Top 10 Anna Maria Island Beaches – Things to Know!

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.

Anna Maria Island beaches
Anna Maria Island has some of the Gulf of Mexico’s most beautiful powder sand beaches.

1. Sunblock

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

Sunset on Anna Maria Island
Be sure to catch one of Anna Maria Island’s beautiful sunsets!

 

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 Beach

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

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

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.

4. Shells

Anna Maria Island seashell
Shelling and Beach Combing on Anna Maria Island is fun for all ages!

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.

6. Temperatures

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.

Black Skimmer and baby
Black Skimmer feeding baby during nesting season on Anna Maria Island.

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!

9. Surfing

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

Egmont Key Florida
Egmont Key Light house

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 Island Club vacation rental and accommodations
Anna Maria Island Club is a picturesque direct beach front condominium complex located in Bradenton Beach. Anna Maria Island Club 44 offers accommodations for up to 6 guests with balcony views of the gulf from both the living room and master bedroom. Click on the image above to reserve your stay at Anna Maria Island Club 44 today!

 

Finding Manatees Anna Maria Island

Perhaps one of Florida’s most interesting aquatic mammals, Manatees have an unusual and fascinating story to tell. This information page is to help with finding Manatees around Anna Maria Island.

Manatee
Manatees enjoy life at the Mote Marine Lab and Aquarium in Sarasota, Fl. Picture credit: Mote.org

Manatees around Anna Maria Island

The Florida Manatee is a large grayish brown mammal with thick wrinkly skin often covered in algae. They grow to be 10-12 feet in length weighing up to 1,800 pounds, and may live 60 years in the wild. Manatees have a powerful flat tail that propels them through the water. Their front flippers are used to steer them, and occasionally they may use them to crawl along the water bottom or pull themselves partially on land to reach non submerged plant foods. Manatees have small eyes and no outer ear, but this doesn’t stop them from seeing and hearing well.

A Herbivore

Manatees are herbivores with a diet consisting of sea grass and freshwater vegetation. Because of their massive intake of sea grass, manatees play an important role in keeping waterways clear of overgrowth. Manatees have specialized molars to aid in chewing the large amounts of food they require to survive. Manatee Molars may wear down, fall out, and are often replaced through out their life.

It is estimated that about 5,000 individuals of the species remain in the wild. Manatees are threatened by boat strikes, pollution, and loss of habitat due to development and increased traffic in Florida waterways.

Manatees prefer water above 68 degrees Fahrenheit and often spend winter in warmer areas such as springs and power plant discharge basins. More commonly Manatees can be found in shallow bays, rivers, estuaries, canals and intercoastal waterways avoiding rougher deep waters like the Gulf of Mexico.

They are typically gentle slow moving creatures, however; when playing and during mating season they may barrel role and thrash in shallow water making a great scene.

Sighting Manatees in the wild can prove to be tricky as their population becomes smaller, but is always a welcome treat. These aquatic relatives of the elephant are majestic and surprisingly graceful in water. When entering their ecosystem be sure to show a great deal of respect to the animal to ensure future success of the species. When boating or participating in water activities always be sure to follow signs indicating speed limits and the presents of Manatees. Wear polarized sunglasses to aid in seeing Manatee grazing in shallow water. Always be sure to keep trash out of water ways and never allow monofilament fishing line to becoming lost in the water.

Manatees at Mote Marine and South Florida Museum

In addition to finding Manatee in the wild there are a few spots near Anna Maria Island to see Manatees up close in captivity. The South Florida museum, located at 201 10th Street West in downtown Bradenton, has the worlds oldest Manatee in captivity, Snooty. Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium, located at 1600 Ken Thompson Parkway in Sarasota, also has a manatee exhibit.

Watch out for Manatee when boating

Manatee are not uncommon to the waters surrounding Anna Maria Island, and many have been observed in our shallow canals, bays, and have even been spotted in Gulf waters on rare occasion.

If you are nearing the end of your Anna Maria Island vacation and it is winter time then we suggest you take a trip North to Apollo Beach.  The Manatees hang out at the power station because of all the warm water discharged from the power station. The Tampa power station has created a Manatee Viewing area for visitors.  Just a quick 50 minute drive from the island. If the temperature is below 75 Farenheit you likely wont be disappointed with your trip.  Ok, maybe it is tough to cut into your beach time to take the trip?  Even better, visit the Manatee CAM at Apollo Beach.  You can zoom in and out when it is your turn and you can see Manatees on your computer!

