Destination: Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria Island Post Card

Happy Monday… Today I bring you greetings from Anna Maria Island, but before I show you what a fabulous time I had with 5 other bloggers for an awesome 4 day girl escape getaway, I wanted to say congrats to the 5 winners of the Duluth giveaway I held last Monday.  You can find the winner’s names at the end of this post.

Lots of summer celebrating going on around here.   The perfect way to start it off right.


I got to spend 4 days and nights on Anna Maria Island on the beautiful gulf coast of Florida. I know many of you have been waiting patiently for me to post all about the trip – here it is.

We each flew to the island separately and met up at the Tampa airport.  Ford provided us with two brand new Ford Fusions so we could travel to and around the island in style.

Carrie from Making Lemonade, Kelly from Eclectically Vintage, Karah from The Space Between are in photo above. Myself, Beth from Unskinny Boppy, and Roeshel from the DIY Showoff also went. Each of them are posting about the trip today.

If you like fun in the sun…you could win a trip for you and your family and stay at the luxurious rental home we stayed at….details are at the end of the post.

This post has lots of photos, but I wanted to show you as much as I could about the trip, where we stayed, and what we did around the island.
We stayed at this beautiful rental home called Sirenia Cove.
It is in a quiet neighborhood on the north end of the island. It is a family-friendly luxury vacation rental conveniently located within walking distance of two pristine beaches with fabulous waterfront views.
It was bright and spacious and boasts a pool and outdoor bar and grilling area, complete with a big screen TV.   This is where we spent a good deal of time.  It was the perfect spot if you like sun or shade. It is a well planned out area that offers both.
Canal at anna Maria Island Home Rentals
A few steps away from the pool is a dock with access to the canal.  It was quite peaceful. We ate breakfast here and watched the fish jump.
oar stairs
When you walk in the front door of Sirenia Cove, you are greeted by bright and cheery colors and a very creative staircase railing…
and a view of the main living area which was comfy and spacious.
Behind the dining table are French doors that take you to a sun room with even more comfortable seating.
 Then through the sun room there is a screened-in porch.  There is no shortage of seating.  All the furnishings are brand  new.
 The kitchen is bright and cheery. We only made breakfast, but it is a well-stocked kitchen filled with all the cookware and serving ware for a large group.
Sirenia Cove Kitchen on anna Maria island
We went out to eat the rest of our meals at a few of the islands many restaurants.
 The house sleeps 10.  There are 3 bedrooms on the main floor and two full baths.
 The bathroom that has this shower in it is a private bath for the occupants of the yellow room.   This is the room I stayed in. It was “just my style”.
Sirenia Beach House master bedroom
On the second floor is the master bedroom and 3rd full bath.
There is also a seating area that is away from the main living room. If anyone wants to get away to read or chill out – this is the place to come.
There is one more floor  – actually a small loft that you climb a ladder to get up into. It has windows on all sides and a great view of the area surrounding the house. I don’t have a photo of that area, but kids would love it. It does feel a little like gym class to get up there, but if you opt to try – it is worth checking out.
Ford-Fushion on Anna Maria Island
We traveled to the island in Ford Fusions, but a car is not the only way to get around the island.
Anna-Maria-Island-Golf-Cart Rental with vacation home
An island alternative is to rent a golf cart from Fun and More Rentals.  We toured the island in this 6 seater golf cart.
Open air all around – it was FUN!  We were headed to dinner when Carrie took this selfie with Karah and Beth.
Anna Maria Island Dinner at Eat Here Resturant
We headed to Eat Here that was a highly recommended place for dinner. We were seated in a cozy booth that had mirrored walls around it.  See the waiter taking our photo in the reflections?
I ordered Shrimp and Kale Salad- it was DELISH.
rental bikes
When we headed to the beach, we hopped on these beach cruisers that were also from Fun and More Rentals.
They delivered  both the golf cart and bikes right to the house. They were waiting for us when we arrived.
If you don’t want to drive or pedal, there is also a trolley that goes all around the island.
We used the bikes to check out the hip and trendy shops on Pine Street and to get to…
..the Anna Maria Island city pier.
This is a very happening place – there is a restaurant at the end as well as lots of spots for the locals to fish.
Bloggers-Trip to Anna Maria Island
One afternoon we took the golf cart out to explore a few surrounding neighborhoods.
  We saw waterfront mansions to little cottages with a creative flair.  Don’t you just love how this homeowner lined their garden?
There are lots of shops and eateries all over the island.
We read that it was a MUST to try the mouth-watering donuts from Anna Maria Donuts.   They are made fresh right in front of you. We chose chocolate and peanut topping and a cinnamon topping, but there are many other different options to choose from to customize your donut eating experience.
 The beach was only a short walk or bike ride away.  The weather was perfect and the Gulf of Mexico as blue as the sky.
 I found a starfish and quite a few shells to add to my collection on my morning walks.
If a car, golf cart, or bike is not your cup of tea for transportation, how about renting a kayak to tour the island from the water?
Karah, Kelly, myself, and Carrie went on a guided kayak tour with a very cute tour guide, Matt. He gave the tour while standing and paddling on a paddle board  – it was was quite impressive.  He even took this photo while he was still standing on the board.
When we were not out touring the island, we could be found hanging out here.  If you are feeling island lazy, this home has everything to keep you relaxed or entertained.
Outdoor Bar
There is a fridge in the garage to keep your Margaritas cold while you relax….  or watch the game on the big screen TV.
Vacationing on Anna Maria Island
 If you need a little recreation after relaxing all day, you could swim a few laps in the pool or play ping pong in the open garage that is behind the wooden doors in the photo above. Bloggers hard at work… Instagramming and Tweeting…while sipping cool drinks.
To keep our drinks from getting warm, we just had to put them under a shade pop.  It keeps your phone from getting hot, too!
Our getaway went by way too fast…. it was hard leaving.
But we had to pack up and get back to our normal.

