Things to do near Anna Maria Island
For nature and outdoor enthusiasts, the Sarasota and Bradenton area offers a number of great spots to enjoy some sunshine and fresh air while taking in all Florida's wildlife in its natural state. Here are a few of our favorite places to explore and things to do near Anna Maria Island.
Robinson Preserve - In northwest Bradenton, the Robinson Preserve offers 487 acres of coastal saltern, marsh, and mangrove habitat. Environmental activities include hiking and biking trails and a canoe/kayak launch. Additional amenities include observation towers and platforms, picnic areas, and a visitor's center.
Desoto National Memorial Park - also in Bradenton the Desoto National Memorial commemorates the 1539 landing of Hernando de Soto and the first extensive organized exploration by Europeans of what is now the southern United States. The park is a significant archaeological site where the Manatee River flows into Tampa Bay. The Riverview Point Trail offers perspectives of waterfront habitats and passes by memorials for early visitors to this shore. The trail winds through a mangrove forest on boardwalks at the point where the river and bay meet.
Myakka River State Park - A bit south of Sarasota is our favorite park in the area, the Myakka River State Park. Here, the majestic Myakka River flows through 58 square miles of one of Florida's oldest and largest parks. If you are looking to see alligators, this is your spot as you're sure to see plenty of hiking through the park. Boating, fishing canoeing and kayaking are popular activities on the water while hikers and bicyclists explore miles of trails and backroads.
If you love sports, you're able to find professional sports games to take in year round within an hour drive in the Tampa Bay area. The Tampa Buccaneers are the hometown NFL team and the excitement of taking in a Tampa Bay Lightning NHL hockey game is unmatched. Downtown St Petersburg is home to the Tampa Bay Rays of the MLB, but during February and March the Baltimore Orioles are in Sarasota and the Pittsburgh Pirates are in Bradenton for Spring Training so they are the areas adopted teams as well!
Bayfront Park Sarasota - If you're looking for a nice way to spend a while exploring downtown Sarasota, Bayfront Park is a great spot. Bayfront Park is a magnificent waterfront green space with a promenade, playground, tiki bar, restaurant, marina and a spectacular 360-degree view of downtown Sarasota and the beautiful Sarasota Bay. From here, If you're up for a walk you won't be disappointed to check out the view from the peak of the Ringling Bridge. It's an amazing view from which you can see downtown Sarasota, Siesta Key, Lido Key, Longboat Key, and the southern tip of Anna Maria Island. After your walk, cool off with a drink at O'leary's tiki bar while enjoying live music!
St Armands Circle - St Armand's Circle is well known to many as a continental marketplace. Located in the heart of Sarasota, only one block away from beautiful Lido Beach and the Gulf of Mexico, the Circle is a charming and graceful combination of past and present. Relax and enjoy award-winning restaurants, shop for souvenirs, high fashion and beachy home decor. You'll find everything you can imagine in At. Armand's Circle.