Wondering what to pack for your Anna Maria Island Vacation? While Anna Maria Island may have mild winters and hot summers, if you aren’t from Florida you may not know what to bring with you.
What to Pack for Your Anna Maria Island Vacation
We have put together a list of what to bring for each season, the items to expect in your beach rental and things to buy when you arrive on Island Time.
Our list isn’t just the things you’ll need. We have also included fashionable examples of the styles you’ll see people wearing on the island. Florida has a regional style unlike that of New York or California. This list will give you some ideas of what the locals wear too.
Packing for the Season
The four seasons in Florida aren’t exactly what you might expect. Fall is green and warm, Winter is mild and sometimes dry, Summer is hot and wet.
Summer Packing list
Summer is hot on Island Time. Ask any local and they’ll tell you a typical summer day includes a warm morning, blistering mid day sun, mid afternoon rain showers, and beautiful balmy evenings with a slight breeze.
Tropical patterns are the best clothes items! Summer is the time for being lazy and letting it all hang out. Embrace your inner tacky tourist and pull out that old Hawaiian shirt. You’ll fit right in with the locals too!
- Swim Wear
- Big Floppy hats and Sunglasses are a must.
- Shorts, skirts, T-Shirts and blouses.
- Beach clothes such as cover-ups and thin loose fitting items to throw on over a wet bathing suit.
- If you sunburn easily, a really thin long sleeve shirt is a good idea for beach days. This is especially true for children on vacation. Sometimes your skin is ready to leave the beach before your brain is.
- At least one nice-ish, but still casual, outfit for dining out in the evening.
- Unless you plan on dining somewhere super fancy like Beach Bistro, leave all your pants at home for the summer. If you are planning a high-end dining or evening experience a little black dress and nice slacks are great.
- A rain coat or umbrella is nice to have, but not absolutely necessary.
- Flip Flops
- A walking shoes for sightseeing.
- Strappy sandals are nice for ladies and a boat shoe is nice for guys.
- For small children a hat with a chin strap is a good idea.
- A reusable beverage container with a lid. You WILL get dehydrated on the beach. A reusable container is preferred over disposable water bottles. The environment will thank you.
- A Beach Blanket if you like, plus here are some cool kid friendly beach hacks.
- You might want a cardigan or thin sweater. Floridians keep the AC on full blast, so you’ll find restaurants and businesses to be cold inside.
Spring packing list.
Spring is a lovely time to visit. Typically we don’t have lots of rain, and the day time temperature ranges from the upper 70’s to low 90’s. Night time temperatures don’t really go below the low 60’s.
Expect to bring all the things on the summer list plus a few additional items below. Bright pinks, yellows, and crisp whites really make a fashion statement for spring on Anna Maria Island.
- A thin sweater for sure. If visiting in early Spring you may even want a heavy sweater too.
- A colorful spring dress is great. A Maxi dress and a wedge sandal make for an elegant spring beach style.
- A pair slacks and a button down shirt with the sleeves rolled up are always great for guys. Men’s Leather sandals are also appropriate for all occasions on the island.
Winter packing list.
Typically Anna Maria Island winters don’t get cooler than the upper 50’s in the day time and no lower than the upper 30’s at night. Many people still swim in the gulf this time of year, but usually you won’t catch the locals in any water that isn’t heated.
When visiting in winter, you’ll notice the daily temperatures can fluctuate greatly. The key to dressing comfortably for this time is many thin layers. The morning will be cold, but mid day will be considerably warmer and you’ll likely want to peel a layer off.
- Bring flip flops, but also bring a closed toe shoe and socks. Most people can still wear sandals in the day, but you might just be more comfortable with an extra layer on your feet.
- Definitely bring pants. You won’t need long underwear, but pants are a good idea.
- Tights, leggings and yoga pants are nice winter options for ladies. Since its not snowing, you’ll likely be able to wear a dress or skirt with something to cover your legs. Yoga pants and a cute top are always acceptable women’s attire on the island.
- Scarves and shawls are great, but you can leave your gloves and mittens at home.
- A winter hat might be nice for morning beach walks.
