Anna Maria Island Beaches

Anna Maria Island is a barrier island surrounded by beautiful warm waters of both the Gulf of Mexico and Tampa Bay. Even though the island is only seven miles long, there are some distinct differences in the beach areas. All the beaches on Anna Maria Island are located in Manatee County and are public, open for everyone to enjoy. Guidelines are “dusk to dawn” for beach times, meaning after enjoying our world class sunsets it’s a good plan to pack up and leave the beach until the next day.

The southernmost city on Anna Maria Island is Bradenton Beach. This city has a narrower coastline and is home to the infamous Coquina Beach, where you can find its namesake – tiny shellfish that burrow in the sand as the waves crash back out. You’ll find a fun concession stand with restrooms and showers available at there as well. You may even find some sharks teeth wash ashore toward the southern end of Coquina Beach!

Further north into Holmes Beach is what locals may refer to as Manatee Beach. It’s at the end of Manatee Avenue traveling onto the island and has plenty of parking, a large concession stand with a shop, restrooms, showers and even music on weekends. As a family favorite spot, you’ll find a play area for kids, volleyball nets and lots of people enjoying the beautiful scenery. Lifeguards are on duty here as well, so you can feel safe both on the sand and in the water.

If you’re looking for a more peaceful, quiet beach day a few blocks up into northern Holmes Beach and southern Anna Maria City is the spot for you. From 50th Street to Spring Ave the beach is wide and walkers enjoy strolling, looking for shells and frolicking dolphins. Parking can be an issue here so please makes sure you park on the correct side of the street and only where the “beach access” signs are posted. You won’t find any restrooms or foot washes along these areas, just soft white sand and beautiful aqua waters.

Beach Point is located at the very tip of Anna Maria Island and it’s where the Gulf of Mexico and Tampa Bay meet. You can actually see the changing tides of the water! The only downfall to this amazing spot is that swimming is not recommended because of the risk for strong currents and riptides. But you will find that most people go for the views and the tranquility.

Each section of the beach on Anna Maria has its own feel, so make sure to explore them all and find your personal favorite.

Why Morning Walks are the Best on Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria Island – As someone who is typically not a morning person, I can say I don’t go for morning walks all that often. However, if I was waking up by the beach every morning I’d be up by the crack of dawn! Why you might ask? Here’s five reasons why morning walks on the beach are the best.

5 reasons morning walks are the best

1. Sunrise

If you’ve ever seen a Florida sunrise, you know how beautiful they are. But can you imagine what it looks like by the beach? While Anna Maria is known for it’s sunsets, it’s sunrises are equally as beautiful. A few good places to watch the sunrise would be Bean Point, the boat ramp at Coquina Beach, or the pier at Bridge Street.

sunrise on morning walk
Enjoy a beautiful sunrise on Anna Maria!

2. Look for shells

One of the best features of Anna Maria Island are the gorgeous seashells that can be found on the shoreline. While you can find shells at all times of the day, the morning is when you can find the newest and prettiest shells. This is because they haven’t had the chance to be stepped on or picked up by other people. You might even be able to find full shells from hermit crabs!

shells on your morning walk
Find shells on your morning walk!

3. Watch Coquinas burrow

Even though I have been a Floridian all my life, I still love watching coquinas burrow into the sand. These cool little creatures look just like any other shell, except they’re alive! Because there’s less people around in the morning, it’s easier to spot them digging through the sand, just look by the shoreline! However, we do ask for you to be gentle with them and return them to the ocean as they do need water to survive!

coquinas on your morning walk
Find Coquinas!

4. Watch the scampering birds

If you’ve seen Finding Dory, you know that little short film called ‘Piper’. Well, those birds are actually real and we have them right at our beaches! These little birds called sandpipers are known for scampering around and finding clams on the shore to eat. You can especially see them in the morning when they have more room to run around! Here’s a snippet of the short film if you didn’t get the chance to see it:

5. Help clean the beaches

As a good civilian, it is everyone’s duty to help keep our beaches clean so we can continue enjoying them. By waking up early, not only do you have the chance to do everything listed above, but you can help out our environment at the same time. A great way to do this would be to bring a bag with you on your walk so you can pick up litter. Even just cleaning up behind yourself helps a lot more than you may think!

pick up litter on morning walks
Help out our beaches by picking up litter on your walk!

