Author: Paradise Realty Staff

Happy Hour

Our Kind Of Happy Hour: Giving Back

What makes Anna Maria Island truly paradise isn’t the soft white sand, crystal-clear water, or year-round tropical climate… it’s the wonderfully kind people in this community. While the beaches are definitely our “love at first sight” feature, once you get to know the people who make up this island, AMI will really warm your heart. We are so blessed to live on the Gulf Coast and we are always eager to take part in the many local charity events and initiatives that make this island so special.

Happy Hour

That’s made evident in our many initiatives throughout the year — from advocating for sea turtle and shorebird protections, to collecting goodies for animal shelters during Santa Paws, our annual Toys for Tots drive, supporting the local elementary schools and community center, to participating in the Chili-Cook-Off, to much more. If it’s a way for us to bring some goodness to this area, we’re in.

Recently, we had the opportunity to support our most unique philanthropic event yet. This one went a little bit further than our Anna Maria, Bradenton, Ellenton, or Sarasota areas… It was time to think globally. This initiative was to support the recently war-torn country of Ukraine.

When we heard the wonderful folks at our Rotary Club of Anna Maria Island and local restaurant Slicker’s Eatery would be hosting a fundraiser to help support Ukrainian refugees, we knew we wanted to support in the best way we could: hosting our own “We Can for Ukraine” Happy Hour fundraiser. There are few things our team loves more than gathering together for a good time and a good cause… and that’s just what we did! Our Director of Marketing, Sharon Hoatland, started brainstorming and the rest of our rockstar team was just as eager to hop on board and make a difference.

Slicker’s Eatery was packed with our team members, business partners, and strangers-turned-friends. Over a couple of weeks we put together a YETI Cooler filled with cheer and had giveaways, complimentary drinks, raffles, A Paradise koozies, and more. Tanya McCormick and Rick Fass played some great tunes and we got to meet some lovely Ukrainian people who had made their way to AMI as refugees. To hear their stories and gratitude for this initiative was further proof that every effort makes a difference.

We were honored to be able to present a check for $4,200 at the weekend’s “Concert for Peace” on behalf of the A Paradise time. The generosity of those who attended our Happy Hour event and supported throughout the week was truly awe-inspiring.

We believe in the power of our small and mighty community here in the Anna Maria area and we are always ready to take part of a worthy cause. Thank you to all who attended and for our wonderful team that is always eager to take part in so many charitable events throughout the busy year! We are so humbled and grateful. Do you know of a local charity event we should be a part of? Be sure to reach out! Giving back is a pillar of our A Paradise culture.

Photos by Brian Slicker and Molly Parry


Anna Maria Island Summer Bucket List Ideas

Sweet Summertime is here and our team at A Paradise wants to help you have the best summer ever. Of course, we can set you up in your dream beach vacation rental or help you relocate here to paradise anytime. If you’re just looking for some fun ways for your family to celebrate Summer creatively here, we’ve got you covered. Whether you’re a local to the Bradenton area or just spending some family vacation time on Anna Maria Island, we’ve got some AMI-specific additions for your Summer Bucket List.


Jump in the water and play!

We know a beach trip is a given for your Summertime on AMI but how often do you let yourself dunk in and get your hair wet? When was the last time you went parasailing? What about kicking up your feet and floating? Let’s make this an all-in kind of Summer.

Get involved in a local cause

Think about what speaks to your heart. There are so many amazing local organizations, causes, and opportunities to make a difference. Maybe you want to learn how to help protect our sea turtles, or volunteer with the youth at The Center, or find ways to help local animal shelters. Even something as simple as picking up trash on your next beach walk will help make a difference in our local community and bring some extra sunlight to the sunny Summer days.

Find a shark’s tooth

Whether you’re an avid sheller, have an eye peeled for them anytime you’re on the shore, or have never even ventured to think about looking for shark’s teeth on the Anna Maria beaches. Try to spot a small, shiny, black shark’s tooth this Summer. It can really add some fun to your next shoreside stroll.

