Anna Maria Island Florida Things To Do and See

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Hey friends!

I thought I’d veer off of the DIY, crafty, furniture-ish makeovers today and share all about our long weekend getaway this past weekend! We decided to fly to Anna Maria Island this past weekend, with my son, husband, and me. It’s a favorite destination of ours. The first time we went was back in 2000! Wow, I can not even believe that.
Why does time go so fast???

Anyway, it just does, right?! haha!

We hopped on a plane and went! So much fun. I have a love/hate relationship with flying. Do you??
I LOVE to get there quickly, I love, love, LOVE to see the beauty of the sky and land below. I spend the entire flight with my head glued to the window. But I hate being up in the air at the same time!! Yikes. lol
Turbulence is no fun either, which we had on the way there. Nope, me no likey for sure. Boo, thumbs down.

I want to share with you in case you’ve never been (it’s literally paradise) or if you are thinking of going and want to know about the VRBO we stayed in (which I’ll share below) and our first time using Turo. (loved it!) Plus some of our favorite places to visit.

Here’s another time we visited that I shared about >> Anna Maria Island Part 1 Anna Maria Island Part 2

Anna Maria Island Florida Things To See and Doblue skies and turquoise waters

I mean, who needs the Caribbean when you have this kind of water right here in the USA??
And YES, it really does look just like that. And better.
The water is crystal clear…all around you. You can literally see everything in the water. Just beautiful!

These pictures do no justice at all.

As you know, taking photos just is not the same. It never captures it quite like you see it in person.

So just keep that in mind as you scroll through. It is even grander or more amazing with your own eyes. I hope you can see how wonderful it is here.
But I also want to keep it a secret! ;) I am already seeing so many changes in the years we’ve been going. I’m hoping it retains its amazing charm through that growth, however.

I don’t know why, but as I mentioned above, I love looking out the window at the wonder of being above the clouds, the land in this amazing and peaceful space.

Plane sky view of clouds

We decided to get a car rental as this was the very first time we’d flown to AMI. We usually drive.
Turo was our choice. And I’m so glad we took a chance on it! You get to choose the car you wish to drive. Love that!

We chose a new Bronco. It was a great choice!

Man and woman in open Bronco

Just unlock two clips and push the top back and DONE! So easy.

LOVE it so much!

New Bronco with the top back

So much fun to drive too. I now want one!! haha! Of course. ;)
You can also remove all of it to have it completely open. Which we did but I don’t think I got a photo of it.

This is how the sky looked leaving the airport in our “open top” Bronco. Wow, that ring around the sun and deep blue sky (which didn’t show up as well because it was so bright) was just beautiful.

Ring around the sun in the sky

Hello AMI, we missed you!

Anna Maria Island Sign

We started our trip OFF of AMI actually. St. Armonds Circle is a favorite destination which is not too far of a drive. We love to eat at Columbia there.

dining tables at Columbia St Armands Circle

They have delicious food (our best on the trip) and mojitos made right at the table with real sugar cane sticks in each.

making mojitos on tray right by table

So good. Cheers!

saying cheers with mojitos

We even caught a bride and groom leaving.

bride and groom at dinner

How fun!

And by the time we left (walking around, browsing the shops, etc) the sky looked like this.

purple and pink skies with palm trees

Which transformed into this. Wow.

burnt orange skies with palm trees

Just the most beautiful thing ever. It was actually the best of all 3 nights we were there.
Nature’s color show!

purple and orange sky with palm trees

So many colorful and beautiful homes on AMI. This is large as most are smaller. But they are building large (MUCH larger than this) homes which I don’t love.
I guess that is just the way it goes!  I love the quaint feel of the older, smaller homes. There is still a lot of that but I was sad to see so many of the huge homes going up in places all over the island. (the last time we were here was 2018)

blue aqua house on the island

Our VRBO that we rented on short notice was perfect. Perfect size for us, perfect location, and that perfect “old Florida” feel.
Want info on it?? Here is where we stayed and I would definitely recommend it. It was very quiet, tucked away with a private drive, and close to both the bay and the beach. Win-win!

Here is the walkway to the beach. (and the most beautiful beach on all of Anna Maria Island, if you ask me)

palm tree lined walk way to beach

It’s about a 2 minute walk to this walkway from our rental.

Then this…

white sand and blue skies

And this…

huge beach with white sand and blue skies

It’s beyond glorious. Words cannot even describe.

beach bird and sand

white powdery sand and seagull

The sand is silky soft like white powder. Which is amazing and beautiful but just like powder in how it sticks to you!! lol

But I still love it.

The water, well, just look…

crystal clear turquoise waters

It really is all that.

Don’t mind me while I post about 50 pictures of it!! haha!

blue skies and turquoise waters

gorgeous turquoise waters

sand and water

We were at “Bean Point”. Which is literally the point (top) of AMI.

To the right is the actual point as it wraps around to the bay.

sand and seagrass

As I mentioned, our rental was smack in the middle of the northern point of the island so we could visit the ocean side within a few minutes or the bay side.
The bay side is good for watching the sunrise so we got up one morning and did just that.

morning sky and water before sunrise

There was a little bit of cloud cover so had to wait longer for it to get above those.

very blue and very orange of early morning sky before sunrise

It was so peaceful and beautiful though. The water isn’t clear over here like on the ocean side but it is still a beautiful blue.

blues and oranges and yellows of sky before sunrise

There it is.

sun coming up over the water

And while we were waiting, we saw all kinds of birds doing their thing.

