This is our second time on the island in 10 years. This amazing location albeit busy during the warmest months is a great location for a week long getaway. There are full vacation homes for rent all up and down the coastline on both the inlet and the gulf beaches. There are amazing restaurants on the beaches as well. This trip was for a family wedding specifically, but I wanted to share this little known about island with you.
Waterline Marina, Resort & Beach Club
This hotel is amazing for families. They only have multi-bedroom suites with two rooms, a living room, full kitchen and two bathrooms. It really does feel like an apartment instead of a hotel. The property features a resort style pool, and patio deck. The resort sits atop a marina and boat slips are available for rent as well. This is a great opportunity to do a full-week boat rental and have a place to keep the boat while enjoying all the activities available on the island.
There are many birds around the resort because of the marina as well as great places to fish. Today we even saw dolphins just past the entrance to the marina out in the bay. We caught a couple sheepshead and some mullet with a cast-net.
Next door to the Waterline is a little boat rental facility. They have boats and jet skis available for short term rentals. The marina slips for them are connected to the Waterline’s Marina which would make it very convenient for a short term rental.
There is a restaurant at the hotel called Eliza Anne’s Coastal Kitchen it features all the Florida favorites. They offer Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner menus for Monday thru Friday and a Brunch and Dinner menu for the weekend. They also offer a happy hour menu as well.
The beach club is down the road a bit, but offers a sitting room and kitchen with water bottles stocked in the fridge. There are chairs setup daily (weather permitting) on the beach. They also have corn hole and will soon have a giant chess set as well. The beach access is semi-private so even in the busy season the beach is pretty low traffic.
The property features regular activities and the activity leader, Chase, informed me that the schedule is always changing so to ask what is going on when you check-in. Tonight they are showing the How the Grinch Stole Christmas with Hot Cocoa and Warm Cookies. All December there are board game stations setup in the ballroom as well.
The hotel is only about a year old and this property does not disappoint. If you are looking for a property to stay at look at this one for sure. They have a sister property located at the beach access point called Mainsail Beach Inn. This property is a private owned property, but is used for vacation rentals. This is a 7+ day rental property though as it is not a standard hotel.
The Sandbar, Beach House, and Beach Bistro
Throughout this trip we visited a couple of places to eat. The wedding was held at The Sandbar Restaurant which is on Holmes Beach at the tip of the island. The food for the wedding (not sure if it is on their main menu) was pretty good. The venue itself was quite beautiful and I hear it is a favorite wedding spot on the island.
The Beach House is on Bradenton Beach and you can see the water from the restaurant and patio. There are four kinds of seating options: indoor bar, indoor restaurant, outdoor bar patio and fully outdoor. The latter is only open weather permitting and the patio does have vinyl door/windows that are pulled down in case of bad weather. I ordered the shrimp and fries plate and it was okay. My friends ordered blacked fish and it was amazing. I highly recommend ordering off the daily specials menu for that reason.
Beach Bistro is a restaurant at the beach access for the Waterline Resort. I did not eat there, but I have it on good authority from several locals that it is THE restaurant to eat at and to not miss. I will add that to my list for our next trip to the island.
Activities Around the Hotel
While we were pretty busy with wedding festivities I did talk to the hotel about recommended activities around the island as well as the shops right next to the hotel.
Island Discount Tackle
The tackle shop next to the hotel is the largest on the island and they offer fishing charters as well. They carry just about everything you would need to go fishing from rods and reels to fresh bait. The staff is knowledgeable and ready and willing to help with getting you started on your fishing journey.
Located behind the tackle shop is a boat rental facility. This facility rents Deck Boats, Fishing Boats, Pontoons, WaveRunners, and Golf Carts. The prices are pretty comparable to various prices I
Bradenton Beach Parasailing
This company rents a slip at the hotel which means you do not have to travel very far in order to start your parasailing adventure. They also offer a $10 off coupon on their flyer. The prices include a free photo of your experience and it is run by locals who know the waterways.
Have you visited Anna Maria Island? What are your favorite restaurants, things to do or places to stay?