Want to laze on some of the finest white sands in The Sunshine State? Explore the breathtaking natural beauty of Central West Florida’s best-kept secret: Anna Maria Island. Make your itinerary more memorable by visiting the best beaches on Anna Maria Island, Florida.
On Anna Maria Island, you’ll find yourself casually strolling on powder-sugar white beaches as the warm turquoise waters intermittently caress your feet. From bustling beaches with countless exciting activities to tranquil and secluded bays, you will find whatever your ocean-loving heart desires.
Ready to experience beach life at its best? Craft your itinerary with this superb guide to the best Anna Maria Island beaches.
Looking for more vacation ideas? Check out all our other beach guides and our Florida Travel Guide for more recommendations on when to visit, where to go & what to do!
Top-rated Anna Maria Island beaches
If you like beaches that combine tranquil swimming conditions with a bit of swell, then Holmes Beach on Anna Maria Island is the perfect getaway. Known as one of Florida’s most beautiful beaches, this pristine beach offers soft white sand and crystal clear waters. For the more adventurous, there are sufficient swells to enjoy surfing, bodyboarding, or bodysurfing.
Holmes Beach is a hotspot for shopping addicts, too. Around the beach, you’ll find plenty of boutiques, souvenir shops, jewelry stores, and more. After shopping to your heart’s content, relax at a beach restaurant, enjoy a cold beverage, and wind down while watching the beautiful sunset.
Access to Holmes Beach is easy, but parking is limited. Make sure you arrive early to find a spot close to the beach.
Looking for a family-friendly beach with entertainment opportunities for both kids and adults? Pop over to Bradenton Beach. From Bradenton, you’ll cross the Cortez Bridge onto Anna Maria Island to take in its beautiful white sand beaches with Caribbean-like waters.
There are lifeguards on duty at Bradenton Beach to look out for you and your loved ones when bathing in the warm water of the Gulf. If building sandcastles, swimming, and shelling don’t wear out the young ones, there’s also a playground to enjoy.
For the older, braver ones in the family, there are plenty of watersports to enjoy here, too. Parasailing, jet skiing, and kayaking are some of the thrilling activities on offer at Bradenton Beach.
When you’re in Bradenton Beach, make sure you also spend some time at Coquina Beach next door. Shelling enthusiasts especially should not skip this spectacular beach. It’s renowned for its natural beauty and one of the best places to visit on Anna Maria Island.
If you struggle to cope with regret, don’t miss out on a trip to Coquina Beach. Renowned as one of the most beautiful beaches on Florida’s Gulf Coast, Coquina Beach offers nature lovers a variety of opportunities to immerse themselves in the beauty of the Gulf of Mexico.
Situated at the northern tip of Sarasota Bay on Anna Maria Island’s Gulf Drive, Coquina Beach offers everything from nature hikes to dolphin viewing. Challenge your angling skills on a deep-sea fishing trip or enjoy a peaceful day out on the emerald green waters with dolphins. Also nearby, you can go for an easy hike through the precious mangroves of Leffis Key Preserve.
If you’d rather just mellow out on the beautiful shell-strewn beach for the day, rest assured that the lifeguards on duty got your back. Swim in the crystal clear lukewarm water or sunbathe on the snowy white soft sand.
Manatee Public Beach
If you’re a beach lover looking for a wide array of amenities, be sure to slot Manatee Public Beach into your Anna Maria Island beach vacation. Situated in Manatee County, the beach is easily accessible from Bradenton and has plenty of free parking. You can also take the free island trolley and get dropped off at one of the access points leading to this fantastic beach.
Manatee Public Beach is the perfect place for a family outing. The beach offers excellent amenities such as a playground, volleyball courts, picnic tables, grills, restrooms, and showers.
On its pristine beach, unbelievably white sand meets the tranquil turquoise waters of the Gulf of Mexico. You could easily confuse the scenery at Manatee Beach with an exotic Caribbean destination.
Manatee Beach is a famous nesting ground for turtles. There are strict rules to protect these amazing creatures. Make sure you do not disturb them or their nests if you catch a glimpse of them.
Bean Point Beach
Looking for the ideal spot to enjoy gorgeous sunsets? With its location on the northern point of Anna Maria Island, Bean Point Beach is the perfect place to watch the sunset.
If you want privacy and more seclusion, Bean Point Beach is one of the finest beaches on Anna Maria Island. The expansive sandy beach makes it easy to find the ideal spot far from anybody else.
Apart from the sunsets, this quiet beach is perfect for a day of relaxation away from the hustle and bustle of the other more popular Anna Maria Island beaches. The gigantic white sandy beach and crystal clear turquoise waters host plenty of birds and other wildlife for you to observe.
Because there’s no public parking, Bean Point Beach does not attract as many visitors. It’s a perfect spot for beach picnics or romantic getaways. You can take the trolley and walk from the Anna Maria City Pier for beach access.
If you are looking for a child-friendly place to spend the entire day, Bayfront Park won’t disappoint. The calm water in front of the park is the perfect place to splash and play. There’s also a playground shaded by beautiful lush green trees.
Nearby Pine Avenue offers plenty of eateries to fuel up for your beach. The famous Anna Maria City Pier is also right next to Bayfront Park. If you want to burn off some calories after a delicious lunch, rent a paddleboard or kayak to explore the transparent waters in front of the park.
Located in the south of Tampa Bay on Anna Maria Island, Bayfront Park is the perfect place for young anglers to try their hand at fishing. The Rod and Reel Pier is very popular among local fishermen. Enjoy unspoiled views of Egmont Key and the Sunshine Skyway Bridge from the pier. At dusk, you’ll see the bridge become illuminated by 1,800 LED lights.
Want to feel as if you’re on a private island in the Caribbean? Cortez Beach on Anna Maria Island is not as busy as Coquina Beach and offers a more relaxing atmosphere. Whether you’re exploring the charming shops or relaxing on the idyllic beach, you won’t get pushed around by a crowd of people here.
At Cortez Beach, the warm water, with its turquoise glow, flows onto the beautiful fine white sand. A lush green treeline and wild grass meet the sand dunes and create a picture-perfect backdrop for the idyllic beach.
Float over the friendly swells or flatten yourself on the beach and soak up the sun. Watch the kids build sandcastles, play in the shallows of the magical Gulf waters, or fly kites. Cortez Beach offers a relaxing and simplistic ambiance that other more popular Anna Maria Island beaches can’t provide.
Be wary if you go during hurricane season, as the storms might churn up decent waves. It’s bad news for most, but excellent news if you’re a surfer. Check out the forecast and go check surfing off your bucket list at Cortez Beach.
Beer Can Island Beach
In the mood to explore off the beaten path? Beer Can Island Beach is one of Central West Florida’s hidden gems. Enjoy time in nature away from the crowds between lush green trees, white sands, and turquoise waters.
Not to be mistaken with Beer Can Island near Apollo Beach in Tampa Bay, this beach is situated in Longboat Key south of Anna Maria Island next to the Longboat Key Bridge. The stunning beach has many sturdy trees where you can hang up your hammock and swing around lazily while reading a book.
As there are hardly any people, Beer Can Island Beach can feel like your own private beach. It’s the ideal place to take beautiful pictures without being shy. The natural scenery creates the perfect backdrop for your most daring beach photos.
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There’s limited street parking around Beer Can Island Beach. The sandbar is mainly accessed by boat, but you can also walk there. If you visit outside of prime times, you may even have the whole beach to yourself. It’s the perfect place to take in nature or have a picnic and enjoy magnificent sunsets.