Welcome to this ultimate travel guide for getting from Orlando to Anna Maria Island! Say goodbye to tedious hours of online research because we’ve got you covered with all the information and logistics you need, presented in a user-friendly format.
Are you yearning for a dream vacation in Florida, away from the bustling theme parks and towering skyscrapers of Orlando? If you’re seeking a sun-soaked escape adorned with pristine beaches, thrilling activities, and a touch of magic, look no further than Anna Maria Island. This charming destination has an abundance of things to do and see!
As a proud local Florida girl, I’m here to be your guide along this picturesque route, sharing insider tips. Remember, this road trip isn’t just about reaching your destination—it’s about savoring every moment of the journey. Take your time, soak in the sights, and create everlasting memories along the way.
- Is That Worth It to Travel From Orlando to Anna Maria Island?
- Orlando to Anna Maria Island Overview
- Driving from Orlando to Anna Maria Island
- Flying from Orlando to Anna Maria Island
Is That Worth It to Travel From Orlando to Anna Maria Island?
Let’s start with the million dollar question: ‘ Is that worth it to travel from Orlando to Anna Maria Island?” – My genuine answer to you is “ABSOLUTELY”. With plenty of things to do on Anna Maria Island you will love this paradise in Florida, and to spend time on some of the most beautiful beaches in the country.
The drive from Orlando to Anna Maria Island takes approximately 2.5 hours, making it an easily accessible destination for a day trip or a weekend getaway. If you travel from Orlando by a road trip, you’ll be treated to picturesque landscapes, including lush greenery, serene lakes, and charming small towns. Consider making a stop at the stunning Lake Wales Ridge State Forest or exploring the quaint town of Winter Haven, known for its beautiful gardens and charming downtown area.
Arriving on Anna Maria Island, you’ll be greeted by a slice of paradise. This idyllic barrier island boasts pristine white-sand beaches, crystal-clear turquoise waters, and a relaxed, laid-back atmosphere. Some of the main attractions on the island include the Anna Maria City Pier, where you can take a leisurely stroll and enjoy breathtaking views, and the historic Bridge Street, lined with charming shops, restaurants, and galleries.
Orlando to Anna Maria Island Overview
|You can rent a car, fly, take a shuttle, or hire a private driver||127 Miles|
|Drive Time Direct Route:||2:00 to 2:30 hours – Check on Google Map Directions|
|Options for Transportation:||Budget-Friendly Option:|
|Most Convenient Option:||Hire a private driver from Orlando to Anna Maria Island|
|Budget Friendly Option:||Take a bus from the MCO airport to Anna Maria Island|
|Closest Airport:||Sarasota-Bradenton Airport (SRQ) is the closest airport to Anna Maria Island|
The best transportation option from Orlando to Anna Maria Island depends on your preferences and circumstances. If you enjoy road trips and have the time to spare, driving from Orlando to Anna Maria Island allows you to soak in the scenery and enjoy the flexibility of your own vehicle. The driving distance from Orlando to Anna Maria Island is approximately 120 miles. The estimated driving time is around 2.5 hours, depending on traffic conditions and the specific route taken.
You can also hire a private driver for convenience, but also, the most expensive option. Now if you are traveling on a budget the other option is to take a bus from the Orlando MCO Airport to Anna Maria Island.
On the other hand, if you prioritize convenience and want to save time, flying to one of the nearby airports (SRQ or TPA) is a more efficient choice.
Driving from Orlando to Anna Maria Island
The driving distance from Orlando to Anna Maria Island is approximately 120 miles. The estimated driving time is around 2.5 hours, depending on traffic conditions and the specific route taken.
It’s important to note that these distances and times are approximate and can vary based on traffic, road conditions, and the route you choose to take. It’s always a good idea to check real-time traffic updates and plan your trip accordingly to ensure a smooth and enjoyable journey.
- Depart from Orlando: Start your journey in Orlando and head west on Interstate 4 (I-4) towards Tampa.
- Merge onto Interstate 75 (I-75) South: After approximately 60 miles on I-4, take Exit 9 to merge onto I-75 South towards Naples.
- Continue on I-75: Stay on I-75 South for approximately 90 miles until you reach the Bradenton area.
- Take Exit 220 for State Road 64: Once you approach Bradenton, take Exit 220 towards State Road 64.
- Follow State Road 64 West: Merge onto State Road 64 West and continue for approximately 9 miles.
- Cross the Manatee River: You will cross the Manatee River via the Cortez Bridge, which will take you onto Anna Maria Island.
