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August
10

The History Behind the Island's "Most Popular Sign, "Welcome to Holmes Beach on Anna Maria Island"

Holmes Beach, FL – August 8, 2022

Think Anna Maria Island (AMI), and the images most likely to pop into your head are the beautiful gulf beaches, the white fine sand, the lush landscaping, the quaint island lifestyle and of course, that famous sign that reads, "Welcome to Holmes Beach on Anna Maria Island." For many visitors to the island, it's the first thing they see on the way in and the last thing they see on the way out – that is, unless they bought any of the numerous souvenirs that bear its image. We all know the sign, but where exactly did it come from?

The original sign was contributed to the community by the Anna Maria Island Rotary club back in the 1980s. In 2001, Ernie Kerr was an island resident and current president of the Anna Maria Island Rotary Club. He felt the old sign "...just didn't portray the true island flavor that we have come to love." Ernie was a retired commercial artist, so he made it his mission to replace the old sign. He then designed and fabricated a model of his vision. The model was presented to the Rotary Club and city officials where it was unanimously approved.
 

Ernie enjoyed every minute of fabricating the elements of the sign in his workshop garage. It took about six months to complete the construction and installation. The project was solely sponsored and funded by the Anna Maria Island Rotary Club. "Looking back, I have to say that I'm grateful for the support of my wife, Becky Smith, Branch Manager with Wagner Realty on the island, for her patience while I spent literally all my days into the evening perfecting every little detail of the sign. There were many nights that Becky sat at the dinner table alone, while listening to the annoying sound of the skill saw," says Kerr.

The new sign was erected in 2001 and continues to attract both young and old. Ernie admits that although this was the only monument he designed and built, he looks back with fond memories, and feels so much satisfaction every time he sees smiling families photographing themselves in front of "the sign that Ernie built." A sign built with a lot of love for the local community.

February
28

Fishing Charters on Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria Island

No matter whether you choose Bradenton homes for sale or Sarasota homes for sale, you're in luck – you can visit a little piece of paradise whenever you want. Our real estate agents know one of the best things about living in the area is the chance to savor all Anna Maria Island has to offer.

This seven-mile barrier island off the coast of Manatee County is lauded far and wide for its fishing and its vintage 1950s and 1960s-era residences. Fishing has attracted visitors from across the country since 1938, but locals have the chance to enjoy it any time they wish.

Anna Maria Island is the destination of a large number of local fishing charters. Many of them are small, family-owned operations that have been in business for years. They give you a great way to explore and learn more about the area – and you just might catch a tasty fish.

Let's look at some of the noteworthy fishing charters now:

  • A Rodbender Fishing Charter – 4122 Via Piedra Circle, Sarasota, FL 34233
    Departing daily from Hart's Landing in Sarasota, A Rodbender Fishing Charter is a charter for all ages and all experience levels. You can score the catch of a lifetime with full fishing equipment included! Just don't forget to bring your own sunglasses and sunscreen.

  • AMI Charters – See Website for Location Details
    AMI Charters is the work of four local captains (and one kayaking expert) leading you on saltwater adventures in and around Anna Maria Island. In addition to classic fishing trips and tours, you can also select a romantic sunset cruise or a five-hour fun run that will bring you to restaurants and sand bars only accessible by boat. AMI also has a robust list of fishing tours, especially for the little ones.

  • Island Discount Tackle – 5503 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach, FL 34217
    Island Discount Tackle offers a little bit of everything you might need to make the most of your island adventure. Since 1988, it has created an authentic experience staffed by expert fishermen. Once you're fully geared up from "the biggest little tackle shop in Florida," book your charter fishing trip, parasailing, dolphin, or snorkeling journey. It might just be the thing that convinces you to check out Holmes Beach homes for sale.

  • Fishy Business, LLC – See Website for Location Details
    Fishy Business, LLC is a fishing charter boat service led by USCG-certified Captain Rick since 1986. With inshore flats and nearshore Gulf trips out to nine miles, Captain Rick provides it all – license, bait, and tackle. The 2012 Fishy Business is fully equipped with Lowrance GPS and the latest fish finders.

  • Anna Maria Charters – See Website for Location Details
    Described by its customers as "truly top-notch," Anna Maria Charters prides itself on the number of options it offers its guests near Anna Maria Island homes for sale. With four boats ranging from flats to offshore, you can customize your experience with five distinct options: Inshore spinning and fly fishing, nearshore fishing trips, offshore fishing trips, tarpon-only fishing trips, and tarpon-only fly fishing.

  • Florida Fishing Fleet – 4628 119th Street West, Cortez, FL 34215
    Florida Fishing Fleet operates from the very heart of the historic Cortez fishing village. You can opt for a split charter or private fishing charter, including license, rods, bait, tackle, ice, and fish cleaning done for you. With an experienced and charismatic crew and excursions of up to 12 hours, it'll introduce you to one of the best things about Cortez homes for sale.

Contact us to discover more about real estate throughout Manatee County.

February
7

7 Places for Waterfront Dining

Waterfront Dining

One of the great things about living on the coast is that you don't have to go far to enjoy an amazing view of the water. You also don't have to go far for a good meal. Our real estate agents know you can do both at these fantastic waterfront restaurants. 

  • Jack Dusty - 1111 Ritz Carlton Dr, Sarasota, FL 34236
    Located on the Marina at Sarasota's Ritz-Carlton, Jack Dusty is always a great place to sip a craft cocktail while enjoying the Gulf Coast view. The atmosphere is laid back, and the menu includes specialties like freshly-caught Gulf Coast shrimp and Cioppino (a hearty seafood soup). Jack Dusty is also just minutes from many Sarasota homes for sale.

  • The Sandbar Restaurant - 100 Spring Ave, Anna Maria, FL 34216
    The Sandbar Restaurant is nestled on the shore of Anna Maria Island and offers beachfront dining at its finest. The food here is sustainably and locally sourced, from the grilled Gulf of Mexico octopus to the seasonal fish tacos. They also serve some great burgers, steaks, and salads and even have an on-site farmer's market where you can buy fresh local produce. 

  • Dry Dock Waterfront Grill - 412 Gulf of Mexico Dr, Longboat Key, FL 34228
    Outstanding food and a friendly, casual atmosphere are the hallmarks of Dry Dock Waterfront Grill, a beloved bayside eatery at the south end of Longboat Key. Dry Dock Waterfront Grill made Open Table's list of the 100 Best Most Scenic Restaurants in America, which is no surprise given the sweeping views from their open-air dining area. They serve incredibly fresh, locally-caught Florida grouper and red snapper and are located a stone's throw from these Longboat Key homes for sale

  • Tide Tables Restaurant and Marina - 12507 Cortez Rd W, Bradenton, FL 34210
    When you're looking for a casual eatery with a view of the water, look no farther than Tide Tables Restaurant and Marina. Overlooking the Intracoastal Waterway, not far from these Bradenton homes for sale, Tide Tables serves some of the best gumbo and fish tacos in town, and they have a great selection of craft beer from local Florida micro-brewers. 

  • The Waterfront Restaurant - 111 S Bay Blvd, Anna Maria, FL 34216
    With a well-rounded menu that highlights local ingredients, The Waterfront Restaurant is an elegant-yet-relaxed eatery with indoor and outdoor seating footsteps away from the beach. With a location walkable to many Anna Maria Island homes for sale, the Waterfront Restaurant's menu features global flavors with a local twist. The appetizers alone—fried green tomatoes, baked brie, Kung Pao calamari—are worth the trip.

  • Beach House Restaurant - 200 Gulf Dr. N, Bradenton Beach, FL 34217
    There's no better place in Bradenton Beach to watch the sunset over the Gulf than Beach House Restaurant. They have a spectacular outdoor dining deck, but even indoor diners gat an awesome view through the massive windows overlooking the bay. With a location near many Bradenton Beach homes for sale, they serve amazing fresh-caught seafood and salads with greens grown in their garden. 

  • The Old Salty Dog - 1601 B Ken Thompson Pkwy, Sarasota, FL 34236
    A Sarasota staple since 1985, The Old Salty Dog is a local hangout that serves tasty pub grub and ice-cold beer in a British pub-style environment overlooking the bay. They serve Caribbean jerk tacos and house-made crab dip alongside traditional English fish n' chips but are best known for their signature beer-battered hot dogs. 

Contact us today to learn more about life in SWFL. Our real estate agents are dedicated to helping you find your dream home in Sarasota, Bradenton, and the surrounding areas. 

September
20

Why People are Moving to Sarasota and Manatee Counties

Sarasota Moving

People are flocking to the Sarasota area! Statistics recently released by the U.S. Census Bureau show that between 2010 and 2020, Sarasota's growth rate was nearly double that of the nation as a whole. While the growth rate of the U.S. population over the 10-year period was 7.4%, Sarasota grew at 14.4%, and nearby Manatee County grew at a shocking 23.8%.

Every day, our real estate agents work with buyers who are competing for the best Sarasota homes for sale. What is it about this area that's so attractive? From gorgeous weather to award-winning beaches, there's so much to love about living in the Sarasota area. Here's a closer look at some of the most important benefits. 

  • No State Income Tax
    The lack of a state income tax is one of the biggest benefits of living in Florida. Since so many visitors come to Florida each year, they pay the taxes for us! Tourists pay a 7% sales tax on the state level. On the county level, hotel stays and short-term property rentals are also subject to a 5% tourism tax. While this may seem annoying when you're visiting, once you become a resident, you'll love being able to hold onto your hard-earned dollars. 
  • Strong Job and Employment Market
    If you're still working, you'll be glad to know that the Sarasota area has a strong economy and a low unemployment rate. Some of the top industries in the area include healthcare, hospitality, education, professional services, retail, and trades. 
  • Culture and Performing Arts
    From the Ringling Museum and Marie Selby Botanical Gardens to the Sarasota Ballet and the Van Wezel Performing Art Center, there are many diverse cultural and performing arts attractions in the area. In fact, Sarasota has been named Florida's "Cultural City," thanks to its active theatrical and performing arts scene. 
  • Incredible Dining Options
    There are almost countless dining venues and drinking establishments in the Sarasota area. From incredible fine dining and casual cafes to upscale wine bars to local breweries, there's something here for everyone. Some of the most popular entertainment destinations in the area include Siesta Key, Downtown Sarasota, St. Armand's Circle, and Lakewood Ranch. 
  • Award-Winning Beaches
    Sarasota's beaches receive recognition nationwide. Siesta Key Beach has been named the number one beach in America multiple times thanks to its powdery, sugar-like sand. Other beaches throughout the county are also some of the most popular in the state of Florida.  
  • A Year-Round Playground
    Sarasota has an average of 251 sunny days each year and an average year-round temperature of 73 degrees. It's the perfect location for anyone who enjoys being out on the water boating, kayaking, or swimming. The city of Sarasota was also named the #1 Best Place to Retire nationwide by U.S. News & World Report. 
  • Affordable Real Estate
    Despite all of these incredible benefits, real estate in Sarasota and Bradenton is still relatively affordable. In fact, many residents find that owning a home here is often less expensive than renting. At the beginning of 2021, the average home price here was $319,793, and the median rent was $1,995 per month.

Finding your dream home in Florida can be a challenge, but it's much easier when you work with a great agent. The experts at Wagner Realty have access to all the best Sarasota and Bradenton homes for sale, and we want to help you! Contact us today to discuss your goals and get started. 

