Visiting Anna Maria Island, Florida and looking for ways to spend your days? Undoubtedly, you’ve probably visited Coquina Beach and eaten at all of the yummy Gulf Drive restaurants such as the Donut Experiment, Bean Point Beach, Pine Avenue, City Pier, and Bridge Street.
While there’s no shortage of things to do on Anna Maria Island, if you’re looking for exciting and different ways to spend a day, we’ve compiled some of the best day trips from Anna Maria Island that are easily reachable in less than two hours from your vacation rental home.
Once you’ve finished seeing the sights in Anna Maria, Holmes Beach, and Bradenton Beach, these day trips from Anna Maria Island will keep you busy.
Day Trips Less Than 30 Minutes Away
Driving Time from Anna Maria Island: 35 minutes
Sarasota, Florida is a popular beach destination on the Gulf Coast of the United States. With its warm temperatures year-round and miles of sandy coastline, it’s no wonder that this city draws so many visitors every year.
Its easy accessibility from AMI as a day trip makes Sarasota a great option!
Lido Beach has everything you need for a fun day in the sand, including picnic areas and grills, playground for kids, and showers for rinsing off when you’re done playing in the waves. While you’re there, be sure to take time to stroll along the shore and explore the many seashells that wash up on the beach.
You can’t miss one of Sarasota’s most iconic landmarks: the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art. This renowned art museum is located on the grounds of the historic Ca’ d’Zan Mansion, which was built by circus magnate John Ringling in the 1920s.
Whether you’re looking for a relaxing beach getaway or an exciting day of shopping and sightseeing, Sarasota is sure to have something that fits your tastes.
Driving Time from Anna Maria Island: 15 minutes
Longboat Key is a beautiful beach town located on the coast of Florida. With its miles of white sand beaches and crystal-clear waters, there are plenty of things to see and do in Longboat Key that will make for an enjoyable day trip.
Some of the in Longboat Key include taking a stroll along the beach, relaxing with some ice cream, or visiting some of the area’s top museums and art galleries.
Additionally, Longboat Key is home to several championship golf courses, so if you’re a fan of golfing you’ll be sure to find something that appeals to your interests here.
Day Trips Less Than 1 Hour
Driving Time from Anna Maria Island: 55 minutes
Tampa is a bustling city filled with plenty of things to see and do, making it a great place for those looking to explore on a day trip from Anna Maria Island. Whether you’re interested in learning about the city’s history and culture or simply want to have some fun outdoors, there are plenty of attractions that are sure to keep you busy during your time here.
Head over to Ybor City, one of the most historic areas in Tampa reminiscent of Old Florida. This neighborhood is known as the “Cigar Capital of the World” and was once home to numerous cigar factories that helped shape its unique character.
Today, Ybor City still retains much of its old-world charm, and is full of quaint shops, restaurants, bars, and cafes. Be sure to check out the Ybor City Museum State Park or spend some time wandering the vibrant streets of this eclectic neighborhood.
Outdoor enthusiasts will relish at the opportunity to explore the great outdoors during your visit to Tampa. Whether you want to relax on the beach, go for a hike through one of the city’s many parks, or even just take a stroll along the waterfront, there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy nature here.
Finally, if you’re looking for something a bit more exciting to do in Tampa, be sure to check out some of the area’s famous theme parks and waterparks. Busch Gardens is one of the most popular amusement parks in Florida and features fun rides as well as animal exhibits featuring giraffes and zebras.
Meanwhile, if you’re in the mood for some adrenaline-pumping thrills, head to nearby Adventure Island waterpark, where you can ride on a massive water slide, go tubing down a lazy river, or simply float along in an inner tube.
Driving Time from Anna Maria Island: 45 minutes
One of the best things to do while visiting Siesta Key is spending some time on its famous white sand beaches. With their powdery soft sand and crystal-clear turquoise waters, these beaches are a must-see for any visitor to the area. Whether you want to go for a swim, relax with a good book, or simply soak up the sun, there’s a beach for you at Siesta Key.
Another great thing to do on Siesta Key is spend some time exploring its charming downtown area. This small town has a lot to offer, from quaint cafes and shops to beautiful natural landscapes. There are also many wonderful parks and green spaces where you can go for a relaxing walk or picnic.
If you’re looking for something a little more adventurous, Siesta Key also has plenty of opportunities for outdoor recreation. Whether you want to go kayaking on the waters surrounding the island, try your hand at stand-up paddleboarding, or take an exhilarating zip line tour through the trees, there’s something to suit every taste.