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  1. I live 15 minutes away from Anna Maria Island!!! Loved reading about the things you did, places you ate, etc. I will keep reminding myself that I am “on vacation” all the time. It is truly a beautiful place.

  2. Bonnie McCarthy says:

    Its always been a dream to go to Anna Marie Island , the very first thing I would do is BREATHE and then Smile.

  3. Dana Reeves says:

    Get out my camera and start taking pictures. :D

  4. margaret marrion says:

    First thing I would do is lay on the chaise with a margarita in my hand!

  5. First thing I would do….jump on the bed!! Wooo whooo!! While processing I was actually there.

  6. Rebecca Ednie says:

    I’d take pix at the beach

  7. I would dip my toes in the pool then head straight for the beach!!!

  8. Rebecca Brewer says:

    Totally walk on the beach.

  9. If I won this dream giveaway, the first thing I would do would be jump right into the pool! It looks so gorgeous and relaxing and would be much needed after the trip to get there. Although, you didn’t ask, I’d follow up the dip in the pool with one of those yummy looking umbrella drinks :)

  10. What an awesome giveaway! The first thing I’d do is kayak!

  11. The first think I’d do is pick out my room in that beautiful home!

  12. Amazing giveaway!! The first thing I would do is take a long walk along that gorgeous beach! It’s so beautiful!

  13. This looks like the perfect getaway for a girls weekend! I have always to go ther and
    you have sold me on it!

  14. Christy Sweeney says:

    The first thing I would do if won is hit the beach and get the sand in between my toes!!!!

  15. Melissa S says:

    I would grab a cup of coffee and head to the beach!

  16. Brittany K says:

    Go to the beach of course!!

  17. The first thing I would do is sit on that big outdoor couch and read a book!

  18. What a beautiful place! Thanks for sharing.

  19. Beautiful pictures, thanks for sharing your trip. It looks so relaxing, the first thing I would do would be to lay by the pool then jump in!

  20. Looks amazing! I love the colors and items used to decorate the home!!

  21. The first thing I would do is go for a swim!

  22. Sheryll & Critters. says:

    Lucky gals you all are to get a vacation in such a gorgeous home. I love that it is so close to beaches. It takes me 45 to an hour to get to any of our beaches from my house here in Jax, FL. I would do about the same as you all did, hit the grocery store for some snacks then immediately head for the beach and fall in….. wonder if I can still body surf? lol

    I would even wear a bathing suit in public again if I could spend some time there…. such a beautiful house and the entire place sounds like heaven right here on earth.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Sheryll- We had a fab time. I took photos of us shopping for groceries, but didn’t put them in the post. Body surfing is like riding a bike. Once you know how, you never forget. ;-)

  23. I would dive into the whole experience.

  24. Looks wonderful!!!! I would go straight to the beach!!!!

  25. Tara White says:

    I would hurry and put my swimsuit on and run straight to the ocean water and look down and pick up a sand dollar!! ThTs what my son did two years ago! Amazing!!

