Ultimate Guide to Anna Maria Island Beaches in Florida, From a Local Expert

The best way to describe the Anna Maria Island Beaches is Spectacular & Impressive Beaches and one of the Dream Destinations in the country – and TripAdvisor named the island: the #1 Beach Vacation Destination in the United States.

With 1,200 miles of coastline, white powdery sand beach, calm, warm, and turquoise waters, with sunshine almost all year long, with Gulf temperatures averaging 84 degrees all year long. Combined with the laid-back lifestyle on the island, makes Anna Maria Island a perfect vacation spot.

I am a local and I have visited and explored all of the Beaches on Anna Maria Island and I am here to share all the tips you need to know. I have also prepared a full guide on how to explore Anna Maria Island, the best places to stay, and the best restaurants in Anna Maria Island – with these 2 guides, you will have all you need, in one place, without having to research any further. Oh, and and you can check this how to travel from Orlando to Anna Maria Island guide too 😉

Read More: 23 Best Things to do on Anna Maria Island

Best Anna Maria Island Beaches Overview

Here you can find three large areas with multiple beach access points on the Gulf side at the City of Anna Maria, Holmes Beach, and Bradenton. There are three main public beaches on Anna Maria Island with excellent amenities at Manatee Public Beach, Bayfront Park, and Coquina Beach.


Anna Maria Island Beaches

Essential Tips to Visit Anna Maria Island Beaches

  • Alcohol is NOT permitted on the beach
  • Dogs are NOT allowed on the beach (bummer…my poor fur babies!)
  • Bicycles are NOT permitted on the beach
  • If you are planning to spend the day(s) on the beach, bring an umbrella or a pop-up tent
  • I love my wagon to bring all my belongings to the beach
  • During summer months, small stingrays occasionally come to the shallow, so just shuffle as you enter the water and you can also invest in water shoes
  • I saw a lot of jellyfish in the ocean during my last stay in September, so be aware when you are in the water
  • Turtle nesting season is from May through October and one is aware that they are protected by federal and state laws – the nests are marked on the beach, so be careful and help to protect them.

Best Public Beaches on Anna Maria Island

MANATEE PUBLIC BEACH: A family-friendly beach on Anna Maria Island

LOCATION: 4000 Gulf Dr., Holmes Beach

The Manatee Beach is very close to Holmes Beach – actually one of my favorite things to do is to do my morning running from Holmes Beach to Manatee Beach and to enjoy the excited birds chasing the fishing boats.

Located towards the center of Anna Maria Island, Manatee Beach is at a great location, with a large parking lot, and there is a Publix grocery store located nearby in case you need to pick up any items for a picnic day at the beach.

MANATEE BEACH IS BEST FOR: Here is a great beach for family and kids, because of the amenities, including a nice cafe that serves breakfast and lunch. Plus there are other restaurants nearby just within walking distance.

Anna Maria Island Beaches


  • Lifeguard station
  • Bicycle Racks
  • Café
  • Gift Shop
  • Volley Courts
  • Changing Cabanas
  • Showers
  • Restrooms
  • Water fount
  • Shaded picnic tables
  • ADA accessible
  • Free parking and Trolley stop

COQUINA BEACH: The ultimate beach day destination on Anna Maria

LOCATION: 2650 Gulf Dr. S, Bradenton Beach, FL

This is my favorite public beach because it offers beautiful natural scenery and it is the longest stretch of beach on Anna Maria Island. Close by other activities such as the Leffis Key Nature Preserve, which makes a great break to observe some of Florida’s fauna and flora. Great facilities, with a large shaded picnic area, and also, here you can visit the Coquina Beach Market.

Coquina Beach has 96 acres with hundreds of Australian Pines, some of the trees are over 100 feet tall, offering an incredible shaded area for visitors. It is located on the far southern end of Anna Maria Island, with excellent amenities for families and it has a free trolley stop. With soft sand, calm blue ocean and it doesn’t get very crowded.