Ice Cream + Sunset

We know a true AMI Summer is never complete without some of our beautiful sunsets. Make it even sweeter by grabbing an ice cream cone and treating yourself to a delicious dessert and a breathtaking view!


Send a postcard

It’s so easy to stay in touch these days with cell phones, texting, and social media. Take a few extra moments of thoughtfulness to send a postcard to a loved one! Yes, even if you’re local. It’s such an inexpensive and easy act that can really brighten someone’s day and their next mail-delivery day!

Catch some live music

There are so many fun and talented local musicians and bands! Plenty of local restaurants have live music nights posted daily/weekly on social media so ask around or check out your favorites. If you’re looking for some larger acts too there are some big venues not far away in Tampa and St.Pete!

Travel from one end of the island to the other

Hop on your bike or the trusted trolley just for the sake of the journey! Put on some of your go-to Summer tunes and take in all of the beautiful sights all the way from the North End of AMI near Bean Point to Coquina, or even all the way to Longboat if you’re on two wheels. There is so much goodness all over Anna Maria Island.

Visit somewhere new or new-to-you

No matter how many times you’ve been to AMI or if you’ve lived here your whole life, there is always something new to discover in the area this summer. Visit a newer local restaurant, something off-the-beaten-path, or one you’ve been meaning to try for a long time. Order something outside your ordinary and we’re sure you’ll be delighted!


There’s our 8 suggestions for additions to your Summer plans list here in the Anna Maria area. We’re always so happy to chat to anyone about island suggestions so stop on in and see us or give us a call anytime if you’re looking for some more ideas. What else do you think is a must-do this Summer on the Gulf Coast? We’d love to be a part of your Best Summer Ever!

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Sea Turtle

What to Do: Sea Turtle Season on Anna Maria Island

It’s that time of year again! The magical nesting season experience for sea turtles stopping by our Anna Maria Island beaches. That, of course, means it’s our time to remind you of the vital parts we play in this and what you can do to ensure the safety of these important and irreplaceable animals. Sea turtles are under a steady threat, and much of it has to do with humans. We love to attract visitors to our Anna Maria Island vacation rentals to see the amazing sea turtles, but we treasure them and take this responsibility of residents on wild and wonderful land seriously.

Sea Turtle

Did you know about 90% of all sea turtles nesting in the United States take place right here in Florida? Sea turtles clearly play an important role in our marine ecosystems. Each sea turtle species uniquely affects the diversity, habitat, and functionality of its environment.

From May to October— Sea Turtles, visiting summer guests, and island residents share AMI and call this island home. It’s important that we all live in harmony together. Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch and Shorebird Monitoring (AMITW) identified and marked six turtle nests in just the first week of nesting season, which runs through the end of October.

These nests are just the beginning; hundreds more are expected this year, which will result in tens of thousands of hatchlings. To maximize their chances of survival, the best thing to do is eliminate obstacles created by humans.

Checklist from AMI Turtle Watch and Shorebird Monitoring:

– Lights out at 8 pm. Flashlights (and yes, including the lights on your cellphone) are strongly discouraged as they can disorientate nesting females and emerging hatchlings!

– Leave only your footprints! Of course, we want you to enjoy your time on the beach, but large holes and sandcastles are huge obstacles for our flippered friends. Nesting females can easily get stuck in a hole, and emerging hatchlings could easily get confused by a sandcastle. Please, please fill your holes before leaving the beach or fill any surrounding holes you may have seen left behind.

– Don’t trash where you splash! This one is year-round; always carry out what you carry in. Keep our beaches clean, and pick up trash.

Sea Turtle

– While boating, it’s a good idea to wear polarized sunglasses to see better into the water. Appoint a wildlife spotter on your boat to keep watch for sea turtles and manatees!

– Never approach sea turtles emerging from or returning to the sea. Our females are exhausted and have traveled thousands of miles to return home to nest. If you see a nest, please leave it be.

