22 Exciting Things To Do In Anna Maria Island, FL 2023

Florida, the Sunshine State of the US is full of surprises. With an abundance of beaches and sunshine, Florida makes for a great vacation spot and Florida’s Anna Maria Island tops the list of one of the most attractive places to visit.

From breathtaking beach views to gorgeous sunsets, from amazing outdoor activities to beautiful museums and galleries, you name it and Anna Maria has everything to offer. You will never run out of things to do on Anna Maria Island because it has got plenty of fun and frolic in store.

Things To Do In Anna Maria Island

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So, if you wish to spend a nice weekend differently, head to this beautiful beach town in Florida and you are going to be rewarded with the best Anna Maria Island attractions. Whether you are wondering what to do on Anna Maria Island or which places to visit on Anna Maria Island, we’ve got you covered.

How to Get to Anna Maria Island

Located in the southwest of Tampa, getting to Anna Maria Island is quite easy.

Via Flight:

Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport is the nearest airport to Anna Maria Island. The island is just 40 miles away from the airport and takes about 30 minutes to reach. You can also avail of Tampa International Airport to reach Anna Maria Island. People also visit this place on a day trip from Tampa.

Via Car:

Anna Maria Island is located in a great place. Popular cities like Tampa, Orlando, and Fort Myers are located quite near. A 2-hour drive from all these cities will take you to the beautiful and quaint Anna Maria Island. Car rental options are plenty at the airport which makes Anna Maria Island all the more accessible.

22 Best Things to do in Anna Maria Island

Here is our curated list of the best things to do in the Anna Maria Island area. Let’s get started.

1. Visit Anna Maria City Pier

A popular spot for sightseeing, Anna Maria City pier is a must-visit place if you want to kickstart your things to do on Anna Maria Island. If you truly wish to experience the vibe and spirit of the old charm of Florida, Anna Maria City pier is the best place to come.

Roam around the wooden pier and enjoy the scenic beauty of the fish. Also, this is ideal to spend some time away from the sand yet near the water, enjoying nature and marine life. Keep your fishing pole ready if you plan to catch some fish in your Anna Maria Island sightseeing. 

Keep an eye out as dolphins are frequent visitors to the pier. Make sure to grab some cute gifts from the gift shop and have a delicious meal at the pier’s restaurant.

Things To Do In Anna Maria Island_Anna Maria City Pier
Anna Maria City Pier

2. Spend a day at the Coquina Beach

Your Anna Maria Island bucket list would be incomplete if you don’t visit the famous Coquina Beach. Known for its picturesque white beaches and blue waters, make sure to keep a beach visit in your Anna Maria Island activities. This public beach is open to all, so carry your swimwear and make a splash in the water.

Also, if you are wondering what things to do in the Anna Maria Island area with kids, then bring them along to Coquina Beach and let them unwind in the warm waters. One of the best beaches on Anna Maria Island, Coquina is also home to sea turtles.

Whether you take a swim or just bask under the sun, this is the perfect place to spend time with friends and family. Moreover, the cafes, the picnic tables, and other fun activities make visiting Coquina Beach one of the best things to do on Anna Maria Island in summer.

Coquina Beach
Coquina Beach

3. Go for a bike ride

Loong for a unique activity on Anna Maria Island? Well, let’s explore the city on a bike. Bike rides are a quite popular activity on this island and are definitely a fun thing to do on Anna Maria Island. This gives a great opportunity to find the rare gems of the island and feel the city’s vibe even closer.

So, if you are not a beach person, biking around the city can be a pleasurable experience. Apart from bikes, golf carts, small buggy cars are also popular and you will find lots of visitors indulging in these activities. Plenty of shops rent our bikes and golf carts, so hop on in one of them and enjoy the city.

4. Find unique gifts at Coquina Beach Market

Coquina Beach Market is a great place to hang out. The market is filled with various shops and vendors who sell special handcrafted products. Each and every item are very special and have its own touch of Anna Maria Island. So, if you are planning to have a lazy day, make sure you keep visiting Coquina Beach Market as one of the top things to do on Anna Maria Island.

