Anna Maria Island Summer Tourist Guide

There is no place better to be a tourist than on Anna Maria Island, especially in the summer time. The weather is hot, the water blue and the sand powder soft; everything you would expect from a tropical island vacation. You are sure to enjoy being an Anna Maria Island summer tourist with this Top Ten list!

1. Be a Tacky Anna Maria Island Summer Tourist

Smear zinc on your cheeks, wear socks under your flips flops, slip on that Hawaiian shirt, and grab one of those frozen drinks with the little umbrella in it. You have got to channel your inner tacky tourist, or you aren’t fully experiencing an Anna Maria Island vacation. Don’t be embarrassed. Undoubtedly you’ll find locals decked out in the same look, because many of them first came here as a tacky Anna Maria Island summer tourist.

anna maria island summer tourist
This Anna Maria Island summer tourist is living the good life

2. Join a Turtle Talk

Anna Maria Island Turtle nesting season goes from May to October, and Tourists can learn all about these amazing critters. Every Tuesday in June and July the Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch holds a Turtle Talk. Volunteers of the AMITW provide a 30 minute program with videos, pictures and fun stories from volunteers. A donation gets you AMITW branded stickers, T-shirts and fun Turtle swag. Tuesday Turtles Talks are held at CrossPoint Fellowship Church at 8605 Gulf Drive Holmes Beach at 10am.

3. Go Shelling

A trip to the island is not complete without an early morning shell hunt. Shells are a fantastic tourist souvenir, and the hunt is a relaxing experience. When shelling you need to make sure to never take living organisms. It is illegal in Florida to collect living shells including Sand Dollars, Starfish, Urchins, Conchs, or anything that wiggles. Beyond legal reasons it is ethically unsound to collect living things on the beach. Every critter plays and important role in the beach ecosystem, and are sensitive to human impact. Do not collect large amounts of dead shells, and limit yourself to less than a pint size bag.

4. Get Professional Beach Pictures

Anna Maria Island is one of the most picturesque vacation destinations you’ll find on the west coast of Florida. Assemble the family during sunset for a group photo, and hire a professional to capture your beach memories. The end result is sure to please you. There are many options for local photographers on Anna Maria Island to help you feel like the quintessential Anna Maria Island summer tourist.

5. Do The Stingray Shuffle

Stingrays and humans alike head to the shoreline during summer months, as a result, the number of ray stings increases at this time. Rays are extremely docile critters, and are typically looking to avoid humans. When you enter the water it is easy to avoid being stung by shuffling your feet along the sandy sea floor. Do the stingray shuffle, and you won’t end your trip doing the stingray hop!

6. Ride the Free Trolley

The Anna Maria Island free trolley is an amazing service! There are stops from Pine Avenue all the way down to Coquina Beach passing almost everything in between. The trolley runs from 6am to 10:30pm daily, and passes by approximately every 20 minutes. The free trolley is the best way for a stress free trip. You’ll never have to worry about parking, or designating a responsible driver when enjoying island bars and pubs. The free trolley is also a great way to sight see.

7. Catch the Sandbar 4th of July Fireworks

Every year the Sandbar restaurant has a wonderful fireworks display. An Anna Maria Island vacation during the 4th of July is not complete without catching the fireworks on the beach. Sparklers are the only consumer firework beach goers are permitted to use; therefore; the Sandbar display is very popular!

8. Have lunch on the Beach

Anna Maria Island has many restaurants that are located directly on beaches or waterfront. Lunch on the beach is a must during an Anna Maria Island summer vacation, and is the perfect time to be a tourist with umbrella drink in hand. An Anna Maria Island summer tourist will find great food, fast service and beautiful views at Island waterfront restaurants.


9. Bike to Local Shops

Any Anna Maria Island Summer Tourist must rent a bike and explore the shops, so why not do them at the same time? Bicycling on Anna Maria Island is a great way to get around because everything is nearby. Bike ride from shop to shop, and you’ll find great independently owned boutiques and art galleries. In addition, the added benefit of shopping by bike will make you feel less guilty about all the money you’ve spent on souvenirs! Anna Maria Island summer tourists must have the perfect souvenir!

10. Walk a Nature Trail or Charter a Boat Tour

Nature Trail

Leffis Key is a stunningly beautiful nature trail an Anna Maria Island Summer Tourist should experience. Offering mangrove tunnel boardwalks, salt flats, marsh and views of Sarasota Bay, you’ll never experience anything like Leffis Key. Leffis Key is located on the south end of Anna Maria Island, and is just across the street from Coquina Beach. In addition to Leffis Key, Coquina Beach offers a gorgeous walking path along beautiful sand dunes and under old growth Australian Pines. The Coquina Beach path is great for walking, and is also friendly to bikes or segweys.

