What To Do Over Winter On Anna Maria Island

A unique charm descends upon this Gulf Coast paradise as winter wraps its gentle coolness around Anna Maria Island. While the island is synonymous with sun-soaked beaches and azure waters during the warmer months, the winter season unveils a different, equally enchanting side. 

As the crowds thin and temperatures become pleasantly mild, Anna Maria Island becomes a haven for those seeking a serene escape. In this guide, we’ll explore the myriad of delights that winter bestows upon this idyllic destination. 

From fun winter events and vibrant local markets to fun indoor events the whole family will love, discover the best things to do in Anna Maria Island this winter!

Anna Maria Island
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Winter Weather on AMI

Despite being in Southwest Florida, Anna Maria Island isn’t as tropical as you might think. Yes, the temperatures get very warm in the summer, including the water temperature, but to locals, it’s a big difference! 

Typically, you’ll see average temperatures in the low 70s, but this can fluctuate depending on when you plan on visiting in the Winter. For those from up north, you might still find this beach weather, but the beaches are far less crowded, with people in bathing suits during this time. 

Beyond the air temperature, the Gulf of Mexico’s water temperatures, which are generally very warm, are anything but in the Winter. While they’re not ice cold, they still hover between 65 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit, which is too cold for a lot of people. 

Another piece of good news regarding the weather on Anna Maria Island in Winter is that it’s not the rainy season. Rainfall is minimal here during this time, so you don’t need to worry about rain ruining your plans or making the weather feel colder than it is. Even though AMI is typically a beach destination, there are still plenty of fun things you can do. 

AMI Winter Events

The best part of visiting AMI in the Winter is that you can still spend time outside without heavy clothing or freezing to death. You won’t want to miss two popular Winter events while you’re in town for the Winter!

Anna Maria Island Winter & Craft Show

If you love supporting local artists and finding unique gifts and souvenirs, the Anna Maria Island Winter and Craft Show is a great activity for you. The craft show is held on Holmes Beach and features crafty individuals showcasing their work!

Some of the artists featured here include painters, woodworkers, glassblowers, jewelers, sculptors, and more. It’s one of the best Winter activities that you can attend when you want something different to do and buy unique and special souvenirs to bring home for yourself or your loved ones. The event is free to attend, and they accept nonperishable food donations to Rose Food Pantry, which will give you an entry ticket to win fun prizes. 

Christmas on Bridge Street 

By far, one of the best Anna Maria Island events you should make time for is Christmas on Bridge Street. It’s an annual event where local vendors gather to sell special crafts, holiday food and drinks, and more. The best part is all the Christmas lights and the live music that they have on their main stage. Bridge Street is just moments away from our Anna Maria Island resort. 

While you’re wandering around Christmas on Bridge Street, you have the opportunity to see Santa, get your face painted, create sand art, and try a variety of local beer, wine, and holiday treats. This free-to-attend event is open to all ages, and you can even bring your furry friend with you if they’re traveling with you. 

Plan Your Anna Maria Accommodation

With comfortable rooms and plenty of entertainment both on and off the resort, you’re sure to have an incredible winter vacation on Anna Maria Island when you book with us!

Indoor Activities 

Even though the temperatures are mild compared to Winter in other parts of the country, that doesn’t mean that you have to spend all your time outdoors while you’re on Anna Maria Island. Of course, there’s shopping and delicious Anna Maria Island restaurants, but here are two other popular indoor activities you should try to make your Winter trip even more memorable!

Kid looking at shark in an aquarium
Photo from Shutterstock

Mote Marine Lab

An indoor activity that visitors enjoy doing year-round, but particularly in the Winter, is visiting the Mote Marine Lab. Mote is an independent and nonprofit marine research lab that is dedicated to the conservation and sustainability of our oceans. 

The Mote Marine Lab has plenty of things for you to do and see during your visit. You’ll be able to learn more about the research that the marine biologists here are conducting, the history of the lab, and much more. 

It’s a fun yet educational way to spend some time while you’re visiting Anna Maria Island. One of the popular experiences that you can choose to do at Mote is their animal encounters. You can see marine animals up close, learn more about them specifically, and learn more about what goes on behind the scenes at Mote. 

Other experiences include eating breakfast with the sharks, walking on Bay Walk while learning from a marine biologist, an estuary tour, and kayaking. Depending on the weather, they even offer boat tours of Sarasota Bay. But the fun doesn’t stop at the Lab. Make sure to visit the new Mote Marine Science Education & Outreach Center at the Anna Maria City Pier for even more classes and animal encounters that are sure to make your vacation truly unforgettable!

family in a Sarasota arcade
Photo from Shutterstock

Livingston Amusements 

You’ll need to head closer to Sarasota for this activity, but Livingston Amusements is one of the best places for people of all ages to visit. This massive amusement center spans over 50,000 square feet and has something for everyone to enjoy.

It’s the ultimate indoor space where you can eat, drink, play games, and socialize with friends or meet new people. They’re open seven days a week, so you can visit whenever you want while staying on Anna Maria Island. 

When you head to Livingston Amusements, you can spend part of your day doing one activity and keep switching it up without ever having to leave. You can play pool, race go-karts, play arcade games, and play bazooka ball, all under one roof. When you need a break between activities or games, they have a delicious bar and grill filled with refreshing drinks and delicious snacks to enjoy!

Perfect for families, couples, and large groups, this is a must-see spot you won’t want to miss during your winter getaway!

Stay with Anna Maria Beach Resort

Looking for an Anna Maria Island hotel that everyone in your group will love? Look no further than Anna Maria Beach Resort! 

Nestled along the pristine Gulf Coast, our Anna Maria Island beach resort offers the ideal place to stay during your Anna Maria escape. Our thoughtfully designed accommodations are the perfect blend of comfort and luxury, providing a cozy retreat after a day of exploring the island’s winter wonders. 

Whether you’re planning a romantic retreat with someone special, a fun-filled family vacation, or just looking to escape the cold and soak up the sun, we have the perfect place for you. Don’t miss the chance to turn your winter vacation dreams into reality. View all of our Anna Maria Island accommodations and book your stay today!