Anna Maria News

All the latest stories from the Island of Anna Maria.

What Animals Can You See on Anna Maria Island?

Even though many people will boast about Anna Maria Island’s beautiful waters and soft sands, there is so much more to the area that surrounds you during a vacation here.

Rich with wildlife and opportunities to see the animals that inhabit the island, you’ll be amazed to see some of the creatures that are right under your nose. So head out from your Anna Maria Island lodging and get into the great outdoors to see what’s there. All you have to do is know what you’re looking for and where to look and you’re sure to spot some of the area’s animals.

Turtle swimming in the Gulf of Mexico

Marine Life

With so much water in the gulf and also the marshes that are found throughout Anna Maria Island, you won’t be surprised to find those marine creatures are some of the most commonly spotted animals in the area.

Known as a fantastic fishing spot, it’s clear that you can expect to see lots of different types of fish if you look into the waters in and around Anna Maria Island- and you don’t have to go far. Any waters near many Anna Maria Island houses for rent will give you an opportunity to spot some of these fish. Keep your eyes out for mackerel, snook, trout, amberjack, redfish, snapper, grouper, cobia, mahi, and more. You may even be lucky enough to see a wide range of shark species if you head out into deeper waters.

On top of the fish species you can find around Anna Maria Island, you’ll also have the opportunity to see some dolphins playing in the Gulf waters, jellyfish, sea turtles, stingrays, and other marine animals. Sometimes even stingrays, a gopher tortoise, or manatees can be seen as well.

Your best chance to spot a dolphin or even some whales possibly is by taking a tour out into some of the deeper waters. Here, you’ll be able to see dolphins in their natural habitat.

Manatees are also one of the creatures you can keep on the lookout for. They tend to hang out in the warmer shallower waters in the harbor—sometimes where they think they can get a sip of fresh cool water from a hose. This endangered species is beloved in Anna Maria Island and in Florida as a whole.

Bird watching on Anna Maria Island beach

Bird Watching

Anna Maria Island can be known as a bird watchers paradise. It’s not just because of the wonderful weather or the sandy beaches, it’s because the island is situated at a major migration point as well as a nesting territory for many different types of land and sea birds. Keep your eyes peeled for herons, sandpipers, osprey, vultures, eagles, storks, egrets, pelicans, and more.

Just head to a quiet beach and you’ll be able to spot just a few of the many species of birds. Some of the best locations include the Coquina Beach Baywalk and Bean Point.

Small brown common lizard in Florida

Other Wildlife

Although most of the wildlife on Anna Maria Island can be found in the water and in the air, there are some other animals you may happen to see during your day to day travels around the island. Small lizards are very common to see skirting around the edges of buildings and seeking out some cool and shady areas. Some people have also reported seeing armadillo wandering the island, and snakes and raccoons are also common to see hanging around.

Be ready to explore all the island has to offer in the way of wildlife, from turtles nesting up on shore to birds sailing through the open blue skies.

Best Beachfront Condo Rentals on Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria Island is known for having some of the most beautiful white sand beaches. On your vacation here you’ll be sure to want to spend as much time as possible soaking up the sun and enjoying the gorgeous water. What better way to do that then to look for some Anna Maria Island houses for rent that are right on the beach? Luckily, we’ve got some of the best beachfront condo rentals for you to choose from.

Beachfront condo rental on Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria Beach Resort (Room 105)

This is a great pick for anyone who doesn’t plan to spend a lot of time inside their vacation rental but is more concerned about having a prime location for his or her trip. This spot offers room to sleep a total of 5 people and is an apartment style setup with a full kitchen and is completely furnished. You’ll have a view of the beach and water right through the sliding glass doors, and this ground level lodging makes it simple to step right out and take a short walk to the beach.

View from deck of beachfront vacation condo in Anna Maria Island

Beach Life At the Pointe

This is the Anna Maria Island lodging you want if you’re trying to get the authentic Old Florida to feel out of your trip. This direct beachfront cottage has two bedrooms and two bathrooms and sleeps a total of 4 people. A private and screened in wrap around deck gives you beautiful views of the soft sands and glistening waters. Plus all you have to do to enjoy the beach itself is a step outside. In the heart of Holmes Beach, this property is dog-friendly and has a newly upgraded kitchen. It is all quite spacious, giving you and your crew all the space you need to prepare a meal (and dine on the deck).

Ocean view from living room of vacation rental in Anna Maria Island, FL

Casa on the Beach

This 3 bedroom, 3 bathroom vacation home rental is a wonderful pick if you’re looking to feel like you’re staying in a home away from home this trip. Sleeping up to 6 people, this property comes with bikes, a beach wagon, beach chairs, foosball table, and a gas BBQ grill. Of course, the crowning glory of this rental is its easy access to the beautiful beach front. However, there is also a fantastic heated pool that will give you options to enjoy the outdoors of this home at the North end of the island.

Front view of beachfront vacation rental


This Gulf front elevated home has a unique style that will give you easy access to the beach, along with lots of quiet privacy to enjoy your relaxing vacation. You can take an easy walk over to tons of restaurants or shopping areas, or just enjoy the amazing view of the beach you have from your private balcony. With two bedrooms and 1.5 bathrooms, this location can sleep up to 6 people.

Well decorated living room of vacation rental in Anna Maria Island

Shells and Sunshine

Located on the north end of the island, this vacation home is very tranquil and will ensure you get the rejuvenation you desire from a beach getaway. With an outdoor deck and private walkway to the beach, there are plenty of ways to enjoy the sunshine and salt air of Anna Maria Island. This rental sleeps a total of 8 people in the 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom home. With two living levels, this location will give you plenty of privacy even with a bigger group of people.

Ocean view from deck of a vacation rental in Anna Maria Island

The Big Yellow House

Aptly named, you can’t miss this massive beach home that reflects the sunny personality you’ll find all over Anna Maria Island. With 5 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms, this spot is ideal for bigger groups as it sleeps up to 14 people. Not only is it beachside for optimal fun and a view of the best sunsets, but there’s also a heated pool if you prefer that option instead. Close to all of the popular spots on Pine Avenue, this rental will give you everything you want in a luxurious vacation getaway.

Is Anna Maria Island Pet Friendly?

With the beautiful weather that surrounds Anna Maria Island during most times of the year, it can feel like the perfect place to head with your pet. Luckily, there are many pet-friendly areas that will be more than happy to accommodate you and your four-legged friends. From places to eat, ways to enjoy the ocean, and available Anna Maria Island lodging, pet friendly options can be found at every turn of your island beach vacation.

anna maria pet friendly vacation rentals


Sometimes when you’re out for a walk with your pet or just exploring the area you’ll both get a little hungry or thirsty. Of course, you want to make sure when you stop for a bite it’s a good place for everyone involved. Anna Maria Island has several eateries that will let you bring your pet right in with you.

Most spots that allow dogs to come in are patio friendly. Harry’s Grill, The Waterfront Restaurant, and Poppo’s Taqueria are all spots that will allow your pup to sip some water on the patio while you grab a meal.

Beach Rules

Anna Maria Island is known for having some of the most beautiful beachfronts in the world. So, naturally, you’ll probably want to take your pets along with you as you explore the sands and the waves. But, before you do that, make sure to know the pet friendly rules of the area beaches. Not all the beaches are pet friendly, so your best option is to stick to the ones that are.

Palma Sola Causeway on Manatee Avenue is one of the best spots to take your dog for a run or a swim. This area is close to the road, so make sure you keep your dog on a leash or that they are very well trained to come when you call. This area is just about a 10 minute drive from Holmes Beach.


There are a few off-leash dog parks where you can take your dog to get some exercise and play with some other pups. The Holmes Beach Dog Park is located at the corner of 62nd street and Flotilla Drive. There’s a small dog area and a large dog are at this grassy park.

Another fantastic option is the Happy Tails Dog Park at 2811 51st Street West. If you’re more concerned about dog size, this park is wonderful because it splits up into 3 sections depending on how big the dogs are.

Where to Stay

One of the most important things when taking your furry friend on vacation with you is finding an affordable and pet friendly place to stay. The good news is that there are plenty of pet friendly Anna Maria Island houses for rent. Pet friendly rentals vary in size and type, so you won’t have to give up anything you’re hoping for during your vacation to find the perfect spot to stay.

