the school for the program, and accompanying art components. Students who finish the program will receive a certificate of completion from the academy.

On the partnership, Manatee County Superintendent Cynthia Saunders said “It is a goal of our school district to bring innovative educational opportunities to our students to expand their career and life possibilities. It’s been a genuine pleasure to work with Dr. Harvey and everyone associated with his ocean foundation to make this academy a reality.”

Guy Harvey

Dr. Harvey earned high honors in Marine Biology at Aberdeen University in Scotland and obtained a Doctorate in Fisheries Management at the University of West Indies. His vivid and colorful artwork has earned international prestige and is viewed in art galleries, exhibits, stores and adorns a wide array of popular products including apparel. You can even pick up a variety of Dr. Harvey’s unique designs at many of our local shops and boutiques!

In a thoughtful recorded statement, Dr. Harvey and his daughter Jessica Harvey, expressed their avid support for the academy. Jessica Harvey is an Environmental Conservationist and Co-Chair of the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation. They have both been searching for the right fit for an opportunity like this and AME fit just right for their goals to educate, empower, and inspire.

Doug Evans, Chief Philanthropy Officer for the GHOF was at the School Board meeting in Bradenton Tuesday evening when the Board approved the agreement for the academy.

“I don’t think there could possibly be a better fit for the very first Guy Harvey Academy of Arts and Science than Anna Maria Elementary,”

We are so proud of the staff at Anna Maria Elementary who eagerly sought this advancement and for the teams that came together to make it happen. We know that this will only further positively impact our local community, environment, and cause a ripple effect of care.

Anna Maria Elementary always welcome school-choice students, transfers, and “hardship” students with open arms. While the school has historically been the go-to public school for the many kids growing up on the island, they’re seeing even more children coming from neighboring towns to AME. So, if you live on the mainland and are just looking for a more individualized education in a warm environment for your child with an emphasis on marine biology, environmentalism, and the arts — reach out to see how your child can benefit from this exciting collaboration.

Congrats, Anna Maria Elementary! Welcome to the neighborhood, Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation!

Photos from School District of Manatee County


Best Way to Invest in Buying Land in Florida


Want to make the move and put some roots down in Florida? We’ll cut right to the chase here: The housing market is pretty wild right now, and trying to find the right home for you in the right location can be daunting… Especially in the coveted Gulf Coast area. But, there are other ways to set your family up with some space in Florida for decades: Buy land!

If you’ve been looking for land for sale in Florida, we can certainly help. Through Florida’s diverse landscape, from beautiful flat properties to sunny and scenic beaches to picturesque wetlands and hardy pine forests, Florida is an ideal place to buy rural land. That said, excellent properties are out there for those with the patience and knowledge about what it takes to buy land in Florida. Not sure if it’s for you? We can help figure it out!

Whether you’re looking to build a ranch, farm, grove, or homestead — there are plenty of options! In fact, we have a whole team dedicated to it. Our experienced land company deals primarily with agricultural real estate. We also offer full acquisition services for the distinguished investor, large holding companies, developers, and agriculture clients.


There are many benefits to buying in Florida you may not know about, especially in the Bradenton/Parrish/Sarasota areas. One of the largest industries in the state is agriculture, which has kept prices for agricultural land consistently solid, and because Florida is a recreationally-oriented state, land values along the coast and lakes has continued to remain strong.

A major plus of investing in land now is that Florida is growing and will continue to grow. If you have the opportunity to purchase in the hottest agriculture real estate state, it’s without question a worthy investment. If you choose the right piece of land, it can appreciate without taking any time out of your busy schedule. While some vacant land buyers make their purchase with the intent of cultivating farmland or building on it, make sure to consult with one of our land professionals on topics such as: Whether the land realistically suits your plans, which zoning laws may apply, and which agricultural and other tax breaks may apply.


We know buying land is a big investment and can seem like an overwhelming commitment; that’s why the members of our team are well-versed and fully prepared to answer any and all questions you may have. We live and work in the Manatee and Sarasota County areas, so we want to make sure our neighbors are excited about the potential to become local landowners! There are so many opportunities available to you, and our team is ready to guide you in the right direction.