If you see people disturbing turtles, call the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Wildlife Alert hotline at 888-404-FWCC (3922).

More info or to donate: HERE

Thank you for helping care for our sea turtle friends, community, and environment!

Photos from

Village of the Arts

Visit Bradenton’s Village of the Arts

Whether you’re nursing a sunburn inside, want to avoid some beach traffic, or just want to experience a different part of the Anna Maria Island area— there’s always something to do on the Gulf Coast. Just a few miles inland from AMI is the city of Bradenton that has so much to offer. One of our personal favorite spots? The Village of the Arts, a colorful, fun, and eclectic neighborhood not far from Downtown Bradenton and Lecom Park.

Village of the Arts

This historic neighborhood is where artists and creatives alike come together to make our city a bit brighter and celebrate all of the beauty its residents have to offer. These colorful streets include over 275 individual properties and stretch from 9th Avenue West to 17th Avenue West between 9th Street West and 14th Street West. 

The unique cottages and bungalows themselves are cute enough to make a drive to see but the offerings inside many of them are just as exciting. In the Village of the Arts (VOTA) you can find everything from award-winning restaurants to specialty shops, studios, healing arts, bakeries and some of Bradenton’s best art galleries.

Village of the Arts

The Artists Guild of Manatee was formed in 1999 as a non-profit with a mission to build a community where artists live and work while enhancing quality of life and creating a harmonious environment. It really is something special, especially on their renowned “artwalk” days. You can join the VOTA community during their artwalks the first Friday night and Saturday afternoon of every month, where you’ll be greeted with live music, incredible food and unique indie art spanning every genre. At a VOTA artwalk you can get an excellent overview of the merchants in the area.

If you want to scope out your gameplan beforehand or can’t make an artwalk day, no worries! They have handy maps online you can check out here or just go on a leisure stroll and see for yourself. Even if you don’t have a particular destination in mind, we guarantee you’ll discover some surprisingly delightful art and incredibly friendly people. In the Village, there is beauty everywhere you look!

As always, you can chat with our experienced team of locals for their favorites at Village of the Arts! You really can’t go wrong with supporting our local eateries, artists, and creatives in the Bradenton area.

Photos courtesy of Village of the Arts


Book Your Florida Coastal Vacation Early!

With life making its way back to normalcy and people craving travel and relaxation more than ever, Florida is becoming an even more popular vacation destination. That’s why it’s important to book your vacation rentals early, bid on that beachside home while you can, and most importantly: Do it with a local team you trust right here on Anna Maria Island at A Paradise.


At a recent Press Conference, the Governor and his team announced that Florida welcomed 30.9 million visitors between October and December 2021, marking the second consecutive quarter that overall visitation has surpassed 2019, pre-pandemic levels. Overall in 2021, Florida had nearly 118 million domestic visitors, the highest level in state history, as residents of other states flocked to Florida as a refuge from lockdown policies

Preliminary estimates from VISIT FLORIDA show that 29 million domestic visitors traveled to Florida in the fourth quarter of 2021, reflecting a 57% increase from the same period in 2020, and a 7% increase from 2019.


With the demand for vacation rentals and secondary homes in the beachside bliss of Florida’s Gulf Coast rising, we want to make your vacation planning and home buying is as seamless as possible. While working with the A Paradise team for your rental or realty needs, we vow take excellent care of you because ultimately… We care about our community, a community we would love for you to be a part of.

When you work with our team or book through us, you are ensured: No scams, no tricks, no funny business. We will talk you through every question and concern, and find the perfect fit for you and your group whether you’re looking to visit, rent, or buy. We’ll give you peace of mind and a piece of paradise.

With the uptick in travel and trends continuing upward, the sooner you book the better. So, give us a call or look through our website and let’s make your Florida coastal dreams come true.

