Your Complete Guide to Coquina Beach in Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria Island is a quaint paradise located just off of Florida’s Gulf Coast. This seven-mile stretch of shoreline is one of the last hidden gems of the Sunshine State, perfect for anyone who wants to indulge in a luxurious vacation but doesn’t want to deal with the huge crowds and high-rises of cities like Orlando and Tampa. 

Of course, the island is filled with incredible beaches throughout its three distinct cities. However, while you’re exploring all the beaches in Anna Maria Island, you definitely need to make sure you can carve out some time for a visit to Coquina Beach. This particular beach is perfect for everyone from solo travelers to couples to families with small kids.

Best of all, it’s just minutes from many of our most popular rentals on Anna Maria Island! 

How to Get There

dog out of car window

Coquina Beach is located in the city of Bradenton Beach, which is located at the southern end of Anna Maria Island, closest to the mainland. Luckily, it’s really simple to reach Coquina Beach from the Anna Maria Beach Resort or anywhere else on the island! You can get to Coquina Beach by driving, renting a golf cart or a bicycle, or getting on the Anna Maria Island trolley, an absolutely free service that features a stop right by the beach! 

If you’re driving to Coquina Beach and are leaving from Anna Maria Beach Resort, start by heading southeast on Gulf Drive headed toward 64th Street. After half a mile, you’ll then take a slight left to stay on Gulf Drive, then turn left onto Manatee Avenue. You’ll make a right turn onto East Bay Drive before continuing onto FL-789 S/Gulf Drive North. Once you reach the traffic circle, you’ll keep going straight onto Gulf Drive South. Then just turn right after about 1.3 miles to make your way to Coquina Beach! There’s a convenient parking lot with tons of spaces to accommodate all guests.

Once you arrive on Coquina Beach, you’ll immediately understand why it’s so popular. This spot is not quite as crowded as Manatee Public Beach (located in Holmes Beach in the middle of the island), but it’s still a great place for families thanks to the safe water conditions and the practically countless amenities. Lifeguards are on duty to ensure your family stays safe, and if you’d prefer to play on land, you can take advantage of the playground and volleyball court! There’s also a paved trail for those who want to walk, run, or bike past the gorgeous shoreline.

Wildlife You Will See

No matter which of the awesome Anna Maria Island beaches you choose to visit, you can always rest assured that you’re going to see some absolutely gorgeous wildlife. Coquina Beach is definitely no exception! Nature lovers adore Coquina Beach for its wide variety of marine life, birds, and other critters who wander the shoreline.

Coquina Beach is known for being one of the best spots for birdwatching on all of Anna Maria Island. This beach is popular with shorebirds that like to come and feed during low or high tide, so you can almost be guaranteed to see tons of different species any time of day. Just a few of the bird species you can expect to see here include herons, egrets, osprey, vultures, cranes, skimmers, storks, and seagulls.

manatee in water

Additionally, you’re bound to want to see some stunning marine life, and Coquina Beach is an awesome spot to keep your eyes peeled. If you’re visiting during the right time of year, you may be lucky enough to spot sea turtles making their nests or see the baby turtles heading back out to sea! Dolphins and manatees are pretty common as well, and of course, the waters around all of Anna Maria Island are full of all kinds of different species of fish. If you’re interested in fishing while you’re on vacation, you can’t go wrong here!

You can also look on land to spot smaller animals wandering around near the sand. Small lizards and geckos are commonly found running around all throughout the island, not just on Coquina Beach. One animal you don’t have to worry about seeing is the Florida alligator. These creatures are more drawn to fresh water and aren’t found anywhere near Anna Maria Island (and even if they were, they tend to avoid humans as much as they can!). 

What To Bring With You

Before you head out to Coquina Beach, you might be wondering what you should pack. You should start by bringing all your beach essentials to protect you from the sun, including sunglasses, sunscreen, and a hat. Be sure to think about what you’d like to do at the beach as well, whether you want to bring a book to read on the shore or a beach ball or Frisbee to play with on the shore or in the water.

beach umbrella

You might be interested in some bigger items like a beach chair or an umbrella. While you’re certainly welcome to bring those items from home, there are plenty of nearby equipment rental facilities that can provide you with everything you need for a great day on the beach. Additionally, you can bring your own food to have a picnic lunch on the beach, grab a bite at the concession stand right on the beach, or stop by a local restaurant for a quick meal with a stunning view!

If you find that you’ve forgotten something when you arrive to Coquina Beach, don’t panic. There’s a gift shop right nearby where you can grab your swim gear, hats, sunscreen, and more. Coquina Beach is also located near all the other shops and boutiques throughout Bradenton Beach, and you don’t have to give up your parking spot! You can simply hop on the free Anna Maria Island trolley to head into town if you need to. 

Plan Your Next Stay

If you’re not quite sure which of our vacation rental options is right for you and your group, our friendly and dedicated staff can help you select just the right spot. Simply contact us today to learn more!

Where To Stay

Coquina Beach is a popular spot for locals and visitors alike, but regardless of the crowds, there’s always a spot on the shore for you. When you’re done soaking up the sun at Coquina Beach, you’ll want a comfortable place to take a shower and freshen up for dinner or some extra quality time with your family. While it might seem overwhelming to find the perfect place to stay on your getaway, we’re here to help with your search.

If you’re searching for Anna Maria Island vacation rentals, we hope you’ll consider staying with us at Anna Maria Beach Resort! We have accommodations that suit any size group, whether you’re traveling with your partner or the entire family, and we are proud to be considered the top company for hotel accommodations on AMI. Our properties are luxurious yet affordable and place you right near all the best attractions on Anna Maria Island.