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Planning a waterfront vacation with your family? We don’t blame you. Talk about relaxing and fun. Read this article to check out the top restaurants and activities to include on your week-long waterfront Anna Maria Island vacation.
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Day 1

Congratulations, you have finally made it to your vacation destination after weeks and weeks of planning this relaxing getaway! We know it might be tempting to sleep in and stay inside all day since you're tired from traveling, but we think the smell of coffee and a stack of pancakes will get you up and out of bed in no time. Start the day by heading to Ginny and Jane E’s for some of the best breakfasts in the entire state. We recommend ordering the super-filled veggie burrito with three eggs, mushrooms, onions, peppers, tomatoes, spinach, potatoes, and cheddar cheese which has a side of salsa. The classic avocado toast with toasted wheat bread and sliced tomato is another crowd favorite for a light meal. For the first day, it might be best to hit the beaches and set up an umbrella, read a book, and teach your kids how to swim in the Gulf. After all, that is why so many people come to Florida — to get a tan, play on the beach, build sandcastles, boogie board in the water, and play in the Gulf waves with their kids. After you have spent quite a few hours on the white sand beaches, it is time to branch out. Luckily for you, there are tons of activities, whether they are relaxing, family-friendly, or heart-pounding, that are great for small and large groups alike. We recommend going to Manatee Beach Park to learn more about the history of Anna Maria Island and add an educational afternoon to your fun vacation. Then, you can take a dolphin cruise on the bright blue Gulf waves. Make sure you bring a camera to catch the dolphins jumping out of the water and waving to the people on the boat! You can’t go wrong with heading to the Waterfront Restaurant for dinner. This restaurant offers pristine views of the water and churns out fresh seafood that you won't find elsewhere in the state, like crispy calamari and fresh shrimp to share with the table.

Day 2

After having maybe one too many beers the night before when you went out with your friends on Anna Maria Island, it could be time for a hearty breakfast. Head to Anna Maria Island Beach Cafe for pristine beachfront views, laidback vibes, and casual plates that offer the best of the best for sweet lovers and those who want savory dishes. We recommend one of the big breakfast plates, like the three-egg omelet, with your choice of filling, grits, or home fries. Or you can even go with breakfast tacos for something a little different! Suppose you're more of a lunch person. In that case, we recommend one of the filling sandwiches, wraps, platters, or island salads to stay a little bit healthy during your holiday. Next, take a trip to Sarasota. This fun getaway is just 30 minutes from your Anna Maria Island waterfront rental on the bustling Anna Maria Island. Sarasota is a fun spot to see the Big Cat Habitat, take photos, shop, explore new restaurants, walk around art galleries, take a guided kayak tour, or paddleboarding in the water. For dinner, head to Sandbar Seafood and Spirits to eat local organic produce, see the ‘sea’ right in front of you, and gaze out at the Gulf of Mexico as you sip on your cocktail and split a seafood platter with the table. We recommend ordering the oysters or the peel and eating shrimp from the raw bar to share with your friends before ordering the chargrilled octopus with achiote for the main course.

Day 3

Minnie’s Beach Cafe is a fan favorite among locals and tourists alike, so of course we had to include it on this list. Minnie’s is well known for its sweet treats, hearty waffles, and huge stacks of pancakes that keep the kids happy and the adults full until dinner time. We recommend trying ‘The Big Easy’ for a hearty start to the day, featuring two eggs, home fries, patties, and fresh-made biscuits. On the third day of your holiday, it might be time to charter a fishing boat or go on a fishing trip with a responsible and knowledgeable captain. Use AMI Charters to book a fishing charter and use this boat tour company to head out on the waves, see dolphins, catch fish, and just have fun cruising around on a sunny day. AMI Charters offers several types of saltwater adventurers that can work for your unique vacation and price range, such as fishing trips, boat tours, sunset cruises, and corporate packages. We recommend booking the six-hour fishing trip to maximize your chances of catching a fish, combining half fishing and half touring, or choosing a tarpon fishing trip. Suppose you would rather take another type of boat tour. In that case, you can also book a wildlife boat tour from many local providers who are well-experienced in the tech industry. This way, you can see local birds, dolphins, whales, manatees, and other native animals and wildlife you won't see while on land. We love this activity for families with young kids or older adults. For dinner, the Porch Restaurant is an upscale readout that focuses on American food, Italian dishes, and top-quality steak that offers something different from the quintessential seafood dishes you find in Florida. Pair any one of the steak dishes with a refined glass of white wine or a seafood meal with white wine for the ideal dinner date night. We love the shrimp with mash and asparagus!

