Occupying the northern end of Anna Maria Island is the city of Anna Maria. A coveted portion of the island, it offers an old Florida coastal village feel with vibrant history, charming locals and beautiful sightseeing.
7 Things To Know About The City of Anna Maria
Before purchasing a home in the city of Anna Maria there are likely a few things you didn’t know about this gorgeous little walkable town.
Anna Maria has a proud and interesting history as the “Town Fig Newtons Built“. Charles Roser and his wife started the Anna Maria Beach Company to develop the land on Anna Maria Island in the late 1800’s. Charles Roser invented the machine that fills Fig Newtons. He used the money from the sale of his patented machine to begin Anna Maria Beach Company. One of the first steps to building a community on the island was to build the city pier which celebrated it’s 100th Birthday in 2011. When visiting the Island be sure to stop by the Anna Maria Historical Society on Pine Avenue to learn all about the unique history of this town.
All along the small commercial streets of Anna Maria there are several locally run boutiques with everything from hand made to high end wares and souvenirs. There are no big box, or chain store retailers in Anna Maria making for a shopping experience full of great finds. All of the shops listed below are within walking distance of one another as is just about everything in the small city of Anna Maria. While in town check out the following shops:
Anna Maria offers gorgeous beaches all around the northern tip of the island. These beaches do not offer an abundance of parking making them more secluded and reachable by foot or bike. Enjoy beaches on the Gulf of Mexico, Bean Point and Tampa Bay beaches at Bay Front Park when you visit Anna Maria.
Sightseeing and Equipment Rentals
Sightseeing on the northern end is truly stunning with gorgeous beaches and marine wildlife. You’ll also find great views from Rod & Reel Pier and the Anna Maria City Pier. While you stay on Anna Maria you may want to rent a bicycle or other fun outdoor equipment from Beach Bums or Lux Carts.
The city of Anna Maria hosts several events throughout the year happening on Pine Avenue. Anna Maria events are family friendly and also offer great food, vendors and live music.
It’s no secret that some of the most beautiful Gulf of Mexico coastline can be found on Anna Maria Island beaches. Powder white quartz sand, clear blue waters, exotic wildlife and endless sunshine make for the perfect place to relax all day and let your cares wash away.
Anna Maria Island Beaches
There are several things to keep in mind when visiting Island beaches. So, Island Real Estate has come up with our top ten list of things to know about Anna Maria Island beaches. From deciding which beach to visit to where to find parking, Here’s everything you need to know for fun in the sun.
If you are a Floridian you have a complete understanding and respect for the necessity of sunblock. It only takes one really bad sunburn to learn your lesson, and no one should suffer from this mistake on vacation. Even on an overcast day it’s possible to get sunburned! It is extremely important to slather on the sunblock at least 20 minutes prior to heading to the beach to allow your skin to properly absorb sunblock. Be sure to reapply sunblock every few hours, especially on the kids. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you are safe from the sun in the water; you still need to use every precaution to avoid a bad burn. In addition to sunblock consider a hat, sunglasses, lots of water for keeping hydrated and a loose fitting shirt to cover bare skin.
2. Places to Beach
Anna Maria Island has over seven miles of beaches to explore, but finding the perfect beach for you is important for having the ultimate island experience. One great thing about Anna Maria Island is the abundance of public beach accesses all along the gulf and bay sides of the island; however, not all public accesses have available parking. With each beach offering a little something different, here are four options to better curate your beach excursion.
Manatee Public Beach Access is perhaps the island’s most popular, and therefore, busiest of beach spots. With just about all the amenities you could want for the beach, Manatee Public Beach is an island hot spot. Located at the very end of west Manatee Avenue, this public beach offers tons of free parking, lifeguards, bathrooms, showers, gift shops, concessions, changing rooms, free trolley and public bus stop, volley ball nets, tourist information, picnic tables under shady Australian Pines and a fabulously sandy playground for the kids. This Beach Access is truly the heart of the island beach scene.
Coquina Beach Access is located along the south end of Anna Maria Island running up the gulf side. This popular beach has tons of parking, grill and picnic areas, playground, lifeguard, bathrooms, trolley stop, concessions, and an absolutely gorgeous walking/bike path running along the sea oat sand dunes.