Check out our website for some of the beautiful properties available, and don’t hesitate to reach out.

Photos courtesy of Visit A Paradise


Nightlife on Anna Maria Island

While our quaint 7-mile paradise on the Gulf Coast, Anna Maria Island, is known for its quiet simplicity and relaxing vibes… We also know how to cut a rug and have a good time! There are so many fantastic options to sip a drink, do some dancing, befriend some locals, or catch live music. In fact, you can find all of that and more at these nightlife spots we’re highlighting on Anna Maria or very close by! We also tried to mostly list places that are open past dinner hours. Alright, let’s get this island party started!


Casual and Classic

Our first suggestion has to go to our dear neighbors at Hurricane Hanks. In fact, if you’ve rented with us we’ve probably sent you to Hanks before— we love their team and their offerings! Some other casual and classic bars on Anna Maria we love are Slim’s Place, Duffy’s Tavern, and Freckled Fin Irish Pub. They all serve some of the very best pub food, too! Freckled Fin often has some great live music and the others are a go-to place to catch some sports on TV.

Bridge Street

Arguably the busiest area for nightlife on Anna Maria Island is along Bridge Street in Bradenton Beach. It has something for everyone! Everything from local dives (we’ll get to those below!) to frozen tiki drinks to family-friendly places to dance to live music. You can easily walk down Bridge Street and see what fits your night’s plans. Head to Daiquiri Deck for a sweet daiquiri, or stop in to Blue Marlin or Island Time for some delicious dinner and family-friendly dancing to live entertainment. Another mention, The Kokonut Hut is a bit further up in Bradenton Beach but is truly right on the beach!

Night Life

Crafty and Comfortable

This place is all about good vibes and great products. Slicker’s Eatery in Cortez is the place to try a fun craft cocktail (we recommend the Smoked Old Fashioned), sip some local beers, and try something from their fresh and eclectic menu. Slicker’s is quickly becoming known as a favorite place to have an exciting drink and some great laughs. They even make all of their syrups in-house with natural ingredients!

Upscale Ambiance

Want to start your night with some upscale ambiance and exciting cocktails? Check out The Doctor’s Office or The Waterfront Restaurant. They have some fun drink menus that really show off the skillset of their inventive bar staff. These are particularly great nightlife spots for a nice date night on AMI.

Dives Anna Maria

Local Dives

To us, a “dive” is a term of endearment especially when talking about these local watering holes. When referencing the local-renowned DCoy Duck’s in Holmes Beach it has been said: “Wherever you start, this is probably where you’ll end up.” The same could be said for some other local favorite bars like Sports Lounge, Anchor Inn Pub, Tommy Knockers Saloon, Bortell’s Lounge. They each offer something different and are beloved and frequented by the locals for many years so definitely belly up to the bar and keep in mind you’re visiting a local stomping (and often) dancing ground!

Important things to keep in mind:

  • There is never an excuse to drink and drive, especially with how easy safe transportation is to find on the island. There is a free trolley that runs from 6am-11pm every day, but if you’re out past that there is always the Monkey Bus or Uber/Lyft rides are available as well! Check out our transportation tips here!
  • Almost ALL of the above suggestions have live music at some point so we recommend heading to their individual Facebook profiles or giving them a call for the most up-to-date entertainment offerings!

Photos from


A Day Trip to Sarasota

Spending a longer trip to Anna Maria Island and need a little break from lounging in the sun? Try a day trip to our neighboring county, Sarasota! There are so many things to do in Sarasota whether you’re heading out to escape a rainy beach day, visit a well-renowned museum, or catch some live entertainment! Just a short drive from the Anna Maria Island-Bradenton area, it’s a great and easy way to change things up for a day of your trip!


Ringling - Sarasota

Sarasota, Florida is known for its emphasis on the arts. You could certainly spend a full day just checking out the museums within 20-30 minutes within Anna Maria Island. We also recommend stopping by Bradenton’s Village of the Arts on your way out to Sarasota’s famous museums!

