5 New Anna Maria Island Activities You’ve Never Tried

This is our list of 5 new Anna Maria Island activities you might not have tried yet! While the sunset tours, dolphin cruises and kayak trips are always great here are some new suggestions.

Top 5 New Anna Maria Island Activities to Try

There is always something new and fun to try on Anna Maria Island!

Horseback on the Beach

When you come to Anna Maria Island over the Manatee bridge you will see people on horseback. This is a fun way to spend a morning for all ages of the family. The horses love being in the water, and so will you! There are two different companies that offers “Horse Surfing” C Ponies and Beach Horses. Tickets will run you about $130 to $150 per a rider. Book your trip online first then meet at the Palma Sola Causeway just before the Bradenton mainland.

New Anna Maria Island Activities
Go Horse Surfing with Beach Horses!

Fly Boarding

Top Gun FlyBoards are one of the hottest new activities in the area. Also located on the Palma Sola Causeway this is a fun activity for teens and adults. Flyboards attach to your feet and propel you up and into the air. Most learn to flyboard in about 10 minutes of practice. Top Gun offers 30 minute, 60 minute, four hour and all day experiences. Prices range from $99 up to $1199. Riders must be 18, or between 15-17 with a parent waiver. Additionally riders must be between 100 and 300 pounds. Book a Top Gun Flyboard session online.

Top Gun Flyboards
Top Gun Flyboarding on Anna Maria Island

Parasailing

YOLO Adventures offers parasailing among their list of services. You’ll soar above the island and enjoy stunning aerial views. YOLO offers group excursion, tandem flights, water dips and great fun. They offer two different locations to leave from. Find them at 127th Street in Cortez Village or at the end of Bridge Street in Bradenton Beach. Tickets cost $79 per a person and riders must be under 300 pounds.

YOLO Parasailing
Fly High with Yolo Parasailing

Snorkel trips at Egmont Key

Coastline Excursions offer snorkel trips off of Egmont Key State Park. This unique island is only accessible by boat and offers a light house, sunken ruins and a nature preserve. When you snorkel here you’ll find tropical fish and ruins from the Dade Fort. Snorkel excursions will run anywhere from $75 per person to $426 for private tours. In addition to their Egmont snorkel tour Coastline Excursions offers dolphin trips and a sand bar snorkel trip for a little as $53.25 per person. Book online!

Coastline Excursions Snorkeling at Egmont Key
Snorkeling at Egmont Key state park

Jet Surfing

Jet surfing is the latest activity to come to Anna Maria Island. Surfs Up Jet Surfing is great for days when the water is too calm for traditional surfing. Prior to use a half hour lesson is required to get users acclimated. Your first 45 minute trip with lesson will cost $100. After that it’s $50 for a half hour. Surfs up Jet Surfing Boards can be found at AMI Beach Rentals in Holmes Beach.

Surfs Up Jet Surfing on Anna Maria Island
Surfs Up Jet Surfing

Regina Wreck Sugar Barge – Anna Maria Island

The Regina Wreck is a great spot for those looking to snorkel or scuba dive around Anna Maria Island. While close to shore, this sunken ship is easy to access and great for any skill level.

Regina Wreck State Underwater Archaeological Preserve

The Regina Wreck became part of the national register of historical places in 2005. Also know as the sugar barge or molasses barge, the Regina is a great Anna Maria Island attraction. You’ll find the wreck about 75 yards off shore in no more than 20 feet of water. This site is great for snorkeling, scuba diving and free diving. You can charter a dive with Sea Kat Divers in Bradenton Beach.

Once in the water you’ll find a variety of tropical fish, conchs, sea urchins, sand dollars and native marine life. Because this is a State Preserve; collection, excavation or disturbance of the site is illegal. Those diving with a Florida Fishing license may collect up to two species of live shells. However, restrictions apply to some native species all together. Manatee County has more rigid shell collection regulations than other parts of Florida. Please read the link here for additional information.

