Where is Anna Maria Island and How to get there?

Anna Maria Island, on Florida’s west coast, is a small paradise between Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, easily reachable by car from Tampa and Sarasota. Stretching 7 miles by 2 miles, it’s divided into three cities: Anna Maria, Holmes Beach, and Bradenton Beach.

This nature lover’s haven offers white sandy beaches, wildlife sanctuaries, and unique ecosystems to explore through activities like kayaking and paddleboarding. With its untouched shoreline and calm Gulf of Mexico waves, Anna Maria Island provides a serene getaway from the bustling tourist destinations, making it a perfect spot to unwind and savor the natural beauty of Florida’s coastline.

How to get to Anna Maria Island

How to Travel the Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria Island is a popular vacation destination located in the northern hemisphere, and there are several ways to travel there. Here are the most common question always comes “What is the closest airport to Anna Maria Island”:

Airports near Anna Maria Island

The closest airport to Anna Maria Island are Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport (SRQ) and Tampa International Airport (TPA). Both airport for Anna Maria Island florida offer a variety of domestic and international flights, making it easy to access the island from anywhere in the world.

  • Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport (SRQ)

Sarasota Airport is the closest at 35 minutes, and Orlando Airport can be a good choice for twin centering between Anna Maria Island and Orlando. 

  • Tampa International Airport (TPA)

Tampa International Airport and St. Pete/Clearwater Airport are about 1.5 hours from the island. It offers a wider variety of flights from major carriers such as Delta, American Airlines, and Southwest Airlines, as well as international carriers.

Once you arrive at the airport, rent a car, take a taxi or rideshare service, or book a shuttle to Anna Maria Island. 

Driving by Car

If you’re driving to Anna Maria, you can choose State Route 64, State Route 684, or State Route 789 from Longboat Key. These routes, known as Gulf Drive, Cortez Road, and Manatee Avenue, are well-maintained and provide a comfortable driving experience.

On the island, you have various options for getting around, including popular ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft. However, for a more enjoyable experience, consider using a local transportation service. A local driver can enhance your trip by showing you around the island, pointing out interesting sights, and suggesting the best places to eat and explore. They can also help you navigate the island’s winding roads and uncover hidden gems you might not discover on your own.

Private Boat

Anna Maria Island can also be reached by private boat for those who enjoy boating. Visitors can anchor their boats in one of the island’s marinas or on the beach and explore the island at leisure.

By Bicycle

Riding a bicycle to Anna Maria Island is a great idea if you like being outdoors and want to explore the island slowly. You can choose State Route 64 or Route 684, but the better way is on State Route 789, also called Gulf Drive, along Longboat Key. This route has pretty views of the Gulf of Mexico and is liked by many cyclists.

Biking on Anna Maria Island lets you enjoy its pretty sights and feel its nice vibe. You can easily stop at local shops and restaurants, making your trip special. Plus, biking is a fun and healthy way to stay active while you’re on vacation.

By Bus

The Anna Maria Island Free Trolley is a great way to go around the island. It stops at many places and connects to fast transit in Bradenton and Sarasota. The best part is, you can ride it for free, and it runs every day from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.

It’s a wonderful way to see the island without the stress of driving or finding a parking spot. You can just relax, enjoy the ride, and see the beautiful views as you go to where you want.

If you’re visiting Anna Maria Island and don’t have a car or don’t like driving, using the bus or trolley is a handy and money-saving choice.

By Train

If you’re considering taking a train to Anna Maria Island in the United States, a popular option is the Amtrak Auto Train from Washington, D.C., to Orlando. This unique train allows you to bring your car with you, which is quite convenient.

The trip is overnight, and when you reach Orlando, you can either rent a car or take a shuttle to get to Anna Maria Island. While there are no train stations directly on the island, you can still make this interesting train journey part of your overall travel experience.

Anna Maria Island Weather

Anna Maria Island Weather

According to weather spark, Anna Maria Island’s weather is typically warm and humid throughout the year, with variations in temperature and precipitation depending on the season.

Things To Do on Anna Maria Island 

Things To Do on Anna Maria Island 

Beaches and Park

 Anna Maria Island Beach boasts several beautiful beaches and parks, such as Coquina Beach, Manatee Beach, and Bayfront Park. Visitors can enjoy swimming, sunbathing, kayaking, paddle boarding, fishing, and more. Many beaches and parks also have picnic areas, restrooms, and showers.

Day trips & attraction

 Anna Maria Island Florida is near several popular day trip destinations and attractions, such as the Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota, the Salvador Dalí Museum in St. Petersburg, and Busch Gardens in Tampa. Visitors can also explore nearby towns like Bradenton and Sarasota, which offer a variety of shopping, dining, and cultural experiences.


Anna Maria Island is known for its excellent inshore and offshore fishing opportunities. Visitors can charter a fishing boat or hire a local guide to explore the area’s waterways and catch species like redfish, snook, and tarpon.


The area surrounding Anna Maria Island has several golf courses, including the Key Royale Club in Holmes Beach and the Manatee County Golf Course in Bradenton. These courses offer scenic views and challenging holes for golfers of all skill levels.


 While Anna Maria Island is known for its laid-back atmosphere, visitors can still find some nightlife options. Several bars and restaurants offer live music and entertainment, such as the Freckled Fin Irish Pub and Island Time Bar & Grill.

