Anna Maria Island Trip Hightlights 2024

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Anna Maria trip highlights! Lots to do and see, places to eat, and more. But the very best part is the BEACH and that turquoise water!

I thought I’d share a few of the highlights from our recent Anna Maria Island trip today! I love to share the places we stay also in case you are interested. But really, it’s hard not to share the beauty of this amazing place with the world!

Here are posts from previous AMI trips:

We’ve been more times than that. Once in 2017 for Thanksgiving which was fun!
But we’ve been going since 2000, our first time there.

Anna Maria Island Trip Highlights 

Bye, bye Virginia coastline and beaches!

looking out of airplane window at land and water

Hello, Florida beaches!

beaches on traffic sign in traffic/city

We love staying in different places every time we go. It’s fun to try new homes/locations! We have stayed on the bay side (right on the water that time, Thanksgiving…it was beautiful), down further in the Bradenton Beach area of AMI and Holmes Beach area. Holmes Beach (upper section of the island) is by far our favorite area to stay.

Here are a few of the areas we’ve stayed over the years. (red dots)

map of AMI

The water is just gorgeous. Who needs the Caribbean?!  ha! Seriously, though.

Hello, beautiful.


Heading from Tampa airport to AMI. Check out that ride!

crazy jeep creation

This is the second year in a row using Turo. We rented a Ford Bronco last year and this year we rented this Jeep. We’ve had a great experience both times.

jeep in front of pink house

You can also rent a golf cart to scoot around the island if you prefer.

We stayed in this pink house (rented through Airbnb) which was perfect for us. Loved the decor, and the pool out back.

swimming pool daytime

Nighttime swimming.

lighted pool at night

Piper loved being out there too.

black and white puppy with mouth open and eyes closed (smiling)

Yep! She went along with us too. First plane ride for her and she did great!!

Plus the location. Which was close to everything and a very short walk to the beach.

beach sign at entrance to walkway to beach

Lizards, lizards everywhere.

lizards on walkway

When I was growing up (right here on the coast of VA) we had lizards all the time in our yard/porch, etc. I haven’t seen any in many, many years though. Where’d they go??

I’ll share a few places we went. Some old favorites, like the Rod & Reel Pier for breakfast (on the bay side)…

rod & reel pier sign

…and the Tiki Bar.

tiki bar


funny tiki bar sign

ships wheel with skeleton pirate hanging on it

The Beach House Restaurant.

beach house menu

I just love their walkway coming into the restaurant. So pretty with the slices of seashells!

pretty floor

pretty flooring with seashells

Columbia at St. Armand’s Circle, of course! That is a “must visit every time” for the amazing food and “made at your table” mojitos with real sugar cane sticks. Yum!

making mojitos

And some new ones.

freckled fin irish pub sign

This “very much a dive” kinda place! Right down the road from our house.

The Doctors Office.

the doctors office restaurant

Not a dive! haha!
Such a cool place! My daughter and I went for a “girl’s night out”.

As soon as we sat down at our table they brought us each a yummy drink concoction in these little medicine cups! haha! Love it! Aren’t they clever?

empty medicine cup

Everything was just done so well.

drinks on table and menu

I got the short rib. It was delicious!

short rib dinner

Beach days, of course! Bean Point.

wide open beach at bean point

And who is that cutie?? (hee hee)

man holding drinks on the beach

My sister-in-law had these coconut drinks brought to us on the beach! Haha how fun is that?? They literally walk it right down to you.
We didn’t get a photo of the guy who delivered them but my husband posed for the photo instead. lol

coconut drink with straw and umbrella

Always have to catch a sunset or two.

sunset on the beach

beach sunset

To the left of that beautiful sunset was this AMAZING sky!

amazing sky that looks like clouds fanned out

surf with small bird

Piper paw.

tiny pawprint in the sand

The windiest day I’ve ever seen on these beaches on our last beach day. And the roughest I’ve ever seen this water. (we had a very windy storm that blew in)

very rough turquoise water

It’s usually so calm.

seagulls and rough surf

So windy it blew the sand covering my flip-flops quickly. My daughter and I finally went and sat where the sand was wet so we wouldn’t constantly keep getting pelted with that super fine sand.

flip flop buried in the sand

The water is usually more like this…

turquoise water and beach

…and this.

beach and surf

And yes, that is actually how the water looks!!

NO, that’s not true. It’s even more gorgeous in person.

water ocean surf and sand

Time to hop on that plane and head back to reality!

clouds from the plane window

I hope you enjoyed seeing a few highlights from our trip to Anna Maria Island.
Let me know if you’ve ever been or if you plan to go!

PIN it to save it!

Anna Maria trip highlights! Lots to do and see, places to eat, and more. But the very best part is the BEACH and that turquoise water!

Have a great weekend!



  1. My hubby loved the freckled fin! We went twice last time we were there. I would like to go back someday but my hubby was looking at Destin or fort Walton beach – shorter drive time because he doesn’t want to fly anywhere anymore.

      1. Hi Nancy,
        That trip looked amazing. I have now added that place to my bucket list. I am counting
        down the days to my vacation. My husband and I are going to Greece and Athen for our
        51st wedding anniversary. Never been there but will be going in 8 days. So excited.
        Thanks for sharing and I love all your ideas and projects. You give me inspiration.

        Have a blessed day!
        Lana Smith

  2. You’ve inspired me with your travelogue! Well done! Beautiful photos! Almost forgot how much I miss Florida. 😢 Hope to be able to refer back to this post when I’m planning a trip there for my daughter & me. THANK YOU for sharing this! ❤️

  3. Always wanted to go there – maybe some day, but we’d best do it sooner rather than later – we’re seniors, and I don’t mean high school! Have been to Destin/Ft. Walton, Gulf Shores and the Clearwater Beach area many times. Thanks for the recommendations and tip on the car rental, too.

  4. Love AMI. I live in Bradenton, so don’t go there during season. But my sisters will be here in Aug for our annual sisters week. We’ve rented a condo and will be footloose!

  5. I stayed on AMI last fall and was quite disappointed. While the beaches were beautiful the island was super crowded even in the “off season”. There is no parking to speak of. We tried to visit Bean Point and grab a drink down there but again no parking. We loved Coquina Beach which thankfully had tons of parking and since it was on the other end of the island pretty quiet and serene. Next time I would stay at a place right on the beach within walking distance of restaurants etc.

    1. Aw, I’m sorry to hear that! Yes, it can be busy but it still (to me) has such a relaxed vibe/feel. I think that is why I like staying up in Holmes beach area. The traffic at the roundabout at Bridge street and south from there is super busy. Sometimes you have to part just down the street from the beach access. We have never had a problem finding parking there but I know it can be busy at times. Luckily we always stay within walking to the beach etc. Coquina beach is definitely much more quiet, for sure! :)

  6. Nancy, I sure love your travels and your sharing with us. We don’t do anything fun anymore and I just love love love living vicariously through you! You pick the coolest places to go. Thank you for the imaginary trip with you!!! Hugs!!!!

    1. I have never seen any sharks there ever!! And you’d be able to the water is so clear. Now, that doesn’t mean there aren’t any! lol Glad I haven’t!! xo

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