Anna Maria Island is a great place to take a family walk, bike ride, or just enjoy the breath taking views of the Gulf of Mexico. Don’t let the name fool you, the Coquina Bike path is not for just bikes but includes patrons strolling down the Gulf Waters. The Coquina bike path is paved and stretches between Coquina beach and Cortez Beach. Located in Bradenton Beach just south of Bridge Street, you will find Cortez Beach.
This beach offers free parking and lots of it! As you move further south into Coquina Beach, you will find public restrooms, picnic tables, beach showers, and lifeguards on duty. Coquina beach also has a café that serves burgers and hot dogs right on the beach.
One of my favorite things to do is take a nice, easy bike ride through Coquina Beach. I start at the south end of the island under the Long Boat Key Bridge and head north towards Cortez Beach along the paved path. Take the time to enjoy island wildlife as you are greeted by squirrels, native birds like the Blue Heron, and if you are lucky, you may see dolphins or manatees enjoying their Florida lifestyle.
If you can’t bring your own bicycle, there are lots of places to rent them on Anna Maria Island. Most folks love Bradenton Beach because there are plenty of accommodation choices as well as dining and shopping within a stroll away.
The National Clean Beaches Coalition has awarded it’s highest rating of “Blue Waters” to the five beaches on Anna Maria Island. This certification is granted by the Washington D.C. based council. A ceremony was held Wednesday November 14th at Coquina Beach where the five “Blue Water” flags were given to city officials by coalition founder Walter McLeod signaling that our beaches are healthy and clean. These flags will fly over the certified beaches of Coquina Beach, Cortez Beach, Manatee and Holmes Beach and Anna Maria Beach.
These five local beaches were chosen based on criteria and extensive testing that include water quality, beach and intertidal conditions, safety, services, animal habitat conservation and erosion management. This Clean Beaches Coalition is the first national environmental certification of beaches.
Locals are thrilled yet not surprised at the award – we know we have the best and cleanest beaches anywhere!
The word on the beach is that the weather is still extremely cold and nasty in most of the county. Imagine yourself spending your days on the beaches of Anna Maria Island soaking up the sun, swimming, enjoying water sports, or anything else that your heart desires. At night treat yourself to dinner and drinks at one of our exquisite Anna Maria Island restaurants.