Category Archives: Tourism

Anna Maria Island Sights

Top 5 Sightseeing Activities On Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria Island Beach

Anna Maria Island Beach

Anna Maria Island sightseeing is a unique experience unlike that of any other place in Florida!  While plenty of Florida cities and towns are beautiful, there is an old charm about Anna Maria Island you just don’t find anymore. There are no high-rises, parking garages or large chain stores. Anna Maria Island is truly an authentic old Florida vacation destination.

During your visit there are a few spots that you must add to your sightseeing bucket list. Check out the Island Real Estate top five sightseeing activities on Anna Maria Island.

Visit the Piers

Anna Maria City Pier

Anna Maria City Pier

While on Anna Maria Island you must visit at least one of the three piers. Each offers a unique piece of island history, and some great fishing too! On the north end of the island you’ll find the Rod & Reel Pier and the Anna Maria City Pier. Both offer views of Tampa Bay and the Sunshine Skyway Bridge. On the south end of the island you’ll find the Bradenton Beach city Pier with views of Sarasota Bay and the coastline of Cortez Fishing Village. Each of the three piers offers dining options, and is the perfect spot to catch sunrise.

The Anna Maria City Jail

Anna Maria City jail

Anna Maria City jail

It’s not a visit to the island if you don’t get your picture taken inside the old Anna Maria City Jail. Find it at the Historical Society Museum on Pine Avenue. No roof, no doors, no windows, no bar and no visitors for years and years!
Now a local tourist stop, the Anna Maria City Jail typically was used for overnight stays by “the rowdies” who had too much to drink at the local dance hall. Continue reading “Anna Maria Island Sights” »

Anna Maria Island Braces For Peak Holiday

What’s happening Valentine’s Day and President’s Day weekend? There’s a lot going on in the area and crowds and traffic congestion are assured. Go early, leave late but you’ll have to be patient. Take the shuttle bus to avoid hunting for a parking spot for your vehicle but expect to be at the mercy of slow traffic.

Jazz Festival Thursday, 12th, Sandbar Pavilion, 100 Spring Ave, Anna Maria City

JazzFest Anna Maria

JazzFest Anna Maria

Holmes Beach Art District Art Walk

Holmes Beach Art District Art Walk

Holmes Beach Art District Art Walk

Cortez Fishing Festival, Saturday/Sunday 14th/15th, 119th St W, Cortez

Cortez Fishing Festival 2015

Cortez Fishing Festival 2015

Continue reading “Anna Maria Island Braces For Peak Holiday” »

Anna Maria Island City Pier Turns 100

On May 13 and 14, the City of Anna Maria is throwing a party to mark the 100-year birthday of the much-loved City Pier. As soon as the festivities are over, an extensive face-lift operation will transform the waterfront and pier entrance in a way that is intended to make the pier even more accessible and attractive to tourists than it is in its current simple state.

Such a marketing effort is in line with the origins of the pier, which was built in 1911 by the founding Bean family, in order to bring rich tourists to the new town of Anna Maria via steamer. The 776-foot-length of the pier was necessary to reach the deep waters needed by large boats.

Anna Maria Island City Pier Centennial
In her book The Early Days 1893 – 1940, Carolyne Norwood, of the Anna Maria Island Historical Society, explains that George Emerson Bean, his son Will, and their associates had formed the Anna Maria Beach Development Company. They had built 60 homes, a hotel, bathing pavilion, bathhouse, church, school, post office and several stores, in just a few years. Now they wanted to generate some business. After the pier was built, the whole family went to great lengths to entertain those who arrived by boat. Bean’s 10-year-old daughter cruised around the steamers in a little red boat, greeting visitors. Another family member dressed up and told fortunes. A gift shop was opened at the foot of the pier.

Continue reading “Anna Maria Island City Pier Turns 100” »

Cortez Commercial Fishing Festival

Anna Maria Island is enriched by the wide range of very different communities that surround it. Perhaps the most colorful and unusual of these is the working fishing village of Cortez, immediately across the bridge from Bradenton Beach, on the southwest side of Bradenton. Cortez is full of extremely picturesque cottages where real life still goes on. In many parts of the country, these kinds of communities have become sterile tourist attractions, and no longer authentic, but Cortez still works hard to maintain its traditions and meaningful activities, and the residents still work in the local fishing industry.

For these reasons, Cortez is always a wonderful place to visit, and to celebrate. Cortez working fishing villageBut the Cortez Commercial Fishing Festival is a time when the festivities are in full swing. This year, the Twenty Ninth Annual Cortez Commercial Fishing Festival takes place on February 19 and 20.

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Bayfest 2010 Anna Maria Island

Bayfest returns for 2010 in Anna Maria. The always popular event will be held October 15th, 5pm to 10pm and 16th, 10am to 10pm at Pine Ave in Anna Maria City, at the north end of Anna Maria Island.

This year’s features include:

  • Bayfest Children’s Fishing Tournament
  • Classic Car Show and Oldies DJ
  • Taste of the Island Food Court
  • Over 100 Art, Craft, and Retail Vendors
  • Music and live bands both Friday and Saturday

Continue reading “Bayfest 2010 Anna Maria Island” »