General and Overseas Visitor Information
If you have not travelled to Florida before we have outlined a few pointers for your information. If you need to contact us by telephone from Europe please call us after 11.30 European time. Anna Maria Island is a small, friendly island community that welcomes and appreciates overseas visitors who come to the island for rest, relaxation sun and fun.
Direct flights from the UK and the rest of Europe
Tampa Airport 1 hr
Orlando Airport 2 hrs
Miami Airport 5 hrs
Sarasota Airport 20 minutes (for connecting flights from other American airports such as New York, Atlanta or Washington)
Fort Myers Airport 2.5 hrs
This covers you in case of cancellation of your trip. Choose one that covers both the cost of your flight and accommodation. Check out the policy carefully so you fully understand what you are covered for.
Medical & Emergency
Do not leave home without taking out a Travel Insurance that also covers medical emergencies. Make sure your insurance covers you for travel in America. The excellent Pinnacle Medical walk-in clinic 941-761-1616 (similar to UK GPs – General Practitioners) for minor accidents and ailments is just over on the mainland – approx 10 minutes drive. Blake Hospital comes highly recommended by many island residents. It is a large, modern and extremely well equipped hospital that offers a comprehensive range of medical services. Dr Guy Yatros at Island Dental Spa offers emergency dental treatment for visitors.
Blue Sky Airport Limo Service – Tel USA 941 366 3500 Will pick up from Tampa or Sarasota Airports. Phone and pre-book this service before you leave home. If you are not renting a car then this is the way to travel down to the island. The drivers are local and know how to get you to your property efficiently and speedily with no fuss airport. This service does not cover Orlando Airport.
A small car in the USA is similar to a medium in Europe. All cars have air conditioning. Beware some companies try to sell you extra personal insurances – if you have travel insurance you may not need them. Most of our overseas guests rent a car from one of the major companies such as Hertz, Budget or Dollar. However if you want to book Blue Sky Limo collection at Tampa airport and then rent a car during your stay, phone the local company named U-Save on 941 747-7743 for a quote. They will deliver the car to your door and then arrange to pick it up before you leave.
Other Ways of Getting Around Anna Maria Island
We have two excellent local taxi services who will take you anywhere on the island or over to the mainland. Also why not try out the little island trolley that runs up and down the island, passing by every 20 minutes. There are plenty of stops and it is a great way to explore. It also has a bike rack on the front so if you want to cycle out and ride back this is a fun way to travel. The island is entirely flat and there are many cycle paths, so rent a bike and explore using pedal power from AA Baby rentals Tel 941 778-3441. They will deliver to your door and pick up.
Orlando is the world’s number one attraction which draws huge crowds. Lining up with children for hours in the Florida heat is extremely tiring, so make sure you have plenty to drink and wear comfortable shoes and clothes. A whole week of theme parks is exhausting. Our suggestion for a really enjoyable vacation is to unwind after your flight on the island and enjoy the sun, sea and sand, then make a one or two day excursion to Disney during the course of your vacation. We are happy to advise you on obtaining inexpensive overnight accommodation in Orlando.
Travelling with Children
Cribs, cots, high chairs and other baby equipment can be rented at AA Baby rentals Tel 941 778-3441. Phone or visit their website to reserve these items. They will deliver and set up the items and then collect them on the day you leave. Cribs come complete with set of sheets. Make sure small children wear sun hats, T-shirts and sunblock to prevent sunburn. Nearby shops sell them, plus a great range of beach toys, buckets & spades. Walgreens and Eckerd both pharmacies which sell many baby items plus prescription and non prescription drugs.
Prices in Florida are generally much less expensive than in Europe. We have excellent casual and beachwear on the island. For really serious shoppers the nearby town of Bradenton is home to an incredible factory outlet mall where you can “shop till you drop”. Also really worth a visit is De Soto Mall just over on the mainland, with three large department stores, diverse small shops, coffee shops and restaurants. Trainers, sports gear, cosmetics, sunglasses, luxury name brand clothing lines, jewelry, shoes, CDs, cameras plus a myriad of other items.
Make your journey easy, travel light. You have a large washer and dryer in your vacation home – you can buy great beach clothes & swimsuits here on island. Bring a light jacket for cooler evenings in winter months and wear cool comfortable cottons and sunhats/shades. If you are planning to take a trip up to Busch Gardens in Tampa or Disney in Orlando wear comfortable trainers.
We place a local information file in your vacation property with the answer to almost every question that has been asked of us by our guests. This contains emergency numbers, contact information, getting around, things to do and places to visit, info on your property, services, taxis, local restaurants and general island info. Our two local island newspapers can always be picked up at Publix Grocery store on the island and are a mine of information for visitors on local events, new restaurants to visit, fishing news and all the local gossip. The Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce office also has a plethora of maps, brochures and leaflets plus info on local tennis courts, golf, water sports, boat & jetski rental, scuba diving, boat trips, fishing trips and area events.
We look forward to welcoming you to Anna Maria Island.