  26. Sounds like a fun trip…so jealous! I liked the idea of using a golf cart to get around the island.

  27. I think I would chill with a lovely beverage by the pool while planning my next thing to do!

  28. Danielle Walker says:

    Enjoy the peace and quiet. :)

  29. My toes would be in the warm sand! Looks beautiful!

  30. Tara Morgan says:

    The pool! Oh the pool. I love it

  31. Perfect for our family to gather and help our daughter recover from her breast cancer treatments. We’d do it all!

    1. Big Hugs to you and your daughter Sally. My mum and I went through the same treatment years ago. It’s tough!
      We would love to host you and your family,
      Check out our larger vacation rental called Sirenia By The Sea which is the perfect spot for multi-family get togethers. It’s also waterfront which boasts over 3,800 square feet, 2 living rooms and a den to spread out.

  32. Oh, my! So many things to do upon arrival… I would first drop those bags and run down the dock and jump in the water. Not really, but it sounds great. I would however, drop those bags and fast walk down to the sandy beach and sink my toes in the warm sand; soak in those sunny rays, with my head tilted back, my arms raised high and just breath it all in. Ah! Paradise. And, those bike rides around the beach… Awesome

  33. Monica Byrd says:

    Go to the beach! I haven’t been there in long time!

  34. I would take a long walk and look around to see how much the island has changed. I haven’t been there in 15yrs but it still looks beautiful!

  35. My family would love to visit Anna Maria Island! The photos are fabulous!

  36. Dana Taft says:

    The first thing I would do is go to the beach! The beach is my happy place :)

  37. I’d fix a yummy cocktail and take a seat!

  38. I’d put my toes in the sand! Then I’d wash them off and take a dip in the pool.

  39. LOVE the plate border! That sure would solve my dilemma of having to move fencing because “they are in the way of the lawn mower”.

  40. Elizabeth H says:

    I would head to the beach first.

  41. Looks amazing!!! Thanks for sharing all the lovely photos!

  42. Stunning! I live in Florida (its a BIG state) and have never heard of this island. Thank you so much for sharing pictures and your experience. It sounds wonderful!

  43. Looks absolutely heavenly! Only thing missing is me & the girls!!! Thanks for the opportunity!

  44. Tracey Garcia says:

    Looks SO beautiful! Thanks for sharing all the lovely photos!

  45. We live about an hour from AMI….soo beautiful!!

    1. Debbie, if you live close by then you will love our Facebook Page:
      Where we post beautiful photos, events and some deals and discounts found on the island. Living so close you will be able to maximize on the content we offer there.

  46. Pam Clark says:

    What fun! Beautiful place

  47. Sue @ Country Design Home says:

    Oh, my goodness! That vacation home is amazing! Having recently met Kelly from Eclectically Vintage, who is so funny and engaging, I am sure you all had a great time!! Would love to get a chance to see that beautiful home with all of the aqua decor. So refreshing!

  48. Kathy Barte says:

    I want to drive around in the golf cart.

  49. Mary Ann Dunn says:

    I would jump in the water. Looks like a great place to visit.

  50. First thing would be to run out to the beach and wade in the Gulf. It’s been 23 years since I’ve been to Florida and I love the Gulf. What a great spot to kick back and relax.

  51. I would take off my shoes and take a long walk on the beach! ;)

  52. This place looks like the prefect spot to relax. I’ve never been to Florida and would love to go with some Floridian friends of ours!

  53. Your pictures are beautiful! Run to the water! :)

  54. Looks like heaven! Thanks for sharing your lovely trip.

  55. It’s a beautiful place, I would love to visit and just relax.

  56. I’d take plenty of pictures. :)

  57. What a great place to relax. That would be wonderful!

  58. Can’t decide if I’d rather go with my family or my girlfriends! First thing I would do is turn off my phone and hit the beach.

  59. I will go to the beach!

  60. Love everything, would shop, eat and sit on the beach.

  61. Michelle H. says:

    First thing I would do is visit those gorgeous little shops!!

  62. So pretty, would love to vacation there.

  63. So pretty would love to vacation there.

  64. Wonderful place! I would love to visit.

  65. I am so glad you had such a fun time. It looks so relaxing. The first thing I would do is take a walk on the beach. Thanks for the giveaway.

  66. Anna Maria Island is one of my favorite places on earth! Would love a chance to stay at such a beautiful home:)

  67. Looks like it really is the perfect getaway!

  68. First thing? Toes in the sand at the water’s edge.

  69. Would love to take my college roomies from the class of ’79 on a girls getaway to beautiful AMI

  70. I have received about 50 comments in my e-mail address, how do I stop all the comments from being delivered?

  71. The first thing I would do is cartwheels in the sand!

  72. I would take a jog on the beach and then drink ice tea and watch the waves! Best place ever to vacation!

  73. It looks beautiful! I love the oars on the stair railing too. What a cute detail!

  74. Julia@Cuckoo4Design says:

    You guys are such lucky girls. What an amazing getaway!