Main Office: 941-778-4800 | Fax: 941-778-7090 | Email:

Toll Free: (800) 237-2252

Photos from Unsplash

Anna Maria Island

Transportation Tips: Getting Around on Anna Maria Island

On Anna Maria Island, we relish in our slower pace of life. It’s a place to slow down, rest, and relax. Because we are a smaller island, it’s totally acceptable (and recommended) that you explore our whole island to find all the magic that awaits from the North End of Bean Point to the tip of Coquina Beach. Best part when visiting AMI? You definitely don’t need to worrying about renting a car for your whole crew! We’ve decided to highlight some of our favorite creative and more environmentally-conscious ways to get around.


A major staple of Anna Maria Island is our FREE trolley! Sit back, relax, enjoy the view and leave the driving and parking to someone else. Hop on and off as often as you like. Early birds will be excited to know island trolley service starts at 6am from both ends of the loop. Trolleys typically run at 20 minute intervals until 9pm, then every 30 minutes until 10:30pm.. Trolleys offer both air conditioned and open-air seating and are such a fun way to get from one end of the island to another, with plenty of stops along the way. Just wait at one of the trolley stops within operation hours and they’ll come pick you up, no payment, plan, or bus card needed!

Ride-Sharing/Airport Rides

While we may be a small town we’re not totally old-school. Ride-sharing apps like Uber and Lyft are available on Anna Maria and surrounding areas! If you’re specifically looking for a ride to your rental from the airport, we recommend using a local driving service. There are plenty of safe options we can recommend in the area, just ask our team when booking or planning your trip and we can provide some suggestions!

Monkey Bus

Commonly referred to as “The Monkey Bus”, their unmistakable fleet is available to drive you wherever you want to go! Get this… rides are free- the drivers and their fleet run entirely on tips! Want a ride to dinner? Need to run a couple errands? Want a safe ride back from getting drinks? Give the Monkey Bus a call! Unlike the trolley, their vehicles can cross all the bridges, meaning you are not necessarily limited to the Island if you need a ride in-town or in Cortez. You can also pre-book trips which is great for larger groups! If you’re looking for an added fun twist, they even have a karaoke-equipped vehicle! Just be sure to bring some cash to generously tip your local driver! Open daily Noon to 3:00 a.m.

For Rides Call 941-565-6542


Our favorite option… Explore the island like a true islander: On bike! With Anna Maria Island being only 7 miles long from one end to the next it’s easy to get from place to place on a bike. Hopping on a bike is the perfect way to explore Anna Maria Island and stop at some of the wonderful shops, bars, or beach spots it has to offer. Pack your wheels or rent a variety of different bikes from one of the many affordable local rental shops like Beach Bums on Pine Avenue. Some rentals even include bikes so be sure to ask when booking with us at A Paradise! Just don’t forget your helmet and to stay safely on the sidewalk or in bike lanes and the island is yours to ride!

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Best Way To Plan Your Stay on AMI: Book Direct

These days there are countless ways to try and find a rental in any desired vacation destination. There are other national websites, booking platforms, apps, even social media. All it takes is a quick Google search of “Vacation Rentals on Anna Maria Island”. But, if you’re looking in a particularly popular vacation spot, it can be hard to know what to trust. That’s why it’s smart when booking your vacation rental in AMI, you book direct through a trusted local company.  Traditional rental management companies offer an established reputation and vetted rental properties. 

Here at A Paradise, we’re all longtime locals who love to work and play in the same place you’re heading to your vacation. We’re here to check on all of the properties, help you feel confident in your selection, and offer a local’s perspective on all the best suggestions.

It’s that personal connection we offer that really makes the biggest difference when searching for your perfect beach vacation rental. You can stop into our office or give us a call to talk to a real person in real time who will listen to your real wishes. A personalized service and first-hand recommendations that can give much more reassurance than just an app.

Even more than that, we know the houses we manage. We live in the area, and we care deeply about our community. We truly hope that everyone who visits falls in love with paradise like we have. To do so, we genuinely want to help people have the best vacations of their lives.


