Tips for Your Perfect Anna Maria Island Vacation – From the Locals

Any vacation to Anna Maria Island will be a perfect one; you’re in paradise, right? But with some local tips, your chances at an even MORE perfect Anna Maria Island Vacation are even enhanced! See some of our local tips below!

Find Bean Point; you won’t regret it. There are no signs pointing out the way, so it is a local thing. Bean Point is located on the northern end of the island. With no parking lots, it’s easiest to get to by bike or walking. Once you find it, you won’t regret it. It’s where the Gulf of Mexico meets Tampa Bay, and it is beautiful!

Take a stroll down the Rod & Reel Pier. If you’re lucky you might see manatees and or dolphins playing around. Grab a bite to eat, or bring a fishing pole and see what you can catch yourself. Even if you’re not fishing, it’s fun to see what the locals are bringing in. Here’s a hint, Bean Point is pretty close to here!

Perfect Anna Maria Island Vacation

From the northern tip to the southern tip is 7miles, so there’s about 7 miles of beautiful white sand beaches. There are plenty of beaches to visit and explore. There are also plenty of options of how to get there. Rent a car, rent a bike, or hop on the island’s FREE trolley. It runs the length of the island, how’s that for service?

Perfect Anna Maria Island Vacation

Take a stroll along Historic Bridge Street. This is a great place located along the southern end of the island with places to eat, drink, shop, and listen to live music!

Right now there are many sea turtle eggs hatching. Imagine being there to witness these tiny little creatures paddling their way through the sand, racing towards the water! It’s quite the sight to see!

Of course no trip is complete without an Anna Maria Sunset! And stick around afterwards for some star gazing. Due to the sea turtles mentioned above, there are very few lights, so that makes for excellent star viewing! You might see something you’ve never seen before!

July 4th on Anna Maria Island

There’s no shortage of fun summer events here on our little island paradise. Anna Maria Island has plenty of fun things to do all summer long. 4th of July is almost here so it’s time to make your plans now! Here are a few things going on in and around town for the holiday!

July 4th on Anna Maria Island

4th of July Parade

Everyone is invited to the Anna Maria Island Privateers annual 4th of July Parade and Celebration taking place at 10am on Wednesday, July 4th. The parade takes off from Coquina Beach and travels north along Gulf Drive and runs the entire length of Anna Maria Island all the way to City Pier in Anna Maria. There is a celebration to follow at D Coy Ducks! Everyone is welcome to participate, just wear your red, white, and blue!

Longboat Key Freedom Fest

Longboat Key’s Freedom Fest has been going strong for 16 years. It might be the shortest parade route, being only ¼ mile long, but it’s an island tradition followed by a celebration in Bicentennial Park that goes on until 1am. Float participants have an opportunity to win a $500.00 cash prize as long as 10 people participate. Freedom Fest usually has some local crowd favorites such as butterfly releases, and ponies from Sixteen Hands Horse Sanctuary, where children can get up close and personal with these rescued animals.  There will also be face painting, balloon art and games at the celebration. The parade begins at 9am on Bay Isles Road.

Sandbar Restaurant

This year marks the 32nd year that the Sandbar Restaurant will light up the night skies with their annual fireworks celebration! Their fun party has a special events pavilion complete with a VIP package available with Prime Seating. Prime seating is available with a wide array of food as well as a private area to view fireworks. For more information, visit them online.

Anna Maria Island is an island, you can view these fireworks from anywhere, you don’t need to be at the Sandbar to see them. Find your perfect spot anywhere on the beach and watch the free fireworks display! Happy Independence Day! 

 

Relax on Anna Maria Island

What does it mean to really relax? Most of us don’t know how to relax and unwind anymore. Well, you will relax on your Anna Maria Island vacation, it’s the perfect place to do just that! This little slice of paradise will have you rested, relaxed and restored before it’s time to head back to the hustle and bustle of your busy lifestyle.

Relax on Anna Maria Island

Once you get here, and soak in some gorgeous sunshine, take a peek at the beautiful turquoise gulf waters, and the sugary soft white sand, it is almost instantly relaxing. The water is so inviting, you’ll just want to run right in and enjoy the warm waves. Sink your toes in the sand and feel it massaging your tired feet and feel instant invigoration. Take a float on the water and let your worries float away.