Just a few options include the Anna Maria Chateau which sleeps up to 8 people, the South Seas rental that has room for 12 people, and even a smaller rental option like the Sideways location which will comfortably fit up to 4 people.

No matter what you’re looking for in your Anna Maria Island lodging, we can help you find the premiere location for you and your pet. Many come complete with private pools and backyards so everyone will have the best vacation ever.

One rule to definitely keep in mind is to keep your dog leashed at all times unless you bring them to one of the previously mentioned off-leash parks. Other than that, get ready to have a wonderful time with your dog on vacation and if you have any questions about pet friendly policies our friendly staff can answer any of your questions. We can guide you to the most appropriate Anna Maria Island rentals for your vacationing needs.

Announcing the Brand New Beach Resort in Anna Maria Island

What is a vacation to Anna Maria Island like?

Anna Maria Island is a paradise of fun under the sun. From the beaches to the restaurants, the museums to the theatrical shows, the island is a paradise just ready for exploring. But you don’t even need to leave the hotel to have an enthralling time.

If you stay at one of our Anna Maria Island accommodations, you get instant access to gorgeous blue pools, the epic (and famous) gulf beach, and many luxury amenities.

Our Anna Maria Island beach resort is a special addition to the island. It is not just another motel in a sea of waterside places to stay. We made sure to add something wholly unique, spectacular, and memorable to every square foot of our 31-suite beachside haven.

anna maria island hotel resort

History of the Blue Water Beach Resort

So where did it all start?

Our Anna Maria Island resort on the beach used to be called the Blue Water Beach Resort. It perfectly exemplified the Old Florida aesthetic of Anna Maria Island. But the hotel lacked modern conveniences. While it had a classic design, we thought it was a little “too” classic.

This is why we revitalized the property, retaining its history yet adding a whole array of modern luxuries and conveniences.

anna maria island beach resort

Grand Opening

We then launched the brand new Anna Maria beachfront motel to the world. Anna Maria Beach Resort opened its doors March 2019. People adored the chic look with modern touches including:

  • stunning resort pool and hot tub
  • rich beach décor and rich contrasts
  • wide-open patio and balcony spaces
  • wood trimmed interior
  • and much more

Interestingly, the core of the hotel floor plans and structure remained intact. The old Blue Water Beach Resort was actually developed closer to the gulf water than what current law allows, giving all our guests first-rate access and proximity to Florida’s finest beach side.

The team struck that delicate balance between classic and new, providing vintage style with a classy and sleek new look.

beachfront hotel anna maria island

What Sets the Resort Apart

Our Anna Maria Island beach hotel is luxury living. Guests can hop from one of two resort pools, a hot tub, and the beach without ever losing vacation time. Everything is right here, with top-quality guest amenities like cabana rentals, beach gear, a firepit, a children’s playground, and more.

This is all offered in a revitalized and contemporary space, a far cry away from the basic Florida beachside motel you could find anywhere. Inside your room you can find gorgeous kitchens, high-speed internet, flatscreen televisions, gulf and resort views, and extensive living space. Across all 31 suites and rooms, you will find something to adore, with the gulf as your always-present vacation companion.

Is The Resort Right For You?

So is it right for you? Different guest experiences can be found at different Anna Maria hotels. The Beach Resort is right for you if you want elegance, ease, and a trusted company to book with.

Families will just love the fact that our resort view rooms offer instant access to the resort pool. Guests can watch their kids play from the patio or balcony while they enjoy the beach ambiance under the shade. We know how hard it can be to get the kids out of the pool- so why make them! Let them play the vacation away.

Our smaller-spaced and intimate rooms are great for couples. Couples can seek a romantic walk down to the beach. Our thatch-roofed cabana offers a tropical flair if you want a shady spot to relax with your loved one.

Larger-sized groups can also find plenty to love. Our spacious suites and deluxe hotels give plenty of room to stretch out for larger groups. With all the many on-site activities (and the trolley location at the resort) anyone can find something fun to do without affecting the whole crew.

Contact us for more information about our special Anna Maria Island accommodations.

Best Places to Golf Near Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria Island is one of the best places to stay if you are an avid golfer. There are many courses near the island that are sure to impress just about anyone who loves to get out on a good green.

The beautiful weather and sunshine make this part of Florida one of the premier locations for gorgeous golf courses. So grab your clubs and set a tee time at one of these fabulous local golf courses during your stay on Anna Maria Island.

There are many golf courses near Anna Maria Island to experience on your vacation.

Key Royale Club

This is the only golf course that is actually located right on Anna Maria Island. If you’re looking to do a lot of golf during your trip, it might be smart when you’re looking for places to stay on Anna Maria Island to scope out the proximity to the Key Royale Club.

The course itself is a par 32 nine-hole walking course. Open from dawn to dusk, the Key Royale Club was designed specifically to provide an enjoyable and relaxing experience to those with a higher handicap.

The club is located at 700 Key Royale Drive. It features a dining room banquet and luxury facilities. You also do not necessarily need to schedule a tee time in advance to use this course.

Manatee County Golf Course Buffalo Creek

An easy 20-minute drive from Anna Maria Island to just south of Bradenton, many consider this a fun and exciting course in the area. The 18-hole regulation course boasts TifEagle Bermuda Greens that are similar to a high-end course. A fantastic choice for players of all skill levels, even advanced players will be able to find a challenge on these greens. You can also schedule lessons for members of your group who may need a refresher.

Rates start at $16 a player and you’ll find this course at 6415 53rd Avenue West.

Pinebrook Ironwood Golf Club

Located about a 20-minute drive from places to stay on Anna Maria Island, this Bradenton golf course will be a delight for golfers of all skill levels. With a lush ultra dwarf Bermuda Greenway, the surface of this course is second to none. With a high focus on maintaining pristine grounds, the Pinebrook Ironwood Golf Course will have you feeling like you’re golfing in the lap of luxury. The course is a fun challenge for golfers of all experience levels.

Located at 4260 Ironwood Circle in Bradenton, daily fees for this course begin as low as $20.

There are many golf courses that are near Anna Maria Island for different levels of golfers.

Rosedale Golf and Country Club

About a 40-minute drive outside of Anna Maria Island, this course is great for groups of all skill levels. It’s especially recommended if you have some first timers or even brand new players in your group. The course has a professional design, and although easy enough for newer players to have fun, it also still is able to provide a challenge to more experienced golfers as well. One of the most striking things about this course is that the greens are lined with old growth trees, giving it a real old Florida feel.

Located at 5100 87th Street East, this course is just east of Bradenton Rates here start at $18 a player.

Legacy Golf Club Lakewood Ranch

This course is a little further away from Anna Maria Island places to stay but is well worth the drive if you’re looking for an upscale experience. A little under an hour’s drive away from the island, just outside the Nathan Benderson Park, Legacy Golf Club is known as one of the best courses in all of Southwest Florida. The Arnold Palmer Signature design of the 18-hole course will make you feel like a pro. Suggested for golfers with an intermediate skill level, daily rates here start at $19 per player.

How to Get to Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria Island is a wondrous vacation getaway, and one of the top gulf coast destinations in Florida.

But the big questions may still remain: where is it? How do you get here?

We cover the best routes to the island, what airport to use, and how you can find this majestic beachside nook for your upcoming vacation escape.

directions to anna maria

Where is Anna Maria Island on the Map?

First, we start by zooming out wide. Anna Maria Island is located right along the Gulf of Mexico in Florida. Look about halfway down Florida’s boot, just below Tampa, and you are sure to settle somewhere along Anna Maria Island’s seven-mile stretch. It is snug tight between Sarasota and Tampa.

What Airport Do You Fly Into?

There are three main airports near the island. Which airport you use depends on your travel itinerary and the city you choose to fly into. The three closest major airports are Tampa International Airport (TPA), Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport (SRQ), and Orlando International Airport (MCO).

The closest is SRQ, though flights are expectedly limited. The furthest airport is in Orlando, but it is one of the largest airports in the state and a perfectly reasonable flight-in if you end up spending any time at Disney World.

main ami roads

What’s the Most Direct Route to the Island from the Cities?

Which major road you take to the island will depend on which city you start at. If you wind up in Orlando, you are certainly going to take I4 west to the island. This is the major route across the state of Florida, and one you will likely utilize if you head to the eastern side as well. There is no toll road on I4. The drive from Orlando to Anna Maria Island takes about two hours.