That’s why we take great pride in being a trusted source to help your crew make memories on Anna Maria Island. We want to help you find the best vacation rental for your needs and wishes, at the best rate possible, with no crazy unseen service fees that don’t provide a service. We want to help you fall in love with the Gulf Coast area and get you in that perfect beach vacation rental you’ll want to return to for years to come.

Give us a call to get started: (800) 237-2252


Easy Romantic Date Ideas on Anna Maria Island

Being in such a beautiful place as the beaches of the Gulf Coast, it’s easy to feel the love. So what about when you want to plan a date night for your loved one in the AMI-area but WITHOUT the stress of long wait times or busy crowds? We’ve gathered some of our favorite stress-free and romantic date ideas on Anna Maria Island so you can plan a special night for your special someone right here in paradise. Whether you’re wanting a night out or something a little simpler – AMI has plenty of great options for any couple!

Order Breakfast In Bed

Start the day off with a classic simplified. Bring your partner their favorite breakfast spot in bed! If they’re more of a coffee-and-pastry type: grab some famous donuts at The Donut Experiment, a fun Belgian waffle at The Waffle Press, or a hot bagel sandwich from Paradise Bagels. Want to indulge in the whole breakfast-in-bed feast? Swing by a local diner like Cortez Cafe or Minnie’s Cafe to pick up your comfort favorites! Best part? When you run out to pick up breakfast to-go, that means you won’t have a messy kitchen to clean! That’s a win/win.


Beach Picnic

No matter what weather the day brings you can almost always promise a spectacular sunset every evening on the Gulf Coast. A beach picnic is sure to wow your date… but remember, we said stress-free here! Don’t want to worry about acquiring and packing all of your picnic needs? There are some fun local picnic companies that will plan and set up the whole thing for you! Check out the services from Beach Suites AMI that provides luxury beach set-up or just grab a beach blanket and order an awesome grazing box from Gulf Shore Charcuterie!

Sweets for your Sweetie

Whether you want to sit down for dessert at an exciting restaurant like the Chai Latte Creme Brûlée at Slicker’s Eatery, pop in for a quick ice cream at a beloved local creamery like Tyler’s, or bring home something fresh-baked from a bakeshop like Cheesecake Cutie.. There are so many incredible options for sweets for your sweetie here on AMI! No matter what their (or your) sweet tooth craves, it’s always a good idea to sweeten up your date.


Make Dinner Reservations

Yes, there are many great places to eat on AMI it can be hard to choose which! A major win for us is a place that takes reservations! It’s not the most romantic to say you’ve planned a date and then have to go on an hours-long waitlist a local hot spot. Here we’ve rounded up some of our favorite local restaurants near Anna Maria Island that accept reservations so you can have a relaxing meal with minimal or no wait!

Schedule a Spa Day

This date plan says “I see you, I appreciate you, I care about you.” Help your loved one take a well-deserved spa day! Whether they’re aching for a massage, have mentioned wanting to get a facial, or love treating themselves to a mani/pedi – AMI has some great options for day-spas and salons of all kinds!  Some services will even come right to you! So, book that appointment for your special person and get ready to chill out.

Beach Vacation Rental Weekend

We saved the best for last here… Of course the best date surprise ever, a weekend on the beach. Whether you’re local to the area looking for a staycation or just planning on trip – there are few things more romantic than surprising your sweetheart with a vacation at the beach! It’s important to take time away to relax and enjoy each other’s company and AMI is the perfect place to do that. Whether you’re staying for a night, weekend, or longer – A Paradise has something for you! Give us a call at 941-778-4800 or browse our rentals online!

Photos from


Home Decor Trend Predictions for 2022

While you may be listing out your New Year’s Resolutions, our team is researching the greatest Home Decor Trend Predictions for 2022. It’s a great time to be ahead of the curve and add some elements that will make your space feel fresh, fun, and functional. Check out the list of top decor trend predictions below and let us know if you’d like to add some pizzazz to your rental or have our expert home maintenance team assist in the process!


