Top Activities Off Anna Maria Island

Enjoy our list of off Anna Maria Island activities. While lazing on the beach with a cold drink is an amazing way to vacation, visit off island too.

Off Anna Maria Island

Beyond the powder sand and crisp blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico find things to do. There’s a ton of activities to experience on Anna Maria Island. However, if feeling adventurous, here’s a list of 40 activities less than a two hour drive from the island.

Off Anna Maria Island
Relax on Anna Maria Island beaches!

Bradenton

The city of Bradenton is located inland from Anna Maria Island when heading over the Manatee Bridge. Known as the friendly city, Bradenton offers great entertainment in the Downtown Old Main Street area. Find Bishop Planetarium, South Florida Museum, The Players Theater and McKechnie Baseball Field where the Marauders play. Additionally, find things to do at G.T. Bray park,  Manatee County Parks and Mixon Fruit Farm.

Cortez

The city of Cortez is located just over the Cortez Bridge when leaving Anna Maria Island. One of the countries oldest fishing villages, Cortez is a place to explore old Florida charm, shops, and seafood. Be sure to visit Starfish Company restaurant for dockside views, and the best Florida seafood you’ll taste. If you visit in February be sure to check out the annual Cotez Fishing Festival. Find some of the areas most delicious sweets at Tylers Ice Cream. Learn all about the history of Cortez Fishing Village at the Maritime Museum.

Sarasota

A truly beautiful city, Sarasota is about 30 minutes south of Anna Maria Island. You’ll find a large selection of activities in Sarasota. Theaters include Van WezelMcCurdys Improve comedy house and the Sarasota Players. Also enjoy fine art at The Ringling or beautiful Florida Flora and Fauna at Sarasota Jungle Gardens. The internationally known Sarasota Film Festival offers many events annual in April. Also, Siesta key and St. Armands Circle have fabulous shopping, or explore Florida’s aquatic life at Mote Marine Aquarium.

Lakewood Ranch

Heading 45 minutes East into Manatee county brings you to Lakewood Ranch. This area offers an outdoors shopping area along Main Street with a few other activities surrounding. Visit the Lakewood Ranch cinema followed by a great meal at Polo Grill and Bar. Play a round of Golf at the prestigious Legacy Golf Club.

 University Town Center is a great indoor mall with fabulous shopping opportunities not found on Anna Maria Island.

St. Petersburg

St. Petersburg is a 45 minute drive north over the Sunshine Skyway Bridge. Here find a growing art scene with ton’s of galleries, studios, boutiques and entertainment. Check out the Sundial shopping district along with the great waterfront restaurants. Enjoy fine works by artist Salvador Dali at the Dali Museum.

Myakka

Myakka State Park has many activities including boat tours, nature watching and bike trails. The city of Myakka is just a little over an hour drive from Anna Maria Island. It also offers one of the nicest State parks in Florida. While in Myakka support your local farmers with a tour of Dakin Dairy.

Tampa

Tampa offers many fun attractions perfect for a day trip from Anna Maria Island. Just about an hour drive brings you to the famous Florida attraction Busch Gardens. The Car Museum of Tampa is a fun stop for old car enthusiasts.

Orlando

Orlando is a two hour drive from Anna Maria Island, but offers tons of family friendly activities. Check out our list of fun things to do in Orlando below:

Downtown Disney

Blizzard Beach

Typhoon Lagoon

Animal Kingdom

Disney’s Hollywood Studio

Disney’s Epcot

Magic Kingdom

Walt Disney World 

Universal Studios

Islands of Adventure

Brandon

Westfield Mall has all the big name retailers you are looking for. Brandon is also only an hour drive east of Anna Maria Island toward the Tampa area.

Ruskin

Ruskin is a quiet small Florida town with a fabulous old Drive in Theater. Just under an hour drive from the Island, Ruskin Drive also provides hours of inexpensive entertainment.

Plant City

If you visit the Island during spring months, you may be lucky to catch the Florida Strawberry Festival. The Strawberry Festival has been celebrated since the 1930’s. This 10 day event provides tons of fun too!