If you are coming in from Tampa, 75 South will be your main road to the island. It carries southwest, but you will want to jump off near Bradenton to get to Anna Maria Island. This drive will take at least an hour.

Lastly, visitors from Sarasota will have a nice non-highway ride to their destination. The most direct route is along 301 as it carries directly east of the island. You will eventually want to hit a left at 64 or 684 in Bradenton proper or South Bradenton to reach the island. This drive will take, on a good day, about 40 minutes.

How do You Get to the Island?

After zooming in a bit, you will eventually see the local streets in and around Anna Maria Island. There are three total main roads onto the island. The first is at the northern point. This is by 64, locally called Manatee Ave. This will take you close to Anna Maria city.

The second main entrance is near the middle of the island by Cortez Beach. This is called Cortez Rd and it will land you right at the heart of Bradenton Beach.

How About the Scenic Route?

Finally, we also recommend the southernmost bridge access point by way of Longboat Key. It is likely the longest ride in, and only viable for visitors coming from the south, but it is a stunning run along the breadth of Anna Maria Island’s coastline. This route is useful for anyone coming in from Sarasota. It is a wonderful drive as you can see the water in many spots from the road. To utilize this path, you have to escape west in the Sarasota area and drive through St. Armand’s Circle and then up to Longboat Key.

anna maria island vacations

Where is the Best Anna Maria Island Lodging?

The best lodging is by the beach, of course! We want you to have an absolutely thrilling time when you finally make your way to the island. Contact us about all our Anna Maria Island houses for rent. We can connect you with the perfect home for you and your whole crew. We have beach views, furnished kitchens, pool access, and more.

Stay right by the water. Relax by the pool. Admire the view from the balcony. We have fallen in love with Anna Maria Island, and we are sure you will too.

What is Anna Maria Island Like Today?

Anna Maria Island has undergone a pretty dramatic evolution. If you happened to last see the island back before 2000, a lot has changed.

What is the island like now? What are some of the most revolutionary changes you can expect? We cover how far Anna Maria Island- and what it is like today.

Anna Maria Island has undergone a pretty dramatic change, but the island vibe is still flourishing.

Growth Came- and Quickly

If you spend any amount of time researching Anna Maria Island and how it has changed, you will certainly come across one big reality- it has grown tremendously. The growth has been at an accelerated rate, and this has created some seismic shifts in the community.

There have been some political disagreements over where and how fast developers can build new homes and businesses. There is a pushback to development, with detractors arguing that the island can only develop so far and so fast. They argue that the island is losing some of its identity. Supporters are arguing that they are bringing finances, tourists, and a strong community backbone to Anna Maria Island.

Various building subcontracts have led to new structures, but many of these projects have stalled due to government blockage and other local concerns.

The Island Vibes

With that said, Anna Maria Island still retains its Old Florida charms and island energy. While some development has occurred, it could have been more if it wasn’t for strong local support against it.

The island vibe is still flourishing. There are wide assortments of local businesses which are local mainstays. Three Island Monkeys is a colorful and exuberant local boutique shop, Beach Bums still as many beach rental offerings, the Olive Oil Outpost has local treats and delicacies, and Island Gallery West keeps the torch hanging high for local art and artisans.

As long as visitors continue to aspire towards local places, and residents support the island’s individuality by buying locally, there will be a vibrant and healthy community.

Anna Maria Island things to do

Three Distinct Parts

There are incredible Anna Maria Island houses for rent on all three parts of the island. Each one has developed its own peculiar identity. These are Bradenton Beach, Holmes Beach, and Anna Maria city.

Bradenton Beach has a very colorful Old Florida vibe. It is home to a number of antique and boutique shops, including One Stop Shell Shop, Back Alley Treasures, and Bridge Street Jewelers. There is a very eccentric vibe in Bradenton Beach, with colorful pink shops lining the beach and small casual eateries at every turn.

Holmes Beach is most well-known for its major beach access points. The most notable (and main beach access) on the whole island is Manatee Public Beach. It features the most amenities, accessible parking, and many activities for all ages.

Finally, Anna Maria Island has a very culturally-rich downtown area. The northern part of the island is soaked in small side streets, unique shops, and old city history. Anna Maria city is the top place to go for shopping and dining. Its top feature is Pine Ave, where you can find acclaimed ice cream shops, massage spas, and more.

Anna Maria Island is defined by its three main sections, and each one is worth exploring and seeing.


Transportation has been a very important piece to keeping traffic flowing gracefully on the island. The free Anna Maria Island shuttle service is an invaluable resource for locals and visitors. The option offers a nice trolley-going experience through the smaller inner streets of downtown Anna Maria Island. See some of the best attractions and get easy transportation to and from the sights. You can use the trolley as a useful transportation tool or even a tour guide!

So what is Anna Maria Island like today? Public transportation is widely available. Each major part of the island has its own unique character. The beach access points are well-developed enough to accommodate the traffic flow without losing its charming beach vibes. The entire island is a tropical paradise, developed but still stunning, popular but still quiet in many areas.

Contact us to find Anna Maria Island lodging for your upcoming island escape. There are many reasons why the island is such an acclaimed and popular destination. The locals love it, the visitors crave more of it, and the beaches remain as vibrant as ever.

Distance from Sarasota to Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria Island is home to some of the most beautiful Florida weather nature you can find. From luxurious beaches to stunning and diverse wildlife, there’s something for everyone to see and enjoy outside. Whether you’d rather be running on the beach, trying to spot a dolphin, or discovering new beautiful sites, there’s no shortage of outdoor fun on Anna Maria Island.

So how do you get to the fun shores of Anna Maria Island from its nearby neighbor of Sarasota? Many visitors pass through Sarasota to get to Anna Maria. But navigating to the island may not always be so easy, especially for visitors unfamiliar with the gulf side of Florida.

how to get to anna maria from sarasota

Locating Sarasota on the Map

Overall, Sarasota is southeast of Anna Maria Island. Sarasota has a few small neighborhoods, including Sarasota Springs and North Sarasota. Sarasota is against the Sarasota Bay, while Lido Key is directly west, and against the Gulf of Mexico.

Sarasota is a pivotal gateway to the region. Visitors to Lido Key, Siesta Key, and, in many instances, Anna Maria Island, often pass through Sarasota on their island vacation adventure.

Many flying travelers will use SRQ Airport, or Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport. It is undoubtedly Sarasota’s largest airport, and one of the largest in the region for international travel. For travel purposes, you may want to mark the airport’s address of 6000 Airport Cir., Sarasota, FL 34243.

Locating Anna Maria Island on the Map

Anna Maria Island is an elongated island that spans about seven miles. You can almost see the water on each side because it is such a thin vacation escape. It averages about two miles wide, and spans from the city proper on the northern end to Bradenton Beach towards the south.

Anna Maria Island is directly west of Bradenton and just south of St. Petersburg across a massive body of water called Tampa Bay.

How Long is the Trip From Sarasota to Anna Maria Island?

So how far is it to the island and the many Anna Maria Island houses for rent? Travelling from Sarasota to Anna Maria Island is straightforward if you follow the major arteries.

The drive will take anywhere from 30 minutes on the short end to 50 minutes on the longer end, depending on seasonal traffic. There is no immediate and clear fastest route, as there are three viable options in total.

The two most direct routes to take are US-41 N and US-301 N. Both of these northern routes from Sarasota will take you directly into Bradenton, where you will cut west into Anna Maria Island by either route 64 or route 684. 64 is the northern entrance to the island while 684 will take you closer to the southern side. Both utilize one of two main bridge entrances from the east. If you do take 64, you will hug the water and eventually turn left onto Conquistador Parkway. You will follow this up to one of the two bridge accesses. Take the left at either 684 (44th Ave/Cortez Rd) or 64 (Manatee Ave). Keep an eye out for a left turn which will take you over to the island.

There is another bridge entrance on the very southern tip of Anna Maria Island, and this makes for the most interesting ride. When you leave Sarasota, you can choose to cross directly west into Lido Key. Here, you can follow the only route north all the way into Bradenton Beach and to Anna Maria. The majority of the time this route will be named Gulf of Mexico Drive (or Gulf Drive as you enter Anna Maria Island).

