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trip report

calgary, alberta
Level Contributor
256 posts
15 reviews
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trip report

We've just returned from a fantastic, wonderful week on Anna Maria Island (Bean point). We only had one rainy day which we used to do our shopping for souvenirs etc... with the remaining 6 days being absolutely perfect beach weather.

We stayed at the Blue Dolpin Inn (Heron Suite)....I have mixed feelings about this place.... It's the perfect location..one block from the gulf and 2 blocks to the bay (Rod and Reel pier). The area is just breathtaking....but I just feel that the Inn has become a little run down. The pool was dirty the whole time we were there so we usually went to the beach instead....we never saw anyone there maintaining it...and it was pretty small, especially when sharing it with 4 other units. The suite itself was really nice, but like I said, just getting a little run down. It had wonderful old Florida charm and we loved the tree house feel to it. Amazing dense vegetation surrounding the Inn...very pretty!!

We rented bikes for the week and had so much fun exploring the Island. It's so beautiful and clean and you just feel so safe there...

We ate out at 3 different restaurants:

Rod and Reel: Excellent blackened grouper sandwich and really fun atmosphere...but very busy and had one hour wait both times we ate there..but we enjoyed watching the dolphins while waiting.

Sandbar: Nice beach location/view but awful, awful food!! Very disappointed...

Sign of the Mermaid: I can't say enough good things about this restaurant. The 4 of us (two couples) both agreed it was one of the best meals we've EVER eaten...and reasonably priced. The atmosphere was wonderful and service also fantastic. It really was the highlight of our trip!!

And what can I say about the beach...the softest, whitest sand we've ever walked on. The most beautiful sunsets we've ever seen. And all the birds (herons, pelicans, egrets (sp?)) walking alongside you on the beach. Truly breathtaking!!! We saw a large seaturtle (10 feet from us) in the water...about 8 ft long...what an amazing site that was!! We also saw lots of dolphins really close to shore!!

We will be back again next year for sure!!!

Mentioned in this post
Bean Point
Bean Point
723 Reviews
Anna Maria Island, FL
Rod & Reel Pier
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Anna Maria Island, FL
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Sandbar Restaurant
Sandbar Restaurant
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Anna Maria Island, FL
Sign of The Mermaid
Sign of The Mermaid
780 Reviews
Anna Maria Island, FL
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Beach Bums Island Attitude
Gift & Speciality Shops, Water Sports, Equipment Hire, Kayaking & Canoeing, Stand-Up Paddleboarding
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Gift & Speciality Shops
essen, germany
Destination Expert
for Walt Disney World, Anna Maria Island, Orlando
Level Contributor
4,020 posts
7 reviews
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1. Re: trip report

welcome to the club :-)

we all love the island and I cannot agree more with sign of the mermaid! love this place and I always ask them if they have fresh red snapper (catch of the day)

the rare tuna is awesome and the dessert to die for!!

If they just renovate it I would be there all the time!

Sandbar is ONLY for location and music... Beach House is better but still not like sign (at least for food)

sun house would be a great option for you to try next time!

glad you liked it!

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Sandbar Restaurant
Sandbar Restaurant
4,098 Reviews
Anna Maria Island, FL
Salem, Indiana
Level Contributor
153 posts
3 reviews
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2. Re: trip report

Sorry that you did not like the "Sandbar". The house that we rent is only steps from there and we eat there several times during the week. There has only been one time that we were disappointed with the food and that was this past Thanksgiving '08, but the atmosphere, a wedding going on and the crab that decided to visit still made for an enjoyable time. Once we get to the island, our first stop has always been to get there and have calamari!!! Maybe we just overlook some things since we get to watch the ocean and eat with our toes buried in the sand!!!

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Sandbar Restaurant
Sandbar Restaurant
4,098 Reviews
Anna Maria Island, FL
calgary, alberta
Level Contributor
256 posts
15 reviews
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3. Re: trip report

Well, maybe I was a little hard on my Sandbar review as it is more of a fast food type restaurant, but guess I was just expecting a little more after just dining at the Sign of the Mermaid the day before. It does have a wonderful atmosphere though and that I did enjoy!! It is a great location, I will agree!! Maybe we just had bad luck there. I'll give it a try again next year when we return!!

Mentioned in this post
Sandbar Restaurant
Sandbar Restaurant
4,098 Reviews
Anna Maria Island, FL
Sign of The Mermaid
Sign of The Mermaid
780 Reviews
Anna Maria Island, FL
Bradenton, Florida
Level Contributor
5,427 posts
29 reviews
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4. Re: trip report

Sounds like you had a great time, and thanks for the trip review. I think with the Sandbar it depends on what you order. The last several times there we have had the spinach salad, but substituted blackened grouper for the chicken. Excellent.

5. Re: trip report

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