Driving Time from Anna Maria Island: 45 minutes
Saint Petersburg, Florida is a vibrant city that offers a wide variety of things to see and do. Whether you’re looking for arts and culture, outdoor activities, dining and shopping or just some time at the beach, St. Pete has it all!
For arts and culture, be sure to visit the Dali Museum, which is the largest collection of Salvador Dali’s works outside of Europe. This fantastic museum is located in a stunning building that was designed in the style of Spanish architect Antoni Gaudi. You can also take advantage of one of several free guided tours offered every day and see Dali’s works up close.
If you’re looking to enjoy some time outdoors, St. Pete has plenty of options for hiking, biking, and even kayaking! Head to the nearby Weedon Island Preserve or Fort De Soto Park and spend a few hours exploring the nature trails, beaches, and kayaking routes. Both of these areas provide stunning views of the nearby waterways and wildlife.
Driving Time from Anna Maria Island: 50 minutes
Egmont Key is a small island located off the coast of Florida, about 30 miles south of St. Petersburg. If you only have one day to spend on this charming little island, there are definitely some things that you should see and do during your day trip from Anna Maria Island.
The first thing you’ll want to do when you get to Egmont Key is check out the historic fort that resides there. Built in 1848, this small fort is still in great condition and provides a fascinating glimpse into Florida’s early history. If you’re interested in Florida’s military past, be sure to explore Fort Dade while you’re on the island.
Another must-see spot on Egmont Key is the beautiful beaches that line the island. There are plenty of places to relax and unwind on the white sand, so be sure to bring along a picnic lunch or some snacks to enjoy while you’re soaking up the sun.
Additionally, there are several trails on Egmont Key that lead through its picturesque landscape, providing amazing views and opportunities for hiking and wildlife observation.
Driving Time from Anna Maria Island: 1 hour
Clearwater is a beautiful coastal city that offers plenty of fun things to see and do, making it among the most popular day trips from Anna Maria Island.
First, head over to Clearwater Beach, which is one of the most renowned beaches in Florida. This stunning white-sand beach is perfect for sunbathing, swimming, fishing charters & rentals, and surfing. You’ll also find plenty of restaurants and bars along the waterfront, where you can grab some yummy fish tacos or refreshing cocktail while taking in the stunning views of the Gulf of Mexico.
Another great spot to explore in Clearwater is the Pinellas Trail, which is a 37-mile long paved trail that runs through the city. This popular outdoor spot is perfect for biking, jogging, or simply strolling along and taking in the beautiful scenery.
If you’re looking for some family-friendly activities, be sure to check out the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. This fascinating aquarium is home to a wide variety of marine life, including otters, dolphins, and sea turtles.
Day Trips Less Than 2 Hours
Orlando & Theme Parks
Driving Time from Anna Maria Island: 2 hours
Orlando is a vibrant, exciting city that offers a wide variety of things to see and do. With its world-famous theme parks, beautiful natural landscapes, and rich cultural offerings, Orlando is a popular tourist destination for good reason.
Since it’s two hours away, make it a full road trip complete with a few fun stops!
First, we have to mention the theme parks! Whether you’re a fan of Disney, Universal Studios, or SeaWorld, there are plenty of choices when it comes to experiencing the magic and excitement of these popular attractions.
With so many different rides, shows, and activities to choose from, you’ll never run out of things to do at any one of these fantastic theme parks.
Orlando’s stunning natural landscapes are another reason to visit! Thanks to its proximity to the Florida coastline and numerous lakes, rivers, and forests, Orlando has some truly stunning natural scenery that makes for great photo opportunities.
Driving Time from Anna Maria Island: 1 hour 40 minutes
Fort Myers is one of the most popular cities in Florida for tourists, thanks to its beautiful beaches and variety of exciting activities.
If you’re craving some movement, go for a bike ride along the Sanibel Causeway. This scenic biking path offers incredible views of both the Gulf of Mexico and mangroves, as well as opportunities to stop along the way at some of Sanibel’s best beachfront restaurants. and bars.
Looking for adventure? Boat and jet ski rentals from one of Fort Myers’ many marinas are a great choice. One of the best ways to explore this area is by spending a day on the water, and there are plenty of options for doing so in Fort Myers.
Whether you want to try dolphin tours, snorkeling, or just cruising around and taking in the beautiful scenery, you’ll find everything you need at a marina here.
Which Day Trip Will You Choose?
If you’re looking for some fun, family-friendly day trips from Anna Maria Island, definitely check out these options. From gorgeous nature parks to interesting historical sites, there’s something for everyone within a two-hour drive of the island.
So gas up the car and get ready for some fun! And if you have a favorite day trip from AMI that didn’t make our list, be sure to let us know in the comments. We love hearing from our readers!