Insider Guide to Biking on
Anna Maria Island
Here it is our best Insider information about Biking on Anna Maria Island
Read all about our comprehensive Biking Guide, full of bike paths, routes, and trails along with our Insider Tips on the best places to stop and see or experience epic island adventures for all ages. We've got you covered for a fabulous vacation with your family when it comes to riding bikes on Anna Maria Island, Florida.
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Download the Free City of Anna Maria Bike Route for the paths and routes on the north end of the island.
In Anna Maria, a bicycle trail exists. Instead of dedicated bicycle lanes on each road, the city's bicycle path is a mix of multi-use paths, shared with pedestrians, and unmarked sharrow roads.
The path journeys north from Holmes Beach down Gulf Drive to Willow Avenue, where bicyclists can make a left to Gulf Front Park or right to continue north down Jacaranda Road or Cresent Drive. Cyclists on Cresent Road can continue to Bayfront Park, take a left at the fork onto Gladiolus Street or loop into Jacaranda Road and take a right to North Shore Drive to cruise past the Rod and Reel Pier.
City engineer Lynn Burnett said future plans for Anna Maria include upgrades to Pine Avenue to include a multi-use path down the length of the major thoroughfare to allow for multi-modal transportation as part of the city's 10-year capital improvement plan
Burnett said shared roads would be marked with sharrow lane striping over the next few years. The east side of Gulf Drive is planned to have a new infiltration trench installed with a multi-use bicycle and pedestrian path erected afterwards.
Moving south to Holmes Beach, the planned path meanders from Gulf Drive east to 85th Street and down Marina Drive with a sharrow road along 83rd Street.
Another sharrow road at 72nd Street is planned to connect the Marina Drive eastern path with a western route on Holmes Boulevard. Multi-modal sidewalks are planned on the west side of Holmes Boulevard. The path is planned to follow Marina Drive south with accesses to Gulf Drive and the beaches.
A sharrow street is planned for 62nd Street to connect the trail to Flotilla Drive.
A multi-modal path is planned for 56th Street to connect Marina to Gulf Drive and the beach. Rather than traversing the intersection at Marina and Gulf Drives, the path is planned to divert along a sharrow road west on 54th Street to Gulf Drive. From there, the path is planned to continue to 52nd Street and Second Avenue where it breaks into several branches around the Manatee Public Beach. Dual paths are planned down Gulf Drive and Sixth Avenue until they converge near the Bradenton Beach city line to continue south to Longboat Key.
Some elements of the multi-modal path, an eight to 10-foot sidewalk along one or both sides of streets, depending on right of way allowances, are already budgeted through Holmes Beach. In the city's current fiscal year budget are items such as restriping and signs marking sharrow roads. Other improvements on local city roads are planned over the next several years. Burnett said improvements to county or state roads will have to be approved and funded through those agencies. Some streets also may be eligible for federal funds assistance.
Improvements along Gulf Drive are scheduled for construction in correlation with Manatee County's planned force water main improvements. The sidewalks and bicycle lanes will not be constructed until that project is finished, potentially as early as mid to late 2019.
The Holmes Beach local multi-modal path sections of the route were approved by city commissioners in March.
No official bicycle path currently exists in Holmes Beach, though there are bicycle lanes in both directions along Gulf Drive.
Bradenton Beach paths
In Bradenton Beach, the multi-modal path is simpler. Rather than meandering through residential areas, the path predominantly tracks down Gulf Drive until it meets up with the Longboat Pass Bridge. The plan is to continue the multi-modal path across the bridge and into Longboat Key. If the SUN Trail western route and funding are approved by the state, this will be the route the trail takes through Bradenton Beach, across Longboat Key and into Sarasota via the Ringling Bridge.
A secondary trail is planned to go through the community redevelopment segment of the city east of Gulf Drive on the east side of the street.
All multi-modal paths on the Island are planned as eight-foot sidewalks to accommodate pedestrians and bicyclists.
With the exception of paths through the CRA district, all Bradenton Beach bicycle and multi-modal path improvements will be paid by state funding when available.
No official bicycle trail currently exists in Bradenton Beach, though there is an existing multi-modal path on the west side of Gulf Drive south to the underside of the Longboat Pass Bridge along Coquina Beach. The current path is not planned to be incorporated into the future bicycle and multi-modal paths according to Burnett.
The SUN Trail
The western leg of the SUN Trail, if approved, will travel to Anna Maria Island via the Green Bridge in downtown Bradenton, continuing either down Manatee Avenue or through adjacent residential areas to where Manatee Avenue begins crossing waterways that lead to Anna Maria Island.