Most notably, The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art where the grounds are undeniably as beautiful as the art pieces it houses! There’s even a Circus Museum for those fans of “the greatest show on earth” and the Ca’ d’Zan mansion that will make you feel like you’ve traveled to a faraway palace.

There are also countless specialty museums close by — like the Marietta Museum of Art  & Whimsy with fun and playful sculptures and installations and the Classic Car Museum with so many fabulous, historic cars.


St. Armands - Sarasota

Whether you’re looking to window shop some boutiques and special items like at the picturesque St. Armand’s Circle just past Longboat Key, strutting down Main Street in Downtown Sarasota to stop by some local shops and grab lunch, or wanting to make a day of it at the massive and award-winning University Town Center… You can shop til’ you drop in whatever fashion you like!


If you’re wanting to have a night out and plan to see a show – Sarasota is definitely the place to go. There really is something for every performing arts enthusiast: The Sarasota Opera, The Asolo Rep, Florida Studio Theatre, The Players Centre, and the Van Wezel — and the options don’t end there. There’s wonderful local productions, as well as national and international tours that come through!


Our team has indulged in numerous of these fun offerings in nearby Sarasota and can recommend the right fit for you and your group. Just let us know when planning your trip with us and we’d be happy to give you some insight and help you get set for a great day trip from AMI to Sarasota!

Photos from


Need Personalized Home Service? Call A Paradise Maintenance!

No better time to get your home in tip-top shape than now! We get it, you’re busy and not everyone has the knack to be their own handyman. If you’re tired of watching YouTube tutorials and spending twice as long to do something that a professional could knock out flawlessly and quickly, then our Maintenance Team is just a phone call away!

Our A Paradise Maintenance Team has highly-experienced professionals who are on-call to help serve the greater Anna Maria Island-Bradenton-Ellenton-Sarasota area with pretty much anything! No job is too small. We offer friendly, professional and personalized service to meet your needs with competitive pricing and excellent turn-around all over the Gulf Coast! Whether it be a paint job, pressure washing, or many renovation or repair services, we can definitely make the process easier for you!


A Paradise can provide you with quality home painting services at an affordable price. Whether you want an entire exterior paint job, or just a few interior rooms or touch-ups, our painters will freshen up your space!


Pressure Washing

We work well under pressure. We offer pressure washing services for homes, driveways, fencing and commercial buildings. You will be amazed at the difference a good pressure-washing can make!

Installations and Renovations

Our friendly team of professionals install ceiling fans and other fixtures in Manatee and Sarasota counties. We offer a variety of installation services for light fixtures, specifically. We can even run new wiring and install new switches for recessed lights. Residential flooring and wall tile replacement and installation services from experienced professionals.

Minor Plumbing and Repairs

Leaks? Dripping faucets? Minor plumbing services are available for residential plumbing woes such as drain cleaning, toilet repair, faucet and fixture replacement and more. We can repair or install new screen in your home’s screened enclosure or windows. Our experience patching drywall holes and painting means you only deal with one contractor.



We always measure twice, cut once. We offer top-quality carpentry services for many types of woodworking and home repairs that require a professional craftsman. Our team provides cabinetry repairs, trim carpentry, framing and much more. 

Home Watch

It is so important to have peace of mind while you’re away. How else can you relax on vacation if you’re worried about what’s happening back at home? Our Home Watch services allow you to leave your home for months at a time knowing your home will be taken care of while you are away by a team you can trust.

Basically, we are happy to be a one-stop-shop for all maintenance and home needs! Have a need at your home? Our experienced Maintenance team would be happy to see what we can do to make the process as seamless, flawless, and stress-free as possible! Give us a call or fill-out our form so we can get it started!

Photos from


Anna Maria Island Guide to Holiday Shopping

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Although this season is really about so much more than gift-giving, we think gift-giving thoughtfully can be really great. There are simple ways to shop responsibly and give back while doing your regular holiday shopping. Especially, if you choose to shop local and support a small business.