It is a sensational and scenic drive. While usually a few minutes longer than the inland driving of 301 or 41, it is far more satisfying. Beach views can be caught between the small coastal homes, and you can get an idea of the Anna Maria Island lodging as you span the Gulf of Mexico.

We love the island life, and we want to share Anna Maria Island with anyone and everyone. Sarasota is a great entry-point, but the real island life is up in Anna Maria.

Beaches Near Anna Maria Island

If you need a break from winter weather and choose to spend a long weekend or week on Anna Maria Island, an island off the Gulf Coast of Florida, you’re certainly in for a treat.

There’s nothing like sun, sand and lots of outdoor activities to make you forget about subzero temperatures and nor’easters. You’ll enjoy your time sunbathing, paddleboarding, snorkeling and, of course, eating all right on the island.

Of course, all of these activities are made even better by not just being next to the beach, but right on it. Anna Maria Island, and the surrounding communities are coated with hidden nooks, big escapes, and activity-filled beaches to see. Below we take a look at most, if not all, of the local beaches. Whether they are right on the island or within a short drive, there’s an amazing beach at every turn.

beaches to visit near Anna Maria

Beaches on the Island

For obvious convenience, you may want beaches closest to the Anna Maria Island houses for rent. Fortunately, don’t even need to get behind the wheel to get to some of the best beaches on the Gulf Coast.

  • Coquina Beach: Coquina Beach is one of the most popular beach escapes on the island, famous for its idyllic beachside expanse, its bright-white sand, and views of the nearby marine life.
  • Bayfront Park: Bayfront Park has a small beach area, but it is actually more known for its expansive picnic area, public grills, convenient amenities, playground, and close proximity to the local pier.
  • Palmetto Ave Beach: On the west side of the island, facing the gulf, is this popular escape. We have a number of Anna Maria Island houses for rent right in this popular area.
    Manatee Public Beach: Manatee is the defining public beach on the island. With many annual events, an array of boutique shops, bike trails, and rentals, and playground area, the majority of visitors wind up settling here for the day.
  • Bean Point: Bean Point is on the northern point of the island, and is only moderately well-known. It’s a reclusive and isolated beach escape, even enough to where there’s no clear signage and no available public parking!

Anna Maria is filled with beaches, and they all offer something a little different. Our Anna Maria lodging is located right by some of these top destinations. Whether you are looking for a big beach to socialize or a quiet escape, the island has it.

Beaches About 20 Minutes from the Island

You may want to venture off the island for a bit, and that’s perfectly okay! There are some lovely day trips or afternoon getaways you can make from your Anna Maria Island lodging to see a little more of the Gulf Coast of Florida. Below are some of the best beaches you can find within a short drive.

  • Beer Can Island: Beer Can Island is usually only accessible by boat. Snug between Anna Maria Island and Longboat Key, the name hardly does this powdery white sand beach justice.
  • Cortez Beach: Cortez Beach is technically in Bradenton Beach and is still on the island, but it is quite far south compared to other beach stops. It boasts its own unique and charming identity compared to the center and northern parts of Anna Maria.
  • Longboat Key: Longboat Key has about 12 small beach access points, all of them subtly tucked between private homes and rentals. Head south past the island about 10 minutes and keep your eye out for some of this quiet enclaves amidst some of the best sandy points in the whole gulf coast.

While some beaches are highly-trafficked, others lack even the most basic of amenities. What are you looking for on a vacation escape? What does your dream beach locale look like?

Top Resorts and Hotels on Anna Maria Island

As you would expect from a prime vacation spot like Anna Maria Island, there’s no shortage of top resorts and hotels to choose from when you book a stay on this beautiful barrier island.

Need accommodations for a large family? Or will a simple one-bedroom do? Looking for two baths? Fully equipped kitchens? Beachfront views?

Staying on Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria Island has it all when it comes to things to do and fine restaurants, but you’ll also find that the island offers a wide range of houses, condos and cottages for rent.

Here are a few of the top resorts and hotels you can consider when it’s time to book your long-awaited trip to Anna Maria Island. The below is an overview of our best places to stay for small groups.

Gulf View Rooms

It’s easy to use words like “perfect” and “superb” to describe our assortment of Gulf view rooms in Holmes Beach. These accommodations feature full kitchens or kitchenettes, large beds, dishwashers, community pool access and patios or balconies.

You’ll be able to enjoy the glowing gulf sunset every evening from this home away from home.

Deluxe King Resort View Rentals

Our fully-equipped Deluxe King Resort View rentals give you everything you need to spend a comfortable and memorable vacation on Anna Maria Island.

The rentals are idyllic romantic escapes. Their one-bedroom one-bath accommodations can help you relax right into the vacation experience.

You are within a short walk to the beach, and you can always lounge out quietly by the pool. Enjoy high-speed WiFi, oversized armchairs, and more.

Anna Maria Island Luxury Suite

As one of the finest hotels not only on the island but on the entire Florida Gulf Coast, our Anna Maria Luxury Suite offers a truly magical place to stay. It has everything you could ask for. A double vanity, two sofas, a shower and tub, high-speed internet, accessible parking accommodations, stocked kitchen cabinets, nightstands, lovely beach décor, and a lot more. You can always wander right down to the water or to the large turquoise pool.

Beachside hammocks. Tropical gardens. Perfect gulf views. You can prepare entire meals in fully-equipped kitchens and enjoy them outside. It has everything you need to make a great vacation better.

anna maria island lodging

Gulf Front Suites

What can be lovelier than spending a Florida vacation in a Gulf front suite? Achieve an old Florida feel with a mix of modern amenities with our selection of suites facing right out into the gulf.

We fit our suites with some top accommodations. Relax on a pillowtop mattress with convenient and comfortable duvet. Enjoy the fully-stocked kitchen, so you can easily prepare any meals you need without having to fully rely on dining out.

Rollaway beds can accommodate additional guests and a spacious dining and separate living room area can give you all places to lounge around.

At this location, you are very close to the warm Gulf of Mexico. The water is just a few steps away. If you don’t want to head to the beach, you can always stay in and enjoy the courtyard grills, swimming pools, and cabana areas.

Our gulf front rentals are also close to Bridge Street, with its many attractions and among the best restaurants on Anna Maria Island.

Explore Our Many Rentals

Anna Maria Beach Resort has plenty of Anna Maria Island houses for rent.

We offer 31 suites and deluxe and standard rooms, many with pools and views of the ocean. Our homes have multiple bathrooms, sleeping accommodations for 10 or more, fully stocked kitchens, decks, patios, balconies. The rentals offer so many outdoor spaces, you won’t know where to sit to enjoy the breathtaking vistas Anna Maria has to offer.

Review our full list of Anna Maria Island lodging to see and experience Florida’s premiere island destination. With our available Anna Maria Island houses for rent, you are never short of possibilities for the perfect vacation getaway in southern Florida.

Where to Eat – Anna Maria Island

When it comes to food you’ll find that Anna Maria Island boasts many top-rated eateries and five-star restaurants that are favorites of both locals and tourists. From breakfast to brunch and dinner to cocktails, there’s a place for everyone when it comes to Anna Maria Island dining.

Anna Maria Places to Eat

Restaurant Choices on Anna Maria Island

Let’s take a closer look at five restaurants that’ll answer the question: Where to eat on Anna Maria Island?

Sandbar Restaurant

According to TripAdvisor, nearly 80% of patrons rate this restaurant as “Excellent” and “Very Good”. Many reviews note the restaurant’s atmosphere, beach views and, of course, favorite dishes, such as blackened grouper and the shrimp sandwich.

The Sandbar Restaurant has lunch and dinner specials, a nice list of red and white wines, appetizers and, of course, premium seafood fare.

Classics include the Sandbar Steak, fried shrimp platter, stuffed shrimp and crab cake. You can also choose non-seafood dishes such as a gourmet burger, chicken n’ waffles, ribs, steak burger and sausage hoagie.

Waterfront Restaurant

“Amazing food.” “Delicious food.” “Great food and atmosphere.” “Perfect”, “wonderful” and “delightful.” These are the descriptions you’ll see in the many positive reviews written about the Waterfront Restaurant.

With mouth-watering main dinner dishes such as maple mustard salmon, mahi salsa de langosta (made with fresh Gulf Coast fillet), frutti di mare (Key West shrimp, mussels, clams and scallops) and apricot-glazed pork tenderloin, you can’t go wrong at the Waterfront.

