What is Anna Maria Island Known For?

You’ve been looking into Anna Maria Island and are thinking about planning a vacation here. But you might be wondering, “Just what is Anna Maria Island known for?” Well, we have your answer!

Before we launch into the details, know that there are many Anna Maria Island beach rentals to choose from – but you’ve got to book early! AMI’s ‘in-season’ months find the island packed to the brim with visitors from all over the world who also flock to see what AMI is famous for.

Pelican resting on a rail
Photo from Pixabay

‘Old Florida’ Vibes

The first thing you will notice about Anna Maria Island is that it embodies the ‘Old Florida’ vibes, and that’s because it is a part of Florida that is steeped in history. The island was once inhabited by numerous tribes, and the only way to access or leave was by boat. The Timucua and Caloocan American Indian tribes lived here, and Spanish explorers like Hernando DeSoto arrived later. In 1892, George Emerson Bean was the first permanent resident of AMI, and the second was John Roser. Bean lived on what is now known as Bean Point.

Bean, his son Will, and Charles Roser cultivated the island into a little town with a school, churches, and a jail for drunk and disorderly visitors!

The early 20th century saw the construction of Magnolia Avenue School in Holmes Beach and the Anna Maria City Pier. A wooden bridge leading to Cortez on the mainland followed in 1921.

Today, AMI is a popular tourist destination and has a combined population of about 8,800 permanent residents, many of whom are retirees or families with small children. AMI has some singles and young couples who love the ‘Old Florida’ vibe.

Fishing Piers

Anglers come to AMI because they know they’ll get great catches from the island’s many fishing piers. You can fish off the AMI City Pier but know this one is often busy. The Rod and Reel Pier on N Shore Drive is 350 feet long and spans into the cerulean Tampa Bay water. The pier has a rustic quality, which speaks to that ‘Old Florida’ vibe. The end of the pier hosts The Rod and Reel Pier Restaurant, which serves fresh Anna Maria Island seafood every day. Grab a mahi-mahi sandwich when you need a break from fishing; it’s a customer favorite!

Bridge Street Pier/Bradenton Beach Pier has the ‘Old Florida’ feel too. Fancy an ice cream cone? Grab one from the nearby parlor and munch down on a white-painted bench nearby. This pier was developed in the 1920s and has many stores, restaurants, and other fun activities – especially fishing! Our Anna Maria Island vacation rentals are near many of these attractions for you to enjoy!

foot walking in white sand
Photo from Pixabay


One of the most popular things to do in Anna Maria Island is to simply hit the beach. But which one should you go to? AMI has quite a few. Anna Maria Beach at the northernmost tip of the island is serene and massive enough that you won’t struggle to find a spot. Here, you can peacefully relax under an umbrella, comb the beach, or swim in the tranquil waters.

Manatee Beach is a fun spot that’s family-friendly. There are restrooms, showers, and a playground for kids to climb on. As the name suggests, you have a good chance of spotting the Florida Manatee here, especially when the weather is a little cool. Holmes Beach is a quick walk away, so you can grab your lunch or dinner from one of the restaurants there if you didn’t pack a picnic.

Plan Your Vacation

Anna Maria Island offers a little something for everyone. Whether you are looking for exciting activities or a quiet relaxing day on the beach, we have the vacation rental experience for you! Contact A Paradise Rentals today and find the perfect Anna Maria Island vacation rental.

Coquina Beach has the lengthiest stretch of beach on AMI and is located at the southernmost tip. It is adorned with pine trees, so you get plenty of shade to cool off in after a swim. If you go to the northern end of the beach, the hubbub of visitors tends to quiet down. Kick back and see if you can spot a dolphin or two swimming in the distance!

Where to Stay

Anna Maria Island condos are packed with comfort and will provide you with the peace of mind you deserve on your vacation. These Anna Maria Island rentals are fully stocked with all the comforts you could possibly need, and they are great places to rest your weary head after a day of discovering why people love to visit AMI.