Posted on 5/31/2023

A Visitor’s Guide to Summer on Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria Island (AMI), a hidden gem on Florida's Gulf Coast, is the perfect summer destination to rent a vacation home rental. With its stunning white-sand beaches, crystal-clear turquoise waters, and laid-back old Florida atmosphere, this seven-mile-long island offers a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

From indulging in delicious local cuisine to exploring the island's diverse outdoor activities, there's no shortage of fun and relaxation awaiting your sunshine-filled getaway.

In this guide, we'll share insider tips and recommendations to help you maximize your summer days on the picturesque Anna Maria Island. Get ready to soak up the sun, sea, and endless summer vibes on a family vacation, couples' getaway, or solo trip!

Getting There

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Reaching Anna Maria Island is a breeze, thanks to its convenient location on the Gulf of Mexico and multiple transportation options. If you're flying in, Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport (SRQ) is the closest airport, just 18 miles southeast of AMI.

Once you've arrived in the area, there are several ways to reach the island. Renting a car is the most flexible option, allowing you to explore at your own pace. Alternatively, consider using a shuttle service or taxi to make the journey to your vacation rental. After you've arrived on the island, the Island Trolley is an easy way to get up and down the 7-mile length of AMI.

Getting Around

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AMI's compact size and relaxed vibe make it easy to navigate and explore. The island comprises three charming towns: Downtown Anna Maria in the north, Holmes Beach in the center, and Bradenton Beach in the south, each offering its own unique character and attractions.

Public Transportation: The free Island Trolley is a popular and convenient way to traverse the island, operating daily from 6 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. with stops in all three towns.

Bicycles: Renting a bicycle is an eco-friendly and enjoyable way to explore Anna Maria Island's picturesque neighborhoods and beaches. Several bike rental shops offer a variety of bikes, including cruisers and electric bikes, to suit your needs.

Golf Carts: For a fun and unique mode of transportation, consider renting a street-legal golf cart. Many visitors find this option both practical and entertaining, perfect for short trips around the island.

Walking: The island's small size and pedestrian-friendly atmosphere make walking an excellent option for getting around, especially when exploring the quaint downtown areas and beachside paths.

Summer Weather on Anna Maria Island

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Summer on Anna Maria Island offers warm, sunny weather perfect for beach days and outdoor adventures. From June through August, the island experiences average high temperatures in the upper 80s to low 90s, while low average temperatures range from the mid-70s to upper 70s. The warm Gulf waters typically hover around a comfortable 85°F during these months.

While summer is the island's wet season, rainfall usually occurs briefly with afternoon showers; many people consider this one of the best times of the year to visit. Be prepared for occasional rain by packing a light jacket, but expect mostly sunny skies and balmy temperatures for your summer vacation on Anna Maria Island.

Summer Beach Time on Anna Maria Island

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Anna Maria Island boasts some of the most beautiful and pristine beaches in Florida, with easy beach access that is usually just a few-minute walk from your rental.

While a private pool is nice, there's nothing quite like the revitalizing waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Each beach offers a unique atmosphere and experience, ensuring that you'll find the perfect spot for your beach getaway. Here are the top beaches on Anna Maria Island that you shouldn't miss.

Manatee Public Beach (Holmes Beach)

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Manatee Public Beach is a popular spot for the whole family, boasting a wide stretch of sugar-white sand and clear, shallow waters. This family-friendly beach offers numerous amenities, including a playground, picnic tables, volleyball courts, restrooms, and a beachfront café. With lifeguards on duty, free parking, and convenient access to the Island Trolley, Manatee Public Beach is an ideal location for a fun-filled day in the summer months.

Coquina Beach (Bradenton Beach)

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Coquina Beach is a picturesque haven for beachgoers at the southern end of the island. Lined with Australian pines that provide ample shade, this expansive beach features soft sands, azure waters, and a peaceful atmosphere.

Coquina Beach offers numerous facilities, such as restrooms, changing rooms, picnic areas, a playground, beach chairs to rent, and a concession stand. The beach is also home to the Coquina Baywalk, a boardwalk that meanders through a mangrove forest, perfect for a leisurely stroll or wildlife spotting.

Bayfront Park (Anna Maria)

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If you're looking for a more laid-back beach experience with calmer waters, head to Bayfront Park on the island's eastern shore. This bayside park offers a sandy beach, grassy areas, and stunning views of Tampa Bay and the iconic Sunshine Skyway Bridge. The park's amenities include picnic tables, grills, a playground, and restrooms, making it an ideal spot for a family outing or a tranquil day by the water

Cortez Beach (Bradenton Beach)

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Cortez Beach, located just south of Bradenton Beach, is a hidden gem that offers a more secluded and relaxed atmosphere. With its natural dunes, swaying sea oats, and fewer crowds, this beach is perfect for those seeking a quiet retreat. The beach has limited facilities, but its unspoiled charm and peaceful surroundings make it a favorite among visitors looking for an off-the-beaten-path experience.

Water Sports

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The island's calm, clear waters provide the perfect playground for water sports enthusiasts. Some popular options include:

Kayaking: Rent a kayak and explore the island's intricate network of canals and mangroves, or paddle along the coastline for stunning views.

Paddleboarding: Stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) is a fun and low-impact way to enjoy the water, providing both a workout and a chance to observe marine life up close.

Jet Skiing: For a thrilling adventure, rent a jet ski and zip across the waves while taking in the island's breathtaking vistas.

Parasailing: Get a bird's-eye view of Anna Maria Island and its surroundings as you soar through the sky, securely harnessed to a colorful parasail.

Fishing: Fishing anglers will be delighted with Anna Maria Island's fishing opportunities. Whether you prefer fishing from a pier, casting a line from the shore, or embarking on a deep-sea fishing charter, there's something for every skill level.

Day Trips and Excursions

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While there's plenty to do and see on Anna Maria Island itself, taking a day trip or excursion to nearby attractions can add even more excitement to your vacation. Here are a few suggestions for memorable outings beyond the island.

Longboat Key

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Just south of Anna Maria Island, Longboat Key is a beautiful barrier island known for its luxurious resorts, pristine beaches, and lush golf courses. Spend a day exploring the island's attractions or simply relax on its tranquil shores.


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This vibrant city, located about 20 miles southeast of Anna Maria Island, offers a wealth of cultural attractions, including the renowned Ringling Museum of Art, the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, and the Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium. Also, don't miss the bustling St. Armand's Circle, a shopping and dining hub perfect for an afternoon of leisurely exploration.


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Just a short bridge away from Anna Maria Island, the city of Bradenton boasts a charming downtown area with a lively arts scene, unique shops, and enticing restaurants. Visit the Village of the Arts, a vibrant community of artists, galleries, and studios, or explore the historic Bradenton Riverwalk, a picturesque waterfront park featuring public art, playgrounds, and an amphitheater.

Summertime in AMI

Anna Maria Island is a summer paradise that promises sun-soaked beaches, exhilarating outdoor activities, and unforgettable experiences. With our comprehensive guide in hand, you're well-equipped to make the most of your vacation on this charming and picturesque island. So pack your bags, and get ready to create lifelong memories at your vacation rental in this idyllic Gulf Coast haven.

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