Anna Maria Island: Three Perfect Days

Serene turquoise water, white sandy shorelines, do-it-yourself ice product, and a quaint beach front town are just a number of of the matters you’ll obtain on Anna Maria Island, a 7-mile island south of Tampa. If you’ve at any time dreamed of getting a less-crowded and tourist-trap-absolutely free Clearwater seashore, Anna Maria Island just may possibly be your paradise.

Just after a 2.5 hour drive from Orlando, anticipate to be rewarded with stunning sunsets, all the island cocktails you can desire of, and a lot of eating possibilities to make sure you foodies and beach front bar enthusiasts alike.

Originally released in August 2016, most latest update March 2022.

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You won’t locate any high-rise accommodations or condominium complexes so usual of Florida’s a lot more well-known beach locations, and that is 1 thing to love about this very little island.

If you want to go the hotel route, ebook a several evenings at the Silver Surf Gulf Seashore Resort. While the house isn’t really oceanfront, it can be located suitable throughout the street from the beach and features a personal strip of sand comprehensive with seaside loungers for visitors. The central spot would make it handy to take a look at the island in possibly path, and quite a few notable eateries are inside of strolling distance. This is my go-to for shorter stays.

The very best way to immerse by yourself in island everyday living is by remaining at 1 of the a lot of readily available beach front rentals. Most rental houses are positioned in the wider north close, which is notably more residential, but features the very best browsing on the island. Bradenton Seaside and Holmes Beach are other alternatives with buying and dining districts of their very own. Anna Maria Paradise and Island Serious Estate have dozens of listings to peruse.

Pine Ave. holiday vacation rental

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Beach TIME

The most important attract of Anna Maria Island is of training course the seashore. It’s the best area to soak up the solar, lounge in the crystal clear, relaxed gulf waters, look at dolphins frolic and delight in a beachfront chunk.

Bean Issue is a little bit off the overwhelmed route, earning it one particular of the a lot more special, nature-oriented seashores in the spot. Partners can enjoy stunning wildlife and picturesque sights of the water. Found at the north end of the island, it is the best spot to observe one of Anna Maria’s lovely sunsets.

The biggest general public seashore places are Manatee Seaside (central) and Coquina Seashore (south). Equally have enough parking, foodstuff options, lifeguards on obligation, picnic spots with grills, and restrooms. They also are inclined to be a lot more crowded.

I am partial to Bradenton Beach front and Cortez Seashore, found involving Cortez Rd and Coquina Seaside. Although there are no amenities, these shorelines are preferably found near to some of the island’s finest bars and eating places. Street parking is abundant and uncomplicated to discover if you arrive early.

Though it is perfectly acceptable to expend all of your times becoming a seashore bum, you can find a lot extra to do if you are up for discovering.

Beach at Anna Maria IslandAnna Maria Island | Image credit history: Stephanie Patterson


Strike the drinking water in a tandem kayak to paddle through close by preserves. Lease a kayak from Surfer Bus for a 1-hour journey through Robinson Preserve to the park’s observation tower. Or, head south and cross the bridge to Longboat Vital to hire a kayak from Content Paddler. From here, you can paddle to Jewfish Critical around Longboat Go, look at out Beer Can Island and cruise out into the Gulf to get in sights of Anna Maria Island from the water.

If you don’t intellect the 30-minute drive, observe Gulf Drive south to Lido Critical for an afternoon expended kayaking in the mangroves. When you can undoubtedly use a manual, the mangroves are nicely marked and quick to navigate. Your rental business may perhaps also provide a map. Keep an eye out for manatees as they frequent the area at sure occasions of calendar year.

mangrove-kayakingKayaking through mangroves

Tour thought – Sail Away to Egmont Important State Park for the Day


Alternatively of driving, catch the trolley at just one of the a lot of stops together Gulf Generate. The trolley runs the total length of the island and is entirely totally free. Look at making a quit at Pine Avenue to pay a visit to the area shops and artwork galleries, the City Pier, and Bayfront Park. End by Shiny Fish Emporium to paint your possess sand dollar–walk ins are welcome.


Clean seafood is just one of the quite a few perks of a Gulf beach getaway, and you can find no lack of selections on Anna Maria Island.

For fish taco followers, The Waterfront Cafe serves excellent grouper tacos with contemporary salsa and jicama slaw. If you want to dangle out wherever the locals go, cross the Cortez bridge and head to Tide Tables for super everyday eating in a no-fuss setting. They set their possess spin on fish tacos with a sesame ginger sauce, and a slice of key lime pie is best for dessert.


For beachfront dining at sunset, Sandbar Cafe are not able to be conquer. Buy a mojito and test out the day by day specials although looking at the sunshine dip underneath the horizon. There are tables ideal on the sand, so go ahead and slip off your shoes.

For an afternoon drink, pull up a seat at your have tiki hut table on the seaside at The Kokonut Hut. Just across the road, you may find my beloved lunch place on the island: Wicked Cantina. This Tex-Mex joint owned by a spouse and spouse team serves up killer tacos, chips and salsa, and the best mango margaritas in city. You can frequently obtain a proficient regional musician on the patio out front.

Wicked Cantina Bradenton Beach - Anna Maria IslandThe notorious frozen mango margarita from Wicked Cantina

The Donut Experiment on Pine Ave. is the great location to get your sugar take care of. Clean donuts are constantly becoming churned out and designed contemporary to purchase. Just decide on up an purchase type and find your desired glaze and toppings. Then, watch your donuts currently being made in true time.

For a a little a lot more upscale date evening out, make your way to The Doctor’s Business office. This small cocktail bar has a killer craft cocktail menu. You can expect to even be greeted with a “prescription” aka a style test of a featured consume for the day on becoming seated. Although the meals menu is tiny, it truly is complex and incorporates merchandise like cheese & charcuterie and duck tacos. Reservations are essential. Other private favorites include Mar Vista in Longboat Key and the swanky Shore Longboat Vital.

ALSO Test:

  • Seaside Residence Cafe for tropical cocktails and island cocktails (patio experiencing the beach front)
  • Smoqehouse for creative BBQ
  • Skinny’s Put for a classic burger
  • Ginny & Jane E’s for smoothies and a hearty breakfast
  • The Waffle Press for indulgent waffles
  • Anna Maria Oyster Bar for informal seafood fare

The Kokonut Hut

KNOW Prior to YOU GO

Even though there’s undoubtedly no erroneous time to check out Anna Maria Island, April-early June is great. Late January through March must be averted as this is the fast paced period and targeted traffic can get rather major. September/October are sleepy and silent, which has its individual benefits. There is also a great deal to be claimed for an early December go to, when the island is pretty much deserted and weather conditions can continue to be wonderful.

If you prepare on doing your own cooking, there is a Publix on the island alongside with numerous drugstores. If you would like new seafood to prepare at residence, Star Fish Firm is a good seafood market place positioned just off the island, across the Cortez bridge.

There are two key roadways foremost on and off the island. Whilst each are sufficient, there are much fewer visitors lights on Manatee Ave. (FL-64).

The free trolley runs daily from 6:00am to 10:30pm just about every 20-30 minutes. To identify a trolley quit, glimpse for a green indication with a trolley image on it. There are stops each and every couple of blocks along the route.

Stephanie Patterson, editor of Orlando Date Night GuideAbout the Author/Photographer:
Stephanie Patterson is a talented experienced foods and journey photographer and author with a enthusiasm for creativeness, the beach front and terrific eats. When she’s not having photographs or crafting, you can uncover her checking out the state for her Florida travel blog, Vacation Style Click on. Obtain her on the net at and