Anna Maria Island
We kicked off our summer break with a couple of days at Anna Maria Island last week! AMI might be our favorite place is the world, it’s definitely in the top 3.
We stayed at a Hampton Inn in Bradenton. It was in a hotel built in 1926, so that was cool!
We went to Coquina Beach, on the southern tip of the island, for the first time (we’ve always been to the northern part before.) It was very nice!
The sand was not quite as nice as our usual spot, but there was a huge parking lot with plenty of open spots, dressing rooms, outdoor showers, a bathroom, and the parking was very close to the beach. With kids especially, I think those amenities make it very attractive. There were also picnic tables and grills, and on Friday’s there’s a beach market from 10-4, which was cute.
We had so much fun playing in the ocean. Kjersti wanted me to hold her the whole time, & she loved playing “motor boat” with everyone. Kaden dug tiny clams (I later looked them up and found that they’re called “Coquina”) and was extremely interested in watching them. They were really cool! Alia swam almost the whole time. Leo enjoyed swimming and playing in the sand.
There were boats and parasailing to watch as well. Kjersti loved watching the sea birds. They swooped down right in front of us a couple of times catching fish, that was especially interesting.
We went out to dinner at Rod & Reel Pier. It’s yummy there, but so crowded. It’s just such a small place, it’s tricky. We got there just after 5 and the wait was 45-60 minutes, but just after us it was up to 2 hours!
We had fun waiting though. There were lots of people fishing, when we were walking around the back we saw one guy reel in a huge fish, looked at least 2 feet long! There were lots of pelicans and other birds around too, and schools of fish shimmering in the water.
Our first time at Rod & Reel was back on this trip. I can’t even believe how small Kaden & Alia are there.
I’m so glad we live 90 minutes from here and can just pack up our car and go! It’s so special and fun. I know I will remember these times with my children for my entire life, and I think these experiences enrich their childhood as well 🙂