Discover Anna Maria Island
Anna Maria Island is the barrier island of choice for people of all ages who are looking for a slightly quieter destination that oozes with character. Historical charm meets a beach-lovers paradise on this beautiful Florida island.
Anna Maria Island is a small, picturesque island that sits atop the sparkling turquoise waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Located just off the west coast of peninsular Florida, near Bradenton, Anna Maria Island is an easily accessible, tropical paradise.
Stepping onto Anna Maria Island might just feel like stepping back in time. The whole place is dripping with nostalgic, old-fashioned beach town charm. Colorful clapboard houses, sun drenched and faded, along with one-of-a-kind seafood restaurants, ice cream shops, and gift stores line the quiet streets of the island’s towns. And without a high-rise building in site, views of the Gulf of Mexico are virtually unobstructed. The quaint allure of Anna Maria Island makes it a more laid-back alternative to Florida’s most popular, party-focused barrier island, Siesta Key.
For those who wander off the beaten path to discover Anna Maria Island, beautiful white-sand beaches await. Six beaches offer island-dwellers choice in where to soak up the sun and dip their toes in the warm Gulf water. The best part? The narrow shape of the island means that whatever beach you choose is only ever a short walk or bike ride away.
At the north end of the island is the city of Anna Maria, and Bean Point Beach. Standing in the center of Bean Point Beach feels almost like being adrift on gorgeous teal waters, as the beach wraps all the way around the point of the island. Bean Point Beach is a quiet, serene destination. With waves gently crashing toward you from three sides, it’s easy to let them carry away your worries, and to be soothed by their soft sounds. As you walk down Bean Point Beach, along the west side of the island, you’ll find The Sandbar – a beach-front seafood restaurant with tables right on the sand.
In the city of Anna Maria, Pine Avenue hosts additional dining options, as well as shops and art galleries. Here, you’ll also find the Anna Maria Island Historical Society Museum, which features a restored 1920s beach cottage.
Holmes Beach and Manatee Public Beach lie at the centre of Anna Maria Island. Manatee Public Beach is the main beach on the island and is considered the hub of island life. It features many convenient facilities including free parking, concessions, lifeguards, change rooms with washrooms and showers, an outdoor patio, picnic tables, volleyball courts, and a children’s playground. All these amenities and the beach still boasts a wide stretch of soft, white sand. Holmes Beach is quieter than Manatee Public Beach, and is dotted with vacation rentals as well as a few eateries.
At the south end of the island are Cortez Beach, Coquina Beach, and Bradenton Beach. Cortez beach is secluded and family-oriented, while Coquina Beach is where the young, active crowd can usually be found. Coquina Beach offers all the same facilities as Manatee Public Beach, and remains of old piers extend out into the ocean, making it a great spot for diving and surfing. Bradenton Beach is located just north of Cortez and Coquina Beaches, and is an ideal place for history lovers. Bradenton Beach is home to the Bradenton Beach Pier, an old-fashioned pier first built in 1911. Just steps from here lies Bradenton Beach City, where the Bridge Street Market sells unique art and jewelry, and a variety of food.
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