Epic Family Things to do in Anna Maria Island

A photo of a group of people on the beach suggesting all the Epic Family Things to Do In Anna Maria Island, Florida

Brief overview of Anna Maria Island

If you are looking for insanely fun family things to do in Anna Maria Island, this article is for you. Anna Maria Island, a hidden gem nestled in the Gulf Coast of Florida, is an idyllic destination for families seeking a rejuvenating retreat. With its pristine beaches, vibrant local culture, and a myriad of activities to explore, this quaint island promises unforgettable experiences for every member of the family. 

Overview of family activities available on Anna Maria Island

If you are looking for insanely fun family things to do in Anna Maria Island, this article is for you. Anna Maria Island, a hidden gem nestled in the Gulf Coast of Florida, is an idyllic destination for families seeking a rejuvenating retreat. With its pristine beaches, vibrant local culture, and a myriad of activities to explore, this quaint island promises unforgettable experiences for every member of the family. 

A person is parasailing in the blue ocean.

In the sun-drenched paradise of Anna Maria Island, where the turquoise waters of the Gulf of Mexico lap against powdery white sands, there lies an adventure that beckons to the intrepid traveler and the thrill-seeker alike. The Parasailing Adventure in Anna Maria Island, a soaring escapade that defies gravity and offers a breathtaking perspective on this idyllic haven, is an experience that rivals the finest tales of Hemingway’s own exploits. As you ascend into the azure sky, tethered to a vessel that cuts through the glassy ocean like a knife, you’ll find yourself immersed in a world where time slows down and the beauty of nature unfolds before your very eyes. The island, with its quaint neighborhoods, lush landscapes, and vibrant poinciana trees, stretches out beneath you like a living tapestry, while the horizon melds seamlessly with the vast expanse of the sea. This exhilarating journey, guided by a crew as skilled as they are entertaining, is not only a testament to the indomitable spirit of adventure but also a reminder of the simple joys that life has to offer. For those who dare to take flight, the Parasailing Adventure in Anna Maria Island is an unforgettable odyssey that will leave you yearning for more, much like the immortal words of Hemingway himself.

Photo of a woman snorkeling, which is just one of the Family things to do on Anna Maria Island

2. Beach Activities

A. Overview of popular beaches on Anna Maria Island

1. Manatee Public Beach

Located in Holmes Beach, Manatee Public Beach boasts powdery white sands, warm turquoise waters, and a laid-back atmosphere. With ample parking, a children’s playground, and picnic facilities, it’s an ideal spot for a family beach day.

2. Coquina Beach

Nestled on the southern tip of the island, Coquina Beach features a picturesque backdrop of Australian pines and a vast shoreline perfect for long strolls. Its calm waters and ample amenities make it a family favorite.

3. Bean Point Beach

Bean Point Beach, a secluded paradise located at the island’s northern tip, offers an intimate setting for families seeking tranquility. Its unspoiled beauty and mesmerizing sunsets make it a must-visit location.

B. Beach games and sports

1. Beach volleyball

As the sun glistens on the azure waters, families can engage in friendly beach volleyball matches to build camaraderie and enjoy some healthy competition.

2. Frisbee

The gentle ocean breeze makes for an exciting game of frisbee, which can be enjoyed by all ages and skill levels.

3. Sandcastle building

Unleash your creativity by constructing elaborate sandcastles with your family. Collaborate on grand designs, or host a friendly competition to see who can create the most intricate masterpiece.

C. Water activities

1. Swimming

The warm, inviting waters of Anna Maria Island beckon families to dive in and enjoy a refreshing swim. With its calm waves, the island offers a safe environment for children to practice their strokes.

2. Snorkeling

Discover the vibrant underwater world of the Gulf Coast by snorkeling in the clear waters surrounding Anna Maria Island. Keep your eyes peeled for colorful fish, graceful sea turtles, and other marine life.