Restaurants and bars

Anna Maria Island has various Anna Maria Island restaurants and bars, ranging from casual seafood shacks to upscale fine dining establishments. Visitors can enjoy fresh seafood, craft cocktails, and other local specialties while enjoying the island’s scenic views.


Anna Maria Island has several options, including local boutiques, souvenir shops, and art galleries. Visitors can find unique gifts and souvenirs and browse works by local artists and artisans.


Visitors can relax and unwind at one of Anna Maria Island’s many spas and wellness centers. These establishments offer a variety of treatments, such as massages, facials, and yoga classes, to help visitors feel rejuvenated and refreshed.

Best places to stay on Anna Maria Island

Best places to stay on Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria Island offers a range of accommodation options, from beachfront resorts to cozy cottages. Visitors can choose from hotels, motels, vacation rentals, bed and breakfasts, and even camping sites.

If you’re looking for a luxurious stay, the island has plenty of beachfront resorts, some of which offer a variety of amenities, including swimming pools, spas, and on-site restaurants. These resorts are ideal for those who want to enjoy a relaxing vacation with all the comforts of home.

For a more budget-friendly option, several motels and Anna Maria Island hotels on the island offer affordable rates while still providing a comfortable stay. These properties are perfect for visitors who plan to spend most of their time exploring the island and want a comfortable place to sleep at night.

Famous Resorts

Anna Maria Island Vacation rentals are another popular choice for visitors to Anna Maria Island. These can range from small cottages to large, multi-bedroom homes and condos. Anna Maria Island rentals are great for families or groups of friends who want more space and privacy than a hotel room can offer. Many hotels come with full kitchens and other amenities, making them ideal for longer stays.

Bed and breakfasts are a unique option for visitors who want a more personalized experience. These properties offer comfortable rooms with breakfast included in the price of the stay. Bed and breakfasts are ideal for couples who want a romantic getaway or solo travelers who want to meet new people.

Finally, several campgrounds are on the island for those who love camping. These campgrounds offer a range of amenities, including showers, laundry facilities, and picnic areas. Anna Maria Island Camping is a great way to enjoy the island’s natural beauty while still having access to all the modern amenities you need.

Whatever your budget or preferences, Anna Maria Island has various accommodation options to suit your needs.

8 Best Places to Eat in Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria Island offers a variety of dining options for visitors to choose from. Here are some of the best places to eat on the island:

Best Places to Eat

Sandbar Seafood & Spirits: Located on the beach, Sandbar Seafood & Spirits is a great place to enjoy fresh seafood while enjoying the stunning views of the Gulf of Mexico. Their menu features a variety of seafood dishes, including grilled shrimp, fish tacos, and lobster tails.

Rod and Reel Pier: This historic pier restaurant offers a unique dining experience, with outdoor seating overlooking the water. They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner, focusing on seafood dishes like crab cakes and grouper sandwiches.

The Waterfront Restaurant: Known for its farm-to-table approach to dining, The Waterfront Restaurant serves up delicious and creative dishes using fresh, locally-sourced ingredients. Their menu changes seasonally, including seared scallops, pork belly, and roasted chicken.

Anna Maria Oyster Bar on the Pier: With its prime location on the pier, Anna Maria Oyster Bar is a popular spot for casual dining and drinks. They serve classic seafood dishes like shrimp scampi, clam chowder, and fish and chips.

Beach House Waterfront Restaurant: Another great option for waterfront dining, Beach House offers a menu of seafood, steaks, and pasta dishes. They also have a great happy hour and live music on the weekends.

Ginny’s & Jane E’s Cafe: This charming cafe is known for its breakfast and brunch offerings, with a menu that includes eggs benedict, avocado toast, and quiche. They also have a bakery with delicious pastries and desserts.

Anna Maria Island Beach Cafe: Located on Manatee Public Beach, this casual cafe serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, focusing on American classics like burgers, sandwiches, and salads.

The Ugly Grouper: This laid-back spot is a great place to grab a drink and a bite to eat with friends. Their menu features a variety of appetizers, sandwiches, and seafood dishes, as well as daily specials.

When to Visit the Anna Maria Island

Before planning any trip, whether to Anna Maria Island or Zion National Park, first thing comes in everyone’s mind is “What is the best time to get there?” Anna Maria Island experiences hot and humid weather for most of the year, but the summer months of June, July, and August are particularly hot and wet due to the Atlantic hurricane season. Visitors should be aware of the potential risks of storms during this time. However, summer remains the peak season for beach vacations, particularly for families who enjoy the island’s family-friendly atmosphere. The average temperature during this season is around 90°F during the day and 70°F at night.

Late spring to early summer, from March to May, is known as the shoulder season, and although the weather is still warm, the crowds are fewer compared to the summer months. However, snowbirds, people who migrate to warmer climates during the winter, tend to visit during these months, so there may still be some level of activity on the island.

Another pleasant time to visit is October, slightly cooler than the previous months, and the crowds are even fewer.

It’s important to note that visitors should pack accordingly for the warm and humid weather, particularly during the summer months, and keep an eye on the weather forecast during the Atlantic hurricane season. The island’s charming atmosphere and beautiful beaches make it a great destination to visit year-round, with each season offering its unique charm and activities.

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