Anna Maria Island Family Video Review

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Anna Maria Island Family Video Review

Anna Maria Island Family Video Review – If you’re looking for a simple, yet relaxing, trip with no airplanes needed to get there, check out Anna Maria Island on the west coast of Florida, just south of Tampa. Check out our Family Video Review below from our week-long trip to this Florida oasis!


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[ot-video type=”youtube” url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xghqdAkeHdg”]


In June 2018, My Central Florida Family decided to do a Florida Stay-cation to the west coast and we visited Anna Maria Island, just south of St. Pete. This vacation hot spot was suggested to us by a family friend and while I’ve lived in Central Florida my entire life, I don’t believe I’ve ever vacationed on the west coast beaches for a week before.

Now, knowing that we were going to spend 5 full days on the island, and with limited excitement and activity that we’re used to, I started our vacation plans with place to stay followed quickly after by some boating days.

Originally, we were looking for a vacation home through Home Away or VRBO or Air B and B, but just couldn’t find anything that fit all the requirements we had. We wanted to be on the water (or very, very near to it), we wanted at least two bedrooms, kitchen and living room that were nicely furnished, and we wanted a convenient location to everything the island had to offer. Then, I stumbled upon the Waterline Resort & Beachclub.

Located in the center of it all, this resort had everything we needed. Two bedroom suites with hotel services, a pool, located on the water and it was nearly new so everything felt fresh! We absolutely loved it and would stay there again and again. The staff was incredibly pleasant and helpful, there was a shuttle a private beach (though that beach wasn’t our favorite). It had onsite dining for convenience. We would give it two fins up!

Anna Maria Island Family Video Review

On the first full day of our trip, we woke at 6 AM and headed for Captain Kris (please forgive my misspelling of his name in the video) of Tailing Tales Boating Charter. He was on time, put us on the fish, and had fun with the family…we couldn’t have asked for more. We started out from the dock and went on a beautiful sunrise ride to a bridge where Captain Kris secured, what seemed to be, thousands of bait fish for us. Then, we headed over to the spot where together, we must have boated 75+ fish.

Red fish, snook, and more…my husband has never caught so many fish. And, in a fishing contest with Captain Kris, they caught about 30 fish alone in about 20 minutes between the two of them. Captain Kris was great with both of my sons and had me laughing throughout the trip.

The youngest wouldn’t touch a bait fish or a catch, but by the end of the day, he was feeling much more comfortable!

The next three days, we spend at the beach. We visited Cortez Beach and Manatee Beach, and thoroughly enjoyed both. There were times we had intense waves, possibly due to a storm off the coast, and more subdued waves, but the kids enjoyed them both. Manatee Beach was less than 5 minutes from the hotel and had plenty of parking, a restaurant, shops, showers and more. Cortez was a little more limited in these areas, but had plenty of shops and restaurants down the street. The water was much nicer than we have on the east coast and we truly enjoyed our days by the sea.

On the fifth full day, we were back out on a boat, but this time, we chartered our own boat from H2O Watersportz (again, forgive my spelling of it in the video). We rented a 20′ pontoon boat and it was perfect. It ran like a dream and was so comfortable…especially for the teenager that tried napping all day on it! It was perfect for fishing, swimming and relaxing. With the binimi top, it kept us shaded and comfortable. The deckhand was so informative, showing us where to go and how to get there. Now, if you’re not used to boats or Florida waters, it can be tricky to navigate the shallows, but we’ve owned boats and were ready for the challenge.

We journeyed to Egmont Key, north of the island, where the boys tried to snorkel by the rocks. However, the sand was kicked up quite a bit that day, making it tough to snorkel. We stopped here and there for some fishing spots, spotting Tarpon in the water was a bonus! Then, we stopped mid-day for a lunch at Seafood Shack, located right next to where we rented the boat. It was delicious!

After lunch, we went back out, this time to Jewfish Island. It’s a huge sandbar in the middle of the inlet and it was perfect for more snorkeling, swimming, resting and relaxing. It was a highlight of the trip for us! We returned the boat at 5:30 PM feeling quite refreshed, relaxed and rejuvenated.

On day 6, we departed back for Orlando. We definitely had a better time than I had expected and made some great family memories with countless beach sunsets, food, water, and fun. We will definitely make another trip to Anna Maria Island and we were thrilled with every aspect of our trip.

Our favorite places to eat:

Freckled Fin Irish Pub (Great for our date night.)

Poppo’s Taqueria (A big favorite for the boys.)

Peach’s (Great for breakfast. Try the Breakfast Bowl!)

Two Scoops (Amazing ice cream.)

The SandBar Restaurant (pricey, but a great view and right on the beach)


Disclaimer: This Anna Maria Island Family Video Review is based on the experience of My Central Florida and should be taken as opinion of that experience. Details are subject to change over time so be sure to verify details from our accounts.