COQUINA BEACH IS BEST FOR: Very popular beach for a picnic and a great beach for swimming makes a great beach for families and kids. If you love wildlife, you can most likely see dolphins swimming close to the shore (I saw a couple of dolphins) – A great beach for biking or running, on the path available along the dune.

Anna Maria Island Beaches


  • Lifeguard Station
  • Bicycle Racks
  • Changing Cabanas
  • Restrooms
  • Shower
  • Cafe
  • Gift Shop
  • Playground
  • Volleyball Courts
  • Multi-purpose paved trail
  • Grills with picnic area on the shade
  • ADA accessible
  • Free Parking
  • RV parking area
  • Free Trolley stop

BAYFRONT PARK BEACH: Anna Maria Island Beach with stunning views

LOCATION: 310 N Bay Blvd.,

I really like the location of Bayfront Park Beach. Here you have stunning views of the Skyline Skyway Bridge as well as the Rod and Reel Pier and the City Pier. You are also very close to many restaurants, including my favorite restaurant on Anna Maria Island, Waterfront Restaurant with great drinks, a good wine selection, and fresh seafood dishes.

The beach has calm water perfect for swimming, go stand boarding and kayaking. Just keep in mind that parking here can be a problem, especially on the weekends, but during the week is nearly empty.

BAYFRONT BEACH IS BEST FOR: This is a perfect beach to go for a beach day if you are traveling with kids or dogs, here you can find a picnic area with tables and grills, playgrounds, and pavilions, as well as bathrooms, showers, and water fount. You can also bring your dogs to the designated picnic areas, but remember, dogs are not allowed at the beach.

Anna Maria Island Beaches


  • No lifeguard station
  • Benches and tables
  • Grills
  • Pavilions
  • Restroom
  • Showers
  • Playground
  • ADA Accessible
  • Free Parking
  • Free Trolley stop

Read Next: 23 Best Things to do on Anna Maria Island

Private Beaches on Anna Maria Island

HOLMES BEACH: A laid-back vibe beach on Anna Maria Island

This is my favorite beach on Anna Maria Island because I love it is nearly empty, especially on the weekdays. Mostly the locals come to this beach, and it has a large stretch of white sand to do my morning running or exercises and to have a feeling that I have a private beach just for myself.

Homes Beach is located in the middle of Anna Maria Island and you can find public access on almost every street in Holmes Beach, and it is easy to find the way.

HOLMES BEACH IS BEST FOR: Holmes Beach is great for anyone staying at one of the beachfront condos or houses and for the residents living in the town. It has no public parking, so if you are planning to visit, taking your bike can be a good idea.

Anna Maria Island Beaches


  • No lifeguard station
  • Shorebirds and sea turtles nest along Holmes beach, so beware of the marked areas
  • Dogs and drinks are not allowed
  • It is great to watch sunrise and sunset and take pictures
  • Great beach for walk, running and do activities

BRADENTON BEACH: Where beach fun meets historic charm

Bradenton Beach is very close to Holmes Beach and it makes a nice morning walk to go from one beach to another, as they are tranquil and have stunning views to watch a sunrise. It is a quiet and narrow beach

Located in the town of Bradenton Beach, from 27th Street South to 4th Street South the beach has very limited parking spots. Here you can find one of my favorite restaurants, The Beach House, on the sand, and their Grouper Taco or Mahi-Mahi are to die for!

BRADENTON BEACH IS BEST FOR: It is perfect for visitors who are staying in the condos or beach houses since this beach has very limited parking spots. It is also great for shelling including conches, coquinas, clams, and more.