Bean Point – Anna Maria Island’s Secret Serenity

Bean Point footbridge
The footbridge at Bean Point

Bean Point is the very northern tip of Anna Maria Island.  It is a local secret that provides breathtaking views of the sunset on a pristine, and serene beach.  Named for George Emerson Bean, the first permanent resident of Anna Maria Island, Bean Point is located on a secluded stretch of beach at the northern end of what was Bean’s original homesteaded property.

You won’t find a parking lot, or any large signs, to direct you to this treasure of nature.  To get there you’ll need to head North of the City Pier in Anna Maria on North Bay Blvd.  The “main entrance” to Bean Point is located at a small crossroads.  You will notice the tree lined path that divides the two properties at the the intersection of North Bay Blvd & North Shore Dr.  If you ride your bicycle, you can ride right up the path, and park just to the side of the classic, wooden footbridge that sets the tone for your Anna Maria beach experience.  If you drive your car, you have a few options.  There are actually entrances at the corners of Fern St & N. Shore Dr, and Gladiolus St. & North Shore as well.  Each of these entrances is marked by a small white posted sign that merely states “Public Beach Access”.  Using the intersection of North Bay blvd and North Shore will provide immediate access to the famed “Bean Point” but half the fun is getting there?  Using the public beach access point to the South will allow you to walk along the beach and take in the sites where the Bay and Gulf meet.  When parking you can choose a spot near any of these entrances, and take the path out to the beach.   Local Tip: parking regulations are strictly enforced on Anna Maria Island.  If it says No Parking, don’t do it, unless you want a ticket.  If you do park on the roadside be sure your tires are off the asphalt street.  If just 1″ is on the street you likely will return with a bad suprise after your liesurely stroll along the beaches of Anna Maria.  There are spots along the side streets, including Gladiolus and Fern.  To park near the footbridge entrance, I would recommend heading down to Jacaranda to find an empty (and legal) parking place.

Once your car is settled, head up the nearest path to the gorgeous turquoise waters where the Gulf of Mexico meets the Tampa Bay.   After your leisurely stroll down the path, turn right when you get to the sand, and head north to the point, for spectacular views that include the Sunshine Skyway Bridge.    If the tide is low, you can see the sand bar just off the coast.  Just a little wading into the warm water will take you there, and you can shell ‘til your heart’s content!  The views are amazing, the water is inviting, and the atmosphere is relaxed and serene.  There are quiet spots to sit and enjoy the view, and watch the waters and the wildlife.  I love where the water collides as the tide shifts from the East side of Anna Maria Island to the West side.

There are signs of life relaxing all over the Point.  My children love pointing out the crab holes in the sand.  There are a few turtle nests marked off right now, that are ready to hatch by the end of this month.  There is always something to delight the bird watcher too…with several different birdies to entertain you as they guard their beach turf from one another.  Off in the distance you can see the shores of Egmont Key, and there are always the boats to enjoy watching as they pass by.

So, head to Bean Point to capture a quiet beach moment, or a breathtaking sunset, and enjoy one of the most relaxing spots on an island famous for its relaxation.  Check out Vacasa’s Vacation Rentals to find your perfect spot to capture all that Anna Maria Island has to offer.    Call them toll free, at 800 778 6066, and one of our Vacation Rental Specialist can help you find your perfect spot.

Looking for a vacation rental close to Bean Point?  Grand Haven is just a few properties to the South and is a great bet for a Bean Point vacation as well.

Beat the Heat on Anna Maria Island!

Tips for keeping the sun’s rays away

Anna Maria Island – There is no better time to travel to Anna Maria Island than in the summer; however, dealing with the extreme heat can be a struggle if you don’t know how to prepare. By following these tips you’ll be sure to return home safely without looking like a lobster!

1. Drink Plenty of Water!

While it may seem obvious, drinking enough water is extremely important when vacationing at the beach. Because of Florida’s intense heat, your body needs more water than usual to stay hydrated. Grab a pack of water at the Island’s Publix or CVS.

