Anna Maria Island Beaches

Anna Maria is the name of the Island, but it has three separate cities: Bradenton Beach, Holmes Beach, and Anna Maria.

Anna Maria Island beach near Magnolia Avenue.

Anna Maria is my favorite island because I grew up in Bradenton and spent the best times of my life on this island and these beaches. I surfed here, walked the beaches, watched a thousand sunsets, and I still come here to really relax and recharge my batteries. While many things have changed since my childhood in the 60's and 70's, no high-rises have been built, and the trees and foliage are more verdant and beautiful than ever. But there are more people on the island now, and traffic is heavier, especially January through May.

Recent years have seen record-breaking levels of visitors to the island, partly due to heavy promotion campaigns.

Anna Maria Island Beach Vacation Rentals

anna maria island beach condo
anna maria island beach condo with pool
Phone: 289-660-2331

Seven miles of white sand beaches, private beach access, heated pool, high-speed internet, 50" HD television and 40" television with over 170 channels. View of the Gulf, pool or Intra-coastal Waterway from every room in our Anna Maria Island Beach Vacation Condo.  

Clear Gulf waters on Anna Maria Island, Florida. Photo by David McRee at

The water isn't always this clear on Anna Maria Island, but during the spring months it can be incredibly clear and calm. The months of May and June often bring the clearest water.

People often ask me what the beach is like at a certain place on the island, so I've been working on a project to photograph the beach at each street-end access. This can be very helpful information when choosing a rental accommodation on Anna Maria Island. Use the menu below to see the streets I've documented so far:

Beach house in the city of Anna Maria, Florida.

Beach house on Anna Maria Island.

While the Siesta Key Beaches serve the large city of Sarasota, Anna Maria's beaches serve Bradenton, which is a much smaller town. Anna Maria has always been less developed and less "busy"  than Siesta Key, though it's roads can certainly become congested on a nice beach day. Still, it has retained its friendly family-oriented flavor and has shunned the building of high-rise hotels and condominiums. The island cities are doing a pretty good job of balancing growth with historic preservation and maintenance of residential communities that attract families and good neighbors (even if many are seasonal).

Anna Maria Island beach neighborhood.

Anna Maria neighborhood near the beach.

Relaxing on Anna Maria Beach, Florida.

Total relaxation on Anna Maria Beach.

Why Come to Anna Maria Island?

What Anna Maria Doesn't Offer

Anna Maria Island summer beach scene.

A summer afternoon on Anna Maria beach.

Hidden trail to the beach on Anna Maria Island, Florida.

A hidden trail to one of the best surfing beaches in Southwest Florida.

Sunset on Anna Maria Island beach.

Everyone comes down to the beach for sunset.

Stand Up Paddleboard surfing on Anna Maria Island, FL.

Stand-up Paddleboard surfing is popular in Florida.

Gulf Drive passes through Bradenton Beach, Florida.

Gulf Drive takes you right through the little town of Bradenton Beach. This is also known as Cortez Beach. Note the walking/bike path. It runs all the way from Cortez Beach to Longboat Pass.

Coquina Public Beach, Anna Maria Island, Florida.

Coquina Public Beach.

Manatee County Public Beach in Holmes Beach, FL.

Manatee County Public Beach facilities and Cafe On The Beach.

Rod and Reel Pier in the city of Anna Maria, Florida.

The legendary Rod & Reel Pier.

Personal Stories of Anna Maria Island

A Family Discovers Anna Maria Island

The Hime family chronicles their summer beach vacation on Anna Maria Island, writing about what they did, where they stayed, where they ate, and how they felt during their week on the island.

Here in America - Florida Family Vacation at the Beach

A beautiful story (with photos) of one family's discovery of Anna Maria Island, Florida. "I associated the east coast Florida beaches of my youth with the inchoate melancholy of that period--trips to the shore that were never as fun as I pretended with people that often weren't such great friends as I wished."

Getting to Know Anna Maria Island

A collection of blog posts and photos about beach life on Anna Maria Island.

Two Retired Teachers Touring the US in Their Motor Home Discover Anna Maria Island

They stop at all the popular spots and have a great time.

Fond Memories of Many Beach Vacations on Anna Maria

Great personal story about lifelong visits to Anna Maria, with very nice photos.

Anna Maria Beach Info

Anna Maria Island Beach Regulations - Anna Maria Island

Rules and regulations for the beaches of Anna Maria Island are governed by Florida State Law, the code of ordinances of Manatee County plus the additions and modifications within the 3 cities of Anna Maria, Holmes Beach, and Bradenton Beach, that comprise the municipalities of the island.

Anna Maria Island Restaurants

Jason's Top 10 Restaurants on Anna Maria Island

Jason, of Island Real Estate, lists and accurately describes his favorite 10 restaurants on the island. This list is definitely a winner. And one of my favorite's, Mr. Bones BBQ, is #5 on the list.

Anna Maria Island Restaurants that Serve Breakfast

Finding a place that serves breakfast at the beach can be a challenge in many places. But here's a great list of restaurants that will serve you breakfast on Anna Maria Island.

Things To Do on Anna Maria Island

Larry's "Best-Of" Anna Maria Island

Where's the best place to ride a bike? Buy fresh fish? Check your email? Have breakfast with a view? Larry has a great list.

Get the Islander's Weekly Fishing Report for Anna Maria Island

Find out what's biting and where and when to catch the fish in the Islander's weekly fishing report.

Copyright: David McRee,