Anna Maria Island features seven miles of uninterrupted beaches lining the clear, warm, emerald waters of the Gulf of Mexico. It’s extremely difficult to find a sub-par beach on the island, but most people want to know, “which is the best area for me”? Our response is typically, “well, what are you looking for when you hit the sand – seclusion, action, people-watching”?
Sure, you’ll spend most of your time at the beaches closest to your vacation rental home; and for guests staying at our Cozy Cabana, the beach at the White Avenue Access, is closest(3 min walk) and that beach is a family favorite by both guests and locals.
For guests staying at our Cozy Cottage, the Sea Grape Lane Access is within a two minute walk of our home and places you on one of the most secluded beaches on the island.
We want to help you identify beaches on Anna Maria Island that can deliver the experience you wish to enjoy.
Best Beach for SECLUSION: Bean Point Area (Northern Tip of Anna Maria)
The northern tip of Anna Maria Island is known as “Bean Point”, named for the first resident and original developer of Anna Maria Island, George Bean. Along this northern tip, the beaches are sparsely populated with people due to the limited parking and infrequent beach accesses. You’ll only find four accesses up here: Sea Grape Lane, Fern Street, Gladiolus Street, and N. Bay Blvd – each with zero direct parking. Parking is permitted only on certain side streets and is strictly enforced. Now you can see why it’s so secluded up here!
What you’ll discover along this stretch of beach is:
Absolute Best Spot for Photographing Sunsets | Views of Egmont Key, Tampa Bay and Sunshine Sky Bridge | Bird Sanctuary | Shelling (especially Sand Dollars) | Clear, Emerald Gulf Water | Less Crowded
Best Beach for ACTION: Manatee Public Beach (Middle of Island – where Manatee Avenue meets the Gulf)
If action is what you seek, Manatee Public Beach delivers on all accounts. Get there early if you plan on bringing your car, or better, take the free Anna Maria Island trolley – trust us! Kick your morning off at the Anna Maria Café for a plate of “all you can eat pancakes”. Dine on the beachfront patio, or with your toes in the sand. Once your calorie overload is finished, grab a spot on the beach, play a game of pick-up volleyball, swim while being monitored by lifeguards, or enjoy watching your children play on the beachfront playground. As the day goes along, crowds (especially on the weekends) will build and you’ll be right in the heart of all the action.
Before you go to Manatee Public Beach, you can anticipate:
Bigger Crowds | Free, but Limited Parking | Restaurant/Bar | Volleyball | Playground Restrooms | Showers | Anna Maria Free Trolley Service | Lifeguards | Wide Beaches Clear, Emerald Gulf Water
Best Beach for PEOPLE WATCHING: Sandbar Restaurant’s Beach
Where there’s good food and even better drinks, you’ll find plenty of people! Sandbar Restaurant occupies some of the most prime real-estate on the entire island, and people flock there in droves. Known for its grouper sandwich and fun tropical drinks, when you want to go sit and watch the people around you, head to this beach spot. Here, you’re likely to witness a couple of beach weddings, per day, especially Friday – Sunday. When there’s not a wedding, you’ll find Sandbar’s deck and toes-in-the-sand outdoor dining area packed with people from all over the world. Don’t want to dust the sand off, or put on shoes? No problem! Just grab a drink, or appetizer or sandwich from the walk-up window and enjoy it on the beach! Just remember, technically, no alcohol is allowed on the beach.
When you head to the beach in front of Sandbar Restaurant, you’ll likely find:
Good Food with Great Scenery | Weddings | Clear, Emerald Gulf Waters | Expansive Stretch of White Sandy Beaches | Fireworks on July 4th | People Watching
When you are ready to plan your vacation on Anna Maria Island, we’re always here to provide exceptional vacation rental homes and unmatched service. Email or call us today to book your stay!