Family’s Itineraries to Inspire

It’s no secret that planning is paramount when heading off on family trips. Whether you’re planning with parents, children or both, the need to nail the family get-together is essential. That’s where I come in as your vacation planning specialist.

I understand the pressures of planning, and call me crazy but I love it. A problem shared is a problem halved, so tell me your dreams, sit back and let Book A Little Sunshine inspire some excitement into your next family escape.

Here is a suggested 7 Day Itinerary to start exploring Anna Maria Island. Tackle them individually or string them together to customize your own epic adventure.

Day 1 Arrival

Get the adventure started on Anna Maria Island with the most important meal of the day: breakfast. Keep things quick and easy by stopping in at The Donut Experiment. The made-to-order donuts mean everyone can get just what they want – even if that means a maple-frosted donut topped with bacon bits.

Soak up the sun on the award-winning beaches of Anna Maria Island. Walk along the beach, build sandcastles and splash around in the warm Gulf water with the kids. At the Manatee Public Beach there is a great playground and volleyball net, as well as bathrooms. Once everyone works up an appetite, it’s off to Rod and Reel Pier Restaurant for some midday fuel.

After lunch, it’s time to see some dolphins. Drive south to Bradenton Beach for a one-of-a-kind dolphin tour courtesy of Island Pearl Excursions. Afterwards, visit Skinny’s for the Island’s favorite hamburgers. Then, it’s back to the hotel with a carful of tired/happy kids to rest up for another day of fun.

Day 2

Get an early start with a delicious breakfast menu at the Anna Maria Oyster Bar on the Bradenton Beach Pier at the end of Historic Bridge Street. Then, it’s off to soar the heights over the Gulf of Mexico with YOLO Adventures.  At YOLO Adventures, experience the thrill of a lifetime by soaring above the Anna Maria Island and Gulf Coast parasailing. Gentle takeoffs, water dips when requested and smooth landings are always provided by their experienced USCG licensed crew. You’ll get to see AMI and Cortez, FL from a whole new perspective!

Head back to Bridge Street for lunch at the Bridge Tender Inn followed by ice cream at Joe’s Sweets. Once all appetites have been satisfied, go to the Fish Hole for a fun around of Mini Golf in this little piece of tropical paradise.  There are shops the whole family will enjoy along Bridge Street as well.

Day 3

In the morning give the kids an unique breakfast experience at the Island Creperie on Bridge Street.  I guarantee you the Nutella crepes will be a fan favorite.  Then explore the Coquina Trail in true Island fashion on beach bikes. AMI Beach Fun has sizes for the whole family including tag-a-longs and bike trailers for the little ones in your family.

In the afternoon take enjoy the sights and sounds of our aquatic birds and search for dolphins/manatee along the protected waters of Palma Sola Bay with a paddle tour.  Your family has a choice of Stand Up Paddle Board, Single Kayak or Tandem. A lesson is included for first time paddlers.

Day 4

You’re going to need a good breakfast today.  Fill up with a delicious breakfast at a locals favorite, Peaches. Then how about some quality family time off the island today?  Take to the trees at TreeUmph! Adventure Course.  Enjoy a day outdoors, exploring high in the trees, and making unique memories with your family, all while challenging yourself and having fun in ways you never thought possible.  There are different levels for a wide range of ages to enjoy.

Day 5

One of the reasons I’m sure you chose Anna Maria was to get the family out on the water.  Egmont Key provides a one of kind experience to do just that.  Although this park is primarily a wildlife refuge, it can be a personal refuge – a place to relax and collect shells along secluded, pristine beaches. Accessible only by private boat, Egmont Key has a unique natural and cultural history, including a lighthouse that has stood since 1858. During the 19th century, the island served as a camp for captured Seminoles at the end of the Third Seminole War and was later occupied by the Union Navy during the Civil War. In 1898, as the Spanish – American War threatened, Fort Dade was built on the island and remained active until 1923. After touring the historic sites and trails, visitors can enjoy swimming, fishing, wildlife viewing, and picnicking. Located at the mouth of Tampa Bay, northwest of Anna Maria Island.

Day 6

Now it’s time to check off a family fun experience on everyone’s bucket list. Take a scenic Segway Tour with Segs by the Sea. Exploring An Island Has Never Been This Much Fun! Segways help you explore beautiful Bradenton Beach & Anna Maria Island areas in a whole new way!

Enjoy lunch at the Star Fish Company. This dockside restaurant was started in the early 1920’s and not much has changed since. You can still go into their fish market, but even better is their just-caught grouper sandwiches.  The kids will enjoy sitting at the picnic tables on the dock and getting their food served in white lunch boxes.

Enjoy an afternoon of shopping on Pine Avenue and taking the kids to Two Scoops for ice-cream.  Be sure to stop for a photo op in front of the Anna Maria City Jail.  This tiny concrete structure that held the local “rowdies” from 1927 to the 1940’s.

In the evening take in one of Anna Maria Island’s breathtaking sunsets via a sunset cruise.

Day 7 Departure

If time allows on your departure day close out your family time together with a little additional adventure. Jetskis provide everyone will a thrill, there are scenic tours to chose from or your family can rent them on your own and do a little last minute exploring.