3. Paddleboarding

Paddleboarding is an exhilarating way to explore the island’s coastline. Rent paddleboards and embark on a family adventure, gliding through the serene waters while soaking in the stunning views.

A group of people are kayaking in the water near a rocky shore.

3. Nature and Wildlife Exploration

A. Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch and Shorebird Monitoring

Awaken your inner naturalist as you discover Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch and Shorebird Monitoring. This conservation program allows families to witness the enchanting life cycle of sea turtles and marvel at the diverse shorebirds inhabiting the island.

B. Leffis Key Preserve

1. Nature trails

Embark on an expedition at Leffis Key Preserve as you wander through the labyrinthine nature trails, enveloped by lush foliage and serenading birdsong. Experience the quintessential Old Florida charm, as you traverse the wooden boardwalks that meander through the mangroves.

2. Wildlife spotting

Keep your eyes peeled for elusive wildlife as you explore the preserve. Furtive raccoons, stealthy herons, and a kaleidoscope of butterflies all call this sanctuary home. Capture the magic through the lens of your camera and treasure these memories forever.

C. Robinson Preserve

1. Hiking and biking trails

Robinson Preserve invites families to connect with nature as they amble along hiking and biking trails that weave through the vibrant wetlands. Feast your senses on the bewitching vistas and breathe in the invigorating scents of salt air and marsh grass.

2. Kayaking and canoeing

Venture onto Sarasota Bay as you glide through the tranquil waters in a kayak or canoe. Paddle through the maze of mangrove tunnels and bask in the soothing sounds of rustling leaves and gentle waves lapping against your vessel.

A boat sits on the beach next to palm trees.

4. Fishing and Boating Activities

Types of Fishing on Anna Maria Island

Pier Fishing

Anna Maria Island presents an idyllic haven for pier fishing aficionados. Reel in the likes of snook, redfish, and spotted sea trout, all while basking in the sun’s warm embrace.

Shore Fishing

For a more laid-back approach, consider shore fishing. This leisurely activity allows families to bond as they collectively revel in the thrill of the catch.

Charter Fishing

Why not embark on a charter fishing expedition? A knowledgeable guide will lead your group to a bountiful fishing spot, where you can angle for grouper, snapper, and other local species.

Popular Fishing Spots

Anna Maria City Pier

As the sun dips below the horizon, watch the azure sky transform into a kaleidoscope of colors at Anna Maria City Pier. Cast your line into Tampa Bay’s depths and reel in your very own aquatic treasure.

Bradenton Beach City Pier

From Bradenton Beach City Pier, you’ll experience an exquisite panorama of Sarasota Bay. This location is a perennial favorite among anglers seeking a leisurely day by the water.

Rod & Reel Pier

Immerse yourself in Old Florida charm at Rod & Reel Pier. Fish for your evening meal or simply savor the serene seascape, serenaded by the whispering waves.

A family is sitting on a sailboat at sunset.

5. Boating and Sailing Excursions

Dolphin Watching Tours

Marvel at the elegance of bottlenose dolphins as they glide through the water on a dolphin watching tour. These magnificent creatures will leave you breathless as they perform their aquatic ballet just a few feet away.

Sunset Cruises

Allow the golden sun to bid you adieu on a sunset cruise. As day turns to night, the sea reflects the sky’s fiery hues, creating an unforgettable tableau that words can scarcely describe.

Boat Rentals

For the adventurous, rent a boat and explore Anna Maria Island’s pristine shoreline at your leisure. Discover hidden coves and secret beaches, accessible only to those who dare to chart their own course.

An eye with colorful paint splatters on it.

6. Arts and Culture on Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria Island Historical Society Museum

Discover the island’s storied past at the Anna Maria Island Historical Society Museum. This treasure trove showcases fascinating relics and photographs, chronicling Anna Maria’s transformation from a humble fishing village to a bustling tourist destination. Children will be thrilled to learn about the island’s history, as well as the local flora and fauna that call this paradise home.

