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Anna Maria Island Travel Tips
If you're looking for a different type of Florida vacation for your next getaway, consider heading to Anna Maria Island. When you first think of Florida, Disney parks and big crowds might be the first things that come to mind. Instead of hustle and bustle, Anna Maria Island provides you with a quiet oasis where you can relax, unwind and rejuvenate.
Known as "an island in the sun," Anna Maria provides a cozy, laid-back, welcoming vibe that's synonymous with island living. This Florida location boasts miles of beaches, award-winning restaurants, amazing art and culture, and friendly locals who won't mind providing directions or chatting about their home town. Take part in a variety of water? sports or simply lounge near the water as you listen to the waves lap the shore.
If you're looking for a vacation that lets you get away from it all and spend some quality time with family, friends and loved ones on the water, Anna Maria Island is calling your name.
Things to Do on Anna Maria Island
- Hit the beach: Anna Maria Island provides you with amazing opportunities to enjoy seaside fun at places like Manatee Public Beach, Coquina Beach, Whitney Beach and Treasure Island Beach, to name a few. Warm, sandy shores greet and invite you to lay out a beach towel. Settle in with a good book - after you protect your skin with some sunscreen, of course - or grab those buckets and build a sandcastle. If you're in the mood for some friendly competition, toss a Frisbee or race down to the water to see who can swim the fastest. If you're needing a little exercise, grab your gym shoes and hit the beach for a challenging run in the sand.
- Ride the free trolley: Anna Maria Island offers a trolley that runs through the entire length of the island - and the best part? It's free to ride! This makes traveling around a breeze, but also provides you an opportunity to see all that the island has to offer. When you first arrive, hop on the trolley and scout out what restaurants, shops and other attractions look like something you'll want to visit. Don't forget to take in the scenery. As you cruise around on the trolley, you'll be treated to amazing views of the island's natural beauty as well as the beaches and the sparkling water surrounding you. The trolleys are air-conditioned so you can take a break from the warm temperatures, and they run from 6 a.m. through 10:30 p.m., appearing about every 20 minutes.
- Anna Maria Island Historical Society: What's better than learning about the history and culture of the place you're visiting? Doing it for free! Head to the Anna Maria Island Historical Society Museum to find about about the area's history, such as who settled there, characters throughout time and the original city jail. You can also take a tour of the cottage that sat on City Pier, and kids can take part in a scavenger hunt.
- ARTSPACE Anna Maria: Artists and art lovers will appreciate a trip to ARTSPACE Anna Maria. This local gallery space allows artists from the island to display new, fresh pieces in a variety of different mediums. Several times a year the gallery also hosts an ARTSPACE Challenge, receiving entries from all around the country. During your trip the Anna Maria Island, be sure to stop by ARTSPACE to discover the amazing works that local artists are creating.
- Body and Sol Spa and Wellness: A relaxing island getaway isn't complete without a trip to the spa! Book a treatment or two (or a whole day) at Body and Sol Spa and Wellness to really let go of tension and pamper yourself. Try a variety of massages like therapeutic, stone, deep tissue, tension tamer and more to sooth sore, achy muscles and treat your body to something nice. You can also liven up your face with a rejuvenating facial, brighten up your fingers and toes with a manicure and pedicure, and stretch and strengthen your whole body with a yoga class.
Dining on Anna Maria Island
- Feeling Swell: If you're in the mood for a casual beach dining experience, heading to Feeling Swell, which you're sure to be after a meal here. On the menu you'll find tasty appetizers and entrees like conch fritters, gator bites, crab cakes, mahi mahi, grouper, burgers, salads and more. If you're furry friend is along for the trip, dine outside on the pet-friendly patio where you can share a meal with your pooch, then head around the block to work it off with a run on the beach. Feeling Swell often has entertainment as well, so it'll prove to be a lively experience.
- Sandbar: Another excellent, slightly more upscale option for beachside dining is Sandbar. You'll find delicious seafood like calamari, mussels, shrimp and sandwiches as you watch the sunset over the water. If you've got a sweet tooth, don't pass up the key lime pie or cheesecake! This award-winning eatery is sure to please, no matter what you're in the mood for.