How to Get to Anna Maria Island

A trip to Anna Maria Island is always worthwhile, whether for a quick weekend getaway or a long relaxing beach vacation.

Anna Maria Island is quickly rising in the ranks of important family vacation destinations for its isolated nature, jaw-dropping beaches, and natural attractions.

How do you get to the island? Take it step by step and use the general directions below from the major nearby areas as an outline to finding your way onto Anna Maria Island.

Where is Anna Maria Island in Florida?

Anna Maria Island is a barrier island that sits about halfway up Florida’s west coast, directly southwest of Tampa. Its nearest major city is Bradenton, which is right off the island to its east. Just south of Bradenton, you will find Sarasota.

directions to anna maria island

Getting Off the Mainland and Into Anna Maria Island

Head west from Bradenton and cross one of two major bridges to land on Anna Maria Island. Or the island can be reached from Longboat Key from the south along Gulf of Mexico Drive.
If you are anywhere close to the island in Bradenton or Sarasota, you have three main routes in. The first is from the south from Longboat Key, an ideal serene coastal drive. Gulf of Mexico Drive N/FL-789 N will take you directly from Longboat Key into Coquina Beach onto Anna Maria Island.

Anna Maria Island has two main entry points from the east. These are the Cortez Bridge (which is reached from Cortez Rd. W/Hwy 684) on the southern end of the island, and the Manatee Ave Bridge (which is reached from Manatee Ave W) toward the center of the island.

From the Nearby Airports

The nearest airport to Anna Maira Island is Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport. The drive from the airport to the island is about 30 minutes.

For a scenic drive, take Route 41 north for about 3.3 miles and make a left on Bayshore Gardens Parkway which turns into El Conquistador Parkway after 1.3 miles. Stay on El Conquistador Parkway until you reach a traffic circle, and take the exit to continue north onto 75th St. W.

After about, take a left at Cortez Rd. W/Hwy 684. You will head right over the Cortez Bridge and enter Bradenton Beach.

The Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport is smaller in size compared to two larger area airports that are further away from Anna Maria Island.

These are the Tampa International Airport and the Orlando International Airport. The drive from the Tampa International Airport to Anna Maria is a little over an hour and the Orlando International Airport drive is about 2 to 2.5 hours depending on traffic.

From Tampa International Airport, you can take I-275 S the vast majority of the way on a scenic route across the Sunshine Skyway Bridge. Take Exit 5 after 33 miles for US-19 S. After 3 miles turn slight left onto US-41 S/S Tamiami Trail, and then make a right onto FL-64 W/Manatee Ave W which goes right into Holmes Beach.

When traveling from the Orlando International Airport, I-4 W will take you the majority of the way, followed by I-75 S to get to Bradenton.

Once you arrive in Bradenton, you can take any route to get to FL-64 W/Manatee Ave W, and head west to drive directly into Holmes Beach on the island.

Driving From Nearby Cities

Anna Maria Island is surrounded by a number of major cities. There is Tampa from the northeast, Orlando further northeast, and Fort Myers from the southeast, all within a modest drive.

Drivers from the downtown Tampa area to Anna Maria Island can choose either I-75 S for an inland drive or I-275 S for a drive through St. Petersburg with lots of water views. Drivers from Orlando will remain on I-4 W until it ends at Tampa, and head south on I-75 S.

Drivers from the south, including Fort Myers and Cape Coral, have a scenic ride ahead of them which will take a little under 2 hours. Stick to I-75 N for a direct route and exit at 220B to merge onto FL-64 W/Manatee Ave W which will take you into Holmes Beach after driving west about 15 miles.

When you reach Anna Maria Island, you can park your car outside your vacation rental and never move it until you have to leave. There are many ways to get around our island paradise from the free trolley to bike rentals. Check out the 5 best ways to get around Anna Maria.

By following the above, you should have a pretty effective guide for getting to any of our Anna Maria Island vacation rentals from nearby areas. Reach out to our team for more assistance with getting to the island or to learn more about the available vacation rentals.