This is the perfect time to turn off your phone and just enjoy the views, the gulf breeze and the relaxing sounds of the ocean and the sea life. Did you know that blue, both of the sky and the ocean are proven to be calming colors? The color blue has both a calming and a sedative effect, and can cause the body to become cooler and more relaxed.

Did you know that the ocean has tons of anti-aging minerals? These minerals can counteract the decline of your skin’s elasticity over time, which is something we’re all looking for! A little vitamin SEA or Vitamin D is beneficial too, it is essential for bone health which also creates healthy skin, and could also improve mental health.

Aren’t you ready for a beach vacation on Anna Maria Island now? Along with all these benefits listed above, we’re a laid back beach town. We have the best sunsets around, and we’ve got some of the best sea food around! Book your relaxing get-a-way today!

Anna Maria Island Is Your Perfect Island Escape

What makes Anna Maria Island your perfect island escape? Pretty much everything! There are so many reasons which make our island perfect, let me just name a few.

Perfect Island Escape

Beaches

We have 7 miles of the most beautiful and SOFT white sand beaches, with gorgeous Gulf water views. Bean Point was just named as one of USA Today’s Best Florida Beaches!

Sunset

Anna Maria Island provides the best sunsets around! No trip to Anna Maria Island is complete without taking in one of our gorgeous sunsets.

Old Florida

Anna Maria Island is for sure “Old Florida”. Here we don’t have towering condo’s, we don’t have chain restaurants. We are full of the laid back, easy lifestyle. We live life in flip flops. Of course we do boast restaurants and night life if you’re looking for it, but this is the perfect place to get away from it all and just relax.

Nature

Everywhere you look there is something beautiful. Whether you’re looking at the sea, the sky or your surroundings, it’s all beautiful. We have native birds, native wildlife, native plants, and I mentioned the beautiful sand and Gulf of Mexico water… It’s all gorgeous! You’ll definitely want to pack your camera. There’s a picture perfect moment around every corner.

Transportation

Getting around on the island is easy. There are so many options. Being such a small island you can walk or bike. There are Segway tours available which is fun! There’s no need for car rentals with our FREE Manatee Trolley on Anna Maria Island. Daily service runs from 6 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. every 20 minutes from the Anna Maria City Pier on the north to Coquina Beach on the south.

Endless Water Activities

With numerous beaches to choose from, there are also numerous water activities. You can boat, jet-ski, kayak, snorkel, paddleboard and the list goes on and on.

Come escape it all on Anna Maria Island! Sign up for our news and specials.

Spring Break on Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria Island is the perfect place to spend spring break with 7 miles of gorgeous white sand beaches. Many college students are just looking for a place to get away and unwind to prepare themselves for final exams, and Anna Maria Island is just the place to do it!

Spring Break

Here are some perfect ways to spend some carefree days:

  1. Have a beach day! With 7 miles of white sand beaches there are plenty to choose from. Have a secluded beach day at Bean Point, or head over to Coquina Beach or Bradenton Beach where there are plenty of people and activities, as well as picnic areas and food! You can walk the beach and collect shells too!
  2. Take a stroll in our nature preserves. Connecting with nature is a wonderful way to relax and clear the mind from the stress of college life. Be sure to bring a camera as there are plenty of local birds and pretty viewing areas along the way. Coquina Baywalk is just south of Bradenton Beach across from the beach.
  3. Ride the free trolley. The trolley takes you from one end of the island to the other, with plenty of stops along the way. You can even stop on Bridge Street or Pine Avenue and check out the unique shops and restaurants there and pick up a souvenir or two.
  4. Dine on the beach, watching the sunset, while listening to live music. What is more relaxing than that? If you head on over to Anna Maria Island Beach Café on Holmes Beach, you can do all of that. You can even go there for breakfast with all you can eat pancakes! You might even catch a dolphin or two playing in the water while you eat!

Anna Maria Island is the Perfect Vacation

Anna Maria Island will be your perfect tropical getaway. Once you come visit this beautiful seven mile stretch of white sandy beaches and blue gulf waters you might never want to leave, you’ll just keep coming back for more!

