Family vacations, whether they last a weekend or a month, are a great opportunity to spend quality time with your loved ones. 

How can you make the most of your time in Lakewood Ranch? 

We have some ideas for great family activities, and we invite you to check out our list of fun things to do. When you’re ready to finalize all the details of your Florida trip, make sure you talk to us at Anchor Down Vacation Rentals. We can help you find the best place to stay depending on who in your family is coming and how long everyone is staying.  (more…)

Welcome to Bradenton, Florida. 

What are you going to do while you’re here?

Bradenton calls itself The Friendly City, and that’s pretty appropriate. You’ll make new friends, even if you’re only here for a day or two. We hope you stay longer, though, because there’s so much to do. 

You’ll find Bradenton in Florida, on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. The city is south of Tampa and St. Petersburg and just north of Sarasota. The city center is on the banks of the Manatee River, creating an ideal Riverwalk space that’s full of views, outdoor entertainment, and a perfect setting for outdoor events.

In Bradenton, you’ll find lots of art, gorgeous parks and green spaces, highly rated restaurants, and diverse opportunities for entertainment and recreation. You can go to the beach or do some shopping or explore a museum. 

If you’re still putting together your own list of things to do when you visit Bradenton, we have some ideas we’d love to share with you. Check out some of the top activities in Bradenton available here. (more…)

What do you look for in a golf course? Are you impressed by setting, by scenery, by level of difficulty? 

Maybe you’re an avid golfer with a competitive streak or a recreational player who simply enjoys the peace of a well-landscaped fairway. We like golf courses with personality. We look for good design, accessibility for every possible level of golfer, and a good use of environment and landscape. We appreciate smart holes and a natural setting. 

In Florida, golf is a year-round activity. It’s one of the reasons so many people flock here in the winter months. Who doesn’t love a tee time in February?

We’re highlighting some of the best Lakewood Ranch golf courses today. 

What makes Lakewood Ranch such a special place for golf? 

It’s unique. 

Lakewood Ranch is one of the most celebrated and sought-after master-planned communities in the country. It covers more than 30,000 acres and 50 miles outside of Sarasota, near Florida’s Gulf of Mexico coast. The multi-generational neighborhoods and 55+ communities provide a residential sanctuary that’s just minutes from shops, restaurants, entertainment, and recreation. Full-time residents and part-time visitors enjoy clubhouses, fitness centers, pools, pickleball, tennis, and miles of trails and parks. 

There’s also a lot of golf. 

There are five Lakewood Ranch golf courses in the community alone, and then visitors have another 82 golf courses to play that are less than half an hour from Lakewood Ranch, including 42 public courses, six municipal courses, four plantation courses, and 29 private courses.

Lots of options. 

Let’s take a look at the golf courses you don’t want to miss when visiting Lakewood Ranch, Florida. (more…)

Lakewood Ranch is a bit of a marvel. Located just a few minutes from Sarasota, this master-planned community has just about everything you need, whether you’re visiting for a few days, staying for the season, or laying down roots in a more permanent fashion. 

If you’ve never been to Lakewood Ranch, we invite you to visit. It’s easy to access from just about anywhere in Florida. You’ll find it off Interstate 75; a trip that won’t take more than 20 or 30 minutes from Sarasota or Bradenton. You can be here from Tampa in about an hour. 

We’re going to tell you a little bit about this community, and then we’re going to offer 3 reasons to visit. There are actually dozens of good reasons to come and spend some time in Lakewood Ranch, but we’ll focus on three of the best reasons. You can discover the rest on your own. Exploring is half the fun. (more…)

If it’s been awhile since you explored downtown Bradenton, may we suggest that you re-acquaint yourself with the area? 

It’s a lot of fun. You can stroll along the Riverwalk and take a peek at the history museum. There’s also an aquarium and a planetarium. Shows are always coming through the performing arts center, and you have the Manatee River right there in front of you. Explore the marina and start saving for your own boat. You can also visit art galleries, shop in unique and locally owned boutiques. On Main Street, you’ll find bars and breweries. Outdoor festivals can usually be found, including live music and entertainment. 