- Arrive at Anna Maria Island: Once you cross the bridge, you will be on Anna Maria Island, where you can explore its three towns: Anna Maria, Holmes Beach, and Bradenton Beach.
- Plan your departure from Orlando to avoid heavy traffic. Consider leaving early in the morning or during non-peak hours.
- Pack essentials for the road trip, including snacks, water, a map or GPS, sunscreen, and comfortable clothing.
- Research and book accommodations in advance, as Anna Maria Island can get busy, especially during peak travel seasons.
Flying from Orlando to Anna Maria Island
There are a few airport options to consider when flying from Orlando to Anna Maria Island. The primary airport in Orland is Orlando International Airport (MCO) and you can take your flight form here to either Sarasota-Bradenton Airport (SRQ), located closer to Anna Maria Island, or to Tampa International Airport (TPA), which provides a wider range of flights. See more details below.
Consider the Airlines and Their Respective Arrival:
|Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport (SRQ):||Delta, Southwest, United, and American Airlines operate flights to this airport.|
|Tampa International Airport (TPA):||United and JetBlue Airways serve this airport, providing an alternative gateway to Anna Maria Island.|
- Orlando International Airport (MCO): This is the primary airport serving the Orlando area and offers numerous domestic and international flights.
- Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport (SRQ): Located closer to Anna Maria Island, this airport offers convenient access to the island. Anna Maria Island is located just 18 miles – about a half-hour drive.
- Tampa International Airport (TPA): Although not as close as SRQ, Tampa International Airport is another viable option, providing a wider range of flight choices. It’s also just 50 miles from the Tampa International Airport, about an hour-long journey.
- Check Flight Options: Compare flights and prices from different airlines to find the most suitable option for your trip. Consider factors such as departure times, layovers, and overall travel convenience.
- Consider Ground Transportation: Once you arrive at the airport, you will need to arrange transportation to Anna Maria Island. Options include renting a car, hiring a taxi or Uber, or utilizing a shuttle service. Plan and book your transportation in advance for a smoother transition.
- Plan Ground Travel on Anna Maria Island: If you don’t plan on renting a car, familiarize yourself with the local transportation options on Anna Maria Island. These may include taxis, local shuttles, or even renting a bike or golf cart to explore the island at your leisure. See below for more details.
Private Drivers from Orlando to Anna Maria Island
Another option to travel from Orlando to Anna Maria Island is by hiring a private driver. This is the most expensive option, but also, very convenient if it fits your budget. The average cost for a private driver is between US$480-550 and it takes an average of 2.5 hours journey. There are two options that I recommend:
With a private driver picking you up from Orlando, and dropping you up at Anna Maria Island, you will say goodbye to any concerns about your arrival at Orlando-Sanford (SFB) Airport and embrace the convenience of pre-booking a personalized transfer tailored to your group size (accommodating up to 8 individuals). With this option you will opt for the tranquility of traveling in a premium car or minivan, ensuring a comfortable and leisurely experience throughout your voyage.
Indulge in a worry-free arrival experience as you land at Orlando (MCO) Airport, by pre-booking a private transfer tailored to your group size (up to 8 individuals) for your journey to Anna Maria Island on the comfort of a premium car, minivan, or minibus. Look out for your courteous driver at the arrival lounge, identifiable by the personalized name board, and sit back and enjoy the swift and hassle-free transfer. Rest assured, if your flight happens to be early or delayed, the driver will stay informed of its expected arrival time and adjust your pick-up accordingly, ensuring a seamless transition.
Best Transportation Option While on Anna Maria Island
If you are planning to visit Anna Maria Island, it is also important to know what are the best ways to explore the Island. Keep in mind that the island has limited parking. I recommend renting a bicycle, or golf cart, or getting there very early if you have a rental car. And by “there I mean anywhere.
If you’re staying on the island for a week or a few days, you don’t really need a rental car. You can rent bikes, or a golf cart, or use the free trolley to get around the island from 6 am to 9 pm.
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.
Orlando to Anna Maria Island Overview
The journey from Orlando to Anna Maria Island is a seamless transition from the vibrant cityscape to a serene island paradise. Just a few hours’ drive away, you’ll escape the hustle and bustle and immerse yourself in the tranquil beauty of white-sand beaches, turquoise waters, and breathtaking sunsets.
From the historic Anna Maria City Pier to the charming Bridge Street, the island offers a myriad of attractions to explore. So, leave the worries of Orlando behind and embark on a memorable adventure to Anna Maria Island, where relaxation and natural beauty await at every turn.
If you have any questions or comments, you can write below and I will be happy to answer.
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