Our Guide to Getting Around Anna Maria Island:
Just seven miles long and less than a mile wide, Anna Maria Island offers three thriving beach-side towns, running north to south – Anna Maria, Holmes Beach, and Bradenton Beach. Due to the short distance between each town center, discovering all the sights and things to do on our island is as easy as leaving the car in “park” and trying these fun ways to travelling around Anna Maria Island:
As you often hear, Anna Maria Island offers a slower pace of life – island life is supposed to be relaxing, right?
We have found cycling to be one of the most enjoyable, fast and nearly free ways to have a look around the area. Anna Maria Island features bike lanes along the main roads, quiet residential streets that run from beach to bay, and an abundance of bike racks all over the island. Anna Maria Island is bike-friendly. We highly encourage you to bring your own bike, rent one from Beach Bums off Pine Avenue; or if you are staying at Cozy Cabana, we have included four bikes for your complementary use.
While staying at Cozy Cottage, you can reach all the shops, restaurants and piers in Anna Maria within a few minutes of peaceful pedaling. If you are staying at Cozy Cabana, both Anna Maria’s Pine Avenue (where shops and restaurants line the way) and the Holmes Beach shopping district, is a five minute bike ride away from our home. Simply hop on your bike and head north for Anna Maria or south for Holmes Beach. You’ll be there in no time, without the hassle of finding a parking spot!
If you find yourself too far away from either Cozy Cottage or Cozy Cabana, load your bikes on the front of an Anna Maria trolley carrying rack, and hop aboard – the trolley will give your legs a break for FREE! See the trolley map in the section below for a trolley stop nearest your final destination.
Anna Maria Island Trolley:
Operating seven days a week from 6am until 10:30pm, the FREE Anna Maria trolley system runs the entire length of island at 20 minute intervals and has seven main stops. Here’s the link to a detailed map and schedule found under the Trolley Routes section: https://www.mymanatee.org/home/government/departments/public-works/transit-paratransit/bus-schedules.html.
Below, we’ll highlight four stops worth checking out:
- Anna Maria City Pier – take in the scenery from the historic City Pier overlooking Tampa Bay, hop across the street to the bay-front shops where you can grab an ice cream cone from Two Scoops, or dine at The Waterfront Restaurant, or walk up Pine Avenue and explore all the shops and restaurants in the area.
- Manatee Public Beach – In the morning, grab a plate of “all you can eat” Pancakes from the Anna Maria Cafe, play a game of beach volleyball, pick up some new swimwear or surfing supplies at the Surf Shop(adjacent to the public beach), or grab a burger you won’t regret at Skinny’s (just across the street) – it’s the island’s best burger dive!
- Bridge Street – Bradenton Beach packs a ton of fun into this area where you can visit the newly renovated Bridge Street Pier, take in a glorious sunset at Bridge Street Bistro with an outdoor deck overlooking the beach, or play miniature golf at the Fish Hole putt-putt course.
- Coquina Beach – one of the top rated public beaches in America offers a beautiful retreat on the southern end of Anna Maria Island. Just across the street, stroll along the boardwalk at Leffis Key nature preserve. Want to head to Mote Marine Laboratory or St. Armand’s Circle? Jump aboard the Longboat Trolley for $.75(each way, per person) and head south to Sarasota.
Each trolley offers bike racks so you can take your bike with you for further exploration, and air conditioning for total comfort as you let the trolley get you around the island. We love riding the trolley due to the convenience it offers us all.
No matter your destination on the island, these two forms of transportation are ideal for most guests. Should you choose to drive your own car around the island, please pay careful attention to maintaining your speed to 25-35mph (as posted along the road), and park in the proper areas to avoid penalties from the local law enforcement.