Anna Maria Island Insider's Guide to the Free Island Trolley
We have to admit, being eco-conscious we love, love love the free Island Trolley on beautiful Anna Maria Island. What a great way to get you and the rest of your gang from one end of the island to the other in such a sustainable and budget friendly way. Who says being eco-conscious has to be expensive!
Here are our favorite stops along the Trolley Line.... enjoy!
Anna Maria Island City Pier
Jumping off at The Anna Maria Island City Pier is a great way to start your free tour of the island. Meander down the 100 year old pier and enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of true salt life in the village of Anna Maria. Try to find our names on a plank close to last bench next to the restaurant! Take some beautiful photo's of the prettiest and greenest Mainstreet in America. Stop a while to shop at the quirky and quaint boutiques along Pine Ave.
Our favourite spots to shop for;
Guys ~ AMI Outfitter's
Girls ~ Tide & Moon Jewelry, Libby's Jewelry and Island Cabana
Kids ~ Flip Flop & Candy Stop, Shiny Fish Emporium and Two Scoops Ice Cream
The beach is our next stop off of Palm Drive. There are many great restaurants in this area to grab a bite to eat (Rudy's Subs rocks!) or head down Spring Avenue to The Sandbar to catch the sunset while slowly sipping a cocktail. Located directly on the beach, you can choose to take a stroll along the Gulf of Mexico, look for dolphins or jump in for a swim. Beach yoga is also offered in this location.
The Sandbar Restaurant
Surfer dudes will want to get off at White Avenue in Holmes Beach at the cross streets of Gulf Dr and 85th St. There is beach access where you can catch the best waves on the island.
Insider Tip: If you are visiting during the summer months sign your kids up for the Eternal Summer Surg Camp. It's located here off of White Avenue and it's free! Watch the video here.
Coincidentally, there are also “Turtle Talks” offered at this same stop every Tuesday at 10:00 AM during the months of June and July. Head into the CrossPointe Fellowship Church for an educational talk and view videos about our nesting sea turtles that call Anna Maria Island home. It's fun! It is located at 8605 Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach.
Local Women's Sufer Phenom Izzie Gomez ~ credit West Coast Surf Shop
Next up... it's time to hit Holmes Beach, where Marina and Gulf Drive meet. This is where you will find some of our favorite beach decor, clothing shops and art galleries. We can never leave The Sand Dollar Boutique without something in our hands.
Insider's Tip is to stroll a little north on Marina Dr to 56th St and head into The Raider's Reef Shell Shop at the side of the building. This little gem has a plethora of shells to fit any DIY'er's dream! Saltair is a new boutique on Marina Dr that has great women's clothes and coastal decor too. Don't miss it!
Hop back on the Trolley and keep heading south to the Plaza on the corner of Manatee Ave and East Bay Dr. Here you will find all of your necessities, such as Publix grocery store and Walgreen's Pharmacy. There is also an abundance of Beach Shops sure to please the tourist in you. Island Bazaar is a great place to grab an Anna Maria Island t-shirt or beach bag. If you have a little extra time, you can head towards the beach for some of the best shelling on the island. Be sure to walk south towards Longboat Key for your best bet.
Bradenton Beach ~ Bridge Street Pier
Further south en route, another favorite spot to jump off the Trolley is at Bridge St in Bradenton Beach. Walk down 2nd Street to shop at the pretty artistic boutiques or stop in at some wonderful restaurants to eat bountiful local fare. The Bradenton Beach Pier is also a great opportunity to take some great photos and catch sight of a manatee passing by. Stay in touch with local festivals to time your visit to a fun local event through our Facbook page here.
Contact us for luxury accommodations on beautiful Anna Maria Island, Florida
Anna Maria Island Home Rental
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