Posted on 10/26/2023

A Visitor's Guide to Winter on Anna Maria Island

If you haven't experienced an island Christmas, Anna Maria serves up a sandy winter wonderland that doesn't require a snow coat! Pop some ice in your hot cocoa; it's time to head to holiday paradise.

Anna Maria Island transforms into a peaceful paradise where you can escape the hustle and bustle and truly relax in the heart of Florida's sublime gulf beauty. We've got you covered, from practical packing tips to exciting seasonal events. Book your beachside vacation home, pack your eggnog tumbler, and discover why winter on Anna Maria Island is the vacation you didn't know you needed!

Why Winter on Anna Maria Island is Unforgettable

Photo Credit: Ken Schulze

Picture this: tranquil beaches with far fewer crowds, allowing you the luxury of peaceful strolls along the shoreline where the Gulf of Mexico gently laps at your feet. Winter on Anna Maria Island is nothing short of magical. As the rest of the country is bundled up, you'll find yourself embracing the great outdoors, enjoying the island's natural beauty in its full glory.

The mild winter weather on the island creates the perfect backdrop for endless exploration and adventure. You can indulge in bird watching, collecting colorful seashells, or simply bask in the soothing sunsets, painting the sky with hues of pink and orange. From the annual Christmas Parade to festive holiday markets, you'll be enchanted by the island's warm and welcoming embrace.

Anna Maria Island Winter Weather

Photo Credit: Ken Schulze

Winter on Anna Maria Island is synonymous with delightful weather that perfectly blends the cool breezes with comfortable warmth. The island enjoys average winter temperatures ranging from lows in the upper 60s and low 70s to average high temperatures in the mid-80s.

While occasional cool spells occur, they merely provide a perfect excuse to explore Anna Maria Island's numerous indoor attractions, including charming local shops, galleries, and exquisite dining establishments.

Such agreeable conditions make it the ideal winter retreat, contrasting the icy conditions found elsewhere. It's no wonder snowbirds flock to AMI for their winter holiday!

Visitors can revel in the abundant sunshine that bathes the island, providing a golden opportunity to soak up the sun's rays on the island's immaculate beaches. It's the season where you can comfortably enjoy a myriad of outdoor activities without the summer's heat. Imagine enjoying a peaceful kayak journey through the calm waters or taking a scenic bike ride around the island, each path offering spectacular views and refreshing air.

Packing for Your Winter Trip to AMI

Photo Credit: New Africa

Embarking on a winter adventure to Anna Maria Island? Here's your go-to guide for packing just right! Though the island basks in milder winter temperatures, it's practical to prepare for all scenarios to fully enjoy every moment.

The winter weather on Anna Maria Island provides a diverse, enjoyable experience for all visitors. It's a time to exchange heavy winter coats for light sweaters and enjoy the boundless beauty and activities the island generously offers, ensuring an enjoyable and memorable winter vacation.


Pack light layers that you can easily add or remove. Include comfortable t-shirts, long-sleeved tops, and a light jacket for the cooler evenings. Don't forget a couple of cozy sweaters for those relaxing beachside cocoa sips. Your packing list should certainly feature your favorite swimwear for those warm, sun-soaked afternoons by the beach during warm weather.


Bring along your comfortable sandals for beach walks and a pair of sturdy sneakers for exploring the island's trails and attractions.


Include sunglasses, a wide-brimmed hat, and biodegradable sunscreen to protect yourself from the gentle yet persistent winter sun. Carry a reusable water bottle to stay hydrated during your adventures.

Winter Activities on Anna Maria Island

Outdoor Adventures

Beach Exploration

Photo Credit: gemphoto

Explore the seven miles of pristine beaches. Engage in activities such as seashell collecting or simply relax and soak up the sun. Holmes Beach and  Manatee Beach are popular spots with amenities and stunning views.

Water Sports

Photo Credit: Denis Moskvinov

Anna Maria Island's calm gulf waters offer an ideal setting for water-related activities, from paddle boarding and kayaking to jet-skiing and snorkeling. Local rental shops provide the necessary gear and equipment. Getting out onto the waters of the Gulf Coast in winter is an experience not to be missed!


Photo Credit: Mark Winfrey

Try your hand at fishing from one of the island's piers or book a charter for deep-sea fishing. While  fishing is a great experience on Anna Maria Island year-round, the winter season brings a variety of fish closer to shore, offering a rewarding experience for anglers.

Natural Parks

Photo Credit: Billy McDonald

Exploring the  Leffis Key Preserve and Egmont Key during winter on Anna Maria Island is just as enjoyable as visiting during summer. Located at the island's southern end, it boasts extensive walking trails, boardwalks over the water, and fantastic opportunities for birdwatching. During the winter months, the cooler weather enhances your exploration, as the paths take you through mangrove forests, tidal basins, and up to panoramic viewpoints over the bay.

Holiday Events on Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria Island Privateers Christmas Parade

Christmas on AMI or ringing in the New Year is an unforgettable experience. The Anna Maria Island Privateers Christmas Parade is a beloved event with floats, costumes, and of course, the big red man himself.

The annual Christmas on Bridge Street happens the week before Christmas and features a children's activity area at the Bradenton Beach Post Office and an outdoor movie amphitheater that plays a different holiday themed movie each year.

If you are around for the turn of the New Year, don't miss the Beach House New Year's Eve Party hosted at the restaurant of the same name on Bradenton Beach. They serve dinner until 10 pm that evening, and then you can head out with a cocktail in hand to get a prime view of the fireworks on the sand.

Host a Holiday Dinner at an AMI Restaurant

Photo Credit: Aleksandar Milutinovic

Savor the flavors of Anna Maria Island by dining at local favorites for your big holiday celebrations. The Sandbar Restaurant is a great option and offers beachfront dining with fresh, locally sourced seafood. Be sure to check out Bridge Street  or  Bradenton Beach restaurants for other fresh from the sea options.

Get Holiday Shopping Done

Winter on Anna Maria Island provides the perfect opportunity to pick up some souvenir-style holiday gifts! Indulge in shopping at the island's boutique stores and souvenir shops. Pine Avenue is a notable shopping destination with a variety of unique shops. Bridge Street is also great for locally owned shops and artisan goods.

Make Paradise Your Next Winter Destination on AMI

As the winter chill sets in, let the warm, inviting shores of Anna Maria Island be your blissful escape. Immerse yourself in the unique experiences, vibrant culture, and breathtaking beauty that await you.

Embark on this enchanting journey and make winter on Anna Maria Island a beloved annual tradition. Book your beachside vacation home today!

Previous Egmont Key, FL: The Ultimate Guide 6 Tastiest Bakeries on Anna Maria Island Next