The Island & Activities
Anglers fish from the three fishing piers: Anna Maria, Rod & Reel and Bradenton as well as the shallows of the Gulf where the tarpon arrive off the beach in mid-May to mid-July. Deep-sea fishing boats are available for charter for fishing the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Among the catch of the day, you’ll find amberjack, kingfish, mackerel, grouper and snapper.
Sailboats are available for charter for daytime or spectacular sunset cruises. (Spice Sailing Charters) There are many sites for launching small boats. The Intracoastal Waterway enters the Gulf of Mexico on the eastern side of the island. Jet skis, parasailing and small sail craft are available for rental. Public tennis courts are available in Holmes Beach and Anna Maria. Daily and weekly lessons are available at famed Bollettieri Tennis and Sports Academy in Bradenton.
The Manatee/Sarasota area provides a choice of more than 45 golg courses ranging from tight executive par three’s to challenging championship 18’s. If you want to improve your game the internationally famous David Leadbetter Golf Academy is located in Bradenton.
Nearby Sarasota is noted for its theaters, galleries and elegant shopping. Educational attractions include Sarasota Jungle Gardens, Mote Aquarium, Bishop Planetarium, De Soto National Park & Memorial Mansion, Manatee Players, The Asolo Center for the Performing Arts, Ringling Museum of Art, Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, the Sarasota West Coast Symphony, the Sarasota Ballet of Florida and the Jazz Club. And of course, there is the wonderful experience of shopping and people-watching at sophisticated St. Armand’s Circle on Longboat Key or discount shopping at Ellenton Mall.
Enjoy culinary delights including grouper, red snapper and crab in the casual Gulf or bayside restaurants. There is an ambiance to suit everyone’s taste and style – from the piers and beach-front restaurants with the casual “off the beach” attire to the prestigious Zagat award-winning restaurant with its exceptional food and wines.
If you enjoy preparing your own meals using the freshest seafood – shrimp, grouper, red snapper or stone crab when in season – visit the nearby Cortez Village to get the freshest catch right off the fishing boats.
Annual average temperature: 74.8 degrees F
Annual average rainfall: 55.6 inches
Annual sea temperature: 80 degrees F
Anna Maria, with its temperate year-round weather, has four distinctive seasons: in mid-October the temperatures drop into the 70’s at night with the highs in the 80’s. Toward the end of December, the days are mostly warm and sunny with temperatures remaining in the 70’s. Sweaters and light jackets may be required in the evenings. By spring, the days are dry and cloudless with temperatures rising into the 80’s. By mid-May the temperatures are into the 90’s with steady breezes and refreshing tropical afternoon showers.
Places to visit: Busch Gardens, Disneyworld, Dali Museum in Tampa