The lunch menu features the Waterfront Chicken Sandwich, a fresh catch fish sandwich, the Waterfront signature burger and so much more. There’s even a vegan quinoa bake! Check out the kids’ menu, too.

Outdoor dining, specialty drinks, daily specials and a list of draft and craft beers make the Waterfront a must-visit if you’re looking for a relaxed dinner, a family meal or maybe a date night with your partner.

Beach House Restaurant

Beach House Restaurant in Bradenton Beach gets top ratings for food, service and atmosphere.

Covering 650 feet of beach, this restaurant was renovated in 2017 and has been an island favorite since 1993. Those renovations boast environmentally-conscious lighting and stunning landscaping.

From seafood gumbo and fish platter to burgers and short rib tacos, there’s something for everyone on the menu. There are fresh catch dishes, specialties (such as pork, snapper and even wild boar!) and house-made desserts.

Bridge Street Bistro

Referred to as “Anna Maria’s Hot Spot”, it’d be remiss not to mention at least one restaurant on Bridge Street. One place you can try is Bridge Street Bistro. It’s fairly new in town, but people are talking.

Highlights include Potato-crusted Grouper, Seafood risotto, Veal and chicken dishes, and an expansive list of wines from around the world. Nearly 90% of reviews on TripAdvisor rate this restaurant as “Excellent” or “Very Good”–if you’re shopping and need to stop for a bite, check out Bridge Street Bistro.

Harry’s Grill

If you’re on Gulf Drive, check out Harry’s Grill. Voted Best Burger on Anna Maria Island!

Tacos, quesadillas, chicken strips, fish sandwiches–this is a place the whole family will love.

It features a pet-friendly patio, live music, karaoke, and even cornhole! Stay, eat, play, and relax. You can make a whole afternoon or early evening when you happen by Harry’s Grill.

Every Friday from 3-5 is Harry Hour, with live entertainment and discounts on food and drinks.

Anna Maria Places to Stay

Where to Stay?

So whether you’re looking for formal, relaxed, fun–Anna Maria Island has a food establishment that will cater to your current mood.

In addition, there are lots of Anna Maria Island lodging options close to these and other restaurants and eateries. From beachfront houses to 1-bedroom cottages, you’ll find accommodations that comfortably sleep up the whole family, with two or more baths, private patios, pools and more.
Anna Maria Beach Resort has everything you’re looking for, book your stay today!

New Years Events on Anna Maria Island

Vacationing during the holidays can really provide for a memorable experience. You’ll be able to plan some fun activities to celebrate some of your favorite traditions.

And if you love to celebrate the New Year watching a ball drop or enjoying a big island event, you are in the right place. There is plenty to do on Anna Maria Island to kick it off right. New Year’s Eve is just around the corner and there are many ways to celebrate.

Anna Maria New Years Eve

Where to Watch the Fireworks

One of the most popular Anna Maria Island New Years things to do is, of course, watch the fireworks. You can do it from the comforts of your vacation rental or you can check out one of the fun spots on the island.

A local favorite is The Beach House on Gulf Drive North. Grab something to eat from their special dinner menu up until 10 p.m. and kick back with a few drinks until the fireworks go off.

This fireworks show is one of the most highly anticipated events all year long on Anna Maria Island. You can watch the incredible light show right from the beach as you say goodbye to the old year.

Other great spots to ring in the New Year on Anna Maria Island include Bortell’s Lounge on Gulf Drive and D Coy Ducks Bar and Grille on Marina Drive. Both bars are open past midnight and provide unique atmospheres to watch the ball drop on television and get ready for a brand new year in front of us.

Explore the Island

You can always check out some of the attractions that might be busier at other times of the year. Take this off-season time to check out some spots that will be much less crowded than usual. Explore the historic City Pier, Bean Point, and Coquina Beach. These areas may be remarkably quiet in the days leading up to the New Year.

You’ll still be able to spot some dolphins, birds, and other wildlife. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can rent a kayak or go on a boat tour to see some incredible views. Holiday hours may vary by boat availability, but there’s almost always a group heading out into the Gulf for a sunset or dolphin cruise.

Anna Maria New Years Eve

Nearby Celebrations

Anna Maria Island lights up with lovely New Year’s Eve events. Below are a few more that you can check out in and around the island.

Main Street Live is a big block party on Old Main Street in downtown Bradenton. The whole thing kicks off in the late afternoon with live music, food trucks, vendors, and more. Of course, as the clock ticks closer and closer to midnight you’ll want to find the best spot to watch the ball drop.

Additionally, you could head to Main Street in Sarasota for the downtown New Year’s Eve Party. Festivities start in the afternoon with music and dancing. The night highlights local musicians and performers, as well as a delicious collection of food and drinks from local-only vendors. The most unique thing about this party is that as the old year leaves and we ring in the new one—a “Pineapple Ball Drop” counts us down to midnight. This event is definitely one to add to the bucket list.

No matter how you choose to enjoy New Year’s Eve on Anna Maria Island, we’re sure you will have a fantastic time. It’s a holiday you won’t soon forget.

Celebrate it surrounded by friends and family during your holiday vacation to Anna Maria Island.

Anna Maria Island Weather

For many, spending some time away from home is what makes a good vacation. But, what can make for an even better vacation is heading somewhere with some more comfortable weather. That’s where a trip away to Anna Maria Island can be the perfect option for a winter getaway.

The weather in Anna Maria Island is balmy and beautiful nearly the entire year. This makes it a wonderful option if you’re looking to get away from some of the more frigid temperatures up north.

Weather Anna Maria

Average Temperatures

Anna Maria Island Florida weather holds a year-round average of about 75 degrees. In the summer, temperatures are a little higher, averaging around 80 degrees. And even though the winter weather on Anna Maria Island can sometimes be a bit cooler, it’s still warm enough generally to enjoy all the outdoor activities the area has to offer. You’ll still be able to take a walk along the shoreline, kayak, and explore many of the beautiful natural attractions of the island.

On, and In, the Water

The beachside wind chill shouldn’t scare you away. AMI can provide perfect weather for catching some rays. You’ll likely be able to enjoy a day sitting by the pool or even on the beach as the weather in December can be anywhere between 60 to 70 degrees, with lower dips in the 50’s. Bright a light jacket to prepare and enjoy- the sun will probably still be out in the heart of the winter.

However, if you’re looking to actually get in the water, you might want to hold off. The Gulf of Mexico can cool down dramatically as the winter months approach. It’s better to stick to a heated pool if you’re looking to get in some swimming time.

Winter Anna Maria

Winter Things to Do

One of the best things about the sensational temperatures on Anna Maria Island in the wintertime is the opportunity to experience your favorite holiday activities without the fear or frostbite or a snowstorm. Imagine singing Christmas carols or looking at light displays without shivering and bundling up in layers.

You can even cozily enjoy New Years Eve outside. On Anna Maria Island, you’ll be able to wear your favorite summertime outfit to watch the ball drop without chattering teeth the entire time. The balmy weather in Anna Maria Island can definitely provide some unique opportunities to make your vacation even more special and exciting than you may have thought before.

Although there are some hiccups in the winter months, sometimes the summer months on Anna Maria Island can be just as unpredictable. Just like anywhere else, Anna Maria Island Florida weather can change quickly.

The biggest hurdle in the summer months is the rainfall. Some months have seen upwards of 7 inches of rain, and it can vary from month to month or even week to week. When a rain shower comes through, it can cool things down considerably. So, you may want to pack a rain jacket or a light sweatshirt just in case you get caught in one of those famous Anna Maria Island sun showers.

Regardless of what season you plan your vacation for, the weather is sure to give you a handful of lovely days to explore everything from your Anna Maria vacation rental. You’ll almost always be able to take a stroll on the beach, enjoy a cocktail on an outdoor patio, or sit by the pool. This is the magic of Florida island living. You get the winter without the winter. You get a family getaway for the season that only requires a light jacket and a smile.

Two Bedroom Houses for Rent on Anna Maria island

Anna Maria Island is an elegant and quiet vacation destination tucked away along the Gulf coast of Florida. You can see the breathtaking views for yourself and a loved one by enjoying our many 2 bedroom houses for rent on Anna Maria Island.

