From the gentle tropical atmosphere to the soft, sandy beaches and calm waters, Anna Maria Island has everything you need for a memorable holiday.
How do you get to this beautiful island?
There are several options to get to Anna Maria Island. You can take a flight or drive to the island. Your options will depend on your budget and where you’re coming from.
This guide will discuss all the various ways to get to Anna Maria, so keep reading!
Driving from nearby cities
This is the best option for those coming from nearby cities like Tampa on the northeastern side, Fort Myers on the southeast, and Orlando on the further northeastern side.
If you are coming from downtown Tampa, you have two options.
The first one is I-275 S through St. Petersburg, which offers lots of water views.
Your second option is I-75 S if you want an inland drive.
The I-75 S route will lead you to Bradenton, and the drive is two hours without traffic.
If driving from Orlando, you will remain on I-4 W, the major and most direct route across Florida up to Tampa, then connect to I-75 S, and head south.
Drivers from the southern side of Florida, including Fort Myers, will enjoy a scenic drive for just under two hours.
The best direct route for you is I-75 N, which exits at 220B and connects to FL-64 W/Manatee Ave W. That takes you to Holmes Beach, where you can then easily get to Anna Maria Island.
Flying in from an airport
Anna Maria Island is conveniently close to some of Florida’s biggest airports so you can avoid the chaos of the town.
The most famous airports people choose to fly to the island from are Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport, Tampa International Airport, and Orlando International Airport.
Here is how you get to the island through any of the airports.
Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport
Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport is the nearest airport to Anna Maria Island, and it will take 30 minutes to fly there.
Take route 41 North if you want to enjoy a scenic drive.
After covering a distance of 3.3 miles, you will turn left on Bayshore Gardens Parkway, which heads to El Conquistador Parkway within 1.3 miles.
Drive along the El Conquistador Parkway up to the traffic circle point, then exit to continue north onto 75th ST.W.
After the exit, you will take a left at Cortez Road and enter Bradenton Beach from Cortez Bridge.
Tampa International Airport
Driving from Tampa International Airport to Anna Maria Island will take a little over an hour.
Take I-275 S since it boasts a panoramic vibe, especially at the Sunshine Skyway Bridge. Then join Exit 5 after three miles and get onto US-19 S.
Turn left after three miles onto US-41 S/S Tamiami Trail and then right onto FL-64 W/Manatee Ave W, which goes directly to Holmes Beach, from where you will get onto the island.
Orlando International Airport
When coming from Orlando International Airport, use the I-4 W route and then connect to I-75 S which leads to Bradenton.
Once at Bradenton, you can take any road to FL-64 W/Manatee Ave W and drive west to Holmes Beach.
How to navigate around Anna Maria Island
Once you arrive at Anna Maria Island, it’s time to explore.
There are several options for navigating around the island. You can walk to different places if you want since Anna Maria Island is not so big.
If walking is not an option, here are some convenient means of transport.
The cost of a taxi service depends on the car you select, where you are driving to or from, and the time you require the service (is it during peak hours or not?).
There are affordable taxi services on Anna Maria Island for those who don’t want to use car rentals.
Taxi services are also available at all the airports, so you won’t have to keep up with a rental car for the time you will be on the island.
Golf carts are common in Anna Maria Island because they are easy to navigate through the low-speed roadways of the island.
You can also park them in nearly any place. They boast enough space for your family and any items you may want to take to the beach.
Golf carts are also fun for the kiddos, and you will have an easy-breezy ride around the island in them.
You can only rent a golf cart if you are 25 years old and older. You must have a valid driver’s license and auto insurance.
The carts available on Anna Maria Island are either gas or electric-powered, with prices ranging from as low as $130 per day. Some rental companies offer discounts depending on how long you need the cart.
Trolleys are all over the island, and you won’t pay to use them.
They stop every two to four blocks and go nearly any place across the island so you can easily access the attraction you want to visit.
Besides being affordable, bike rentals are a perfect way to burn calories during your vacation in AMI.
Additionally, bikes are an eco-friendly and affordable way to explore the island.
Bike rentals come with a helmet, baskets and locks, and other accessories that make a bike ride safe and comfortable.
What can you do around Anna Maria Island?
Anna Maria Island is full of outdoor adventures and activities. Here are some of the things you can do on your visit.
Coquina Beach is one of South Florida’s prettiest beaches.
This is a 22-acre public beach located at the southern end of Anna Maria Island.
You’ll find plenty of sunbathing and swimming spots on this beach. The beach has a cafe, changing cabanas, a gift shop, and space for outdoor games.
If you plan to be on the beach for the whole day, there are bathrooms, picnic tables, grills, and pavilions so you will be comfortable.
Take a break from the beach and enjoy nature at the Coquina Baywalk.
This short, beautiful, easy trail on Coquina Beach’s shores is another incredible thing to do in AMI.
You will come across some elegant scenery, including mangrove tunnels.
Small Town Creamery
The heat in Anna Maria Island can be extreme, and there is no better place to cool down than at the Small Town Creamery.
According to the residents around Anna Maria Island, this locally-owned ice cream shop is one of the happiest places on the island.
You have over 50 flavors of ice cream to choose from here, all of which are made using local ingredients.
They also have nuts, candy, and coffee for those who don’t want ice cream.
If you plan to visit Anna Maria Island, you must know how to get there. You can take a flight if coming from afar or drive if you are near the surrounding cities. I hope you have fun visiting Anna Maria Island!