September
13

Galleries to Explore on Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria Island

Walking through an art gallery is a lovely way to connect with your feelings and expand your understanding of the world. So often, artists create images that evoke emotions that words can't express.

Luckily, Anna Maria Island has some lovely art galleries where talented, local artists showcase their pieces. Plan a trip to one (or more) of these galleries.  

  • Cove Gallery & Boutique: 104 Bridge St., Bradenton, FL  34217
    Just minutes away from many Bradenton Beach homes for sale, this unique gallery features ocean-inspired artwork. At Cove Gallery & Boutique, you'll find shadowboxes made from beach wood, paintings of waves, and beachy drawings. Admire the artwork, or purchase some for your own home.

    Cheryl Gonsalves's work is featured at Cove. She uses watercolors to create paintings of the ocean and seaside villages. Another prominent artist is Corin Finnie, who creates dreamscapes and murals. Guests also love admiring the sea glass creations of Avery Jackson.

  • Artists' Guild of Anna Maria Island: 5414 Marina Dr., Holmes Beach, FL 34217
    The Artists' Guild is a nonprofit organization that seeks to unite and support artists in the region. More than 150 artists belong to the guild, and most display their art here from time to time. Inside, you'll see everything from photography to pottery to pastel creations.

    This gallery is not far from many Holmes Beach homes for sale. They also offer online art classes, and each month, a different artist's work is featured in their front windows. 
    Gallery West
  • Island Gallery West: 5368 Gulf Dr., Holmes Beach, FL 34217
    Island Gallery West was created in 1990 by a small group of artists, and it has grown since then. In 2021, it was named Anna Maria Island's Favorite Art Gallery by Sun. Here, you'll find all sorts of art, from mosaics to jewelry. There are also plenty of paintings and drawings, of course. The gallery is always staffed by an artist who can answer your questions and show you around.

    Island Gallery West features a different artist each month, so you can stop by often and always see something new. 

  • The Studio At Gulf & Pine: 10101 Gulf Dr., Anna Maria, FL 34216
    The Studio at Gulf & Pine is the perfect place to stop after a long day of looking at Anna Maria Island homes for sale. This large indoor gallery was founded by Rhea Chiles, the former First Lady of Florida.

    At The Studio, you can view and purchase artwork, or you can take classes. They offer community classes on painting, drawing, and even culinary arts throughout the year. This gallery is very involved in local preservation and historical efforts.

  • Anna Maria Island Art League: P.O. Box 1243, Holmes Beach, FL 34217
    The Anna Maria Island Art League is not a traditional gallery but an organization created to support local and emerging artists through various festivals and events throughout the year. Their Springfest takes place annually on the beach and is a great place to view and purchase locally made art. If you become a member, you can enjoy discounts on classes and workshops.

Whether you're a lifelong artist or someone just learning to appreciate the beauty in art, these Anna Maria Island art galleries are well worth exploring. If you're new to the island and looking for a place to live, contact us. Our real estate agents can help guide you in your home search and help you find the right property for your art collection.

June
21

Summer Lawn Care: How to Install a Sprinkler System

Summer Lawn Care

Your dream house has a beautiful yard with grass, trees, shrubs, even a flower garden. There are plenty of Sarasota homes for sale that fit the bill. Our real estate agents can help you find the one that meets your needs. Caring for your new lawn, though, is up to you.

One of the most important aspects of lawn care is water - giving the area just enough water, just often enough, without doing it too much or too frequently. To do that, you'll need a sprinkler system that's designed just for your lawn's needs. You can have it professionally installed, but as long as you're reasonably handy, you might prefer to go the DIY route instead and install it yourself. Here are some tips for installing your sprinkler system.

What You'll Need

Before you begin the installation, you need to make sure you have all your tools and materials ready. Here's a list of what you'll need:

  • PVC Pipes and Fittings. PVC pipe is sturdy and durable but easier to work with than metal, so you can cut it down to lengths of whatever size you need. The fittings let you put the pipe segments together in different formations, as needed: elbow fittings, for joining two lengths together around a curve, and T-fittings, for joining three.
  • Sprinkler Heads. The most important part of your sprinkler system. You can choose the direction of the spray, as well as how much and in what pattern. You'll also need risers to connect the heads to the PVC pipe.
  • Timer. Allows you to set when and how often your lawn gets watered. A smart timer can automatically adjust to weather conditions so it doesn't go off when it's raining.
  • Valves. The valves allow you to control how much water flows through your sprinklers. They're accessed through a valve box and connected to the system with wiring.
  • Drains. These remove the excess water from the pipes when the sprinklers aren't on. It can be done either manually or automatically.
  • Backflow Prevention. Sometimes, water from the soil can flow back into your water supply, contaminating it with dirt and bacteria. A backflow prevention valve keeps this from happening.

What to Do

The first step is to find the pipe that you'll be using as the water source for your sprinkler system. Water will flow from that pipe through all of your PVC pipes and be distributed to your lawn. Check the pressure of that pipe to make sure it's up to the job.

Next, dig trenches around your yard in the pattern in which you want to place your sprinklers. Also, dig one from the water main to where you want to place your valve box, and dig a hole for the valve box. Dig the trenches between four and twelve inches deep. You'll want to rent a trenching machine to help you get them the right width and depth. Then, lay the PVC pipes in the trenches.

This is just the basics. There's a lot more to know about sprinkler installation. Don't attempt to install your own sprinklers unless you know what you're doing or have an expert on hand to help you. If you're unsure, call a professional.

If you're looking for Bradenton homes for sale with great lawns that are perfect for DIY gardening projects like this, contact us! We'll help you find the home of your dreams!

June
7

Terms to Know When Looking at Gated Communities

Gated Community Terms

Gated communities offer various advantages that many residents find appealing, but the gated community lifestyle isn't necessarily a perfect fit for every buyer. If you've been shopping for homes and thinking about purchasing a home in a gated community, then it's important to understand exactly what to expect from your neighborhood. Our real estate agents are here to help you make an informed decision, with our guide to terms you need to know when considering a gated community.

  1. Homeowner's Association (HOA)
    When you live in a gated community, the homeowner's association (HOA) is the organization that makes rules, enforces them, and ensures that the community is properly maintained. Each HOA is typically made up of members of the community, including an elected board of governors who are responsible for enforcing HOA regulations. Often, in addition, there may be a Management Company to oversee properties. The rules created by an HOA can be restrictive in terms of the architecture of homes, home maintenance, and the ways in which you're allowed to modify your property. However, those rules also play an important role in keeping the neighborhood looking great, keeping home values high, and making sure that everything from streets to landscaping are well-maintained.

  2. HOA Fees
    When you purchase a home in a gated community, you will be required to join that community's HOA. Joining an HOA means paying HOA fees, which can be paid monthly, quarterly, or annually. While the details vary depending on the community, HOA fees typically cover a wide range of service related to security, as well as maintaining your property and the community as a whole. In addition to maintenance, HOA fees often cover community amenities like pools, recreation areas, parking, and landscaping that help keep the community beautiful. If you're considering a home in a gated community, make sure you research exactly how much HOA fees will cost and what those fees will cover, and when they are paid.

  3. CDD Fees
    An alternative to HOAs, some communities have Community Development District (CDD) fees. These fees go toward paying for infrastructure and amenities within the community. Unlike HOA fees, CDD fees are paid as part of your local property tax, and CDD payments are tax-deductible. The cost of community improvements are put into a bond, and part of CDD payments go toward paying that bond off over time. Communities with CDD fees may have HOA's and HOA fees.

  4. Condominium Fees
    If you choose to live in a condominium community, then you can expect to pay condo fees. Just like with the other types of fees we have mentioned, condo fees go toward maintaining the condominium complex and covering the cost of any amenities offered by the complex. These fees can vary significantly based on the community and the size of your condo, so be sure to research them carefully. Some condominiums also have HOA and/or CDD fees.

  5. Recreation Fees
    Recreation fees can cover a wide range of amenities, activities, and services, with the exact details depending on the rules of each community. All members of the community pay the recreation fee, whether they use a specific amenity or not. The good news is that if your community requires recreation fees, then you may in most cases be able to use all of those amenities without any additional charge beyond the fee.

Whether you're shopping for Bradenton homes for sale in a gated community or a more traditional neighborhood, our team is here to help. Contact us to buy and sell homes throughout Southwest Florida communities.

May
25

Dog-Friendly Restaurants in the Sarasota and Manatee Area

Dog Friendly Restaurants

Sarasota and Manatee Counties feature many fun places to dine, many of which offer fresh local seafood and fabulous water views. Some will also let you bring your dog with you as you enjoy their restaurant.

Our real estate agents suggest taking your pooch to the following dog-friendly restaurants in the Sarasota and Manatee area:

  1. Sun Garden Cafe - 210 Avenida Madera, Siesta Key, FL 34242
    Sun Garden Cafe, which serves lunch and dinner, offers locally caught fish, locally grown produce, farm-fresh eggs, and artisan foods from around the world. Feel free to wear your flip-flops and dine inside or outside. Well-behaved dogs are always welcome, so if you buy one of our Siesta Keys homes for sale, you can bring your pooch with you.

  2. Owens Fish Camp - 516 Burns Ct #7030, Sarasota, FL 34236
    Located near Sarasota homes for sale, Owens Fish Camp brings in local fish from the Bay every day. The atmosphere is casual old Florida, where you can try a craft beer with your seafood and eat at one of the front porch tables with your dog. A huge Banyan tree out front and a tire swing out back add to the laid-back, comfortable vibe.

  3. Turtle Beach Grill - 8865 Midnight Pass Road, Sarasota, FL 34242
    Located across from Turtle Beach near Sarasota homes for sale, the Turtle Beach Grill has dog-friendly dining on their outside patio deck. You'll be able to enjoy live entertainment on the deck Thursdays-Sundays from 5 p.m.-9 p.m. Visit the Turtle Beach Grill for lunch, dinner, or drinks, and you can even arrive by boat and dock at Bayfront Yachtworks.

  4. Gulf Drive Cafe - 900 Gulf Drive North, Bradenton Beach, FL 34217
    The Gulf Drive Cafe has been a popular fixture in Bradenton Beach since 1981, and it's easy to see why. The dog-friendly restaurant offers amazing views since it sits on 2 acres of waterfront on the Gulf of Mexico near Bradenton Beach homes for sale. Fresh seafood is a mainstay of the lunch and dinner menus, and while you're enjoying your meal, you can also have a cold cocktail and listen to live entertainment. And if you time it right, you can catch a multi-colored sunset from your restaurant view.

  5. The Waterfront Restaurant & Craft Bar - 111 South Bay Blvd., Anna Maria, FL 34216
    Whether you have a picky or an adventurous palate, you'll find something to love at The Waterfront Restaurant & Craft Bar, located near Anna Maria homes for sale. Utilizing fresh, natural flavors, the restaurant serves recognizable favorites as well as rare seasonal items. Try a selection from the micro-brew and wine bar and sit at the open-air patio that has views of Tampa Bay.

Even pets love calling the Sunshine State home! Contact us today to learn more about what homeowners enjoy about living in the Sarasota and Manatee area. 

March
22

Sarasota & Bradenton Restaurants For International Waffle Day

Sarasota BreakfastIf you've been looking at homes in the Sarasota area, you already know there's a lot to love! As if the gorgeous weather and stunning beaches weren't enough, residents and visitors also enjoy a wide selection of amazing dining experiences.

