6 Reasons Why Anna Maria Island Is a Top Vacation Destination

Anna Maria Island is a top destination for travelers looking for warm sunny beaches. If you’ve vacationed here, you are probably already planning your next trip back. If not, here are 6 reasons why Anna Maria Island is a top vacation destination.

      1. Anna Maria Island has some of the world’s most beautiful sunsets. Viewing a sunset is something you must make time for while you’re here.Sunset on Anna Maria Island
      2. The island has beautiful views of the Gulf of Mexico’s turquoise blue water. Because the island is situated on the Gulf, the water is usually warm and perfect for swimming.
      3. Beaches. This 7 mile stretch of white sand along the Gulf has an abundance of public beaches to choose from; Coquina Beach, Manatee Beach, Bradenton Beach, Holmes Beach, Cortez Beach, Bayfront Park, Bean Point  and Anna Maria Beach.  Each beach offers something different. Bean Point is an example of a secluded and virtually untouched beach, while Coquina Beach has facilities, life guards, and plenty of parking.Top Vacation Destination
      4. Anna Maria Island is known to have manatees and dolphins swimming off the coast.  What better place to see these beautiful creatures than in their natural habitat?
      5. Anna Maria Island is “Old Florida” at its finest. Here, flip flops and bathing suits are a way of life. There are no high rise condos or chain restaurants either.
      6. Island life is laid back. You can be as busy, or as relaxed as you would like to. There are plenty of activities and fun things to do, as well as plenty of beaches to relax and take in the spectacular views.

Regardless of what you do, or don’t do, your Anna Maria Island vacation will be wonderful and full of memories. Many of our residents fell in love with our little slice of paradise while on vacation, and then decided they wanted to live here! We know you will love it too!

Island Paradise

Island ParadiseAnna Maria Island may only be 2 miles wide and 7 miles long, but it’s an island paradise packed with fun things to do! At least we think so, and once you’re here, you will too!

Where else can you swim with manatees – for free? Yes, manatees are locals here on the island,  if you’re swimming at Bean Point, you’re likely to encounter them, and swim alongside them! If you’re nervous about swimming with them, there are plenty of tours available for sightseeing, dolphin and manatee viewing, or just for fun.


Anna Maria Island has a free and convenient way of traveling from one end of the island to the other. The trolley is air conditioned, and runs from end to end about every 20 minutes. With this great option, there’s no need to rent a car, you can travel to different beaches, restaurants, and shops almost anywhere on the island. Of course this island paradise has other options. Scooters, bikes, Segways, and legal street golf carts are rental options for more island exploring.

You can’t get any more beautiful photo ops than you can here on the island. We are surrounded by some of the most beautiful nature preserves and parks. These are full of boardwalks, trails, numerous kinds of local wild life, along with some of the best views around. The closest one, Leffis Key is right across the street from Coquina Beach.

Are you looking to get your blood pumping? Coastal Watersports offers many different options for getting out on the water. Here you can Jet Ski, sail, kayak and paddle board all on the beautiful blue gulf waters. Get an aerial view of the island and beyond with Yolo Parasailing.

Anna Maria Island is sure to provide you and your family with memories which will last a life time. Make sure you take in a sunset, we do have the best! Oh, and don’t forget your camera!

Anna Maria Island July 4th Events

Anna Maria Island July 4th Events

4th of July

It’s always a great time to vacation on Anna Maria Island, but if you’re going to be here during the 4th of July, then you’re in the right place for a grand old time.

Start your fourth holiday out by going to the Anna Maria Island Privateers annual 4th of July parade. The parade route stretches the length of Anna Maria Island, 7 miles long! Last year about 25,000 people attended. The parade begins at 10am starting at the South end of the Island at Coquina Beach and goes all the way to the North Anna Maria City Pier. This parade isn’t just meant for viewing, you can participate too! Everyone is welcome. Bring a chair and watch, or be in the parade yourself!

Following the parade, there is a party taking place at the Ugly Grouper; this is where the Privateers will announce the Scholarship recipients of over Twenty thousand dollars. There will also be live music and food, of course.

Spend the rest of the day at the beach. Our beautiful blue water is so inviting. Sit back, relax and enjoy the view! The beach can fill up quickly, so reserve your spot early!

The fun isn’t over yet! After your fun filled day, stick around for the fireworks display! The 31st Annual Sandbar Restaurant Fireworks Spectacular takes place at the Sandbar Restaurant on the north end of the island next to Pine Avenue. If you can get tickets inside, there’s a VIP party with limited seating. If not, don’t worry. The fireworks can be viewed from just about any place on the island. What’s more American than fireworks on the beach with friends and family?

There’s no better place to celebrate Independence Day than on Anna Maria Island. We hope you all have a safe and happy Fourth!

Memorial Day Weekend on Anna Maria Island

Memorial Day Weekend on Anna Maria Island

Memorial Day is a time to remember those who have fought for our freedoms and paid with their lives. It is also the unofficial start of summer, although it’s always summer on Anna Maria Island, isn’t it? Whether you’re going to a parade or a ceremony or having a cook out with friends, this long weekend is a special one. If you’re visiting this weekend, there is plenty to do both on and off the island.