Anna Maria Island Beaches


  • No lifeguard station
  • Shorebirds and sea turtles nest along Holmes beach, so beware of the marked areas
  • Dogs and drinks are not allowed
  • Very limited parking spots
  • ADA parking area
  • Good shelling beach
  • Restaurants close by


LOCATION: Gulf Drive South from 5th Street to 13th Street

Cortez Beach is a beautiful beach located along Gulf Drive, with parking on the west side. This beach was originally called Hunter’s Point and it was founded in the 1880s and it is one of the latest remaining fishing villages in Florida. This beach has sand dunes with native grasses and sea oats, all combined with the sandy beach and the calm Gulf water.

Located on the Gulf side of Anna Maria Island, Cortez Beach is in the town of Bradenton Beach, and it stretches for nearly 2000 feet from 5th Street to 13th Street.

CORTEZ BEACH IS BEST FOR: Perfect beach for a unique Old Florida style beach, with a long strand of sand and a wild beach feel – I actually almost stepped on a snake after I park my car. It is a great beach for couples and some tranquil times.

Anna Maria Island Beaches


  • No lifeguard station
  • Shorebirds and sea turtles nest along Holmes beach, so beware of the marked areas
  • Dogs and drinks are not allowed
  • Limited parking spots on the west side of the street

BEAN POINT BEACH: A secluded paradise for nature lovers

If you love finding off the beaten path, Bean Point Beach is the perfect beach for you. This is the most beautiful beach on Anna Maria Island in my opinion.

The Bean Point Beach is located at the furthest north point on Anna Maria Island, and you can enter it at a crossroad on North Bay Blvd. and North Shore Dr.

Keep in mind that Bean Point Beach is located in a residential area, and there is no public parking. It is also nearly impossible to find a parking lot in the neighborhood and I last time I visited, I saw many cars driving around for a long time trying to find a parking spot.

BEAN POINT BEACH IS BEST FOR: Perfect for a relaxing day on this wild and natural beach. Couples love it because of the lack of amenities, it makes a tranquil beach. it is also an amazing spot for pictures, especially during sunset.

Anna Maria Island Beaches


  • No lifeguard station
  • Shorebirds and sea turtles nest along Bean Point Beach, so beware of the marked areas
  • Dogs and drinks are not allowed
  • It is great to watch sunrise and sunset and take pictures
  • Great beach for walk, running and do activities
  • No parking available – take your bike
  • Occasionally yoga and painting classes are held at Bean Point Beach

Dog Beach on Anna Maria island

I am a fur mom and I have two adorable babies: Cooper and Pingo, and as a good world traveler, I take my dogs on any trip I can. My dogs love road trips, meeting new people and dogs, and going for a swim in the ocean. But unfortunately, Anna Maria Island is not a very dog-friendly place.

There are only a few restaurants that welcome dogs on the outside patio. I recommend giving them a call and asking what the rules are, as I have researched online and some places that say they are dog-friendly, actually, they are not.

Many of the beach house rentals that accept dogs, will charge you an extra charge for your fur baby, and they have strict rules, such as they are not allowed on the furniture. And sadly, dogs are not allowed on any of the Anna Maria Island Beaches.

In case you decide to visit Anna Maria Island with your pet, they are allowed on these places:

  • PALMA SOLA BAY CAUSEWAY: Here your dog can swim along the shore and run in the sand. There is a lot of seaweed in the water, and the sand is not as nice as the beaches on Anna Maria Island – but my dogs enjoyed it and it seems that they didn’t bother at all.
  • BAYFRONT PARK IN ANNA MARIA ISLAND: Here you can enjoy a picnic at the designated areas and take your dog with you. There is also a playground for kids to play in.
  • TAKE A WALK AT ROBINSO’S PRESERVE: The park has wonderful views of Tampa Bay, a beautiful tower, and miles of walkways with pet-friendly bad stands. You can also go kayaking with your dog here.
  • FORT DE SOTO DOG BEACH PARK: This is a wonderful dog beach, where your dog can be unleashed and just enjoy the best life at the beach. It is located a 1-hour driving distance from Anna Maria Island.
  • HONEYMOON ISLAND DOG BEACH: If you are willing to drive, this is simply THE BEST DOG BEACH IN THE UNITED STATES. Well, I live here, and this is my backyard for me and my dogs on the weekends. This is a beautiful State Park located 1.5 hours drive from Anna Maria Island – but I recommend making it a day trip if you have the chance. You can find more information on this complete Honeymoon Island Travel Guide.
Anna Maria Island Beaches