On their days off, our real estate agents love taking a break to visit some of their favorite local breakfast restaurants. International Waffle Day is coming up on Thursday, March 25th, making now the perfect time to try out a few for yourself. 

  1. Anna Maria Island Beach Cafe: 4000 Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach, FL 34217
    There's nothing quite like starting your day off with breakfast on the beach! The Anna Maria Island Beach Cafe opens every day at 8 am and serves fantastic Belgian waffles you'll ever have! Make sure you get the whole experience by adding strawberries or blueberries for just $1 extra. They also offer a full breakfast menu with items like Eggs Benedict, Country Fried Steak, and All You Can Eat Pancakes. After you're done with your meal, take a ride around so you can get a look at some of the beautiful Anna Maria Island Homes for sale. We're sure you're going to fall in love! 

  2. Blue Dolphin Cafe: 5370 Gulf of Mexico Dr., Suite 101, Longboat Key, FL 34228
    The Blue Dolphin Cafe offers a fun and intimate dining experience. They're open for both dine-in and takeout and offer a variety of waffle dishes as well as a full breakfast menu. Any time we're in the area showing Longboat Key homes for sale, we try to stop by and enjoy a meal. If you want to celebrate International Waffle Day, consider ordering waffles topped with fresh strawberries, blueberries, bananas, and whipped cream. 

  3. The Oasis Cafe: 3542 South Osprey Ave., Sarasota, FL 34239
    The owners of The Oasis Cafe have owned some of the most popular restaurants in Sarasota for over 30 years. It's no surprise that this is one of the best spots in the area to enjoy a delicious breakfast, lunch, or brunch. You'll love their Malted Belgian Waffles topped with fruit, nuts, and a side of real Vermont maple syrup.

  4. Sarasota Breakfast House: 1817 Fruitville Rd., Sarasota, FL 34236
    If you've been exploring Sarasota homes for sale, you'll want to get to know Sarasota Breakfast House. Not only are their fresh-made waffles incredible, but they also serve them up with a huge variety of gourmet toppings, including candied bacon pecans, peanut butter chips, Nutella, lemon ricotta filling, glazed walnuts, fresh whipped cream, and more! You definitely don't need a special day to enjoy this delicious treat! 

  5. Blue Jasper Restaurant: 5718 Cortez Rd. W., Bradenton, FL 34210
    Blue Jasper Restaurant, located in West Bradenton, is known for serving quality meals made with locally-sourced ingredients. You'll love celebrating International Waffle Day with one of their fresh-made waffles topped with decadent toppings like banana and berry compote or caramel banana and walnut. If you're ready to go all-in, order a waffle sundae topped with strawberry, banana, and chocolate syrup. After breakfast, take a drive around. You'll quickly see why so many people are interested in exploring Bradenton homes for sale

Our real estate agents are ready to help you find your dream home! Contact us today to discuss your goals and get started. 

March
9

Plant a Flower Day: What to Plant in Sarasota and Manatee Counties

Planting om Bradenton

If you're new to Florida, you might be surprised to learn that yes, we do get the occasional frost here in Sarasota and Manatee Counties in the late winter and early spring. This is just one of the things you need to know as you embark on gardening in your new home, acquired either from Bradenton homes for sale or Sarasota homes for sale. Fortunately, frost is rare and not much of an impediment to producing fabulous flowers, fruits, and vegetables in Florida.

While we suggest Floridians start planting long before National Plant a Flower Day, which is March 12, this national celebration, which promotes looking forward to spring by encouraging flower planting, is a great reason to jump right in.

And the good news is, after mid-February, the chances of a frost damaging seedlings or other plants are very low. So feel free to head to your local garden center and acquire some fabulous flowers to celebrate March 12 with a burst of color in your yard.

But before you start, a little planning is in order. What can you plant in our region of Florida? So many things, from tropicals to perennials, lush annuals, flowering shrubs, and glorious flowering trees. The key is making sure whatever you choose can tolerate our heat and humidity. 

What to Plant

The flowering plant palette for Florida is extensive. Among the most common flowering plants, you'll note are these.

  • Pentas. Also known as Egyptian Star Cluster, Pentas are evergreen perennials and come in pink, magenta, lilac, and white. They prefer full sun and are seasonal bloomers. An added bonus is they attract butterflies.
  • Coreopsis. You can't not plant Florida's state flower, the Coreopsis. It's a member of the aster family and has bright golden disk and ray flowers. It's a brilliant addition to any garden. 
  • Blue Salvia. Although native to the Southwest, Salvia farinacea does well in South Florida and can flourish in a hot, dry location. Low-maintenance Blue Salvia (also known as Mealycup sage) is an annual further north but blooms like a perennial in our climate. Pollinators love it.
  • Mexican Heather. A low-growing ground cover, Mexican Heather or Cuphea loves full sun, although partial will do. Plant it in a well-drained location. It produces lavender-pink to white flowers almost all year long.
  • Bougainvillea. One of our most spectacular bloomers, Bougainvillea's showy display isn't actually flowers at all, but rather colorful leaf bracts. It needs six hours of sun a day, and for that, you get an explosion of color most of the year.
  • Lantana. Another pollinator attractor (including hummingbirds), Lantana is available in pink and yellow or bright orange and yellow, and more. Deadhead flowers to keep the plant producing most of the year. Be sure to water Lantana when the weather is dry; mulch and fertilizer help promote abundant flowering.
  • Periwinkles. Also known as Creeping Vinca, Periwinkle is a creeping vine with pretty blue flowers, often used as a ground cover, and which can choke out weeds. Best blooming will occur if it's planted in partial shade.
  • Plumbago. This sprawling shrub is grown for its clusters of blue, phlox-like flowers. Plant Plumbago over a stone or wood retaining wall for a beautiful effect. It prefers full sun but will tolerate some shade.

Our real estate agents have more tips for how you can improve your property, indoors and out. Contact us today.

February
22

How to Ensure Your Pet Stays Safe During a Renovation

Pet Safe Renovations

Renovations are a great way to keep your home up to date, to add value, and to compete with other Bradenton homes for sale when it comes time. Unfortunately, many homeowners put off updating their homes because of how complicated it is to get work done when you have pets. Here are a few suggestions for keeping your pets safe and minimizing stress so that you can do the work when it's needed.

  1. Find a safe place.
    Workers tend to leave doors and gates open, and honestly, it's not their job to watch out for your pets. The best thing for everyone is for you to find a safe place to keep your pet while workers are in the house. This might be a back bedroom, or it might be a crate. Try to include some things to keep your pet comfortable, like their favorite bed, blanket, or toys, plus necessities like food, water, and a litter box.

  2. Make sure everyone knows.
    Definitely let contractors know where you'll be keeping your pet, so they make sure not to let them out. As a precaution, if you're keeping your pet loose in a closed-off room, post a sign on the door reminding everyone to be careful opening the door.

  3. Do a safety check at the end of the day.
    Once the workers leave for the day, you'll likely be in a hurry to let your pet out so they can enjoy some freedom for the evening. But wait! Before opening that door or crate, do a walk-through of all the areas where the contractors have been throughout the day. Make sure doors, windows, and gates are all closed, and be sure there are no safety hazards such as sharp objects or loose wires.

  4. Know the schedule.
    It's also important to know where the contractors will be and what they'll be working on each day if only to make sure that you don't inadvertently put your pet in a room they need access to. Check-in regularly and make sure you know if there are any delays or changes in the schedule. In fact, it's probably in your best interest for a lot of reasons to know these things, and not only for the safety of your pet.

  5. Consider getting your pet out of the house.
    In some ways, having renovations done is a little like showing your home while it's on the market. Some homeowners leave their pets locked up in a room, but our real estate agents always appreciate it when pets are removed from the home. That way no one has to watch out for your pet, and it may minimize your pet's stress, too. Consider boarding your pets, or asking a friend or relative to keep them at their place during the day when the workers are there. Dogs could also be dropped off at doggy daycare, or if you have a job that allows it, brought to work with you.

Keeping your home up-to-date compared to other Sarasota homes for sale is an important part of owning property. If you're ready to list your home for sale, or even if you just have questions about what renovations you'll need to do before selling, contact us today, and one of our agents will help guide you through the process.

February
8

Top Reasons Why You Should Use a REALTOR When Purchasing New Construction

New Construction

If you want the option to select the finishes in your home or if you prefer a brand-new space, our real estate agents know a new construction home is an excellent option. When purchasing a new construction home, you may be tempted to forgo using a REALTOR®. Here are a few reasons to use a REALTOR® when purchasing a new construction home. 

  1. A REALTOR®Has Your Interests in Mind
    When purchasing a new construction property, you'll encounter individuals who represent other parties (like a builder rep) who will offer to handle the details of the sale for you. While these individuals are capable, you should remember that they are already obligated to represent the best interests of someone else. A REALTOR® will focus only on your best interests. 
  1. Your REALTOR® Will Help You During the Negotiation Process
    Like any home purchase, you want to procure the best terms when you're purchasing new construction. Even though the builder might act like the terms are final, there are likely some details that are up for negotiation. Your REALTOR® will recognize these details and help you procure the best terms possible. Maybe the builder is firm on their price; your REALTOR® might suggest negotiating for upgraded finishes or adding extra items (such as appliances or blinds).
  1. A REALTOR® Knows What Builders are Reputable
    Most people only buy a few homes during their lifetimes. A REALTOR® handles thousands of real estate transactions. As you browse Bradenton homes for sale, your REALTOR® will advise you as to which home builders are known for doing quality work. 
  1. Your REALTOR® Can Provide Helpful Recommendations 
    Throughout the homebuying process, you'll find yourself searching for professionals to assist with your purchase. Before you start looking at Sarasota homes for sale, you'll want to get preapproved for a mortgage so that you know what you can afford to borrow. While your builder may suggest a mortgage, your REALTOR® can suggest lenders that they know are buyer-friendly. Once you're ready to commit to a new construction, you'll want to ensure that the finished product is sound. Your REALTOR® can recommend a home inspector to make sure your new home is ready for you to occupy. You'll appreciate having a knowledgeable resource throughout the process.
  1. A REALTOR® is Familiar with the Neighborhood
    When buying a home, it's important to find a property in a neighborhood that's right for your lifestyle. It's hard to get an accurate feel for a neighborhood during a short visit. A REALTOR® is a valuable source of information for the neighborhood's true environment. They know which neighborhoods are good for families and which areas are better for individuals who value their privacy. 

Ready to start exploring new construction? Contact us to get started!

January
18

Is it Time to Upgrade Your Kitchen Appliances?

Kitchen Upgrades Sarasota

If your kitchen is beginning to look a bit outdated or things just aren't working as well as they used to, you might be wondering if it's time to upgrade your appliances. Our real estate agents usually recommend replacing your appliances before they break, as replacing items one by one can result in mismatched appliances. The last thing you want is a set of appliances that differ by color, age, or style appliances especially if you're planning to sell your home. Mismatched appliances can really give your kitchen a cluttered look.

Figuring out the best time to replace your kitchen appliances is the key to maximizing the longevity of your products and also maintaining your home's aesthetic value. Below are some tips to help you determine the best time to upgrade your kitchen appliances.