Also, get some cute handmade gifts for your family and friends from this market. The market has some great exacting joints, so once you’re done with shopping, grab some food and enjoy Anna Maria Island’s charm.

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Coquina Beach Market
Coquina Beach Market

5. Shop your heart out at Historic Bridge Street

Shopping at Historic Bridge Street is one of the most iconic things to do around Anna Maria Island. This is the best place for shopaholics and if you have some spare time on hand, make sure to visit this popular place once.

Located at the Southernmost corner, Historic Bridge Street is a shopper’s paradise. You will land yourself in various gift shops, boutiques, and many more. Get some beach souvenirs or handmade jewelry or artisan items from this popular place.

Historic Bridge Street is the perfect place to pick some unique gift options for Christmas. Make your things to do in Anna Maria Island this weekend all the more fun with a shopping spree at Historic Bridge Street.

6. Enjoy a meal at the Rod and Reel Pier

Are you looking for some romantic things to do on Anna Maria Island with your partner? Then head over to Rod and Reel Pier and indulge in a delicious meal while your eyes are greeted with the sight of dolphins. Can you bet a more romantic dinner with your partner?

Also, seafood lovers find this place to be the best place to experience seafood. Sitting outside the deck and soaking in the summer sun, is truly an unbeatable experience at the Rod and Reel Pier. Whether you want to grab a scrumptious lunch or dinner or breakfast, this place serves everything. Try your hands at fishing as it is quite a popular spot for fishing as well. Fishing rods can be rented at an affordable rate.

Rod and Reel Pier
Rod and Reel Pier

7. Kayak your way

Tick off your fun things to do on Anna Maria Island with an amazing kayaking experience. Anna Maria Island activities have to include a great kayak tour. Enjoy the scenic beauty or catch some fish from the kayak, this is one activity you should never miss.

It is going to be a fun-filled day exploring marine life and roaming around the waters. Kayaking among the mangrove is quite an attractive thing to do on Anna Maria Island.

So, head over to Robinson Preserve where you will find yourself immersed in a mangrove forest, and paddling through those green canopy is indescribable. South Lido Mangrove Tunnels, Neal Preserve, and Bimini Bay are some of the areas worth exploring with your kayak.

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kayaking at anna maria island

8. Visit the Historical Museum

Do you want to have some time off the beach? The Anna Maria Island Historical Museum is the ideal place to spend your day if you are looking for things to do on Anna Maria Island with your family. Initially built as an icehouse in the year 1920, the Historical Museum holds a significant place in Anna Maria’s history.

Get to know about the island’s first settlers, the baseball and fishing history, and many such interesting things from the visit to the museum. This museum is also home to Anna Maria City Jail.

A popular thing to do on Anna Maria Island is to take plenty of pictures in front of the jail. Make sure to check the timings of the museum and plan your trip accordingly.

9. Let’s go for a picnic

Are you in the mood for a relaxing day at Anna Maria Island? Grab some delicious food with you and go for a picnic. Picnicking is one the best way to spend time with families and kids and also rejuvenate yourself.

Anna Maria Island is peppered with parks and playgrounds and you will find picnic tables welcoming you. The playground near Coquina Beach is very popular among tourists. Moreover, this can be a great option to include in your free things to do in Anna Maria Island if you are a little tight on budget.

10. Go nuts with Donuts

If you are on the hunt for the top 10 things to do on Anna Maria Island, keep Donut Experiment as a part of your wishlist. Situated at Pine Avenue, visiting the Donut Experiment is certainly a sweet experience.

The uniqueness of this place is that you can make your donut just the way you want to. Tourists go wild with their imagination and end up making extraordinary and beautiful donuts. Choose the frosting, and icing as per your preference and your customized donut are ready. Their Sriracha and Key Lime are some of the special donuts of the place which are worth trying for their unique taste and flavor.

Donut Experiment
Donut Experiment

11. Surprise your partner with a sunset cruise

Anna Maria Island can be one the great places in Florida for couples because of its various romantic activities. You can never go wrong with a sunset cruise on the island and this can be a perfect way to surprise your partner with some love and warmth.

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The island which is stretched for seven-miles provides both standard and private sunset cruise tours. Whatever you choose, you are surely going to have a romantic time with your partner.

