A Complete Guide to Watersports on Anna Maria Island

Whether you’re looking for an adrenaline rush on the water or moments of tranquility as waves float peacefully underneath you, Anna Maria Island is the perfect place to be! This water wonderland getaway spot in Manatee County, FL, is perfect for experienced travel adventurers and newcomers alike. AMI has tons of water-centric activities you can enjoy on just about any day of the year and plenty of equipment rental spots nearby.

Here’s everything you need to know before you hit the water!

Kayaking & Paddleboarding

For Anna Maria Island kayaking, check out Beach Bums AMI on 427 Pine Ave (open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily). This recreational rental store and gift shop powerhouse should have everything you need when you want to take on these two water sports in style. You can rent a single kayak for four hours, one day, three days, one week, or two weeks. If you prefer a tandem kayak (meaning a two-person kayak), Beach Bums AMI has those available for you as well. 

As for paddleboarding rentals, these run as single-only (not tandem-style) rentals for the same rental periods as the kayaks. Conveniently, you’ll find that each kayak or paddleboard rental comes with its own life jacket at no additional cost. Each person participating is required to wear one, so make sure you size up and adjust it accordingly (for a perfectly snug fit) before hitting the waters. Basic safety instructions will be provided before each rental, so you’ll soon be ready to take to the water with confidence.

A woman kayaks in a body of water amongst trees
Photo from Shutterstock

Plan Your Visit

Browse our Anna Maria Island vacation rentals today, and fall in love with one. Contact our team to book now!

Boat Rentals

Nothing quite says “freedom” like renting your own boat. You should try Fun and More Rentals in Holmes Beach for the best boat rentals around. This rental spot is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day except for Sunday (9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday). It’s got great reviews and can get you a great deal on an eco-tour with a boat rental included and other types of equipment for additional water sports. Many visitors have said that Fun and More is among the most affordable boat rental companies around. Yet for what little you pay here, you still get good quality and value, which is why people return. Their boats can rent out for just a half-day, a day, three days, five days, or even a full week. 

The boats they have available are currently of the Hurricane Sundeck 187 lineup. They have several of these that they keep clean and well-maintained. This type of boat offers a very comfortable, easily adjustable bimini top and a 150-HP Yamaha engine. It’s an elegant white boat that can seat up to eight adults and two minors at once. It accommodates a gear weight of 1,400 pounds, giving any crew of ten plenty of leeway for storing personal items. 

Jet Skis

Anna Maria Island jet ski rentals don’t get any easier than this: H20 Watersportz (open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily). Find them right in the lovely city of Cortez, close to AMI and Sarasota. If you’re willing to place a temporary holding deposit (which you’ll get back after each ride, when you return the vessel with no damages or incidents), then you are good to go! The best part is this: their rates are incredibly affordable when considering what they’re offering. They’re currently renting out the latest and greatest jet skis, like the Yamaha FXHO (released in 2022), which features its distinct built-in audio system. You can turn up that music all the way through the ride, making it one heck of a fun adventure! 

Aerial view of person on a jet ski
Photo from Shutterstock

These rental costs can cover up to three people at once, which is convenient and cost-effective. With three people per rental, the max weight limit is 400 pounds. Keep in mind that up to two passengers can ride behind the driver. The rate also includes all the rental gear you will need for each person; they even let you try on multiple fits until you decide what’s comfortable. You must be at least five years old to get on one of these and 18 years old to drive. Everyone driving or riding must present their current government-issued photo ID. You can choose from multiple jet ski colors here, like yellow and black, red and white, or black and green. Pick wisely!

Banana Boats

Banana boats are a more specific type of boat for a more specific type of traveler, and they most certainly are all the rage these days. To get a banana boat on Anna Maria Island, all you need to do is ask your pals at Go Bananas just a few days before your trip starts. They can help you look at what’s available, book beforehand, and have peace of mind (not to mention having a terrific deal on a new or used banana boat of choice). This 5-star tour agency is open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. They make it a constant goal to put their best foot forward when it comes to all customer interactions, whether by phone, at their kiosk, or even online. Rentals (even some with tours) depart every 15 minutes and feature friendly expert guides, so prepare for some fun for the whole family! 

Where to Stay

Next, you should consider looking into some quality AMI vacation rentals. After all, half the battle is finding things to do on a vacation, and the other half is finding somewhere to stay while you’re there. 

We have terrific 3-4 bedroom-style units for you and your group, and they each come prepared and ready for the day you arrive. Our 3-bedroom rentals on Anna Maria Island feature spacious closets in luxury-style bedrooms, cozy bathrooms with everything you need to relax, living rooms with elegant wall d├ęcor and furniture, plus an amazing customer experience team that can help walk you through every step of booking and beyond.

If you fear leaving your dog or cat at home while you’re away for that long, fear not. We’ve got Anna Maria Island pet friendly rentals, too. No matter which rental you select, you’ll have access to plenty of amenities, like high-speed WiFi (at no extra charge), flat-screen TVs, fully stocked kitchens, and much more. Plus, you can’t beat the location, as our properties are spread throughout Anna Maria Island and offer plenty to do right around the corner.