Boat Charters

Anna Maria Island has more fishing charters, dolphin tours, sunset trips and boats for rent than you’ll likely find anywhere else in Florida. Boat tours are a great way to explore the island’s natural beauty, and get all the family involved in an Anna Maria Island summer tourist activity. Find a tour that is right for you, and get out on the water!

Read the guide, make the reservation, and be an Anna Maria Island summer tourist this year!

Anna Maria Island Vacation Rental and Accommodations

Island Real Estate has the island’s largest selection of Anna Maria Island vacation rental homes perfect for any summer tourists. Plan your summer stay today, and get the vacation you’ve been looking for!

Anna Maria Island summer tourist vacation rental
Anna Maria Island vacation rental AMI Beach House is the perfect destination for an Anna Maria Island summer tourist getaway! This 6 bedroom home sleeps up to 14 guests. Click on the image above to reserve your Anna Maria Island summer tourist vacation today!

Best Beaches For Splendid Seashells On Anna Maria Island

Best Beaches for Seashells on Anna Maria Island
Best Beaches for Seashells on Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria Island has become famous for its pristine beaches, calm azure waters and unlimited Florida sunshine, but it has so much more than that to offer. People come here from all over the globe to get SEASHELLS!  Not just collectors or merchants, but real people like you and me can find absolute treasures.  Some of my favorites to find, and possibly the easiest are lion’s paws, tiger paws, clam shells, turkey wings and coquinas. The ones I love to find, and I sure everyone feels the same, are sand dollars!  You have to go pretty far out to get them intact, and you have to have some time to spend collecting Starfishthem from the sea floor. Here is a list of Anna Maria Island’s best shell finding beaches.

1. Manatee Public Beach at the end of SR64 – I am a fifth generation Bradenton Florida native, and this is the beach I grew up on. My parents brought me to this beach for the first time when I was only 6 months old. I learned to swim here, sunbathe here and my favorite beach activity to collect seashells.

2. Anna Maria City Beach at the end of White Avenue – Not only is the beach at the end of this road unspoiled it is mostly secluded. I remember finding seashells here that hadn’t even been touched by other beach goers. This is definitely where I am always able to find unbroken shells.

3. Bayfront Park on North Bay Boulevard – I find that this is a good place to find larger shells because there are not a lot of waves the on the bayside of Anna Maria Island. If you catch this area at its lowest tide you will be able to find shells like none other anywhere on the island.

4. Bean Point on North Shore Drive – This is a place easily missed by most vacationers to Anna Maria Island, but locals like me love to explore the northern most beaches of Anna Maria Island. I found a beaut of a large pink and white conch shell that my daughter swears she hears mermaids singing inside.

5. Coquina Public Beach on South Gulf Drive – The south end of Anna Maria Island is a great place to not only find seashells, but sharks teeth as well! Some great advice I got from a fellow local was to keep my eye on the water line, and that “shark’s teeth will tumble while seashells roll”. I have found the most sharks teeth just remembering that phrase!

Rent A Jet Ski, Sail Boat, Or Go Parasailing During Your Anna Maria Visit Or Vacation!


There is nothing better than enjoying an Anna Maria Island Vacation, and renting a Jet Ski, sailboat, or kayak for a day of fun in the Gulf Waters.  Except maybe going fishing, parasailing, scuba diving, or snorkeling depending on your personal taste.

The choice is yours and it’s all right here on Anna Maria Island.  Here are a few places that can help you make the most of your Anna Maria Island visit or vacation.

Water Sports and Rentals on Anna Maria Island

 Bradenton Beach Parasailing
12507 Cortez Road W
Cortez Florida 34215

Coastal Watersports
1301 Gulf Drive N
Bradenton Beach, Florida 34217

Anna Maria Sailing and Boat Rides
3018 Gulf Drive
Holmes Beach, Florida 34217

Adventure Kayak Outfitters
3230 East Bay Drive Ste. 125
Holmes Beach , 34217
(941) 779-7426

Almost Heaven Kayak Adventures
P.O. Box 1610
Anna Maria, Florida 34216

Fishing Charters And Cruises

Cortez Kat
12507 Cortez Road West
Bradenton FL, 34215

Gnarly Mangrove
2308 Canasta Dr.
Bradenton Beach, FL 34217

Captain Josh Charters
5501 Marina Drive
Holmes Beach, FL 34217

Captain Kim’s Enterprises Inc.
Bridge Street
Bradenton Beach, Florida 34217

Sumotime Fishing Charters
Located in Holmes Beach
Holmes Beach , FL 34217

Bradenton Beach Marina
402 Church Street
Bradenton Beach, FL 34217

Top ten things to do while staying on Anna Maria Island

(Note, there are several links below with further information.  Just look for the underlined items…example, this link is to Island Real Estate’s web site.)
10. Go gift shopping…There are lots of shops on the island in Anna Maria City, Holmes Beach, and Bradenton Beach.  Don’t spend all Gift Shoppingyour time looking for the perfect trinkets or gifts for the dog or house sitter…but it’s allowed to spend one or two afternoon’s checking out our local artistic and craft flavor.  Don’t forget to try out the FREE Anna Maria Island trolley that runs the entire length of the island.  This makes traveling the island carefree, what more could you ask for?