Natural Elements

When asked the number one interior trend predicted for 2022, the overwhelming consensus was an emphasis on natural elements. Whether it be creating calming environments with natural lighting and ventilation, incorporating plants and creating a visual connection with nature, or a forest green statement wall. 2022 will see more designs bringing in those muted nature colors such as leafy greens, bark browns, ocean and sky blues, sandy beiges, cloudy whites, and more into the home.

‘70s Inspired

Seventies decor and colors are back and groovier than ever! Expect to see more terracotta, teal, sage, and mustard colors. With lots of mid-century modern furniture trademarks — peg legs on cabinets and tables, teakwood tones, and highly textured fabrics.

Emphasis on Home Classroom/Office

Of course, by now we all understand the functionality and importance of a place to work from home. This year, we will see a rise in making specific spaces for these home offices and classrooms to not only just make them somewhere to focus but somewhere to thrive. That starts with an updated interior.



This trend is really a win/win because it’s environmentally conscious and sustainable AND you get to avoid any shipping delays! Expect to see English roll arm sofas, wingbacks, simple dining tables based on antique styles and pieces with detail and some history. Thrift stores will be your friend!

Colorful Window Treatments

In 2022, we’re going to see a lot of color and patterns, especially within window treatments. They play a key role within design because they are the jewelry of the room and can really make an impact. Whether it be drapery, shades or sheers, patterns with a burst of two to three colors will play a strong role in design next year.



Even the most basic neutral palettes can feel layered and exceptional when lots of different textures are incorporated. In the coming year, mastering that mix is going to be paramount. Various textures can really add depth to any space.

International Inspo

Our passports may be collecting cobwebs as of late, but that doesn’t mean that our homes can’t be a transportive experience all their own. You will see many take inspiration from their favorite vacation spot, or dream location. Like Parisian furniture, English kitchens, Italian outdoor dining areas, and of course… anything beach for our favorite paradise, Anna Maria Island!

Photos from

Paradise Team

It’s All About Community: A Paradise Giving Back

When you live in a highly sought-after vacation destination year-round it could be easy to assume that it would be hard to find a sense of community. Fortunately, our beloved Anna Maria Island area couldn’t be a more tight-knit and supportive are that we are so proud to be a part of. That’s REALLY what makes it paradise, and that’s exactly why we always seek out ways to support our local community.

Paradise Team

Whether it be at our schools, charities, fundraisers, festivals, or even just events, it’s safe to guess that our team is always jumping to get involved in any way we can. And not just on our little island — but in Cortez, Bradenton, and beyond.

Just a few weeks ago for Halloween, our wonderful team at the Ellenton office dressed up in their best costumes and Halloween garb for Trunk or Treat. They were so excited to pass out goodies to the students of one of our sponsorship partners, Barbara Harvey Elementary in Parrish. We love celebrating the next generation of Manatee County kiddos.

At the beginning of October, we were so proud to be a part of one of our favorite annual fundraisers for Turtle Watch! This event at Hurricane Hank’s is truly special and we were so happy to help raise over $16,000 for Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch & Shorebird Monitoring. This important work helps ensure the safety of our local sea turtles, and continued education about these vital parts of our ecosystem. 

Paradise Team

Some annual events we always look forward to supporting is the Giving Back event that we are always excited to be Music Sponsors of, the Chili Cook-Off, Toys for Tots, pet supply drives, and many events with Anna Maria Elementary School. Basically, if it positively impacts our community— we’re all in. It’s a major part of our company and team culture that we will always do all we can to help build up this local community and show love to its residents.

There is no greater honor we have than to be a light here on AMI and our wonderful surrounding towns. Have an event, fundraiser, or community event coming up? Reach out to see how we can partner up and increase joy AND impact.

In the meantime, go show love to someone today. We’re sending love from our A Paradise family to yours!

Photos courtesy of Visit a Paradise Team

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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