Top 5 Sightseeing Activities On Anna Maria Island
Anna Maria Island sightseeing is a unique experience unlike that of any other place in Florida! While plenty of Florida cities and towns are beautiful, there is an old charm about Anna Maria Island you just don’t find anymore. There are no high-rises, parking garages or large chain stores. Anna Maria Island is truly an authentic old Florida vacation destination.
During your visit there are a few spots that you must add to your sightseeing bucket list. Check out the top five sightseeing activities on Anna Maria Island.
Visit the Piers
While on Anna Maria Island you must visit at least one of the three piers. Each offers a unique piece of island history, and some great fishing too! On the north end of the island you’ll find the Rod & Reel Pier and the Anna Maria City Pier. Both offer views of Tampa Bay and the Sunshine Skyway Bridge. On the south end of the island you’ll find the Bradenton Beach city Pier with views of Sarasota Bay and the coastline of Cortez Fishing Village. Each of the three piers offers dining options, and is the perfect spot to catch sunrise.
The Anna Maria City Jail
It’s not a visit to the island if you don’t get your picture taken inside the old Anna Maria City Jail. Find it at the Historical Society Museum on Pine Avenue. No roof, no doors, no windows, no bar and no visitors for years and years!
Now a local tourist stop, the Anna Maria City Jail typically was used for overnight stays by “the rowdies” who had too much to drink at the local dance hall.
If you love nature and wildlife viewing, Leffis Key is a must! Designated as part of the Great Florida Birding Trail, this is a fabulous spot for bird watching with the occasional rare sightings too. Find Leffis Key on the south end of the island just across the street from Coquina Beach. Enjoy exploring Mangrove and salt marsh environments in under one mile of boardwalk and shell trails.
The Sandbar Restaurant
The Sandbar Restaurant might be one of the most notable places in all of Manatee County. Visitors have been flocking to this gulf front restaurant for decades. At one point in history the Sandbar had the biggest dance floor in the area. “Day Trippers” would come by steamboat from as far as St. Petersburg to enjoy dancing and night life. Nowadays, this hot spot is great for sunset, cocktails and is a popular wedding venue.
Historic Bridge Street
Historic Bridge Street is a great spot for sightseeing with shopping, dining and nightlife. Here you can enjoy family activities like a round of miniature golf, or wander into one of the many pubs for live music and adult time. There are many hangouts to explore while meeting the friendly tan locals.