8 Best Beaches on Anna Maria Island with Complete Guide

Anna Maria Island is home to three cities, Anna Maria, Holmes Beach, and Bradenton Beach. Anna Maria Island is 7 miles long and 2 miles wide facing the Gulf of Mexico offering the best beach view. Starting from Bean Point in the north to Coquina Beach in the South, Anna Maria Island is the best vacation spot in Florida. 

As per travel addicts, Bean Point Beach on Anna Maria Island is the most eye-rewarding and beautiful beach in the world. If you are from Tampa, Sarasota, or any nearby area then a weekend trip to Anna Maria is ideal.

Best Beaches on Anna Maria Island

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So, my secret is out, explore the best beaches on Anna Maria Island. 

Beach Getaways on Anna Maria Island

1. Coquina Beach

Location: On the southern tips of Anna Maria Island in Bradenton Beach at 2650 Gulf Drive sits the most peaceful Coquina Beach.

In a pristine natural setting, a white sand beach surrounded by Australian pine trees, Coquina Beach is the best Anna Maria beach for families. With the laid-back atmosphere surrounded by fantastic dunes and gorgeous shorelines with sea shells, sea oats, corals, sand dollars, and grasses, Coquina Beach is a treasure!

Trees keep the walkway cool and the best place to escape from the Florida sun. About in the gulf, you can spot sea turtles and a wide range of shorebirds and dolphins. There are hundreds of beach recreation options for fun, try to ride a bike on a multi-purpose trail.

Must-do things in Coquina Beach

  • Enjoy the best food at the cute café, Coquina Beach Café. They have various options for frozen drinks, wine and beer.
  • Ideally, spend one day on Coquina beach and explore the nature park at Leffis Key, Bridge Street, and Longboat Pass.
  • Every winter, Sunday and Wednesday there sits a local market under the shade of the American pine. A visit to the market is a must to buy artworks, and fashionable beach clothes at an affordable price.
  • A walk to remember, on the fluffy soft sand and the clear turquoise no rocks floor water.

Tips:

  • Lifeguards are on duty at Coquina Beach
  • Free parking is available, therefore try to come as soon as possible
Beach Cafe at Coquina Beach
Beach Cafe at Coquina Beach

2. Cortez Beach 

Location: South of the Bridge Street Historic Area, between Cortez Road and Coquina Beach. 

Cortez Beach is the best beach getaway on Anna Maria Island that offers to witness the best sunset ever! The idyllic beach is free from the crowd and the most serene beach to enjoy feels like a private island. Cortez Beach features powdery white sands that beautifully contrast with glowing green clear water and green grass at the backdrop. 

The little Cortez Beach features three piers that extend into the ocean. You will be amazed to know that these piers are designed to protect the beach during heavy rain and storms. Moreover, they act as a breakwater and the best place to swim and enjoy the best waves on Anna Maria Island. 

Must-do things in Cortez Beach

  • Surfing is the best water activity that can be performed on Cortez Beach. Or, flatten yourself on the beach and soak all the Vitamin D. 
  • Fishing is also ideal in Cortez Beach. Trout, snook, and snapper are one of those fishes that can be found here. 
  • Wear your best beach clothes and walk along the beach enjoying the sight of the dunes, and green grasses and relaxing in the simple natural ambiance.

Explore the 7.5-mile loop trail, Robinson’s Preserve Full trail System. This hiking trail is near Cortez and dogs are welcome. 

Tip: Storms are dangerous, so check the weather before visiting

Best Beaches on Anna Maria Island_Cortez Beach 
Cortez Beach 

3. Bean Point Beach

Location: Northern end of Anna Maria Island Bean Point Beach at the crossroad on North Bay Blvd. and North Shore Dr.

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Bean Point Beach is one of the best beaches on Anna Maria Island to escape from the crowd. The beach is wide open, you can enjoy the exceptional gorgeous views of Gulf and Bay water that wraps the beach beautifully. Bean Point Beach hosts dolphins, stingrays, plenty of birds and other wildlife. It is highly recommended to bring a compact travel binocular while visiting this beach and its wildlife.

Must-do things in Bean Point Beach

  • Bean Point Beach is one of the romantic getaway beaches in Anna Maria. Walking along the beach and crashing on the white smooth sand and enjoying the calm water of the bay is one of the most amazing feelings you can give yourself. 
  • Try checking small sandy walkways to Bean Point Bungalow, Coastal Queen, Bay View, Beach Escape, and Grande Haven.  You can enjoy the best sunset at peace in Bean Point Beach. 
  • Bring out the inner child in you; enjoy the kiteboarder’s race across the water. 
  • Bring your hammock if you do not want to reprieve yourself from the insanity that the gorgeous natural beach can offer. 

