10 Reasons to Book an Anna Maria Island Vacation | Anchor Down Vacation (2024)


If you know anything about Anna Maria Island, you know it’s an ideal vacation destination at any time of year. But if for some reason you’re still on the fence about planning your own vacation to the area, we’ve put together a guide to all the reasons you HAVE to come here! Read on to see our top 10 reasons to plan an Anna Maria Island vacation.

Prime Fishing Destination

One of the main perks of going to Anna Maria Island any time of the year is fishing! You can use many fishing spots during the cold winter, chilly spring, or hot summer. We love how fishing is an all-year sport and activity, so you can head to the pier, beach, or boat to try casting a line and see if you can pull up a hefty trout.

Need help with how to go fishing? Don’t worry about it! There are different types of this fun activity that you can try to see which one suits your fancy. One of the most popular ways is going inshore fishing along the Intracoastal waterways, which can be fun with a professional full-day fishing charter to plan for you.

Or you can head off in a kayak or a canoe to be out on the water, get some exercise, and bring your rods with a friend. We love this option for avid fishermen who want to go on a low-key fishing trip and already have all of the necessary gear.

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Suppose you are a new fisherman or need help preparing gear, setting up the lines, and providing snacks and drinks. In that case, we recommend using a professional fishing charter service. There are dozens to choose from in AMI, so you are spoiled for choice. We recommend using Reel Fun Charter in Cortez if you want to take a huge 23-foot boat for a large group of friends.

For those who want a long trip, AMI Excursions in Anna Maria Island offers full-day, 8-hour trips around the area that provide numerous chances to hook cobia and Redfish. Or try the Chase the Blue Charters in Holmes Beach to whizz along the water and go at high speeds above the waves between fishing spots.

Doesn’t fishing sound like fun? We think so, too! Book a fishing charter or choose one of the top spots to go at it on your own. We recommend spending a few hours at the Bradenton Beach City Pier, Coquina Beach Jetty, or Manatee River for a fantastic day with your friends, family, or kids teaching them how to use a reel.

The Best Beaches for Your Anna Maria Island Vacation

There is a plethora of beaches to choose from when it comes to selecting the best spot to hang out, play with your kids, hit the waves, or just relax on the white sand for an entire day. Some beaches have more offerings, like park spaces and playgrounds, whereas others are better for relaxing, soaking in the laid-back atmosphere, and taking a midday nap.

We love Bean Point Beach for going off the beaten path during your upcoming trip. This peaceful and quiet beach offers an unbeatable vantage point of the coastline, featuring unobstructed views of Tampa Bay, the northern section of the island, and the meeting of the waters between the Gulf and the Bay. Although it is not recommended to swim here, we love hanging out on the beach and watching the sunset.

The next beach that is a must-visit is the aptly named Anna Maria Beach. Of course, if you plan your trip to AMI, you need to go to the closest beach! Anna Maria Beach is right on the island’s northern section, providing you with a wrap-around view of the water, coastline, and wildlife. Make sure you take a trip to Rod and Reel Pier while you’re here to see the fishermen do their craft.

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Another fantastic beach to check out is Manatee Beach, a crowd favorite for those who come on vacation with their kids. This beach/park is excellent for families who want to stay the entire day and set up a spot on the beach for playing in the sand, building sandcastles, and boogie boarding. Manatee Beach offers bathrooms, shower facilities, and playground areas to entertain the toddlers!

For those who want a nature-centric vibe for their beach day, Coquina Beach is another great spot on Anna Maria Island. It offers miles and miles of white sand, tall palm trees blocking the views of the road, and quieter sections ideal for reading a book, taking a nap, and enjoying the sounds of the crashing waves and birds.

Cool Cafes

There is nothing better than waking up after a long day of traveling knowing you are going to get a great cup of coffee! Anna Maria Island has dozens of cafes, breakfast spots, restaurants, and cool takeaway joints that offer iced coffee, strong caffeine-laden drinks, smoothies, and breakfast platters that will keep you energized all day long.

We love walking into town in the morning to check out where to go for our first meal of the day. Head to North Shore Cafe for some of the best espresso drinks that you will find on the island, like cold brew, hand-crafted tea, iced smoothies for a healthy start to the day, and acai bowls for a sweet treat in the morning. We love the Acai Hemp Protein Bowl with acai, banana, and hemp protein!

Anna Maria Island Beach Cafe is another great spot to hang out and perch for a few hours as you read a book, get a tan, or have an extended brunch. We love how this spot offers a patio that is prime for sunbathing and enjoying the unbeatable Florida weather. Try one of their typical breakfast dishes, three-egg omelets, or specialty eggs benedict plates for a filling meal.

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Grab a Mid-Afternoon Beer

Another reason to come to Anna Maria Island during the spring is to enjoy the sunshine at all times of the day and cool off with a huge ice-cold pint! Sipping on a citrus IPA after spending a few hours in the water is a great way to cool off, treat yourself, and chill out on a hot summer afternoon.

