Anna Maria Beach Condo

Western Florida vacation

Leave a comment

AMI’s beaches are getting wider by the hour!

The beaches are getting wide and beautiful again!

Beach nourishment is drawing to an end and all the heavy machinery will soon be history.

This video was done a couple of years ago by a true beach guru, David McRee aka BeachHunter.
It shows very well what’s going on.



Leave a comment

It’s official – AMI’s the worst kept secret in Florida!

In 2008 when we started renting our first condo, Anna Maria Island used to be advertised as the “Best kept secret in Florida” – I think we easily can say that’s no longer the case!

Last year TripAdvisor ranked Anna Maria Island as the fourth best island to visit in the US – this year we’re number three!

AMI was awarded ahead of some pretty heavy competition; what about Maui, Hilton Head, Nantucket and Key West??


Sunrise, on your way to the beach 20130920_192254



Leave a comment

Hear Anna Maria sing!

Some people call this special place Anna Marie Island, other’s AMI, while most say Anna Maria Island.

According to the daughter of an early land developer, Lilian Burns, the correct pronunciation of the the island was an-na ma-rye-a, since it was named for the strong winds occurring in the area, using the German term for the wind, Maria. This pronunciation is heard in the popular song, They Call The Wind Maria, from the musical Paint your wagon.

Did you know that Anna Maria Island has it’s own song?

Leave a comment

The Outsider’s Guide to Eating on Anna Maria Island

With all these “Insider’s guides” coming out, we’ve opted for an “Outsider’s guide” for all of those who might be visiting AMI for the first time.

Ask anyone on the island and these are the restaurants you most likely will be recommended and end up visiting on your first visit…..and your second…..and your third…….If you want to know the places that people don’t tell you about, click here.

If Anna Maria has an “inn place”, this is it!
Situated on the beach at the end of Spring Avenue. Live music. Here’s where you’ll have the most crowds on any given day. Every evening you can guess the exact time that the sun sets and compete for a bottle of bubbly.
Just don’t do what we did: Arrive just in time for the sunset and be seated in the bar awaiting a free table. You can’t compete if you’re not in the dining area. Guess who guessed right to the second? Tomas will never get over this mistake!

The Bradenton Beach equivalent to The Sandbar. Not surprisingly they have the same owners. No bubbly competition though.

Holmes Beach’s place to eat on the beach. Famous for it’s “all you can eat” pancakes and sausages breakfast. This is where we normally fill our bellies to the brim before doing a trip to Busch Gardens. You last long before needing a top-up! Friday evenings they have a drumming circle where you can help drum down the sun.

Cafe on the Beach drum circle

Might not be the place for your average family dinner outing. This is one of the best restaurants in Florida, and priced accordingly. Your best chance to see a celebrity on Anna Maria Island.

Not content with being on the beach? You want to be on the water? These are the places to be. Great places to get a bite and a genuine “Old Florida” feel (actually they are sooo Old Florida that they don’t even have their own websites) while watching the Sunshine Skyway Bridge over Tampa Bay and people fishing from the pier.

Further inland (is it called that on an island?)

Get a kitsch overload while eating your breakfast or lunch at this place. They sell everything in the store, so you might end up with an interesting chandelier made of grandma’s best china, or a metal egret.

Great burger joint located close to Manatee Public Beach parking area. We love their curly fries! They write their estimated waiting time on a black-board – not in minutes, but in beers! Just remember: cash only and Mondays closed……and no air-conditioning…..

skinnys burger wait time

Voodoo theme Caribbean restaurant with a “don’t even ask” policy about seasoning. The food is already seasoned to perfection. You can however buy extra in the reception.
We always buy their “Magic Dust” dry rub in a round metal can. Not spicy in spite of the fierce orange color. You can use it on most everything and also as a give away instead of flowers or a bottle of wine. We like to travel light, so it’s perfect as you can bring it onboard the flight in your hand luggage!

We also have an insider’s guide for the gems that might not be immediately found. We send it to anyone that subscribes to our newsletter!

Leave a comment

The Insider’s Guide to AMI Restaurants

It’s hard to keep a secret on Anna Maria Island. The island is just too small!
But even if you’ve been to AMI many times, you might have missed some of these:

It’s not easy to find a decent Mexican style restaurant anywhere. Poppo’s uses fresh organic ingredients and antibiotic/hormone free meats.

Made to your specifications. Expect to wait while they are made, lines are often long. But the reward is amazingly fresh donuts that just may redefine how a great donut is supposed to taste!
You fill out an order with the preferred icing and topping or choose one of the ready made combinations on the bottom of the order form. (My favorite is the Key Lime).
Just be aware that their opening hours are 7AM to 1PM, Tue – Sun.

Probably one of the best priced restaurants on the island for what you get served. Many locals consider their rack of ribs to be the best on AMI. 

This restaurant is also mentioned on the “outsider’s list”, but I thought it might be in order to highlight their breakfast, which is a wonderful way to start the day. At $12 (2014 price) their Seafood Omelette is the most expensive on the breakfast menu, and it is really a great option if you like seafood!
They open at 8am which is later than most breakfast places on the island.

For more insider’s advice look at the post below!
You will need to subscribe to our newsletter to open it up.