Tips:

  • Red tide is common so be aware when you are hitting the beach.
  • No facilities like no vendors, no lifeguards, and no washrooms. And not the ideal place for swimming.
  • Parking is limited. So try to visit early to book your spot beforehand. I would suggest access from North Shore Drive where it meets Gladiolus Street and Fern Street. 
Bean Point Beach
Bean Point Beach

4. Manatee Public Beach

Location: End of Highway 64 in Holmes Beach

Manatee Public Beach is an ideal Anna Maria beach for families with a lot of sitting areas with umbrellas and under the canopy. This wide beach is perfect to take off your clothes and jump into the warm water. Manatee Public Beach can be a little crowded but perfect for relaxing, playing with your kid, or enjoying the clear blue water. Moreover, oftentimes there is live music and other entertainment programs. 

Must-do things in Manatee Public Beach

  • Enjoy food at the famous instagramable Anna Maria Island Beach Café or Skinny’s Place. Anna Maria Island Beach Café remains open till 8.00 pm; try their pancakes and grilled island catch. Skinny’s Place offers the best authentic hamburger stand and you should taste them. 
  • Enjoy the sunset view with music playing behind. The vibe at Manatee Beach is very high. 
  • Make your beach day a little playful by joining in volleyball games that happen on five sand courts. You can also walk to Bean Point Beach and enjoy the trail. 
  • Stroll around the beach shops to buy local authentic souvenirs. 
  • Facilities like a water fountain, bicycle rides, and outdoor showers are available.

Tips:

  • Do not bring alcoholic beverages to Manatee Public Beach. If you want to have one go-to Anna Maria Island Beach Café and buy vodka or rum, 
  • The beach is very touristy and you can spot more than hundreds of cars standing in the parking lot.
Manatee Public Beach
Manatee Public Beach

5. Bayfront Park Public Beach

Location: Northern tip of Anna Maria Island near the public pier

Bayfront Park Public Beach is the best family beach on Anna Maria Island from where you will get gorgeous views of City Pier, Reel Pier, and Skyline Skyway Bridge. The green trees, the gentle waves, and the gorgeous views of the scenic park to the beach views make Bayfront Park Public Beach the best spot to spend a weekend. This is an ideal spot for a family picnic. 

Must-do things in Bayfront Public Beach

  • In my opinion, bring your kid to Bayfront Public Beach, it has a beautiful playground, pavilions, swings, playing equipment, and grills for picnics.
  • Catch the sunset as the glow makes the place one of the most perfect for photography. 
  • Try to visit Bayfront Public Beach on Tuesday. The farmer market is open from 8.30 am to 2.30 pm, and offers the most affordable items to purchase.
  • The calm water of the bay allows you to swim and enjoy a memorable time with your family.
  • Visit the recently made pier and buy gifts from the bait shop for your loved ones. 
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Tip: The park is open from 6 am to 10 pm

6. Bradenton Beach

Location: Across the Historic Bridge Street area 

Bradenton Beach is the coolest beach on Anna Maria Island with a lot of people around to hang out and do a lot of shopping. Bradenton Beach has the most relaxed vibe, casual dining spots, ice cream parlors and plenty of history to unfold. Visit Kokonut Hut Restaurant and café and spend some time having mouth-watering food.  

Must-do things in Bradenton Beach

  • Bradenton Beach is long and wide and you should take a long relaxing walk to Holmes Beach on the north or Cortez Beach on the south. 
  • To enjoy waterfront dining on Anna Maria Island, Bradenton Beach House Restaurant is ideal. 
  • Visit the Croc Encounters to meet the spirit animals.
  • Watch out for the best island sunset from the south of Beach House Restaurant where you will get the spectacular views of the Gulf.
  • Build a sandcastle with your young ones or indulge yourself in playful activities like jet skiing, kayaking, parasailing or more.  
Bradenton Beach
Bradenton Beach

7. Holmes Beach

Location: Through Bradenton beach south of Manatee Beach

Holmes Beach is the best beach getaway on Anna Maria Island where you can chill peacefully without tons of people around. Holmes Beach offers the best white sand and crystal clear water; it is one of the best beaches in Florida. Moreover, this is also an ideal spot for bodysurfing, surfing, and bodyboarding. 

Must-do things in Holmes Beach

  • Holmes Beach is the best place for shopping for souvenir items, beach jewelry clothes and more. Hence, shopping addicts, welcome to Holmes Beach!
  • Just relax at the beach or take a long walk towards Manatee Beach in the south and Bradenton Beach in the north. 

Tip: Parking is limited, make sure you arrive early. 

