Why Is Anna Maria Island Worth Visiting?
Before we list all the things to do in Anna Maria Island, let’s introduce it. Anna Maria Island is a seven-mile stretch of white sand and blue waters, with a variety of activities for the entire family. It’s one of the barrier islands on the Gulf Coast of Florida.
The island has a rich history that’s worth exploring. Some of its earliest residents were Tocobaga people. Spanish explorers passed by the area in 1527 and 1539, and the island was first settled in the 19th century. The city of Anna Maria dates back to 1892, when George Emerson Bean became its first permanent resident.
Today, visitors can discover this colorful history by touring historical sites in Anna Maria, Holmes Beach, Bradenton Beach and other cities on the island. With plenty of opportunities for fishing, boat and trolley rentals, and dolphins to be seen, it’s no wonder Anna Maria Island has become a popular tourist destination.
The AMI Chamber of Commerce Visitor Information Center helps tourists plan their perfect vacation. Their website also provides information about upcoming events and activities for families visiting Anna Maria Island.
Things to Do in Anna Maria Island – Relaxing on the Beaches
Anna Maria Island is a great place to go to the beach, with seven miles of white sandy beaches. The beaches are all different, some are quieter and others are busier. Below, we’ll describe each beach and the best things to do in Anna Maria Island on each of them.
Bean Point Beach
Bean Point Beach at the north end of Anna Maria Island is a beautiful white sand beach that is lined with tall Australian pines. It’s one of the best places for a sunrise or sunset, and it’s also a great place for bird watching. According to visitor reviews, this beach is one of the less crowded and more of a ‘hidden gem.’
Manatee Public Beach
Manatee Public Beach is located in the middle of the island’s western shore line. It’s one of the busiest beaches on Anna Maria Island. It’s a great place for swimming, sunbathing, and picnicking. The beach has a concession stand, showers, and changing rooms.
Anna Maria Public Beach
Anna Maria Public Beach is located south of Manatee Public Beach. The beach is well maintained with restrooms, picnic pavilions, outdoor showers, and covered picnic tables. There are lifeguards on duty, so it’s a safe place to swim.
Cortez Beach is located close to the southern tip of the island. It’s a great family beach because there are lots of amenities including chairs and umbrellas to rent. There’s also plenty of parking, but it can fill up quickly during the peak season.
You’ll find Coquina Beach on the southern tip of Anna Maria Island. This beach is one of the best places on the island to watch the sunset and explore tidal pools that are full of sea life. You can also play volleyball on this beach or bring your bikes and ride along the path along the oceanfront. There’s even a beach market!
Things to Do in Anna Maria Island Away from the Shore
Anna Maria Island is a hot spot for Florida vacations, and it’s easy to see why. This little slice of paradise has all the charm of coastal living with the perks of a bustling tourist destination. But even if you’re not one to spend your vacation lounging on the beach or relaxing by the pool, there are plenty of things to do in Anna Maria Island.
Anna Maria Island Historical Museum
This museum is a great way to learn about the rich history of this island. It was once home to a pineapple plantation, and it was also an important hub for commercial fishing. The museum features a number of exhibits that illustrate different aspects of life on this island throughout its history.
Bridge Street in Bradenton Beach
For years, Bridge Street has been the destination for island shopping and dining. The street features several local shops, as well as some of the best restaurants on the island. If you’re looking for a good meal or some new souvenirs to take home with you, Bridge Street is the place to be! It also leads to Bradenton Historic Street Pier.
Anna Maria City Pier
The Anna Maria City Pier is one of the most iconic landmarks on Anna Maria Island. It’s located at the end of Pine Avenue. The pier stretches about 1,000 feet into the Gulf of Mexico, giving visitors unparalleled views of the ocean. You can dine at City Pier Grill and Bait or simply relax on one of the benches that line the pier. It’s also a great place for fishing!
Located in Anna Maria City, Bayfront Park offers breathtaking views of Tampa Bay — not just the Gulf! In addition to a large dock that overlooks Tampa Bay, Bayfront Park features picnic tables and grills, so you can enjoy lunch with a view. The park also has a playground and a basketball court.
Island Players Community Theater
If you’re looking for things to do on Anna Maria Island that are a little more low-key, the Island Players Community Theater is a great option. The theater produces several shows throughout the year, ranging from comedies to musicals. It’s the perfect place to enjoy an evening of entertainment while on vacation.
Herb Dolan Park
This is a beautiful park with a playground for children and walking trails for adults. It’s a great place to have fun or relax under the shade of the pine trees.
The Fish Hole Miniature Golf
This miniature golf course has been around since 1950, and it’s a wonderful way to spend an afternoon with friends or family members who are visiting the island. It features 18 holes, each with their own unique design and level of difficulty, so it’s sure to provide an enjoyable challenge for players of all ages!
Leffis Key Preserve
This nature preserve is located just south of Anna Maria Island, across Sarasota Bay. It’s a great place to go bird watching or simply enjoy the peace and quiet of nature. The preserve also has a boardwalk that takes you through mangrove forests and provides stunning views of the bay.
Where to Stay in Anna Maria Island?
There are a number of great places to stay in Anna Maria Island, whether you’re looking for a hotel, resort, or vacation rental. Some of the most popular options include the Beach House Resort, BridgeWalk Resort, and Waterline Villas. No matter what your budget or preferences are, you’re sure to find the perfect place to stay on this beautiful island!
Plan Your Trip to Anna Maria Island Today!
These are just a few of the things to do in Anna Maria Island. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing vacation or an action-packed getaway, this island has something for everyone. So what are you waiting for? Start planning your trip today!
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