Anna Maria Island is a barrier island off the coast of Florida near Manatee County. With a width of two miles and a length of seven miles total, saying it is short is an understatement. Despite this, the surrounding area gives way to a lot of fun outdoor activities that are perfect for friends and family on a weekend getaway. On this list we will look at all the tourist attractions in Anna Maria Island
10. History Museum
A great way to start any vacation is with some history. The History Museum is a quick and low key destination where you and your group can witness a variety of locations and attractions presented by the Anna Maria Historical Society. One could visit the Manatee County museum to learn more about the area’s history, or check out the Island Playhouse to catch a show in a historic 1912 style house. Check out their websites for more information on ticket pricing.
9. Boat Tours
Nothing compares to seeing a city from the ocean’s edge. There are many services that provide a quality boat tour of the island, but one in particular, Paradise Boat Tours, takes the cake. With 45 years of experience, the captain takes visitors on an amazing wildlife tour. I say wildlife because there is a good chance that during the tour you will encounter the marine wild life like dolphins and manatee, of course they can’t guarantee it every time, but it is a safe bet that you will see something amazing on every tour. Prices are $30 for adults and $20 for children.
8. Eco Tours
Would like a tour that is more of an adventure? Then you need to check out Happy Paddler Ecoventures. This Kayaking guided tour takes a party of 8 on different routes along the key. Guests can experience wildlife up close and personal with the Mangrove Island tour which gives you the chance to see dolphins, manatees, and sea turtles right off the side of your kayak. For a more romantic tour on the sea, there is a moonlit tour available. Tickets vary depending on the tour you want to take. Prices range from $55 to $75 per person. If you are new to kayaking, lessons are also available for $25 an hour (minimum 2 hours).
7. Bradenton City Pier
Are you looking for an ideal fishing spot while visiting? Then look no further than Bradenton City’s own Pier. This free and open location features stunning views of the ocean and home to Manatee County’s most popular eating spots, the Pier Restaurant. The restaurant suffered some structural damage back in 2004 but was rebuilt and reopened in 2007, only to be destroyed again when some runaway boats crashed into it during a storm in 2014. In 2015, the restaurant is back in working order and still remains the most historic and popular eating places to visit in Anna Maria City.
6. Coquina Boardwalk
After having a fun filled day at the beach or pier, it is a good idea to take a moment and simply walk it out. While there are places to relax, such as the beach you were just at, Coquina has a relaxing low key bay walk for those who want a little more privacy and seclusion when taking their walks. The .8 mile path is a series of branching paths that are fun to explore when walking the shoreline. This of course, is a free and open to the public destination that is easy for all types of people. When you are going to go on this path, make sure to bring bug repellent, as it is a moderate problem on the path.
5. Manatee Public Beach
The perfect way to spend your stay at Anna Maria Island is by spending the day at the beach. You can enjoy the sun, the sand and the water. A great public beach is in Manatee County. This free destination has all the amenities you would expect such a showers, bike racks, volley ball courts, picnic tables and a playground. This destination is perfect for a family weekend trip where you can spend the entire day under the sun and enjoy all the fun activities at this fun filled destination.
What good is a simple day at the beach without good water sport equipment and rentals? Anna Maria is equipped for the casual and avid surfer alike with up to date surf reports where people can look up when the ideal conditions for tasty waves will take place. If you need a board, then look no further than the West Coast Surf Shop where they have affordable equipment rentals. The store opened in 1964, making it the city’s oldest and largest provider of swimwear and surfing equipment. If you want to feel prepared on your trip to the ocean, visit West Coast or a similar surfing pro shop.
3. Bean Point
Would you like to feel like a local while visiting the area, then you might want to check out this “secret spot” in the northern most point of Anna Maria. Here you will find the serene Bean Point. You won’t find any parking or maps to get there. What you need to do is head north of the City Pier and head to a small cross road where the “main entrance” is. It is at this point where people come to witness a truly unique view of the ocean as well as experience the tranquility and calmness and the seclusion. This is a real hotspot for evening or early morning walks on the baywalk, as the time of day can really set the mood for a romantic outing.
2. Scuba and Snorkeling
For those who are a little more adventurous may be interested in taking a trip under the sea rather than enjoy the surface world. Scuba/ Snorkeling are an amazing way to witness the wonders that lie below the ocean’s surface. A popular service for visitors to learn how to scuba dive is with Sea Kat Divers. They are a local dive shop located at Bradenton Beach that has many positive reviews and testimonials. You can charter a boat with them and they will take you to the best places to dive in the area. If you are new to the sport, then you can sign up for a class depending on your level.
1. Bradenton Beach
Located on the island of Anna Maria, Bradenton Beach is a city that houses most if not all the things that are going on in the key. Home to seven beaches and four miles of sandy stuff plus a plethora of shops, restaurants and public events, it is no wonder people flock from all over to spend their time at Bradenton City. Plan your trip today and you can experience this city in bloom festival or if you want to come in for the holiday’s, check out the Outback’s New Year’s Eve Festival. All these events and more are available at the city’s website.
Anna Maria is a remote location that has enough to satisfy friends and family. The saying is true that big things come in small packages, and while the island of Anna Maria maybe small; there are certainly a variety of things to do in Anna Maria Island for all ages from the young to the old. Driving is not exactly essential given the small dimensions, but you may want to make some trips to the mainland for some supplies.