Memorial DayJust off Anna Maria Island, Lakewood Ranch is having their “Tribute to Heroes” Parade. The parade takes place on Main St, Sunday, May 28, with a pre party beginning at 6:00 PM and lasting after the parade until 10:00 PM. Each year thousands of residents line up to see veterans, residents and businesses parade through Main Street honoring our local heroes.


Here on Anna Maria Island, head on over to the Freckled Fin Restaurant and Public House to see Dan Signor Live and get Unleashed Memorial Day.

Of course, no beach vacation, OR long weekend for that matter would be complete without a beautiful day at the beach with friends or family. What better way is there to spend your family vacation than here on our beautiful 7 mile stretch of white sandy beaches to relax and unwind on? We have something for everyone here, from shopping, to water activities, dining and more! Don’t forget to take in a sunset while you’re here. Our sunsets are the best!

We hope you all have a wonderful and safe holiday weekend!

Top 5 Things to Do on Anna Maria Island

Top 5 Things to Do on Anna Maria Island 

Things to Do

  • Go to the Beach – Anna Maria Island has the most beautiful white sand beaches of anywhere in the world. Despite the fact that as a guest of Silver Surf, you will have access to its own private beach as well as having beach access at Bridgewalk, there are many other beaches and parks that you may want to explore, such as Bean Point on the northern most point of the island.
  • Take in a sunset – We have some of the most beautiful. It’s a gift every night.
  • Shopping – There is plenty of shopping on Anna Maria Island. At Bridgewalk, you will find both quaint and eclectic shops right on the property. Get ready to bring some “island time” home with you. Don’t forget to stop by the Beach Market at Coquina Beach, every Sunday, except Easter Sunday. The market is a great place to find island treasures, fresh produce, arts and crafts, jewelry, apparel, pottery, purses, collectibles, health and beauty items and much more.
  • Water Activities – Get your blood pumping on a wave runner or go parasailing. For a more relaxing view of the water, rent a kayak, paddleboard and catamaran or seek out the wildlife underwater at one of the local shipwrecks.
  • City Pier – No trip is complete without stopping by the City Pier. Check out the breathtaking views and wildlife. There’s also a restaurant at the end of the pier, as well as the ability to fish.

Spring Fun in March

Spring Fun in March

Spring is just about here, and March is a very popular time of year here on Anna Maria Island. Lazy beach days are the best; you can’t beat our sugar sand beaches and beautiful turquoise waters. But if you’re looking for some other things to do, check out some fun picks for the weekend and beyond.

Spring Fun in March

It’s St. Patrick’s Day, and there’s plenty to do all weekend long. The Freckled Fin right here on Main St. in Bradenton Beach has live music and entertainment all day and night today in celebration of the holiday.

If you’re looking for some family fun, head on over to Holmes Beach on Sunday for the Beach Bistro’s 18th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade. The parade begins at 4pm. Parade organizers claim that it’s the largest St. Patrick’s Day Parade south and east of Savannah Georgia.

The parade begins at Eat Here near the corner of Marina Drive and Gulf Drive and proceeds north along Marina Drive and then Palm Drive and winds up at 79th St. in Holmes Beach. The parade features high school bands, floats and the mascot of the Pittsburg Pirates.

Speaking of Pirates, spring training is in full effect. Head on over to Lecom Park, home of the Pittsburgh Pirates Spring Training and catch a game. Lecom Park is only a short drive from Anna Maria Island over in Bradenton. Spring training games are fun for kids and adults alike. You might even get a chance to meet your favorite player. Check out this fun guide full of tips for getting autographs. 

Spring Break

Spring Break

Spring Break is only a few weeks away, and soon Anna Maria Island will be bustling with visitors of all types.  Not only do colleges have their Spring Break in March, but our area schools are out on vacation too.  Anna Maria Island is a great place to spend your vacation for so many reasons. I’ll just name a few.

Spring BreakWe have miles of world class beaches. Our beaches feature beautiful soft white powdered sand. While you’re beaching it, you can gaze at beautiful turquoise warm Gulf waters, take part in one of the many water activities on the island, and enjoy the most beautiful sunsets.

If you’re looking for fun for the whole family, we’ve got that too! Your vacation memoires will last a life time, so you want them to be memorable. There are many places to visit and engage each other both on the island and off. If museums are your thing, we’ve got that. We also have mini golf, water parks, and zoos.

There are plenty of places to eat and have fun at night too. Who wouldn’t want to have unlimited pancakes on the beach at the Anna Maria Island Café? Or stop by the Donut Experiment and make your own donut!

A beach vacation wouldn’t be complete without shopping and picking up souvenirs. You can find something for everyone at one of our shops on Pine Avenue, or Bridge Street.

And, in case you want to “live on island time” more frequently, check out our Vacation Club and see how you can earn 5% of your room charges back in reward points.

