Go Paddleboarding on Your AMI Vacation

Considering a vacation to Anna Maria Island? You’re in for a treat! Anna Maria Island, or AMI, is the perfect vacation destination for the whole family. Your group will love soaking up the sun on the beach, splashing around in the waves, indulging in decadent local seafood, and shopping on Pine Avenue.

However, out of all the awesome things to do on Anna Maria Island, paddleboarding is an activity that you just can’t miss out on. If you’ve never done it before, don’t be intimidated! Anna Maria Island’s calm waters and experienced paddleboarders make the perfect combination for beginners, but there’s always a challenge to be had for those who are already paddleboard pros. Here’s everything you should know before leaving our Anna Maria Island rentals to head out paddleboarding.


Many visitors to this area have no experience paddleboarding, which is completely okay! There are several awesome paddleboard tours that you can embark on, and you’ll always have an experienced guide showing you the ropes and teaching you about the history and nature of Anna Maria Island.

AMI Paddleboard offers an incredible Mangrove Kayak and Paddleboard Eco Tour for those who want a relaxing journey through the Florida mangroves. Tours are offered three times daily at 9 a.m., 11 a.m., and 2 p.m., and each tour lasts around 2 hours. Your knowledgeable guide will show you how to navigate your paddleboard and then take you through some of the most stunning nature you’ve ever seen. If you’re lucky, you’ll also get up-close-and-personal with the area wildlife! Paddleboard tours start at just $50 per person.

Happy Paddler is another favorite destination in town, having been voted the #1 tour on Anna Maria Island for six years running! Their most popular excursion is the Coastal Island Tour, perfect for all ages. You’ll get to explore the stunning waters between Anna Maria Island and Longboat Key and spot breathtaking wildlife like birds, manatees, and dolphins. The Coastal Island Tour starts at $55 per person. Other tours that Happy Paddler offers include the Sunset Kayak Tour, Mangrove Kayak Tour, and Kayak Fishing Charter. 

Kayak Jack’s Paddle Sports offers both self-guided and guided eco-tour county launches. You can choose to join them at one of their three launch points: Emerson Point, Leffis Key, or Robinson Preserve. Then, you’ll get two glorious hours to experience the wonders of the water, either with a guide or on your own. Taking these tours on a paddleboard will cost $50 per person.


Maybe you’re already experienced on a paddleboard, or maybe you’re just not interested in taking a tour and would rather see the water for yourself. That’s what paddleboard rentals are for! Many of the same companies offer tours for paddleboarding on Anna Maria Island also offer convenient paddleboard rentals to suit your needs.

AMI Paddleboard offers both paddleboards and kayaks for your use. Rentals are available every day, and you can keep your board for up to seven days. Delivery is included with your rental fee and is available between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m., so you don’t even have to leave your vacation home to get your paddleboard! Paddleboard rentals start at $75.

two people paddle boarding on the ocean

Coastal Watersports has been serving Anna Maria Island since 1982 and is your destination for all kinds of water activities. Of course, their paddleboard rental is one of their most popular services, allowing you to paddle around watching the wildlife or surf the waves for an exhilarating afternoon. Their 12-foot paddleboards are perfect for all riders, and if you’re a beginner, you can get a lesson before you take off. Coastal Watersports also offers Waverunner, catamaran, and kayak rentals.

Happy Paddler offers both kayak and paddleboard rentals for your convenience. With your rental purchase, you’ll receive all the paddling equipment you need, as well as a map of the area’s best paddling routes, dry storage for your personal items, and a basic paddling lesson. Paddleboard rentals start at just $45 for a half-day rental (4 hours). 

Finally, Beach Bums is happy to provide paddleboard rentals to guests of Anna Maria Island. For any rental 24 hours or longer, they will deliver your paddleboard to your vacation property for free! You’ll also receive basic instruction and a life jacket with your rental purchase. Paddleboard rentals start at $55 for a 4-hour rental, and you can rent your equipment for up to two weeks.

What to Expect

No matter whether you’re paddleboarding solo or are taking a tour, there are a few things you can expect on your journey. If you’re taking a tour, you’ll be taught the ropes or given a refresher course before you hit the water, but even if you’re just renting, you can likely get a quick lesson from the shop staff before you head out.

Most tours will provide safety equipment such as life jackets and whistles, but if you’re renting, these items might be included or may be up for purchase as well. Make sure you always bring your sunscreen and swimwear! You’ll also want to wear water shoes or tennis shoes that you don’t mind getting wet and that will keep you steady and safe in wet conditions. 

Plan Your Vacation

Our Anna Maria Island vacation rentals are perfectly located near many of these paddle boarding companies, so no matter who you choose to visit, you’re just minutes from your home away from home. We have tons of rental options to suit groups of all sizes, and we even offer Anna Maria Island pet-friendly rentals if you want to bring your furry friend along for the journey! Contact us to start planning your dream getaway. 

If you’re paddleboarding for the first time, don’t expect to be a pro right away. It can take a little while to get your sea legs under you and find your balance atop your board, let alone start paddling. Take all the time you need to find your balance before you start trying to paddle. Once you’ve got the hang of it, though, you’ll have the time of your life gliding through the water!

Once you’re actually out on the water, you can expect some of the best views you’ve ever been treated to. The Florida mangroves are some of the most interesting ecosystems on the planet, so you’re guaranteed a unique view. Not to mention the wildlife! Throughout your journey, you’re likely to spot starfish, horseshoe crabs, dolphins, manatees, birds, and more. Take the time to slow down and watch the wildlife in their nature habitats. It’s unlike anything you’ve ever seen! 

Where to Stay

There are countless fun things to do on Anna Maria Island, but paddle boarding is something you truly shouldn’t miss out on. Whether you’re new to the hobby or you’re already a pro, Anna Maria Island provides a unique experience that’s sure to provide unforgettable memories. At the end of a long day out on the water, you’ll want a place to relax and enjoy some quality time on land with your loved ones.