Bay Front Park
Bay Front Park Beach Access is located on the northern end of Anna Maria Island south of Bean Point running along Tampa Bay. This park has an updated playground, picnic grills and shelters, bathrooms, some parking, and nearby Trolley stop at the Anna Maria City Pier. The beaches are narrow along the bay side, but there are views of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, Tampa bay and gorgeous sunrises.
Bean Point Beach Access is one of the most secluded and sought after beach destinations on Anna Maria Island. Parking is extremely limited making this beach more accessible by foot or via bicycle. Bean Point beaches are mostly deep and expansive with powder sand, sea oats, dunes and wildlife. Enjoy great views of Egmont key, Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico.
3. Beach Safety
Beach Safety is an important thing to keep in mind when swimming and enjoying a day at the beach on Anna Maria Island. Be sure to observe all signs regarding swimming conditions including rip tide warnings. Look for one of the five colored flags posted to understand current swimming precautions.
Beach Combing and shelling are a fun beach activity for the entire family when visiting Anna Maria Island. With so many different species of shells and wildlife you never know what you’ll come across when strolling the powder white sand beaches of the Gulf of Mexico and Tampa Bay. There are plenty of places to find shells on the island with some of the best finds washing up after stormy weather.
5. Beach toys
No matter how young or old beach toys are a must for the beach. Making sand castles with bucket and shovel, throwing around a Frisbee or clinging to a noodle; beach toys are always a fun addition to your beach trip.
Regardless of when you visit Anna Maria Island the weather and water temperature are almost always gorgeous. In the summer expect seasonal afternoon showers, and bath like water temperatures. Some visitors even swim in the winter, but we’ll leave that up to your judgement.
7. Turtle Season, Birds, Dolphins, and Wildlife.
Anna Maria Island is fortunate to be the year round, and seasonal home of many different species of wildlife. Each year between May 1st and October 31st we find several species of Sea Turtles coming ashore to lay eggs. In the spring and winter months Anna Maria Island is home to many birds nesting on the beaches including the stoic Black Skimmers and Least Terns. Sea mammals like dolphin and manatee can be spotted around Anna Maria Island at various times throughout the year. With so much wildlife it is important to respect these beautiful inhabitants.
8. Respect the beach – Clean up
The beach is a beautiful public place that must be cherished and protected. There are wrong and right ways to utilize this resource. When visiting the beach follow all posted rules, avoid feeding the seagulls and be sure to clean up all your trash and debris when you leave. It only takes two minutes to keep trash and litter off our pristine beaches!
Anna Maria Island may not be the first place that surfers flock to for huge waves, but the locals still enjoy our laid back surf culture and climate none the less. White Avenue in the city of Anna Maria is one popular surfing spot. If you aren’t into surfing try out wake boarding during your stay!
10. Day Trip to Egmont and Fishing
If you are looking for a great place to bring your boat and go for a swim Egmont Key is always fun and beautiful. Located just off the northern tip of Anna Maria Island, Egmont is a great short day trip into bay waters.
Stay up to date with everything about fishing on Anna Maria Island on the Island Real Estate local scene blog page Fishing Report. From the Intracoastal waterway to the Gulf of Mexico and Tampa Bay there are plenty of great fishing opportunities.
When visiting Anna Maria Island be sure to stay safe, have fun, put on your sunscreen and enjoy lounging on beautiful Florida beaches!
Anna Maria Island Vacation Rental Homes and Accommodations
If you are looking for the perfect vacation rental home visit IslandReal.com today! Enjoy the largest selection of vacation rental accommodations to choose from on the island along with great customer service!
Anna Maria – As you wander down the beach, watching the waves dance to a brief kiss on the sand, imagine the fierce spirit it took to develop this tropical paradise from then to now. It helps to eat a Fig Newton while you are pondering, because….
In 1891 a Philadelphia baker, Charles Roser invented and then patented the machine which inserted fig paste into a thick pastry dough. Kennedy Biscuit Company purchased the Roser recipe and started mass production in 1891. The product was named Newton after the small town of Newton, Massachusetts. When Kennedy merged with the New York Biscuit Company to form NABISCO, they trademarked Fig Newtons.
Around that same time, George Emerson Bean had homesteaded the northern 160 acres of Anna Maria Island in 1892.
