Don’t let anyone fool you into thinking there isn’t any Anna Maria Island nightlife. The evening entertainment on Anna Maria Island is booming; you just have to know where to look. There are plenty of places to enjoy food, drinks, entertainment, live music, and dancing. We have compiled a list of some of the best places on Anna Maria Island to enjoy the night, and if you get there early enough, you might just be able to catch happy hour and mingle with the locals while you drink, eat, and be merry.
Ready to sit back after a long day in the sun and enjoy a cold one? There are plenty Anna Maria Island bars to get house cocktails or choice beer and wine. However, we must advise not to drink and drive on a quaint little piece of paradise because not only is that rude and dangerous; it’s illegal. There is a free trolley that runs from 6am-11pm, but if you’re out past that, the island is only seven miles long, so you can hoof it or get an Uber or Lyft to take you back to your rental.
Anna Maria Island Nightlife
Located in the heart of Anna Maria Island is offers the most traditional Anna Maria Island experience in every sense. Although it’s a sports bar by reputation, there is much more here than what meets the eye. You will get to hear some of the best stories from the locals while enjoying the wonderful atmosphere of the Island. The Waterfront is another great option for great drinks and decent food, all complete with a view of Tampa Bay. You can sit at the cozy bar inside, or ask for a seat on the patio so you can enjoy those views. The Waterfront is known for having some of the island’s most upscale cocktail menus. You would think with such an upscale menu; the dress code would match up but feel free to dress casually when coming to The Waterfront.
A favorite among many locals, and no, they are not all named Hank. The Sandbar Restaurant is a popular Anna Maria Island happy hour spot for cocktails at sunset. The location is what makes it so popular for many since its located right on the beach. This is the best place to experience outdoor dining drinks and entertainment. You’ll find an extensive wine list along with fun Florida beach-themed cocktails on the menu. The Sandbar also has a sister restaurant in Bradenton Beach called The Beach House which is also another great happy hour spot if your vacation rental is closer to that side of the island. Another fabulous option is Bortell’s Lounge, just a block from gulf beaches and Pine Avenue. They are open between 1pm to 1am. However, they do close on weekdays in September.
Cortez Clam Factory
Acute little bar that also serves great food, and you guess it…clams. If you’re looking to wash down a bucket of clams with a cold one, you found the right place. D Coy Ducks is a popular spot for locals and younger adults because it is your “average Joe’s” dive bar. Known to locals as “Ducks,” by no means is a scummy kind of place but more of a hole in wall favorite that offers live music and poker tournaments depending on the night you come. Drinks are pretty reasonably priced here which explains the appeal to the younger crowd, and smoking is allowed out back in the alley. The Anchor Inn is another popular local dive bar in Holmes Beach next to Mr. Bones BBQ. This little watering hole is popular with the biker crowd/grunge crowd but don’t let that detour you from this neighborhood favorite.
Bridge Tender Inn
Sounds like a place to get your breakfast in bed, but you can also enjoy a drink by their outdoor Tiki bar. Family friends, nice décor, and a wonderful staff makes Bridge Tender Inn a great option for a late-night cocktail. Drift Inn is another friendly bar located catty-corner to the Bridge Tender Inn. You will find great drink prices and karaoke in this little hole in the wall. Another option close by is Island Time Bar and Grill, located at the opposite end of Bridge Street, a little way down from both Drift Inn and Bridge Tender. Looking for a fun bar crawl kind of night? These three places are a great option for that. Island Time is a large restaurant with tons of bar seating and great food. You will find great drink specials, live music, and plenty of entertainment for the whole crew. Anna Maria nightlife offers an assortment of places to bar hop to if one doesn’t suit your fancy so have one on us and enjoy your night on the Island.