Looking for a fun island getaway that will have you craving more? Taking a trip to Anna Maria Island is the best! Not only do you need to plan a trip there but you also need to set your sights on the Bradenton Area as well. It’s full of family-friendly things to do as well as tons of great options for that beach life we’re all wanting and needing!
Make certain to check out the Anna Maria Island Trolley so that you can travel around and see the island. It’s free to use and runs from 6:30 am -10 pm daily!
The Best Things to Do on Anna Maria Island
The Bradenton Area offers great places to dine, lodging, and wonderful activities. As a local, there were many things that we loved that the destination in the form of making sure the island is eco friendly.
We were very conscious during our stay to Do our part – When you’re on vacation, remember to relax, recharge, but also recycle while visiting the island.
Here are is a list of just a few things that are a MUST on your trip to Anna Maria Island! As well as some tips on how to be eco-friendly while visiting!
Book Your Stay Waterline Marina Resort
Make certain to try and get a room with a balcony and a view. You’ll love how clean and decorative the rooms are to make you love living the shore life.
Each room has its own kitchen so that you can cook your meals right then and there. (although…when on vacation, it’s nice to get out and eat like the locals!) Be a good neighbor – Whether at your rental, hotel, or on the beach, keep the noise in check and avoid blaring music or other behavior that may annoy others.
Where to eat at Bradenton Beach
Once you’re in the area, you have to get your snack on and try all the fun flavors. No matter if you’re craving breakfast, lunch, or dinner – you’ll have plenty of tasty options to choose from!
Ugly Grouper – The menu is loaded full of delicious options for all types of needs and ages.
Island Donut Company – With Donuts made fresh every single day, you might need to stop here every morning to check out all the goods.
The Cheesecake Cutie & Cafe – With a cheesecake recipe that has been in the family and going strong for 40 years, you don’t want to miss out on a slice!
Beach House Restaurant – Not only is this a great place for families to dine but while the food is getting prepared, the kids can play around on the beach. They have great food options and also a stellar happy hour from 2 PM – 4 PM on Monday-Friday.
Sage Biscuit Cafe Downtown – Choose from awesome options using fresh, local ingredients!
Shop and Dine local – Dining local = supporting Bradenton Area businesses, which funds projects that keep the destination beautiful.
Fun Things to Do on Anna Maria Island
Since we had a blast exploring the Bradenton area, here are a few places that I highly recommend adding to your travel bucket list!
Take a Stroll Down Historic Bridge Street
You can easily plan a day of shopping, sightseeing, or more just by strolling along this famous bridge. Use eco-friendly transportation – Opt for free beach trolleys, electric golf carts, bikes, and more while you’re here and give your car a vacation, too!
Great views are waiting!
Experience a Dolphin Boat Tour with Paradise Boat Tours
Don’t miss this! How many dolphins do you think you’re going to see? With a 95% guarantee that you’ll see at least one, that’s a high percentage and a good indicator that you’ll probably see a bunch more!
The kids really enjoyed this experience, not only are the tour operators very knowledgeable of the area, they know a lot about dolphins. The best part is that you get to venture out into the gulf coast for a little bit as well!
Because there is so much wildlife in the area be mindful Keep your distance from wildlife – local wildlife love their personal space, so always maintain a safe distance.
Check out all the beaches
If you’re ready to put up your feet and relax, the beaches of Anna Maria Island are waiting!
Manatee Beach is a great place with fun activities and Bean Point Beach offers stunning views and a place to sit and chill. We had the opportunity to relax some at Manatee Beach, and the water was beautiful. The kids loved being in some clear water and seeing some of the little fish swimming around.
We went earlier in the morning and had some snacks before we headed out to breakfast. The boys sometimes forget that plastics can blow away with the wind which is why we told them to Pick up and Clean up. – When visiting the beach, be sure to leave it clean and litter-free.
Visit The Bishop Museum of Science and Nature
Don’t miss out on this museum! There are a ton of great exhibits that focus on aspects of the Florida coast. As the largest natural history museum on Florida’s Gulf Coast, The Bishop Museum of Science and Nature offers engaging exhibits as well as educational programs that interpret the scientific knowledge of Florida, the world, and our universe.
The kids loved this museum there was so much rich culture to see and learn about. The highlight was being able to see some resident manatees that were recently added.
We learned while there that most manatees are hurt in boating accidents which is why you should Be a good boater – Manatees are slow movers, so remember to cruise carefully, respect no-wake zones, and all signs while on the water.
There is also a newly added area that we loved which was The new Mosaic Backyard Universe is fully ADA accessible and designed for kids of all ages — and grown-ups who are young at heart. From scale models of the solar system and a freshwater Pond filled with turtles to a Science Shed and a massive Mighty Oak towering above it all.
Stroll on Downtown Bradenton Riverwalk
Who wouldn’t want to end their day with a stunning sunset overlooking the water? This short (1.5 miles) boardwalk is the perfect ending to a delicious and fun-filled day.
Now that you know everything waiting for you on Anna Maria Island, it’s time to plan and take that trip! Such a great way to explore the coastline of Florida!
Right now Visit Bradenton has a very fun giveaway going on in which you can win a trip back to the area! Details below.
Win a Trip Back!
(1) Share a photo of yourself on social media while in our area visiting responsibly (picking up trash, using eco-friendly transportation, using non-aerosol sunscreen, etc.)
(2) Use #LoveItLikeALocal
(3) Use the tag @Visit_Bradenton