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Colorful Anna Maria Island Day Trip with a Beach

Anna Maria Island - Perfect Old Florida Coastal Town

Bridge Street Pier at Anna Maria Island Florida day trip
The village is known for it’s fresh seafood and fishing.

Whether you go for the fresh seafood, fishing, or white-sand beaches, an Anna Maria Island day trip is a must-do for Florida residents and the perfect vacation for travelers.

Immediately as you approach the island, you know Anna Maria is different. The horizon is not full of sun-blocking highrise buildings.

Since Anna Maria Island is not one of the destinations in Florida you hear about in major publications, we will answer some of the common questions.

Most Asked Questions About Anna Maria Island 

Where Is Anna Maria Island on the Map?

The map below shows that Anna Maria Island is a barrier island on Florida’s Gulf Coast just south of Tampa. It is located in Manatee County at the far west end of Florida Route 64.

What is the closest airport to Anna Maria Island?

The closest large international airport to Anna Maria Island is Tampa International Airport 55 miles away. It can be reached in under 90 minutes. Other airports include Orlando, 125 miles away and 2.5 hours, Ft. Myers, 2 hours and 100 miles away, and Miami is 250 miles away close to 4 hours from Anna Maria Island. There is a small airport in Manatee/Sarasota counties called Brandenton-Sarasota International Airport only 17 miles away in under 45 minutes.

How Big is Anna Maria Island?

This 7-mile-long part of a larger string of islands is narrow. In some places, it is less than a half-mile wide. Only about 1100 people live on the island.

anna maria island day trip - pier
Anna Maria Island pier at night.

What is Anna Maria Island Known For

Anna Maria Island is known for its pristine beaches, charming atmosphere, and natural beauty.

 Here are some of the key things for which Anna Maria Island is known for:

  1. Stunning Beaches – Its pristine coastline stretches for miles and offers a serene and relaxing environment.

  2. Small-Town Charm and Unique Character – The island has a laid-back, small-town vibe that attracts visitors seeking a peaceful beach experience. 

  3. Outdoor Activities – Anna Maria Island is an ideal destination for outdoor enthusiasts. Visitors can indulge in activities such as swimming, sunbathing, boating, kayaking, paddleboarding, fishing, and bird watching. 

  4. History – Anna Maria Island has a rich history. The Anna Maria Island Historical Museum showcases the island’s heritage and culture through exhibits and artifacts.

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  5. Food Scene – The island offers a range of dining options that showcase fresh seafood. From waterfront seafood shacks to upscale restaurants, visitors can savor local seafood. The best restaurants in Anna Maria Island is a previous post.

  6. Art and Culture – Anna Maria Island has a thriving arts and culture scene. Numerous galleries and studios, within a few miles, feature the works of local artists, and the island hosts regular art festivals and events.

  7. Tranquil Atmosphere and Beautiful Sunsets – Anna Maria is a popular destination for those seeking a peaceful retreat. 

Many Things To Do on Anna Maria Island

Twenty minutes from Bradenton, Anna Maria Island possesses a laid-back atmosphere where visitors can go to relax and unwind. But within a few miles there is so much to do.

Go shelling, fish from three piers, rent a bike to explore the island on two wheels and grab a meal at one of Anna Maria Island’s many waterfront restaurants

Get a feel for the island’s history by visiting the Anna Maria Island Historical Society Museum, the Anna Maria Historic Green Village, and the Historic Bridge Street Pier

An easy Anna Maria Island day trip of just about an hour from Ft. Myers and about an hour and a half away from Naples. Interstate I-75 makes an easy Florida day trip from all directions.

You will marvel at the ability of Anna Maria Island residents to keep their island from the cranes, bulldozers and developers of high rises. Colorful cottages and shops are scattered throughout the island.

Walking and bike riding seems to be the mode of transportation for the locals.

Anna Maria Island day trip beach
The beaches of Anna Maria Island are stunning.

The Beaches of an Anna Maria Island Florida Day Trip

The beaches along Anna Maria Island are full of white snowlike sand. The clear water of the Gulf of Mexico shows the blue reflection on the horizon.

The beaches here are not as crowded as Clearwater Beach. The lack of towering condominiums and huge resorts keep the beach traffic less than in the resort areas of Florida.

While on Anna Maria Island, look for the Anna Maria Oyster Bar located on the docks. This is a great place for a dozen oysters and a refreshment.

Anna Maria Island – Minutes From Sarasota

Anna Maria Island is just a few miles north of fine art, nature, and coastal beauty displayed at the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota, where visitors are as wowed by 16th-20th-century masterworks as they are by the grand waterfront mansion and sprawling gardens.

Once the home of Mabel and John Ringling, of Ringling Bros. Circus fame, the property is now the official art museum of the state of Florida and is governed by Florida State University.

Explore on your own or take guided tours of the museum and gardens.

For a great lunch on your Anna Maria Island Florida day trip, head a few miles south to downtown Sarasota. On the bay is Marina Jacks. The view is awesome and the food is always good. The best seafood on the island is at Anna Maria Oyster Bar – don’t miss it!

Anna Maria Island is an hour day trip from Clearwater Beach and an hour Florida day trip from Tampa, Florida. 

Final Thoughts on an Anna Maria Island Day Trip

This well known Florida Island is unique to Florida beach towns. It has maintained its charm and size by limiting highrises. This keeps major developers from changing the culture of the community.

If you like day trips in Florida, Anna Maria Island needs to be on your Florida day trip bucket list.

Anna Maria Island Map

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