2. Sunscreen!

Serving as a Floridian’s best friend, sunscreen is a must-have when staying at the beach. Even when it is cloudy, the sun’s rays are so strong that without protecting your skin you could end up looking like a ripe tomato. Being out in the sun for hours allows UV rays easy access to burning your skin, so slathering on that SPF 80 before playing in the sand is always a safe idea! Make sure to apply 20 minutes before going in the sun and REAPPLY every 2 hours.

3. Cover up!

Indirect rays can be just as damaging as direct ones. When going to the beach, it’s smart to wear protective clothing and bring an umbrella or tent for shade. Just the sun’s reflection off the water can result in a bad sunburn! You can find hats, umbrellas and more on the island at the West Coast Surf Shop.

However, if you do get burnt…

Make Aloe Vera Ice Cubes

Between the healing powers of aloe vera and the coldness of the ice cubes, this DIY hack is sure to give your skin some relief. Make sure to take some in the cooler just in case the sun gets the best of you!

DIY relief cream

If you want something a little less messy try making your own sunburn soother to help ease the pain and heal skin faster. You can find the recipe here.

The island is a wonderful place to vacation on, so make sure to take care of yourself and have fun!

Anna Maria Island
Avoid getting sun burned when visiting Anna Maria Island!

Anna Maria Island vacation rentals and accommodations

Island Real Estate has the largest selection of vacation rentals homes on Anna Maria Island! Book your vacation today!

Anna Maria Island
Sunset Beach 106 is a fabulous Anna Maria Island vacation rental right on the beach with direct gulf front views! After reading our tips to beet the sun, book this great beach front condo! Click on the image above to reserve your stay!

Beach Warning Flags – Swim Safely on Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria Island – While relaxing on the beautiful beaches of Anna Maria Island you may notice beach warning flags. A notice of swimming conditions, You’ll see them flying from the lifeguard stands at Manatee Beach in Holmes Beach and Coquina Beach in Bradenton Beach. These are color coded flags to warn you about different conditions that you as a beachgoer should be aware of.

What the beach warning flags mean

Double Red – No swimming allowed

Red – Swim with extreme caution due to strong currents or rough surf

Yellow – Swim with caution due to strong currents or rough surf

Green – Swimming allowed, calm conditions

Purple – Presence of marine pests such as jellyfish, sharks, stingrays or red tide

In 2005 the Florida Legislature introduced the uniform beach flag system. Florida’s beach flag program uses four colors accompanied by interpretive signs along the beach to explain swimming conditions. All public beaches in Florida with lifeguards must use the state flag system. With a quick glance at the lifeguard stand beachgoers are informed about the existing water conditions. Life guards will monitor conditions changing the flags throughout the day in order to keep patrons informed. Follow the link for swimming conditions prior to your beach visit.

Just in time for the summer season 2014 additional beach flags will be posted at two fire stations in MANATEE COUNTY. One fire stations is on the island: Fire Station No. 1 at 6001 Marina Drive on Holmes Beach next to the Island Real Estate office and the second fire station is on the way approaching the island via Cortez Road: 10350 Cortez Road, Bradenton.

Lifeguards will communicate with firefighters to change the flags as necessary.

So, just check today’s beach flag color, apply sunscreen and enjoy your day on the beautiful beaches on Anna Maria Island. You might also like to check out what the Island Real Estate team brings along in their beach bags or take a live look at the beach via the Island Real Estate beach cam.

 

Tuesday Turtle Talks on Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria Island – The Tuesday Turtle Talks begin this month at the Anna Maria Island Community Center and will continue through the summer at the Annie Silver Community Center in Bradenton Beach.

Anna Maria Island TurtlesAnna Maria Island Turtle Watch and Shorebird Monitoring volunteers will take kids in the Center’s after school program to the beach on May 12 and May 19 at 4 p.m. to search for sea turtle and shorebird nests, with a final activity at the Center on May 26. From June through August, Tuesday Turtle Talks will move to the Annie Silver Community Center on 23rd Street one block off Gulf Drive in Bradenton Beach from 10 to 11 a.m.

The talks will replace morning tours of the nesting beach and will include a presentation, handouts and Q&A time. In August, volunteers will demonstrate nest excavations on the beach, Turtle Watch Director Suzi Fox said.