Island Players Community Theatre

A haven for thespians and theatre enthusiasts alike, the Island Players Community Theatre serves as a cultural anchor for the local community. This intimate venue hosts an array of captivating performances, showcasing the talents of Anna Maria’s very own. Immerse your family in the world of drama and intrigue, and let the magic of the stage whisk you away.

Artists’ Guild of Anna Maria Island Gallery

The Artists’ Guild of Anna Maria Island Gallery celebrates the creativity and ingenuity of local artisans. Featuring an eclectic array of art pieces, from paintings to sculptures, this enchanting space offers something for every artistic palate. Foster your family’s love for the arts as you meander through the gallery, marveling at the kaleidoscope of colors and textures on display.

Art Galleries and Studios

Island Gallery West

Located in the heart of Holmes Beach, Island Gallery With works hailing from over 30 local artists, the gallery provides a glimpse into the vibrant art scene that flourishes on Anna Maria Island. Embark on a journey through the creative minds of island artisans, and perhaps even acquire a one-of-a-kind keepsake to commemorate your family’s island adventure.

A family is smiling while sitting on a couch.

7. Family-friendly Dining

Overview of Family-friendly Restaurants on Anna Maria Island

A smorgasbord of culinary delights awaits your family on Anna Maria Island, where both sophisticated palates and picky eaters will find satisfaction. From beachside eateries serving up succulent seafood to quirky cafes dishing out comfort food with a twist, there’s no shortage of tantalizing options to whet your appetite.

Recommended Dining Options

The Sandbar Restaurant

Nestled along the powdery sands of the Gulf Coast, The Sandbar Restaurant offers an unparalleled dining experience, complete with mesmerizing views of the sun dipping below the horizon. Savor mouthwatering seafood dishes, expertly prepared with locally sourced ingredients, as the gentle lapping of waves serenades your family.

Ginny’s and Jane E’s Café and Coastal Store

Step into the quirky world of Ginny’s and Jane E’s Café and Coastal Store, where the aroma of freshly baked goodies mingles with a delightful atmosphere. Unwind in the eclectic café as you enjoy their scrumptious breakfast and lunch options. Don’t forget to peruse their coastal store, where unique treasures and souvenirs abound.

The Donut Experiment

Indulge your sweet tooth at The Donut Experiment, where creativity knows no bounds. This family-owned establishment allows you to create your own bespoke donut masterpiece, with a dizzying array of glazes and toppings. Witness the delight on your children’s faces as they concoct their confectionary dreams.

A man in a pirate costume holding a gun.

Seasonal Events and Festivals

Overview of Annual Events on Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria Island, a stunning slice of Old Florida, offers a myriad of family things to do. With its pristine white-sand beaches, azure Gulf Coast waters, and laid-back charm, the island is an idyllic destination for families seeking fun and relaxation. One of the best ways to experience the unique atmosphere of Anna Maria Island is to attend one of its many seasonal events and festivals.

Popular Family-Friendly Events

1. Bayfest

Bayfest, an annual street festival held on Pine Avenue, is a celebration of the island’s vibrant community and culture. The event features live music, a classic car show, mouthwatering local food, arts and crafts vendors, and a kid’s zone with games and activities. As you stroll down Pine Avenue, you’ll be captivated by the sights, sounds, and tastes that make Anna Maria Island so enchanting.

2. Symphony on the Sand

Symphony on the Sand, a spectacular event held on Coquina Beach, is a feast for the senses. This magical evening combines the beauty of the island’s beaches with the captivating melodies of a live symphony orchestra. Families can enjoy a picnic under the stars while listening to classical music and watching the sun set over the shimmering Gulf Coast waters.

3. Anna Maria Island Privateers Christmas Parade

The Anna Maria Island Privateers Christmas Parade is a beloved holiday tradition for families visiting the island in December. This festive event features the Anna Maria Island Privateers, a local non-profit organization, dressed in pirate garb and spreading holiday cheer. The parade winds its way from Bayfront Park in the City of Anna Maria to Coquina Beach in Bradenton Beach, with lavishly decorated floats, music, and merriment. Children eagerly await the arrival of Santa Claus, who brings gifts and good tidings to all.

