FIVE FUN THINGS TO DO ON ANNA MARIA ISLAND
1:Paint a Sand Dollar – The Shiny Fish Emporium is one of my favorite places to go on Anna Maria Island. The owner’s vision was a place that children could enjoy as much as their parents. When you enter the store you will see for yourself that vision is a reality with a shop decorated in whimsical decor featuring unique heirloom quality toys, hand curated clothing and gifts for adults. The owner shares her art with youngsters in art classes, painting sand dollars and other projects. We painted sand dollars and the staff set us up on a large table and provided smocks and 100’s of colors of paint and encouraged us to get creative. You cannot leave without trying their fantastic ice cream. I usually go for Hawaiian Bubbles and hang out on the couch. I love the owners style and have bought so many of her clothing, most of which I have never seen anywhere else. A hidden gem on Anna Maria Island and one that can be enjoyed by toddlers to teens, and even mom and dad!
2:Get Donuts – You will need to make at least one trip to The Donut Experiment while you are on the Island. We first discovered Donut Experiment during spring break 2016. Since then, we've visited many times and brought lots of family and friends - all have loved it. We absolutely love the donuts and all the combinations. We've tried many! Don’t be surprised to see a line-up, but don’t worry, it moves fast. The donuts are always fresh because you place your order and watch as they are being made right in front of you. You have the choice of multiple glazes and toppings. The wonderful staff is friendly and helpful. The ordering process is easy and efficient. It is a fun atmosphere too - eating donuts right on the front porch. The donuts from Donut Experiment are simply the best!
3:Play Miniature Golf – The Fish Hole Adventure Golf is a great course with nice features throughout including turtles and fish. It is well laid out with some areas of shade for anyone wanting to escape the sun. A great activity for all ages, even littles ones. Not only is it a fun little course, but it is on Bridge Street only minutes from the condo. Bridge Street has lots of shops and restaurants so you can spend a whole morning or afternoon there. While there take a walk to the Bradenton Beach Pier at the East end of Bridge Street. Taking in the scenic view looking over Sarasota Bay, you will see plenty of people fishing and families stopping to watch the boats pass by.
4:Dining with your toes in the sand – Seat yourself with your feet in the sand while your food is being creatively prepared. The Sandbar Restaurant is the only place on Anna Maria Island where you can actually eat on their large outdoor patio with your toes in the sand. A casual atmosphere where kids can run and play in the sand while waiting for their food. This locally owned eatery uses goods grown in their own farm, serves fish fresh from the docks at Cortez and they make their own breads. Beautiful beach view literally yards from the water directly on the beach.
5:Go to the Beach! This is my #1 fun thing to do. Our favourite and a favourite for everyone is to spend lots of time at the beach. The beauty for our guests is that you just cross the street and you’re there. No packing up the kids and having to load up the car to drive. Gotta love that! Bradenton Beach is long and flat with plenty of clean, beautiful, white sand and lots of shallow water for young kids to play in. We take our beach chairs, beach towels and umbrellas that give us a nice amount of shade and perfect for little ones to play under.
The free Anna Maria Island trolley which stops nearby, will take you to all of these fun things while taking away the worry of driving and looking for parking. Riding the trolley itself is another fun thing to do and a fun way to see the Island. Kids and adults love it.
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