- Bring a jacket, but not the one you keep on hand for snow. A nice leather or denim jacket with a thin long sleeve shirt is usually sufficient.
- A thin sweater or cardigan and a thick sweater.
- If you are from up north some winter months you’ll feel comfortable swimming, so bring the swim attire. Also, many Anna Maria Island beach rentals have heated pools and spa, so you’ll want your bathing suit.
- A sport coat is a good idea for men’s evening wear especially for that special night out.
- Ladies may want closed toe dress shoes for evenings, and a dress pant or dark blue skinny jean makes nice casual evening wear.
Fall packing list.
Anna Maria Island’s Fall season is considerably warmer than you might expect. Days range from warm to still hot in the early fall, and nights are pleasant with cool breezes. You will definitely be swimming this time of year.
The Spring and Summer lists are very close to what you’ll need for fall, but we have some other suggestions too. Fall is also a time of year where you will feel comfortable in darker colors. Shades of navy, rust and red aren’t as common in the summer months, but make great fall island attire.
- You’ll want to bring all the swim wear, flip flops and beach things.
- A stylish ankle boot with a short dress or skirt is nice for ladies. Strappy tank tops with a loose knit shirt or mesh blouse are great fall fashion items.
- Again bring tights or leggings to go under skirts on cooler nights.
- Pants options are good for evenings, but you’ll want shorts too.
- No winter hats or coats, but a thin and thick sweater are good.
- Flat front pants or nice jeans with a tucked in polo and a boat shoe are very stylish for Men in the fall.
- Tank tops and thin scarves are very stylish for women, and work great for both night and day.
What you should always bring no matter the season.
Some basics go with out saying. Obviously you need underwear and a toothbrush we don’t need to tell you this. However, there are some extras to remember for all visits.
- Travelers checks or back up forms of currency.
- Health Insurance cards in case someone gets sick.
- Everything your pet will need. Yes there are places to purchase pet food and even a veterinarian, but make sure all members of the family are comfortable traveling.
- Medications and prescriptions
- Special health equipment
- Kid and baby comforts. Spending a night away from home can be a lot when you’re little. You may want to bring a special blanket or toy to make your little one more comfortable in a new place.
What to expect in your beach rental.
When you arrive at your beach rental you’ll always find all the bedding, towels, wash clothes and hand towels you’ll need. You don’t need to bring these items. Some rentals do offer baby items, so always ask ahead of time. If you need special baby gear you can bring it, or check out what is available to rent from abc baby rentals.
There will be a roll of toilet paper in each bathroom plus one roll of paper towels and a small container of dish detergent and a dishwasher packet. There will be just enough of the basics to get you through the first night of your stay. You’ll be responsible for everything after that. There is a Dollar Tree on Anna Maria Island that offers any toiletry you’ll need. This is a great option for those who have smaller groups. You’ll also find all those items at the local Publix Grocery store.
Before you bring chairs and accessories, consider renting them. We recommend holding off on these items until you arrive at your rental. You never know what kind of extras will be laying around. Take an inventory first, then contact one of the many local rental equipment companies to supply you with the things you want.
What to Buy when you get to the island
Some things might be easier to buy when you get here.
- Sunblock. You will need lots of sunblock, even in the winter months you WILL get sunburned. You can pick up sunblock at the grocery store, pharmacy and many tourist shops. APPLY YOUR SUNSCREEN 20 MINUTES BEFORE YOU ARE IN THE SUN! You need to let the sunblock soak in, and then you need to reapply it at least once every two hours after. Over exposure to the sun and sever sunburn can cause serious illness. No matter your skin color, we promise, you don’t have super man strength skin. Yes, sun rays do penetrate the water. Even if you spend all day swimming, you need to follow our guidelines on sunblock.
- Obviously you need food. The island offer a fantastic Publix grocery store plus a few specialty shops too.
- Alcohol and other beverages. These things are all on the island, don’t travel with more than you need.
- House things. You’ll need laundry detergent, trash bags, optional cleaning supplies and those type of items. All are available locally.
Enjoy an Anna Maria Island vacation any time of year! Now that you know what to bring, book your vacation rental with Island Real Estate today!