Free Anna Maria Trolley is fantastic way to travel Anna Maria Island

SPF-52 Hottest Ideas for a Cool Vacation

Anna Maria Island  is only 7 miles long, but on it is a wealth of fun and entertaining things to do, places to go and people to enjoy the company of. Over the course of this summer we’ll be running down our favorite things to do with our SP-52, Hottest Ideas for the Coolest Vacation Ever campaign. This is SPF-52 approved.

Anna Maria Island, Florida has wonderful trolley service that travels the entire island.  From Coquina Beach all the way to the public pier on the North side of Anna Maria City, Florida.  The best thing of all is the trolley still remains free!  That’s right Free.  In the late Fall, Winter, and early Spring MCAT uses the mature trolleys which allows for the back half of the trolley to have the windows removed so you can feel the cool breezes of Anna Maria Island.  The Trolley Service arrives about every 30 minutes at the many designated stops on the island.  If you are staying at a vacation rental with Island Real Estate Vacation Rentals then be sure to review the free visit bag Island Real Estate provides all vacation renters for more information on trolley stops.

A few tricks of the trade.  The trolley benches are spread apart all across Anna Maria Island.  Starting South to North, the trolley service starts at Coquina public beach in Bradenton Beach City.  All along Gulf Drive there are many benches.  It’s just like catching a bus.  Find one of the trolley stops and await the trolley to arrive.  TRICK:  Be sure you are sitting at a Trolley bench and not a miscellaneous bench.  A trolley bench will be painted Green and say Trolley on it.  If it is a wooden bench without any sign next to it or Trolley painting on the back of the bench then it is NOT a trolley stop.

The Trolley travels all the way up to Manatee Avenue by way of East Bay Drive past Publix and the outdoor shopping plaza.  TRICK:  The trolley will only stop at the benches to its right.  If you are on one side of the street and you do not want to travel the direction of the traffic then cross the street and find the closest trolley stop going the other way.  The Trolley then picks up on Gulf Drive and travels North on Marina Drive.  Let me say that again, the Trolley travels North on Marina Drive all the way up to Pine avenue where it turns around at the public pier at the East end of Pine Avenue.  The Trolley then heads West along Pine Avenue, South along Gulf Drive and travels South along the Beach.  The Trolley travels ALONG the beach where it closes the loop at Marina and Gulf Drive and travels back to Coquina Beach.

TRICK:  If you are staying anywhere from 53rd to 81st be careful!!  The trolley travels both Gulf Drive and Marina/Palm which forms a loop.  So, if you are staying at Vista Grande in Island Real Estate’s Vacation Rentals , to travel South pick up any one of the trolley stops along Gulf Drive.  If you want to travel North you must walk EAST to Marina Drive and find a trolley stop on the East side of the street to travel to the North side of Anna Maria Island.

To review the “official” Trolley schedule for Anna Maria Island visit the MCAT website.

Below is a VERY quick you tube video at a trolley stop…

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Larry

Originally from Rochester, NY, Larry has found paradise on Anna Maria Island. He is an Anna Maria Island resident and President of Island Real Estate. He is always happy to share his expertise on the local real estate and vacation rental market. As a local, he is also able to offer excellent island insight on what to enjoy and things to do in the area.

Comments

  1. says

    HOw do I find out the schedule for the trolley? When does it leave Holmes Beach and when does it leave Coquina Beach? on /friday??

  2. says

    Just thought I should point out we used the bus several times on a rainy day whilst in Anna maria, we got Jim on 2 of these rides he is the funniest man I have ever met , he needs a medal and a pay rise,, he told us very interesting landmarks etc about the history of the island and quizzed the passengers ,he had us fits of laughter, a man who enjoys his job and defiantly needs a very well done , thanks Jim for a great day on your trolley x

    • says

      I’m glad you had a such a great experience! I grew up on Anna Maria, and so I spent a fair amount of time aimlessly riding the Trolley up and down the Island, so I know how important having a good driver is. I had many experiences where they would even stop for us at the next stop if we were clearly trying to catch it; you don’t get that kind of love in other cities, I can tell you that much!

    • says

      Hey Cindy,

      Manatee Trolleys on Anna Maria Island run daily at 20 minute intervals, from 6 A.M. until 9 p.m. then run every 30 minutes until 10:30 p.m., Monday through Sunday. On certain holidays, it will occasionally run longer.

      Glad we could help!

      -Billy

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