Below are 10 incredible 2 bedroom houses for rent today.

Two Bedroom Houses for Rent on Anna Maria Island

Magnolia Breeze

Magnolia Breezes infuses a little bit of that key West flavor into a quaint little canal front cottage. The bright open floor plan is a delight. You are within walking distance of the acclaimed Historic Anna Maria City Pier.

Two Bedroom Houses for Rent on Anna Maria Island

Tropical Breeze

This beach cottage provides you a virtually uninterrupted view of the gorgeous gulf front. Take advantage of some convenient amenities, including a private washer and dryer, linen program, three televisions, and eight big beach chairs. The open air deck is your place to lounge out and see the gulf over a coffee, a beer, or a book.

Two Bedroom Houses for Rent on Anna Maria Island

Blue Oasis

The ground floor Blue Oasis is a nice secret alcove with a private heated pool, a fully stocked kitchen, and a beautiful back patio space with chairs, umbrellas carts, and bikes.

The Blue Oasis is titled appropriately. Stroll about two minutes down through the backyard for a gorgeous and expansive stop on the gulf front beaches of Anna Maria Island. Dip on back and enter the private pool. You can’t go wrong with this cozy island escape.

Two Bedroom Houses for Rent on Anna Maria Island

The Gulf Front

The Gulf Front has some of the most spectacular views on the island. The undisturbed view is in a quiet part of the beach line, where local wildlife plays, naps, and strolls around. There’s a TV in every room, a private walkway to the water, and an elevator to the front door. The Gulf Front is designed to maximize convenience and relaxation.

Two Bedroom Houses for Rent on Anna Maria Island

Beach Isle

The beach Isle is defined by its bountiful upstairs deck. Watch the private heated pool and spa from above and appreciate the intimate privacy offered from the bold property gate. You are in your own little nook of the world, with flat screen televisions, a stand-in shower, professional linen service, and close proximity to some of the island’s most alluring and romantic restaurants.

Two Bedroom Houses for Rent on Anna Maria Island

Beach Bliss

This blissful beach bungalow is just what you need. Stay inside and enjoy the tropical landscaping, the stand-in shower, and the fully-furnished and wonderfully-decorated beach décor. Of course, you can always make your way outside for an afternoon in the private heated pool and spa or an evening walking the beaches- only two minutes away by foot.

Two Bedroom Houses for Rent on Anna Maria Island

Beach Life at the Pointe

Beach Life at the Pointe is filled with romantic energy. Spend the days of your vacation lounging out in this classic-styled Old Florida beach cottage. Make a nice meal in the newly upgraded kitchen. Afterwards, take a nice walk over to the water. You don’t even have to go anywhere. Enjoy a direct gulf front view from your screened in wrap around deck.

Two Bedroom Houses for Rent on Anna Maria island

Redfish Cottage

This one-bedroom one-bath retreat is the perfect fit for a romantic getaway. The adorable cottage is charming and rustic, with a bold Old Florida kitchen design and a community grill for an evening cook-out. Take a walk on over to the pier for a luxurious view of the bay. Redfish Cottage is an idyllic beachside bungalow for two.

Two Bedroom Houses for Rent on Anna Maria Island

Aqua Reef

The open kitchen concept really brings everything to life in this unabashed beach-themed home. Aqua Reef offers a five-minute walk to the gulf, a solar heated pool, a luxurious waterfall, a washer and dryer unit, a gas grill, and much more. The furniture is even special. Feel the wonder of a bamboo memory foam sleeper sofa. When not lounging around inside, take it outside and chill out by the water by six beach chairs and a private boat dock.

Two Bedroom Houses for Rent on Anna Maria Island

Shell Haven

Shell Haven’s grandest feature is its instant access to the beach. You can hear the morning waves settle on the coast as it sits just outside your condo. The porch overlooks the beach and a walking path to get you right to it. The fully stocked kitchen acts as a nice lunch break area.

These wonderful vacation getaways are some of the best places for you to stay on the island. You won’t get better beach access and proximity to the local hotspots anywhere else.

Christmas Things to do on Anna Maria island

When the snowy season is creeping around the corner and the air stays consistently cool during noon, escape on over to Anna Maria Island.

This welcoming Florida destination glows bright and beautiful in December. So what can you do to really absorb that holiday spirit? Below is an overview of just a few of the top things to do on Anna Maria Island during the holiday season.

Annual Privateers Parade

Annual Privateers Parade

It’s another year, another boat-filled and pirate-themed Christmas romp through the gulf coast. Anna Maria Island has many holiday events, but few are as eventful and charming as the AMI Privateer’s Boat parade. From Bayfront Park to Bradenton Beach and up along Coquina Beach, a slew of pirate-adorned ships cruise rambunctiously along the coast.

The ships will come coated with festive decorations. The show will feature the firing of black powder. These are pirates after all.

Santa will also give away Christmas gifts when the parade ends in Bradenton. The event is completely free, as you can come along the beaches of Anna Maria Island, select a seat in the sand, and soak in the sights all day long.

The parade is expected to begin at 10 a.m.

Anna Maria Island Christmas Tree

The huge Bridge St Christmas Tree is a community staple and a sight to behold. For decades, the community has erected and lit up a massive Christmas tree for all to see. It then sits for the month of December as a spectacle for visitors and locals, and a reminder of the spirited magic of Florida’s coastlines during the winter season.

The tree lights up at 6:45 p.m. The event is at the end of Bridge St. Once the Christmas tree lights up, the family-friendly fun begins. The city hosts a special screening of How the Grinch Stole Christmas. The original animated classic features the Grinch, the citizens of Whoville, and an adorable and hesitant puppy as they all learn to get along.

The movie begins at 7 p.m. on Nov 26th in the same location. The entire event, from the Christmas tree light-up to the film screening, is entirely free. Popcorn and a concession stand will be available on-site. Bring a blanket once the sun settles down. Utilize local transportation as needed.

Christmas on Bridge Street

Bridge Street is a community haven- the center of the action for Anna Maria Island locals. It is not just the home for one major Christmas event, but two.

The Christmas on Bridge Street festival is December 17th. The crux of the event is the Kids’ Craft & Cookie Bazaar, with local handmade ornaments and baked fresh cookies.

Visitors can make their own hot cocoa at the cocoa-making station or join a raffle in support of the Turning Points of Manatee. A performance by the Dickens Carolers helps deliver that big and unrestrained holiday energy.

The event is expected to begin around 4:30 p.m. and end at 8:30 p.m.

Anna Maria Island Cocktail Tour

Anna Maria Island Cocktail Tour

Looking for something to do on Anna Maria Island that captures that wild and fun spirit? Go on a cocktail tour to some of the best drinking stops on the Island. There are high-class stops by Bridge Street and some casual and laid-back sports bars. Slim’s Place is a Philadelphia-styled sports bar in the northern side of the Island.

The Doctors Office on Holmes Beach is known for its memorable cocktail concoctions. Anchor Inn, right nearby, is a cozy little dive bar that captures a very relaxed Old Florida ambiance.

You can even settle with the Sandbar Restaurant – a riveting and gorgeous getaway on the northern tip of the island with some of the best views anywhere in the area- maybe even the whole of Florida. The Sandbar Restaurant closes early, but be sure to escape on over to it at some point for your trip.

There’s so much more to explore during Christmas on Anna Maria Island, a time of year when the weather is nice compared to colder areas up north, the beach views are incredible and the events, restaurants and attractions draw people from all over the nation.

These are just a few fun ways to soak in your Anna Maria Island vacation. Have an amazing Christmas away from home and on the majestic island beaches.

Visit Anna Maria Island’s Famous Piers

Anna Maria Island is known for its piers. It has three main piers that stretch out over the Gulf of Mexico waters, and each has something different to offer. Anna Maria Island piers are perfect places to enjoy a cold dessert, watch the sun go down, eat tasty seafood, or even do some pier fishing.

Here is a brief introduction to the three Anna Maria Island piers to visit while on vacation.

The Rod and Reel Pier Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria City Pier

The island’s historic City Pier is the longest on the island at 700 feet, a long finger dipping into the turquoise gulf waters.

The City Pier has been victim to many tropical storms over the years, and was badly damaged by Irma in 2017. The pier is currently being rebuilt from the last major onslaught of weather, and is close to pedestrians for a period of time.

