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Spring Break Crowds?

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Chicago, Illinois
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6 posts
6 reviews
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Spring Break Crowds?

HI there!

I have gotten so much great information on this forum -- thank you! We are planning to visit AMI for Spring Break the last week of March with our two children, 6 and 8yrs. I have been to Homes Beach and loved it but we cannot travel Sat to Sat and that leaves us with limited options.

We are planning to book in north Bradenton Beach but have been told Bradenton is much busier than Holmes. We have two kids (6yr and 8yr) and wanna have fun but don't want to be fighting for space on the beach or listening to parties all night... Any info on how the crowds are during spring break?

Has anyone stayed at the Dream Inn? Love that it is ON the beach, but have read mixed reviews on how updated it is. We don't need fancy, just clean and on the beach and preferably walking distance to some restaurants or an ice cream shop. :)

Thanks in advance for any ideas on how busy it will be for Spring Break. Really appreciate it!

Newark, Ohio
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126 posts
39 reviews
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1. Re: Spring Break Crowds?

We have been to AMI numerous times on spring break and although there are a lot of people it doesn't seem crowded. Rarely have we seen large groups of college kids.

Anna Maria Island...
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53 reviews
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2. Re: Spring Break Crowds?

Dream Inn is nice; you get what you pay for out here on the island. If you pay $1000 for a week it will be minimal. If you have $5000 for the week it will be everything you ever dreamed of. Dream Inn is not in walking distance of ice cream or restaurants but you can hop on the free island trolley.

Crowds, they happen. March is the busiest time of the year along with the first two weeks of April for 2014.

By the time you get here the beaches should be large due to the beach renourishment that is happening now... so crowds on the beach you shouldn't have to worry. Publix is when you want to worry about crowds.... Island Publix runs out of EVERYTHING! By everything I mean everything you need for vacation... ketchup, milk, eggs. So go before your check in time if possible.

Loud noises at night are not aloud... Noise ordinance is 10pm. Cops will come if people are too loud.

Anna Maria, Florida
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3. Re: Spring Break Crowds?

I live here on the island. Trust me... no loud parties. They work very hard to keep the island quiet and peaceful! Bradenton Beach is great for walking to restaurants! There is also a park over there for the kids! A little secret for when you need something else to do with the kids. Herb Dolan Park is across Gulf Drive and on the bay. There are jungle gyms, a big field for running around, tree swing, and basketball court!

Destination Expert
for Anna Maria
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4,758 posts
52 reviews
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4. Re: Spring Break Crowds?

I hate to be the one to rain on your parade but I will always be honest with my opinions on this forum. First, there are many more options that are much better than the Dream Inn, it really is more of a motel than anything and if you look at the reviews, there are a lot of negative ones for a reason. Secondly, even though spring break on the island is not a "party" destination, it will be more crowded than normally so you probably will have traffic and have a wait in the restaurants. I just want you to be prepared and not disappointed. Take a look at some of the other small places like Tropic Isle, Queens Gate and Tradeswinds. I believe Silver Surf Resort will be finished with their renovations by that time and it should be really nice too. You are right though, being on the beach is a plus as long as you know what you are getting, I suggest you look closely at the reviews that are posted on here.

Cleveland, Ohio
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92 reviews
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5. Re: Spring Break Crowds?

we go for easter every year...going on our 6th year! we love love it!!! our dd is now 11....we started going and staying in Bradenton and keep comin back!!!

the first time we came we stayed at what was then called sand pebble inn..i think it is now called anna maria island inn?? correct me if I am wrong on the name. court was a pleasure to work with and we did not stay a full week. we loved being smack on the beach! there are a number of different units - some on the beach and some right across the street - short skip over to the beach! take a look at it. and the trolley stop is right there too - with little ones that is helpful!

we have not encountered college spring breakers....maybe just our luck? but I don't see it as a college spring break kinda place.

we go to publix very early in the morning..that way, we beat the crowds. with kids, surely you are up.

dd loves the puttputt on bridge street!

we have not stayed at dream inn so I cannot comment on it.

we stay very near to anna maria island inn and just take the trolley to bridge street to get icecream.

kids are tired after a day of sun and wave splashing so we go to dinner quite early and beat the crowds! we are usually lucky enough to drive and get a spot close enough to where we are eating! we like to watch the sunset and by then dd is wiped out!

wherever you opt to stay, do enjoy your trip! it is a magical place.

at one time, we needed a one night stay and I believe it was rusty who recommended tradewinds...I went on VRBo and there was a super nice woman (cant remember unit or anything) that was willing to rent for one night or one week....maybe give that a shot. good luck.

Anna Maria FL USA
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177 posts
4 reviews
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6. Re: Spring Break Crowds?

Wet T shirt contest, Loud Bands ,Motorcycle rallies College parties ...Not here on AMI . IT IS THE HIGH SEASON so there will be more crowds .Drunkin College kids and hard party types are a minority . AMI is the opposite of Daytona ,Panama City ,Mexico. Literally the island rolls up at 10:00am . IHTH Sumo

Bloomington, Indiana
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238 posts
21 reviews
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7. Re: Spring Break Crowds?

Normally the only college students you see are those few that are with their families. One of the many reasons we love AMI. I work on a college campus and see them enough! :)

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144 posts
29 reviews
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8. Re: Spring Break Crowds?

Try nautilus apartments, stayed last year, very friendly, right on the beach and the trolley stops outside. Staying again this year

Chicago, Illinois
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6 posts
6 reviews
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9. Re: Spring Break Crowds?

Thank you all so much for your replies!! I never got notified of any responses and am just now seeing them! I really appreciate all of the honest and informative information. I understand that the Dream Inn is not a luxury place. Being ON the beach was top priority for us and choices were limited and this fit the bill. We read through reviews (yes, many not great) and picked a unit that had good recent reviews. Fingers crossed! We'll be busy outside of the room so hopefully it will be fine.

One or two more questions, if I may? How is Mote Aquarium? We are looking for some other options for cooler or rainy days. We have no problem driving up to an hour for something cool to do with our boys. They, of course, want to go to Disney - but we'd like to check out some other options

Thanks again for the feedback - and in advance for any more ideas! :)

Saratoga Springs...
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for Saratoga Springs
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10. Re: Spring Break Crowds?

Hi WannaTravel-

The Mote is really worthwhile. I highly recommend the boat tour too:


I just posted this response in the thread about rainy day suggestions:

Hopefully you will have wonderful weather and this won't be necessary!

There are movie theaters nearby in Bradenton, if that suits you.



We have always wanted to visit the Mixon Fruit Farm (and Wildlife Refuge), but never have:


We usually make the trip to Busch Gardens when the wether is iffy (lots of under-cover and indoor shows). They are offering a $50 weekday ticket, good through May 5th:


Also, we have never made it down to Ringling Museum or the Red Barn or St. Armand's Circle, which are all highly recommended by others.




Honestly, though, we rarely leave the island. I hope you have a great trip!

Edited: 23 March 2014, 19:33
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