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Our Guide Into Anna Maria Island’s Best Activities


Located on Florida’s West Coast, roughly an hour south of Tampa, you’ll find the majestic Anna Maria Island.

Best known for its astonishing beaches and rich history and culture, visitors come from far and wide to experience all that this area has to offer.

And believe us when we say, it will not disappoint.

Whether you’re looking to partake in some fun beach activities like swimming, sunbathing or various water sports, or simply wishing to visit some museums and art galleries to experience the rich culture, you’ll definitely find your fit in AMI.

And let’s not forget its prime location for all you fishing enthusiasts out there!

Due to AMI’s location by the Gulf of Mexico, you’ll find ample opportunities when fishing here, whether you’re an experienced angler or a novice.

And the beaches are littered with rental shops for fishing gears, boats and pontoons. So even if you’ve come unprepared, you’ll still be able to catch quite the range of fish on AMI’s coastline.

And to make it easier for you, we’ve compiled this guide, just for you.

Water Sports & Activities – Bradenton & AMI, FL

If AMI’s your vacation destination, chances are you’re going to spend quite a bit of your time in its crystal clear waters.

There’s plenty to do here!

From fishing and boat touring to snorkeling and kayaking, you’ll definitely find what you desire here.

If you’re an avid fisherman, or even just fishing for fun, you’re bound to find what you want.

You can either rent some fishing gear and bait from the many rental shops that litter AMI’s beaches, or you can book your own fishing boat.

And if you’re looking to do just that, here’s an inside tip.

You can check out Anna Maria Island Fishing Charters and Just Kickin’ Back Charters – they offer one of the best fishing experiences, and with reasonable prices.

Such places provide various excursions along the Gulf of Mexico, where you’ll be able to catch all kinds of fish, such as the grouper, the snapper, the redfish, etc.

The Sandbar, Anna Maria Island, FL
Credits to Visit Florida

Some restaurants in the area will even offer you the opportunity to cook your own catch. A prime example of that is AMI’s renowned Sandbar.

And if you’re looking to just rent a boat to cruise the waters, we can also help with that!

You should definitely try out AMI Escapes and Captain Fins – it’s an unforgettable experience, and the staff there is incredibly friendly.

And for all you marine life lovers out there, you simply must check out Anna Maria Island Dolphin Tours and Bradenton Beach Marina.

They offer a wide array of water excursions, from dolphin tours and boat rentals to AMI sunset tours and even paddle wheel tours.

Bradenton and Anna Maria Island still have plenty of water activities for you to try.
Credits to AMI locals

Not feeling like boating at all? No problem. Anna Maria Island still has plenty of water activities for you to try.

Stop by H2O Watersportz or Coastal Watersports on Anna Maria Island to relish in a variety of activities, from kayaking and snorkeling to jet skiing and paddle boarding.

You’re guaranteed to have a blast!

Outdoor Activities and Adventures

When visiting Anna Maria Island, you’ll come to find that it thrives quite a lot on its popular outdoor activities.

Take Robinson Preserve for instance, a beautiful 668 acre nature preserve located in northwestern Bradenton, and known for its hiking and biking trails, boat launching platforms, kayaking, canoeing, and so much more.

The Robinson Nature Preserve, Bradenton, FL
Credits to TripAdvisor

It’s also a habitat for quite the array of bird species. So if you’re a fan of birdwatching, this is definitely the spot for you.

Another popular Bradenton preserve is the Emerson Point Preserve – a peninsula on the Gulf of Mexico.

These two preserves, amongst several other parks and trails, are utterly perfect for all you nature lovers visiting AMI.

You’ll lose yourself in the heart of nature.

And did we forget to mention? Anna Maria Island and Bradenton are big on golf. And one of their most renowned golf courses would definitely be the IMG Academy.

IMG Academy, Bradenton, FL
Credits to IMG Academy

Renowned for its course with a challenging and diverse layout, players of all skill levels will enjoy golfing here.

And we haven’t even mentioned the many features that this academy’s members enjoy.

So don’t miss out on this unforgettable golfing experience next time you’re in Anna Maria Island – it’s just a 20 min drive away.

Now we know we've already mentioned the many fishing options you'll have when at AMI, but did we mention the many beaches and piers this area has to offer?
Credits to Sarasota Magazine

Now we know we’ve already mentioned the many fishing options you’ll have when at AMI, but did we mention the many beaches and piers this area has to offer?

Off the top of our heads, we can name Coquina Beach, Holmes Beach, and let’s not forget the famous Palma Sola Bay Beach.

These beaches are the ideal spot to swim, surf and sunbathe in the warm AMI sun.

And if your little ones are tagging along, they’ll have the best time combing these beaches for all sorts of shells and hidden treasures.

Don’t forget to take a stroll along the majestic Anna Maria Island Pier. It is one of AMI’s differentiating attractions after all.

