Top Reasons You Need to Visit Bridge Street on Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria Island is one of the last best places in Florida. Sun-kissed beaches are complemented by quaint piers, laid-back streets lined by tropical plants, and family-run restaurants boasting delicious local flavors. Stepping foot on the island is like time traveling back to what Florida looked like before being commercialized with large vacation resorts. It’s like visiting a little piece of paradise preserved!

While visiting the island, there are limitless opportunities to enjoy watersports, explore nature, and browse through one-of-a-kind local boutiques and stores. For some of the best shops and restaurants on the island, you can’t miss out on exploring Bridge Street! 

open sign on bridge street on anna maria island

All About Bridge Street

Until 1921, visiting Anna Maria Island was only possible by boat. At last, a wooden bridge was constructed to connect the mainland with the island, extending from the village of Cortez to Bradenton Beach, then known as Cortez Beach. This made Bridge Street the center of town until 1967 when the current drawbridge was opened to 5th Street North, and only a part of the old bridge was saved and converted into a popular fishing pier that is used as a gathering place for locals and the sight of many popular local restaurants.

The area around it, Historic Bridge Street, lost popularity after the opening of the drawbridge. However, a revitalization project has once against breathed life into Bridge Street, known as the Historic Old Town District. It is one of the most popular parts of Anna Maria Island and is beloved for its unique shops, old Florida feel, spectacular water views, and access to pristine sandy beaches. 

Things To Do 

Walking through Historic Bridge Street feels like stepping back in time. Simply taking an afternoon stroll through the area is a great way to familiarize yourself with the island’s culture. However, there are plenty more things to do, enough that you could spend most of your vacation simply exploring Bridge Street!

Activities 

Segs by the Sea offers an exciting way to discover the island on Segways. This is fun the whole family can get behind! Guided tours range from one to two hours long and include all you need for a safe and enjoyable journey. You can also rent electric bikes, beach cruiser bikes, and stand-up paddleboards. Any of these activities provide the perfect escape from your day-to-day worries! The main office is located at Julie Kirkwood 102 Bridge Street, and reservations can be made in advance online. 

Kick back and relax with a drink and live music at Drift-In. There is both an indoor and outdoor bar with cheap shots and other drinks. On weekends, you can buy a Bloody Mary for just $5. Play bingo, make new friends, and sing along with the performers! You can find Drift-In at 120 Bridge Street. 

mini golf course in anna maria island

For some old-fashioned, family-fun miniature golfing, look no further than The Fish Hole! Here you can try your hand at one of two 18-hold adventure golf courses. Along the way, you’ll encounter tropical Florida plants and a giant koi pond where kids can feed the fish and turtles! Drop by at 115 Bridge Street from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. One round costs just $9.49 per person.

Experience authentic island-style relaxation and stress relief at Sea-renity Beach Spa & Bou-Tiki. It is the only massage service offered on the beach in a private tiki hut. A team of expert massage therapists will ensure that you leave in much better shape than when you arrived. Professional skin services are also available, and you can shop at the Bou-Tiki for jewelry, all-cotton clothing, wellness items, and Gulf-inspired items. Get your beach massage at 1301 Gulf Drive North. 

Shopping

For some eclectic local or international souvenirs, stop by The Hive. They sell handmade jewelry, unique art and décor, and accessories. You never know what gems you’ll find each time you drop by! The store is located at 119 Bridge Street.

To continue your shopping on Anna Maria Island, the Uptown Lot has a lot to offer! Here you’ll find t-shirts, flip flops, seashells, scarfs, funny signs, fun jewelry, and much, much more. If you happen to forget any of your beach gear at home, you can easily find a replacement. Stop by 110 Bridge Street to find some unexpected treasures!

At Bridge Street Interiors, you’ll find classy, fun, and eclectic décor to brighten up your home space! There are also many fun items like tropical apparel, jewelry, and candles that would make perfect souvenirs. Start shopping at 100 Bridge Street.

Food

When traveling to a new place, it can always be tricky to figure out the best places to eat. Fortunately, Bridge Street is filled to the brim with restaurants boasting delicious local and international flavors! These are some of the top sites to grab a bite. 

True to its name, the Beach House Waterfront gives you delicious food with a view. The restaurant is located on 650 feet of pristine Gulf-front beach and represents the pinnacle of moderately priced restaurant serving incredible seafood. Diners can choose to eat either inside or outside with views of the sun and sand. Menu items include specialties like Seafood Gumbo, Bourbon Salmon, and Grilled Mahi Mahi, among other delectable seafood platters. As a bonus, the restaurant is committed to environmentally friendly practices in all areas of its business, from procuring locally sourced ingredients for its food to constructing an environmentally friendly building. Drop by and grab a table at 200 Gulf Drive North. 

shrimps from anna maria island restaurant

For more seafood options, Blue Marlin Seafood is a great place to dine. The restaurant was created from a restored cottage, creating an intimate feel and uniquely coastal character. Their cuisine is made from fresh fish brought in by a local Cortez fishing fleet. These fresh catches are used to create masterpieces like Grouper Fulford, Linguini White Clam, Blackened Fish Alfredo, and more. Beyond seafood, you can also order steaks, chicken, and traditional sandwiches or burgers. Reservations are required on Friday and Saturday nights and are highly encouraged for all other days. Visit the Blue Marlin at 121 Bridge Street. 

For 30 years, the Bridge Tender Inn has been a favorite sports bar and grille to eat, drink, and watch the latest televised game. Grab a beer and a fresh seafood meal, a sandwich, soup, or dessert. In this laid-back setting, you’re sure to feel right at home and quickly make new acquaintances. Stop by at 135 Bridge Street.

Where to Stay

After a full day on Bridge Street, there will be nothing more rewarding than returning to the comfort of your Anna Maria Island vacation rental. We offer rentals to meet every need. There are condo rentals for couples or small families and 3-bedroom, 4-bedroom, and 5-bedroom homes for larger groups. We even have pet-friendly properties if you can’t bear to leave furry members of the family behind! Whatever your preferences, our friendly and professional staff are prepared to help you find the property of your dreams. Book with us today. Our customers will agree that we offer the best vacation rentals on Anna Maria Island!