Anna Maria Island August Events and Activities

Back to school is just around the corner, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy Anna Maria Island August events and activities!

Anna Maria Island August Events and Activities

Since August tends to be very warm on the island we have also added great indoor activities to keep you cool! However, this is the start of the island’s off-season, so be sure to soak up those quiet beaches while the crowds begin to head north.

Studio at Gulf and Pine Summer cooking class series ends. August 3

August 3 will be the last of the Culinary Art Cooking Class at the Studio. Chef Rich Demarse of Mar Vista will discuss the many varieties of fruit you can find in local neighborhoods and what to do with them.  Call 941-778-1906 or visit for more information. The class will be 10am-1pm. The cost is $75/person or $275/group of 4. Includes glass of wine, apron and more!

Culinary Arts Cooking Class Studio at Gulf and Pine
Culinary Arts Cooking Class at the Studio

Back to School Tax Holiday August 4-6th.

Manatee County goes back to school August 10th, so be sure to take advantage of the 2017 Tax Holiday August 4-6th. Here is a link to items on the tax free list!

Back to School Tax Holiday
Back to School Tax Holiday August 4-6, 2017.

The Center Community Cookout August 19

The Anna Maria Community Center will be hosting a community barbecue August 19th from 6-8pm. Harry’s Grill will be cooking for the event. Children under 12 are free, members $5 and non-members $10.

Anna Maria Island August Events and Activities
The Center Community cook out Anna Maria

Small Town Creamery

Check out the island’s newest ice cream shop in Holmes Beach Small Town Creamery! Not only do they have a huge selection of flavors, but you’ll also find great homemade Fudge, homemade waffle cones, toys, candy and more. Open daily from 11am-10pm.

Small Town Creamery Holmes Beach
Small Town Creamery

Take a day trip to Tampa’s Glazer Children’s Museum

Why not end Summer break with a super fun kids day in Tampa? Glazer Children’s Museum is the perfect way to transition from Summer mode to the school zone. They offer tons of hands on STEM activities well-suited for elementary aged children that will get those little brains back into learning. This three level facility offers hours of family fun. Activities include climbing equipment, theater, legos, art and all types of opportunities to learn about math, science and world culture too. After the little ones get tired head over to Tampa Pizza Company nearby for a bite to eat.

Glazer Children's Museum
Glazer Children’s Museum

Soap Making Class at Florida Maritime Museum August 12

Head over to Cortez Fishing Village and learn how to make artisan soaps! The class will be held from 10am-12:30pm and tickets cost $35 each. Contact 941-708-6120 for additional information.

Glazer Children's Museum
Join in on one of many classes hosted at the Maritime Museum!

Funky Island Essentials

Funky Island Essentials is a new shop in Holmes Beach. Find a great selection of home goods including hand painted furniture, art and all the latest trends in decor. They also offer interior design services! You’re sure to find something to bring home that reminds you of the island life!

Funky Island Essentials Holmes Beach
Funky Island Essentials on Marina Drive in Holmes Beach


Enjoy Anna Maria Island August Events and Activities!

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!


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.


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.


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 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 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 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


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 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!


Cortez Schoolhouse Centennial Celebration

This Saturday, November 10th, 2012 from 10 AM to 4 PM  the Florida Maritime Museum at Cortez Schoolhouse is hosting some old-fashioned family fun.  This celebration is for the Schoolhouse Centennial! This free event will feature live music all day, craft vendors, museum tours, and an ice cream eating contest for children.  Food vendors will include Village Idiot Pizza, Tyler’s Ice Cream and Cortez smoked mullet.  Kids will enjoy face painting, balloon artist, free books, and activity and craft stations. Commemorative pins will be given to pupils who attended the Cortez Rural Graded School.

Florida Maritime Museum at Cortez
4415 119th St. W.
Cortez, Florida

The Cortez Schoolhouse event is being Sponsored by:

The Islander
Tyler’s Ice cream
R.B. “Chips” Shore, Clerk of Circuit Court

For more information contact:

Amara Cocilovo
Curator, Florida Maritime Museum