6 Anna Maria Island Things to Do on Your Vacation

Anna Maria Island is a barrier island located in the Gulf of Mexico that draws thousands of visitors annually. Part of the attraction comes from the city’s intent to showcase Old Florida’s charm, while providing plenty must-do activities. These activities extend well beyond the beach too – although we included a secret spot – and all please the whole family. Read on to see our picks for the top Anna Maria Island things to do.

Anna Maria Island Things to Do, Places to See

anna maria island things to do vacation

Photo: JWolff-STL

Beach Spot: Hang Out at Bean Point

Located on the northern tip of Anna Maria Island, guests find Bean Point, home to ‘the spot’ to spend a day at the beach. Whether looking to relax on the white sand or play in the warm water, Bean Point welcomes visitors to do both.

Online reviewers have named this their favorite among Anna Maria Island things to do for its natural beauty and tranquil setting. While visiting, look for dolphins, manatees, birds and other wildlife. Bean Point also ranks as a top spot for watching beach sunsets and taking family photos.

Dining: Eat at Anna Maria City Pier

This historic attraction not only offers another place to watch sunsets, but visitors also find a restaurant, fishing pier, bait shop, and large gift shop. The pier dates more than 100 years old and serves as the most iconic landmark in Anna Maria Island.

Located at the end of the pier sits City Pier Restaurant and Gift Shop. The restaurant serves a variety of dishes including soups, sandwiches, fish dinners, steaks and pasta. Before or after the meal, browse the gift shop for special gifts or souvenirs. The shop specializes in high-quality jewelry made from fossils and stones, climbing earrings, and pendants.

Those looking for a good catch can also cast a line off the pier, which extends roughly 700 feet into Tampa Bay. Popular catches include cobia, tarpon, redfish and snapper, to name a few.

History Tour: Check Out the Historical Museum

History buffs step back in time at Anna Maria Island Historical Museum. Housed in a 1920s building that once served as an icehouse, the museum has become one of the top Anna Maria Island things to do.

Exhibits tell stories of the island’s first settlers as well as showcase the area’s rich fishing and baseball history. While visiting, guests see sites such as Belle Haven cottage, the Old City Jail, and Mangrove Walk, a historic park featuring native plants and landscaping. While planning, check for museum events that showcase food and fun. Admission to the museum is free, however donations are always welcome.

anna maria island things to do hike

Photo: Florida Fish and Wildlife

Hiking: Explore Coquina Baywalk

Put on walking shoes and head to Coquina Baywalk for an easy, scenic hike through natural beauty. Coquina Baywalk features different trails and boardwalks, suitable for all ages, and is located directly across Coquina Beach.

This area also serves as a wildlife hot spot with plenty of birds, crabs and marine life. Individual boardwalks wrap around the bay, so guests may also see dolphins, sting rays and fish. Those visiting Coquina Baywalk should bring a camera or phone, as this ranks as a top spot for nature photography.

Shopping: Browse Historic Green Village

Anna Maria Historic Green Village serves as Anna Maria Island’s Main Street, and houses several preserved historical buildings turned into shops and galleries. Shoppers can browse a dozen stops, as they are guided by signposts.

Examples include a general store, retailers selling apparel and jewelry, restaurants, rentals, and local artists. In addition, the village focuses on energy-efficient operations, and is one of only 100 places in the world that has received Platinum LEED certification.

Theater: See the Island Players

Make it a date night and see a show at Island Players Community Theatre. Founded in 1949, Island Players presents five shows a year between October and May and special two-day performances during ArtsHOP, an annual arts festival in Anna Maria Island.

This theater is the oldest of its kind in the county and also serves as an official Florida Heritage Site. Performances include mysteries, humor and award-winning plays. See the full Island Players schedule.

Ready to plan a beach day? Read about Anna Maria Island beaches!