Bradenton Area River Regatta

RegattaIf you’re looking for some excitement on your trip to Anna Maria Island, next weekend there will be just that. Bradenton is in Manatee County too, and is only a short drive from Anna Maria Island. Next weekend Manatee County’s largest spectator event is coming back! The Bradenton Area River Regatta is back on the Manatee River on Saturday February 4th. This event has everything, and best of all, it’s a free FAMILY friendly event!


This year the fun has been expanded on both sides of the river. There will be many events in both Bradenton and Palmetto.

The day kicks off with a 5k and then, the DeSoto Historical Society will have a kids’ fishing tournament off the Palmetto Pier. The first 100 anglers are given a free rod and reel. The activities will be in full swing by 10 a.m. on both sides of the river. Family Fun Zones in both Bradenton and Palmetto are taking place from 10 am to 6:45 pm. It will be so much fun that you‘ll probably end up staying until the fireworks spectacular at night. 

On the river, events begin at 10 am also with the Formula 2 Powerboat Qualifying races. There will be BMX events, and concerts taking place throughout the day.

See here for a full list of scheduled events.

Here is a detailed map of scheduled events. 

Get to Know Anna Maria Island

Get to Know Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria IslandAnna Maria Island is the perfect beach getaway. With 7 miles of beautiful white sand beaches, and gorgeous turquoise gulf waters, we think there’s no better place to be. Anna Maria Island is a barrier island, south of Tampa, and just north of Sarasota, and is sometimes referred to as Anna Maria Key.

The island is made up of 3 cities, Anna Maria, Bradenton Beach, and Holmes Beach. Anna Maria Island also boasts some beautiful beaches, such as Bradenton Beach, Holmes Beach, Coquina Beach, and Bean Point to name a few.

Anna Maria Island Trolley runs up and down the length of the island, from Anna Maria City Pier on the north to Coquina Beach on the south and is free. This trolley makes numerous stops and provides sheltered stops along the way. You can even get off at the south end of Coquina Beach where Longboat Key Trolley (for $.75) takes you across Longboat Key and into Sarasota.

There is plenty of wild life; in fact, Anna Maria Island is a bird sanctuary, with pelicans, multiple types of cranes and herons, wild parrots, sand pipers, osprey, sharing the island with humans along with a nesting pair of bald eagles. Out in our waters, bottlenose dolphins can be observed both in the Intracoastal Waterway and the Gulf and there are many locations where you might see manatee cruising the beach or inhabiting Bimini Bay.

Anna Maria Island

Silver Resorts offers two locations on Anna Maria Island. Bridgewalk, a landmark resort located on quaint, centrally located Historic Bridge Street and offers spacious accommodations, most with Jacuzzi tubs and large screened verandas, and Silver Surf Gulf Beach Resort, an affordable Anna Maria Island resort, with a private beach and a friendly, social atmosphere. If you’re looking for a relaxing vacation with gorgeous views, endless activities, and an “Old Florida” feel, then Anna Maria Island is the place for you!


Holiday Activities

Candy Cane The Bradenton Beach area has so many wonderful holiday activities going on, there’s no chance you can’t get into the holiday spirit. There are many beautiful light displays around town, as well as festive holiday activities. Just because it’s winter, doesn’t mean the fun stops. Here are some great holiday activities to experience while you’re here.

December 2 – 3, 2016: It’s A Village Christmas Artwalk!  Enjoy the Christmas lights and see all the galleries decorated for the holidays. Enjoy live music and special guests as well as unique holiday shopping.

December 9, 2016: Celebrate the Holidays Around The Ranch on Main Street at Lakewood Ranch. The season is made for sharing and this event like no other will bring us together to enchant in the ambiance of the season. Free admission to the public.

December 9 – 10, 2016: See the twinkle of thousands of lights decorating the pathways and surroundings of Sarasota Jungle Gardens for their annual “Holiday Lights Spectacular” Celebration.

December 10, 2016: It’s the Anna Maria Island Privateers Christmas Parade that starts at 10 a.m. It’s free to all participants. The parade will go the entire length of the island, starting at the north end (Bay Front Park) and ending at Coquina Beach, where Santa will board the Privateers’ Flagship for all the kids to sit on Santa’s Lap.

December 10, 2016: The 19th Annual Manatee River Holiday Boat Parade. At dusk the lighted vessels will assemble near Snead Island and proceed past the Bradenton Yacht Club to Riverhouse Reef and Grill / Regatta Pointe Marina and then turn south at the Green Bridge and proceed onward to Pier 22.

December 16 – 18, 2016: Snow Fest Sarasota with over 250 tons of snow brought in! There will also be live shows and entertainment.

December 31, 2016: Ring in the New Year at “Main Street Live,” the New Year’s Eve 2016 Celebration on Old Main Street in downtown Bradenton. Live music and dozens of vendors will be selling food, beverages, and arts and crafts.

There are so many activities, I couldn’t list them all here, so check out some other local events here. We wish you a safe and happy holiday season.