The Regina sunk in 1940. The wreck has been beaten with tides, sand and storms over the years. Therefore, you may not see it until right over top depending on visibility. Today,  a great deal of sand covers the Regina. You will only see parts of the over 200 foot long ship remains.

Regina Wreck Sugar Barge
Sugar Barge remains map.

How the Regina Sunk

The Regina was built in 1904 for the Cuban Molasses Transportation Company based out of Havana. On March 5th in 1940 She left Havana bound for New Orleans under the tow from the tugboat Minima. The Regina carried 350,000 gallons of molasses. Two days into it’s trip, a cold front swept through the Gulf of Mexico bringing 8-12 foot waves. The boats were pushed closer and closer to shore despite effort to correct course. Looking for shelter, the Minima headed for Tampa Bay.

Near Egmont Key, north of Anna Maria Island, the Minima’s tow lines broke. This left the Molasses caring ship to drift helplessly down the gulf coast toward Anna Maria Island. Eventually the Regina hit a sandbar off Bradenton Beach where it became stranded in the storm. The ship began to break apart as rough winds and waves smashed into it.

The Rescue begins

On March 8th a Bradenton Beach local spotted the stranded ship, and notified the St. Petersburg Coast Guard. The ship was about 200 yards off shore, but the eight crew members couldn’t abandon ship due to the high waves. The crew huddled in the flooded broken ship. Locals built fires on the beach in an effort to let the crew know help was on the way. Coast Guard rescue craft, the Nemesis, tried unsuccessfully to rescue the crew. Next, a line throwing gun was transferred to the Nemesis. Several attempts were made, but the line fell short. At day break a sea plane dropped life jackets to the crew, but they only washed ashore.

Spectators gathered on the beach. One of the crew members and his dog jumped off the boat while a man from the mainland swam toward him with a lifeline. Unfortunately this crew mate never made it to shore.

A yachting dingy made it to the ship with life preservers, and was able to take one member from the ship. The dingy capsized close to shore, and locals made a human chain to assist the two back to safety. Locals increased efforts with the dingy to finish the rescue.

Read more about the rescue of the Regina Crew here.

With an interesting history, the Sugar Barge is a unique Anna Maria Island experience. If you are looking for a great place to see fish and history, this underwater preserve is a must.

 

Anna Maria Island Beach Activities

Hey friends! Tami Turtle here! Anna Maria Island is full of fun things to do, but all of my favorite activities take place on the beach and in the water! What’s my favorite thing to do? Go for a swim of course! But there’s also surfing, paddle boarding, sun tanning, building sand castles, playing frisbee, snorkeling, playing volleyball, having a picnic and so much more! What is your favorite activity on the beach? Shells and kisses, Tami TurtleTami beach activity

Anna Maria Island Water Shuttle and the Island Pearl

anna maria island sunset cruiseWhy drive when you can take a water shuttle to Anna Maria Island hot spots? The Anna Maria Island Water shuttle offers leisurely trips along Florida’s historic waterways as well as fun day trips, Anna Maria Island sunset cruise, dolphin watches, history tours, Egmont Key excursions, and day trips to Sarasota.

Homeport
Twin Dolphin Marina
1200 1st Avenue West
Bradenton, FL 34205
941-780-8010

Historic Manatee Cruise
Enjoy a 2 hour narrated cruise along the Manatee River.

Sarasota Tuesday’s
Set sail for Marina Jack Restaurant and Marina in downtown Sarasota. A great day for the whole family!

Thirsty Thursday’s
Thursday evening Gulf Sunset Party leaving from the Historic Bradenton Beach Pier.

Dolphin Watch
Departs from the Seafood Shack every Sunday at 2pm.

Egmont Key Adventure
Enjoy an Egmont Key Adventure with shelling, snorkeling, swimming, and exploring Egmont Key.

Anna Maria Island Shuttle.