Funds for the SUN Trail have yet to be assigned. Burnett is hopeful funds will be allocated for the project by the end of the current Island transportation study.
One part of the study is determining if roundabouts will be installed at the intersections of Gulf and Marina Drives, Manatee Avenue and Gulf Drive and Manatee Avenue and East Bay Drive. If the roundabouts are installed, it will reformat those sections of the SUN Trail to accommodate curving intersections.
If the SUN Trail is implemented, it will feature two traffic lanes with two bicycle lanes and pedestrians sidewalks on each side.
Burnett said SUN Trail lanes will incorporate any existing bicycle paths or sidewalks if the route is funded to reduce cost and inconvenience to Island residents and visitors.
No existing bicycle paths or sidewalks are slated for removal as part of the Island-wide improvement project.
1. a favorite family hike or walk
2. the best beach around for families (and why)
3. water park, amusement park, mini golf nearby
4. good biking area (and info on bike rentals)
5. boat or train rides
6. nearby restaurants that are especially family friendly
7. the best ice cream shop around
8. kid-friendly museums, zoos, science centers
Best Kid Activities
Best Kid Beaches
Best Kid Restaurants
Aquariums & Museums
Mote Marine Laboratory Aquarium is a marine research center founded in 1955. They specialize in educating the general public through their aquarium located on City Island, one block north of St. Armand’s Circle. Explore the secrets of the sea via touch pools, viewable-working labs and exhibits. There are over 100 species of marine life to encounter. Mote marine also offers eco-adventure boat tours guided by marine experts. A fun and fascinating way to get a chance encounter with dolphins, manatees, osprey, bald eagles and other Florida wildlife. Ticket prices range from $19.00 - $27.00. www.mote.org
South Florida Museum in Bradenton will offer you a guaranteed manatee viewing. Rescued manatees that are being rehabilitated before being released back into the wild call South Florida Museum home. Watch the live webcam here (daytime only). The South Florida Museum is the largest natural and cultural museum on the Florida Gulf Coast, boasting a Planetarium, Museum, and Aquarium, it's a great place to explore at any age. Tickets range from $14.00 - $19.00
Busch Gardens is a family favorite. This amusement park hosts up-close animal encounters, thrilling rides and wonderful shows for all ages. Plan a safari through their Serengeti Plains on an authentic truck tour. Busch Gardens is only an hour and 20 minutes drive from Anna Maria. Visit www.buschgardens.com for more information.
Walt Disney World Resort is an iconic must-see attraction at least once in a lifetime! A short 2-hour drive from Anna Maria Island Home Rentals, Disney showcases all of your favorite characters in a multitude of theme, animal and water parks.
Once you are “Disneyed” out you can return "home" for a much-needed rest and some relaxation. Visit www.disneyworld.disney.go.com to plan your visit.
What to Do When it Rains
Fishing from any of our Anna Maria island piers is an adventure, also offering kid's a chance to see dolphins, manatees, Floridian fish, and pelicans. Children under the age of 16 years do not need a license to fish in the state of Florida. Expect to catch popular sportfish such as; flounder, Red Drum, Sheepshead, Snook, and Spotted Seatrout. Piers may charge a fee to fish from, please enquire at each location (Rod n Reel, Anna Maria City, Bridge Street Piers). Please participate in catch and release and educate yourself on the restrictions and what type of fish you can or cannot remove at the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission. Please note, It is illegal to fish at public park beaches!
The Fish Hole is a wonderful miniature adventure golf park for the kids located right in Bradenton Beach. Get your free coupon here for The Fish Hole.
AMI Turtle Watch & Shorebird Monitoring offer Turtle Talks June through July. It's a great way to educate adults and children of all ages on the essential habitats of turtles and shorebirds and best of all it's free, donations are welcome. www.islandturtlewatch.com
There are several parks and preserves on and around Anna Maria Island to explore. Neal Preserve, Perico Preserve, Robinson Preserve are the closest to the island. Leffis Key at Coquina Bayside is on the island. Ungarelli and Riverview Pointe Preserve are a little further away. Primarily used for walking, hiking, dog walking, bird watching and in some cases kayaking. Click the Manatee County Preserves and Conservation Lands link for more information on park times and activities.
Biking is a fabulous way to enjoy Anna Maria Island for any age group. Our recommended route for youngsters that need guidance would benefit from the mile long bike path on Coquina Beach.
Flyboarding. Older kids will enjoy this high adrenaline adventure. Imagine jet propulsion into the sky, flipping, and diving in the warm Floridian waters. Very easy to learn within 10 minutes. Video packages are available to remember this Bucket List activity. Kids must be 15 years or older with parental consent as well as a minimum of 100 lbs. Book Now