Anna Maria Island: Your Ultimate Guide to Unforgettable Family Getaways

Estimated read time 5 min read

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Where is Anna Maria Island?  

Anna Maria Island is a barrier island in the greater Tampa/Sarasota area of Florida.  It is closer to Sarasota than Tampa but you can easily get to and from both.

It takes about an hour to drive from Tampa to Anna Maria Island via I-75 S.  Even though it’s pretty close it will feel like you have entered a completely different world. The island is very quiet and peaceful.

Eat, Sleep, & Play on Anna Maria Island.

If you’re looking for a well-preserved, quaint island community to visit in Florida, this might be your place.  Crystal blue water views let you enjoy the magic of both sunrise and sunset daily.  It’s filled with character, historic sites, a free trolley, and some really good eats.  The feeling of being far away yet so close to museums and entertainment.  It’s the one place where I truly just want to relax on the beach all day, with no other entertainment necessary. See Live Anna Maria Island Webcam

Things to do on Anna Maria Island – 4 Historic Sites that might surprise you:

City Pier

100 N Bay Blvd, Anna Maria, FL

The newly reopened city pier, dating back to 1911, has weathered its fair share of storms.

anna maria island city pier

Anna Maria Island City Pier

Anna Maria City Jail

402 Pine Ave, Anna Maria Island

The Anna Maria City Jail is a great photo op with one Instagrammable wall, no doors, windows, bars, or roof.  Perfect to pose with while you’re visiting the historical society to learn more about the island.

anna maria island city jail
Anna Maria Island Jail

Bean Point – Anna Maria Island

North Bay Blvd. and North Shore Drive, Anna Maria, Florida

Bean Point (the home of the founder of the island) will be hard to get to without a boat or some good walking shoes as parking nearby is pretty limited.  You can always park at City Pier and walk almost a mile to it, or you may be able to find some very limited parking near Fern St. and Jacaranda Rd.

beans point
Bean’s Point sign – Anna Maria Island

Historic Green Village

501-507 Pine Avenue, Anna Maria, FL

The most surprising thing on Anna Maria Island might be the Historic Green Village as it is one of the first 100 developments worldwide with the highest possible green building standards – LEED Platinum® and Net Zero Energy combining modern technology and historic preservation of some of the islands historic 100-year-old buildings. You’ll find everything you need here:

key lime cake

Plan a Beach Wedding.

Looking for an Anna Maria Island Beach

The easiest public beach spot is at Bayfront Park by the city pier. It can be hard to find parking near most of the public access points, so the best way to enjoy Anna Maria Island is really to stay on the island and take full advantage of walking to the beach or using the free trolley.

The next best beach access for the general public that needs parking is City Park but there is very limited parking available near it. It is an absolutely beautiful spot to spend the day at though.

bayfront park
City Park Beach – Anna Maria Island

Top Rated Restaurants with Takeout/Delivery/Online Ordering:

Donuts from the Donut Experiment – Anna Maria Island

Where to Stay: Anna Maria Island Vacation Rentals

You’re not going to find a bunch of high-rise hotels or familiar brands here but what you will find is cute cottages and independent beach resorts.  You may want to search by location for closest to the beach or maybe you just want to go with tried and true recommendations.  Here are the top 5 traveler-ranked accommodations:

Find more places to stay on Anna Maria Island.

While it has both compliments and complaints, I found Waterline Marina Resort to be exactly what I was looking for. 

Waterline Marina Resort – an Anna Maria Island Resort from Marriott Autograph Collection

  • Well-appointed, large 2BR/2BA apartment with balcony
  • Centrally located for catching the free trolley or walking to a local restaurant.
  • Quiet distance from other guests.
  • Free Parking
  • Washer and dryer – great for drying towels!
  • Equipped with everything needed to clean up sand that follows you indoors.
  • Plenty of other amenities that I had no use for, a pool, fire pit, and games.
  • Gorgeous sunrise views.

Happy Wandering on Anna Maria Island!

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  1. 11
    Monidipa Dutta

    The place looks perfect to spend some quality alone time, and this is perfectly a place where I would love to check myself in!

    • 14
      Portia O'Laughlin

      I once went on a haunted tour in St. Augustine, FL that included a haunted prison stop. It’s funny how many old prisons come up as tourists spots to see!

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