The Ultimate Guide To Anna Maria Island Florida - Best Florida Vacations From A Resident (2024)

Discover the hidden gem of Anna Maria Island in Florida! This guide will provide you with everything you need to know about its location and how to get there.

If you’re looking for a peaceful and picturesque getaway in Florida, Anna Maria Island might just be the perfect destination.

But where exactly is it located? This guide will give you all the information you need to find this hidden gem and start planning your trip.

Anna Maria Island is a beautiful and unique destination located off the coast of Florida. With its white sandy beaches, crystal clear waters, and stunning sunsets, it’s no wonder why so many people flock to this island each year

But there’s more to Anna Maria Island than just its beautiful beaches. Anna Maria Island is a stunning barrier island located on the west coast of Florida.

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The city of Anna Maria is full of charm and offers its visitors plenty to do. This island in the Gulf of Mexico is renowned for its white-sand beaches and crystal-clear waters.

Miles of shoreline to explore along with plenty of activities to enjoy and boutiques and restaurants to art galleries and nightlife to enjoy in the evenings.

Where is Anna Maria Island?

Anna Maria Island lies off the Gulf Coast between Tampa Bay and Sarasota Bay with Bradenton Beach at its north end and Holmes Beach in the center.

This barrier island is located on the Gulf of Mexico in Florida. It is known for its stunning beaches, crystal clear waters, and laid-back atmosphere.

The island is seven miles long and less than a mile wide, making it a small and intimate destination perfect for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life.

Location and geography of Anna Maria Island.

Anna Maria Island is located on the west coast of Florida, in Manatee County. It is situated between the Gulf of Mexico to the west and Tampa Bay to the north.

The island is connected to the mainland by two bridges, the Manatee Avenue Bridge and the Cortez Bridge. The island is approximately 7 miles long and less than a mile wide, with a total area of 7.5 square miles.

Its beautiful beaches and crystal clear waters make it a popular destination for tourists from all over the world. Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway or a family vacation, Anna Maria Island has something for everyone.

How to get to Anna Maria Island.

Getting to Anna Maria Island is easy and convenient. The island can be accessed by car, bus or plane with the closest airports located in Tampa and Sarasota.

Anna Maria Island is conveniently located near two of Florida’s major airports, Tampa St. Petersburg International Airport (TPA) and Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport (SRQ).

Both airports offer direct flights to many domestic and international destinations with TPA offering more extensive options.

For those visiting the center of the sunshine state, the island is a bit over 2 hours from Orlando International Airport.

From these airports, visitors can access Anna Maria Island via rental car, taxi or shuttle services.

There are also some local airports located on the Island such as Manatee County Airport (MCF) and Arthur Dunn Airpark (X39). These airports offer flights for smaller planes and private aircraft only.

TIP: Once you arrive at the island, you can take advantage of the free trolley service that operates daily between various stops throughout the island including beaches, shopping centers, restaurants and more.

Exploring this beautiful island

Anna Maria Island is a hidden gem in Florida that offers a variety of activities and sights for visitors to enjoy. Some popular things to do include visiting the beautiful beaches, exploring the local art galleries and boutiques, and taking a sunset sailboat tour.

For those who love the outdoors, there are also opportunities for fishing, kayaking, and paddleboarding. And don’t forget to try some of the delicious seafood at the island’s many restaurants!

One gorgeous island that is seven miles long with an average width of just over 500 feet across. There are some areas that are much narrower than others creating unique coves. These coves are perfect for exploring by boat, kayak or paddle board.

The entire island has been designated as a wildlife refuge due to its abundance of native species including sea turtles, manatees, dolphins, osprey birds and bald eagles among other creatures who call Anna Maria home year round.The perfect place for nature lovers.

Top Destinations To Visit

Are you ready to explore this island with its waving palm trees and old Florida vibes? Let’s dig in!


That’s right. This island has some of the best beaches in the city of Bradenton Beach as well as the Bradenton area.

