The Anna Maria Island Beach Scene is truly awesome! Once you make a trip to AMI you’re sure to agree this beach vacation destination is one of a kind.
The Anna Maria Island Beach Scene is Awesome!
Everyone knows all beaches are not equal. Some are rocky, some have murky cold water, some are too busy with patrons, and others just aren’t very clean. You won’t find any of these problems when visiting Anna Maria Island beaches. They are simply stunning in every way!
While you can find other beach vacation destinations in Florida, none offer the laid back old Florida charm of Anna Maria Island. Locals are a little salty, but super sweet too! You won’t find any hire rises and very few chain stores. AMI really has a character all its own.
Sand and Shells
Anna Maria Island beaches offer powder soft white sand. Just perfect for building sand castles, burring younger siblings, and wiggling in between your toes. This strip of coastline is high in quartz content, so on really hot days the sand doesn’t usually burn your feet too bad.
You’ll find a decent array of sea shells too. This is especially true after a big storm, or early in the morning before the average beach-goers start rolling in. Shelling enthusiast will have great luck on Bean Point. While collecting shells remember to never take anything living, and use ethical practices when vacationing on the precious coastline. Sand dollars are a sought after shell, but only take the ones that are white. A white sand dollar is no longer alive. Manatee County forbids collection of Sand dollars without a fishing license with a maximum bag limit of two per a person a day.
Beach Vacation Rentals
Anna Maria Island is home to hundreds of amazing beach rentals. From charming old beach cottages to brand new luxury homes, you’ll find a great selection of rentals for any size group.
These beaches have beautiful water rival to places like the Caribbean. Typically the water surrounding the island is very good quality for swimming and fishing. Most days the Gulf of Mexico offers clear blue water, but this may change due to time of year and weather. You can see straight to the sandy bottom on most days.
Occasionally storms will churn up the gulf and bring in seaweed and grasses, but this is really typical of any beach front. No-swim advisories are almost non-existent along Anna Maria Island. The water is very clean with minimal pollution, no green algae overgrowth and no major issues with problematic bacteria. Like much of the gulf coast, AMI does experience Red Tide, but this usually lasts for less than a week before moving off coast and dissipating. Red Tide doesn’t commonly cause beaches to shut down. If you aren’t familiar with it, Red Tide is a microorganism present in gulf waters at all times. Find Red Tide Reports from Mote Marine Laboratory.
Public Beaches and Amenities
An amazing feature of the seven miles of AMI coastline is there are tons of public beach accesses. Almost every street that dead ends on the gulf has a public access. There are a few private beaches, however, they are located on the Tampa Bay side where the beach is very narrow, and no public parking is available.
There are several large public accesses offering really great beach amenities. These are, from south to north, Coquina Beach, Manatee Public Beach and Bayfront park. Each of these three offer lots of free parking, charcoal grills, playgrounds, restrooms, showers and benches.
Popular Beach Spots
Coquina Beach has a great deal of shade trees, pavilions and Coquina Beach Cafe for concessions. Here you’ll also find the farthest south free trolley stop. Under the shade trees you’ll find a paved path great for biking, walking and bird watching. Many people like to fish off the very southern tip of Coquina beach. This beach has life guards.
Cortez Beach is just north of Coquina. It doesn’t have all the fancy amenities, but there is plenty of parking along the street. You can walk to Bridge Street from this area too. Locals enjoying surfing at this access.
Manatee Public Beach is the most popular access. This area also has AMI Beach Cafe, a visitors center and West Coast Surf Shop for shopping and dining. Lifeguards are on duty. Here you’ll find north and south bound free trolley stops in addition to the Manatee Public bus heading inland. This is the main hub of the Anna Maria Island Beach Scene!
City Park is on the gulf side of Anna Maria and runs between Oak and Magnolia Avenues. This park doesn’t have extra amenities, but does offer a few handicapped parking spaces. Additional parking can be found near the beach on any of the avenues between Oak and Magnolia. Here you’ll be near Pine Avenue and The Sandbar Restaurant.
Bayfront Park is a Tampa Bay beach with shaded areas great for those with small children. This area is just between the Rod & Reel Pier and Anna Maria City Pier where you can find restaurants and great fishing. Bayfront Park has pavilions and the northern most trolley stop at the base of the city pier.
Bean Point is the most coveted beach spot on the island. The very northern tip of the island, here you’ll find very limited parking making for a more secluded beach scene. You won’t find any amenities here, but enjoy gorgeous views of the Sunshine Skyway and little peace and relaxation.
Beach Bars and Restaurants
Anna Maria Island has a nice selection of beach front restaurants and bars. These make for a special spot to relax with a cold drink while watching the tide drift in and out. You’re sure to find a great Anna Maria Island beach scene when you visit one of the great restaurants.
While visiting the island you’ll notice interesting wildlife. Beautiful bright pink Roseate Spoonbills, delicate little sand pipers and raucous green parrots are not uncommon in this tropical oasis. Every year from May to October Loggerhead Sea Turtles come ashore to nest. If you are on the beach between dusk and dawn you may even see one. If you are lucky enough to catch this rarely seen occurrence make sure to stay far back from the turtle. While visiting during turtle season be sure to keep all outdoor lights from shining on the beach as this can cause turtles to become disoriented.
Anna Maria Island sunsets are some of the most beautiful you’ll ever see. There is something almost magic about them. Watching the bright orange sun melting into the turquoise water is simply breath taking. Sunsets are a time when it feels like the entire island has slipped into relaxation mode.
Plan your next Florida vacation today and enjoy the Anna Maria Island Beach Scene!