Enjoy the Florida Outdoors! Top Sites to See from a Local’s Perspective
If you’re visiting Anna Maria Island to escape from the cold, or simply want a bit of beautiful beach scenery, there’s no better place. This time of year is perfect to get outside, get some Vitamin D-without sweating immediately upon entering the outdoors!
Check out the top places, things to do, and local recommendations:
Beaches: Did you really go to AMI if you didn’t go on the beach? With multiple public beaches to choose from, it can be hard to know which one to go with.
If you’re looking for a family-friendly space, check out Manatee Beach-complete with a life guard, playground, volleyball courts, café, restrooms and showers, picnic benches-plus the local (free) trolley stops there; or there’s plenty of parking if you prefer.
If you’re looking for something a bit more secluded, check out Anna Maria Beach on the northern tip of the island-perfect for sun bathing and a good book. Walk along the beach and see if you can find sand dollars, sharks teeth, and coquina shells! (Bonus: easy souvenirs!) While you’re on the North end of the island, be sure to stop by an AMI landmark: The Rod and Reel Pier. Have a stroll down the pier, try your hand at fishing, and finish with a local favourite- the Rod and Reel Restaurant serving of traditional fare since 1947.
Water Attractions: With beaches, bays, rivers and preserves, there’s plenty to do in the water! Weekly kayak and paddle board rentals are available from Kayak Jack’s Rentals , or grab a kayak and join them for a guided eco tour among one of the jewels of Manatee County-Robinson’s Preserve.
Parks: If you’re in Bradenton, check out Desoto National Park for some stunning views of the bay and discover ‘Old Florida’ from the perspective of the Spanish Conquistadors and Native Americans! Riverwalk- as its name describes- is a 1.5-mile trail alongside the Manatee River and offers stunning views of the water in addition to a playground, Splash Pad, skate park and general green space-perfect for a picnic! With Riverwalk’s close proximity to Downtown Bradenton and Main Street, be sure to use ‘Walk Bradenton’s free interactive website on your smart phone to discover the top places to eat, shop, play, stay (and park!)
Unique Tours: If you’re looking for a unique experience, why not try horseback riding in Palma Sola Bay? If you love to fish, Anna Maria Charters offers a variety of near and off shore fishing charters; or try your luck and spot some dolphins with a guided dolphin tour!
There’s plenty of things to do outdoors while enjoying some beautiful Florida sunshine! After a fun day exploring all that the island has to offer, find comfort relaxing in one of Ohana Hale rentals.