  75. Pat Champagne says:

    Anna Maria Island is new to me even tho I have stayed on the gulf side of Florida many times. First thing I would do is claim the bedroom you had, the yellow room. And then off I’d go with the golf cart. What a great place.

  76. Debbie Owen says:

    The first thing I would do is lie on the beach and soak up the sun!

  77. Christina in Cleveland says:

    Love Anna Maria Island! Lived there for a while and for many years in Sarasota. When you get a chance, toodle over to Siesta Key, Sarasota. Sweet! Thanks for the chance to win a vaca!
    ~ Christina

  78. What a wonderful place! What wouldn’t I give to be sitting on that beach right now!!

  79. Patricia Munn says:

    Text all my friends with pictures.

  80. mitzi osborne says:

    What a beautiful vacation getaway! I could certainly get some great R & R there. Enjoyed your pics.

  81. Gloria kimball says:

    Wow, what a beautiful place. Would make a wonderful get away for our 30th anniversary!!!

    Thanks for the opportunity to enter .

    enjoy your day!

    1. Gloria kimball says:

      I would head out to the beach and relax to the sound of the tide!

  82. Helena Dias says:

    So amazing. Would love to visit.

  83. Wow! That looks like an amazing place to relax while also enjoying many island perks. I hope I get to experience it one day with my family.

    1. I would let my boys take us on a golf cart tour and stop for some local food.

  84. Connie Check says:

    Anna Maria Island is calling my name…I’m sure of it! Thanks for sharing your fun adventure with your followers!

  85. My in-laws used to go to the Anna Maria island every year until my FIL passed away. They loved it there.

    I’d have to walk in the sand and dip my feet in the ocean when I first get there.

  86. I’d dump my bags on the bed and jump in the pool. AHH – relaxation – not sure what that would be like……

  87. Jacqueline says:

    I would love this! I absolutely love the Gulf Coast of Florida!

  88. Donna darty says:

    I would take a quick tour by golf cart then plan out all the fun times!

  89. Tracy Smith says:

    I’ve never seen the ocean in that part of the world so I would definitely go to the beach first! Looks beautiful!

  90. First thing I would do is go to the beach and look for seashells. And then nap and then shop!

  91. Looks like a beautiful place to go on vacation!

  92. Wow it looks truly amazing and it looks like you didn’t waste one minute enjoying all it had to offer! The first thing I would do is take a walk on the beach at the edge of the water. I love the peace and calm you feel when you walk on the beach!

  93. I would jump in the pool- clothes on and then beg for someone to make me an ice cold drink! Looks like you had a great trip- fun and relaxing!

  94. Oh, I am packed and ready to go as of YESTERDAY!!

    Been a while since I have seen a beach and would just love to relax in AMI.

    Thanks for all the photos, I know you all had a great time, and thanks for the give-a-way.

  95. I know y’all had too much fun. What a beautiful place to spend a few days and nights. The beach and water – 2 of my favs. I could be happy sleeping on the beach listening to the water – so relaxing. I’m glad y’all had a safe and very fun time.

  96. Chrystal Younger says:

    Looks like it would be great fun!

  97. Fonda Rush says:

    The first thing I would do is go up high and look at the view, plotting my next move!

  98. I have lived in Florida for 55 years. How did I not know about this place?

  99. Ohh! I would hop on one of those bikes and explore the island! I would also take my 3 sisters! What fun!!!

  100. lorrie ann says:

    i wanna walk in that sand!

  101. I would run to the beach and get those paddleboards!!

  102. What a beautiful vacation! If I win, the first thing i’d do is relax by the pool!

  103. Forgot to answer the question…first thing I would do is run into the water. I’ve heard the beaches are warm, clean and beautiful!!

  104. Love Anna Maria Island! Glad you enjoyed your r&r

    1. I would probably bike around for a while and then hit the beach for a swim

  105. Looks wonderful! Would love to go! Thanks a bunch!!

  106. Looks AMAZING!!!! How I need some time to stick my toes in the sand!! I have always wanted to go there and see AM Island because I’ve heard it’s beautiful!

  107. Lisa Kissner Cooper says:

    Make some frozen daiquiris!

