Many consider Bean Point on Anna Maria Island to be one of the most beautiful beaches and historic sites in the country. The white sand, variety of local wildlife, and clear turquoise water makes this spot look straight out of a dream or movie. You will want to put it on your list of places to visit before your vacation is over.
Bean Point is located on the far northern tip of the island and is named after George Emerson Bean who was the very first permanent settler to live on Anna Maria Island. It is located on what was Bean’s original homestead.
Getting to Bean Point
Getting to Bean Point can be a little tricky if you don’t know what you’re looking for. The beautiful beach is not crowded, and you’ll soon see why. It’s a bit of an adventure to get there in the first place.
There’s no parking lot and no large signs to point you in the right direction, but if you follow some key landmarks you’ll find it without problem.
Walk or bike northwest on North Bay Boulevard and you’ll find the entrance to Bean Point. What you want to look for is a tree-lined path near the intersection of North Bay Boulevard and North Shore Drive. Take the path which leads to a wooden footbridge, and you will soon find yourself at Bean Point!
Other entries can be found along North Shore Drive at the Gladiolus Street and Fern Street intersections, with small paths are simply marked by signs that say “Public Beach Access.”
Wildlife at Bean Point
Sometimes when you are at Bean Point, you will be lucky enough to encounter Anna Maria Island’s beautiful wildlife. The waters in the area are known to draw the rare manatee, especially during the winter, and there’s a small chance that you might spot some of those gentle giants while spending some time at Bean Point.
You’re more likely to see dolphins which live in the waters around Bean Point throughout the year and a variety of other aquatic wildlife like starfish, sand dollars, shorebirds, stingrays, and many bird species. It’s important to not disturb any of the local wildlife during your stay at Bean Point, but admiring from a safe distance and taking photos is welcome.
You can also easily spot crab holes in the sand, and if you are patient enough one or two may peek out. If you arrive during turtle season (May through October), there will be some turtle nests marked off for protection along the beach and you’ll have an excellent chance of spotting adult sea turtles or hatchlings. If you’re a bird enthusiast this is also a great area to hang out in—you’re sure to see many of Anna Maria Island’s beautiful species here.
Get Some Breathtaking Photos
Keep in mind that there are no facilities at Bean Point. Before you head out, be sure to use the restroom and grab a meal at one of the nearby restaurants or Bayfront Park. There are no lifeguards on duty and the beaches in the area sometimes have dangerous rip currents, so only experienced swimmers should attempt to swim.
However, it’s the perfect place to get some breathtaking views and photos, or watch a sunset, along with picking up a few beautiful shells to remember your time at this extraordinary preserved area. Or bring a few portable beach chairs and a picnic basket to enjoy a lunch with some of the best ocean views anywhere.
The quiet moments and beautiful sights you’ll find at Bean Point make visiting it a must for any vacation to Anna Maria Island. The water is clear, the white sand is soft, and it’s a memory you’ll enjoy forever.