It’s been a very busy (and fun!) summer for us. The last few weeks we’ve visited friends back home, traveled for work, then spent the week on the beach with family. We’re finally getting back into the swing of things at our place in Florida + realize it’s been way too long since we’ve shared a blog post!
We thought Anna Maria Island would be a great place to highlight on the blog. For the last few years, AMI has been our go-to family vacation spot. Anna Maria Island’s numerous beaches, restaurants and events are just a few of the reasons we continue going back each year.
Our vacation was during the first week of August and we ended up getting really lucky with the weather. August and September are the rainiest months in Florida, but we experienced sunny skies and 80-90 degrees all week (with just a few rain storms at night).
The easiest way to get to Anna Maria Island is to fly into the Sarasota/Bradenton airport. From there, you can rent a car or take a taxi. We recommend using Hotels.com or AirBNB to find a nice place to stay near the water. Once you’re in Anna Maria/Bradenton Beach, you can take the free trolley almost anywhere!
The trolley starts at the Anna Maria City Pier and has 14 stops down to the south side of Bradenton Beach. Here you can find a map of the trolley stops + leave times.
We’ve created amazing memories every year + we always end up finding new places we really enjoy. Here are just a few of the places that have won us over…
Things to do in Anna Maria Island:
Take the Trolley to Bridge Street
On Bridge Street, you’ll see boutiques, bars, restaurants, candy stores, an Oyster Bar and people fishing off the Bridge Street Pier. Island Time Bar and Grill is an open-air bar and restaurant at the beginning of the street. We stopped by one night for live music, cocktails and appetizers.
Enjoy a Day at the Beach
Anna Maria and Manatee Public Beaches are very close and you can take the trolley if you don’t want to drive. Anna Maria Island Beach Cafe is located near Manatee Public Beach– you can listen to live music, dance, order food, buy souvenirs, and drink adult beverages out of a coconut!
We loved this craft cocktail bar– it is creative, unique and has great vibes. They open at 5pm most nights, the drinks are delicious + they serve small plates with complimentary Lays potato chips.
Day Trip to Siesta Key and Longboat Key
Longboat Key is a short 15 minute drive from AMI. Beautiful beaches, restaurants, shops and bars. If you’re staying for a while and wanting to explore more, Siesta Key is definitely worth the trip!
This year, we rented a boat and took a day trip out to Egmont Key. We walked around the lighthouse, saw gopher turtles, collected seashells, and enjoyed some time in the water. There’s no better day than a day on the water!
Waffles, Donuts, and Pine Avenue
You’ll find The Waffle Press and The Donut Experiment on Pine Avenue in AMI. Both places offer coffee and waffles (or donuts) with custom toppings. It’s a fun experience and a must during your vacation! The rest of Pine Avenue is filled with restaurants, shops and galleries.
Beach House Restaurant
The Beach House Restaurant earned The Knot’s 2019 Best of Weddings Award for its incredible views. This is a great place to simply grab an evening cocktail or enjoy dinner and watch the sunset.
Thanks for reading and we hope you have a great weekend. Also, please let us know if there’s anything we missed. [Feel free to send us ideas for our trip next year!]
Kayla + Logan