Woman on beach in the rain

When you’re on vacation, it can be disappointing to wake up to raindrops on your window. But don’t worry – Anna Maria Island and Bradenton offer plenty of activities to make the most of a rainy day. Plus, staying in a vacation rental instead of a hotel offers advantages on the occasional rainy day, giving you the space to spread out, cook your own meals, and relax with your loved ones. Here are some of the top activities if you happen to get a rainy day while visiting Anna Maria Island or Bradenton.

Outdoor Activities

If it’s a light rain, don’t let that stop your fun! Grab your rain coat and an umbrella and check out these outdoor activities that have something for everyone.

Manatee Village Historical Park is an outdoor collection of historical buildings hosting exhibits about early Florida pioneer life. There are seven buildings to explore and it’s a short walk between them. Admission is free and donations are welcome.

Visit the Anna Maria Island Historical Society Museum for a glimpse into the history of the island and the first settlers. This free museum offers three historical buildings to explore, with scavenger hunts and docent-led tours available.

Fishing charters and boat tours will still be available on rainy days, and with most people staying inside, you might have them to yourself! Get up close with bottlenose dolphins with a dolphin watching tour from the expert guides at AMI Dolphin Tours, or book a fishing charter for in-shore and deep sea fishing.

Indoor Activities

Rainy days are the best time to plan some indoor fun in Bradenton and Anna Maria Island. Whether you are cozying up with board games or a movie in your vacation rental or heading out for a cultural experience, there are plenty of options for the whole family. 

Located a half hour drive from Anna Maria Island, the Ringling Museum includes an impressive collection of art, as well as a circus museum and the historic 1920s mansion owned by the Ringling family. This museum is an excellent place to spend a rainy afternoon exploring the variety of exhibits. Admission starts at $25 for adults and kids under 6 are free.

In Bradenton, the Bishop Museum of Science and Nature is another indoor gem. This museum features captivating exhibits on paleontology, Native American history, and the natural history of Florida. It also houses a planetarium with regular shows, and a manatee rehabilitation habitat, where visitors can see manatees up close and learn more about these iconic Florida animals.

Travel down Anna Maria Island to Longboat Key, where you will find the Mote Aquarium at the south end of the island. This aquarium and marine rehabilitation center offers the chance to see aquatic Florida animals from sea turtles to sharks, all within a facility protected from the elements. Admission is $26 for those 13 years or older, with discounts for younger children, and tickets should be purchased online in advance to ensure availability.

The Florida Maritime Museum is located between Bradenton and Anna Maria Island. This free museum offers artifacts and exhibits about local maritime history, as well as hands-on activities for kids. This small museum is worth a stop if you are traveling into Bradenton on a rainy day.

For shopping fans, a rainy day is the time to explore local shopping options. On Anna Maria Island, the Bridge Street Bazaar in Bradenton Beach and Pine Avenue on the north end of the island both offer unique souvenir shops and local artisan crafts. For those looking for a wide variety of stores and some great bargains, Ellenton Premium Outlets north of Bradenton has something for all tastes.

And of course, spending a rainy day relaxing at your vacation rental is always a great option. The flexibility, space, privacy and homey comfort of a vacation rental provides a distinct advantage over a hotel room on days when the weather is not cooperative. Rainy days are the perfect opportunity to prepare a home-cooked meal in your own kitchen and spread out for a cozy game or movie night with your loved ones. The freedom and comfort of an Anna Maria Island vacation rental truly make it feel like a home away from home.

Anna Maria Island and Bradenton provide an array of fun-filled activities for visitors to enjoy on rainy days. Whether you are looking for outdoor adventure or indoor entertainment, your vacation is sure to be memorable, rain or shine!

Anna Maria Island monthly rental

Anna Maria Island is a Florida gem that has captured the hearts of many snowbirds from northern states and Canada. With sugar-white sand beaches, emerald waters, and breathtaking sunsets, it’s no wonder that this idyllic island has become a popular destination for those looking to escape the cold winters up north.

Anna Maria Island Winter Activities

Anna Maria Island for snowbirds

One of the most appealing aspects of Anna Maria Island at this time of year is the variety of winter activities available. Whether you’re an avid fisherman, a beach bum, or an art enthusiast, there’s something for everyone.

Anglers will enjoy the variety of fish that can be caught in the Gulf of Mexico, including red snapper, grouper, and tarpon. If fishing isn’t your thing, there are plenty of other water activities to enjoy, such as kayaking, paddleboarding, or taking a dolphin-watching tour. There are several nature areas around Anna Maria Island where walking trails wind through the coastal environment and provide the perfect setting to observe local wildlife. Robinson’s Preserve is 600+-acre coastal preserve, and the interior of the preserve features hiking paths, kayak and canoe waterways, picnic spots, mangrove forests and a 53-foot-tall tower with a wide-open view of the Tampa Bay area. Birdwatching is also especially popular during the winter months as migratory birds move south on their own snowbird journey. 

Spending time on the beaches of Anna Maria Island is a must at any time of year, but fewer crowds and mild weather during winter mean you will want to be on the sand every day. Water temperatures are cooler, but rarely dip below 60°F. The island has several public beaches, from vibrant Manatee Beach and Coquina Beach on the south end to peaceful Bean Point Beach at the northern end of the island, offering endless opportunities to play in the waves, soak up the sun and enjoy amazing sunsets. 

Anna Maria Island is home to several art galleries, charming boutiques and great restaurants. For a classic Anna Maria Island experience, hop on a beach cruiser and ride to the shopping districts at Pine Avenue or Bridge Street Bazaar, where you can find local art, souvenirs and beach gear. Stop for some delicious local seafood or happy hour at one of the Bridge Street restaurants like Bridge Tender Inn or the Daiquiri Deck. Winter is also the perfect time to tee off at Key Royale Club on Anna Maria Island or one of the golf courses in Bradenton.

