When vacationing with your family, you want to be able to create cherished memories with your children no matter where you go. It can be hard to pick the right destination that’ll delight both you and your little ones, but it just so happens there’s an island off the coast of Florida that is perfect for you and your children — Anna Maria Island. With beautiful, sandy white beaches; natural, blooming parks; and fun-filled activities for the entire family, Anna Maria Island is the ideal vacation spot.
Here are five ways to enjoy vacationing in Anna Maria.
Enjoy the many beautiful beaches
Manatee Public Beach
Equipped with picnic tables, grills, bike racks, showers, restrooms, a playground for children, and so much more, the Manatee Public Beach is great for taking the children for some fun and relaxation along the coast. There are also lifeguards active throughout the beach’s operating hours to ensure you and your family are safe.
Anna Maria Beach
Anna Maria Beach is a tranquil, relatively remote beach located to the north of the island. Enjoy scenic views and pure, utter relaxation, or splash in the shallow waters of the crystal clear sea with your children. This beach is also a popular destination for marine birds to perch and rest, giving you a glimpse of Anna Maria's wildlife.
The Coquina Beach is at the southern end of the island, open from sunrise to midnight. Coquina Beach is a beautiful location with extensive white shores and plenty of amenities, including bike racks, concessions, game tables, changing rooms, grills, picnic tables, and playgrounds for young children.
Relax and play at the natural parks
Palma Sola Botanical Park
Discover the vibrant and gorgeous plant life native to Florida at the Palma Sola Botanical Park. With over 10 acres of land and an interactive learning environment, Palma Sola promotes education and appreciation for the region’s gardens, wildlife, and crystalline lakes. It’s the perfect venue to introduce your children to the beauty of nature.
Offering various kid-friendly activities and a nearby beach, the Bayfront Park is one of the most popular parks due to its convenient location, breathtaking views of local landmarks, and a number of amenities equipped to ensure your trip has everything you could ever need.
Visit local sights and family-friendly attractions
Egmont Key Lighthouse
Known as the oldest structure in the Tampa Bay region, the Egmont Key Lighthouse is a point of historical and cultural interest. Although the lighthouse isn’t open to visitors, the territory is full of weathered ruins and informational plaques detailing its history and more. It’s a great spot for pictures too!
Anna Maria Island City Pier
Full of charm and historic value, the Anna Maria Island City Pier is an idyllic pier offering visitors and their children plenty of sightseeing and a restaurant at the end of the pier. It’s a simple but relaxing locale, perfect for spending a sunny day out and about.
Sunshine Skyway Bridge
The Sunshine Skyway Bridge is a flagship bridge visible from the Anna Maria Island City Pier and Bayfront Park. Standing at 430 feet tall, the bridge serves as the gateway to the Tampa Bay Area, but its unique structure and shape have turned it into a national icon. Every family needs to take a picture in front of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge to complete the Florida experience!
Learn about history and wildlife
De Soto National Memorial
The De Soto National Memorial is a 26-acre memorial park commemorating the arrival of Hernando de Soto and his exploration of the region. Not only does it provide a learning experience for children and adults alike, but it also makes for a peaceful stroll in the warm Florida weather.
Egmont Key National Wildlife Refuge
Located on a remote island, the Egmont Key National Wildlife Refuge is a crucial resource in the preservation of gopher tortoises, sea turtles, and tens of thousands of nesting pairs of birds. Visitors may access the island by boat and take part in a variety of learning activities about the region’s wildlife and the refuge’s conservation efforts.
Shop and experience family-friendly outdoor activities
The Shiny Fish Emporium
The Shiny Fish Emporium on Pine Avenue is a fun-filled retail shop inspired by the aesthetics of 1950s Palm Beach and the idyllic lifestyle of Anna Maria Island. The shop is especially popular among children, thanks to its wide selection of colorful, unique toys, gifts, and candy. Your children are sure to find something to take home as a reminder of their cherished memories in Anna Maria.
The Fish Hole Adventure Golf
If you and your little ones love miniature golf, come for some fun at the Fish Hole. Locally owned and operated, the Fish Hole features 18 different mini golf courses in a beautiful outdoor setting, granting you a scenic view of the historic Bridge Street in Anna Maria.
Dolphin Tour with Paradise Boat Tours
Paradise Boat Tours is Anna Maria Island’s leading eco-tours since 2014, dedicated to providing an exceptional experience fit with narrated tours and breathtaking wildlife. Bring your children on a brand new adventure as you look for dolphins and other marine animals who proudly call the vast sea their home.
Beach Bums Rental Shop
Known as Anna Maria’s best rental shop, Beach Bums offers a number of family-friendly activities for you and your children to enjoy, including kayak, bike, and paddle board rentals; beach supplies and electrically-powered golf carts; and eco-friendly kayak tours. Beach Bums is a great way to get around the island in style and make the most of your vacation with your kids.
Work with Alexis Smith-Frady to move to Anna Maria
Many families choose to buy their own Anna Maria houses as vacation homes, enabling them to enjoy the island’s bounty whenever they want for as long as they want. If Anna Maria has won over you and your family, get in touch with a local real estate agent to begin searching for Anna Maria homes for sale. We recommend Alexis Smith-Frady, an elite real estate agent specializing in the area with plenty of experience buying Anna Maria houses. Get in touch with her today!