Visit the Anna Maria Island Historical Museum

When you’re planning a vacation to Anna Maria Island, you’re sure to schedule in some time to relax on the beach, indulge in some fresh local seafood, shop at quaint boutiques, and spend a day in the water fishing or kayaking. But while you’re here, you should also take some time to learn more about the history of the island. 

couple on the beach

AMI is truly a fascinating place and has a rich story behind the island as we know it today! The best place to get more information about the early days of Anna Maria Island is at the Anna Maria Island Historical Society Museum. Don’t miss out on this attraction during your stay in one of our Anna Maria Island vacation rentals! 

Discover AMI History

At the Anna Maria Island Historical Society Museum, you can learn all about the incredible story of the island. You’ll start by learning about the Native American peoples who lived in the area and used AMI as a fishing camp until the Spanish arrived. Then, you’ll get to know George Emerson Beach, who was the first permanent resident of Anna Maria Island and lived on the shorelines of what is today known as Bean Point Beach. You’ll see photos and artifacts that illustrate life on the island in its early days.

anna maria jail

As you walk through the museum, you’ll actually be getting more history than you realize simply because of the building you’re in! The building that houses the Anna Maria Island Historical Society Museum used to function as an icehouse back in the 1920s! After its icehouse days, the building was used as an automobile garage, a sea turtle hatchery, and even a public administration building. It’s been the home of the Historical Society Museum since 1992. 

But the main Museum building isn’t the only attraction on the grounds. Visitors can also explore the Anna Maria City Jail, which is one of the main tourist attractions on the island (and is a great place for a photo op!). The jail was built in 1927 and was used until a fire claimed it in the 1940s. The property also holds Belle Haven, a historic cottage that was built in 1920 and actually fell into the bay just 6 years later. It was retrieved from the waters and served as a family home for around 50 years. Today, it houses heirlooms and antiques that early island residents would have used.

General Information

The Anna Maria Island Historical Society Museum is located at 402 Pine Avenue in the city of Anna Maria. Visitors are welcome Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. You can easily get to the museum by taking the free Anna Maria Island trolley and getting off at the “Crescent Drive at Pine Avenue” stop. One of the best parts of this attractions is how budget-friendly it is; admission is absolutely free! That being said, the Museum continues to operate thanks to generous donors, so any extra money you can spare is highly appreciated.

Where to Stay

If you’re interested in exploring the Anna Maria Island Historical Society Museum and all the other incredible activities on the island, you’re going to need a place to stay! Luckily, we offer luxurious and affordable vacation rentals for groups of all sizes. Whether you want a small cottage or a huge vacation home for an extended family, we’ve got you covered! In addition to our comfortable amenities, you’ll also receive exemplary customer service from our friendly and dedicated staff. Sound like your dream vacation? Contact us today to start planning your trip!