All summer a new event, Turtles on Bridge Street, will be featured with scavenger hunts to find turtles, free temporary turtle tattoos in Bridge Street businesses and other events.

If you would like to register your child to attend the Anna Maria Island Community Center Tuesday Turtle Talks, call 941-778-1908.

 

 

Respect our feathered friends while relaxing at the beach

Anna Maria Island – Anna Maria Island birds and wildlife are very important to locals, and the success of our environment. Bird nesting season is here and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, FWC for short, is asking beachgoers to watch out for and avoid disturbing nesting shore birds. With nests built out of sand, respecting local wildlife is especially important during high traffic times like Spring Break. A lot of these birds face conservation challenges and taking into consideration a few do’s and don’t can go a long way towards helping preserve our local ecosystem.

Anna Maria Island birds and wildlife

Rules for beachgoer’s

Keep your distance, whether on the beach or paddling watercraft along the shore. If birds become agitated or leave their nests, you are too close. A general rule is to stay at least 300 feet from a nest. Birds calling out loudly and dive-bombing are giving signals for you to back off.

Never intentionally force birds to fly or run. They use up energy they need for nesting, and eggs and chicks may be left vulnerable to the sun’s heat or predators. Teach children not to chase shorebirds and kindly ask fellow beach-goes to do the same.

Respect posted areas. Avoid posted nesting sites and use designated walkways when possible.

Do not take pets to the beach.

Keep the beach clean and do not fee wildlife. Food scraps attract predators such as raccoons and crows, which can prey on shorebird chicks. Litter on beaches can entangle birds and other wildlife.

Rules for wildlife photographers

Remain beyond the posted area, with no part of you or your camera equipment extending beyond the string or signs.

Restrict photography to no more than 10 minutes. Too much time photographing near the nest may stress birds.

Don’t “push” birds around the beach. Stay far enough away so the birds do not change their behavior in response to your presence. They need to feed and rest without disturbance.

If you see someone disturbing nesting birds report their behavior to the FWC Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-FWCC(3922), #FWC or *FWC on a cell phone or by texting Tip@#MyFWC.com.

Black Skimmer
Black Skimmer feeding it’s babies during nesting season on Anna Maria Island.

Respect Dolphins Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria Island – Atlantic Bottle Nose Dolphins may be one of our nicest finned friends, but they are still wild animals protected under law by the Marina Mammal Protection Act. Here are some do’s and don’ts for interacting with them.

atlantic bottle nose dolphin anna maria island
Anna Maria Island Atlantic Bottle Nose Dolphins

Do’s

Stay at least 50 yards away from dolphins when viewing from a vessel or watercraft.

Limit time spent observing marine mammals to 30 minutes or less.

Avoid making loud or sudden noises near these aquatic mammals.

Move away slowly if a dolphin’s behavior indicates the animal is stressed or disturbed.

Look before you book! Book wild dolphin viewing tours with businesses that responsibly view dolphins in the wild and help cetacean conservation.

Put your vessel’s engine in neutral if in the close vicinity of dolphins.

Dont’s

Pursue, swim with, pet or touch wild dolphins, even if they approach you.

Encircle or entrap dolphins with vessels.

Operate or maneuver vessels in a manner that may cause dolphins to change their current behaviors. Specifically, do not direct a vessel or accelerate toward dolphins with the intent of creating a wake.

Separate mother and calf pairs.

Drive watercraft through or over groups of dolphins.

If you see a dolphin in distress call Mote Marine’s Stranding Investigations Program at 941-988-0212.

 

 

Boat Rentals with Bradenton Beach Marina

Bradenton Beach – Whether staying at one of our properties with boat access, or simply wanting to enjoy boat rentals for a day trip, Anna Maria Island has you covered. Of all the boat rental companies on the island though, Bradenton Beach Marina is the company with the broadest amount of options.

Located near the Cortez bridge on Bradenton Beach, the Bradenton Beach Marina is a full service marina and offers wet and dry boat storage. Inside high and dry storage for boats up to 40’ and wet slip dockage for boats up to 65′ in length. Liveaboard dockage, transient dockage for the day, week or month. Water, electric, telephone, and pump out service. Other services include; Boat repair & maintenance, boat rentals and boat sales.