The Ultimate Guide To Anna Maria Island Florida - Best Florida Vacations From A Resident (2)

Coquina Beach

This popular beach and is a great place for visitors to Anna Maria Island to begin. The beach is known for its white sand, crystal clear waters, and marine life including bottlenose dolphins.

Visitors can take a walk out to the Coquina Beach Jetty and fish or enjoy relaxing on the beach and watching the waves hit the shore. You will find this beach on Gulf Drive.

Bean Point.

Bean Point Beach is the place for anyone looking for a quiet and peaceful experience. This beach offers stunning views of the blue water of the Gulf of Mexico. Enjoy the pristine beaches, clear waters, and picturesque sunsets.

Bean Point Beach is also home to some unique wildlife such as loggerhead turtles which can often be spotted in their natural habitats near the shoreline. This beach is on the northern end of the island.

Cortez Beach

This beach is also sometimes called 3 Piers Beach. Absolutely beautiful and a good place for those that prefer to be away from the crowds. Also located on Gulf Drive and wonderful for a romantic getaway.

Manatee Public Beach

Manatee Public Beach is located in Holmes Beach also on Gulf Drive. This is a popular spot on the island with fun things to do both on and off the beach.

One of the public beaches in the area with restrooms, gift shop, wheelchairs, volleyball courts, picnic tables and more. Perfect escape to white sands during the warm summer months.

Longboat Key

One more beach I do want to mention is Beer Can Island at Longboat Key. This island is in the Gulf and got its name from past partiers who left their beer cans on the island.

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The best way to get to the island is to park at Coquina Beach (see above), you can walk across the bridge that connects Longboat Key to Anna Maria Island. One of the best things about this island is the scenery.

Take photos, relax, hike and more. Remember to pack out anything you bring on the island.

Other Favorite Things To Do

Historic Bridge Street has a little bit of everything for everyone. Restaurants, live music, ice cream, and shopping. This is also where you will find Anna Maria Oyster Bar.

Rod & Reel Pier is also located near the Historic Bridge Street. Look for the rustic hand-painted sign.

Anna Maria City Pier is over on S. Bay Boulevard and was built in the early 1900s. That’s right. This pier is over 100 years old. Perfect place to see the Skyway Bridge and views of Tampa Bay.

Where to eat on Anna Maria Island

There are several fantastic options especially if you are looking to get away from boring chain restaurants. Check out:

City Pier Restaurant & Grill. Located on the Anna Maria Island Pier.

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Also be sure to stop at Anna Maria Island Beach Cafe right on the sand as well as Hurricane Hanks for those that prefer a less fussy meal. Great for the whole family.

Tips for planning your trip to Anna Maria Island.

Planning a trip to Anna Maria Island is easy with a little bit of research and preparation. First, decide on the best time of year to visit based on your preferences for weather and crowds.

Next, book your accommodations in advance, whether it be a hotel, vacation rental, or camping spot. Then, plan out your activities and make reservations for any tours or restaurants you want to visit.

Finally, don’t forget to pack for the beach and bring comfortable shoes for exploring the island!

Where to stay on Anna Maria Island Florida?

You have several options for accommodations on the island. If you have never been on the island, I recommend you check with one of the local rental companies for more information.

You can also book at several Anna Maria Island hotels including several beach resorts. I have put links below to make it easy for you.

What are you waiting for? This island is a hop, skip and a jump from Tampa International Airport, with average temps of 84 degrees in the summer on the sparkling Gulf of Mexico. Book your vacay getaway to this popular tourist destination today.

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Snorkeling Anna Maria Island, Florida

Disclosure:I earn a commission if you make a purchase through my links at no additional cost to you! I would never recommend anything I don’t personally use, and the income goes to keeping this site updated and free for everyone!


The Ultimate Guide To Anna Maria Island Florida - Best Florida Vacations From A Resident (2024)


What month is best to go to Anna Maria Island? ›

The best time to visit Anna Maria Island is all year round depending on why you are visiting. Our tourism score for weather is very high January, February, March, April, October, November and December. May and September are shoulder tourism scores with June, July and August half of May and September.