  1. They're Simply Aging
    Every appliance has a lifespan, so knowing the age of each kitchen appliance can help you predict when they might be on their last legs. Refrigerators generally last 13 to 15 years, while dishwashers usually last about 8 or 9 years. Of course, the exact lifespan will depend on the product and brand. If your appliances are getting up there in age, then it's probably time to start thinking about replacements.
  2. Your Kitchen is Out of Style
    If your appliances are wood-paneled, bright green, or look like they're from the 1960s, then they might be a little outdated. While your outdated appliances may work well or have sentimental value, installing modern-looking appliances may be helpful when it comes time to sell your home. Some of these Sarasota homes for sale have classic stainless steel appliances, which really creates a timeless look.
  3. The Noise is Becoming an Issue
    If your dishwasher sounds like a semi-truck or your refrigerator is buzzing, it might be time to start thinking about new appliances. You may have even become used to the sound by now, but you'll notice such a big difference when you upgrade. In fact, some of these Bradenton homes for sale have the quietest kitchen appliances on the market today.
  4. Your Utility Bills Are Too High
    Some old appliances can actually be really expensive to keep around because they're not very energy efficient. Modern refrigerators, dishwashers, ovens, and washing machines consume a fraction of the energy compared to older models from ten or twenty years ago. Upgrading to new appliances may be expensive in the short term, but you may actually see some cost savings down the road.
  5. They Don't Work Like They Used To
    All appliances tend to lose performance over time, so if yours aren't working as well as they used to, then it's probably time to start saving-up for replacements. If it's taking longer for your oven to heat up or your dishes aren't coming out as clean as they used to, it might be time to start shopping.

There are no hard-and-fast rules for determining the best time to replace your appliances, but age, style, and condition are often the best indicators. For guidance on the best ways to upgrade your kitchen, contact us today!

December
21

7 Tips for Finding the Right Home for Your Retirement Years

Sarasota Retirement Years

If you have been considering selling your current home before purchasing the home where you'll retire, this year presents an excellent opportunity to take the next step. Single-family homes are in high demand, making it easy to find a buyer, and interest rates are low if you're planning to finance your next home. Our real estate agents have more details on why this is a great time to shop and how to find the right home for your retirement years.

  1. Not Quite Ready to Retire? It's Still Smart to Be Prepared
    Even if you don't plan to retire for a few more years, it's wise to plan. If you need financing, it may be easier to secure a mortgage while you're still working. Shopping for your retirement home now also gives you more time to prepare, visit communities, and ensure that you choose a home that you'll love.

  2. Consider the Amenities and Necessities You'll Need Now and in the Future
    Choosing the perfect home to enjoy your retirement depends on your needs now, as well as what you'll need in the future. Ensure that any neighborhood and home you choose has the accessibility necessary for you to enjoy your retirement and that the services you may need in the future will be close to home.

  3. Visit Communities You Might Like to Call Home
    If you're planning to purchase a home in a community you've traveled to in the past, be sure to schedule a visit to help decide if you would like to live there long-term. Spending some time around the sun and sand near Sarasota homes for sale and Bradenton homes for sale makes for a fun vacation while also allowing you to learn more about a community you might choose to call home. Plus, our inventory of rentals are excellent options for you to learn what area you like best! Choose between annual options or 6-month rentals. 

  4. Make a List of Priorities to Help You Shop
    For many people, moving to live closer to family members and friends is a strong motivator when shopping for a home for retirement. Understanding what's most important to you will help you narrow your options. Make a list of your priorities, starting with the most important factors, and use it to aid your home search.

  5. Work Out Your Retirement Budget to Understand Your Purchasing Power
    Remember that your budget is likely to be different in retirement than it was while working, and plan for the future accordingly. If you haven't done so yet, lay out your budget for retirement so that you know exactly how much home you can afford while still leaving the funds you need to enjoy your retirement years.

  6. Take Advantage of an Appealing Real Estate Market
    If you've been waiting for an advantageous real estate market to sell your current home before buying your retirement home, now is an excellent time to strike while the iron is hot. The high demand for single-family homes means that you may be able to sell at a premium, which will leave you with more money to pursue your perfect home for your retirement years.

  7. Get a Knowledgeable Agent 
    Getting help from a knowledgeable real estate agent is always recommended and can truly give you peace of mind as you prepare for retirement.

Searching for a home near the sand and sun where you can enjoy retirement to the fullest? Contact us to buy and sell homes throughout Florida's Manatee and Sarasota Counties.

December
14

Make Your Own Holiday Wreath With These Tips

Holiday Wreath Sarasota

Nothing warms the heart like a home that's decorated for the holidays. Decorating your home doesn't have to mean spending a fortune on impersonal, store-bought decorations. Even the most quintessential holiday decoration, a wreath, can be made at home with a little time and creativity.

Our real estate agents have noticed that a little bit of tasteful holiday decoration goes a long way when it comes to making a good impression with potential homebuyers. Whether you're selling or looking for a way to personalize your own home, break out the crafting supplies, and add some holiday cheer with these tips.

Find the Right Form

At the core of most wreaths is a form to give it shape. What you use depends on what your wreath is made of. For instance, many wreaths have a metal form that's useful for wiring greenery to. You can also find styrofoam wreath forms that can be spray painted or have decorations, such as jewels, glued to them. Even a cardboard cutout can provide the foundation for a wreath, with the right three-dimensional ornaments affixed to it.

Use Nature's Own Supplies

You can't go wrong with a traditional evergreen wreath, and you'll find many Bradenton homes for sale with these types of decorations hung on their doors. Finding materials for such a wreath could be as simple (and as cheap) as taking a walk. Collect small, thin evergreen branches that can be easily affixed to your wreath, as well as other potential decor, such as pine cones. Do make sure you have permission before you go stripping branches off someone else's trees, though, and try not to take too many from one tree.

Repurpose Like a Pro

If a more traditional wreath doesn't appeal to you, you can make a free or inexpensive holiday wreath by repurposing everyday items. For instance, holiday fabric (perhaps from those holiday pajamas you never liked?) can be used to cover a styrofoam wreath form, or other holiday items such as ornaments or holiday cookie cutters can be grouped to form a wreath shape. Don't forget to finish it off with some pretty ribbon!

Tie It All Together

Once you have an idea for your wreath, the real trick is to put it into action. Choosing a sturdy way of putting everything together will ensure your wreath lasts the season, especially if it's expected to get knocked around a bit. Sarasota homes for sale get a lot of showings, so make your wreath strong if it'll hang on the door of your home while it's on the market! When well done, a wreath that is wired together can easily stand the test of time. While it's quick and easy, remember that hot glue is simply melted plastic and won't withstand a lot of rough handling. Other glues tend to weaken over time and may not be ideal for wreaths you want to reuse in future years.

The holidays are exciting, and nothing gets you in the mood to celebrate quite like decorating. Feeling overwhelmed at the thought of selling your home during the busy holiday season? Contact us today, and one of our agents can take some of that weight off your shoulders.

December
7

How to Give Back This Holiday Season Near Sarasota and Bradenton

Give Back in Sarasota

The holidays are a season of giving, and our real estate agents are always on the lookout for new ways to give back to our local community. This year, with so many families in the Sarasota and Bradenton areas suffering from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for help is greater than ever. 

Whether you're a long-time resident of the area or are looking at Sarasota homes for sale and Bradenton homes for sale, we're excited to share ways to help. Please consider some of these opportunities to give back this holiday season!

  1. Give to a Toy Drive
    As a child, one of the great joys of the holiday season is the thrill of unwrapping gifts on Christmas morning. That's why participating in a local toy drive is a great way to give back and share some joy with a child in need. No matter where you live, chances are, there's a toy drive in your area. Here in Sarasota, the 4th Annual Toy Drive, hosted by the Sarasota sheriff's office, or the local chapter of the Marine Toys for Tots program, helping children in need since 1947. 

  2. Give the Gift of Warmth
    Far too many people must face winter without the warm clothing they need. Donating unused winter coats to a winter coat drive is a great way to give someone the warmth and security they need this holiday season. Here in the Sarasota and Bradenton area, the annual Facing Homelessness coat drive collects much-needed winter coats for the homeless every December. 

  3. Donate Blood
    Blood and platelet donations are always in need, but many people forget about it during the holiday season because their attention is turned to other charities and causes. But the American Red Cross is always in need of donations, and the winter is actually one of the seasons of greatest need. Giving blood at a local blood drive this time of year is a life-saving gift that directly helps those who need it most.

  4. Donate to a Food Pantry
    No one should go without, especially during the holiday season. Donating canned goods and similar non-perishable food items to a food pantry or food bank is a great way to help. This is more true in 2020 than ever before. Check out this directory of food pantries and similar charities in the Sarasota area to learn more about where you can give. 

  5. Give to the Boys and Girls Club
    For more than 150 years, the Boys and Girls Clubs of America have helped create brighter futures for children in need. This nationwide charity network does so by providing quality voluntary after-school programs for kids who may not otherwise have access to them. Our local Boys and Girls Clubs of Sarasota County can always use your assistance, and there are many ways to give. Financial donations are always much appreciated, but you can also volunteer your time, just as essential. 

Contact us today to learn more about life in Sarasota and Manatee Counties. If you're looking for your dream home, our team is here to help every step of the way. We're also thrilled to offer some unique ways to give back to the community we love.

November
27

Gift Local This Year: Gift Ideas from Shops Near Bradenton and Sarasota

Sarasota Gift Local

'Tis the season for giving, and our real estate agents invite you to join our shop small initiative. Our local businesses support our communities economically and socially. Without them, Sarasota and Manatee Counties just wouldn't feel like home. Let's support our friends, family members, and neighbors by purchasing gifts from these local shops.

Gifts for the Outdoor Enthusiast…

Living in Florida means living outside for most of the year. If you have someone on your gift list that loves the outdoors, you can't go wrong with a gift card to Surfer Bus. Located around the block from Anna Maria homes for sale, this kayak rental service makes it effortless to get out onto the open water. For those who prefer to stay on land, Zegway by the Bay is a better bet. This unique company offers Segway tours around local towns near our Holmes Beach homes for sale. If you're looking to hit the town in style, consider a gift certificate to Longboat Limousine. Cruising from our Longboat Key homes for sale throughout Sarasota and Manatee Counties, you can simply enjoy a luxurious ride with million-dollar views of the Gulf of Mexico.

Gifts for the Foodie…

Who doesn't love good food? Gift the foodie in your life a gift certificate to Jennings Downtown Provisions. A favorite destination of those who moved into Bradenton homes for sale, Jennings is a restaurant and bar specializing in great eats like tacos and flatbread. The Bradenton Farmer's Market is another fantastic place where a single gift card will fill them with the best local flavors.

Gifts for Lovers of All Things Local…

The Original Sand Dollar and Sun & Surf Beach Shop have various gifts that fit perfectly under the tree. If you're seeking something unique, you'll find several one-of-a-kind, locally-owned, giftshops near our Sarasota homes for sale, like Artisans' World MarketplaceMaker's Market, and The Bazaar on Apricot & Lime. Or you can think outside the box and pair a foodie gift card from above with a trip to the theatre. 

Gifts that Celebrate the Arts and Nature…

While some nonprofit shops may not have gift certificates for purchase, you can gift tickets or memberships to some of our local museums like The John and Mable Ringling Museum of ArtSelby Gardens, and Sarasota Art Museum.

Gifts to Benefit A Favorite Cause...

It's a time of increased need throughout our community, which makes it a great time to give the gift of support. We also encourage you to consider gifts that help nonprofits in the Sarasota and Manatee Counties. If you aren't sure which non-profit you would like to support, visit The Giving Partner website. The Giving Partner, presented by the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, helps local nonprofits tell their story and enables you to explore how each nonprofit is making a difference in our neighbors' lives. The Giving Partner database contains over 700 profiles of 501(c)(3) charitable organizations serving Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte, and DeSoto counties.