What’s perfect about Anna Maria Island? The short answer is EVERYTHING! There’s so much to do and see, and in this “Old Florida” paradise. Here are just some of the things that make a trip to Anna Maria Island the perfect vacation.

  1. Our seven mile stretch of white sandy beaches says it all! A day spent on the beach relaxing taking in the beautiful gulf views is the perfect way to unwind, clear your head, and just enjoy peaceful serenity.
  2. Life on Anna Maria Island is laid back and easy. Whether you’re walking around, shopping, or out eating, life is lived in flip flops. The relaxed atmosphere of our island allows you to take a step back, look around, and just enjoy the beauty.
  3. Whether you’re looking for that perfect family photo, or just love taking in nature, there are photo ops everywhere! Between the gorgeous ocean views, and our PERFECT sunset viewing location, your photos will be amazing!
  4. When you feel refreshed, and ready to explore, the island has so many exciting ways to find adventure. Between walking trails where you can view  some of our local wildlife, to water adventures, to bikes and more, there are so many ways to get out and have an amazing time! Our Island activities are endless!
  5. What’s better than fresh seafood during an island escape? There are many restaurants offering fresh seafood, some of these are even equipped with gorgeous ocean views.

We’re confident that after your visit to Anna Maria Island, you’ll understand why it is the perfect island vacation!

Where To Grab A Bite to Eat On Anna Maria Island

If you’ve come to Anna Maria Island for an island escape, you’ve come to the right place! Our beautiful gulf coast location won’t disappoint. With beautiful blue water and sugar sand beaches, it sure is a sight to see!  Of course all those beach activities will work up an appetite, so here are some places to grab a bite to eat on Anna Maria Island.

Grab a bite to eat

Pancakes on the Beach

What’s better than having pancakes on the beach? Yes, pancakes on the beach with your feet in the sand. The Anna Maria Island Beach Café features breakfast with unlimited pancakes, as well as other breakfast favorites. Sit with your feet in the sand, gazing at the water, perhaps seeing a dolphin or two in the waves. What a perfect way to start the day! Of course it’s also a great place to end the day with live entertainment and gorgeous sunsets too!

Make your own donuts

At the Donut Experiment, every donut is your own creation! Their donuts are made fresh daily, then, you pick from their tremendous selection of icing and toppings to make it your own!

The Sandbar Waterfront Restaurant

The Sandbar is another waterfront restaurant which features an array of fresh Florida seafood, salads sandwiches and appetizers. It is located on the north end, and has been a favorite among visitors and locals alike. Here too you can dine with your feet in the sand and view the gorgeous gulf and spectacular sunsets!

High Quality Mexican Street Food

At Poppo’s Taqueria, you’ll find high quality fast casual food that transfers to their drink selection as well. It’s located in the heart of Anna Maria Island on Bridge Street. They serve fresh to order tacos, burritos, bowls & quesadillas! You won’t be disappointed!

Island Grill Bar & Restaurant

If you’re looking for some American classics, then the Island Grill Bar and Restaurant is for you! With an exquisite menu and a hip environment, it is the ultimate casual dining experience.  This is the perfect complement to your island vacation. 

5 Fun Ways to Explore Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria Island is the perfect winter getaway. It’s really perfect any time. But to be here during the winter experiencing our warm weather gazing at the beautiful Gulf waters sure beats the snow! If you’re here and would like to enjoy the island in a laid back and relaxed way, we’ve got 5 ways to explore Anna Maria Island!

  • Experience Anna Maria Island on the back of your very own scooter from the Adventure Center. With many different options, it’s the perfect way to explore the island. They offer 4 and 8 hourly, daily and weekly rentals. Book your adventure here or for same day reservations please call 1-844-522-6654.
  • Segs by the Sea is rated one of the top things to do on Anna Maria Island, Florida. Experience all the beauty in the sights over the Longboat Key Bridge, or learn the history of the Cortez Fishing Village, don’t forget to view spectacular sunsets along the Coquina Trail on Bradenton Beach. Book early and go back in time in this little island paradise.
  • Do you want to view the sunset from the water? “Island Pearl” is available for Private Sunsets. Sailing times are seasonal, two hours before sunset. She can also travel to multiple locations in and around Anna Maria Island, Bradenton, Cortez, Longboat Key, and Sarasota. Call1-844-522-6654 or book online
  • Bike riding is a perfect way to enjoy the island on “island time”. There’s no need for hustle and bustle on Anna Maria Island, the whole island is bike friendly providing limitless exploration to the many places to visit and see on the island. You can bike to restaurants, the beach, shops, the grocery store, ice cream shop, the pier, Pine Avenue and much more!
  • Finally, if you really want to just sit back and relax, hop on the Anna Maria Island Ferry. Did we mention it’s free? The Trolley Service travels daily up and down the island between Anna Maria Island and Coquina Beach, from 6AM- 10:30PM, about every 20 minutes. It is a cool ride on a hot day. 

