Top Areas to Drive From for an Anna Maria Island Vacation

Anna Maria Island’s beaches and laid back atmosphere make it one of the best-hidden gems of Florida, but you might be wanting to visit some other destinations throughout the Sunshine State on your way to Anna Maria Island. While we think AMI is worth a visit all on its own, it’s easy to integrate the island into a road trip! Our Anna Maria Island vacation rentals make it easy to visit the island as you’re traveling from other parts of Florida.

Arial view of tampa bay
Photo from Pixabay


The drive from Tampa to AMI takes about an hour, so it’s easy to make a weekend trip between the two destinations. Starting in Tampa, you’ll want to get on I-275 S from N Florida Avenue, then follow the interstate to Exit 5. You’ll then follow US-41 S/S Tamiami Trail and FL-64 W/Manatee Avenue W to 50th Street in Holmes Beach, putting you right on the island!

On your journey, you’ll have a stunning portion of the drive over a bridge that takes you across Old Tampa Bay. This is definitely the time you’ll want to have your camera ready!

Your trip will also take you through St. Petersburg, where you can spend some time relaxing at 3 Daughters Brewing or make a pit stop at Tropicana Field, home of the MLB’s Tampa Bay Rays! You’ll get some more time driving over the water before you reach Terra Ceia and then AMI.


From Orlando, it takes about two hours to reach Anna Maria Island, which still gives you plenty of time to explore. The trip is really straightforward, taking you from I-4 W and I-75 S to US-41 S/S Tamiami Trail in Manatee County. Take Exit 2 from I-275 N, then follow US-41 S and FL-64 W to 50th Street in Holmes Beach.

Of course, there’s plenty to do in Orlando itself, including Walt Disney World and Universal Studios. You’ll pass near Lakeland and will get pretty close to Tampa on your way, so you could easily stop off in the city if you choose. Once you reach Bradenton (located on the mainland, not to be confused with AMI’s Bradenton Beach), you have tons of flea markets, breweries, art exhibits, and more to explore!

Plan Your Vacation

Anna Maria Island is the perfect beach destination for your next family vacation. Enjoy a road trip from any one of these towns. Find the right vacation rental to have the perfect family getaway!


Lakeland is between Orlando and AMI, but if you’re leaving from this city, it’ll take you about 1 hour and 30 minutes to reach the island. Much like the other trips we’ve discussed, you’ll get on I-4 W and I-75 S to US-41 S. Take Exit 2 from I-275 N, then follow US-41 S all the way to the island.

If you’re in Lakeland in the spring, stop by Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium to watch the Detroit Tigers play! The Silver Moon Drive-In Theater is another popular stop in Lakeland. Dinosaur World is on your way as well, which your dino-loving kids will absolutely die for! You’ll also pass quite a few golf courses along the way if you want to try to fit in a quick game.

Arial view of miami
Photo from Pixabay


Miami is a longer drive at almost 4 hours, but it’s still a completely achievable road trip. For this journey, you’ll get on I-95 N in Miami, then take I-75 N to FL-64 W. Take Exit 220 from I-75 N, then follow FL-64 W onto the island.

Traveling from Miami gives you the perfect opportunity to experience Florida’s wildlife! You’ll drive right past attractions like the Francis S. Taylor Wildlife Management Area, Big Cypress National Preserve, and Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge, among others. There are tons of stops you can make to give you a taste of the Everglades as you travel to AMI.

Directions to Anna Maria Island are simple and quick from just about anywhere in South Florida, making AMI the perfect spot on your road trip itinerary. You can truly customize your road trip to hit the attractions you’re most interested in. At A Paradise Rentals, we are proud to offer Anna Maria Island rentals that are great for any group passing through. Contact us today to learn more about our Bradenton Beach rentals and all of our AMI accommodations.