Don’t forget there’s even baseball. The Pittsburgh Pirates have a spring training stadium in downtown Bradenton. 

While you’re having all of this fun, you’re likely to get hungry. 

With food in mind (food is always on our minds), we decided to put together a list of the 5 best restaurants in downtown Bradenton

This list is of course subjective. We know that everyone has a different idea of what makes a great restaurant. In fact, we’d love to hear your favorites if you don’t see them on this list. 

The next time you’re looking for a great place to eat, whether you’re local to Bradenton or visiting from out of town, try one of these spots. You won’t be sorry. (more…)

Few things are as fun as planning a vacation.

At least that’s the expectation. Vacation planning is exciting, but it’s also overwhelming. Lazy planning or a lack of planning can turn your high expectations into a nightmare. Reservations may not be made, the latest weather pattern might be missed, and you might find yourself completely disorganized when it comes to what you’re doing and where you’re going. 

Don’t let your vacation spiral, especially if you’re lucky enough to be going on Anna Maria Island vacation

It’s pretty hard to get stressed here. However, you want to make the most of your plans – so make sure your plans are in place. 

We’re here to help. With a little bit of preparation and effort, you can have a better time in Anna Maria Island than you even thought possible.  (more…)

We talk to a lot of vacationers, and we’ve come to the conclusion that there are two types of trip-takers.

  1. Those who pack methodically, 24 hours before departure, according to a detailed list.
  2. Those who throw random things into a suitcase minutes before it’s time to leave. 

Whatever kind of packer you are, we have some ideas on how to prepare for your Anna Maria Island vacation. This is a beach town, so you’re probably expecting to bring a selection of swimwear and sunglasses. That’s good – but it’s not a complete list of what you’ll need. 

Let’s take a look at what you’ll be doing and where you’ll be going so you know how to pack accordingly. (more…)

 

Every traveler looks for something different when it comes to the place they’ll stay while on vacation. 

When you decide to visit Anna Maria Island, on Florida’s serene Gulf of Mexico, you’re not going to find a lot of the chain hotels and high-rise condos that many other beach communities have. We’re a bit different – more about making you feel at home. Our vacation rentals are cozy homes away from home, where you can cook, relax, spread out, and enjoy the slower pace of all your days off. 

So how should you choose your own vacation rental on Anna Maria Island

We work with vacationers all the time, helping them decide on the place that’s going to serve their needs and those of their traveling companions. We’ve put together some things you should think about before you book. 

There are plenty of options here, but don’t take too long deciding. Properties book quickly, and you don’t want to miss out on the vacation home of your dreams. Take a look at these tips, and then let us know how we can help you plan the perfect beach getaway. (more…)

Welcome to Anna Maria Island! If you’re planning a vacation here, you can expect warm waters, dazzling sunsets, and lots of local shopping, dining, and entertainment. We aren’t like other beach towns, and it’s our unique qualities that keep visitors coming back every year. 

At Anchor Down Vacation Rentals, we want to help you have the best possible experience. We love this part of Florida’s Gulf coast, and we’re proud of the properties we provide to travelers like you. 

One of the first things you’ll have to decide when you’re planning your getaway is – where will you stay? 

Anna Maria Island is a seven-mile barrier island just south of St. Petersburg and Tampa Bay. The entire island is divided into three separate towns. Each town has its own main street, full of restaurants, shops, art galleries, specialty shops, and opportunities for entertainment and recreation. 

The towns on the island are:

Anyplace you stay will undoubtedly be lovely. But, we want your vacation to be just right, so here are some of the things you’ll want to think about when you’re deciding where to stay when you visit Anna Maria Island (more…)

Whether you’re visiting Anna Maria Island for a weekend or staying for a season, you don’t want to simply have the tourist experience. 

You want to know what it’s like to be part of the culture and community. 

We understand that – it’s part of what creates a memorable and meaningful travel experience. As we welcome visitors to their vacation rental homes here, we like to help them put together a unique trip that will mean more than just going to the beach and filling up on seafood. 

We want you to feel like a local. 

Here are some of the ways you can experience Anna Maria Island like a local. (more…)