Live Music in the City of Anna Maria | Events
It takes a while, at 25 mph, to arrive at Anna Maria's southern-most live music venue, but it's worth the drive to Slims Place. Slim's Place features what I would call upscale comfort food.
Try the lobster mac & cheese and juicy, grilled (not fried) mojo chicken wings, and wash it down with beer or wine. Make sure you pick a night when Hammer's & Adams in playing, as live entertainment isn't scheduled regularly.
Just up the road is Feeling Swell which you owe yourself to visit, if for nothing else, to feel swell...sorry, I promise I'll try never to do that again. What I meant to say is, feel like a local.
This little surf motif bar fills up fast and doesn't take long to get hopping with beer, wine, burgers, funnel sticks (yes!) and boiled peanuts (regular or spicy) and live music from island singers Tuesday-Saturday, all year around.
Continuing north on Gulf Drive, turn right on Pine Avenue, past the Pine Avenue Restoration shops (which you must visit), past the real estate offices, the new Green Village and Beach Bum's rentals, you find The City Pier.
The City Pier is celebrating its 100th year, Saturday, May 14. Pine Avenue will be closed for a Food & Wine (and music) on Pine event and the occasion will wrap with a finale of fireworks and music. The City Pier is host to hobby fishermen, the musical styling of resident troubadour, Howie Banfield, tasty but affordable seafood and an excellent view of Tampa Bay and the Skyway.
Having crossed North Bay Blvd. to get to the City Pier, just jump on that road and head North about 3/4 of a mile to (the other) Rotten Ralph's on the water at Galati's Marina.
Rotten Ralph's features a full bar, nightly specials and the occasional live music...make sure to check listings. Heading back, make sure you give a nod to the vacant lot on the North West corner of Pine Avenue & North Bay Blvd., as it plays host to Bayfest and Friday Fest.
Through it brings more concert goers to the island and more revenue to the Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce Scholarship fund than any other piece of ground on the island. If I'm correct; Bayfest is scheduled October 14 and 15 this year. I hope to see you there!
Heading back down Pine Avenue, backtracking a half a click down Gulf Drive and turning right on Spring Avenue will bring you to our last stop of the live music venue tour of Anna Maria Island and the first place you should go when you want the best.
Of the 500 plus weddings on the island each year, the Sandbar hosts nearly half...and with good reason; the service is impeccable, the food is consistently fresh and tasty, they feature a full liquor bar and the best handpicked musicians on the island. They don't take reservations for restaurant seating, but they do offer walk up bar service on the patio and have benches right next to the bandstand...and practically on the beach.
If you're looking for a lunch or sunset dining experience in a true, old Florida setting, the Sandbar Restaurant on the Gulf of Mexico is the place to be.
Next week I'll be talking about how to get around the island...we have a variety of wheels options!
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