BONUS: Anna Maria Island Beaches Nearby


If you are visiting Anna Maria Island and looking for beaches to explore nearby, you should consider “Beer Can Island”, also known as “Pine Key”, is located in Sarasota. This is a real hidden gem in Florida, and it is a stunning and considered a fragile eco-system.

To access the Beer Can Island, you need to take the Longboat Key Bridge, the bridge that connects Longboat Key with Anna Maria Island.

Honeymoon Island Caladesi Island Florida


Another beach nearby Anna Maria Island that you may want to add to your bucket list is Longboat Key. Here you can find waterfront golf, fine dining and luxury resorts.

In fact, its 12 miles of white sand beaches have helped to make this a luxury Gulf Coast resort community. The sand is powdery and soft, perfect for long walks and outdoor activities. The waters are the calmest blue, warm, and refreshingly clean.


Just a brief and scenic drive west of Sarasota and home to one of Florida’s most pristine beaches, Lido Key is known for its eco-tourism and sunset cruises. It’s the place to go for deep-sea fishing, dolphin watching, and sailing.

Things to do on Anna Maria Island

Where to Stay at Anna Maria Island

Most of the rental properties at Anna Maria Island are houses. After I had stayed in several different accommodations on the island, my personal preference is to rent a house.

Renting a house provides you with a fully-equipped, private space to call your own. With a full kitchen, you have the flexibility to cook your meals and save money on dining out. Plus, you can choose a house right on the beach, giving you the added bonus of a “private” beach backyard.

BEST OVERALL: Compass Hotel by Margaritaville Anna Maria Sound

Set in Bradenton, Compass Hotel by Margaritaville Anna Maria Sound offers accommodations with a restaurant, free private parking, an outdoor swimming pool, and a fitness center. This hotel is rated as awesome by the guests.

MIDE RANGE: Bridgewalk, a Landmark Resort

Located in Bradenton Beach, 1.1 mi from Coquina Beach, Bridgewalk Resort features accommodations with a restaurant, free private parking, an outdoor swimming pool, and a bar. Rated as awesome on Booking.com

BEST-RATED: Playa Esmerald Boutique Inn

Rated as exceptional by the guests, Playa Esmeralda is located in Bradenton Beach, near Coquina Beach and Bradenton Beach Marina. Only a 5-min walk to the beach, with a hot tub, pool, and very comfortable rooms.

BEACH HOUSE WITH A POOL: Coconut Cottage #1

This holiday home features 3 bedrooms, an equipped kitchen with a dishwasher and a microwave, a washing machine, and 2 bathrooms with a shower. It is located only in Holmes Beach and only 0.6 mi from Bradenton Beach.

Anna Maria Island Beaches Conclusion

If you are planning a perfect vacation in Florida and wondering what are the best Anna Maria Beaches that you cannot miss, this guide has just confirmed that you have plenty of options! From public to private beaches in Anna Maria Island, here you will find plenty of options to keep you enjoying the island paradise.

The Anna Maria Island beaches is a place where the seafood is always fresh as it can be, the white powdery sand and the turquoise water that invites to visit, and the sunsets are unbeatable!

If you are planning to visit the sunshine estate, you will love these articles:

Beaches on Anna Maria Island Pinterest

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1 thought on “Ultimate Guide to Anna Maria Island Beaches in Florida, From a Local Expert”

  1. Artigo completo, um ótimo local para fugirmos dos locais cheios de turistas e mais clichês. Boas descobertas nos fazem pensar em não ficarmos limitados. No Brasil temos uma cidade no interior do Estado do Paraná chamado Palma Sola… que coincidência.

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