Some of the best shopping on AMI can be conveniently found on Bridge Street in Bradenton Beach and Pine Avenue on the North End of Anna Maria. Both streets host plenty of walkable shopping! We’ve compiled some of our favorite island shops to get everything from sunglasses to surf gear and art to toys. Speaking of toys, some of our local shops would be GREAT to pick up some donations for our office Toys for Tots drive!

Original Sand Dollar
5302 Marina Dr, Holmes Beach, FL 

The Original Sand Dollar Gift Shop is an incredibly cute shop located in Holmes Beach. It was recently re-opened, and is now run by the family that originally opened the store back in 1960! They’ve thoughtfully curated beautiful items for anyone’s home or closet.  This store is very popular with locals and visitors alike because they have such a unique and trendy selection. Everything from sea shells and candles to jewelry and clothes awaits at The Sand Dollar!

West Coast Surf Shop
3902 Gulf Dr, Holmes Beach, FL

West Coast Surf Shop has been on Anna Maria Island since 1964! If you’re looking for a real surf shop, than this is the place to go! At West Coast Surf Shop, you will find beachy apparel, the best brands of swimwear, sunglasses, jewelry, surfboards, skateboards, etc. If you have a water sport enthusiast, this is the place to get the latest and greatest gear.


The Island Cabana
403 Pine Ave, Anna Maria, FL

The Island Cabana, located at Pine Avenue on Anna Maria Island, is a resort lifestyle beachwear and gifts boutique for both you and your home. Quaint, local shop with women’s brand-name resortwear & trendy jewelry, plus home decor & souvenirs. In 2015 The Island Cabana become a Lilly Pulitzer Premier Specialty Store.

Pink & Navy
216 Pine Ave, Anna Maria, FL

This adorable boutique features hip and trendy clothing and accessories for women, men and children of all ages and sizes. With a focus on buying brands that give back and do good, you can feel good about your purchases and hopefully find clothes that make you feel beautiful. Because you are – inside and out. Very trendy!

Sun & Surf
5418 Marina Dr, Holmes Beach, FL

Here you’ll find a large selection of beach clothes. Tons of beach themed T-shirts, cover-ups and swim wear too. All the typical things you find a beach shops are here including a few out of the ordinary items. Sometimes you’ll find furniture and other knick-knacks.


Egret Shops
10006 Gulf Dr, Anna Maria, FL

The White Egret is full of original treasures including home accents, bedding, bath goods, candles, linens, and more. They also offer custom floral designs! They have on staff designers that can create all types of original displays for all occasions.  The owner’s actually own three different spots on the island: The White Egret, The Egret’s Nest, and The Egret’s Landing.  Each of the stores specializes in it’s own unique gifts and decor.

The Egret’s Nest – Ladies’ Apparel& Baby Boutique

The Egret’s Landing – Home Furnishings& Interior Design

Island Bazaar
3304 E Bay Dr. Holmes Beach, FL 

Bridge Street Bazaar
117 Bridge St, Bradenton Beach, FL

A family-owned small business since 1987 that has grown over five times through the years to offer our customers a wide selection of quality goods. Definitely known for its wide variety of funky souvenirs but they also have a great selection of sunglasses! They have everything you need for the beach from Tshirts and beach novelty items as well as everyone’s favorite beachwear brands: Costa and Salt Life.

Shiny Fish Emporium
306 Pine Ave, Anna Maria, FL

1950‘s Palm Beach elegance and style meets the tranquil low-key lifestyle of Anna Maria Island. Beach Glam© gifts are found next to unique toys for kids of all ages at the Shiny Fish!

And don’t forget…

Toys For Tots!

Giving back is a major part that makes the holiday season so lovely. Toys for Tots is an incredible initiative that we at A Paradise are happy to partner with each and every year. Just drop off a toy to either our Ellenton or Anna Maria Island office to take part in making someone’s Christmas special!

Photos from

Holmes Beach Office

On Anna Maria Island
5201 Gulf Drive
Holmes Beach, Florida 34217
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Ellenton Office

Located in Ellenton Plaza
945 25th Drive East
Ellenton, Florida 34222

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