Also, if you are lucky enough, you may catch glimpses of manatees or dolphins greeting you. End your cruise trip with a stunning sunset and soak in the beauty of that moment.

sunset cruise

12. Go hiking at Leffis Key Preserve

Explore Leffis Key Preserve if you are making a super fun schedule for things to do on Anna Maria Island. The trails at the preserve are perfect to go hiking and get your adrenaline rush high. Surrounded by the beauty of a mangrove forest, Leffis Key Preserve makes a great Anna Maria Island activity to indulge in.

You can witness quite a few wildlife here at the preserve. Hikers brace yourself to get the spectacular view of the 26-foot tall hill. The scenic views of Sarasota Bay and the Gulf of Mexico will fill your heart with pleasure.

If you are not in the mood for adventure, just a take nice, relaxing stroll at the preserve and let yourself enjoy the serenity of the place.

13. Stop at Bean Point

A hidden and unique place at Anna Maria Island, Bean Point gives you some of the best views of this area. At the intersection of the Gulf of Mexico and Tampa Bay, Bean Point is a place where you can completely relax and find peace.

The best part of Bean Point is that it does not receive a lot of footfall. Hence the chances of catching glimpses of dolphins and manatees are even higher and you can enjoy their company truly at your own leisure.

The easiest way to access this Florida hidden gem is to take a trolley to Anna Maria City Pier and then walk for a mile. Keep your camera ready to get some picturesque photos of the sunset. Some people enjoy swimming in the blue waters of Bean Point as well.

Bean Point
Bean Point

14. Beach day at Bradenton Beach

How can we even miss out Bradenton Beach in our list of best things to do on Anna Maria Island? Tourists love to spend some quality time at Bradenton Beach because of its amazing vibe, the lively crowd, the pristine waters, and the beautiful sandy beach.

Bradenton Beach offers a pull of activities to indulge in. Whether you want to take a dip in the water or go for a parasailing adventure, at Bradenton Beach you will never be bored. The beach provides quite a calming vibe which can be refreshing.

Apart from the gorgeous beach, it has got art galleries, various shopping places and many more. Go for a stroll along the shoreline and enjoy the charming views of the ocean.

There are some popular restaurants from where you can grab a good meal. Moreover, the availability of picnic tables, playgrounds, and free parking areas make Bradenton Beach even more attractive.

15. A quick visit to Coquina Baywalk

Just beside Coquina Beach, you will find Coquina Baywalk which is a fun free thing to do on Anna Maria Island. The short trail is perfect for people who are not so keen on having an adventure yet want to taste the beauty of nature. Part of the Leffis Key Preserve, Coquina Baywalk has got a range of wildlife that tourists can enjoy from a distance.

Since the trail is easy and short, a lot of tourists make a quick visit to Coquina Baywalk and then head over to Bradenton Beach. The boardwalk along the trail makes it quite accessible. The trail does not allow dogs, so plan your visit accordingly.

16. Treat yourself with an icecream

After a long day at the beach, all you need is an ice cream treat for yourself. And what’s better than Anna Maria Island’s favorite ice cream joint Small Town Creamery? An ice cream party can be an interesting thing to do on Anna Maria Island with kids. Your tastebuds will thank you for the delicious ice creams from Small Town Creamery.

Made with local and fresh produce, the creamery offers ice creams with unique flavors and tastes. The cheesecake, pistachio, and the classic vanilla and chocolate are a must-try from this sweet little place.

17. Let’s build a sand castle

Let your inner child come alive while you indulge yourself in making some beautiful castles. It can be a great fun thing to do on Anna Maria Island with family too. So, before you splash some water on the beautiful beaches of Anna Maria Island, you can surely build some sand structures with your kids or your partner.

Be it Coquina Beach, Holmes Beach, or Bradenton Beach, the white sands of these beaches are perfect to let you create some unique ideas of your own.

build a sand castle

18. Take a trolley

Never miss out on a free experience on Anna Maria Island. The trolley service allows you to hop on it anytime free of cost and explore the little city. You will find a lot of visitors, especially kids enjoying these trolley rides. Also, plenty of trolley stops make it quite easily available for tourists to have a fun little ride.

