Memorial Day Weekend Things To Do and Events on Anna Maria Island

Tourists flock to resorts on Anna Maria Island every Memorial Day. The island offers an array of activities and events for guests to mark the unofficial start to the summer beach season. Lakewood Ranch almost always holds major events and will be one of the main go-to locations this Memorial Day, too.

Be sure to check the local calendar to see if any events have changed.

Activities

Anna Maria Island has a lot of activities to enjoy at any age. The island has a few events that take place on Memorial Day Weekend, but you’ll find most of the parties at local restaurants and on Main Street.

Food is an obvious go-to option for a lot of tourists, but there’s also a lot to see any do at this time of year. A few of the things to do on Anna Maria Island are:

Lay Out on the Beach

What’s the main attraction on the island? The beach. You’ll find that the majority of tourists book their stay at local hotels and motels because they want to enjoy the pristine waters. The best beaches in town are:

  • Holmes Beach
  • Coquina Beach
  • Bradenton Beach
  • Bean Point
  • Manatee Public Beach
  • Palmetto Avenue Beach

Umbrella and chair rentals can be found on most beaches, or bring your own beach items along if you want to skip the rental fees. The water in May is spectacular and perfect for anyone who wants to go for a swim.

The sandy beaches also offer ample opportunity for a beach picnic and time to work on your tan.

Take One of Many Tours

Tours are offered by several private businesses and individuals on the island. The top tours include:

  • Dolphin Sunset Tour, which is reasonably priced and allows adults to go out on the water to watch dolphins when the sun is setting 
  • Beach Life Food Tour, which is a little expensive and is often sold out. A tour is a half-day event that allows guests to explore local food hotspots and other additions to the island that most tourists don’t know about

If you have a higher budget and want to go on a truly special tour, there are private charters that allow you to stop at several parks and wildlife refuges.

Water Sports and Activities

An array of water sports are available with a lot of great tour options. If you want to venture into the water under the guidance of a true professional, a few of the tours that we recommend are:

  • Happy Paddler Kayak Tours & EcoVentures is the top boat and water sports tour on the island. There are guided kayak and paddleboard tours provided that allow tourists to see little-known local areas.
  • Egmont Key Adventures offers primarily boat tours, but there are also options for snorkeling and inshore and offshore fishing.
  • C Ponies Beach Horseback Rides is not a water sport, but you’ll still be enjoying the water. The tours allow guests to ride on ponies that love to walk through the water and up along the beach. If you want a land/water activity to enjoy, C Ponies is a great option.
  • 833 Let’s Fly is an outdoor activity like no other. The air tour allows guests to take a ride on a seaplane that flies slow and low near the beach. You’ll have the opportunity to be able to see a variety of wildlife along the way.

One additional activity that anyone can enjoy is birdwatching. The Florida coast is filled with over 140+ species of birds that either live or migrate through the area. Local parks and beaches offer great opportunities for bird watching, and you’re likely to see a variety of birds that are molted during mating season.

man holding flag

Events

Local events are held by the city every year and by several organizations. A few of the top events that are scheduled this year are:

Memorial Day Patriotic Symphony Salute

Anna Maria Island Concert Orchestra and the City of Anna Maria have teamed up for the past three years for a special salute to veterans and their significant others. The event will take place at City Pier Park and normally starts at 10 am.

The one-and-a-half-hour-long event is free to attend and includes a flag presentation.

The flag presentation is provided by the United States Marine Corps. Free refreshments will also be provided. 

Tribute to the Heroes

The Tribute to the Heroes is a local tribute to local heroes. Lakewood Ranch throws the event, which is a parade that lures in thousands of residents. The parade is held along Main Street and includes:

  • Businesses
  • Locals
  • Veterans

The parade is very busy, so make sure to arrive early if you want a good spot. There’s a pre-party which begins at 6 PM, and the parade often ends around 10 PM. Guests often stay for part of the parade and will scurry off to a local restaurant to grab a bite to eat well before the parade is over.

Weather

Memorial Day falls in the warm month of May when the highs average 86° and the lows average a comfortable 68°. It rains four days out of the month, but rainfall in May is significantly less than between June and September when rainfall increases significantly.

Water temperature averages 78.6°, with minimums of 75.6° and maximums of 81.1°.

Anyone planning to book an Anna Maria hotel for Memorial Day will want to bring lighter clothes for the day and may want to wear a light jacket at night. The weather is mild at this time of year, and it only rains four days out of the entire month. The beaches are perfect at this time of year.

Make sure to visit some of the top beach piers on Anna Maria Island during your stay. The island and surrounding areas have a lot of great activities for the entire family to enjoy.

Plan Your Visit

If you haven’t booked your accommodations yet, our boutique motel offers an escape from the plain, overcrowded hotels on the island!

Grab A Bite

Guests staying at hotels on Anna Maria Island Beach will find a wide variety of restaurants in the area that are highly rated and offer great cuisine all year long. There are tasty treats for all palates, including:

Ginny’s and Jane E’s Café

9807 Gulf Drive

Ginny’s and Jane E’s Café is an American café with an eclectic interior and great food. You’ll find unique gifts, outdoor seating, off-street parking, and great breakfast options. Ginny’s serves breakfast and lunch, with great takeout options, too.

Smoqehouse

1701 Gulf Dr N, Bradenton Beach

Smoqhouse is known for its amazing selection of barbeque and American food. The Smoqehouse is open for lunch and dinner. Locals recommend trying the restaurant’s pulled pork and burgers – they’re delicious.

French Table

103 Gulf Dr. N, Bradenton Beach

French Table serves French and European cuisine. There are options for kids, and you’ll also find a wide variety of seafood options available, too. The restaurant is known for its delightful crème brulee as well as their pasta carbonara and poulet forestier.

Isola Bella Italian Eatery

5904 Marina Dr., Holmes Beach

Isola Bella offers the best Italian food on the island. The interior is quaint with beautiful décor. Mediterranean food is the key item on the menu, with most guests booking reservations for dinner. The food is authentic with a great wine menu to accompany the meal.

Old Hamburg Schnitzelhaus

3246 E Bay Dr.

If you’re in the mood for German or Austrian cuisine, Old Hamburg is the place to go. A favorite among locals is the pork and brat dinner, and for dessert, the apple strudel is highly recommended. 

view of the pool

Be Our Guest

As the newest beachfront motel on the Island, we opened our doors in 2019 with a modern style, lagoon-style pool, lawn chess, cornhole and a picturesque thatched-roof tiki hut overlooking the beach.