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European’s Guide to Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria Island sees a large number of European and other non-US visitors, and it isn’t hard to see why. The island is perfect for experiencing a true Florida vacation while not feeling so crowded and rushed. Here are some tips about making your Anna Maria getaway as easy and memorable as it can be.

rod and reel pier anna maria island

How to Get to Anna Maria Island

When traveling to Anna Maria Island, there are several nearby airports that you can choose to fly into. The closest option is Sarasota Airport, located about 20 minutes from the island. However, this airport is domestic, so it’s a good choice if you have a connection from another city, such as Washington, D.C., or Atlanta.

If you want a direct flight from Europe, your closest option would be Tampa Airport, approximately one hour away from Anna Maria Island. Other nearby locations include Orlando (two hours) or Fort Myers (2.5 hours).

Once you arrive, there are several options for getting from the airport to the island. Perhaps the most obvious choice is renting a car. A medium car in Europe is around the same as a small car in America, and all options have air conditioning. Several popular rental companies are Hertz, Dollar, or Budget.

Another choice is to enlist Blue Sky Airport Limo Service. Blue Sky can pick you up from the Tampa or Sarasota airports and deliver you to your Anna Maria Island hotel or beachfront vacation home. This service is wonderful if you do not plan to rent a car. Keep in mind that you will need to contact Blue Sky and pre-book your pickup before your trip.

anna maria paddleboarding and kayaking rentals

What to Do

When in Florida, there are a few quintessential activities to enjoy. Of course, you should try to take advantage of the gorgeous beaches and their breathtaking views. The beaches on Anna Maria Island are known for the soft white sand and the abundance of seashells, perfect for spending an afternoon with the kids or taking a sunset stroll with your sweetheart. Many beaches have picnic areas and equipment rentals so that you can spend the whole day enjoying the sunshine.

You can also try your hand at pier fishing, particularly at the Anna Maria Island City Pier. To fish, anyone 16 or older needs a fishing license, which you can obtain ahead of time. There are plenty of equipment rental facilities, so you don’t need to worry about bringing or buying a pole and bait. Sunrise and sunset are great times to fish, and you’ll be able to try for tons of different native Floridian species. If you’d rather fish on a boat, book a fishing charter!

waterfront dining anna maria island

Where to Eat

Anna Maria Island has some of the freshest seafood Florida has to offer, but no matter what you’re in the mood for, you won’t be disappointed. Some classic spots along the island include The Sandbar Restaurant and The Waterfront Restaurant, where you’ll find delectable dishes along with can’t-miss views of the Gulf of Mexico.

Not up for a full meal? There are plenty of spots to find delicious snacks and treats. Satisfy your sweet tooth at The Donut Experiment or Flip Flop Shop and Candy Stop, or grab a drink at the Village Café at Rosendale. No matter your palate, there is something unique for everyone to enjoy.

anna maria island vacation rentals

Where to Stay

Booking the right rental can make or break your stay, and we pride ourselves on being the industry leader in the area. Our waterfront rentals provide all the comfort and luxury you could ask for, and you’re only steps away from the breathtaking beach.

When you’re ready to book, contact us to learn more about our Anna Maria Island rentals. The island has so much to offer and is truly an all-around incredible vacation spot. We can provide more Anna Maria Island tourist information and answer any questions you have about visiting our gorgeous area.


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