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19. Groove with live music

There are some cafes and restaurants that have live music which makes visiting Anna Maria Island a worthwhile spot for a vacation. After you’re done spending your day at the beach, you can enjoy a drink at one of these cafes and listen to live music.

Sitting by the water, with the night sky shining like a twinkling star and music grooving around you, can be one of the best things to do in the Anna Maria Island area.

20. Explore Pine Avenue

You can never be tired of shopping. Head over to Pine Avenue to find some unique shops and pick some souvenirs for your friends and family. The items actually make for great home decor pieces and great gifting options for loved ones.

Enjoy dinner at the end of your shopping as there are plenty of pretty restaurants on this street. You will have a blast at Pine Avenue.

21. Go snorkeling

With so many beaches, how can someone not have the fun experience of snorkeling? Also, if you are a water lover, you must try this Anna Maria Island activity. You can rent your own snorkeling gear or choose to opt for a guided tour.

A guided tour will allow you to explore marine life more closely and safely. Sea turtles and other interesting marine creatures are frequent visitors.

22. Horse riding on the beach

Doesn’t it sound fascinating to go on a horse ride on a beach? Well, there are plenty of unique things to do on Anna Maria Island and horse riding is definitely one of them.

The horse riding agencies offer options to take the rides either on land or on water. So, depending on your adventurous mood, choose one for yourself. Horseback riding can be a completely new and fun activity to explore especially if you are going with your partner.

What to Pack for Anna Maria Island

  • Make sure to pack sunscreens to protect yourself from the scorching sun.
  • A beach hat and sunglasses are a must when you are visiting Anna Maria Island.
  • You can keep some beautiful scarves handy too for that extra protection from the sun.
  • Pack a beach towel because you don’t want to keep yourself wet after having fun in the waters.
  • A beach bag and a pair of flip-flops are essentials.
  • Carry swimwear and cover-ups while you are at Anna Maria Island.
  • A beach blanket is very important to pack as you will be spending a lot of time at the beaches.
  • A waterproof phone bag and other electronic items like GoPro should also be a part of your packing essentials for Anna Maria Island.
  • A beach cooler will come super helpful for you to carry your food and beverages and also if you plan to have a picnic at the beach.

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Where to Stay in Anna Maria Island

Bungalow Beach Resort

Located among the coconut trees of Anna Maria Island, Bungalow Beach Resort makes for a perfect stay. The resort has a private beach area that is ideal for a romantic getaway with your partner. Equipped with modern amenities, Bungalow Beach Resort is one of the favorite hotels of Anna Maria Island.

Palm Tree Villas

One of the top-rated hotels on Anna Maria Island, Palm Tree Villas gives you a glimpse of a tropical vibe. The hotel’s hospitality is top-notch and its location is perfect to take a stroll near the island. From laundry services to the pool, the hotel has got everything to pamper yourself.

Final Words

Start packing your bags for your next vacation on Anna Maria Island. There are ample things to do on Anna Maria Island with your families. These will make your short trip to this beautiful city a memorable one. Brace yourself for some fun time at the scenic Anna Maria Island.

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FAQs- Things to do in Anna Maria Island

1. Is Anna Maria Beach crowded?

Ans– Anna Maria Beach is not extremely crowded. Coquina Beach and Bradenton Beach are some of the most popular beaches which remain crowded throughout the year.

2. Where do locals go on Anna Maria Island?

Ans– Locals love to spend their time at the Coquina Beach Market, the Anna Maria City Pier, or spend a beach day at one of the popular beaches of Anna Maria.

3. Is Anna Maria Island walkable?

Ans– Anna Maria Island is not so huge in size hence the entire island can be explored on foot. Many tourists walk around the island to get the local vibe even closer.

4. Are there alligators or crocodiles in Anna Maria Island?

Ans– Although Florida is pretty famous for its alligators, Anna Maria Island is one place where you will not spot them.

5. Are there sharks on Anna Maria Island?

Ans– The water currents are a reason for sharks to dwell around on the island. However, they are not very commonly spotted.

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