Snow may never fall for Christmas on Anna Maria Island, but we certainly know how to celebrate the season in Sunshine State style without sacrificing any of the holiday cheer! It’s an optimal time to visit the island, as daytime temperatures are comfortable for exploring in summer clothes, while the evenings are cool enough to create that seasonal vibe. Awake on Christmas morning for presents and a walk on the beach and cozy up at night around an outdoor firepit to the sounds of the waves. A Christmas vacation to the beach is like no other, and on Anna Maria Island you’ll have plenty of opportunities to make the most of the great weather and natural beauty of the area, while enjoying all the things that mean the most during the holidays—time with loved ones, relaxation, and amazing food!
Swap Fresh Snow for White Sand Beaches
When you visit Anna Maria Island for the holiday season, you’ll be rewarded with temperatures that will make a day spending time outside easy! Our stunning beaches are open for enjoyment all year long, and while you may find the ocean a little chilly this time of year, you can always rent a wetsuit if you want to hit the waves. Another secret local tip is to try visiting Holmes Beach, where the water is less deep and tends to get a bit warmer! If you’re in it for the spectacular views, venture up to the beach at Bean Point, the northernmost tip of the island.
Attend a Festive Tree Lighting
One of the most treasured local Christmas events of the year is the annual lighting of the Christmas tree in Bradenton Beach. This year the festivities start in November, but you can visit the tree up until New Year’s Day! Walk the Bradenton City Pier and take in the views before going to see the tree or have a pre-holiday family dinner at one of the delicious restaurants on Bridge Street. The area has tons of boutique shops to keep you entertained, and you can always take the kids to get a scoop of ice cream at Island Scoops or mix it up and try something different at Gelato-Go. Alternatively, the AMI Chamber of Commerce tree lighting takes place on Dec. 3rd outside their offices in Holmes Beach and is a great way to mingle with the locals!
Holiday Parades and Festivals
Another popular local event is the Bradenton Beach Holiday Boat Parade, taking place this year on Dec. 4th from 6 to 7 p.m. The parade kicks off at Jewfish Key and makes its way up the intracoastal waterway to pass the pier and end at the Bradenton Beach Marina—local tip: best viewing points are on the pier! Dec. 4th also marks Christmas on Bridge Street, which offers an opportunity for kids to meet Santa. If that’s too early, on Dec. 11th there will be a mini-Christmas festival at City Pier Park, and as a bonus you can browse the shops and restaurants on nearby Pine Ave.
December Farmer’s Market and Beach Market
Holiday vacationers will find that all through the month of December there’s both a beach market and a local farmer’s market to visit! The beach market takes place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sundays and Wednesdays during December, at the island’s southernmost beach, Coquina Beach. Wander the beachside for an afternoon and peruse an array of local vendors selling handmade art and jewelry, clothing, souvenirs, food, and more. It’s a great place to pick up a Christmas gift or two!
On Tuesdays during December, you’ll find the farmer’s market taking place at City Pier Park, from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. along the corner of Pine Ave and South Bay Blvd. Take the family to buy some local Florida produce to use in your favorite Christmas dishes and desserts while walking along the bayfront and savoring the view. In addition to fresh fruits and veggies, you’ll find vendors selling goods such as jams, honey, and more!
Host an Unforgettable Christmas on Anna Maria Island
In our opinion, shaking things up and spending Christmas on the beach is a must-do in life, and we are here to help you check the experience off your list! With endless outdoor recreation opportunities and exciting local holiday events, Christmas is the perfect time to take the plunge and plan your getaway to Anna Maria Island. We have a wide range of properties with first-rate amenities, encompassing everything from cozy seaside condos to huge beachfront homes. We’re certain one of them will be an excellent host for the occasion, and that you’ll smile at the memories for years to come. Give us a call and we’d be happy to answer any questions you may have, and help you book your Anna Maria Island Christmas vacation home today!