9. Take a day tripHeading South down to Sarasota is a neat experience and the journey provides plenty of entertainment.  Take Gulf Drive South through Longboat Key and enjoy the Gulf scenery on the 30 minute drive South.  If you have children go to the Mote Aquarium which has fantastic things to do for children.  When complete with Mote, go just down the street to St. Armand’s Circle where you can take in lunch or dinner and briefly walk through shops in the early evening.  You can also make St. Armand’s circle an entire day trip for those of you that are shop-a-holics.  Just be sure to bring lots of money, it’s not uncommon to see T-shirts for $25 – $50 per pc.

8. Grab a kite, Frisbee, football, volleyball and get out on the beach and get some exercise.  Throw it around with your children.  kids chasing birdsBuild a sandcastle or just a wall that holds back the Gulf water.  So much to do on the gorgeous white sandy beaches of Anna Maria Island.

7. Rent a bicycle and ride around Anna Maria City.  There is something great about biking up and down the streets of Anna Maria City.  Start at White avenue and work you way North up the streets.  Be sure to take a ride down Beach and Park while the Huge trees still exist.  They are gorgeous and offer a once in a life time view of PURE nature.  Bicycle riding also lets you search for your next vacation rental or “peace” of paradise.  There is nothing like searching for Real Estate while feeling the breeze through you hair.  If Real Estate is more your speed, check out our properties for sale.

6. Anna Maria City Piers…Go up to Anna Maria City and take a walk on the Historic Anna Maria City Pier at the end of Pine Avenue or Anna Maria City Pierwalk the pier at the Rod and Reel Restaurant.  If you try the public city pier at the end of pine street, stop at the outdoor plaza just across the street where you can find great shopping and even better, ICE CREAM.  Grab a ice cream cone and walk the pier or grab lunch or Dinner at Rod and Reel pier.  If you like fishing, bring a fishing pole and pick up an inexpensive fishing license and try fishing off one of the piers.

5. Take a Nap…So you know you have achieved “Anna Maria” relaxation if you are able to take a nap in the mid day.  I know, this is too good to be true especially if you have young children.  I can promise you if you make this a priority it can happen on Anna Maria.  There is nothing better than hitting the beach in the morning, having a bite to eat, and then taking a mid day nap! aaaahhhh

4. Local Dining….Go to a local burger hang out and eat like the locals.  There are several fabulous local dining areas where you can Lunch on the beachpony up to the bar or just have a good down to earth hamburger with french fries.  If you are still not out of the work mode and you want to multi task then hit the Manatee public beach and eat lunch at Cafe on the Beach or at Skinny’s just across the street.  If you have been successful in your journey to RELAXATION and multi-tasking is not necessary then try Hurricane Hanks, Duffy’s, or Rod and Reel pier.

3. ShellingWalking the beach looking for nature’s little treasures is a wonderful way to unwind.  This is one of the best things to do on your first day of your vacation.  I often find it difficult to unwind from work so creating a task for myself lets me take step one of many steps before I can just lay on the beach and do nothing.  Going cold turkey and laying on the beach the first day can be difficult for a lot of people so searching for shells conveniently has a goal and your children canparticipate in the fun!

2. Of course, Go to the beachhave a day or several days at the beach.  A beach umbrella can make a summer visit a little more on the beachenjoyable but there is no better way to relax but to go to the beach and enjoy the Gulf of Mexico.  Remember, leaving items behind or equipment on the beach overnight is a big no-no.  Sea turtles climb up on the beach at night and can easily get caught up in beach equipment and die.  Reminder no dogs allowed on any Anna Maria Island Beaches.

1. Walk, Drink, watch a SunsetTake a walk about 2 hours prior to Sunset time.  Either bring beverages Sunset on Anna Maria Islandwith you or stop in at one of many of the Gulf Front Restaurant’s on the island and have an appetizer, cold beverage, reconnect with family and friends while watching the sun go down over the Gulf of Mexico.  If the conditions are perfect who knows you might even see the green flash!!