Where is Anna Maria Island?

Aerial view of Anna Maria Island beach

Anna Maria Island is located on Florida’s southwest coast along the Gulf of Mexico. This beautiful barrier island is known for its white sandy beaches, turquoise waters, and a quaint, Old Florida vibe. The island is easily accessible and is conveniently located within 2 hours of several major cities.

The closest city is Bradenton, located just a 15 minute drive east. Although Anna Maria Island has many shops, restaurants and a grocery store, the Bradenton area has any additional amenities you may need during your stay.

Getting There

Traveling to Anna Maria Island by airplane is convenient, thanks to several major airports in the vicinity. Pretty much all of the bigger airlines fly into the airports below. Here are the primary options depending on your budget and where you’re traveling from:

Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport (SRQ)

Located approximately 20 miles south of Anna Maria Island, SRQ is the closest airport, and it offers a range of domestic flights. Ride sharing services offer affordable transportation to the island if you do not want to rent a car. It is also possible to use public transportation to get to the island from this airport, which can take up to 1.5 hours.

Tampa International Airport (TPA)

Situated about 50 miles north of the island, Tampa International Airport is a major hub with numerous domestic and international flights. Renting a car, taking a shuttle or a taxi are common transportation options from this airport to Anna Maria Island.

St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport (PIE)

Located around 50 miles northwest, St. Pete-Clearwater airport is another viable choice for visitors. The fastest way to get from this airport to Anna Maria Island is to rent a car for the 1.5 hour drive.

Renting a car is the most common transportation option to get from these airports to Anna Maria Island. There is also a regular shuttle service available from each airport, which can be convenient for larger groups. Taxis and ride sharing services are available as well, and usually cost around the same as a shuttle.

Free Anna Maria Island trolley

Getting Around

Anna Maria Island is 7 miles long, making it an easy area to navigate. A rental car will make your trip very convenient and allow access to attractions further away, but the traffic on the island can become crowded during peak tourist seasons and on weekends. For those who want to skip the car, there are several options to get around the island. 

  • The free Anna Maria Island Trolley runs the length of the island at 20 minute intervals between 6am – 10:30pm each day, with stops located every 2-4 blocks. The trolley is air-conditioned and has a bike rack on the front as well.

  • Driving a golf cart or scooter around Anna Maria Island is fun and convenient. Local golf cart rental companies offer a range of options at daily or weekly rates. The smaller vehicle size can make parking easier in certain areas, and hauling your beach gear is a breeze when you have a golf cart.
  • Biking around Anna Maria Island is a very popular activity for fun transportation that also offers health benefits. There are several bike rental companies offering a variety of adult and kid bikes, tandem bikes, e-bikes and more. The island has a range of bike lanes, paved paths and nature trails for visitors to explore on two wheels.

Where to Stay

Our Anna Maria Island vacation rentals are conveniently located within walkable distance to many of the island’s amenities and trolley stops, and most offer parking for rental cars or golf carts. Browse our condo and home rentals to find the perfect accommodations for your upcoming trip. Island Dreams offers Anna Maria Island and Bradenton rentals in a variety of sizes and price points.

Getting to this enchanting island is an exciting journey with no shortage of transportation options regardless of where you are traveling from. Explore the possibilities and plan your route to Anna Maria Island for an unforgettable getaway!

Oceanfront pool at an Anna Maria Island vacation rental