What is Anna Maria Island Known For?

Located just south of Tampa is one of Florida’s best kept secrets—Anna Maria Island. Called AMI by locals, this sweet 7-mile long run of beach is Florida at its best. Anna Maria Island is surrounded by the Gulf of Mexico, Tampa Bay, and the Intracoastal Waterway. This is the ideal spot to really see the best of what Florida has to offer. 

What is Anna Maria Island known for? Plenty! AMI is home to some of the most beautiful, family-friendly beaches in Florida. On top of that, it has that old school Florida charm that is perfect for relaxing on the beach. The island also boasts some of the best fishing in Florida, with some of the most affordable rental properties around. Here’s a little taste of what you can expect during your stay in an Anna Maria Island pet-friendly rental.

bakery in anna maria island

“Old Florida” Charm

Many cities in Florida have become completely overindustrialized over the years, so it’s easy to forget the natural, unencumbered beauty that the Sunshine State once had. Anna Maria Island allows you to step back in time to when life was a bit simpler. There are no high rises to be found on AMI, but rather, your vacation rental will be a quaint place near the locals. This island is a wonderful place to leave your worries behind, forget about the hustle and bustle of everyday life, and let yourself truly relax.

Anna Maria island is full of that old school classic Florida charm. Beautiful, open beaches that are notorious in Florida along with plenty of great food, fishing, and shopping make this a great location spot.

The island has reduced speed limits on many roads, encouraging transportation via golf carts and bicycles instead. 

If you need something a bit more accommodating, there are a number of trolley services that run all over the island. Some of these fun rides also have karaoke to keep the party going! You can take the trolley all over the island for free, and you can even ride onto the mainland for a small fee. 

On AMI, you’ll notice that almost every restaurant is local—another one of the island’s charms! You’ll find great, local food everywhere you go, which is great for the families who like to avoid chain restaurants. Each eatery is completely its own, with fresh seafood and local ingredients, welcoming locals, and an incredible atmosphere. This island guarantees an authentic experience you won’t find anywhere else in Florida! 

kids on the beach

Beaches

The white sandy beaches of Anna Maria Island will welcome you and the whole family for a lovely day of sunbathing, swimming, and more! There are a number of great beaches, each with their own benefits. The three most popular beaches on the island are Manatee Public Beach, Coquina Beach, and Bayfront Park. 

Manatee Public Beach is the main attraction in Holmes Beach, located right in the center of the Island. This beach offers a café right on the shore, so no need to pack a lunch! With lifeguards on duty, changing cabanas, restrooms, and showers, this is the perfect spot for the whole family to unwind. There is a trolley stop located right at the beach, so it’s an easy trip from the beach back to your rental property. 

Coquina Beach is another local favorite, located in Bradenton Beach at the island’s southern end. This location is perfect for the whole family to spend the day, as it features a concession stand, beach equipment rentals, pavilions, and a bike/walking path. This beach is great for anyone who likes to go for walks or bike rides along the beach. There is also a lifeguard on duty, so you can feel safe cooling off in the water as well. 

In the City of Anna Maria, you’ll find Bayfront Park, which is the perfect spot if you’ve got young kids in your group. Not only can you take advantage of the beautiful waters, but you can also let your kids get their energy out at the playground. There’s an amazing grassy area that’s perfect for an afternoon picnic or relaxing with a good book, and if you’re a history buff, you’ll want to walk down to the historic Anna Maria City Pier. The possibilities here are truly endless.

fishing pole on the ocean

Fishing

There are some classic fishing spots on Anna Maria Island, making it a great spot for beginner and expert fishermen alike. The Rod and Reel Pier is a popular fishing destination on the island, as well as a delicious restaurant for you to grab any meal of the day! Your whole family will love watching the waves roll in as you enjoy a mouthwatering breakfast, lunch, or dinner. When you’re done eating, head onto the pier itself, which goes roughly 350 feet out into the Bay. You can cast your own line into the water or watch the other anglers try their hand at a catch!

Another popular destination is the Anna Maria City Pier, which juts out about 700 feet into the water. This historic site was built in 1911 and 1912 as a way to import and export fish off the west coast of Florida into St. Petersburg and Tampa. It has weathered many storms over the years including 2017’s Hurriance Irma, but recent renovations have helped to restore the pier to its former glory. Fishermen love coming here for the gorgeous views and wide variety of fish.

Bradenton Beach’s Bridge Street Pier, which is just south of Cortez Bridge, has a bait shop and restaurant at the end of the pier. Talk about a fisherman’s dream! You could easily spend the whole day on the pier, fishing and eating until your heart’s content. Not only can you do some incredible fishing here, but there’s also opportunity for a history lesson, a shopping spree, and a wonderful meal at a local restaurant.

If you would prefer to get out onto the water, there are a number of boating services that will take you out for a few hours or the whole day! The local captains will know the best fishing spots, depending on what you are looking to catch and your experience level. AMI fishing charters can often be personalized to suit your needs, and fishermen young and old are welcome to participate.

Plan Your Vacation

Now that you are in the know about this island paradise, it’s time to book your Anna Maria Island rental! We have a large selection that can cater to any need and we are standing by ready to help with any questions.

Places to Stay

Now that you know a bit more about Anna Maria Island, you’re hopefully ready to plan your getaway! But first, you’re going to need a place to stay while you’re in town. There are so many Anna Maria Island vacation rentals that it is hard to pick! Lizzie Lu’s is proud to have rentals that suit every size group, whether you’re traveling solo or bringing the whole extended family along for your vacation. If you are looking for a smaller group, our 2 bedroom rentals are perfect. If you have a larger group, our 3-4-bedroom Anna Maria Island rentals may be more fitting. Either way, our staff is always available to help you select a rental and ensure you’re comfortable during your stay. With so much to do on Anna Maria Island, the whole family will have a blast!

Contact

  • 6000 Marina Drive
    Holmes Beach, FL 34217 USA
    941-782-8152