The lobby or reception area at revendic hotel.

Where to stay when in Anna Maria?

Anna Maria Island offers a range of accommodations to suit different preferences and budgets. Here are some popular options:

  1. Vacation Rentals – There are many vacation rental options available on Anna Maria Island, including apartments, condos, and houses. This is a great choice for families or groups of friends who want a more private and spacious accommodation option.
  2. Hotels – There are several hotels located on the island, ranging from budget-friendly options to more luxurious resorts. Many of the hotels are located near the beach and offer stunning views of the Gulf of Mexico.
  3. Bed and Breakfasts – If you prefer a more intimate and personalized accommodation option, there are several bed and breakfasts on the island. These offer cozy rooms, homemade breakfast, and personalized service.
  4. Resorts – Anna Maria Island also has a few high-end resorts that offer luxurious amenities such as spa services, fine dining, and beachfront access.

No matter which accommodation option you choose, it’s important to book in advance, especially during peak travel seasons. Additionally, consider the location, amenities, and budget when selecting a place to stay on Anna Maria Island.


From beachcombing on Bean Point Beach to exploring the eclectic shops and eateries along Bridge Street, there are countless opportunities for families to create lasting memories on Anna Maria Island. The island’s natural beauty, combined with its rich cultural heritage and array of fun things to do, make it a treasured destination for families seeking an authentic Florida vacation experience.

Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, Anna Maria Island will undoubtedly capture your heart. With its laid-back charm, warm hospitality, and picture-perfect beaches, the island is an ideal destination for families seeking quality time together. Don’t wait another moment; start planning your unforgettable Anna Maria Island vacation today.

While this article highlights some of the most popular family activities on Anna Maria Island, there’s so much more to discover. Consider taking a dolphin tour, visiting the Mote Marine Laboratory, or catching a performance at the Island Players Community Theatre. With an endless array of attractions and experiences, Anna Maria Island is a destination that keeps families coming back year after year.


What is anna maria island known for?

Anna Maria Island is a true gem of Florida’s Gulf Coast, known for its pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and laid-back charm. This secluded island has managed to preserve its natural beauty, making it a beloved destination for travelers who seek a true escape from the hustle and bustle of modern life.

Anna Maria Island is a haven for those who love the sun, sand, and sea. Its beaches are among the most beautiful in the world, with miles of powdery white sand and calm, turquoise waters. It’s the perfect place to sunbathe, swim, paddleboard, or simply relax and take in the breathtaking views.

But there’s more to Anna Maria Island than just its beaches. The island is home to a thriving arts and culture scene, with galleries, studios, and theaters showcasing the work of talented local artists. Visitors can also explore the island’s many nature reserves and parks, home to a diverse array of wildlife, including sea turtles, dolphins, and birds.

The island’s dining scene is also worth mentioning. From fresh seafood to farm-to-table cuisine, there’s something for everyone. And with its charming local shops and boutiques, Anna Maria Island is the perfect place to find unique souvenirs and gifts.

Overall, Anna Maria Island is a destination that offers a perfect blend of natural beauty, culture, and relaxation. It’s no wonder that it continues to enchant travelers from all over the world, who come in search of a true escape from the ordinary.

What part of Anna Maria Island is the best?

Anna Maria Island’s historic town of Anna Maria is a true gem that shouldn’t be missed.

With its white sand beaches, turquoise waters, and quiet atmosphere, Anna Maria is the perfect escape for travelers seeking a relaxing and tranquil vacation. The town’s charming architecture, historic pier, and local shops and restaurants offer a sense of old Florida charm that is difficult to find elsewhere.

One of the town’s most notable attractions is Bean Point Beach, which is located on the northernmost tip of the island and offers stunning views of the Gulf of Mexico and Tampa Bay. Visitors can also take a stroll through the Anna Maria City Pier, which dates back to 1911 and offers breathtaking views of the water.