Day 4

If you are just in the mood for coffee to start the day today, or you want a light brekkie, then head to Island Coffee Haus for tasty iced drinks, smoothies, juices, and coffee concoctions that will open your eyes to a completely new way of looking at java! Order an iced soy latte to start your day off on the right foot and cool off before hitting the beach. For today’s activity, consider renting a kayak to get out on the water, exercise, and burn a few calories. Kayak rentals are a fun and exciting way to see the coastline, get a tan, and spend quality time doing something fun and challenging with your loved ones. You can book a private tour, join a group, or just rent a tandem or single kayak from one of the local companies. For dinner tonight, Harry’s Grill is a laidback and quintessential beach spot that offers pristine views, shareable plates, and great vistas of Bayfront Park.

Day 5

Today, you might be in the mood for a sweet treat for breakfast. After all, you can only have so many eggs and slices of avocado toast before wanting something else. We recommend going to The Donut Experiment to get one or one dozen donuts to bring back home to your family. Try the drizzled chocolate donuts, candy-topped donuts, or vanilla-dipped donuts to curb your cravings. You might feel like you’ve already done all the things there are to do on the water, but you would be wrong! If you had tons of fun on the water the days before, we recommend going paddleboarding. Paddleboarding is a great way to tackle the waves and the water at a chilled-out pace, while still challenging your muscles and balance. Numerous rental shops on Anna Maria Island offer rentals and lessons for beginners. For dinner, if you are in the mood for something more upscale, then we love The Chateau Anna Maria as a fine dining option that is great for a date night. This modern French and American restaurant has a romantic atmosphere and fresh food that is luxurious and high-end, featuring bright chandleries, white tablecloths, and a wooden interior design. Make sure you order a bottle of wine and split a charcuterie board for your big night out on the town.

Day 6

Start the day off with a no-frills breakfast at Breakfast at Victoria’s AMI for a low-priced and filling breakfast in a diner-like setting that offers great views and tasty plates. We love the vegan toast with grilled ciabatta bread, smashed avocado, homemade salad, sun-dried tomatoes, kalamata olives, and red onions. Or, if you want a different dish, the frittatas are always popular sellers. As your trip slowly starts to come to a close, you might have saved the best for last. Consider booking a dive charter to go offshore and see some of the best sights in the entire state. You can either take dive lessons or snorkel in the clear and bright blue water to see the coral, marine wildlife, and mammals. You can also book a specialty dive that takes you as far as 65 feet below the water! This incredible experience is ideal for athletes and adventure seekers interested in seeing historical shipwrecks, whales, mammals, wildlife, and beautiful underwater creatures just off the AMI coast. Head to Poppo's Taqueria for authentic Mexican food that won't break the bank to change things up a little bit and get away from the typical American beach food. This simple and no-frills spot is well known for its fresh ingredients, autistic flavors, and tasty dish combinations that are unique to Southern cooking.

Day 7

Although you might wake up sad that it is your last vacation day, you have one more breakfast spot to check out during your stay here. Head to Mademoiselle Paris French Restaurant to eat some of the best baguette bread, pastries, and croissants in the entire country. Your final on-the-water adventure has arrived! Consider booking a parasailing adventure that takes you high above the sky on the final day of your vacation. This exciting adventure offers incredible views of beaches, marine wildlife, Gulf waves, and the town down below. The parasailing companies offer both double and triple rides, so you can always be paired with one of your friends or family members. For the last day of your Anna Maria Island vacation, remember why you came here in the first place – seafood! Head to Anna Maria Oyster Bar on the pier at Bradenton Beach to eat fresh oysters with a little bit of mignonette sauce and hot sauce that pairs perfectly with a chilled glass of white wine as you watch the sunset.

AMI Hidden Gems

There are tons of secret spots and hidden gems in Anna Maria Island that you wouldn’t necessarily find if you just looked in the biggest tourist books and maps. However, we are here to tell you the secret and little-known spots that are must-visit during your stay here. Firstly, we recommend going to Bean Point Beach. Of course, you want to go to the big spots, but Bean Point is smaller, beautiful, and more serene than other more crowded white sand beaches along the coastline. Next, Pine Avenue is the best spot for you to pick up souvenirs, go boutique shopping, pick up some swimming gear, or just go window shopping to find clothing items you might want to add to your suitcase. Pine Avenue has traditional stores, beach shops, and unique antique venues that you won’t find in the chain stores of high-end shopping malls. Furthermore, on a rare rainy day or cold morning, it could be a good time to go to the Anna Maria Island Historical Museum to learn more about the history and backstory of this town and how it came to be. Lastly, the Anna Maria Rocks is a fantastic viewpoint and beautiful photo opportunity often overshadowed by some big beaches and attractions. We love coming here during sunrise or sunset to snap pics of the changing colors of the water and beat the crowds. Trust us, the early wake-up time is well worth the final product.

Ready to Plan Your Waterfront Adventure?

There’s plenty of on-the-water fun to be had in Anna Maria Island, and SeaBreeze Vacation has the perfect properties to keep you comfortable throughout your stay. Contact us today to learn more about our Anna Maria Island waterfront vacation rentals and book your ideal journey to the beach!
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