We recommend going to Slim’s Place in Anna Maria to watch sports on the TV, chat with locals, and listen to live music every night of the week. Another great spot to get cheap beer and cool co*cktails is Brotell’s Lounge. If you want a place with tons of character and Euro-vibes, Freckled Fin Irish Pub is the ideal spot for Guinness, live music, and good vibes that carry well into the night.

However, one of the best spots that we think is prime for an afternoon beer is to sit outside at Island Time Bar and Grill on Gulf Drive. Not only do you get unobstructed views of the water, but you can sit in the sunshine and enjoy a few sips of some cheap beer as you chat with your friends. What could be better?

Boat Charters

Another fun thing to do on Anna Maria Island during your trip to this beautiful location is to rent a boat charter. Even if you do not know how to drive a boat on your own, or you want to have a few beers out on the water, you can rent a boat and have a professional captain take you out on the water for the day. What could be more relaxing than feeling the wind through your hair?

There are tons of boat rental and boat charter companies on AMI that you can select whichever one works for your dates and needs. Anchor Yacht Rentals offers 4-hour, 6-hour, or full-day rentals on their luxurious yachts that are extremely high-end, offering drinks, snacks, hot tubs, tanning decks, and the best of the best.

If you want something more active and ‘Floridian,’ rent one of the fishing charter boats to try your luck at bringing in a big catch for dinner later that night. Use AMI Charters to take a boat tour and set up a rod along the way to reel in huge trout or salmon with the lap of the friendly staff. You can choose from a wide range of private trip options that work for your unique needs.

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Another boat charter that we love using is Crysten’s AMI Boat Tours, offering boat-hopping excursions to various locations around the island, like Egmont Key, Passage Key, Beer Can Island, and Jewfish Key. The most popular tour is the Sandbar and Island Hopping tour featuring two sandbars, gear, and a fun time to be had by all.

Last but not least, we love the Ultra Yacht charter option. This really spares no expense and offers gold charters for $800, ‘Seafari’ eco-tours to see wildlife up close and personal for $500, platinum charters for $1,000, and diamond charters for a whopping $2,000!

The diamond charter includes a long trip on the 44’ Leopard Luxury Catamaran, air conditioning, full kitchen, three bedrooms, outdoor areas, water, Perrier, Champagne, and ample beer for adults to consume responsibly.

Super Seafood

One of the main reasons why people visit Anna Maria Island is due to the incredible variety of seafood restaurants, featuring salmon, shrimp, and everything in between caught fresh from the water right outside of your front doorstep. There are numerous restaurants offering everything from quick crab shacks to sit-down, high-end five-star restaurants.

We love going to Sandbar Seafood and Spirits for good vibes, fun, salty seafood, and tasty co*cktails as we sit outside and chat with our pals. This restaurant offers the ideal spot for locals and tourist alike to sit with their toes in the sand, gaze out at the Gulf of Mexico, and sip on a Bloody Mary or ice-cold beer. We love the aguachile ceviche and peel and eat shrimp for raw bar appetizers!

If you are in the mood for fresh oysters, there is nowhere better than the Rod and Reel Pier. This old-school restaurant offers the best of the best in terms of ambiance, atmosphere, service, and food, bringing back old-world Florida in the best way possible. We recommend ordering the peel and eating shrimp and crab cake to split with the table as you sip on a few beers and watch the sunset.

Our Amenities

Instead of going all the way to Florida to just stay in a cramped and crowded hotel room without any extra perks, staying with us at one of our properties from Anchor Down Vacation Rentals offers the best perks you can find. We have numerous houses, condos, and apartments, each with unique amenities that will make you never want to leave!

We offer properties all throughout AMI, dotted through areas like Holmes Beach, Bradenton Beach, and Anna Maria Island. Some of our properties feature outdoor pools for swimming anytime day or night, outdoor dining areas for al fresco meals, decks for watching the sunset in the morning, dog-friendly spaces to bring your beloved pet, and outdoor yard space.

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The worst thing is renting a beach house and showing up, only to find out that it is miles and miles away from the water. The good thing about our AMI rentals is that all of our houses are in a super convenient location. Do you want to be in a quiet neighborhood for a family-friendly vibe? We have the ideal kid-friendly house! Do you want to be right on the beach? We have that too!

Just browse our website online to see the best location and house for your unique needs. Some of our properties are located on Gulf Drive, which overlooks the bright blue water from your private patio. Other properties are within earshot of the crashing waves in the distance. What could be better?

Specialty Rentals

Not only do we have prime locations for all of our properties, but some of our houses are specialty deals. We offer many types of rentals, so you can choose a home that aligns with your hobbies, preferences, and vacation style. Do you want to have a tee time every day of the week? Browse our golf course rentals for added convenience and luxury!

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Customer Service

We don’t treat you like another number. No, we make sure you are well taken care of before, during, and after your stay. Our number one priority is the customer, so we make sure that you are happy and relaxed throughout your vacation. Our correspondence and transparency with booking, pricing, and property details establish a relationship of trust with all of our current and return customers.

Contact us today to start planning your dream vacation to Anna Maria Island!

10 Reasons to Book an Anna Maria Island Vacation | Anchor Down Vacation (2024)
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