  108. Oops! I didn’t see the question. The first thing I would do is take photos of the beautiful view, and then put my feet in the water. Thanks again for the giveaway.

  109. Wow, Diane! It looks fabulous. Thanks for the givewaway!

  110. The first thing I would do is head for the beach barefoot and look for shells. So many things to make with shells.

  111. Wow! That would be a fabulous trip to win! Thanks for the chance to win this for my family and myself.

  112. What a wonderful give away and beautiful island..I’ve heard so many great things about the island, but never had the chance to vistit. I would love a girls getaway!

  113. Would love to visit, looks like an amazing locale, and would be an awesome getaway!

  114. barbara n says:

    The first thing I would do is kick off my shoes and run in the sand!!!

  115. The first thing I would do is ride the bike to the gulf and jump in!

  116. Neve hennessey says:

    This looks like a slice of Heaven and then some!

  117. Looks like an amazing place. Since moving from CA to TN I miss being close to the ocean.

  118. Lisa Kamin says:

    Wow – where to start, such a beautiful house and location! But, I always like to “greet” the ocean when I arrive, so I’d be headed to the beach!

  119. The first thing I would do is go jump in the ocean!!

  120. It all looks like so much fun! I’d love to go. Thanks for a great give away!

  121. What a lovely place! I could totally use a beach escape :)

  122. Love love Anna Maria Island! Sitting on the beach and watching the sunsets are the best with a cool drink in your hand and your hubby at your side.

  123. Techqueen says:

    That house and beach are calling my name!! What a terrific area and with so many offerings! I would love to take my family there for some much needed R and R!!!

  124. Elizabeth Friedman says:

    This looks like paradise! The first thing I would do would be to explore that beautiful beach!

  125. Wow. That looks like a great vacation spot.

  126. Brandy O. says:

    What a lovely house and setup – truly something for every person and beach/vacation personality.

    1. Brandy O. says:

      Oh, the first thing I’d do is grab my camera and head to the beach to get some shots of the kids and hubby frolicking on the sand! :)

  127. Looks like a lovely place I would love to visit.

  128. Debbie C in MN says:

    That looks fabulous!

  129. Looks fabulous! The first thing I would do is take off my shoes and put my toes in the sand!

  130. First thing I would do is run out to the beach and dip my toes in the water.

  131. The first thing I would do when I arrived on Anna Maria Island would be…. take a picture with my family!!

  132. Christy Peeples DuBois says:

    The first thing I would do is unpack then look around and get ready for a day at the beach the next day!!!

  133. I have never been to Florida, but I’d sure love to sometime, and see Anna Maria Island. Beautiful!!!

  134. Cathy Clark says:

    I’d just sit on the pool patio for a little while and just breath! And thank God that I won this awesome trip!!!!

  135. Coincidentally, had just heard how wonderful AMI is. We go to the Gulf Coast every year–next trip may just be AMI. Thanks for the info!

  136. Amanda Smith says:

    Looks so relaxing. Thanks for sharing this great vacation idea!

  137. This is my dream vacation, I would love to ride a bike around and just relax and enjoy the scenery.

  138. What a beautiful spot! I could really get into the whole relaxing atmosphere!

  139. I LOVE Anna Maria Island. It’s such a beautiful place. Thanks for the glimpse into your vaca!

  140. Everything looks so relaxing! I would love to take a walk along the beach and feel the sand between my toes and waves tickling my feet!

  141. Colleen K. says:

    The first thing I would do if I won the giveaway would be to walk on the beach!

  142. Looks absolutely fabulous! Years ago, I lived in Naples – also on the Gulf – and the beaches were stunning!

  143. Love this giveaway!! First thing I’d do – jump in the water :-)

  144. Emilie Ruiz says:

    First thing I’d do is check out the view.

  145. Nicky Holland says:

    The first thing I would do is bury my toes in the glorious sand and take pictures of my kids running in it!!!

  146. Desaree Martin says:

    We would probably swim in the pool first!

  147. Deb Hrabik says:

    What a fun chance to win! First thing – toes in the sand!
    Have a great day,

  148. Looks amazing. I can feel the sun already.

  149. This looks awesome! I would run straight to the beach if I was there!

  150. Fabulous post and great pictures! You all look like you had a really great time. That places looks fabulous!! Glad you all had a great time.


  151. I’d love to be there. The first thing I’d do is to relax!! Maybe that would come after a long pool side nap!

  152. Beth@Unskinny Boppy says:

    Great post, Diane!! Love your photos! Ahhhh I miss it so much. Let’s go back! :)

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Sounds good to me :-) I’m ready!