Anna Maria Island Tour of Homes is an annual fund raiser for “The Center of AMI”, which provides recreational facilities, educational, and entertainment programs for young and old.
This year’s home tour is on Saturday March 16, 2019, 10am to 3pm. Homes are at the following locations:
The Fangmeyer Home: ….95 52nd St, Holmes Beach (ground level plus stairs)
The Kerchner Home: ……637 Key Royale Dr, Holmes Beach (ground level plus stairs)
The Horne Home: ………8403 Marina Dr, Holmes Beach (ground level)
The Willow House: ……….222 Willow Ave, Anna Maria (ground level plus stairs)
Tickets are $25 and are available at all the above locations on the day of the home tour, plus these local businesses prior to the event:
AMI General Store……………………….503 Pine Ave., Anna Maria AMI Sun Newspaper……………………202 Palm Ave., Anna Maria Duncan Real Estate……………………..310 Pine Avenue, Anna Maria Egret’s Nest……………………………..10010 Gulf Drive, Anna Maria Ginny’s & Jane E’s………………………9807 Gulf Dr., Anna Maria The White Egret ………………………10006 Gulf Dr., Anna Maria AMI Chamber of Commerce………5313 Gulf Dr., Holmes Beach Holmes Beach Ace Hardware…….3352 East Bay Drive, Holmes Beach LaPensee Plumbing……………………..401 Manatee Ave., Holmes Beach The Egret’s Landing……………………5602 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach Crowder Bros. Ace Hardware……..5409 Manatee Ave., Bradenton
Due to limited on-street parking, visitors are advised to park at one of the larger lots marked on the map and take a courtesy minibus or shuttle cart to and between home locations. Carts will run frequently by volunteers.
Free parking is available at Crosspointe Fellowship Church located at 8605 Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach.
“The Center of AMI” at 407 Magnolia Ave, Anna Maria hosts the raffle, auction, bazaar, and food vendors.
When is the Anna Maria Island High Season? That depends on who you ask. For the rental industry, most tourists come in winter, between Thanksgiving and Easter. Rates go up towards the end of November and down about the beginning of May.
But times are changing and the “shoulder” seasons are extending into all of November and after April. Summer is also the busiest time for day visitors, who escape the inland heat for the cooler beaches and water activities and bring their kids who are out of school. Longer daylight hours attract after-work beachgoers. However, these visitors don’t have an impact on the rental real estate market as much as they do on the restaurant and bar trade.
As a year-round resident, who endures the high humidity and storms of summer, my respect for the wisdom of the snowbirds grows every year. From October through May, there are many days that are just about perfect. The people who come here during that period avoid a lot of discomfort and worry. They don’t have to worry about whether they are in a structure that will withstand the high winds of summer hurricanes. They don’t have to postpone a walk for fear of being struck by lightning, as often is the case in summer. The good news for those of us who stay here year-round is that high tourist season does not fill the entire period from October through May, so we get to enjoy many days that are near perfect, without crowds.
The busiest time of year seems to be around Presidents’ Day, the third Monday in February. Schools are on break and warmer weather brings out the winter hibernators. Travel can be brought to a standstill for hours as cars search for parking spots and bridge openings stop traffic flowing. Congestion is increasing each year as more people discover Anna Maria Island and try to squeeze onto a finite space.
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 top five sightseeing activities on Anna Maria Island.
Visit the Piers
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
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.
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
Holmes Beach Art District Art Walk
Cortez Fishing Festival, Saturday/Sunday 14th/15th, 119th St W, Cortez