Free Things to Do on Anna Maria Island

Vacationing can be expensive.

Everyone knows it. And while we certainly don’t want money to get in the way of having an amazing vacation experience, we can look at a few ways to save money and have fun without exhausting the wallet.

Below we look at the top best things to do completely for free on your Anna Maria Island vacation.

free Anna Maria Island vacation things to do

Drum Circle on the Beach

A free drum circle occurs every Friday at Manatee Public Beach. Anyone is invited. You don’t even need to bring a drum. There’s almost always a crowd of visitors gathered around, watching and listening to the regulars drum the evening hours away. It is a really cool event to see on a Friday. But visiting Manatee Public Beach any day of the week is a must. You always have the opportunity to see one of the area’s most stellar beaches- a two for one deal!

Bean Point Beach anna maria

Visit Bean Point

You don’t have to pay for parking. You don’t have to pay to get on the beach. Bean Point Beach is as free as it comes.

This beach escape is the most isolated spot on the island. Admire the roaming manatee as you traverse the thicket along this small beach haven. Keep your eyes pointed up for the local birds, like the bald eagle. Bean Point sees very little foot traffic, and it is possible you may have the whole place to yourself. If you want to escape the crowds, this is the place to go.

Visit the Anna Maria Island Historical Society

The Anna Maria Island Historical Society is a charming and rustic museum located in Anna Maria city. From the outside, it’s a delightful building with a very low-key vibe. Inside, you can find local relics, from writings to photographs, chronicling the island’s history. The society building is also home to the island’s original old jail and a colorful vacation cottage.

Admission is free.

free ami activities

Lounge Out on the Deck or Patio

We have all sorts of places to stay on Anna Maria Island, and just about all of them have a luxurious and relaxing deck to lounge out on. You can appreciate the water views, book in hand, and save a whole lot of money. There’s no charge to sit and look over the water. May as well stay there the whole time. We wouldn’t fault you.

Hitch a Ride with the Trolley

What better way to explore the island, free of charge, than by trolley? The Anna Maria Island trolley carries you along the breadth of the island to see all the sights you can. You can relax in the half-enclosed space as you see Manatee Public Beach, Bradenton Beach, Pine Ave, and more.

The trolley service is free. It typically runs from 6 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. with stops every two to four blocks on average.

Wander Bridge Street

We love Bridge Street. We can’t get enough of the Old Florida décor, the live entertainment, and the dazzling local art. Bridge Street sure has a lot you can spend money on if you want, but there’s no cost to admire the art and music as you wander from one local shop to the other. There are stunning views at all angles, so be sure to spend some time admiring the widespread blue waves.

anna maria beaches


Shelling is extremely popular on Anna Maria Island, and it costs nothing. You can find a wide range of shells following high tide. The beach at the Sandbar Restaurant is famous for its collection of sand dollars which are known to collect in the tide. You can make it your mission to hunt down some top shells, such as tulip banded, cockles, and junonias.

Fully intact Worm Snail Shells may be the most desirable. These are the shells which have long spindles. You can also hear the call of the ocean waves crashing if you listen hard enough.

Have an unforgettable time- even on a budget. Contact us for details on any of our Anna Maria Island places to stay. Book your vacation today and prepare a long bucket list of free things to do as you explore every nook and cranny of the island.