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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 letting 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, no other entertainment necessary. See Live Anna Maria Island Webcam
Things to do on Anna Maria Island – 4 Historic Sites that might surprise you:
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 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.
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.
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 the some of the islands historic 100-year-old buildings. You’ll find everything you need here:
- Anna Maria General Store – this is where you’ll find a slice of that delicious key lime cake.
- Beach Bums – rent a golf cart, bike, kayak, + more.
- Hometown Desserts
- Pineapple Junction – dive in, you’ll find something!
- Island Charms – jewelry and sunglasses
- J. Lazzara Gallery on Pine – fine art
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 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.
Top Rated Restaurants with Takeout/Delivery/Online Ordering:
- Old Hamburg Schnitzelhaus
- Ginny’s and Jane E’s Cafe and Coastal Store
- Isola Bella Italian Eatery
- The Donut Experiment
- Hurricane Hanks
- Peach’s Restaurants
- Minnie’s Beach Cafe
- Scott’s Deli
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’s the top 5 traveler ranked accommodations:
- Cedar Cove Resort & Cottages – 1427 reviews say this is the Best of the Best, winning the Traveler’s Choice Award for 2020.
- Anna Maria Pirates Den – Another 2020 Best of the Best featuring a “short walk to the beach”.
- BridgeWalk a Landmark Resort – 2020 Best of the Best recommended for its “great location” within “walking distance to everything”.
- An Island Getaway at Palm Tree Villas – noted for “beautiful landscaping” in a “home away from home”.
- Mainsail Beach Inn – a traveler’s choice for a “beautiful property” in a “perfect location”.
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!
- Everything needed to clean up sand that follows you indoors.
- Plenty of other amenities that I had no use for, pool, firepit, and games.
- Gorgeous sunrise views.