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3 Beautiful Nature Parks for Families Near Anna Maria Island

On and near Anna Maria Island, you can find some of the most ecologically diverse habitats in the country, ranging from coastal forests, to pristine white sand beaches, to salt ferns, oak hammocks and many others.

You can observe the local animals and plant species from well maintained and safe boardwalks and shell trails with your family.

Several of the preserves mentioned below are just minutes from Anna Maria Island or right on the island itself!

They’re guaranteed to be near any vacation home that you might rent from Anna Maria Vacations and are totally free to see!

3 nature parks for families

Robinson Preserve

Location: 1704 99th Street NW Bradenton, 34209 (Main Entrance)

Robinson Preserve is frequently rated as the top attraction near Anna Maria Island and offers over 600 acres of coastal protected habitat including vast salt marshes which are home to a wide range of different types of marine life including dolphins, manatees, birds and many fish species.

Here you can enjoy take in a breathtaking view of the area and Tampa Bay from a 53-foot tall observation tower, picnic at multiple scenic spots, hike or bike on well-maintained trails along the salt marshes and mangrove forests, and get some enlightening information about the local wildlife at the historic 120-year old Valentine House which now the Robinson Preserve’s Information Center.

Kayaking through the park is one of the most popular family activities for those visiting Anna Maria Island. Booking a kayak tour here is sure to be a thrilling one in a lifetime experience where you can get right next to the marine life of this remarkable preserve for photographs and videos.

Perico Preserve

12301 Manatee Ave W, Bradenton, FL 34209

Newly opened Perico Preserve offers a location right by Anna Maria Island across the Manatee Bridge. It is an exciting recently restored habitat to explore with your family including fresh and salt marshes, uplands scrub, and oak hammocks.

Walk along 1.5 miles of beautiful trails with swings, bridges and plenty of scenic overlooks and vantage points to take photographs and see the spectacular local birds and wildlife. You can hike on all of the trails and bike on some of them.

Experience some of the best bird watching opportunities in Florida at Perico Preserve. A large restored seagrass basin is a favorite feeding spot for many shore and wading birds. You’re guaranteed to see several species here in a carefully constructed environment that is designed not to disturb them.

anna maria island nature preserve

Coquina Baywalk

Location: 1301 Gulf Dr S, Anna Maria, Anna Maria Island, FL

The small yet beautiful Coquina Baywalk is easily accessed on the southern end of the island via the free trolley, so it’s a must visit attraction the next time you’re on Anna Maria Island!

Here you’ll get to view a huge range of species along the short walk such as small crabs, fish, bird species such as blue herons, pelicans, dolphins, sting rays, raccoons and others.

Located right across Coquina Beach, you can easily walk to the Baywalk after the beach, and there are also plentiful restaurants nearby within walking distance.

It’s not a long walk at all, and the boardwalk gives you a safe and excellent vantage point to see the fascinating wildlife and plant species in the area, so don’t miss it!

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