While the beach is a wonderful place and the pool is perfect for a sunny afternoon, you’ve got to have some backup activity ideas. This list of Anna Maria Island Activities will help everyone enjoy your vacation.
With calm, clear water and gulf sea breezes, Anna Maria Island is one of the best kept secrets of Florida’s Gulf Coast. For an on-the-go family, it’s also the perfect place to relax and refresh. Anna Maria is one of our favorite places to relax, and we’ve found 5 ways to add adventure to your stay on Anna Maria.
Anna Maria Island Activities for Your Family – Play in the Bay
1. Get off the island and into the Gulf…or the Bay! The culture of Anna Maria revolves around a boating lifestyle. When you visit, you’ve just got to take some time to get into the island life. You’ll find charter and private fishing boats all over the island. Our personal favorite is Captain Randy of the Lil’ Toot. When we are visiting Anna Maria, we always make time to go out on the water and go fishing or simply enjoy the wildlife of the Bay area.
*Family Friendly Tip: Always take a cooler with extra water bottles and some sunscreen for a trip out on the water! No one wants a trip ruined by illnesses!
Anna Maria Island Activities for Your Family – Eat on the Pier
2. Go out for dinner with the fishermen. The Rod N Reel Pier and Restaurant lives on the north end of Anna Maria. Hang out with area fishermen on the main level of the pier and you’ll always see something interesting reeled in. Take a trip up the stairs for a dinner with a view of Tampa Bay, the Sunshine Skyway, and a dolphin pod or two. Last year, while we were waiting on our dinner, a dolphin pod with a mom and baby swam by!
Anna Maria Island Activities for Your Family – Go Back in Time
3. Go take a hike 500 years back in time. On the north side of Bradenton, just inland from Anna Maria Island, is the US Memorial to Hernando De Soto and the conquistadors. The park is right on the mouth of the Manatee River and has beautiful views of Tampa Bay. Your family can hike nature trails with or without a park ranger. You’ll also be able to visit replicas of period forts, and join free kayaking experiences on the weekends. Your kids can earn their Junior Ranger badge at the park as well.
Anna Maria Island Activities for Your Family – Get Sciency
4. Visit some locals with big teeth! After a beautiful drive down Longboat Key, Mote Marine Laboratory will be located on your left. The Mote is a research facility, summer camp location, and rescue rehab center. This Laboratory has all you need for a morning or afternoon meeting Florida natives up close and personal. For an even better adventure, take the Sarasota Bay learning cruise. You’ll visit uninhabited islands and get a better view of the creatures lurking beneath the surface of Sarasota Bay.
Anna Maria Island Activities for Your Family – Protect the Future
5. Take time to protect the future of a species. Join the Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch for a free Turtle Talk. You’ll hear about the five different types of turtles that live and lay their eggs on Anna Maria beaches. You’ll learn more about the life cycle of these incredible reptiles. Also, your children will discover how they can help protect the animals during their lifetime. Check out the Turtle Watch website for more information about the Turtle Talk schedule.
*Family Friendly Tips for fun Anna Maria Island Activities:
– Can you travel during off-seasons? The Island can get very busy some times of the year, however off-seasons are super peaceful for a true family vacation.
– September is the super-off-season for Anna Maria and the surrounding area. If you’re traveling in September, make sure the companies you want to visit are open.
Anna Maria Websites you might need:
Bradenton, Anna Maria, and Longboat Key Visitor’s Bureau – https://www.bradentongulfislands.com/
Anna Maria Chamber of Commerce – http://www.annamariaislandchamber.org/