Like this one! Wow! I watched this Blue Heron swoop down and catch this fish…then snapped these shots after.

heron eating a fish photo collage

You can literally watch it go down. Yikes!! Breakfast for this beauty!! haha!

Here’s a video of it.

And of course I have to show you what I caught it doing next! Too majestic and beautiful not to.

After the sun rose…

the bay with sun rising

…we went to eat right here where we were which is the Rod and Reel Pier.

wood dock on water

A cool little place that had indoor and outdoor seating. We had an amazing breakfast.
Downstairs there is a bar and you can fish out back on the pier if you like.

wood grain bar

We had great fun driving around in our Bronco with the top back. (or off) This shot is with the side and back window off.

lady in hat and young man in back of convertible

I’m seriously wanting one now!
Want info on it? I have no affiliation with either the VRBO or this Turo rental. Just sharing the love!
Here is where and who we rented from.

You can find my earrings here.
And my hat here.

Which I just love! It’s so easy to pack too. You can smush it into your suitcase and it comes out looking perfect!

I think hubby wants one too!! haha!

bronco front end

driving and palm trees

We went to another favorite spot, Kokonut Hut for lunch.

colorful umbrella tables on beach

tiki on sand

Another great place is the Ugly Grouper.

ugly grouper sign

Saw this while there, and had to share.

dog on back with sunglasses

Lots of shops for shopping and plenty of ice cream too. Oh my!

Heading to ice cream on our last night there. Our son driving and our nephew was in the front seat enjoying the ride and open roof.

two men driving convertible with hands up

A quick but amazing trip. Heading home!

plane wing in sky

I hope you enjoyed this post and all the things Anna Maria. It’s truly a paradise and I hope you consider visiting if you haven’t!

PIN it to save it!

Anna Maria Island Florida, things to do and see! It's really paradise!

I’ll see you back here on Friday with a post all about printables/graphics and all the things you can do with them!

See you then!










  1. Ohhhh, looking at these pictures made me soooo homesick! I was born and raised in Bradenton and I spent weekends and every summer going to Anna Maria, & coquina beach, and others. Yes, the sand is so white and fine. Now I’m on Fort Myers Beach… used to be pretty too until Hurricane Ian last Sept 28th. Still, Anna Maria is the prettiest! Lucky you❣️

      1. Thank you for sharing your vacation. I have never heard of Anna Maria Island. Looks like a beautiful place to visit!

  2. Yes it is quite captivating there in Anna Maria, isn’t it! My husbands cousin and her grown son and his wife all live on the island. My husbands family, well many of them live from Tampa right up to Crystal River area. It is extremely beautiful! I lived in Florida for 7 years back in the 80’s but I’m not into the heat and couldn’t live there any longer. I don’t even like visiting because it is just too hot and humid for me but definitely one of the prettiest beaches in Florida that I’ve seen. Your pictures are just gorgeous but you’re right, they aren’t the same as seeing it in person!

    1. Yes, it really is, Shirley! How lucky they live right there! Oh how wonderful would that be?! I totally understand about the heat. I love summer weather but it does get HOT! And yes, nothing beats seeing it in person! xoxo

  3. Hi Nancy! YES!!! We went there last year and are heading back next month. Cannot wait! I even starting a new eating plan mid-March to peel off 15 lbs before we go (down 12.7 so far) 💪🏻. Yay! One question- since you were just there – is the red tide over with in that area of the gulf? I see no sign of it in your gorgeous photos. Y’all look adorable, btw.

    1. Hi Vicki! Oh yay, that is so awesome! So happy for you!! And jealous!! haha…I want to go right back! ;)
      Congrats on the weight loss! Awesome! And well, I’m not sure if it continued on up or not. Didn’t even know about it until we talked to some people eating out one day and they mentioned they came up to our beaches because Red Tide down in Siesta Key where they live. Apparently it was down there and up in the Tampa area but not on AMI beaches. We had zero signs of it anywhere. Hopefully won’t be for y’all either! (oh, and thank you :) ) xoxo

  4. Wow, Nancy, that is a beautiful place! I live in Florida and have never heard of Anna Maria Island, other than from you. But now I want to go! And the VRBO was cute and seemed to be located so conveniently! xo

  5. I enjoyed every minute of “our” trip. It is so beautiful! I even liked my ice cream. I am a beach girl. I could sit all day and watch the ocean. Thank you for the breathtaking photos.

  6. Oh my word- Nancy! What a fun trip! I love “old Florida” and have never been to this place. I think I need to look it up! You sure would be a good travel agent! TY!

    Your pics are heavenly. It was in the 70s, then it snowed on Monday now it is 80. WEIRD weather. Hope that frost didn’t kill too much. I am worried about my lilacs as they were starting to bud. May be a poor blooming when it happens now. Ugh. Hugs!

    1. You would love it if you love old Florida! It thankfully (well, for the most part, except for all those large homes they are building) is like that. The weather is weird at home here too. It can’t decide what it wants to be. Not with swings like yours though, thank goodness!! I don’t want to see any snow until next year. lol I hope your lilacs will be okay! xoxo

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