 Explore Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria Island Holiday Events

Holiday EventsThe holidays are here, and it’s a great time to check out holiday events while on your beautiful beach getaway!

Shop Small Business Saturday, this Saturday November, 25th at any of our many unique local island businesses. It’s the perfect place to find that one-of-a-kind gift to top off your shopping list, or to find a special treat for yourself as a memento.

On Friday December, 1st from 5-9pm, come kick off the Holiday Season with the AMI Chamber of Commerce’s holiday tree lighting and the Holmes Beach downtown merchants’ holiday open house and art walk. Many shops and stores will remain open until 8 or 9pm providing holiday treats, eats, libations, live music and specials to get you in the spirit of the season. Santa and his sleigh along with Crosspointe Fellowship Holiday Carolers will add plenty of cheer to the evening. Be sure to be at the AMI Chamber of Commerce parking lot at 6pm to witness the festive annual tree lighting celebration.

Anna Maria Islands Holiday of Treasures is from 4:30pm-8:00pm on December 8th.  Stroll Pine Avenue and visit the shops and merchants who will be open late showcasing holiday specials, entertainment, snacks, and holiday cheer.

December 9th is the Privateer’s Christmas Parade and Santa Open House. The parade takes place the entire length of Anna Maria Island. It’s your chance to celebrate the Holidays Island Style! You’re invited to come out and watch OR be in the parade itself. Whether you have participated in the past or if this is your first time, we know you will enjoy the experience and spread the joy to others! The Christmas parade begins at Bayfront Park in the City of Anna Maria then travels south along Anna Maria Island, through the three island cities.  The parade ends at Coquina Beach, where the man in red will be handing out gifts to the youngsters.

Don’t forget about Christmas on Bridge Street, here you will experience the joys of the season with this festive celebration on Bridge Street in Bradenton Beach. Enjoy the holiday decorations, music, games, food and drinks while shopping for unique holiday gifts at local merchants.

Fun on Anna Maria Island in November

Anna Maria Island Fun in NovemberAre you planning a trip to Anna Maria Island this November? The calendar says fall, but it’s always summer here! Our beautiful beaches are warm and inviting, with plenty of white sand, blue water, and warm Gulf breezes.

There are some fun family friendly events such as Keep Manatee Beautiful’s America Recycles Day at Sandblast, which draws attention to nature and our beautiful beaches. The event is held on the shores of the Gulf at Manatee Public Beach on Anna Maria Island. The evet features amateur teams in both school and adult divisions competing in a sand sculpture competition. It’s always fun to see the beautiful sculptures and you can even learn the “Tips, Tricks and Techniques” of sand sculpture at free clinics taught by master sculptors Team Sandtastic from 5 to 6 p.m. on Thursday and Friday November 2nd and 3rd, while the competition is 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday November 4th.

Another family friendly event is the Annual Symphony on the Sand taking place on beautiful white sandy Coquina Beach on Anna Maria Island on Saturday November 11th. Here you can bring the family and introduce children to Strauss and Mozart. The orchestra also performs American Classics, Operas, and Broadway songs.  The attire is casual to cocktail, but the whole event takes place on the sand, so wear flip flops! More information and tickets for Symphony on the Sand can be found here.

Come join the fun while strolling the Beach Market at Coquina Beach every Sunday from 10-4 from November to July! Here you will find local artists, arts and crafts, produce, jewelry, plants and so much more! There are so many unique items at the Beach Market, you are sure to find that perfect souvenir of your visit. Plus, there’s plenty of white sand and gorgeous views overlooking the Gulf of Mexico.