Whether you go there to fish and watch birds flock over the waters in the early hours of the morning, or to take a sunset walk with your partner, visiting AMI’s pier is simply a must.

And pass by one of Anna Maria Island’s famous restaurants and cafés along the way.

Whether you're craving a fine dining experience, or simply some local food and drinks, you'll find what your heart craves in Anna Maria Island
Credits to AMI locals

Whether you’re craving a fine dining experience, or simply some local food and drinks, you’ll find what your heart craves in AMI.

And thus, with all these attractions and the area’s abundance in the local flora and fauna, Anna Maria Island is an extrovert’s dream!

Private Custom Tours throughout AMI

Here you’ll find that we’ve compiled you a tour guide into the aforementioned activities.

So if you’re visiting Anna Maria Island along with your family and friends, and don’t feel like being overly crowded, this’ll be absolutely perfect for you!

Let’s start with exploring the beautiful crystalline waters of Anna Maria Island.

Explore the beautiful crystalline waters of Anna Maria Island
Credits to TripAdvisor

A great number of AMI boat rentals offer you the option to book your own tours, customized to your preference.

Some of our personal favorites are AMI’s Bay2Bay Tours and Anna Maria Island Dolphin Tours.

Their staff are super friendly and familial, and their tours can be customized to your specific interests.

You get to choose whether you’d like to book the tour for an hour or more, and whether you simply wanna enjoy the AMI waters or looking for any marine life sightings.

And be sure to book a tour cruising along the renowned Braden River through Florida Boat Tours.

And if you’re feeling like engaging in a more hands on kind of activity, we recommend one of AMI’s guided kayaking or canoeing spots.

Bradenton and AMI's guided kayaking or canoeing.
Credits to TripAdvisor

It’s incredibly fun for the entire family, and you don’t even have to worry if it’s your first time.

Anna Maria Island’s Paddleboard and Kayak Adventures and the Happy Paddler will provide you with a seasoned guide that’ll make your experience with them nothing short of smooth sailing.

And did we forget to mention the transfixing fauna and flora you’ll get to glance at while passing by Anna Maria Island’s mangroves.

These tours are nothing short of enchanting, especially during the sunset and twilight hours.

And if you’re looking for hiking tours throughout Anna Maria Island, we’ve got you covered.

The Anna Maria Island Historical Society offers you quite the thorough selection of guides to best explore your surroundings.

Simply choose the area you feel like exploring today, and it’ll grant you an extensive tour guide into said area, from hiking to biking.

No matter the activity you wish to try when visiting Anna Maria Island, you’ll definitely find your fix here!

Anna Maria Island’s History and Culture

When visiting Anna Maria Island, you’re bound to find traces of its rich history and culture, even in its smallest corners.

AMI’s littered with all kinds of museums and art galleries for you culture lovers out there.

We’d recommend you start by visiting the South Florida Museum, also known as the Bishop Museum of Science and Nature, located right in the middle of Downtown Bradenton.

The South Florida Museum and Bishop Planetarium, Bradenton, FL
Credits to Sarasota Magazine

Aside from featuring a local and natural history exhibit, it’s renowned for also providing both an aquarium and a planetarium.

AMI’s visitors especially rave about these displays and what they’ve taught them about the local fauna and flora.

You can even find an extensive exhibit of the island’s Native American history and how its fishing industry came to be.

And if you’re looking for another spot to continue your cultural tour of Anna Maria Island, you simply must visit the Gamble Plantation Historic State Park.

The Gamble Mansion, Bradenton, FL
Credits to Florida Rambler

Located on the outskirts of the city of Bradenton, the park is home to the Gamble Mansion, a beautifully preserved antebellum plantation house.

The city has opened up this mansion for public tours, and its park offers some of the best hiking and biking trails.

You’ll even have a chance to enjoy a family picnic when visiting this park.

Additionally to this mansion, the restored buildings at the Manatee Village Historical Park will take you down memory lane into old Bradenton and Anna Maria Island.

Aside from museums and cultural buildings, you’ll absolutely love the art galleries.

Bradenton’s Village of Arts is, in and of itself, a one of a kind community of artists, galleries and chic restaurants and cafés.

Perfectly located in the historic district, it gives visitors the chance to observe AMI local artists in their workshops firsthand.

And did we forget to mention the Manatee Performing Arts Center?

The Manatee Performing Arts Center in Bradenton, with close proximity to Anna Maria Island
Credits to TripAdvisor

This rich mesmerizing theater produces a variety of plays and musicals throughout the year.

Anna Maria Island’s arts and culture scene has been thriving in recent years.

Take that, and add it to the beautiful beaches, the various watersports and activities, and the wide range of restaurants, cafés and boutiques.

All these attractions, and we’re barely scratching the surface of what AMI has to offer.

So what are you waiting for?! Add AMI to your bucket list of vacation destinations.

And if you’re worried about where to stay while visiting Anna Maria Island, Tstays has you covered, offering quite a few options of homes both on and off the island.

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