Is Anna Maria Island for old people? ›

Anna Maria Island is ideal for seniors looking for a relaxing and enjoyable trip. The pristine beaches and nice weather make it a great place to stay.

Is Anna Maria Island worth going to? ›

The quaint feel of Anna Maria Island makes it the perfect place to eat grouper sandwiches and kayak with dolphins. While you're here visit Bean Point Beach, tucked away on the north end of the island — a cozy paradise with an Old Florida vibe.

Can you swim in the water at Anna Maria Island? ›

Anna Maria Beach

If you are looking for a quiet place to swim or catch up on some reading in the Florida sun. Check out the Rod and Reel Pier when you're done for food or try your luck at fishing.

What airport do you fly into for Anna Maria Island? ›

Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport to Anna Maria Island. This airport is the closest international airport to Anna Maria Island, so the 30-minute drive is over in no time.

How many permanent residents are on Anna Maria Island? ›

Population & Diversity

Anna Maria, FL is home to a population of 944 people, from which 98.3% are citizens. As of 2021, 4.56% of Anna Maria, FL residents were born outside of the country (43 people).

Can you drink on the beach in Anna Maria Island? ›

Don't Bring Prohibited Items

Beachgoers should also remember not to bring prohibited items to the beach. Some prohibited items include: Alcoholic beverages.

What celebrities go to Anna Maria Island? ›

Celebrities Tim McGraw, Cameron Diaz, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Chris Martin also visited AMI. Some other famous names in the entertainment industry are selling or renting out their homes for vacation. The median home sales price on Anna Maria Island was around $1.2M-$2.5M in May 2023. Real estate data changes daily.

Do you need a car in Anna Maria Island? ›

This island is truly a standout among all of Florida's islands. The best thing about AMI is that you can get anywhere you want to go here without having to drive a car. Of course, cars are welcome on the island, but if you don't want to drive yours or didn't drive one in, to begin with, that's okay!

How walkable is Anna Maria Island? ›

Anna Maria Island is an extremely walkable island. You can go out for leisurely strolls, walk to dinner, and enjoy a healthy jog or bike ride as the sun comes up or goes down. Find an Anna Maria Island vacation rental that has a parking space, and leave the car in it. You're on vacation.

What is the vibe on Anna Maria Island? ›

A Caribbean vibe prevails with balconies overlooking pristine blue waters and a sprawling, zero-entry pool flanked by palm trees. Reserve a poolside or beachfront cabana for privacy and easy dips in the ocean. Remember the name Anna Maria. Just don't tell the locals you heard about it from us.

Does Anna Maria have clear water? ›

If you're hoping to get out in the sun with some of the best ocean scenery and clear turquoise waters that you can find on Anna Maria Island, there's no better place than Manatee Public Beach.

What is the coldest month in Anna Maria Island? ›

Quick Climate Info
Coldest MonthJanuary (62 °F avg)
Wettest MonthAugust (6.96" avg)
Windiest MonthMarch (14 mph avg)
Annual precip.39.58" (per year)
1 more row

What is the least crowded beach on Anna Maria Island? ›

For the quiet getaway

For that there is the hidden gem of Bean Point – a beautiful white sand beach found at the very tip of Anna Maria Island. Once you find its “secret” entrance you'll know you're in for a treat. This beach is always quiet, secluded and sparsely populated.

What is the best time of day to go to Anna Maria Island? ›

Timing - You must see the sunset on Anna Maria Island! If you go to the beach too early, especially with kids, you may not last until sunset. We like to go later in the day, around 2 or 3 p.m. That way we have the afternoon on the beach and can stay for sunset.

Is the water clear in Anna Maria Island? ›

North of Siesta Key and West of Bradenton, Anna Maria Island is another gorgeous beach with clear water and emerald green hues. You'll find it much quieter than Siesta Key and it also neighbors Bradenton (another small town).


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