A truly unique animal, Manatees are a precious part of Anna Maria Island.

Manatees
Born in 1948, Snooty the Manatee is the oldest Manatee in captivity. Photo Credit: Baynews9.com

Looking for an Anna Maria Island vacation rental home situated right in the middle of Manatee territory? Island Real Estate has you covered! “Jackie’s Cottage” is a vacation destination with great Manatee Sightings.

Canal front vacation rental
Jackie’s Cottage is a canal front home often visited by Manatees!

Tami’s Favorite Anna Maria Island Wildlife

Tami WildlifeHi everybody! I’m Tami Turtle, and I’m hanging out with the wildlife on Anna Maria Island today! AMI has an extremely diverse wildlife community. There are sea turtles (like me), pelicans, cranes, herons, egrets, dolphins, manatees and more! What animal is your favorite to see on Anna Maria Island?

Snooty’s Birthday Bash at the South Florida Museum

65ff33b810fe24ae41fc308f20f544ad
Snooty the manatee

Snooty the manatee makes his home at the South Florida Museum in downtown Bradenton, and he is celebrating his 65th birthday on Saturday, July 20th! Snooty is the first manatee to have a recorded birth date, and he has blossomed into a mascot for Anna Maria and Bradenton. The party will include numerous games and activities from not only the  museum but also Mote Marine Laboratory, Busch Gardens, Bishop Animal Shelter, and Jungle Gardens. Snooty’s party is themed around wildlife preservation, ecological conservation and environmental sustainability. This celebration welcomes the entire family from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m for free!

Snooty’s Birthday Bash- Newer information page
Admission is FREE
South Florida Museum:
201 10th Street W, Bradenton FL. 34205

Saturday, July 20th 2013 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Note: while this event has come and gone.  You can count on at least a small celebration each Summer for Snooty.  Be sure to go visit South Florida Museum if you want to participate in the celebration.  Sorry, not sure if admission will be free but well worth your time!

Family Fun, Playgrounds and parks on Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria Island – There are several family fun activities across the island perfect for keeping the kids entertained. No matter which of the three cities you are visiting on Island, you wont have to travel far to find a play place.

Anna Maria Island has a phenomenal skate park in Holmes Beach for the child that skateboards or roller blades. The bigger kids and teenagers are the perfect age to tear it up at the skate park. Located directly next to the skate park is a nice little playground set for the little ones, and a shuffleboard court for the grown ups. If you are lucky, catch a glimpse of Anna Maria Island’s beloved pirate ship parade float Skully wag, often parked just by the skate park.

The most Northern and generally quietest playground is located in Anna Maria City at 310 North Bay Boulevard and named Anna Maria Bay Front Park. This park is gorgeously located directly on the bay side beach, so you can enjoy swimming and playing on the play ground equipment. After visiting Bay Front Park, head over to nearby Rod N Reel pier for lunch!

If you are looking for a playground right on the Gulf of Mexico, look no more. There is a fabulous playground in Holmes Beach at the Manatee Public beach. Manatee public beach offers concessions, volley ball nets, picnic areas, bathroom/changing area and tourist information.

In Bradenton Beach head over to Herb Dolan park located on the corner of Avenue A and 25th Street directly on Anna Maria Sound. This park offers a playground, basketball courts and a large field for baseball. This park is tucked into a Bradenton Beach neighborhood, and is often not crowded.

On the very southern end of the Island find Coquina beach with tons of activities including a fun Pirate ship shaped play ground, paved walking/bike paths, concessions and bathrooms.

Public Beach Holmes Beach
Manatee Public Beach

Join Snooty The Manatee For His 63rd Birthday Party!

Join Snooty The Manatee For His 63rd Birthday Party!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY SNOOTY!

Join Snooty the manatee this Saturday for his 63rd birthday party!   The birthday party starts at 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Saturday, July 16, at the South Florida Museum.   The annual event is held in the museum’s outdoor Spanish Plaza, and is absolutely free for all of Snooty’s friends and fans.

Snooty was born July 21, 1948, at the old Miami Aquarium and Tackle Company, Snooty is one of the first recorded births of a manatee in captivity.  Snooty is the world’s oldest manatee on record!

