We just returned from 9 GLORIOUS nights on AMI. We rented a home (Carefree Cay) through Anna Maria Accommodations. We were on Sycamore St, which as a reference, is 2 blocks off Pine Ave, and about a 5 minute walk from The Sandbar.
Accomodations: We LOVED Carefree Cay. It was clean, well-kept, beautiful sunny pool and hot tub, 3 minute walk to a very quiet beach with calm water ( when the wind wasn't blowing). 3 minute walk in the other direction to Pine Ave. Carefree Cay is unique in that it rents Sunday-Sunday, which worked for us. We were able to extend our stay 2 additional nights as there was not another party arriving after us. ( had originally planned to stay in Clearwater for 2 nights on the end, but didn't end up wanting to leave AMI!)
Our teens don't need much in the way of entertainment- they are 15 and 17, and really were just looking from a break from homework and the daily grind of being high school students. My son could ride his longboard all around the island, and of course we rented bikes that we all used to get to and from places. They are happy just laying on the beach and being fed every few hours!
We ate at The Ugly Grouper 2x, Harry's 1x, Slim's Place, drinks at the Manatee beach Cafe and ate at the Mex place down in Bradenton. Oh- and my husband and I ate at the Sandbar once. We may in in the minority, but we were not fans of The Sandbar, our meals were awful, but I have to give props to the management, who did make it right. The Ugly Grouper and Slim's were by far our favorites. Slim's is a great option on a hot or rainy night, as it's inside and air conditioned! Oh, and I have to mention the fried chicken from the Publix. My kids were in Heaven- great beach lunch ( well, except that you will be attacked by birds).
We rented Jet Ski's one afternoon, which was fun ( well, my husband and kids did- I've done enough Jet skiing in my life..). Also did a day trip to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium when we needed a break from the sun.
We flew in and out of Tampa and found it to be the easiest airport to navigate! We rented our car through Costco ( Alamo) and saved a SIGNIFICANT amount of money!
We really fell in love with AMI and we can't wait to return someday!