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!

 

Anna Maria Island Activities, Day Trips, and Things To Do

Sailing On Anna Maria IslandDiscover the old Florida charm of Anna Maria Island with a plethora of activities in a gorgeous natural setting.  Plan a day trip to go Parasailing, boating, paddle boarding, or take a guided SEGWAY tour of the island. You can rent just about anything on Anna Maria Island from bikes to beach toys.

Anna Maria Island has plenty of retail recreation as well; jump on the free Anna Maria Island Trolley for your perfect day of shopping, dining, looking for seashells or a quite walk on the beautiful sugar sand beaches.

Both Manatee Public Beach and Coquina Beach are excellent spots for an afternoon volleyball game with friends, family, or a cold draft beer. If you’re looking for the perfect picnic spot, check out Bean Point, or Bay Front Park in Anna Maria.

Anna Maria City PierOn the north end of Anna Maria Island, is the famous Anna Maria City Pier built in 1911 to accommodate steamers bringing the crème de la crème from Tampa and St. Petersburg to Anna Maria Island shops and restaurants before the first bridge was built to the island.

And on the other end of the Island, in Bradenton Beach is Bridge Street a great place for walking, Shopping, Dining, Family Activities, and breathtaking views of both the Gulf of Mexico and Sarasota Bay.

If you decide to venture off the Island, check out the activities and events in Bradenton, Sarasota, Tampa, or even a day trip to the theme parks in Orlando. Whatever you decide to do, slow down and savor it. You’re on island time.

Sea World is a great Orlando day trip from Anna Maria Island

anna maria orlando
Sea World Orlando Sign

SeaWorld is the perfect Anna Maria Orlando day trip for visitors.  In addition, United Kingdom visitors typically hit Orlando for about 3-5 days then come to Anna Maria Island for a week long REAL vacation.

Sea World is just a short drive from Anna Maria Island making it a great Orlando day trip destination.  If you can get the family up and ready to leave by 8:00 AM you should reach Sea World

SeaWorld Orlando
SeaWorld Orlando

by 9:30 AM and walking through the front gates of Sea World, Orlando by 10 AM.  We like to leave a little earlier and stop at the Denny’s just across the street from Sea World for a strong breakfast to start our day.  It starts us off on the right foot after the quick 1.5-hour ride to Orlando and seems to help the kids calm down since they can see the entryway to Sea World just across the street.  Most parking in Orlando is NOT free and Sea World charges to park.

Sea World has a ton of stuff to do for all ages.  They have an amusement park outfitted with a roller coaster that any adult would love.  Tea Cups for those of you that have strong stomachs, swing rides, twirling rides, you name it.  Of course, Sea World is not as large as a stand-alone amusement park but it has plenty to get you past your roller coaster “fix.”   Sea World also has the classic water log ride and you can see a portion of the ride in the video shown below.

SeaWorld also has a large play area for children.  Huge climbing nets will keep your children playing for hours and nearby is a water play area if they get bored of nets or other play areas.

Of course, we cannot forget the shows.  The biggest show of all, “Shamu” will not disappoint.  Plenty of jumps, dives, and splashes.  Another great show is a dolphin show where more than 5 dolphins jump in unison all throughout the water.  A high diving show lets your children watch as parrots buzz by just over your heads as well divers dressed in costumes dive into the water from about 30-40 feet above.   One last show which is great for kids.  The Sea Otter show is filled with blunders, clean jokes, and a few animals that perform tricks that even the toughest critic will be impressed with.

There are lots of sea life to view at Sea World.  There is a great penguin exhibit where you see a great variety of penguins.  There is sea life tunnel where sharks and other sea life swim throughout the tunnel overhead.  The tunnel provides plenty of Oohs and aahs.  After one of the shows, there is a neat spot where the floor below is made of glass and right above is a glass ceiling both outfitted with plenty of sea life.  Children love to run around and chase the fish in the floor.

Be sure to bring your sunscreen, some cash, and a little patience and Sea World will offer a lifetime of family memories.  For more great Orlando things to do be sure to visit our Orlando Activities pages.

SeaWorld Orlando
7007 SeaWorld Drive,
Orlando, FL, 32821
888 800-5447

 

Sea World is just under 2 hours from Anna Maria, Florida

Sea World offers a great mix of entertainment for children.  Just 1.5 – 2 hours drive away from Anna Maria Island it offers a great full day get away.  Jump in the car as early as convenient for your family and just two hours away you can be in Sea World is just a 2 hour drive from Anna Maria IslandOrlando soaking up the Florida Sun getting entertained by some of the Worlds best shows.

Sea world is a great mixed amusement park for the entire family.  Teenagers love the roller coasters, water log ride, and who does not love a tunnel aquarium?  Younger children love the wild sea lion, Dolphin, and Shamu show.  Adults love it all and the best moments of all are watching the smiles on your family faces.

Directions from Anna Maria Island to Seaworld are very simple and can be found below.  It is best to go straight to Sea World and use parking at the park itself.  Parking runs about $15 and it is well wroth it to walk from your car to the park.  One trick if you are hungry as you arrive is to stop by Denny’s for a quick breakfast.  You can see the Sea World main entrance sign from the Denny’s parking lot on International Drive.
View Larger Map

 

The Dolphin show is great for younger children.   Dolphins, divers, parrots, and plenty of other entertainment during the show makes the 1/2 hr great fun for the entire family.

 

The Shamu show is great fun for all.  There is nothing like watching thousands of pounds of sea life jumping 15-20 feet into the air.  There are only two shows per day and strongly suggest making the first show.  The last show of the day ends when the park closes so you are caught up with alot of people leaving the show and the park all at the same time.

 

 

Sea World has a great area for children.  A huge net area to climb, pint size amusement rides, and water cannons, everything to make the smaller children of the family happy.

Travel – Anna Maria Island Rental

Flights To Anna Maria Island Florida

If you need to fly to the area the choices are Tampa Airport or Sarasota Bradenton International airport. The Tampa airport is about an hour and a half drive from Anna Maria Island. Sarasota Bradenton Airport is about 45 minutes away.

Some less used airports to fly into are the St Petersburg/Clearwater airport. This one is about the same distance as the Tampa Airport.  For international flights another alternative is one of two Orlando airports. Orlando also offers some very competitive airfares. The one way car trip takes about 2 hours in light traffic. Many guests also enjoy visiting Orlando for the theme parks.

Click the link for more information on transport services to Anna Maria Island from the Tampa International Airport or Sarasota/Bradenton Airports.

Travel to an Anna Maria Island rental by car

Traveling to an Anna Maria Island rental by vehicle is also a choice. Many guests come from with in Florida. Anna Maria Island also has many guest from Ohio, Indiana and Michigan. Many of these guests also travel by car. See below for estimated mileage from a few major North American cities.

Montreal, Quebec – 1550 Miles  :  Toronto, Ontario – 1400 Miles
Milwaukee, WI – 1300 Miles       :  Chicago, IL – 1220 Miles
Syracuse, NY – 1325 Miles          :  New York, NY – 1175 Miles
Boston, MA – 1420 Miles             :  Pittsburgh, PA – 1075 Miles
Orlando, FL – 122 Miles               :  Atlanta, GA – 500 Miles

Nearly all Anna Maria Island beach rentals offer wireless internet. Find information on Wireless Internet Hot-Spots on Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria Island Rental

When searching for the perfect Anna Maria Island rental check with Island Real Estate first! You’ll find the island’s largest selection of rental homes!

Flights To Anna Maria Island Florida
La Casa Leann is a luxury Anna Maria Island rental right on the beach! Click on the image to book your stay today!