Things To Do
About the Island
Anna Maria has a white sandy beach that runs the full length of the island. 7 miles of soft white sand stretth from Bean Point in the North, right down to Coquina Beach at the southern tip.
Need to relax
The main reason many of our visitors come to this island paradise is to relax and enjoy the leisurely sub-tropical lifestyle. To this end just relax on the beach with a good book and a gentle swim in the Gulf, take a ride on the island’s free trolley service to view the sights, stopping off at one of the excellent restaurants or just lie by your own private swimming pool in the sunshine. If you don’t want to drive the trolley meanders past on a regular basis every 20 minutes or call one of our friendly and informative island taxi services.
Feeling more lively?
A great way to experience all the sights and sounds of the island is to rent a bicycle and explore all the small streets and avenues, stopping at one of the delightful coffee shops or ice-cream parlours if you fancy a break! We are just 1 hour from Tampa so you can experience all the adventure and fun of Busch Gardens and still be back at your house in time for supper. Take the 2 hour trip up the Interstate to Disney and Orlando – you can always stay overnight up there, or if you are planning a 2 center vacation then come on down to the island to chill out after expending all that energy in the Theme Parks.
Want to fish?
This is a 7 mile long barrier island surrounded by the crystal blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico. You can bring your own boat and launch it off any one of 3 public boat ramps at Kingfish, Bayside or Holmes Beach. Alternatively just board the Miss Cortez armed with a picnic from the Publix deli for a deep sea fishing trip or fish peacefully of any one of the island’s 3 fishing piers. If the family want to go to the beach, you can take your rod and cast off the sands, just remember to buy a temporary fishing license when you buy your bait from the local bait & tackle shops. A great way to experience some real sport fishing is to charter one of the professional captains and his boat for a half or full day on the water, stand by for some thrills!
More fun to on and in the water?
Learn to dive or snorkel, experience group dives or just rent equipment from the local dive shop. Rent a power boat or sailboat and explore the inland waterways, stopping off to eat at one of our excellent waterside restaurants or pausing for a picnic on the sandbank or on the beach of a small uninhabited nearby island. Pack a grill and cook out some juicy steaks or tasty gulf shrimp on the beach – it’s heaven!
If you bring your own boat to the island, launch your craft at Kingfish Ramp, Bayside or Holmes Beach City. Or you can rent a craft to fit your needs — power or a leisurely sailboat. Cruise the inland waters of the bay following the markers and stopping off at one of the waterside restaurants for lunch. Make deep-sea offshore runs or angle in the flats and shallow waters that surround the Island. See dolphins leaping in and out of the wake of motorboats and out in the Gulf experience the exhilaration of watching the tarpon running. Look out for tarpon running, feel the excitement of watching families of dolphins jumping in and out of the wake of powerboats and keep an eye out for the elusive manatees that drift by.
As well as scuba diving near local wrecks, how about parasailing along the coastline or taking a flying lesson from nearby Sarasota airfield? Rent a canoe in nearby Myakka State park and see alligators and wild boar.
Still not tired?
Book a lesson at the world famous Bolliettieri Tennis & Sports Academy, play tennis on the public courts at Anna Maria or Holmes Beach. If golf is your game then you will be spoiled for choice. There are more than 40 golf courses in the area and an internationally known golf academy, The David Leadbetter Academy. Hey, everyone can do with a little help to improve their game! So go ahead and spoil yourself with some one to one tuition and advice.
Need fun for all the family?
Go ten pin bowling, drive on down to Sarasota and on to Myakka State Park, visit Parrot Jungle or the huge Tampa Aquarium. Catch up on a movie in one of the nearby mainland theaters, or take a picnic and a boat trip up to Egmont Key, an uninhabited island just north of Anna Maria.
Hate Shopping? Go Fishing, Love Shopping then read on
We have boutiques, silver & jewelry store, antiq7e shops, beachwear, gifts and art galleries to satisfy the most ardent shopper or browser. Whether you are a serious buyer or just window-shopping then drift along up and down the island to experience some retail therapy. Even the grocery shopping can be fun in our local Publix store as they sell the best doughnuts this side of heaven as well as everything else you could ever need, including the juiciest steaks and the freshest seafood to cook on your grill by the pool. Don’t want to cook then visit their deli and take lunch home to eat poolside or on your terrace or balcony.
For really serious shopping enthusiasts (and if you truly love homemade ice-cream and hand made chocolates & candies) than make for the world famous St Armand’s Circle just down south near Sarasota. You can wander around exotic galleries, see designer clothes in every hue, enjoy some of America’s best fine dining or just sip a coffee, beer or glass of crisp Chardonnay and people watch from a pavement cafe. Mainland shopping malls and outlets are just waiting for you in mainland Sarasota and Bradenton. Factory Outlets near the I-75 Interstate are full of those amazing vacation bargains you want to take home, at factory direct prices for international & national named brands of all types, from shoes & clothes to porcelain, china, sportswear and other items to diverse to list.
First and foremost, if you are looking for some cool and casual island vacation wear or that perfect gift for friends and family back home then stay right here and visit the delightful island shops to buy from friendly individuals who always have the time to pass the time of day and give you tips and advice on how to find everything and anything you need right here on Anna Maria Island.
Do you love the island so much you don’t want to leave?
Many visitors in the past have fallen in love with Anna Maria Island. So much so that they have moved here, opened new businesses or purchased existing ones or spent their retirement here in this friendly, warm and inherently healthy environment – walking the beaches, swimming in warm waters and never being short of friends and family who can’t wait to come out to the islands to visit. Health care, Dentistry and Hospitals in the area are first class and there is plenty of keep everyone occupied. For the younger generation a place in Anna Maria School is much sought after and over on the mainland there is plenty of choice including the superb facilities of St Stephens School who take children right through from their first year of education right through to graduation. If you are serious in relocating, then pay a visit to
Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce
For an update on the social and business events on the island including clubs and organizations such as Art League, Artists Guild, Women’s Clubs, Community Center, Loyal Order of Moose, Power Squadron, island churches, library and garden clubs. Our island Real Estate agents will give you an update on any properties or businesses for sale. If you have teenagers, the weather and sports facilities combine to give them the healthiest upbringing and there are plenty of nearby really fun attractions to keep even the most bored youngster firmly on track.
Are you a culture vulture?
You have not lived until you have heard the Sarasota West Coast Symphony and visited the Van Wezel Performing Arts Center, watched the Sarasota Ballet of Florida and listened to the Jazz club offerings. For more information on the myriad of cultural events that include Film Festivals, Museums, Historic Mansions and the Bishop Planetarium then call into the Tourist Bureau and Info Center just over in mainland. As you can tell if you are thinking of retiring here, between all this & he fishing or a hard day relaxing at the beach, life on Anna Maria Island will be a full and rewarding experience.