Recently, our kids introduced us to something new – treasure hunting on Anna Maria Island.
You must be thinking, “Treasure hunting? That’s not new, Einstein”.
Treasure hunting conjures up thoughts of Blackbeard, Calico Jack and William Kidd – just a few pirates who pillaged riches around the Caribbean and Americas. To sustain their lifestyles, pirates sold off most of their loot; but, some was rumored to be buried for later – leading to expansive hunts for hidden chests of gems and gold.
Today, treasure hunting is much more genteel – requiring only a basic form of transportation and an app on your mobile device serving as your “treasure map”.
“Geocaching” is the modern day, socially interactive worldwide treasure hunt
Today, everyday people pose as pirates of the past, choosing to hide their stashes (aka – Geocaches) in different locations all around the world – from the top of Mount Everest to the bottom of the ocean, and anywhere between – even Anna Maria Island. The goal for the rest of us is to find their treasure.
Geocaching on Anna Maria Island is an exciting, family friendly way to explore the areas around our vacation rentals, Cozy Cabana and Cozy Cottage. As of our last vacation to Anna Maria Island, there were 18 verified geocaches on and around the island, 11 we successfully located.
So, how do you begin?
Starting your own treasure hunt is as easy as visiting your “app store”, searching and downloading the free Geocaching (click link for a video tutorial) onto your smart phone or GPS-enabled mobile device. Create a user ID, proceed to the homepage, and click “Find Nearby Geocaches”. All of the area geocache’s icons will appear. Use either the map or compass associated with the geocache to find it!
Some “pirates” choose to provide helpful hints, descriptions, and pictures making your hunt easier, while others offer seemingly impossible challenges. Once you find the cache, touch the “Found It!” button associated with the geocache you are trying to find, and comment on either your caching experience or the quality of the cache.
From our experiences, geocaching is an exciting way to bond with your family and friends as you search for the “buried” treasure around you. The adventurous side in us all comes alive when exploring Anna Maria Island with what has been deemed “the world’s largest treasure hunt”.
So, get out and discover parts of Anna Maria Island you may have overlooked – you may even find treasure.
Helpful hints and tricks:
- Start with “easy” ones – those with a 1 out of 5 on the difficulty scale – and increase the level of difficulty as you become more comfortable with navigating around the area.
- Check the “recent logs” to make sure that the cache is still there and is in good condition.
- Check the “attributes” to see if it is family friendly, allows dogs, wheelchair accessible…etc.
- Go by bike, golf cart, trolley or foot for hassle-free parking on Anna Maria Island.
- Have FUN and Happy Caching!