With his financial windfall from the sale of his recipe and patent on the machine to make Fig Newtons, Charles and his wife moved to St. Petersburg, where he started a real estate development company. Charles had a sharp business mind and realized the opportunities that this little oasis provided. He partnered with Beans’ son, George Wilhelm Bean, after he inherited his fathers homestead in 1898 and the Anna Maria Beach Company was born.
They laid out the street maps, built sidewalks and a water system and began selling lots. At this time the only access to the island was by boat, so Roser built a 678 foot long pier to accommodate the ferries that would bring residents and day trippers to the Anna Maria Beach Company. Next he built the Roser Memorial Church in homage to his beloved mother. It was the first church on the island and has continued to grow and flourish over the 101 years it has been in existence! Roser also had a real estate business office built right at the end of Pine Avenue to catch the eye of everyone stepping off the pier to enjoy the island. It was a dream to own a piece of this paradise back then and it still is.
Being sick on vacation is not fun, but it’s important to find ways to enjoy yourself no matter what. First thing to do is get plenty of rest and take vitamins! Keeping water in your reusable bottle is the best way to ensure you’re getting all the hydration you need. Not sure if you’re drinking enough? Think about how much you weigh and divide that number in half; that is how many ounces of water you should drink per day. Wash your hands and disinfect yourself and your surroundings regularly! Hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes are a must.
Upset stomach: Stick to the BRAT diet: bananas, rice, apples, and toast. Go to the General Store and get some apple cider. Mix it with water and honey to alleviate the cramping feeling in your tummy. But of course always have Pepto Bismol on hand!
Sunburn: A great home remedy is fat-free milk. The milk creates a protein film on your skin that will help ease the discomfort of fresh sunburn. You can also buy aloe vera creams from CVS or Walgreens that will cool your skin after a bad burn.
Stressed: Indulge yourself at a Salon on Anna Maria Island. Book a stress relieving message, facial and manicure.
Believe it or not, vacations are a frequent cause of stress! Just thinking about all the packing, flying and non-stop sightseeing is enough to make your head spin. Don’t just take a vitamin pill – take a chill pill.
After an exciting day of swimming, sunbathing, shopping or sightseeing, hit the sack for at least seven hours straight. A comfy bed will make this process easy – you can find one in comfy vacation home from Island Real Estate. Keep your immune system working hard by snacking on fruits, veggies, and nuts. Drinking coffee or alcohol right before bedtime will inhibit quality sleep, so substitute decaf tea when possible.
Set the tone for the day each morning with a yoga routine, a jog, entry in your “vacation diary” or some scenery absorbing out on your balcony.
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 north of the intersection of N. Bay & N. 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. & N. Shore Dr. as well. Each of these entrances is marked by a small white posted sign that merely states “Public Beach Access”. 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. 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. Also, be aware of your tires. In Anna Maria your tires need to be off the street when parking roadside.
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. And of course, check out Island Real Estate’s Vacation Rentals to find your perfect spot to capture all that Anna Maria Island has to offer. Call us toll free, at 877-778-6066, and one of our Vacation Rental Specialist can help you find your perfect spot.
Looking for a few vacation rentals close to Bean Point? The Palms is a fabulous large North Shore Vacation rental. Grand Haven is just a few properties to the South and is a great bet for a Bean Point vacation as well.
The spring nesting season is upon us here on Anna Maria Island. At the north end of the island, near Bean Point, and also in mid-Anna Maria. Where the beach is extremely wide and covered with small dunes and patches of beach grass, the seabirds are nesting.
Terns, black skimmers and sanderlings are sitting on their nests. Little scrapes in the sand are shorebird nests. Additionally, nest scrapes are very difficult to see. Often the Audubon Society comes out and ‘ropes off’ the nesting areas with skinny stakes and string to keep curious beach goers out of the area.
It’s very easy to scare a bird off its nest without even noticing that there os a nest. So, if you’re out walking at the north end of Anna Maria Island, please be careful.
The Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch and Shorebird monitoring is an excellent Anna Maria Island shorebird resource. This non-profit organization is responsible for turtle monitoring. In addition to their turtle efforts, AMITW tracks shorebird development each spring.
For more information on the birds of the island, call John van Zandt, or email .
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