If you're interested in buying or selling homes in Manatee or Sarasota Counties this holiday season, feel free to contact us. For more gift giving inspiration, be sure to check out our collection of short videos.

January
2

Press Release: Wagner Realty's Sherry Flathman Sells $2,850,000 Anna Maria Island Beach Home

Sherry FlathmanAnna Maria Island, FL, January 2, 2020 – REALTOR Sherry Flathman of Wagner Realty, recently closed on the sale of a $2,850,000 home on Anna Maria Island. This one-of-a-kind island home is right across from the beach and was built over the past year by Moss Builders. Boasting impressive interior and exterior design and landscaping, this home is brings a whole new meaning to the phrase "living the island life."

With 3,300 square feet of stunning architectural design, the home offers pure luxury living. It has 4 bedrooms (two master bedrooms), 4 1/2 baths, a gourmet kitchen and an elevator. Smart-home technology allows the thermostats, security cameras, front doorbell, garage doors and sound system to be controlled from a smart phone or tablet. The main floor boasts an open floor plan with 10' coffered ceilings, providing an expansive haven for entertaining family and guests. The gourmet kitchen includes Wolf and Sub-Zero appliances, quartz countertops, gas grill, custom cabinetry and a centerpiece 12-foot long island. The home is set on a tropical oasis with a spacious, covered deck, heated pool, relaxing spa and lush landscaped backyard.

The new owners, who hail from Minnesota, are looking forward to entertaining on the 1,700+ SF of decking, which includes an accessible 450 square foot rooftop deck where all can revel in spectacular Gulf of Mexico sunsets. "We chose a home on Anna Maria Island because of the beautiful beaches, friendly locals, casual laid-back atmosphere and coastal architecture" notes owner Christian, adding "my wife Kristen and I feel very welcomed by the locals." 

"This is one of those homes I'll certainly never forget," notes Sherry Flathman, adding "it's a dream come true for the new owners, and I love seeing people so happy." Sherry ranks in the top 5% of Wagner Realty's 220+ agents, achieving the "Chairman's Circle" recognition. Since 2014, Sherry has been consistently recognized as the second top producing residential agent for Wagner Realty based on sales volume. For the past eight years, she has been designated a "Five Star Professional" by an independent consulting firm that conducts customer satisfaction surveys of top producing agents Sherry is a member of this elite group of less than 7% of all licensed agents in the Sarasota-Manatee region.

Sherry is also fluent in Spanish. She works out of Wagner Realty's Manatee Avenue West Office, located at 7411 Manatee Ave. West, Suite 100, Bradenton, FL. Call or text Sherry at 941.592.3433, tollfree: 877.596.9449, by email at SherrySellsBradenton@gmail.com or on the web at www.BradentonsBestHomes.com.

###

Press Contact:

PressContact@WagnerRealty.com

941.727.2800

November
20

Gift Local This Year: Gift Ideas from Local Restaurants

Gift Local RestaurantsWith the holiday season right around the corner, our real estate agents encourage you to join our shop small initiative. Small businesses are the backbone of local economies. The COVID-19 pandemic has made it more difficult for these shops — owned and operated by our friends and neighbors — to succeed.

No matter who is on your Holiday gift list, we humbly ask that you join us in support of our community by purchasing gift cards from these local restaurants.

  • For those who appreciate a great meal...

    This holiday season show those you love you care by treating them to an amazing meal. There are countless delicious dining spots near our Anna Maria homes for sale, including Old Hamburg Schnitzelhaus and Anna Maria Oyster Bar. Old Hamburg Schnitzelhaus pairs German and Austrian dishes with imported beers to deliver a truly vunderba experience, while Anna Maria Oyster Bar serves up the freshest seafood around.

    If you're searching for a restaurant gift card closer to our Sarasota homes for sale, we recommend purchasing from Knick's Tavern & Grill or Smoqehouse


  • For those who love the ambiance of a cozy café…

    Sometimes, the best gift you can give someone is an opportunity to relax where the warm beach breezes blow. For those local to the Anna Maria Island area and around our Holmes Beach homes for sale, Anna Maria Island Beach Café, Minnie's Beach Café, and Paradise Café gift cards are wonderful stocking stuffers. Minnie's Beach Café is a calm space to grab breakfast or lunch during a beach day.

    Paradise Café is home to the best bagel sandwiches in town, a perfect grab-and-go breakfast when you're on the run. You can really wow someone with a gift card to Anna Maria Island Beach Café, a relaxed beachfront café ideal for kicking back with a coffee or a cocktail.


  • For those who prefer going out to watch the game…

    No matter which team you root for, we can all cheer for the return of major league sports. With countless professional matches in the U.S. and abroad slated for the following months, a gift card to a local sports bar is a great present for the sports fan in your life. Those living close to our Lakewood Ranch homes for sale know that Ed's Tavern is a fantastic place to catch a live game. Voted Best Sports Bar in Manatee-Sarasota County, Ed's Tavern also hosts poker and trivia nights.

    Closer to our Bradenton homes for sale a few miles west is Clancy's Sports Bar and Grill. This easygoing Irish pub/Tiki bar combo hosts live music every night, as well as bingo, karaoke, Texas Hold-em, and of course, the best sports games of the week.


  • For those with a sweet tooth…

    Who on your gift list wouldn't love something sweet in their stocking? Donut lovers will devour the delectable treats at The Donut Experiment on Anna Maria Island or Island Donut Company near our Bradenton Beach homes for sale. Pastry lovers, in general, will love the authentic Amish baked goods at Peachey's Baking Company. You also can't go wrong with a gift certificate for Island Scoops on Anna Maria Island, where you'll find Florida's best homemade ice cream.

Learn more about these and other local restaurants by viewing our short videos. Contact us today to schedule tours of our Sarasota and Manatee counties. Need more gift inspiration? We'll also be sharing local shops and nonprofits to support this holiday season.

October
2

One Particular Harbour: Plan Your Gulf Getaway

Are you searching for a place where you can relax with your family and friends? Our real estate agents invite you to leave your worries behind and spend hours enjoying a staycation at One Particular Harbour.

Only moments away from the beach, award-winning golf, shopping, dining, and entertainment, One Particular Harbour is a gated community that caters to adults and families of all ages.

Short term stays include access to amenities such as a deep-water marina, restaurant, pool, grilling area, and children's area. For those visiting for more than 30 days, enjoy the extended amenities of Harbour Isle. A waterfront beach club, private pool, sky bar, kayak launch, fitness center, and yoga lawn can be yours to enjoy throughout your staycation.

One Particular Harbour 376-303

  • One Particular Harbour 376 – 303 | 3/3 Sleeps 7
    Spend quality time with your family in this luxurious three-bedroom condo. The open floor plan includes a screened-in lanai that accommodates indoor/outdoor living. Designed to comfortably sleep seven, there are two bedrooms with queen beds, one of which as an in-suite bathroom. The master has a king bed, an amazing view, and a lavish bathroom.

One Particular Harbour 387-402

  • One Particular Harbour 387 – 402 | 3/3 Sleeps 7
    This penthouse with a lagoon view will make you feel on top of the world during your stay. Both the master suite and one guest room host a king bed. The third bedroom has a queen bed and bunk beds, perfect for children! Enjoy cooking meals conveniently in the island kitchen before relaxing in the spacious entertaining room. With laundry and cooking appliances in the unit, as well as equipment like bikes, fishing poles, snorkeling gear, and beach items for guest use, you'll feel like you're living in an exclusive resort.

One Particular Harbour 380-103

  • One Particular Harbour 380 – 103 | 3/3 Sleeps 7
    Lose track of time admiring gorgeous sunsets from the screened-in lanai of this unique unit. One king bed sits in each master and guest suites while the third bedroom features a queen bed and two twin beds. Stay in and entertain as you enjoy the convenience of a fully-stocked kitchen and spacious dining area. With everything you need to make you feel at home, this unit was designed for R&R.

One Particular Harbour 387-201

  • One Particular Harbour 387 – 201 | 2/2 Sleeps 5
    Cozy into this two-bedroom unit and take advantage of its proximity to the shore. A queen sleeper sofa and queen bed in the guest room offer comfortable accommodations for guests while the king in the master bedroom offers hours of privacy. With a spacious kitchen, entertaining area, and lanai with seating, you can spoil yourself in this charming unit.

One Particular Harbour 388-301

  • One Particular Harbour 388 – 301 | 2/2 Sleeps 5
    This new unit is ready to provide an exceptional staycation to two couples or a small family who want to get away. King beds are in both rooms while the living room sofa pulls out to a queen bed for additional guests. A dream kitchen and courtyard views from the lanai offers plenty of spaces to relax after a day spent on the beach.

Are you ready for a staycation on Anna Maria Island? Our team receives approximately 10 rental inquires for this property daily, so don't delay booking your getaway.

Better yet, would you like to call this slice of paradise home? Whether you want to visit for a week or live here for years to come, contact us to discover our best Bradenton homes for sale and for rent in the area.

September
2

How Fig Newtons Helped Build Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria Island Historical Society   Fig Newtons  Fig Newtons Ad

Anna Maria Island, FL – When you think of Fig Newtons you probably don't associate them with the development of properties on Anna Maria Island – but they hold a chapter in the history of this quaint vacation island. Long before it became a mecca for vacationers from around the world, Anna Maria Island was home to the Caloosan and Timucan Native American tribes. Later, Spanish explorers visited the island, and Tampa mayor, Madison Post, settled there as well. But the island wasn't developed for permanent residence until the late 1800's – that's when Fig Newtons came into play.

 

Ohio native Charles Roser was working for a bakery in Philadelphia. Charles developed a fig cookie recipe that became quite popular around town, but it was a challenge to get the fig mixture into the cookie, so he also invented and patented a machine that inserted the fig paste into the cookie, making later mass production possible. Roser's cookie creation was in such demand, both the recipe and the machine were purchased by the Kennedy Biscuit Company (which later became Nabisco). The Boston-based company had a tradition of naming cookies after local towns and named the cookie "Newton" after the nearby town in Massachusetts. In 1891 the company began mass production of Fig Newtons. Between the sale of the recipe and the sale of the patent, Charles Roser became a wealthy man overnight. With his new-found wealth, Roser and his wife moved to St. Petersburg, FL. An entrepreneur at heart, Roser immediately looked for another business venture and soon formed the Anna Maria Beach Development Company in partnership with George 'Wil' Wilhelm Bean.

 

Wil Bean's father, George Emerson Bean, homesteaded the northern 160 acres of Anna Maria Island in 1892, establishing himself as the island's first permanent resident. Wil inherited his father's Anna Maria Island homestead in 1898 and the area was ripe for development. Roser and Bean created street maps, established sidewalks, and sold home lots. There was no bridge from the mainland, so Roser built a 678-foot pier to provide the ferries a landing spot, and the rest is history. Before long, Anna Maria Island was one of the finest resorts on the west coast of Florida, with pristine beaches, a bathing pavilion, and a water system – which was critical to the success of the island's development. The island soon had 60 homes, a hotel, church, school post office and stores. Today Anna Maria Island is still a place where "old" Florida charm remains the norm. On Anna Maria Island you'll find friendly people, a leisurely pace and flip flops – but you won't find high rises and fast food restaurants. 

