Guest Hook Travel Guides Anna Maria Insider Guide - Page 12

TERRY & SANDY'S DAY TRIP IDEAS... 1 The Legendary Theme Parks... If you're not in Florida for the beaches, you're likely here for the amusement parks. The world's most famous park, Disney World, is 90 minutes away from Anna Maria Island; Busch Gardens is 60 minutes away. A day trip to the Florida mainland makes for a best-of-it-all vacation with beach-front relaxation and theme park adventure. Disney Website | Map 2 Busch Gardens Website | Map Robinson Preserve... Tucked into the corner of northwest Bradenton, just a few minutes outside of Anna Maria Island, this is 487 acres of coastal saltine, marsh, and mangrove habitats. Bring your birding guides and binoculars— these complex ecosystems attract rare birds like roseate spoonbills, wood storks, white pelicans, bald eagles, and least terns. Climb the 40-foot observation tower for sweeping views. Website | Map 3 Fishing Charters... When it comes to fishing charters, Terry says there's only one company you should contact: Stray Dogs Fishing Charters. Captain Scott has 35 years' experience guiding offshore fishing trips out of the docks at the Cortez Fishing Village. In that time, he's developed a word-of-mouth reputation for consistent, quality catches, making him one of the most popular fishing charter guides on the island. Website | Map Or a less intense half-day trip... Golf Courses... McKechnie Field... Scuba Diving... Like almost everywhere in Florida, there are many good golf courses to play on Anna Maria Island, and it can be hard to pick the right ones. Terry highly recommends the Sarasota Golfer's Guide and several area courses, including Legacy Golf Club, Riverstrand Golf, Rosedale Golf & Country Club, Waterlefe Golf & River Club, and Stoneybrook Golf Club. Located just 20 minutes from Anna Maria Island, McKechnie Field is home to the Pittsburgh Pirates' spring training facility and Grape Fruit League. Renovations to the field's Spanish architecture include upgraded grounds, concession stands, kiosks and improved sight-lines, all while maintaining the classic feel of an American ballpark. The Regina Sugar Barge, which sank in a 1940s just off Bradenton Beach, is the perfect location for a shore dive. Although the wreck has deteriorated it's still a great dive. The site is sunk in 20 feet of water about 75 yards off the coast. The site is just north of Cortez Road, one of three access points to Anna Maria Island. Look out for the buoys marking the site.