Christmas spirit is in the air here on Anna Maria Island. As another year comes to a close, holiday events are abundant. Christmas lights are a favorite holiday tradition, and Anna Maria Island is a great place to view them.
While many homes on the island and in Bradenton and Sarasota string up colored lights galore, there are also a number of special Christmas events that offer majestic light displays. Below is a list of the best places to see Anna Maria Island Christmas lights this holiday season.
The Anna Maria Island Christmas Tree
5313 Gulf Dr., Holmes Beach, FL
Though it’s too late to catch the big debut Christmas tree lighting on Anna Maria Island, you can still see it close-up throughout the month across from the Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce at Holmes Beach.
The 50-foot tree stands tall against the coastal backdrop, and is draped with lights, bulbs, and other ornaments. The Chamber of Commerce can also offer details on other local Christmas events.
Lights in Bloom at Selby Gardens
900 S. Palm Ave., Sarasota, FL
There is no better place for lights than Selby Gardens. The 14th annual Lights in Bloom celebration is a family-friendly event displaying some of the greatest light decorations in the country.
From 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. until December 30 (excluding Christmas Eve and Christmas Day), guests can visit the Selby Gardens to stroll through a magical tunnel of lights hung from trees, shrubs, and flowers in this beautiful botanical garden. More than a million lights can be seen twinkling around you.
Live music and holiday treats will be available to guests. While parents sip a cocktail and take in the wonder of the display, kids can enjoy a visit with Santa and his elves (up to Christmas Eve) and a variety of fun activities.
A local trolley will be offering transportation to and from the Sarasota Friendship Center (1888 Brother Geenen Way) until about 10 p.m. each night of the celebration. The garden will also be open for its regular hours from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The Selby Gardens offer many other events year-round, so if you’re planning a vacation in the new year, check in with the gardens for their upcoming events.
The Historic Spanish Point Mangrove Lights
337 N. Tamiami Trail Osprey, FL
Visit nearby Historic Spanish Point about an hour away from Anna Maria Island for an impressive holiday display of lights and family-friendly activities on Thursdays and Fridays from 6 to 8 p.m. until December 30.
This is a great event for the whole family, and one of the best Christmas events of the area. Visitors can explore 30 acres of pristine nature, journey past protected archeological sites, and venture down the many hiking trails of varying difficulty on the lookout for endangered birds and other wildlife.
Adults are $12 and children ages five to 12 are $10. Contact Historic Spanish Point at (941) 966-5214 for further details.
The Perfect Time to Visit
Winter on Anna Maria Island is the perfect time to visit the pleasant weather, white sand beaches and variety of family activities. Additional Anna Maria Island Christmas lights are hiding around every corner, hanging from residential houses, condo balconies, and shop windows.
And while you’re scouring the neighborhoods for holiday décor, it’s the perfect opportunity to check out the available Anna Maria Island real estate while you’re at it.
Contact Mike Norman Realty at 1-800-367-1617 for details about reserving a vacation rental on Anna Maria Island so you don’t miss the holiday festivities, or to ask us any questions you may have about real estate here.