Holmes Beach
Holmes Beach

8. Beer Can Island Beach

Location: Just past Coquina Beach south end of Anna Maria Island

Beer Can Island aka Pine Key is one of my favorite Florida beach towns in Central West Florida. The place is a dream for nature lovers, to arrive at Beer Island Beach you have to take a boat. The place is crowded with lush green trees, clear water, white sand, fresh air and few people. 

Must-do things in Beer Can Island Beach

  • I would suggest you camp at night to witness the memorable sunrise. The place is ideal to hang out with friends and spend a good time hopping on the island. 
  • Bring your hammock and swing around the weekend relaxing lazily.
  • You can explore the island to witness the varied flora and fauna. The gorgeous driftwood and weathered trees will steal your eyes. 
  • Beer Can Island Beach is famous for being the home of mangroves. 

The island got the name “Beer Can” because it is one of the popular places among the boaters to visit here and throw down their anchors and drink beer. Since then it got its nickname “Beer Can Island Beach”. 

Tips:

  • Beer Can Island Beach is quite far from Anna Maria Island. 
  • Beer Can Island is next to Longboat Key Bridge, south of Anna Maria Island. Do not confuse it with some other place. 
  • Do not forget to bring your camera; Beer Can Island has the perfect backdrop for clicking those daring photos.  
  • Get the beach cooler with wheels to keep things sweat free when you are soaking up the sun. Click on the link if you are looking to buy the best portable beach cooler.
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Beer Can Island Beach
Beer Can Island Beach

Best Time to Visit Anna Maria Island

Fall is the best time to visit Anna Maria Island as the temperature is in the 60s to 80s and you will neither feel too hot nor too cold. Moreover, if you are planning for budget travel, September, October, and November is the right time when the cottages and other accommodations prices are very less. 

Winter months around December and January the temperature ranges from the 50s to 40s making it a little chilly during the time.  The Christmas celebration on Anna Maria Island is so different and unique. On the other hand, during the summer months, June, July, and August the temperature range from the 70s to the 90s making it too hard for a tourist to enjoy. 

Best Beach Restaurants in Anna Maria Island

Every place has its cuisine; Anna Maria Island is famous for its beaches and offers the best quality seafood. Food is the best part of travel stories, after enjoying and exploring nature and tanning at the beach it is important to taste exotic and strange food. 

Hence, welcome to the best beach restaurants on Anna Maria Island.

Sharky’s Seagrill Restaurant 

Located near the center of Anna Maria Island at the northern end of Bradenton Beach, Sharky’s Seagrill Restaurant is one of the favorite places for food lovers. They are specialized in offering local seafood and I would recommend you to taste West Grouper, prime rib, SeaGrill combo and more. Sharky’s Seagrill Restaurant is open only for dinner. 

Hurricane Hanks

Hurricane Hanks sits north of Bradenton Beach in Holmes Beach and is famous for offering the best casual grill. The restaurant offers the best pasta, seafood, burger and craft beer. However, the bar is open till 11 pm every day whereas they serve food from 11.30 am to 10 pm. You should taste teriyaki, garlic Parmesan, and bbq. 

Conclusion

Did you ever think of having your silhouettes in sunset photos? The above spots are the best beaches on Anna Maria Island. You can click the most beautiful sun glow photos at the backdrop of beautiful cloud formation, crashing waves and birds. I would recommend you to come here once in your lifetime – the watercolor, sand, vibe and atmosphere are so soothing and relaxing. In my opinion, since I spend time on all these beaches once, I would recommend you to explore the Anna Maria beaches.  

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FAQs – Best Beaches on Anna Maria Island

1. Can you swim at Anna Maria Island?

A: The beaches and the water on Anna Maria Island are relatively safe. Gulf water is best for swimming. However, remember any open water can be dangerous so always, swim with safety precautions. 

2. Is Anna Maria Island expensive?

A: Yes, Anna Maria’s housing and transportation expenses are higher compared to the national average. Therefore, to save money on your accommodation in Anna Maria Island, try to rent a vacation rental instead of a hotel and visit during the fall season

3. Where is the clearest water on Anna Maria Island?

A: I love Bradenton Beach, which sits on the south of Anna Maria Island. The pristine beach offers the clearest water on Anna Maria Island. 

4. Does Anna Maria Island have white beaches?

A: Yes, mostly all the beaches on Anna Maria Island have white powdery sand beaches with soothing weather and calm waves. 

5. Is the sand soft on Anna Maria Island?

A: Yes, Anna Maria Island sand is soft white sand. The Gulf Coast beaches start from Bean Point in the North and end at Coquina Beach in the south. 

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