 

If you'd like to take a step back in time, visit Anna Maria Island. To find a vacation rental, go to www.wagnerrealtyrentals.com. To discover more island history, stop by the Anna Maria Historical Society located at 402 Pine Avenue on the north end of Anna Maria Island. The museum is open on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Please note that the museum will be closed during September for floor replacement Occupancy is limited to five visitors at a time. Visitors must wear masks for the safety and health of other visitors and docents. To visit the museum online go to https://www.amihs.org.

July
17

Top 7 Reasons Why Many Prefer Vacation Rentals To Hotels

Top 7 Reasons Why Many Prefer Vacation Rentals To Hotels

Are you looking to take a family vacation in the Sarasota/Bradenton area, but not sure if you are comfortable being confined in a hotel room? Before calling a chain hotel, consider the following options when making your decision.

  1. Cost efficiency.

Renting a house or condo can be surprisingly affordable. Most houses and condos offer at least two to three bedrooms, providing a larger family plenty of room to spread out. Factor in the cost savings from preparing and eating meals instead of eating out at restaurants, and a vacation home with a fully equipped kitchen can be a significantly better value.

 

  1. The comforts of home.

You'll feel right at home with all the amenities you need to fully enjoy your vacation. Full-sized appliances, including specialty coffee pots, dishes, and in many cases, beach chairs that you can take for a day at the beach. Most condos have a private laundry, making your stay much more comfortable.

 

  1. Lots of space.

On average, a vacation home gives you and your family more than 1,300 square feet to spread out, unwind, enjoy quiet time and just totally relax.  By comparison, hotel rooms average about 400 square feet.

 

  1. Premium Features.

Unlike a hotel room, it's easy to find vacation homes that provide amenities that go above and beyond, such as multiple televisions, game consoles, and gourmet kitchens.

 

  1. Peace and Privacy.

In a typical hotel you have cleaning staff coming in and out, noisy hallways and thin walls. If you feel like sleeping in or having a lazy day, a vacation rental may offer the tranquility you are seeking.

 

  1. Eat heathy, local food and spend less.

Manatee County offers local farmers markets where you can purchase a wide variety of fresh produce. If you'd like to pair that with some fresh fish, you can buy grouper right off the boat in the Village of Cortez and cook it to perfection in the comforts of your own home. Many health-conscious families prefer to cook their own meals and vacation rentals provide all the amenities to do just that!

 

  1. 24/7 maintenance support.

Vacation rental property managers have relationships with local professional service companies who are on call 24/7 to quickly address any issues, assuring guests are happy and comfortable.


Wagner Realty offers a wide variety of vacation rentals to fit everyone's budget, including some pet friendly units.  Visit www.rental.WagnerRealty.com to search your perfect vacation rental!

July
16

Quaker Parrots - Island Birds

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anna Maria Island is a favorite vacation spot for people from all over the world. Most people come for the sandy beaches and laid-back atmosphere, but many are pleasantly surprised by the many species of birds. There are egrets, blue heron, sandpipers, seagulls, pelicans and terns, sure – but our Wagner Rental agents are often asked about the bright green parrots. They're small - but loud, and love to have conversations quite early in the morning. Island visitors are intrigued by their quirky personalities and mischievous nature.

Those green parrots are Quaker parrots (or monk parakeets) and they're known for their charming, comical personalities and their willingness to learn human speech. They are the only parrot known to build nests. Quaker parrots spend a lot of time creating elaborate dwellings from twigs and branches.  Their nests have multiple rooms, and flocks sometime build nests next to each other to create communities. Nests can often be found in palm trees, right under the dead leaves that droop down near the top, creating curtains near the nest entrance, offering protection from rain and wind.  Quaker nests are usually communal, with a single nest housing several breeding pairs. Each mated pair has its own private chamber. Some pairs allow an additional bird, who isn't a primary breeder, but rather is tasked with cleaning and repairing the nest, and babysitting chicks.

The Quaker parrot is native to Argentina and nearby countries in South America, where it inhabits subtropical areas. The parrots adapt very well to urban landscapes and, as a result, there are numerous feral populations in North America. Many states have outlawed or restricted Quaker parrots because they are viewed as agricultural threats, as these birds can multiply quickly.

Quaker parrots are just a few of the birds you can enjoy on this paradise of Anna Maria Island, known for its powdery sandy beach on the Gulf Coast of Florida. Bird lovers can experience many sightings along the beach and at Robinson and Neal Preserve just over the bridge in Bradenton. Some shorebirds like to feed at high tide while others at low tide which makes any time during the day a perfect opportunity for bird watching by the water. To find out more about local birds and birdwatching spots go to www.manateeaudubon.org.

 

June
26

Paradise on the Gulf of Mexico: All About Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria Island

Located on the Gulf Coast of Florida, Anna Maria Island is just a short drive from Sarasota and Bradenton. Drive onto the island, and you'll discover a lovely, quaint beach town that offers a step back in time. You won't find the high-rise condos and hotels that many beach towns now have, instead you'll discover a laid-back lifestyle and quiet village charm. Homeowners searching for the beauty and peacefulness of a tropical island, just a short drive from city sights, will find a perfect place to call home on Anna Maria Island.

A Historical Haven

Like many cities in the state of Florida, Anna Maria Island was originally discovered by indigenous tribes, followed by Spanish explorers prior to the 1600s. However, no one resided on the island permanently until more than 300 years later. The Anna Maria Beach Company was established in the early 1900s to develop the foundation for residential and commercial life on the island. The Anna Maria Historical Society's Museum is a wonderful stop for history buffs who are interested in the island inhabitant's roots.

Sunny Skies are Always in Season

Those who wish for a retreat from the snow and shivering temperatures of the north will have plenty of opportunities to bask in the warm Florida sun on Anna Maria Island. The fall and spring offer the most temperate times to visit, with summer heat and humidity typically high and afternoon thunderstorms common. In the winter months, the temperature does drop from the 90s/100s down into the 70s/50s, giving residents a comfortable climate to still enjoy the outdoors with a light jacket. Hurricane season runs from May to the end of October, and although hurricanes are always a possibility, Anna Maria Island is often undisturbed.

Island Life at Its Finest

You'll discover plenty to see and do living on Anna Maria Island. Fishing, sailing, swimming, watersports, and other aquatic activities are always favorites, allowing you to spend hours of fun on the beach. There are dozens of restaurants, shops and boutiques lining the island, and gorgeous sunsets to enjoy on most evenings. A free island trolley runs a regular schedule with stops up and down the island.

So Much More Just Over the Bridge

While many prefer lazy days on the beach, city life is just a short drive away. Museums, art galleries, shopping, and dining options await you in Sarasota, Bradenton, St. Petersburg, and Tampa. Sports fans enjoy MLB spring training games in Sarasota and Bradenton, as well as MLB, NFL, and NHL action in Tampa.

Would you like to call this lovely island home?  To discover more about living on Anna Maria Island, including links to community information regarding schools, the economy, employment, etc. click here to visit our informational page on Anna Maria Island.  

Contact us today to browse Anna Maria Island homes for sale and find your perfect slice of island paradise. If you would like to experience everything Anna Maria Island has to offer while house hunting, consider renting one of our fabulous vacation homes where you can unwind for hours on our sugar sand beaches.

June
17

Best Waterfront Restaurants in Sarasota-Manatee

Sarasota Manatee Waterfront Restaurants
One of the best things about living in the Sarasota-Manatee area is it's proximity to the water. Not only is the area home to some of the best beaches in the country, but it also offers many opportunities to enjoy a memorable waterfront dining experience. 

Whether you're celebrating a special occasion or are looking for a great place to enjoy a casual lunch, the ideal waterfront restaurant is just a short drive away. 

Our REALTORS® have some favorite waterfront locations to share with you.  Here are five to start your local waterfront dining tour.

  1. The Sandbar Restaurant: 100 Spring Avenue, Anna Maria, FL 34216
    Located on the north end of Anna Maria Island, The Sandbar Restaurant offers an extensive menu made with fresh, local ingredients. The restaurant serves lunch, dinner, and Sunday brunch, giving you plenty of opportunities to kick off your shoes and enjoy a memorable dining experience with your toes in the sand.

    While you're on the island, we recommend taking some time to explore. If you get a chance, strike up a conversation with some of the locals. It won't take long for you to understand why Anna Maria homes for sale are in such high demand. 
  1. Marina Jack: 2 Marina Plaza, Sarasota, FL 34236
    If you've been exploring the area looking at Sarasota homes for sale, you've surely seen the gorgeous building that houses Marina Jack. Offering upscale and casual dining options, a lounge and piano bar, and a sunset dinner cruise, this location has been a favorite among Sarasota residents for many years.   The Marina Jack dining room offers stunning views of the marina and an exceptional menu. The Blue Sunshine Patio is perfect for al fresco dining, and the Deep Six Lounge and Piano Bar offers casual dining and live entertainment. 
  1. Pier 22: 1200 1st Ave. W., Bradenton, FL 34205
    A Bradenton landmark, Pier 22 offers diners a taste of paradise on the Manatee River. Enjoy an upscale experience in the indoor dining room or grab a casual bite on the outdoor patio. Pier 22 also serves sushi, has an excellent happy hour menu, daily specials, and a special weekend brunch menu. Before you head home, take a drive around.  This will give you the opportunity to see some of the great Bradenton homes for sale near the riverfront and in the downtown area. 
  1. Ophelia's on the Bay: 9105 Midnight Pass Rd., Sarasota, FL 34242
    Ophelia's on the Bay offers an unforgettable fine dining experience on Siesta Key. Here you'll find a daily rotating selection of dishes inspired by global cuisine. With two glass-walled indoor dining areas and an outdoor patio, there isn't a bad seat in the house. You'll enjoy stunning views of Sarasota Bay and may catch a glimpse of sea birds, herons, and even dolphins.   While you're in the area, keep an eye out for some of the breathtaking Siesta Key homes for sale
  1. Gecko's Dry Dock Waterfront Grill: 412 Gulf of Mexico Dr, Longboat Key, FL 34228
    With panoramic views from the upstairs dining room and an outdoor deck overhanging the water, Gecko's Dry Dock Waterfront Grill on Longboat Key is a favorite among both locals and tourists. You can reach Dry Dock by car or pull your boat up to one of the restaurant's three wet slips. No matter how you arrive, you're sure to love the delicious seafood selections and casual atmosphere.  Before you head home, spend some time exploring the area. You'll soon see why so many homebuyers ask us to show them the best Longboat Key homes for sale

If you're ready to make the Sarasota-Manatee area your new home, we're here to help! Whether you want to live on the water, in the city, or in the suburbs, there's a home in the area that's perfect for you. Contact Wagner Realty today to discuss your goals and get started. 

June
10

Top Fishing & Sailing Charters Around Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria Island Fishing Charters
If you're touring Anna Maria Island homes for sale, then you're considering buying a home where the rest of the world dreams of vacationing. With its many quaint shops, award-winning restaurants, and beautiful beaches, there's never a shortage of things to do here. 

Our REALTORS® recommend taking a short break from house hunting to get a taste of what island life is like. Spending the day on a fishing or sailing charter is a great way to do just that. Here are a few of our favorite charter services to help you get started. 

  1. AMI Charters: 114 Beach Ave. Anna Maria Island, FL 34216
    For the ultimate day of saltwater adventures, you can't go wrong with AMI Charters. Book a full, three-quarter, or half day inshore/nearshore fishing trip. If you're not a fishing fan, you can also choose to leave your poles behind and enjoy the sites instead.

