Anna Maria Island, a seven-mile island south of Tampa, features some of the best fishing destinations and most beautiful beaches in the entire world. Located between Long Boat Pass and the Gulf of Mexico, it has a serene environment and a laidback lifestyle.
The island is part of Manatee County and has three main cities: Holmes Beach, Anna Maria, and Bradenton Beach. It’s located 53 miles from the Tampa Bay Airport. The entire Gulf Coast region has some of the most amazing fishing in the world, and it also has access to the Tampa Bay estuary system.
The area is also known for its great beaches, which offer plenty of opportunities for swimming, sunbathing, and just relaxing in the sand.
Two bridges connect Anna Maria Island to the mainland. The first, the Anna Maria Island Bridge, is a drawbridge that links the island to Bradenton. The second bridge, the Longboat Pass Bridge, is a high-level bridge that links the island to Longboat Key.
How Long Does it Take to Boat From Tampa to Anna Maria Island?
The average time it takes to boat from Tampa to Anna Maria Island is around two hours. However, the time can vary depending on the weather and traffic conditions. If you are looking for a more relaxing experience, we recommend planning your trip for a weekday morning.
Where is the Clearest Water on Anna Maria Island?
Some locations are known for having especially clear water include Bean Point, Coquina Beach, Holmes Beach, and the north end of Bradenton Beach.
Bean Point is especially well known for its clear water and stunning views, and it’s a great spot to explore nature or catch an unforgettable sunset. The original home of the island founder, George Bean, its located on the northernmost tip and extends into Tampa Bay. This spot is where he put his original 160-acre homestead, and today it still has some of that irresistible old Florida charm. This private stretch of beach has no public facilities or lifeguards, and it offers unique glimpses of Florida wildlife.
Coquina Beach has access with a boat ramp on the southern part of the island. The Coquina Beach Jetty has a unique geographic location ideal for fishing. It sits where the Gulf of Mexico and Sarasota Bay mix. The quick current here makes the water clear and sparkling. Also, it brings plenty of beautiful fish through, especially nearshore fish. Its location gives you access to many nearby fishing spots, including Beer Can island sandbar, Egmont Key, Jewfish Key, and Passage Key.
Rod and Reel Pier
Rod and Reel Pier is another fishing destination for locals and tourists. It extends far into the ocean, with a length of about 350 feet. While it’s a popular location, you should be able to find a spot. There is also a two-story restaurant on site,
Holmes Beach is located in the middle of Anna Maria Island. It’s one of the main cities on Anna Maria Island, and it stretches three miles. Holmes Beach itself extends 900 feet. The Holmes Beach area is where Sam and Annie Cobb homesteaded in 1896 on 160 acres. It’s named after developer Jack Holmes, the creator of a 600-acre community. Holmes Beach has great amenities like a beach volleyball court
Anna Maria City Pier
Anna Maria City Pier is a historical landmark with stunning views of the Gulf. The pier stretches out 700 feet into the Gulf and is ideal for fishing, especially for redfish and spotted sea trout. It’s also a great place to watch the dolphins play and the sunset.
Bradenton Beach is another major beach on Anna Maria Island. It’s home to the Bridge Street pier. Once the only access point to the island, it is full of quaint shops, ice cream parlors, and beautiful Florida views. The pier has a clock tower, swing set, patio, and one of the most famous restaurants on the island, the Anna Maria Island Oyster Bar.
Eco-Tourism on Anna Maria Island
Home to Egmont Key and Passage Key, Anna Maria Island offers some of the best eco-tourism in the area. Egmont Key is Florida’s only coastal fortress and a designated National Wildlife Refuge. It features a lighthouse, Civil War ruins, and plenty of bird-watching opportunities.
Passage Key is a small island located just off Egmont Key that is also home to dolphins, manatees, sea turtles, and birds. Visitors can kayak through the uninhabited islands or take a nature walk to experience the beauty of Florida’s coastline. Sharks and stingrays also live in the waters.
What is the Best Month to Visit Anna Maria Island?
The best time of year to visit Anna Maria Island varies depending on what you’re looking for. If you’re looking for hot weather and clear water, the summer is the best time to go. The average high temperature in July and August is 90 degrees. However, if you’re looking for less crowded beaches and lower prices, visit in the offseason. The average high temperature in January and February is 73 degrees. The island also has a lot of events and activities going on throughout the year, so no matter when you visit, you’ll be able to find something fun to do!
For fishing, it’s best to fish either before sunrise or after sunset year-round to avoid hot temperatures. Also, the fishing is best during different parts of the year, depending on what you’re trying to catch. Tarpon are typically caught from March through July, Redfish are caught from September through November, and snook are caught all year long.
Fun Things to Do on Anna Maria Island
The island trolley goes from the northern point to the southern point of the island, and it is an excellent way to sightsee. Also, it is completely free! There are also bike and kayak rentals available.
If you are looking for a place to relax, take a walk on the beach or visit one of the many parks on the island. You can also find plenty of shopping and dining options on Anna Maria Island.
From the northern point of Anna Maria Island to the southern point, there are many amazing things to do and see. Home to a vibrant fishing community, it’s a one-of-a-kind destination.
Anna Maria Island is best enjoyed with a local boat rental. Rent local fishing boats, pontoons, catamarans, yachts, and more with Boatsetter!
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