Beaches in Anna Maria Island
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9 Top Beaches to Visit on Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria Island is a lesser-known beach destination that’s just as beautiful as its more famous neighbors. With pristine aqua water and soft white sand, visiting the island feels like you’ve been transported to a tropical paradise.

The name might throw you off, but the aptly named Anna Maria Island is home to some of the best beaches in Florida. With pristine aqua waters and soft white sand, visiting the island feels like you’ve been transported somewhere tropical. The island is located just east of Tampa and accessible by a short bridge—but it feels like another world. To visit Anna Maria Island, you can drive across the iconic Thomas E. Franklin Memorial Bridge or take an affordable 30-minute water taxi that runs frequent trips between the island and Downtown Bradenton every day. To get the most out of your trip, we’ve listed 10 of our favorite beaches on Anna Maria Island below:

Bradenton Beach

Bradenton Beach
Bradenton Beach

Bradenton Beach is the ultimate Anna Maria Island gateway beach. It’s the largest of the island’s beaches and has a number of amenities that make it a great place to start your journey. The beach has a wide stretch of soft white sand, a playground for kids, and plenty of shaded areas for when the sun gets too hot. While the water isn’t the warmest, it’s still a great beach for swimmers, and it’s also the site of the Anna Maria Island Pier, which is a great place to fish. Bradenton Beach is a great place to watch the sunset, and it’s also close to the island’s main attractions.

Cortez Beach

Cortez Beach
Cortez Beach

Cortez Beach is a wide stretch of white sand that’s perfect for sunbathing on hot summer days. It’s also home to the Cortez Beach Bandshell, which hosts live music and events during the summer months. The water at Cortez Beach is warm blue, and it’s a great place to snorkel or kayak. The beach is also close to Anna Maria Island’s famous restaurants and shops, so you can make the most of your visit.

Fort Island Shores

Fort Island Shores
Fort Island Shores

The island’s southernmost beach is also one of its most scenic. Fort Island Shores is a wide stretch of sand backed by lush tropical foliage. It’s not a great place for swimming, as the water is a bit murky, but it’s a great place for a walk or a paddle. The beach is located in the southern part of the island, so it’s a bit quieter than the island’s northern beaches.

Gulf Drive Beach

Gulf Drive Beach
Gulf Drive Beach

Gulf Drive Beach is a wide stretch of sand that’s great for families and couples looking to relax. This beach is located in the middle of the island and has a number of shaded areas, making it perfect for hot summer days.

Gulf Drive Beach is a great place to watch the sunset, and it’s also home to the Anna Maria Oyster Company, so it’s easy to grab a fresh oyster sandwich after a day of exploring the island. Gulf Drive Beach is also a good place to spot wildlife, so keep an eye out for manatees and dolphins.

Henderson’s Beach

Henderson’s Beach
Henderson’s Beach

Henderson’s Beach is a secluded sandy cove that’s perfect for a relaxing day. The beach is located in Anna Maria Island’s Southernmost Point State Park, so it’s a protected stretch of sand, making it a good place to spot dolphins and manatees.

Henderson’s beach is a great place to spot sea turtles, and there are also a number of trails in the Southernmost Point State Park that are perfect for a nature walk.

Holmes Beach

Holmes Beach
Holmes Beach

Holmes Beach is the island’s main beach. It’s the most popular beach on Anna Maria Island, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth visiting. Holmes Beach is the site of the Anna Maria Beach and Tennis Club, which is a luxury hotel that has a great beach for sunbathing and swimming. The beach is also home to the Anna Maria Island Pier, which is a great place to fish. Holmes Beach is a great central point for exploring the island’s main attractions.

Manatee Beach

Manatee Beach
Manatee Beach

Manatee Beach is a secluded white sand beach that is perfect for a quiet day of relaxation. The beach is unshaded and rarely crowded, so it’s a great place to sit back and relax while listening to the sound of the waves. Manatee Beach is also a good place to spot sea turtles, and it’s located in the southern part of the island, making it a good place to start exploring.

Pelican Harbour Beach

Pelican Harbour Beach
Pelican Harbour Beach

Pelican Harbour Beach is a small stretch of sand located on the island’s northern side. The beach has a small pier that’s perfect for fishing and a shaded area that’s good for sunbathing.

Pelican Harbour Beach is a great place to stop for a quick swim and is also close to the island’s shops and restaurants. The beach is a good place to spot a wide variety of wildlife, making it the perfect place to spend a lazy afternoon.

Coquina Beach

Coquina Beach
Coquina Beach

Coquina Beach sits at the island’s northernmost point, making it a great place to spend the day. The beach has a long stretch of white sand that’s great for sunbathing and is also a good place to spot a variety of wildlife.

Coquina Beach is a popular destination for families, and it’s also a good place to walk and explore. The beach is also close to some of the island’s best restaurants, so it makes a great place to stop after a day of exploring.

Conclusion

Anna Maria Island is a lesser-known beach destination that’s just as beautiful as its more famous neighbors. With pristine aqua water and soft white sand, visiting the island feels like you’ve been transported to a tropical paradise.

Anna Maria Island is the perfect place to relax and unwind and is great for families and couples. We hope that after reading this article you are more excited than ever to visit Anna Maria Island and experience what it has to offer.

From Bradenton Beach to Coquina Beach, the island’s beaches are second to none, and there’s something for everyone. So what are you waiting for? Book your vacation and visit Anna Maria Island today.

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