- Beautiful beaches
- Water sports
- Regular festivals
- Convenient transport
Anna Maria Island is crammed with beautiful vacation properties, including plenty of elegant 19th and early 20th century single-storey villas. These vacation rental properties are almost always within walking distance of the shore, have spacious yards, pools and room for a whole family to stretch out in their living areas.Conveniently Located Vacation Apartments
Another feature of the island is its assortment of vacation apartments. All along Gulf Drive, from Bradenton Beach to Anna Maria, you’ll find apartment blocks and rental home options that have been divided into large holiday apartments. If you need an affordable, conveniently located spot, they could be ideal.
Anna Maria Island, FL is a barrier island located just off the west coast of Florida, just north of Sarasota and across Tampa Bay from St Petersburg. The island stretches for seven miles in total, and the coast is lined with soft, sandy beaches along the whole length.An Easy to Navigate, Flat Sandy Island
Never more than two miles across, the whole island is served by handy trolley buses, and traveling between beaches is simple. Getting to Anna Maria Island, FL is almost as easy. Tampa Airport is just a few miles to the southeast, and has connections to all major US cities. There are regular shuttle buses from the airport to Anna Maria Island, as well as car rental services if you need your own vehicle.One of America’s Best Places to Rent a Boat
While you can rent a car or 4x4 during your stay, it’s more fun to rent a sailing or powerboat during your stay. There are marinas with boat hire companies at Bradenton Bay and Bimini Bay, and you can hop between quays in your rental craft, seeing every inch of the island’s coast.
Anna Maria Island, FL is a superb place to test your fishing skills. Join a skipper at the port or rent your own boat and fish for Gulf species like mackerel, red snapper or redfish until the sun goes down.A Great Destination for Beach Lovers
Both the east and west coasts of Anna Maria Island offer superb beaches, including Bradenton, Manatee, Holmes, Coquina and Cortez Beach. Sunbathe, snorkel in the emerald waters, play some volleyball and enjoy the endless sunshine.A Popular Music and Arts Destination
Anna Maria Island has its cultural side, too. The Bradenton Blues Festival attracts huge names in December, while the waterfront in Anna Maria becomes a thriving arts venue when the Ringling International Arts Festival comes to town in October.
Anna Maria Island hosts an annual population of around 200 loggerhead turtles, who can travel 8,000 miles as part of their migratory routes.
Public beaches like Coquina and Manatee have large parking lots, beautifully soft, warm sand, beautiful green waters, and enough space to enjoy whatever beach activities you desire.2. Kayak in the mangroves
It’s not all about beaches on Anna Maria Island. You can also hire kayaks and paddle to Leffis Key and the mangrove tunnels in Robinson Preserve. Both are magical natural locations, and are full of birdlife, turtles and marine life.3. Shop at the island’s vibrant markets
Shopping is a major activity on Anna Maria Island, and each beach seems to have its own market. One of the best places to head for craft bargains is Bradenton Beach’s Bridge Street Market (open on Saturdays), and you can shop for fine art at Bradenton’s Village of the Arts as well.4. Dine al fresco on fresh Florida seafood
When you visit the Gulf, seafood is almost always high on the agenda, and Anna Maria Island doesn’t disappoint. Gastronomic highlights include Sandbar, the Beach Bistro and Sign of the Mermaid, but there’s no shortage of great spots.5. Catch a sublime Anna Maria Island sunset
As the sun sets over the Gulf of Mexico, the view is incredible. Find a spot on the west coast of the island, grab a cocktail and enjoy the show. In summer, you may even have the chance to see turtle hatchlings make their way to the sea – another extraordinary spectacle.
Anna Maria Island has a sub-tropical climate, with temperatures averaging 75 degrees all year-round. They rarely dip far below that point, although sea temperatures rise considerably during the summer. Rainfall is moderate, but slightly higher in the summer (although it tends to be limited to afternoon showers).Getting Around
Driving around the island is simple, with Gulf Drive running along its whole length. However, it makes sense to become acquainted with the trolley, which runs from early morning to 22:30 and stops every four blocks along a north-south route.Festivals
Festivals are a big deal on the island. There are annual blues and arts events in Bradenton, as well as the Bayfest event in October, which has a classic rock theme. Cortez hosts an annual seafood festival, while January brings the Manatee County Fair. There’s always something going on.