The month of December is filled with festive cheer and holiday activities like the annual Christmas Float Parade and the Winterfest Arts and Crafts Festival. January brings New Year’s celebrations followed by a calmer atmosphere and lighter crowds leading into February. For sports enthusiasts, the nearby Bradenton area is home to several spring training camps for Major League Baseball teams like the Pittsburgh Pirates, with games starting in February.

Anna Maria Island Winter Weather 

Anna Maria Island in the winter

Winter temperatures on Anna Maria Island are mild and comfortable, with average highs ranging from the mid-60s to the low 70s. The island has a relatively low humidity level during the winter months, making it an ideal destination for snowbirds looking to escape the cold without sacrificing comfort.

However, it’s important to note that the island can experience occasional cold fronts that bring cooler temperatures, so packing long sleeves and pants is recommended.

Anna Maria Island Snowbird Accommodations

Anna Maria Island monthly rental

With fewer crowds and lots of things to do, spending the winter months as a snowbird on Anna Maria Island is the perfect way to escape the cold and relax into the laid-back Florida coast lifestyle. With a monthly vacation rental, you will have plenty of time to soak up all that Anna Maria Island has to offer. Our fully furnished monthly vacation rentals on Anna Maria Island and Bradenton offer pools, fully equipped kitchens and other amenities to make you feel at home for a longer stay.

From beachfront condos with balconies to enjoy stunning sunsets to private waterfront oasis homes, our Anna Maria Island snowbird rentals have all the comforts of home – with no snow shoveling required. 


Kids surfing on Anna Maria Island

Bradenton and Anna Maria Island offer a wide variety of activities for families to enjoy together. From outdoor adventures to cultural experiences, there’s something for all ages. Check out these top 10 family-friendly activities and get a start on planning your vacation to Bradenton and Anna Maria Island! 

Spend a day at the beach

Anna Maria Island is known for its beautiful beaches, where clear turquoise waters and soft white sand make them among the best beaches in Florida. Coquina Beach offers lots of amenities for families, including parking, concessions and a playground. Manatee Public Beach is great for collecting seashells and playing in the waves. This is also the perfect spot for beginners to learn how to surf. On the northwestern side of the island, Bean Point Beach is a serene spot that is perfect for seeing wildlife and watching the sunset.

Play miniature golf

There are several mini golf courses in the Anna Maria and Bradenton area. This classic family activity is a favorite for all ages! On Anna Maria Island, The Fish Hole has a lush, tropical garden feel, complete with misting stations to beat the heat. In Bradenton, you will find excitement at Smugglers Cove Adventure Golf, a pirate-themed course with live alligators.

Visit a museum

The Bishop Museum of Science and Nature in downtown Bradenton is a great place for families to learn about the natural and cultural history of the area. It features exhibits on Florida’s wildlife, prehistoric creatures, and Native American history. Families can also see live manatees and watch educational shows in the planetarium.

Go shopping

There is no shortage of shopping options in Bradenton, where you can find chain stores and local boutiques for everything you need. On Anna Maria Island, the Bridge Street Bazaar offers a huge selection of souvenirs and Pine Avenue is a great place to take a stroll and stop into the many gift shops. Be sure to stop into The Donut Experiment where kids can build their own sweet creation.

Explore downtown Bradenton

This district is the center of culture in Bradenton, where you can find art galleries, museums and parks. The Village of the Arts is a unique neighborhood of art studios, boutiques and restaurants with an eclectic vibe. The Bradenton Riverwalk is a 1.5-mile long park along the waterfront, with a playground and splash pad for energetic kids. Families may also enjoy the Manatee Village Historical Park, an outdoor museum dedicated to the area’s heritage, with interactive exhibits set among restored historic buildings.

Explore a nature preserve

Families will enjoy the opportunity to get out on the trails and experience the local environment up close. Northwest of Bradenton, the Robinson Preserve is a 600-acre nature area that offers hiking, biking, kayaking, and paddleboarding, as well as the chance to spot wildlife like birds, turtles, and alligators. Next to the Anna Maria Island Bridge, Neal Preserve is a great spot for bird watching and taking in beautiful views of Anna Maria Island from a 20-foot observation tower. 

Go fishing

Bradenton and Anna Maria Island are known for their excellent fishing opportunities. Families can charter a fishing boat for a day of deep sea fishing or fish off one of the area’s piers. The Anna Maria City Pier is an excellent place for the anglers in the family to enjoy, with great fishing spots, beautiful views of the ocean and Sunshine Skyway Bridge, as well as a restaurant and gift shop.

Explore the island on two wheels

Riding a bike on Anna Maria Island is a quintessential family experience. Families can ride along the beach, explore local shops and restaurants, and take in the laid-back vibe and natural beauty of the area. There are several rental companies in the area that offer bikes for kids and adults, tricycles, tandem bikes and trailers.

Visit the aquarium

The Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium is a research facility and aquarium that offers exhibits on marine life and conservation. Families can see sea turtles, sharks, manatees, and other marine creatures up close. This is the perfect activity for curious kids on a rainy day.

Take a cruise

Getting out on the Gulf of Mexico is always a great time, and there are lots of options on Anna Maria Island. Among the most popular for families are dolphin watching tours, where visitors can see wild dolphins playing in the ocean, and will likely spot other wildlife like manatees and stingrays as well. Sunset cruises are also a fun way to enjoy the stunning colors over the ocean in the evening. 

With a wide range of family-friendly activities, it’s no wonder that families flock to Bradenton and Anna Maria Island. Book your vacation rental and start making some memories that will last a lifetime!