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Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria island, florida -- Where to DIne -- what to do-- what to Know

Long before Hernando Desoto threw down his sword into the white sands north of what today is called Anna Maria Island (aka Anna Maria Key) in 1539 -- this barrier island was the pantry of local Timucan and Caloosan native tribes.   Both indigenous peoples hunted and fished from this island's shores.  Back then of course, you arrived by boat  or canoe as there was no bridge to this island, like there is today.  Back then you caught or harvested your own food.  No longer the case thank goodness.


Well, first and foremost with any trip to any beach, is knowing ahead of time, where to find the essentials of any dream vacation or day at the beach.  Aside from your accommodations, the single most important thing on everyone’s is mind -- where are we going to dine on this seven mile long island and what are we going to eat?  Here are a few of the many great places to eat while there:

Dream Travel Today’s Top 6 Picks for Where to Dine on Anna Maria Island

Beach House Restaurant -- 200 Gulf Drive North, Bradenton Beach, Anna Maria Island - waterfront with climate controlled outdoor deck -- Highlights: Towers & Castles, crab cakes, Cornish hens, bourbon salmon, and even a free-range chicken sandwich.  

Donut House Expresso & More -- 3211 Manatee Avenue West, Bradenton, Anna Maria Island - Highlights: Conutes, coffee, espresso, latte, frappe, teas, Vietnamese spring rolls, banh, and so much more!

Gulf Drive Cafe -- 900 Gulf Drive North, Bradenton, Anna Maria Island - waterfront with entertainment -- Eco-friendly -- Highlights: Grouper, Maryland Crab Cake, Faroe Island Salmon, pastas, chicken, and so much more! 

Oma's  Pizza  and Italian Restaurant -- 201 Gulf Drive, Bradenton Beach, Anna Maria Island - Highlights: If you love pizza and Italian food this is the place!  Hand-tossed and thick Sicilian and made to order pizzas along with a wide varieties of dining selections. 

Sandbar Restaurant  -- 100 Spring Avenue, Anna Maria Island - Highlights: Fresh seafood, pickled shrimp, crab and green fried tomatoes, squash blossoms, seafood tacos, steak burgers, po’boys, hoagies, oyster on the half-shell handcrafted cocktails, and spectacular sunsets.  (My personal favorites -- Seafood Tower or Castle and Stone Crab (when in season).

Seafood Shack Marina Bar & Grill -- 4110 127th Street W, Cortez, Anna Maria Island -- Access  by sea and by land marina restaurant with outdoor waterfront patio -- Highlights:  Fish tacos to die for!  S.S. Margaritas, The Shack Rum Punch, and Shack Snack onion rings with whale sauce.


Anna Maria Island, Florida

Anna Maria Island, Florida

Anna Maria Beaches

Enjoy a Day at a Beautiful Beach - Anna Maria Beach

A day well done at Bradenton Beach, Anna Maria Island

Enjoy the four "S's" on Anna Maria Beach -- "Secluded" -- "Serene" -- "Stunning"  -- ending in a perfect beach day well done --"Siesta" time.

Coquian Beach - Bradenton Beach

Swimming and Water Recreation at Coquian Beach, Anna Maria Island

Bicycle Trails, Birding, Hiking, Playground, Scenic Highway/Byway, Snorkeling, Swimming, Water Recreation. 

Cortez Beach - Bradenton Beach

Cortez Beach, Bradenton Beach - lazy days beach

Great Old Florida beach for kids and wheel chair accessible entrance.  It still has some tall non-native Australian trees, lots of native grasses on small dunes, and it's just an overall laid-back lazy day beach.  Perfect for beach picnics and playing in the sand.

Manatee Beach, Holmes Beach

Pancakes by the beach at Anna Maria Island Beach Cafe -- the perfect way to start your fun in the su

Grab the kids and "get your pancakes on at Manatee Beach's Anna Maria Island Beach Cafe before you hit the sand and water.  Don't forget your snorkeling gear or volleyball either.  

Bean Point, Anna Maria Island Beach

Bean Point, Anna Maria Island Beach - an iconic view

Talk about a sunset photo op setting!   Look no further than Bean Point on Anna Maria Island Beach!  Also the perfect place to stroll on what many claim as being the softest beaches ever!  

Anna Maria Island City Piers

Bridge Street Pier, Anna Maria Island where you always know what time it is.

Four quaint top piers on the island --Anna Maria City Pier, Bradenton Beach City Pier, Bridge Street Pier, and Rod Reel Pier -- Safe places to fish, great views, shaded benches. and manatees -- all things you can find exploring these beach piers.

Learn all you can about rip currents before you go to Anna Maria Island.


HERE at dream travel today we are all about safe travel

As much as locals and visitors love Anna Maria Island, it would be irresponsible to not point out to its many visitors - a staggering 3.1 million of you a year coming just to the Anna Maria Island area - that there are a few important water safety warnings we'd like to pass on:

  • Virtually all Gulf Coast beaches in Florida are prone to dangerous rip currents.  Sadly, we continue to experience rip current drownings every year -- All of which are preventable by simply knowing what rip currents are and how to survive if caught in one.
  • Most Gulf Coast beaches do not have lifeguards and this includes some of Anna Maria's beaches.  
  • Only Holmes Beach, Coquina Beach, and Manatee Beach have lifeguard stations, but none can provide an adequate enough numbers of life guard towers to cover the entire 7 miles of beaches on the island.

Dream Travel Today wants all our Gulf Coast visitors, especially children, to stay "water safe" when visiting Anna Maria Island.   Rip currents are a real danger even for those who are simply wading in knee water.  One poignant reminder of this was the case of 14 year old Dushay Nelson, who lost his life after being swept into deep rip current Gulf water when he originally was only in knee deep water.    

Keep your dream vacation or day trip to beautiful Anna Maria Island "water safe" by educating yourself and your loved ones  about rip currents before you go!

One way you do so is to always check the National Weather Service who provides "rip current risk" reports daily.

Learn More About rip currents

Find out more Tips2SurviveRips

Get This Great Compact Beach Blanket - Matador Beach Blanket

How To Spot A Rip Current

Check out this great video from Surf Life Saving Australia that will help you understand all you need to know about knowing how to spot a rip current.  Please visit Anna Maria Island buy also check out our link above for tips to survive rip currents from

WolfWise Easy Pop Up Beach Tent