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Tag: Shopping

Having a Blast on Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria Island is a unique place with a small-town feel and lots of fun to be had around the area. Whether you are here for a quick relaxing trip, visiting family, or just passing through we have compiled a great list of fun ideas to participate in. From water-based activities to various tours around the area, there is something for everyone to have a blast while on Anna Maria Island.

Anna Maria Island Historical Museum – The museum’s exhibits tell the story of the first settlers on the Island and the legacy they left behind. It also covers the Island’s fishing and baseball history. It includes archives of records and newspapers for research into families and businesses.

Beaches – you have a number of great locations to experience the beach, including Holmes Beach, Manatee Beach, Beach at Bean Point, Cortez Beach, Coquina Beach, Bradenton Beach, and Bayfront Park Beach.

Body & Sol Spa and Wellness – The day spa is located in the historic IGA building in Anna Maria. With 4,000 sq ft, we are the largest natural full-service spa on the island of Anna Maria.

Fun Florida Tours – Our kayaks are CLEAR, creating a “complete window into the ocean!” While viewing marine life is a “perk” to this tour (no guarantees), you may be able to spot sea life such as starfish, shrimp, fish, manatees, dolphins, stingrays, and more. 

Historic Bridge Street – Historic Bridge Street. Historic Bridge Street is the place to go if you want to enjoy a shopping trip while you’re exploring the island. There are unique boutiques, gift shops, and art galleries, along with locally-owned restaurants.

Island Players Community Theatre – Founded in 1949, The Island Players, Inc. is an organization dedicated to providing artistic experiences for the communities of Anna Maria Island and its neighboring cities through the presentation of stage productions.

Blast Anna Maria Island
Photo Courtesy of Island Players

Sea Rocket Gulf Coast Parasail – 75-Minute Parasailing Adventure above Bradenton Beach & Anna Maria Island. This lesson provides everything beginners need to go parasailing including all parasailing equipment, safety instructions, and a motorboat with an experienced crew.


Are you excited to join us here on Anna Maria Island for a blast of a good time? Are you an outdoor fanatic looking forward to water activities, or is retail therapy more your speed? We hope that everyone can find some amazing ways to enjoy our wonderful area and come back soon. Also, for all your vacation rental needs, always remember to Visit A Paradise as an ever-changing listing of accommodations to best fit your needs.

Feature Photo is Courtesy of Deposit Photos, Unsplash

Anna Maria Island Rainy Day Activities

You’ve planned your perfect vacation in paradise on Anna Maria Island. You’ve got your itinerary filled with lounging on the beach, warm swims in the Gulf, bike rides, shoreline strolls, fishing, and sunset admiring. Everything is perfectly planned out. And then… weather hits. You see a rainy day on the forecast and undoubtedly worry about your trip plans being ruined.

We’ll ease your mind with a couple of things: One, rain storms *typically* don’t last too long here in the AMI area. Two, the sunsets are always better after a stormy day. Three, there’s still so much to do in the Sarasota-Bradenton area even on a rainy day. We’ve rounded up some of our favorite rainy day activities here locally on our slice of the Sunshine State!


Visit Bradenton’s Village of the Arts

The Village of the Arts, a colorful, fun, and eclectic neighborhood not far from Downtown Bradenton and Lecom Park. 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 you can find everything from award-winning restaurants to specialty shops, studios, healing arts, bakeries and some of Bradenton’s best art galleries.

Go Shopping

A rainy day is the perfect time to scour for souvenirs for your loved ones, send postcards to family, or treat yourself to a little retail therapy. Whether you’re looking to window shop some locally curated boutiques 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!

Check Out Florida Maritime Museum

Right nearby in Florida’s oldest fishing village of Cortez, is the Florida Maritime Museum. While the Florida Maritime Museum sits on four acres of stunning Florida greens, the bulk of the museum’s peculiar maritime artifacts are indoors. Head inside to see historic photographs, antique tools, boat models, and more.

Have a Spa Day

Self-care is important. Whether you’re aching for a massage, feeling a facial, or wanting to freshen up your look – AMI has some great options for day spas and salons of all kinds!No better way to forget a change in plans than pampering yourself with some spa services!

Go Bar Hopping

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 on Anna Maria or very close by! Even better? No driving! The free trolley 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! 

Rainy Days

See Sarasota Museums

Sarasota, Florida is known for its emphasis on the arts. You could certainly spend multiple days just checking out the museums within 20-30 minutes of Anna Maria Island. There are so many things to do in Sarasota whether you’re heading out to visit a well-renowned museum or catch some live entertainment! 

As always, you can chat with our experienced team of locals for their favorite rainy day plans! When in doubt? You really can’t go wrong with supporting our local eateries, artists, and creatives in the Bradenton area. There’s always a Sunshine State of Mind here on AMI.

Photos Courtesy of Unsplash

Shop Small this Holiday Season

The holiday season is quickly approaching so it’s best to get started on your gift planning soon! But did you know that your holiday purchases can greatly affect our local economy? There are simple ways to shop responsibly and give back while doing your regular holiday shopping. The best way to shop is by shopping small, local businesses.

Many of our rentals on Anna Maria Island are conveniently located near some of the best shopping spots on the island, so whether you’re looking for a holiday gift for a friend or a souvenir for yourself, you can find pretty much anything you’re looking for and more right here on AMI!

Small Businesses
small businesses

It’s easy to head to big retailers to simplify things, but every time you shop small you are not only building up a local artisan or business owner, you’re helping support the local economy. If each of us spent just $64 on American made goods during our holiday shopping, the result would be about 200,000 new jobs! That’s the gift that truly keeps on giving.

Our local, small businesses need our support now more than ever. Some of the 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 to the latest fashions and more!

Amazing Small Businesses on the Island

Original Sand Dollar
5302 Marina Dr, Holmes Beach, FL 

The Original Sand Dollar Gift Shop is a cute shop located in Holmes Beach. This store is extremely 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!

Island Tides Candle Company
Etsy Shop

These locally made candles are the PERFECT gift and there is a scent for everyone! Each candle is hand-poured in small batches, made with natural soy wax, lead-free cotton wicks, and premium fragrances that are infused with essential oils. In addition, they are dye-free and contain no additives.

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, 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.

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.

The Island Cabana
403 Pine Ave, Anna Maria, FL

The Island Cabana, located 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.

Bazaar Shops

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.


Photos from