Rainy Day Activities in Anna Maria Island and Bradenton

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!