In addition, Anna Maria Island’s Anna Maria town offers a range of outdoor activities, such as fishing, kayaking, and biking, making it a great choice for travelers who want to experience the island’s natural beauty.

Overall, Anna Maria Island’s historic town of Anna Maria offers a charming and peaceful escape for travelers looking for a quieter vacation. It’s the perfect place to unwind, soak up the sun, and enjoy the island’s laid-back atmosphere.

Does Anna Maria Island have clear water?

Anna Maria Island, a picturesque barrier island located on the Gulf of Mexico, boasts some of the clearest waters in Florida. The island’s beaches are renowned for their powder-soft white sands and clear turquoise waters, making it a paradise for beach lovers and water enthusiasts alike.

The warm, inviting waters of Anna Maria Island are perfect for swimming, snorkeling, and other water activities, and the island’s location ensures that the water remains clear and calm throughout the year. Visitors can spot a variety of marine life, including sea turtles and dolphins, playing in the crystal-clear waters.

Anna Maria Island’s stunning beaches are some of the most beautiful in the world, and the clear waters are just one of the many reasons why it’s a must-visit destination for travelers seeking a beach vacation. So come and experience the clear waters of Anna Maria Island, and immerse yourself in its natural beauty and tranquility.

Which is better anna maria island or Longboat Key?

In the eternal debate between Anna Maria Island and Longboat Key, there is no clear winner. Both destinations offer their own unique charm and allure, making it a difficult decision for travelers seeking the perfect getaway.

On one hand, Anna Maria Island’s relaxed atmosphere and stunning beaches are a true escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Its charming local shops and restaurants offer a taste of old Florida, and visitors can enjoy a range of outdoor activities from kayaking to fishing.

On the other hand, Longboat Key’s luxurious resorts and fine dining options offer a more upscale and sophisticated experience. The island is a haven for golfers and boaters, with a range of high-end amenities and services available.

Ultimately, the choice between Anna Maria Island and Longboat Key comes down to personal preference. Those seeking a more laid-back and intimate experience may find Anna Maria Island to be the better choice, while those seeking luxury and exclusivity may prefer Longboat Key.

Regardless of which destination you choose, both offer an idyllic Florida escape that will leave you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. So pack your bags and embark on an adventure to one of these stunning destinations – you won’t regret it.

How do you spend a day at Anna Maria Island

Start the day by taking a stroll along the island’s pristine beaches, where the soft sand and clear turquoise waters provide the perfect backdrop for a peaceful morning. Stop by one of the island’s many coffee shops or cafes for a delicious breakfast and a cup of coffee, or opt for a classic American breakfast at a local diner.

After breakfast, rent a bike or a kayak to explore the island’s natural wonders. Paddle along the mangrove tunnels or cycle along the quiet roads and admire the lush vegetation and stunning waterfront homes. Take a break and enjoy a picnic lunch at one of the island’s many parks or beachfront picnic areas.

In the afternoon, explore the island’s charming local shops, art galleries, and boutiques. Stop by a local brewery for a craft beer tasting or a cocktail at a beachfront bar, and enjoy the island’s laid-back vibe. As the sun begins to set, head to one of the island’s beachfront restaurants for a delicious seafood dinner and a glass of wine while watching the sunset over the Gulf of Mexico.

As Ernest Hemingway would say, “The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places.” Spend a day at Anna Maria Island, and let the island’s natural beauty and local charm mend your soul. Let the salty sea air fill your lungs, and the warm sun on your face guide you to a day of adventure, relaxation, and discovery.

When is the best time to visit Anna Maria Island?

The best time to visit Anna Maria Island is from March to May. During these period, the weather is mild, the crowds are smaller, and the prices are lower than peak season. Spring offers colorful blooms and greenery, while fall is perfect for fishing tournaments and other events.

