Anna Maria Island Bucket List

Everyone needs a relaxing vacation from time to time, and once you arrive at your destination, you’ll always want to make the most out of it, especially Anna Maria Island.

Our island has a lot to offer, and when you have limited time, these are some of the top things to do on Anna Maria Island to fill out your bucket list for a truly well-rounded experience:

1) Visiting Bean Point

Bean Point on the northern tip of Anna Maria Island lacks facilities but is unquestionably one of the best beaches on the island. The clear blue water, white sand, and diverse range of wildlife in this pristine protected area will captivate you, from shorebirds, to dolphins, possible manatees, turtles, and more.

Bring your camera because you won’t be able to stop taking pictures. Those who enjoy bird watching will be glad to know there are many species to see here too, from black skimmers, to terns, sanderlings and more.

Although it has become more famous recently, this beach remains in a sort of hidden spot so there won’t be many people. It’s a haven for those who enjoy peace and quiet.

One thing to remember if you plan to go swimming: there are no lifeguards on duty, and the current gets strong quickly in this area of the island.

anna maria island dolphins

2) Going on a Dolphin Tour

With the waters around Anna Maria Island being home to many pods of bottlenose dolphins throughout the year, a dolphin tour is the ultimate experience to get up close with these fascinating sea creatures.

Multiple local companies offer thrilling dolphin boat tours, including Salty Dolphin Tours, MV Minnow Boat Tours, Go2Dolphins and others. They know exactly where to go, and many of them guarantee a dolphin sighting.

You’ll be accompanied by a knowledgeable tour guide that will provide you with information about the local ecology and narrate the adventure.

Booking a dolphin tour is a great experience for the entire family. The kids are sure to enjoy every second of it, and the prices are quite reasonable. Your trip to AMI is simply incomplete without one.

3) Visiting Manatee Public Beach and Coquina Beach

Both Manatee Public Beach and Coquina Beach are two of the most scenic on the Gulf Coast, and they are right on Anna Maria Island. Manatee Public Beach is centrally located in Holmes Beach and features sugar white sand, calm waters for swimming, and convenient access to nearby attractions, restaurants, cafes and more.

Coquina Beach is further south in Bradenton Beach and offers a bit of a different experience with its scenic paved trail for hiking or biking, tall Australian pine trees, plentiful amenities, and proximity to the incredible Coquina Baywalk right across the street.

Both beaches can be accessed with the free trolley and with plenty of things to do right around them, you can spend a large part of your days there.

anna maria island seafood restuarants

4) Dining at the Rod and Reel Pier and Other Local Restaurants

To round out your vacation, you’ll certainly want to dine at as many local and unique island restaurants as you possibly can.

There’s nothing like eating fresh seafood with a great view. That’s exactly what you get when you dine at the Rod and Reel Pier. The seafood items are distinctly local, and it’s very family friendly. You’ll find excellent traditional seafood fare from peel and eat shrimp, to catch of the day, fish and chips, sandwiches, and more made with local grouper, oysters, scallops, crab and more.

Some of the other unique local options include The Sandbar, an upscale option where you can dine on the sand, the AMI Beach Café right on Manatee Public Beach, the modern and creative Beach House Restaurant, My AMI French Food, and so many other mom and pop owned restaurants to try.

5) Go on a Kayaking Tour

The waters around Anna Maria Island are quite calm and suitable for kayaking during almost any time of year. Try a kayak eco tour from one of the many local providers. Tours can take you through the scenic Robinson Preserve, the Lido Mangrove Tunnels, and into nearby Bimini Bay and Anna Maria Island.

Kayaking is easier than you might think and safe for all ages. With a quick lesson and your tour guide you’ll be ready to go, and there are no alligators to worry about!

Anna Maria Island has everything you want in an island getaway and more. From eco tours, to dolphin boat tours, the most amazing unique restaurants, and scenic pristine beaches, you’re guaranteed to have the time of your life.

What are you waiting for? Book your next Anna Maria Island beach cottage today, make your bucket list of things to do on Anna Maria Island, and start experiencing it all for yourself!