Visiting the Best Beaches on Anna Maria Island

  • Aerial view of the properties

Just off the coast in the Florida Gulf is the state’s hidden gem, Anna Maria Island. This small, gorgeous island is known as The Island in the Sun for a good reason. With year-round temperatures in the 80s and an average of 360 days of sunshine, it’s a tropical paradise at any time.

It should come as no surprise that an island has plenty of white sand beaches to enjoy. But each beach has its own vibe, amenities, and features. So what are the best beaches on Anna Maria Island?

Manatee Public Beach

Manatee Public Beach is one of the most popular of the Anna Maria Island beaches. It’s perfect for families, and chock full of amenities. Its white sands and gentle waves make a safe place for kids to play and swim. The beach is also staffed year-round by lifeguards.

There is also a popular cafe nearby, which is a perfect stop for families looking to grab a quick lunch. You can find showers, water fountains, and public restrooms with changing tables nearby. Beach rentals such as umbrellas and beach chairs are available.

But the amenities aren’t the only attraction of Manatee Beach. There are also tons of things to do — assuming you’ve had enough of the sand and surf, that is.

Shaded view of beach

Things to Do at Manatee Public Beach

If you’ve had your fill of swimming and sunbathing, there are lots of other things to do at Manatee. Take your family over to the picnic tables to enjoy a beachside meal. You can also enjoy the public volleyball court or the surfside playground.

The beach features a bar where you can find virgin drinks as well as signature cocktails and beers.

When you’re ready to head out, you can spend hours exploring the nearby gift shops, cafes, and other stores in the area. Then jump on the trolley to get back to your hotel.

Coquina Beach

Coquina Beach

If you’re into beachside hiking, biking, or fishing, Coquina Beach is the perfect spot. With dozens of nearby amenities, it also extends into Sarasota Bay. This makes it the ideal location for fishing. It’s one of the most popular spots on Anna Maria Island for finding the catch of the day. Sarasota Bay is known around the world for its fantastic fishing opportunities.

Even if you’re not into fishing, there are still plenty of reasons to love Coquina Beach. The sand is lined with pine trees, offering a shady spot to enjoy a picnic. There are also lifeguards on duty and an abundance of nearby restaurants, water fountains, and public restrooms, making Coquina a perfect place to bring your family.

Things to Do at Coquina Beach

You can spend hours at Coquina relaxing in the sun or diving into the waves. But if you need a change of pace, fishing isn’t the only alternative. The beach has a popular biking and hiking trail with public bike racks.

If you need a snack, there are concession stands and cafes galore. You can also visit the nearby playground or volleyball court.

Bayfront Park

Bayfront Park Beach is on the north side of Anna Maria Island. Here, you can enjoy beautiful views of the bay and the Sunshine Skyway Bridge while lounging by the water.

Like the other family-friendly beaches on this list, Bayfront Park offers many amenities for beachgoers. However, it’s important to note that lifeguards aren’t on duty here.

Woman walking a dog at Bayfront Park.

Things to Do at Bayfront Park

Bayfront Park is close to all the best action on Anna Maria Island. It’s within easy distance of restaurants, shops, and even historic sites of Old Florida. This is a popular place to go kayaking and paddleboarding, and there are plenty of rental shops to get your hands on some gear or vacation rentals.

Bayfront Park is a popular spot for fishing. If that’s not your thing, enjoy the nearby playground and picnic area or take a walk down the city pier. The beach is also right beside a vast range of top-quality restaurants. There is free parking, but the lot often fills up quickly.

Bean Point

Beach at sunrise.

Amenities are great, but Bean Point is your destination if you prefer a solitary, isolated beach scene. The historic site is one of the oldest settled parts of the island. Here, there is nothing but sand and water. You won’t find lifeguards, public restrooms, or beach rentals. Instead, Bean Point is a quiet haven of wild natural beauty.

Here, you might spot some wildlife, such as dolphins leaping in the bay. If you love to get away from the crowds and enjoy a quiet beach walk, Bean Point is the perfect place for you. It’s truly a hidden gem of Anna Maria Island.

Things to Do at Bean Point

Just because there are no amenities or activities here doesn’t mean there’s nothing to do. Take a stroll along the beach, where the water changes from the Gulf of Mexico to Tampa Bay. It’s the perfect place to go for a hike, enjoy the sunset, or watch out for rare marine or avian life.

Anna Maria Beach

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that an island called Anna Maria also has a beach called Anna Maria. This beachfront is a hidden getaway on the north side of the island. It’s usually quiet, far away from the crowds of tourists. Instead, you can bank on a day of peace and solitude on white sands with easy beach access.

Anna Maria Beach pier.

Things to Do at Anna Maria Beach

There aren’t many amenities at Anna Maria Beach, which is one reason why it tends to be quiet. But it’s a great place to take a peaceful swim or walk or try your hand at fishing. There are some niche eateries in the area that are within easy walking distance of the shore.

Enjoying Life on the Island of the Sun

Anna Maria Island is a year-round paradise that just doesn’t miss. Whether you love a crowded beach with lots of activities or want something peaceful and secluded, there’s no end to options. It’s all there on the hidden gem of an island off the coast of Florida.