Bridge Street on Anna Maria Island has a unique history that describes how the island truly started to grow and become a hub for commercial and recreational activity. In 1921-1922 the first bridge to the mainland was constructed from Cortez Village to Bridge Street. Prior to the construction of this bridge, visitors could only get to the island by boat. With the new traffic, Bridge Street soon became the center of commerce for Anna Maria Island.
Over the decades, the Bridge Street area started to decline in its importance due to several newer communities sprouting up throughout Anna Maria Island. With a recent restoration it has once again become a hub for activity that draws people from all over for the weekly Bridge Street Farmers Market, unique stores and restaurants, frequent events, and the historic charm of the area.
Ride the free trolley to Bridge Street and walk around
The free trolley on Anna Maria Island stops right at Bridge Street. Save yourself the hassle of dealing with parking and explore the entire area on foot as it is very walkable. You will find a historic fishing pier where the original wooden bridge used to connect Anna Maria Island to Cortez Village.
In the Bridge Street area there is an opportunity for some amazing photos, as the views of the water from the pier and the beach are extraordinary. There are no high rise buildings in this area to block your view, only small boutiques, inns and restaurants. It is one of the few areas that truly maintains the charm and quaintness of Old Florida and you have to experience it for yourself.
Several unique local restaurants, art stores and more
On Bridge Street you will find an array of high quality restaurants and bars, art stores, and hotels. Shopping in this area is the perfect way to find everything you need and a few eclectic souvenirs or home décor items.
Some of the popular stores on Bridge Street include the Bridge Street Bazaar which sells gifts, souvenirs, clothing, shoes, sunglasses, hats, beach items and other items at low prices. Back Alley Treasures sells a wide collection of seaglass creation from local and global artists, clothing, jewelry, handbags, furniture, paintings, photographs and other types of art. You can also enjoy coffee and a small selection of bakery items at the shop.
You can also find a number of comfortable hotels in the Bridge Street area and top rated restaurants like the Island Time Bar and Grill, Anna Maria Oyster Bar on the pier, Blue Marlin Seafood, the Island Creperie and many others.
Bridge Street is home to a popular weekly farmers market
The weekly Bridge Street Farmers Market is held every Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. from November to April. With the recent restoration of Bridge Street, the market has become a popular event with vendors setting up shop from all over the Bradenton/Sarasota area to sell arts, jewelry, sculptures, photography, and more. The Farmers Market often features live music and also sells a wide array of fresh fruits, vegetables and seafood from local fishermen, farmers and businesses.
Book your accommodations near Bridge Street today!
With easy accessibility using the island trolley and great walkability, a unique history, small stores, restaurants, boutiques and a lively farmers market, the newly revamped Bridge Street is certainly worth a visit. If you would like to book accommodations near Bridge Street or if you have any questions about the area, contact Lizzie Lu’s Island Retreat at (941)-782-8152.