When it reopens, expect a lively hub of activity, especially during high season. Both visitors and locals love to visit the City Pier to watch the sky burst with color over the bay – on clear days, you can even see the Sunshine Skyway Bridge that connects St. Petersburg to the north with Bradenton and Sarasota to the south.

You’ll find the Anna Maria City Pier at 100 S. Bay Blvd., just south of Bayfront Park.

The Rod and Reel Pier

Head a few blocks north on the same side of the island and you’ll find the Rod and Reel Pier, a 350-foot wharf where you can eat great seafood and go pier fishing.

The Rod and Reel Pier is also the name of the restaurant that sits at the end of the pier on top of the blue water. This two-story restaurant is newly renovated, but still retains the charm and flavors of Old Florida. This eatery serves only the finest local fish and seafood – a mix of traditional dishes, local favorites, and famous Rod and Reel specials. The fried grouper, seafood omelette, and crispy fries are just a few of the menu favorites.

Pier fishing is popular activity on this wharf, particularly among young kids. Rent a rod or bring your own, and drop the line into the blue waters below. Keep your eyes peeled for playful dolphins and slow-moving manatees in the water below. They are curious, social animals that often pay pier-goers a visit.

The Rod and Reel Pier is located in the city of Anna Maria at the northern tip of the island at 875 N. Shore Dr.

Bridge Street Pier

Historic Bridge Street is Anna Maria Island’s bustling shopping and dining area – all at the foot of the Bridge Street Pier.

The pier was once part of the original – and only – bridge onto Anna Maria Island before the island was developed and other access roads were built. The pier is located south of the Cortez Bridge which offers a southern access to the island from the mainland village of Cortez. It is an historic pier on the bay side of the island, with white-painted railings, a clock tower, and a covered area with benches.

Grab a cone and watch the sailboats bob in the harbor beside the Bridge Street Pier. Keep an eye out for dolphins, manatees, and pelicans catching their next meal, while the kids enjoy some catch-and-release pier fishing. Then, head to one of Bridge Street’s restaurants for a scrumptious meal.

Find the pier at 200 Bridge St., in Bradenton Beach, a quick trolley ride from many local vacation rentals.

The perfect place to take an evening stroll, the Anna Maria Island piers have become gathering spots for vacationers and locals. You can read more about AMI’s activities and attractions on our website. While you’re at it, browse our list of luxury rental properties to find your next vacation paradise.

4-bedroom Houses for Rent on Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria Island is the perfect place for a beach vacation with family, friends, or both. Our four-bedroom houses for rent on Anna Maria Island offer perfect hotel alternatives for multi-generational families, groups of friends, or couples with grandkids.

Here are a few rental properties to consider for your next Anna Maria Island vacation.


Aqua Bay Anna Maria Island

Aqua Bay

Aqua Bay is unique because it has a pool and spa on one side of deck and the canal on the other. A five- to seven-minute walk to the beach, this beautiful Holmes Beach property sleeps eight people comfortably, and has a rooftop firepit overlooking the canal.


AMI Beach Home Anna Maria Island

AMI Beach Home

AMI Beach House is a sprawling four-bedroom bungalow with a spacious interior in Holmes Beach.

It features a private, heated pool and covered spa for rainy days, as well as giant chess, a swing, a hammock, and a foot shower. It has a large living room for relaxing with family and friends, and is steps – about 30 seconds – to the beach.


Pineapple Key Anna Maria Island

Pineapple Key

Pineapple Key is the perfect place to host a family with older kids.

The property features two sets of bunks, a private heated pool, a covered living area, and plenty of entertainment: Wii, board games, and multiple TVs. Located in Holmes Beach, this home is located just two houses from a free trolley that offers quick access to the rest of the island.


Avenue E By the Sea Anna Maria Island

Avenue E by the Sea

Avenue E features a large outdoor deck on the roof dotted with colored deck chairs. From here, you can see the beautiful waters of the Gulf of Mexico, whose beaches are a short, two-minute walk away.

It has a small pool that sparkles in the sun surrounded plenty of colorful deck chairs, as well as a covered patio with comfortable furniture, a two-car garage, and an elevator.


Hawaiian Hideaway Anna Maria Island

Hawaiian Hideaway

This bright, yellow four-bedroom is a great place for families who want to bring their pup along, as it is dog-friendly. It’s also perfect for young children, as it has a pool with a large shallow end – and submerged barstools for adults – and quick access to the beach.


Seahorse Beach House Anna Maria Island

Sea Horse Beach House

Our Seahorse Beach House is located at the south end of the island in Bradenton Beach, and is one of the best four-bedroom houses for rent on Anna Maria Island for people who like to shop and dine. The property is just around the corner from bustling Bridge Street, and is a 30-second walk to the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico.


Gulf Front Paradise Anna Maria Island

Gulf Front Paradise

This brand-new Anna Maria rental is one-of-a-kind, featuring a number of decks overlooking the ocean. It’s right on the beach, with a large, resort-style saltwater pool in the backyard. It sleeps 10 people, thanks to a bedroom with two bunk beds – perfect for large families and groups. An elevator makes this property accessible.


Sunset Point Anna Maria Island

Sunset Point

As the name suggests, this AMI rental offers spectacular views of the sun setting over the Gulf of Mexico. Watch it while soaking in the pool, on a lounge chair with a glass of wine, or through the large dining room windows.

Located on the island’s quiet north end, this four-bedroom is chock-full of amenities and right on the sand.


Sunchase Villa Anna Maria Island

Sunchase Villa

Also on the north end of the island is Sunchase Villa, a ground-level beach cottage that exudes Old Florida living. From the screened in front porch overlooking the Gulf of Mexico, to the wooden interior, to the cozy rooms, you’ll feel right at home in this luxury cabin.


Reef Romance Anna Maria Island

Reef Romance

For those who want to spend their whole vacation on the beach, this vacation rental might be your best bet.

Located just a few houses from the beach, Reef Romance offers quick, easy access to the beach on a quiet street. At the foot of the outdoor spiral staircase is a rectangular pool surrounded by tropical foliage and cushioned lounge chairs.

With so many incredible four-bedroom houses for rent on Anna Maria Island, you’ll have no trouble finding the perfect vacation rental for you and your family. Check out any one of these property listings on our website for more information or to check availability.

Weddings on Anna Maria Island

Powdery white sand, swaying palm trees, crystal-clear turquoise waters – what could be a better backdrop for saying “I Do”?
There are plenty of reasons to get married on Anna Maria Island. If you’re looking for a relaxed beach environment with high-quality food and a touch of elegance, this island might be the right place for you and your partner.

Below is a guide to Florida destination weddings on beautiful Anna Maria Island.

Why Get Married on AMI?

Florida destination weddings are a popular choice for many who want to get married with their toes in the sand. There are lots of benefits to hosting this special day on Anna Maria Island. Here are just a few of them:

They’re cheaper. First off, destination weddings tend to be cheaper than local ones. With a number of Anna Maria Island vacation rentals for weddings to choose from, you can have your wedding and honeymoon in the same place.

Most wedding venues offer packages that include everything, reducing the cost (and hassle) of individually hiring caterers, decorators, dish rentals, and a DJ. Florida destination weddings are typically more intimate – usually, only family and close friends and family will fly across the country for the celebration. This means you can go with quality over quantity when it comes to the dinner, spending less overall on food and drink.

They’re easier. Let’s face it: we have enough stresses in day-to-day life. Why should wedding be another one? Florida destination weddings tend to be less work. While you’d think it would be simpler to do a wedding in your hometown, destination wedding accommodations and venues are set up to make your job easy. Rather than coordinating everything yourself, let experts at Anna Maria wedding venues do the work for you.

They’re more laid-back. There’s something about a palm-tree dotted beach and a tropical cocktail that says relaxed. And since your wedding will likely have both of those, it should be relaxed, too.

Invite your guests to come in sundresses and linen shirts. You can even walk down the aisle barefoot if you get married on the beach. Leave the hairspray at home, and opt for a loose beachy ‘do. You can even opt for a buffet seafood grill instead of a plated meal. Take advantage of the island setting with a low-pressure event. Sometimes a more casual wedding can be more fun!

Anna Maria Wedding Venues

There are some incredible Anna Maria wedding venues to choose from.