 

Lakewood Ranch a short trip from Anna Maria Island

Lakewood Ranch Main Street

Lakewood Ranch is a great day trip from Anna Maria Island! Just a 45 minute drive from Holmes Beach and you will have access to great entertainment, recreational activities and restaurants!  Lakewood Ranch has many shops to choose from with a very wide variety.

Lakewood Ranch Main Street has excellent picks for food and entertainment! Check out the Polo Grill & Bar, Lakewood Ranch Cinemas, Legacy Golf Club and the Sarasota Polo Club!

Click here for more shopping information when visiting Anna Maria Island.

Polo Grill and Bar | Lakewood Ranch

Polo Grill & Bar

The Polo Grill & Bar on Lakewood Ranch Main Street is open 7 days a week for dinner starting at 5:30PM. Offering a delicious selection of meals at modest prices for the quality, a meal at the Polo Grill is one that will satisfy your taste buds.

Hours of Operation
Dinner Monday-Sunday 5:30pm – Close
Lunch Monday-Saturday 11:30am – 2:30pm
Lounge Monday-Saturday 4:30pm – Close
Sunday 5:30pm-Close
Closed daily from 2:30pm – 4:30pm

 

Polo Grill & Bar
10670 Boardwalk Loop
Lakewood Ranch, FL 34202

941.782.0899

Lakewood Ranch Cinemas

Lakewood Ranch CinemasLakewood Ranch Cinemas shows recent releases throughout the day! Just a short trip from Anna Maria Island.  The Sarasota Film Society has a direct say on which movies to show, and has been involved in the operation since the December 2006 opening. The cinema is located conveniently right at the end of Lakewood Ranch Main Street. Check out what movies are playing and head over to catch a film!

Movie show times run during the following times on their respective days:
Monday 1:30–8:30 pm
Tuesday 1:30–8:30 pm
Wednesday 1:30–8:30 pm
Thursday 1:30–8:30 pm
Friday 1:30–8:30 pm
Saturday 10:00 am – 11:00 pm
Sunday 10:00 am – 11:00 pm

Lakewood Ranch Cinemas
10715 Rodeo Dr #8
Lakewood Ranch, FL 34202
(941) 955-3456

Legacy Golf Club in Lakewood Ranch

Legacy Golf Club Bradenton

Legacy Golf Club is a short trip from Lakewood Ranch Main Street. Legacy is actually only a single traffic light east, and you may be able to catch a glimpse of hole #3 and #4 from Main Street as you look over the lake.

The first five holes are touted as the most difficult, and reasonably so. You will find yourself lakeside on holes #3 and #4 so expect to carry the ball a good distance or get another golf ball out of your pack. Featuring an abundance of wildlife you can expect to see gators, herons, deer and other creatures while spending a day on the course. The average round will last about 4 hours and 15 minutes for a group of four.

Legacy Golf Club at Lakewood Ranch is an Arnold Palmer designed course that will test your skills. You will find 18 holes of golf that are sure to leave you with a new found appreciation for course design and the beauty of the area. Hole #17 (shown above) is an island green that will leave you searching for another ball if you come up short or blast it too far.

Golf rates in 2015 run $29 on weekdays and $59 on weekends including a cart.  For specials and timely rates please visit the Legacy Golf Club website found with the address information below.

Legacy Golf Club at Lakewood Ranch
8255 Legacy Boulevard
Bradenton, FL 34202
941.907.7067

Need some Golf closer to Anna Maria Island.  Here is a summary of Golf Courses within a reasonable drive from Anna Maria Island.

Sarasota – Lakewood Ranch outdoor Polo Club

Sarasota Polo Club MapIf you are visiting Anna Maria Island from December until April and don’t have much to do on a Sunday then you should head out to Lakewood Ranch and enjoy a few hours of being outdoors and take in a polo match.  The Polo Club facility is over 130 acres with 9 outdoor polo fields and a covered open air pavilion with open air stadium seating.  When I visited a polo match there was just one match going which was plenty of fun.   If you click the aerial picture to the right you will see the Sunday field and once you get close on University the drive in is pretty obvious where to go and where to park.

Continue reading Sarasota – Lakewood Ranch outdoor Polo Club