    AMI Charters offers daytime family sight-seeing trips, sunset cruises, and a "fun run" option that gives you a chance to check out the nearby sandbars, private islands, and dockside restaurants and pubs. This is a great way to enjoy the benefits of having a boat without the hassle of having to drive! 
  1. Snapper Addict Fishing Charter: 2652 Gulf Dr. S. Bradenton Beach, FL 34217
    Captain Layne Ostrander has been fishing the local waters his entire life, and now he brings his knowledge and experience to you. Snapper Addict Fishing Charter specializes in light tackle and reef fish including snapper, grouper, shark, hogfish, cobia, and kingfish.

    You'll love Captian Layne's laid-back and entertaining personality. Keep an eye out during the charter, because there's a good chance you might see some sea turtles and dolphins while you're out on the boat. Once you make it back to land, make sure to spend some time driving around the south end of the island, where you can get a good look at some of the beautiful Bradenton Beach homes for sale
  1. Tampa Bay Fishing with Captian Matt: 526 69th St. Holmes Beach, FL 34217
    If you're looking for a fishing experience you won't soon forget, plan to spend a day with world-renowned Captain Matt Ercoli. You can book one of his Tampa Bay Fishing Charters for half, three-quarters, or a full day. Species targeted on this charter include tarpon, snook, trout, redfish, snapper, and more.

    The charter includes all of your ice, bait, tackle, licenses, and even fish cleaning. All you need to bring is whatever you want to eat and drink, and a great attitude! After your day of fishing is done, make sure you take the scenic route home so you can check out some of the Holmes Beach homes for sale along the way.  
  1. Kathleen D. Sailing Catamarans: Keys Marina 5501 Marina Dr. Holmes Beach, FL 34217
    If a fun and relaxing sailing excursion is more your style, you'll love Kathleen D. Sailing Catamarans.  Options include dolphin watches, Egmont Key excursions, sunset sails, and private charters for up to 20 people.

    In addition to Anna Maria Island, Kathleen D. tours are also available in Siesta Key and Longboat Key, giving you the chance to experience even more of what Florida has to offer. 
  1. Anna Maria Charters: 752 Manatee Ave. Holmes Beach 34217
    Offering an array of fishing options including inshore spinning and fly fishing, nearshore, offshore, and tarpon-only trips, as well as sight-seeing and dolphin tours, Anna Maria Charters gives you the ultimate in flexibility.

    These family-friendly, full-service charters are extremely accommodating, helping to ensure that you'll enjoy every minute of your day on the water. 

Catch the Deal of a Lifetime on Anna Maria Island

When you work with us, you don't have to fish around for a good deal. Our REALTORS® know the area inside and out and will help you find the home you've been dreaming of. Contact Wagner Realty and learn how much easier home buying can be with us by your side. 

January
7

Anna Maria 9 Restaurants We Love to Share

Anna Maria Restaurants
Anna Maria is one of Florida's best-kept secrets. The seven-mile-long island is not only known for its spectacular beaches with soft, white sand, but for its many waterfront restaurants and culinary jewels too. Whether you are looking for some hearty, mouth-watering seafood or a more upscale bistro where you can have an intimate candle-lit dinner, you'll definitely find your ideal restaurant among our list of top 10 favorite restaurants. Our real estate agents share where to dine on Anna Maria Island.

  1. The Waterfront Restaurant - 111 S. Bay Blvd., Anna Maria
    The Waterfront Restaurant is your spot for the best fish tacos and steaks on the island. Featuring a seasonally updated menu using local produce, The Waterfront is sure to please with a dazzling variety of meals with natural flavors. If you're looking for Anna Maria homes for sale, be sure to check out this island favorite.

  2. Blue Marlin - 121 Bridge St., Bradenton Beach
    With a focus on fresh ingredients, the owners of the Blue Marlin serve only local-caught fish, hand-selected from the AP Bell Fish Co. Choose from Thai, Pecan, or Fulford preparation of your entree. gives you a choice on how you want your food prepared. The Blue Marlin restaurant is a must if you're looking for Bradenton Beach homes for sale.

  3. Sandbar Restaurant - 100 Spring Ave., Anna Maria
    This iconic landmark features a unique location on the white sand beach of Anna Maria Island. The Sandbar Restaurant includes a huge outdoor patio for true beachfront dining. Visitors can sink their toes into the soft sand while they sip their cocktails and enjoy a meal of fresh seafood. Be sure to try their famous margaritas, coconut shrimp, and grouper sandwiches.

  4. Eat Here - 5315 Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach
    Eat Here offers mouth-watering seafood and a laid-back atmosphere. The skilled chefs here combine locally sourced ingredients with global cuisine ingredients to offer delectable meals to its customers. Looking to relocate in the area? Check out some of the best Holmes Beach homes for sale after you've had your fill at Eat Here.

  5. Beach Bistro - 6600 Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach
    Beach Bistro is the big sister of Eat Here, offering a romantic and luxurious dining room. If you can afford a special celebratory dinner, you'll want to try this restaurant. It has some of the most talented chefs in the region and features modern and innovative takes on traditional seafood and mouth-watering ribs. Remember, though – you'll need to make a reservation when visiting this restaurant.

  6. Beach House Restaurant - 200 Gulf Drive N., Bradenton Beach
    Beach House Restaurant offers one of the best upscale dining experiences on Anna Maria Island. Located on a scenic beach with impressive water views, the restaurant has become the island's most popular event venues and a favorite for many travelers because of the incredible seafood. Its menu is diverse and includes a wide variety of foods, from raw oysters to house-smoked fish dip to vegetable risotto.

  7. Hurricane Hanks - 5346 Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach
    With a full-service bar and fantastic margaritas, Hurricane Hanks is a more casual spot for people looking to enjoy scrumptious seafood and some cocktails. Its menu offers a little of everything, including yummy daily specials for both lunch and dinner.

  8. Dry Dock Waterfront Grill - 412 Gulf Of Mexico Drive, Longboat Key
    Whether you are looking to enjoy a gluten-free meal or some mouth-watering grouper sandwiches with your family, Dry Dock Waterfront Grill is definitely a great restaurant to try. Whether you choose to dine in their second-story dining area or the dockside patio, you'll enjoy a panoramic view of Sarasota Bay. Be sure to check out some Longboat Key homes for sale after your meal.

  9. Eliza Ann's Coastal Kitchen - 5325 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach
    Situated just a few steps from the edge of the water, Eliza Ann's Coastal Kitchen is your ideal restaurant if you're looking to enjoy the best of local cuisine. As the locals will tell you, they have some of the best-grilled oysters, fresh local catches, and vegetable meals.

There you have it! If you've fallen in love with Anna Maria Island, our agents are ready to help you find the home of your dreams. Contact Wagner Realty today.

September
13

6 Spots for Ice Cream in Anna Maria

There's something to be said about the simple joy of a refreshing scoop of ice cream, and the Anna Maria area has plenty of great ice cream spots to satisfy your craving. Our real estate agents are experts in the area, and we make your housing goals our priority. So whether you're looking to buy one of many fabulous Anna Maria homes for sale or want to sell your current home, leave the work to us, and head on out to one or more of our six favorite places to indulge in a creamy treat.

  1. Holy Cow Ice Cream & Other Cool Stuff - 3234 E Bay Dr, Holmes Beach, Anna Maria Island, FL 34217-2044
    You may have trouble choosing from the three dozen tempting flavors at Holy Cow Ice Cream & Other Cool Stuff! Rum Raisin and Mocha Almond Fudge are just a couple of the delicious varieties you'll find on their ice cream menu. This colorful ice cream shop also has a great selection of milkshakes, specialty drinks, and frozen desserts, and kids of all ages will love Holy Cow's fish tank and its inhabitants.

  2. Two Scoops - 101 S Bay Blvd, Anna Maria, Florida 34216
    At Two Scoops, they say that every day is "Sundae," and one taste of their creamy confections will convince you. Fun flavors like Muddy Sneaker and Gator Tracks dot the menu alongside traditional favorites including strawberry and pistachio. Try one of their Signature Sundaes, such as the Waffle Wedge or Chocolate Decadence for extreme indulgence.

  3. Dips Ice Cream - 9801 Gulf Drive, Anna Maria, Florida  34216
    For a sweet, after dinner treat, head on over to Dips Ice Cream, and see what makes this ice cream shop a favorite with locals and visitors alike. In addition to outstanding scoops, Dips has a huge variety of candy that will satisfy virtually any sweet tooth. This small, family operated ice cream shop is sure to win a place on your list of favorite places to cool down with a refreshing bite.

  4. Joe's Eats and Sweets -  219 Gulf Dr. S, Bradenton Beach, FL 34217
    The fun at Joe's Eats and Sweets begins before you even go inside. Their colorful shop sets the mood for excitement, and the ice cream is out of this world! Escape from the heat, and find yourself lost in a smooth and delicious scoop or sundae. In the mood for something daring? Try one of their yummy new Freak Shakes or sample a local favorite, lavender honey swirl ice cream.

  5. Small Town Creamery - 5404 Marina Dr, Holmes Beach, FL 34217
    Kids and adults alike will love the fun flavors served up at Small Town Creamery. Join the fun by ordering a scoop of "C" is for Cookie or Bubble Gum ice cream, or if you want something a bit different, try the sophisticated flavors of the Purple Daze and Stellar Coffee varieties. Friendly service and an incredible selection of flavors make this ice cream shop a must visit.

  6. Anna Maria Island Creamery and Bakery - 9801 Gulf Dr. Anna Maria Island, FL 34216
    Rich Italian ice cream and irresistible pastries make Anna Maria Island Creamery and Bakery a decadent destination. Sourcing local ingredients, the staff makes fresh gelato right at the shop, and one taste will win you over. There are plenty of flavors to choose from and a topping station to add the finishing touch to your treat.

These local ice cream shops are just a part of what makes Anna Maria such a fun and beautiful place to live. For more area information or to get started with your house hunt, contact Wagner Realty today!

Contact Wagner Realty

June
6

Anna Maria Island's Historic Roser Memorial Community Church

Historic Homes in Anna Maria Island: Roser Memorial Community Church 

Anna Maria Island Roser Memorial Community Church

When you think of moving to Anna Maria Island, you'll likely picture a quaint beach bungalow surrounded by emerald green waters and sugary white sand. While it's true that this is part of living in Anna Maria Island, what you should know is that it is also a welcoming community with deep roots in local history.

Roser Memorial Community Church, opened in 1913, stands today as a beacon welcoming all to Anna Maria Island, Manatee County and even people from across the globe.

Learn more about this beautiful building that still holds services today.

History of Roser Memorial Community Church

The Roser family was one of the first land development partners in Anna Maria. The Roser Chapel was the vision of John Roser who hoped to create a place of worship for both residents and visitors to commemorate his late wife Caroline.

Unlike many Florida churches, this memorial had one stipulation--that it belongs to the community. The founders requested this chapel stay non-denominational, representing all of Anna Maria's residents.

Inside the Chapel

One of the more notable features upon entering the chapel is the beautiful stained glass window in the sanctuary. The current 400-seat sanctuary is an expanded area brought on by a historic-inspired remodel in the 1970's.

As more Anna Maria Island homes were built, Roser Church attendance increased filling its seats to capacity. Additional church buildings house community programs including the music ministry, community food pantry, thrift store and storage.

