Complete Guide to Anna Maria Island’s Beaches

Your next visit to Anna Maria Island is sure to be filled with fun activities. The island has a ton of history to learn about, seafood to indulge in, and nature to observe. But perhaps the most common of all the wonderful things to do on Anna Maria Island is relaxing on the beach! 

Luckily, this seven-mile island has tons of shoreline for you to discover.

Before you check into one of our vacation rentals, read through this guide for everything you should know about the Anna Maria Island beaches. 

man and kid walking on the beach

Where is Anna Maria Island Beach?

One of the first questions that visitors ask when they plan a trip to AMI is, “Where is Anna Maria Island Beach?” The short answer is that there isn’t one! This is a common misconception among those who have never visited the island before. 

Anna Maria Island is divided into three cities: Bradenton Beach, Holmes Beach, and the City of Anna Maria. While each of these cities has its own distinctive beaches, there is no Anna Maria Island Beach on the island. However, there are plenty of incredible spots for you and your family to set up your umbrella and enjoy the day on the sand. 

Beach Accesses

Bean Point Beach

The northernmost beach on Anna Maria Island is Bean Point Beach, located in the City of Anna Maria. This section is much smaller than many of the island’s other beaches, but the good news is that it’s not a popular tourist spot. In fact, many tourists don’t even know it exists! You can stroll along the shoreline for beautiful views of Tampa Bay and the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, bring a picnic lunch, or watch the stunning sunset with your sweetheart.

bean point beach

To reach Bean Point Beach from Anna Maria Beach Resort, you’ll want to head northwest on Gulf Drive toward 65th Street. Take Gulf Drive for about 1.5 miles until you can turn right onto Pine Avenue, then turn left at the first cross street onto North Shore Drive. Look out for a small white sign that reads “Public Beach Access.”

Manatee Public Beach

Further south, Manatee Public Beach is located in Holmes Beach, which sits right in the middle of Anna Maria Island. This beach attracts crowds from all around thanks to its family-friendly atmosphere and abundance of facilities. It’s arguably the most popular beach on the island! Many visitors will come here to enjoy the great swimming conditions, play a game of beach volleyball, grab a souvenir at the gift shop, or gather up some seashells. One of the biggest appeals of Manatee Public Beach is the on-duty lifeguards that work tirelessly to keep your family safe.

To reach Manatee Public Beach from Anna Maria Beach Resort, simply head southeast on Gulf Drive toward 64th Street. You’ll travel half a mile then take a slight left to stay on Gulf Drive for another 0.8 miles. Then, take a slight right, and you’ll find Manatee Public Beach on your right.

Coquina Beach

Continuing our journey south, Coquina Beach is located in Anna Maria Island’s southernmost community, Bradenton Beach. This section of shoreline is still quite popular but is noticeably less crowded than Manatee Public Beach. You’ll still find fantastic facilities for families like lifeguards, a concession stand, a playground, a multi-purpose paved trail, volleyball courts, restrooms, and more. This is an excellent spot for a stunning view of the Gulf waters and, if you’re lucky, perhaps even a dolphin or two! 

dolphins swimming

To reach Coquina Beach from Anna Maria Beach Resort, start out traveling southeast on Gulf Drive toward 64th Street. You’ll stay on Gulf Drive for about 1.4 miles before turning left on Manatee Avenue. After 0.2 miles, turn right onto East Bay Drive, and follow the road as it turns into FL-789 S/Gulf Drive North. At the traffic circle, continue straight onto Gulf Drive South. Finally, turn right after 1.3 miles to reach Coquina Beach.

Bayfront Park

Finally, heading back up to the City of Anna Maria, we can get to Bayfront Park. This section does have plenty of incredible beach access, but it’s also in an incredible location near many local shops and restaurants. This family-friendly beach is more known for the park section that’s the ideal location for a beach picnic! Your kids can enjoy the playground and run around in the large grassy space while you find some shade underneath a tall tree. Facilities here include restrooms and showers, pavilions with tables, grills, benches, and more. Bayfront Park is also just minutes away from attractions like Rod and Reel Pier. 

To reach Bayfront Park from Anna Maria Beach Resort, head northwest on Gulf Drive toward 65th Street. You’ll remain on Gulf Drive for about 1.5 miles before turning right onto Pine Avenue. Travel for 0.2 miles, then turn left onto Crescent Drive. After 0.4 miles, turn left onto North Bay Boulevard, and you should see Bayfront Park on your right.

Beach Parking

One of the best aspects of the beaches on Anna Maria Island is the convenient parking. Every beach that we’ve discussed has parking easily available, making it easy to bring your whole family and all of your things to the shoreline. For any of these beaches, if you don’t want to worry about finding a parking spot, you can head to the sand on the free Anna Maria Island trolley!

Bean Point Beach will be the hardest beach to find parking, but it’s still possible. You can find street parking spots in limited numbers in areas like the intersection of Fern Street and Jacaranda Road. Marked signs noting the beach access points should give you an idea of where you may be able to park.

At Manatee Public Beach, you can find plenty of parking near the entrance at Manatee Avenue and Gulf Drive. There is also ADA parking available here, allowing everyone to access the beach easily. While the parking here is plentiful, it does tend to fill up quickly since the beach is so popular. We recommend getting there early to secure a spot!

If you’re planning to visit Coquina Beach, parking can be found at the main entrance on Gulf Drive South or at 6th Street South. Beach parking in Anna Maria Island might be easiest here since the lot is conveniently located near the shoreline and spots are always available since this beach isn’t as crowded.

Finally, Bayfront Beach offers parking at 310 North Bay Boulevard. Again, guests typically have no trouble finding a parking spot here, but the lot does tend to fill up more quickly on the weekends. With a bit of forward thinking and planning ahead, you should be able to easily find a parking spot at any of these beaches! Make sure to always follow posted parking signs and observe areas where parking is not allowed. If you park on the street, be sure your tires are off of the main road.

Plan Your Next Stay

After a long day soaking up the sun and enjoying the wonderful weather at one of these stunning Anna Maria Island beaches, you’ll be ready to crash into bed and get ready for another fun day tomorrow. Our Anna Maria Island vacation rentals are the perfect solution! Contact us today to learn more about all of our AMI vacation properties and to start planning the ultimate Florida getaway!