Anna Maria Island & Bradenton  holidays

Anna Maria Island & Bradenton holidays

Deals from £507 per person

Holidays to Anna Maria Island, Bradenton and the Longboat Key Area transport you to a Florida gone by. Perched right on the Gulf of Mexico, with nothing for miles but sugar-white sands and sunkissed waters, this hidden gem is a chilled-out alternative to some of the state's more well-known locations. Enjoy laid-back days on the beach, kayaking adventures through the mangroves, and those world-famous sunsets.

This paradisiacal stretch of land also serves up a vibrant seafood scene, with quaint fishing spots and family-owned eateries. So make sure to grab yourself a grouper sandwich, or even catch your own supper off the City Pier! And while the island feels secluded, you're only 90 minutes from Orlando, 45 minutes from Tampa and a 3.5 hour drive to Fort Lauderdale.

Things to do

A small and intimate destination in Florida, loved for its slow pace of life, you’ve got an excellent fishing charters, wildlife tours and boutique shopping to explore.  

Fishing charters, boating trips and eco-tours 

Surrounded by the Gulf of Mexico, Anna Maria Island boasts an extraordinary fishing scene. Venture out to sea on a charter to experience catching your own trout, mackerel and flounder, or spot your first shark on a sight-seeing expedition. And if you’re feeling really fancy, book onto a private cruise for wine, cheese and those famous Florida sunsets. 

Anna Maria Island is also lined with a system of waterways teeming with wildlife. Grab a paddle and weave your way through the hidden mangrove tunnels along Lido Keys, to see ospreys, great blue herons, pelicans, wood storks, and bald eagles, to name a few. If you're visiting between March and December you’ll likely encounter manatees. While bottlenose dolphins make an appearance year-round, as they feed and travel through the shallows.

Sun, sea and the beach by horseback

The beaches along Anna Maria Island are pristine, offering miles and miles of soft sand and gentle waves. One of the longest shorelines is Bradenton Beach, a natural setting that sees loggerhead turtles lay their eggs along the dunes from May to October. The waters here are calm and perfect for swimming. At its southern tip, you'll find Coquina, the place to see remarkable shells. From here you can walk along to Leffis Key for the best views of Sarasota Bay. This scenic waterfront is lined with quaint shops, eateries and open-air cafes.

Ever wanted to know what it feels like to ride horseback along the beach? There is nothing quite like the freedom of galloping along the shimmering sands of Palma Sola Bay. Children as young as three can take part too. Trainers will take you for the ride of your life along the shoreline and into the water, even teaching you a few tricks while you're in there!

There are tonnes of watersport adventures to be had too. From jet skiing to surfing along the turquoise waters at Holmes Beach (a must-visit for the all-you-can-eat pancakes).

Bikes, scooters, segways and the famous trolley

Zoom around the island with the wind in your hair and the sun on your face. This beautiful strip of land offers smooth flat planes to ride the coastline by Segway, scooter or bike. You could book a tour to uncover the island's rich history, visiting its famous landmarks, beaches and natural attractions, or simply go your own way. How about renting a tricycle or tandem? You can even add trailers, tag-a-longs and bike seats for your little ones.

Top spots to visit along your trails include the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, Tampa Bay, Anna Maria Sound and Sarasota Bay. You’ll cruise over bridges, see lots of wildlife and cover plenty of ground. Visit the Venetian Intracoastal Waterways to spot eagles, tortoises, manatees and dolphins, or discover art and interactive sculptures along the Bradenton Riverwalk. And if you want to take in the sights from the comfort of an air-conditioned bus, ride the free trolley that runs from City Pier to Coquina Beach, stopping off at fourteen hotspots across the island. With one arriving every 20 minutes, you can just hop on and off at your leisure.

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Map of Anna Maria Island & Bradenton


Anna Maria Island offers great weather all year round, peaking in summer and cooling off a little from January to March and in October, with very little rainfall.

View live forecast

9 -10 hours
The nearest airport is Sarasota/Bradenton (SRQ), while Tampa (TPA), is just over an hour’s drive from the city.

Anna Maria Island and Bradenton are best for...

Laid back beach days: Many people choose Anna Maria Island and the Bradenton area for its authentic old-world Florida appeal, a laid-back, flip-flop lifestyle and beautiful sugar-white sand beaches and turquoise water.

Sunsoaked strolls: The vibe is very much off the beaten path. Forget freeways, high rises and mega malls. Here you’ll find sandy lanes leading to the sea, cute clapboard cottages and artisan shops and farmers markets.

Sampling seafood: Discover the historic fishing village of Cortez, one of the last of its kind in Florida and truly an off the beaten path outpost. Grab a table and a drink and enjoy its unique culture, centred around some of the freshest seafood.

Boutique shopping: In keeping with its unique charms Anna Maria Island is home to lots of small independent businesses and boutique stores, a lot of which you’ll find on Pine Avenue ‘the greenest little main street in America’.

Fast facts for Anna Maria Island

Language: The language in Anna Maria Island & Bradenton is English.
The currency used is the US Dollar ($).
Local time:
Anna Maria Island & Bradenton is 5 hours behind GMT/UK time.
Fly to:
The closest airport is Sarasota/Bradenton (SRQ), or if you’re planning on hiring a car Tampa International Airport is just over an hour’s drive from the city.
Flight time from the UK:
The flight time to Anna Maria Island & Bradenton is approximately 9 - 10 hours.
Tourist information:
Find out more from visit Anna Maria Island & Bradenton

Holiday destinations related to Florida:

Getting around Florida

By hire car: In keeping with the laidback lifestyle, it is very easy to get around and given its proximity to the airport, visitors to Anna Maria Island do not have to rely on the additional holiday cost of a rental car and rising fuel costs. However, you can hire one upon arrival.

By bus: Holidaymakers can enjoy fun and stress-free public transportation in the form of free and paid-for trollies. 

By trolley: Anna Maria Island operates a free, air-conditioned trolley, every 20 minutes, which runs the length of the 7-mile island and connects at Coquina Beach with the Longboat Key trolley taking visitors into Sarasota. Alternatively, you can rent a bicycle, Segway or golf buggy for a fun and inexpensive way to see the sights. 

Events in Anna Maria Island

City Pier Farmers Market: Every Tuesday you'll have the chance to buy some of Southwest Florida's best produce, from locally made honey, to baked bread and scrummy jams. The market is located at 103 N Bay Blvd and runs from 8:30am to 2pm through May.

Main Street Live: Every spring, on the third Thursday in March, the streets of Bradenton welcome local artists to play music alongside the craft fair. A great way to enjoy an evening with the family. Visit between 5 to 10pm.


Anna Maria Island safety and security

For up-to-date advice on travelling to Anna Maria Island & Bradenton, please visit the FCDO website.

Anna Maria Island & Bradenton weather

Temperature: The average temperature ranges from 10°C in the winter to 28°C in the summer.

When’s the best time to go?

In the summer months from June to August the average temperatures are around 32°C to 21°C with minimal rainfall (7-9 inches). While the days will be hot, you’ll find plenty of water activities to keep you cool. Autumn brings cooler temperatures, 15°C to 27°C, still warm enough to enjoy the beach, and less crowded than the summer months. Rainfall is around 8 inches in September, dropping to 2-3 inches from October to November.

Wintertime temperatures average from 10°C to 21°C (December to February), with 2-3 inches of rainfall. Spring picks up again with highs of 27°C and lows of 16°C. Rainfall stays low this time of year, around 3 inches.

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