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

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!

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

Mother's Day

Mother’s Day on Anna Maria Island

Mother’s Day is coming up this weekend! Now, don’t panic if you haven’t made any big plans yet. There is still plenty of time to give that wonderful Mom or Mother-figure in your life the perfect day on Anna Maria Island. Here are some ideas for how to have an extra special Mother’s Day on AMI.

Breakfast in Bed

Breakfast in bed? Always a good idea. Getting breakfast to go to eat in bed and not have to clean up a mess after? An even better idea. Wake up early to grab your Mom some treats from The Donut Experiment or a sandwich from Paradise Bagels. The perfect way to fuel up for your day in paradise!

Make a Shell Necklace

If you’ve got little ones, a really fun way for them to get involved in personalizing a gift for Mom is to have them craft it! Have them look for shells with holes in them and then simply string the shells onto your necklace material of choice! Such a sweet way for them to get hands-on and budget-friendly with their gifting!

Sunset Picnic


One of the greatest blessings of Anna Maria Island is experiencing our beautiful sunsets. No matter what weather the day brings you can almost always promise a spectacular sunset every evening on the Gulf Coast. Pack up some snacks and sandwiches and enjoy an evening picnic at sunset! A peaceful way to end any day.

Treat to a nice dinner

Leave the cooking and hosting up to someone else! There are numerous incredible restaurants on the island to satisfy any person’s taste. Try The Waterfront! Or pop over to Cortez and try the new Slicker’s Eatery – they take reservations and your Mom will be thrilled with your planning ahead!

Don’t Forget Flowers

Mother's DAy

No surprise here: You can never go wrong with flowers! It’s Spring and the possibilities to brighten a day are always made better with some beautiful fresh flowers. Check out some local florists like Blooms by the Beach and pick out (or design!) something Mom will love.

Spa Day

C’mon. She deserves it! Book that appointment and help Mom chill out in paradise with one of our awesome spas!

Whatever the plans are, spending your Mother’s Day on AMI is always a good idea. If you want to book a quick staycation or vacation for the BEST Mother’s Day gift ever, give us a call at (800) 237-2252.

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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