Attending Roser Church

Follow Gulf Drive north to Pine Avenue, then turn right for about half a mile. The church is located on the north end of Anna Maria Island, close to the historic Anna Maria Pier at 512 Pine Avenue, Anna Maria FL 34216.

Sunday services are open to the public and held twice daily due to demand. Choose to attend at 8:30 am or 10:00 am in addition to available Bible study and Sunday school. You can also check out the Roser Church Facebook page for weekly activities and special events.

Roser Church is one of the many peaceful island churches of Anna Maria Island. With a wide variety of denominations represented, there is a little something for everyone. Ask your local Anna Maria Island REALTORS® about homes in the area near the church of your choice.

Contact Wagner Realty whether you're searching for a year-round home or vacation rental. Our local real estate agents undestand the benefits of island life and can help you find your Florida dream home.

Contact Wagner Realty

May
16

Anna Maria Island Historic City Pier

Anna Maria Island features seven miles of sandy beachfront off Manatee County, Florida. The City of Anna Maria is a quaint, walkable Florida village that has become a destination for travelers seeking sun and relaxation and people looking for a place to call home.

With nearby amenities of Bradenton, this island features multiple communities at the mouth of Tampa Bay. Standout features of the area include emerald green water, white sand beaches, cottage-style Anna Maria Island homes, and of course the Historic City Pier.

The Settlement of Anna Maria

Anna Maria Island was known to native inhabitants of the America's for many years, but being only accessible by boat, no one wanted to live there. The Timucan and Caloosan American Indian tribes would visit as did the Spanish explorers who gave the island the name we use today. It wasn't until 1892 that the island gained its first official resident in George Emerson Bean, who spurred the development of the area.

Anna Maria Island's first residents were forced to commute to the mainland by boat or ferry, leading them to create the historic Anna Maria City Pier in 1911. A bridge over the water wasn't added until 1921.

Anna Maria City Pier

Described by Trip Advisor as, "Stunning," this historic pier stretches 678 feet across Gulf Coast waters. The pier has stood the test of time, weathering hurricanes for over 100 years as residents continually rebuild this attraction. Most recent renovations include a planned $1.7 million upgrade project, promising to keep generations visiting for years to come.

And why do people keep coming? Food, fishing, and fun just to name a few.

Rod and Reel Restaurant

The Rod and Reel restaurant offers 360-degree views at its iconic home at the end of the pier. Squeeze yourself into the tiny bar on the lower deck for an icy cold margarita, or find a table upstairs for a more formal meal. As you might guess, the seafood here is fresh!

Fishing at the Anna Maria Pier

A unique twist to the Rod and Reel Restaurant is that the area doubles as a fishing pier too. A common sight you'll see are the dangling fishing lines of fishing enthusiasts, hoping to catch a bite -- before they order a bite. It's a great way to pass the time during the busy summer season (the restaurant may have a line.)

Florida Fun

Florida's Gulf Coast is the perfect place to spend your vacation. Wagner Realty has vacation rentals available to share experiences and make memories with family and friends.  Play on some of Southern Florida's best golf courses, relax on sandy, white beaches, shop our local shops and boutiques.

No need to be sad when your visit ends because with the help of Anna Maria Island REALTORS® you can become a resident. Contact Wagner Realty to discover the best beachfront properties or the perfect vacation bungalow and enjoy the community of Anna Maria Island.

Contact Wagner Realty

 

April
25

Five Favorite Anna Maria Island Restaurants

Visit the Best Dining Spots on Anna Maria Island

Best Anna Maria Island Restaurants

Anna Maria Island, FL is a truly unique community, and that commitment to originality is always on display at the diverse dining destinations around the island. As you might expect from a seaside town, many of Anna Maria Island's most popular dining spots are big on serving fresh, locally sourced seafood, with entree inspirations from around the world. Enjoying a meal on the island is as much about the scenery as it is about the food on your plate. Let's just say you won't have any trouble finding waterfront dining when you call Anna Maria Island, FL home.

One of the nice things about living on Anna Maria Island is that there's a dining spot for every occasion. You can enjoy an elegant, sit-down meal by the sea, or head straight from the beach to a bistro in your flip-flops. No matter the occasion, Anna Maria homes for sale put you close to the action on the island.

Anna Maria Beach Restaurants

Five Food Favorites

  1. Beach Bistro – 6600 Gulf Drive – The Beach Bistro has been delighting locals and visitors alike for more than 25 years. With a menu of unique seafood options, Beach Bistro has earned countless awards from ZAGAT and other big-name restaurant reviewers. As an added bonus – or perhaps the main attraction – Beach Bistro has also been lauded as having one of the best wine lists in Florida, with more than 200 options available.

  2. Eat Here Anna Maria Kitchen – 5315 Gulf Drive – The Anna Maria Kitchen wants you to "Eat Here," and we certainly won't be arguing. Eat Here Anna Maria Kitchen is a collaborative effort between the operators of Beach Bistro and a number of young, creative restaurateurs in the area. The result is a less formal setting that's still big on atmosphere, perfect for lunch or an evening out with friends. While the atmosphere is less formal, the quality of the food is just as fantastic as what you'll find at Beach Bistro.

  3. Anna Maria Island Beach Cafe – 4000 Gulf Drive – Noticing a theme, yet? If you enjoy eating with your toes in the sand, then you won't find a better place than Anna Maria Island to pursue your culinary passion. The Anna Maria Island Beach Cafe is a friendly, welcoming dining spot located right on the beach. In addition to a diverse menu and a well-stocked bar, the cafe is big on entertainment. On many nights, you'll have live music to serenade you as you eat with the sunset in the background.

  4. The Waterfront Restaurant and Craft Bar – 111 South Bay Blvd. – Special occasions call for special meals, and The Waterfront always delivers. This is a formal, sit-down restaurant with fantastic seafood dinners and a menu of craft drinks that you won't find anywhere else. Enjoy a light, tasty lunch, or stop by at dinnertime for a truly unforgettable meal.

  5. Sandbar Seafood and Spirits – 100 Spring Avenue – The Sandbar is a place where memories are made, and knots are tied. This is one of the most popular restaurants on the island for weddings, thanks to its combination of fantastic food and stunning scenery. Of course, you don't need to be planning a beach wedding to enjoy a meal at this beloved Santa Maria Island establishment.

Anna Maria Island Dining Patrons

Our REALTORS® in Anna Maria love getting to experience the island, and we know you will too. Contact our local Anna Maria office to shop for homes on Anna Marie Island, and learn what it's like to enjoy a world-class meal by the sea.

Contact Wagner Realty

April
20

Buying a Home in a Florida Tree City Near You

Celebrating Our Community's Tree Cities

Buying a Florida Tree City Home

National Arbor Day is Friday, April 28. It recognizes the role trees play in our daily lives and promotes tree planting and care. In addition to the benefits trees provide in our communities, planting trees on your own property is an excellent way to boost your home's curb appeal.  Homes for sale with mature trees on the property provide more than beauty.  They increase the value of your home.  The USDA Forest Service has said, healthy mature trees can add an average of 10 percent to a property's value.

Homes with well-landscaped yards with established trees and bushes that provide privacy fetch higher prices and tend to sell more quickly than houses with little or no landscaping.  A home with great curb appeal impresses home buyers before they even tour a home.

Did you know there are over 3,400 cities and towns across America that have made a commitment to joining Tree City USA?  Tree City USA has been "greening up" cities nationwide since 1976.  It is a program that provides the necessary framework for cities to care for and expand their public trees.

How Your Community Can Become a Tree City

Florida Tree City  Standards

To earn the Tree City USA designation, your city must meet four standards established by the Arbor Day Foundation and the National Association of State Foresters to ensure that every qualifying community—regardless of size--would have a viable tree management program.  The four standards include:

  1. A Tree Board or Department
  2. An ordinance for tree care
  3. A well-funded community forestry program
  4. An Arbor Day celebration.

Homes in Florida's Tree Cities

There are 173 Florida communities that have taken a proactive role managing trees and are recognized by the Arbor Day Foundation as official Tree City USA communities.  In our local area, seven local communities in Manatee and Sarasota Counties have been accepted by Tree City USA.

Tree Cities in Our Communities

Click on any Tree City name on our list to view homes and learn more.

  1. Anna Maria - Anna Maria, Florida the quintessential beach town that is the ideal balance of laid-back while still offering residents plenty in the way of things to do. Bicycle enthusiasts will find Anna Maria the perfect city—it caters to cyclists with paths, slower speed limits, and minimal car traffic. Although there is easy access to the outside world, many residents don't feel the need to venture far beyond city boundaries. Food, shops, entertainment, nature, and recreation all exist in abundance in the beautiful city of Anna Maria.

  2. Bradenton – Bradenton, Florida is an ideal area for those who want the benefits of living in a bigger city, but still prefer to have the beach nearby. As part of the Sarasota metro area, Bradenton has access to a variety of arts and culture, and a short drive can lead you to several smaller, quaint beachside towns that are perfect for day tripping. In addition to the white sandy shorelines, Bradenton has a riverwalk area and a thriving downtown.

  3. Bradenton Beach - Bradenton Beach, Florida is an island community on Anna Maria Island's southern end. With an estimated population of 1,200 people and average temperatures of a comfortable 79 degrees, Bradenton Beach seems like life in paradise to many. If you are considering homes in Bradenton Beach, Florida, you could be enjoying that taste of paradise all year long.

  4. Holmes Beach - Holmes Beach, Florida is year-round, resort style living at its best. Holmes Beach tends to be a friendly and welcoming community with an upbeat atmosphere that radiates throughout the city. If you've always dreamed of living in an area that is full of activity, but still relaxing, Holmes Beach is an excellent choice.

  5. Palmetto - Palmetto, Florida is a located between the Manatee River and Terra Ceia Bay. Palmetto is perfect for people looking for an active lifestyle that involves nature and community activities. The area is great for people of all ages, but families will like living in a city with some excellent educational picks and a closer-knit neighborhood feel.

  6. Sarasota – Sarasota, Florida boasts a rich arts scene. People from all over the area come to Sarasota to enjoy world-class theater, music and other performing arts. Sarasota is also a beach haven with spectacular scenery, abundant wildlife, and white sandy expanses and warm water. With its dynamic scene and incredible natural beauty, it is also a wonderful city to live.

  7. Venice - Venice, Florida is a large city located in Sarasota County that combines the quirkiness of its California counterpart and the waterways of its Italian namesake. Venice is a known as a second home for snowbirds during the winter.  Families enjoy a top-notch school system and art fans will appreciate the dynamic theater and art scene. 

Our REALTORS® at Wagner Realty make it their mission to continue to offer the best homes in Manatee and Sarasota Counties.  Contact us to learn more about homes for sale in Anna Maria, Bradenton, Sarasota and the surrounding communities.  Wagner Realty has been committed to serving your Florida real estate needs since 1939.

Disclaimer: All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. All properties are subject to prior sale, change or withdrawal. Neither listing broker(s) or information provider(s) shall be responsible for any typographical errors, misinformation, misprints and shall be held totally harmless. Listing(s) information is provided for consumers personal, non-commercial use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing. Information on this site was last updated 08/19/2022. The listing information on this page last changed on 08/19/2022. The data relating to real estate for sale on this website comes in part from the Internet Data Exchange program of Stellar MLS (last updated Fri 08/19/2022 10:53:44 AM EST). Real estate listings held by brokerage firms other than Wagner Realty may be marked with the Internet Data Exchange logo and detailed information about those properties will include the name of the listing broker(s) when required by the MLS. All rights reserved. --

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