June through August is peak season, and while the weather is perfect for a beach vacation, the crowds and prices can be a deterrent. It’s worth noting that tropical storms and hurricanes can occur during these months.

Planning a trip to Anna Maria Island requires attention to detail. Accommodations can book up quickly, so it’s best to book in advance. When deciding when to visit, consider your budget, preferred activities, and tolerance for crowds.

Why is Anna Maria Island the ideal vacation destination?

With its stunning white sand beaches, clear turquoise waters, and charming local shops and restaurants, this Gulf Coast destination is the perfect place to unwind and relax.

One of the most appealing aspects of Anna Maria Island is its natural beauty. The island’s beaches are some of the most beautiful in Florida, and the clear, calm waters are perfect for swimming, snorkeling, and other water activities. The island is also home to a diverse array of wildlife, including sea turtles and dolphins, which can often be seen playing and swimming in the warm waters.

In addition to its natural beauty, Anna Maria Island also offers a range of activities and attractions for visitors to enjoy. From shopping and dining in the charming local shops and restaurants to exploring the island’s rich history and culture, there is something for everyone on this beautiful island.

Moreover, Anna Maria Island is a family-friendly destination with a variety of options for all ages. Families can enjoy the beautiful beaches, parks, and playgrounds, as well as activities such as mini-golf, fishing, and boat rentals.

Overall, Anna Maria Island is the ideal vacation destination for those seeking a peaceful and beautiful beach vacation. With its natural beauty, range of activities and attractions, and family-friendly atmosphere, it’s no wonder why this Gulf Coast destination is a popular choice among travelers.

What are the best beaches on anna maria island?

One of the most popular beaches on Anna Maria Island is Coquina Beach. This beach is known for its family-friendly atmosphere and amenities, including a playground, picnic area, and concession stand. The beach is also home to several volleyball courts, making it a great choice for sports enthusiasts.

Another stunning beach on Anna Maria Island is Bean Point. Located at the northern tip of the island, Bean Point offers a more secluded and peaceful experience. The beach’s clear waters and soft sand create a picturesque backdrop, perfect for taking in the island’s natural beauty.

Manatee Public Beach is also a popular choice among visitors. This beach is known for its beautiful sunsets and variety of activities, including beach volleyball, bike rentals, and a playground. The beach’s concession stand and gift shop make it a convenient choice for families.

Finally, Bradenton Beach is a great choice for those seeking a more lively and active beach experience. The beach is home to several beach bars and restaurants, as well as a pier that offers fishing and sunset cruises.

Overall, each beach on Anna Maria Island has its unique charm and beauty, making it difficult to choose just one. Whether you’re seeking a quiet and peaceful escape or a more lively and active atmosphere, Anna Maria Island’s beaches have something for everyone.

What are some Anna Maria Island things to do at night?

Anna Maria Island is not just a beautiful destination for a daytime beach vacation. The island also offers plenty of things to do at night, ensuring that visitors have a memorable experience during their stay.

One of the most magical experiences on the island is taking a moonlit stroll on the beach. The sound of the waves and the cool ocean breeze create a calming ambiance, perfect for a peaceful evening.

For those seeking a livelier atmosphere, there are several bars and restaurants on the island that offer live music and entertainment. From blues and jazz to rock and country, visitors can enjoy a variety of musical genres while sipping on tropical cocktails.

Foodies will be delighted with the island’s dining scene. Whether it’s fresh seafood or farm-to-table dishes, there are plenty of options for a memorable dining experience. Anna Maria Island also offers several gourmet food tours, which allow visitors to sample the best of the island’s cuisine in a fun and interactive way.

Movie lovers can catch a flick at the local theater, which shows the latest blockbusters and indie films. Additionally, the island offers a variety of art galleries and cultural events, including live theater performances and art exhibitions.

In conclusion, Anna Maria Island has something to offer for everyone, even after the sun goes down. From romantic moonlit strolls on the beach to lively music and dining experiences, visitors will never run out of things to do on this Gulf Coast paradise.