With expansive white-sand beaches lining its shores and palms dancing in the breeze, Anna Maria Island’s coastline is sure to impress.
On AMI you have six beautiful beaches to choose from with multiple beach access points, so lather on the sunscreen while you read a bit more about all the beaches, big and small, where you can lounge and play.
Bear in mind that most of these beaches line the gulf side on the island – that will help you navigate your way around.
Anna Maria Beach
Anna Maria Beach covers the northern gulf side of the island and serves the surrounding mostly residential area. This stretch of beach is known for being one of the absolute best spots to view an unobstructed sunset on the island but lacks in facilities and parking.
It’s most easily accessible on foot, bicycle, or by taking the free island trolley and walking to the northwestern end of the island.
At the furthest northern point, Bean Point Beach is the historic homestead of the founder of AMI, offering stunning views of wildlife, sunsets and the iconic Skyway Bridge. Animals spotted throughout the area include dolphins, sea turtles, manatees and a great variety of shorebirds.
This beach area is known for its tranquility and wide-open beach space. Anna Maria Beach has a number of public access points, and free parking is available on Jacaranda and Fern streets, and on the corner of Gulf Drive and Spring Avenue.
Located on the gulf side of central Anna Maria Island, Holmes Beach is a more populated stretch of beach full of activity and lined by Anna Maria Island vacation rentals, hotels, and resorts.
Perfect for watersports and other beach activities, Holmes Beach is located close to sports rentals, restaurants, and shopping.
In fact, Holmes Beach is one of the best beaches for surfing on the island. The beach features shaded picnic tables on 77th street, a nearby pier, and a chance to spot shorebirds and nesting sea turtles.
Holmes Beach runs between White Avenue and 28th Street, with public access points at almost every street and two AMI trolley stops. Public parking can be found on any of the side streets leading to the beach.
At the western end of State Road 64 – also known as Manatee Avenue – sits Manatee Beach, a full-service public beach with all sorts of amenities.
Its soft white sand and clear waters are perfect for just about any beach activity. This public beach has a kids’ playground, volleyball nets, picnic tables, grills, and lifeguards on duties. Umbrellas, beach chairs, sports equipment, and just about anything else can be purchased or rented nearby.
Also nearby is Anna Maria Island Beach Café (4000 Gulf Dr.), a laid-back restaurant with a beachfront patio that serves American classics, cold beer, tropical cocktails, and ice cream.
Manatee Beach facilities include restrooms, showers, bike racks, and free parking.
Stretching from the top of Cortez Beach to 25th Street North, Bradenton Beach is another happening place to be on the southern end of Anna Maria Island.
With a cheerful, small-town atmosphere, this public beach is known both smaller and quieter than its sister to the north, but still within an urban center. The City of Bradenton Beach is a small residential community with amenities for both locals and visitors, both of whom use the public beach.
This is a great area for shopping and dining, and there are even a couple of restaurants right on the beach. The Beach House and Gulf Drive Café provide great spots to have a drink and watch the sun go down. Take a stroll down bustling Bridge Street for a variety of restaurants and souvenir shops.
The beach is popular with divers and snorkelers who come to explore a 1940s shipwreck, the Regina Sugar Barge, which lies off the coast of Bradenton Beach. It’s also a popular beach for shelling, especially at low tide.
Bradenton Beach has free, but limited, parking in a small lot and on nearby side streets.
Over the years, Anna Maria Island has become a busy tourist destination, particularly during peak seasons. Escape it all by a jaunt down the coast to Cortez Beach.
Cortez Beach is peaceful and relaxing. The beach lies along Gulf Drive between 5th and 13th streets on the southwest side of AMI.
This unique beach has an Old Florida vibe to it – tranquil, with tall grasses lining the small dunes. Although it’s just down the road from Bradenton and Coquina beaches, the atmosphere at Cortez is other-worldly. Free parking is available along the beach.
Coquina Beach is a great place for families, partly because it has a large beach park spanning almost its entire length.
Located in southern AMI, this 96-acre beach has fantastic views of the Gulf of Mexico, Sarasota Bay, and Jewfish Key. On the bay side, take a stroll on the Coquina Baywalk, a boardwalk trail that wind through the mangrove forests along the shore.
The adjacent park offers full-service amenities, including a parking lot, restrooms, showers, lifeguards, picnic tables, grills, volleyball nets, a playground, and large pavilions that can be rented for picnic and gatherings.
Contact us at 1-(800)-367-1617 for any further details about the many beaches of Anna Maria Island or booking a vacation rental here!