The Sandbar Restaurant is an excellent Gulf-front restaurant on the beach – the perfect venue for couples who want to get married with their toes in the sand. The venue is at the north end of Anna Maria Island right on the beach. They prepare incredibly tasty seafood and have an outdoor wedding pavilion that can seat up to 160 guests.

The Beach House is another waterfront restaurant that offers wedding packages for both ceremony and reception. Like the Sandbar, this restaurant boasts a white-sand beach and stunning sunset views. It features a covered, outdoor event space for weddings of up to 100 guests. They take care of everything: rentals, setup, centerpieces, and, of course, a scrumptious meal. They also have a bridal suite for wedding parties that want to get ready on-site.

For a wedding with a nautical feel, tie the knot at the Waterline Marina Resort & Beach Club. They boast Old Florida hospitality, beautiful water views, and elegant facilities for your event. Waterline offers event planning, full set-up and tear-down services, and in-house catering from their restaurant, Eliza Ann’s Coastal Kitchen. They have a number of multi-bedroom suites that can sleep families and groups of friends. This 50-slip marina offers a classic and elegant backdrop for wedding photos.

Consider Anna Maria vacation rentals for weddings to combine your big day with a beach holiday. With Anna Maria wedding venues dotting the island, there’s no shortage of places to walk down the aisle – er, beach.

Give us a call today at 941.778.4178 for more information on our island vacation homes and condos. Or, check our website for photos and availability.

Girls’ Getaway to Anna Maria Island

If you’re planning a girls’ getaway to Anna Maria Island, you’re in luck: there are tons of great things to do on Anna Maria Island with your BFFs. Visit Anna Maria Island spas, relax body and mind at a rejuvenating yoga class, and eat, eat, eat.

Here are a few of the AMI must-dos when traveling with a girl-only group:

Get Pampered at the Spa

Anna Maria Island spas are a real treat for the body, mind, and soul. What better way to start the day than a relaxing massage, rejuvenating facial, or mani-pedi with the girls? Book a post-breakfast treatment at one of these great spas before hitting the beach.

Bradenton Beach’s Aluna Wellness Center & Spa (2219 Gulf Dr. N.) is a five-star spa known for its top-notch massages and pain-relieving acupuncture. This is one of the best Anna Maria Island spas for a post-beach backrub.

Body & Sol Spa and Wellness, located at the north end of the island, offers therapeutic massages, nails, and facials in a relaxing environment. You and the girls will feel like a million bucks after an hour or two at Body & Sol.

Salon Salon on Pine (313 Pine Ave.) is another north end Anna Maria Island spa that is known for its quality service and friendly staff. Its hip turquoise interior complete with a chalkboard in the shape of a surfboard makes it a little less stuffy than other spas. From wedding hair to a mean mani-pedi, this salon offers all you need to feel beautiful on your girls’ getaway to Anna Maria Island.

Stretch it Out at a Yoga Class

You’ve heard it before: true beauty means feeling great inside as well as out. Take a yoga class to stretch your muscles, align your body, and clear your mind while on a getaway with your girlfriends.

Island Yoga Space (9805 Gulf Dr.) is a great place to start. They are located in the city of Anna Maria on the north end of the island. They offer a variety of classes, from vinyasa flow to gentle yin, as well as workshops and events.

The studio is conveniently located right upstairs from Body & Sol Spa, overlooking the blue gulf waters. Take an energizing yoga class, then unwind with calming massage.

If you’re looking for a bit of diversity in your vacation exercise regime, grab the girls and head to Island Fitness (407 Magnolia Av.) in Holmes Beach. Take a yoga class, or opt for something a little different, such as yoga/pilates mix or “guts & butts” to give your abdominals and glutes a workout.

Dine at One of the Island’s Many Restaurants

Now that you’ve got a solid workout, indulge in some Florida delicacies. Eating is one of the best things to do on Anna Maria Island. There are a number of fabulous restaurants for a perfect girls’ night out.

The Sandbar Restaurant (100 Spring Av.) is an excellent choice for any occasion. It’s the only restaurant that allows you to dine with your toes in the sand, with tables right on the beach. Elegant and casual at the same time, The Sandbar has scrumptious menu of seafood creations, including stuffed grouper, stone crab, and coconut shrimp.

For something a little more casual but with incredible flavor, head to eat here AMI, a cozy restaurant with a creative, eclectic menu. Pair your meal – try the bruschetta, lime-butter mahi mahi, or swordfish – with a flavorful craft beer or a glass of wine from the long drink menu.

Even if you have your own kitchen at Anna Maria vacation rentals, it’s nice to go for a big breakfast at least once. Grab breakfast or brunch at Anna Maria Island Beach Café, located right on beautiful Holmes Beach. They have lots of great breakfasts, but the all-you-can-eat pancakes is a definite winner.

Consider Anna Maria vacation rentals for your next girls’ getaway. We have plenty of accommodations to choose from, including multi-bedroom homes so your group can stay together. With so many group-oriented things to do on Anna Maria Island, there’s something everyone in your party will enjoy.

Biking Rules & Rentals on Anna Maria Island

If you’re looking for a bike-friendly beach vacation, Anna Maria Island is for you. This island is perfect for couples and families who like to keep their transportation “green” by using bike paths instead of motorized vehicles.

Stop off at one of the many Anna Maria Island bike rentals shops, and cruise around the island, stopping at your favorite beaches, restaurants, and attractions along the way.

anna maria island bike rentals

Bike trails & paths

Walking and cycling are the norm for transportation around the island, which is only about two miles long and seven miles wide.

The beach is a stone’s throw away from pretty well anywhere, and many Anna Maria Island vacation rentals are located right along the waterfront. With lots of lights, stops, and pedestrian crossings, speed limits between 15 and 25 miles per hour, and heavy traffic depending on the season, biking can be just as fast – if not faster – than getting around by car.

Fortunately, Anna Maria Island is set up for cyclists, with bike trails, paths, and lanes throughout the island. Ride up and down Gulf Drive, the main north-south street that runs the length of the island, using its wide bike paths. Many of the attractions, beaches, and restaurants on the island have free bike racks in order to lock up your ride while exploring the island.

If you’re looking to explore the opposite end of the island by bike but aren’t up to the seven-mile ride, hop on the free island trolley that runs all day long. Each trolley can hold two bikes.

Check out the City of Anna Maria’s online “Bike Route Guide” for more information on official bike routes on the island. Nearby Longboat Key and Lido Key also both offer bike paths with beautiful views, if you’re up for a longer ride. Or, alternatively, head across the southern bridge to the mainland village of Cortez for some dockside, Gulf-to-table fish and seafood.

Rules & Regulations

Cyclists on Anna Maria Island should obey traffic laws and signs at all times while riding on both roads and bike paths. Here are some road safety tips to adhere to:

  • Cycle single file with the flow of traffic
  • Ride in the right lane unless passing or making a left turn
  • Use an outstretched arm to signal left and right turns
  • Stop for pedestrians or anyone moving slower than you
  • Watch out for opening car doors
  • Use lights and reflectors at night
  • Use your bike bell when passing parked cars, as well as pedestrians, cyclists, and roller-bladers on bike trails

For additional safety, don’t forget the “ABC” bike check: air in your tires, brakes working properly, and a chain that’s taught, clean, and oiled.

Bike Rentals

Anna Maria Island has a variety of rental shops that offer everything from bikes to kayaks to beach equipment. Check out AMI Adventure Rentals with so many adventure excursion options in additional to bike rentals.

On the north end of the island, try Beach Bums Rentals & Gift Shop (427 Pine Ave.) or Island Scouter Rentals (9908 Gulf Dr.). These shops are located within a few blocks from each other, and offer beach cruisers, tandem bikes, geared bikes, and even tricycles. Prices range from $5 an hour to $100 a month, depending on the size and type of bike.

Midway down the island, you’ll find even more Anna Maria Island bike rentals. Try Fun and More Rentals (5347 Gulf Dr.) or Island Scooter Store (5321 Gulf Dr.), both in Holmes Beach. At the southern end of Anna Maria Island, check out AMI Beach Fun Rentals (3228 E. Bay Dr.) for all your vacation gear.

Many of these shops also rent motorized scooters, golf carts, and paddlecrafts, as well as beach equipment like umbrellas, lounge chairs, baby gear, and water toys.