South Florida Museum
201 10th Street West
Bradenton FL 34205

June 20th Anna Maria Island Spill visitor update

Same old same old here on Anna Maria Island.  Just gorgeous white beaches with lots of visitors enjoying our Gulf

Manatee on Anna Maria Island
A Gentle Giant!

and Bay coasts.  I apologize and have not had a chance to visit the beach all week however Melinda Bordes has and thought I would post a few of the amazing pictures she shot in Anna Maria City on the Gulf Coast beach.  Melinda a professional Real Estate sales person that specializes in Anna Maria Island real estate and Sunsets got some water shots of a Manatee with visitors to Anna Maria Island.  My wife has had a close encounter with a Manatee but no camera.  Thanks to Melinda we can all dream of such a day!

Click here for the original Manatee and Sunset post by Melinda.  Here is the great Sunset blog that Melinda keeps up so visit her fabulous sunset pictures if you need your “fix” of sunsets.

Please note these pictures are not for reproduction and use of these pictures or anyother pictures on Island Real Estate’s website with out expressly written consent is strictly prohibited.  Enjoy the pictures and Melinda’s posts and keep in mind these were taken June 20th, 2010.  No OIL HERE!

Swimming with Manatees on Anna Maria Island
Swimming with Manatees on Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria Island Wildlife – Birds, Parks and the Beach

Raccoon on Anna Maria Island
Raccoon on Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria Island is known for Sea Turtles, white sugar beaches, and plenty of birds.  Although these are great reasons to celebrate our fabulous barrier Gulf island there is more wildlife than meets the eye.  Raccoons love our large Australian pine trees and plenty of those can be found in any of the three cities on Anna Maria Island.

If you interested in birds then just walking the beach can provide plenty of opportunities to see many varieties of birds.  If you are  a serious bird watcher then be sure to take a short trip off Anna Maria Island to Robinson Preserve on the West side of Bradenton, FL.   A trip to Fort Desoto Park may be in order which is about 45 minutes from Anna Maria Island.  More importantly this should not be confused with Desoto National Memorial which is a park just off Anna Maria Island in North West Bradenton and is a great 1-2 hour trip to take a quick hike, see some nature, and take in some history.  Well now I did it, if I mention Desoto National Memorial I have to mention Emerson Point which is just across the water in Palmetto sticking out into the Tampa Bay.  There are some great spots to sit down and have a great picnic along with some hiking trails to see even more wildlife!  Emerson Point is only about 1/2 an hour from Anna Maria Island.  Lastly, maybe flowers are a bit more your style and you might even take in some wildlife by visiting Palma Sola Botanical Gardens also just a short drive from Anna Maria Island.

Of course there is plenty of sea life in the Gulf of Mexico.  On a rare occasion swimmers can run into jelly fish as well as sting rays.   Of course if you run into jelly fish it is suggested that you leave the water.  The best way to avoid stingrays is to shuffle your feet when entering the water.

Last week at the beach we saw a few dolphins just 20 feet off the shoreline.  Even on the lightly crowded beach of Anna Maria City the sightings created a stir.  My wife says she saw a Manatee in the Gulf which we have never seen before.  My wife and a fellow Anna Maria Island beach lover got to talking and she told us the story of the past week in the canals they have been feeding Manatee’s water.  Around a certain time during the day the Manatees have been coming around and creating quite a ruckus.  She then pulls out her hose splashing it into the water and the Manatee comes up to drink the water.  Wow!  Sounds like a once in a life time experience that I need to try!

Take a look at the photos below for some great wildlife pictures on Anna Maria Island, Florida.  Sorry no wild Manatees yet!

 

Anna Maria quick telephone references for property owners

This is a list of quick references for Island Real Estate owners in Manatee county, Florida, which includes but is not limited to, Anna Maria Island, North Longboat Key, and Bradenton.

Who to call if you see…

illegal dumping… (941) 792-8811 #4969
blockages in County maintained ditches and streams … (941) 708-7522
debris in minor roadside ditches …(941) 708-7497
Water main break …(941) 792-8811 #5268 or # 5216
sewer drainage or back up problem (941) 795-3411
building without permit … (941) 749-3047 Continue reading Anna Maria quick telephone references for property owners