Rates 

Bradenton Beach Marina Rates

Book Your Boat Rental Today!

Half Day Morning Rentals run from 8:30 am to 12:30

Half Day Afternoon Rentals run from 12:30 pm to 4:30

Full Day Rentals run from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm

 

For all questions and to book by phone please call 941-704-5441. Island Real Estate does not handle the reservation of boats.

Location

Bradenton Beach Marina is centrally located between Tampa Bay and Sarasota Bay, we are just minutes from the Gulf of Mexico via Longboat Pass.

How to Get to Us

By land: From I-75 exit on State Road 70 West (Exit 217B). Head west for approximately 10 miles until you reach the intersection of Cortez Road. Turn left on Cortez Road and follow it out until it dead ends on Anna Maria Island. As you come across the Cortez Road Bridge, you will see Bradenton Beach Marina on your left side.

By water: Located on the west side of the Intracoastal Waterway between marker 49 and the Cortez Road Bridge in Bradenton Beach on ANNA MARIA Island. Our nearest Gulf access is Longboat Pass approximately 1 1/2 miles south of the marina.

 

Support Beach clean-up efforts with new local non-profit organization Heart the Sea.

Anna Maria Island – Heart the Sea, a new local non-profit organization invites all to help clean the beach on February 28th at 4PM starting under Longboat Pass at the Southern tip of Coquina Beach located at 2650 Gulf Drive in the City of Bradenton Beach, Anna Maria Island. Beach cleaners are encouraged to bring a bucket, no plastic bags, and wear closed toed shoes. Gloves and a few extra buckets will be available. Afterwards, Cleaners are invited to Heart the Sea Sponsor Swordfish Grill; cleaners who bring their cleaning glove to Swordfish Grill will be rewarded with one free drink. Swordfish Grill is located at 4628 119th Street West, Cortez, FL 34215.

Jeff Higgins the Marketing Director at Swordfish Grill says, “We stand by Heart the Sea because just like us, they believe in making sure this natural habitat where we all live and we all love, stays that way for future generations to enjoy”

To stay up to date on Beach Clean ups follow Heart the Sea on Facebook or Twitter Contact Jenny Stonehouse at 941-702-4SEA.

 Heart the Sea Beach Clean-UpHeart The Sea exists for the protection of the Ocean and it’s inhabitants by raising awareness for waterway and beach health. Our vision is for the change of human habits for the benefit of the ocean and it’s animals.

Beach clean-ups are where tourists and locals alike can share a love for the ocean. To be intentional about picking up litter has changed people; Newbies to Heart the Sea beach clean-ups, even children, cannot help themselves from picking up litter whenever they see it after attending one of the clean-ups. All litter eventually ends up in the ocean unless intercepted, and many volunteers are surprised to collect about 5-10 lb of trash per bucket.

Founder of Heart the Sea Jenny Stonehouse elaborates on Heart the Sea and beach clean ups, “About a year ago, I met Hank the Heron on the 77th street beach access with fishing line around his ankle. Hank was wobbling begging the nearby fisherman for food. I called the AMI Wildlife Rescue who came out to try and catch Hank. The volunteer was unsuccessful as Hank did not want to be caught! In my conversation with AMI Wildlife Rescue I discovered that they had been trying to catch Hank for a while. Sadly, Hank did his best to fly down the beach only to be pummeled by another territorial Heron. Heart The Sea was born in my heart on that day. Because fishing line and other harmful items are found and discarded each month, Heart the Sea beach clean-ups are important to the health of our Beaches. Supporting Heart the Sea’s cause means increasing efforts to clean the beach and educating tourists and locals in reducing trash on our beach. We meet, we clean-up, and we go have a drink.”

For several months now Jenny and a small group of Volunteers have been meeting in various parts of Anna Maria Island for clean-ups. Recently, Jenny submitted Heart the Sea’s articles of incorporation to become a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization making Heart the Sea a truly impactful facilitator of clean beaches. In Celebration of Heart the Sea’s new beginning, Jenny will be set up at The Bridge Street Market in Bradenton Beach February 22nd from 10am-3pm. Jenny will not only be passing out information and recruiting volunteers, but as an artist, Jenny will be selling her artwork with 50% of the proceeds going directly to Heart the Sea.