Ultimate Guide to Manatee Public Beach (in 2023)

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Welcome to Manatee Public Beach in Florida, USA.


In this blog post, we’ll cover EVERYTHING you need to know about the Manatee Anna Maria Public Beach (location, to-do’s, amenities, where to stay…).


BONUS: We’ll add some inside tips and Instagrammable spots inside this definitive guide!


Let’s get started!


Manatee Public Beach (also known as Anna Maria Public Beach) is situated near Holmes Beach, in the center of Anna Maria Island, Florida. The Anna Maria Public Beach is easily accessible from any place on the island due to its location right off GULF DRIVE.


This 7-acre beach offers a variety of attractions in addition to being a great place for beachgoers. There are tidy RESTROOMS, GRILLS, PICNIC tables, and even a GIFT shop. Since the beach is open from dawn until 10 p.m., guests may take in the breathtaking sunrises and sunsets over the Gulf of Mexico.


The Anna Maria Island Beach Café, which opens at 7 in the morning and provides a fantastic starting place for your outdoor activity day, is located just a few steps from the water.

Things To Do at Manatee Public Beach

There are 8 recommended things you can do at Manatee Public Beach. We listed them all below, some offer inside tips that not many tourists know!


  • Swimming: The clear, warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico make for an excellent swimming experience. Lifeguards are on duty during the day, ensuring your safety while you enjoy the water.
  • Sunbathing: With its beautiful white sands, Manatee Public Beach is an ideal spot for sunbathing. Just don’t forget to apply sunscreen! INSIDE TIP: as the island is located on the eastern coast of Florida, you can clearly see the sun rising from the beach! This is definitely worth being on INSTAGRAM!
  • Picnicking: The beach offers picnic tables and grills, perfect for a family outing or a romantic getaway. You can prepare your own meal or grab something from the nearby Anna Maria Island Beach Cafe. INSIDE TIP: bring your own meat and heat it up using one of the grills that are available.


It gets even better!


  • Beach Volleyball: Manatee Public Beach has beach volleyball courts available, providing a fun and energetic way to enjoy the outdoors.
  • Bird Watching: The beach is home to a variety of bird species, making it a great spot for bird watchers.
  • Photography: Whether you’re capturing the stunning sunrises and sunsets, the wildlife, or just the beautiful beach scenery, Manatee Public Beach is a photographer’s paradise.
  • Shopping: There’s a gift shop located on the beach where you can buy souvenirs, beach gear, and other items.
  • Walking and Jogging: The beach is a great place for a morning jog or a leisurely evening walk. The soft sand provides a good workout, and the views are unbeatable.


REMEMBER: the beach is open from sunrise to 10 p.m., giving you plenty of time to enjoy these activities.

Manatee Public Beach
Manatee Public Beach


Public Transit: You can use the local public transit system to reach Manatee Public Beach. There are 4 ways to get from Sarasota/Bradenton Airport (SRQ) to Manatee County Beach by bus, taxi, car or towncar. 


INSIDE TIP: Use the Free Trolley. The quickest way to reach Manatee Public Beach is by taking the free trolley on the island that drops you right at the beach. Anna Maria Island has its own free public trolley transport system, providing transportation from the north to the south end of the island every 20-30 minutes. The trolley also has three main stops including Manatee Public Beach. This not only saves you from the hassle of parking but also provides a scenic journey through the island.


Beach ConneXion Shuttle: Manatee County also launched a new fare-free transit service, the Beach ConneXion Shuttle, which runs along Manatee Avenue between 75th Street West and Manatee County Public Beach.


Car: If you prefer driving, there are three access points to the Anna Maria Island Public Beach which makes it easy to get to and enjoy. One of the known access points is via SR 64 (Manatee Ave) leading west to a parking lot. There is plenty of free parking available at the beach.


Walking or Biking: Anna Maria Island is convenient to walk or bike, especially if you are staying nearby.

Manatee Public Beach

Best time to visit

Peak Season (High Tourist Volume): The busiest months at Manatee Public Beach are FEBRUARY through APRIL. With the summer months as the busiest times. This is when most tourists visit, so if you enjoy a lively atmosphere, this would be the ideal time to go.


Off-Peak Season (Less Crowded): If you prefer a quieter beach experience with fewer people around, consider visiting outside of these peak months. Even during busier times, you can still find a spot on the Manatee beach to claim as your own.


Daily Timing: The park is open from sunrise to 10 p.m. You can arrive early in the morning for a beachside meal or head out in the late afternoon to view the sunset.


Weather Considerations: Florida’s weather is typically warm year-round, making it a great destination for beach-goers. However, SUMMER (June through September) can be quite hot and humid, with occasional thunderstorms. WINTER (December through February), on the other hand, offers milder and more comfortable temperatures.


Wildlife Viewing (Sea Turtles): SEA TURTLE SEASON runs from May 1 – October 31. During this period, you have a chance to observe these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat. Remember to view and photograph wildlife from a distance and do not approach them.

Waterline Marina Resort & Beach Club
Waterline Marina Resort & Beach Club

Where To Stay

Sure, here are some of the best places to stay near Manatee Public Beach, categorized by luxury, mid-budget, and budget options:


Luxury Option

Waterline Marina Resort & Beach Club: This upscale resort offers elegant suites, a marina, and a beach club. It’s also conveniently located close to Manatee Public Beach.


Mid-Budget Option

Anna Maria Beach Resort: This resort offers comfortable rooms and is known for its friendly staff and convenient location close to Manatee Public Beach.


Budget Option

Haley’s at Anna Maria Island Inn: This budget-friendly option provides clean and comfortable accommodations. It’s a great choice for travelers looking for value without compromising on proximity to the Anna Maria Public Beach.

Anna Maria Public Beach


Below we listed our recommended restaurants that are very close to Manatee Public Beach:

  • Anna Maria Island Beach Cafe: This casual dining spot is located right on the beach and offers a variety of food options.
  • Skinny’s Place: Known for its delicious burgers, Skinny’s is a popular choice and it’s just across from the Manatee public beach.
  • Beach Bistro: This is an upscale dining option offering waterfront views and fine cuisine.
  • The Donut Experiment: A local favorite for breakfast, this place offers customizable (!!) donuts.
  • Duffy’s Tavern: This is a classic American-style tavern known for their burgers.
  • Ginny’s & Jane E’s: This quaint cafe and coastal store offers breakfast, lunch, and a variety of baked goods.


Manatee Public Beach

Nearby Attractions at Anna Maria Island Public Beach


Take a Guided Dolphin Tour

This is one of the BEST ACTIVITIES on Anna Maria Island Beach!


We love these tours as they give us a chance to be super close to BOTTLENOSE doplhines. Not something you see every day!


What we especially love, is that we also got to experience the surroundings, the views of the island… It’s so much more than just watching dolphins.


You can book the lovely activity here.


Anna Maria City Pier

Visit Anna Maria City Pier

The Anna Maria City Pier is of course also located on the Island. What’s more, this is a historic site which attracts a lot of visitors!


The Pier was built in 1911, and has become an area landmark and a MUST-VISIT location when you’re on the island.


The pier is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day and is free to visit.


You would be experiencing a local activity as every day there are local fishermen hoping to catch fish such as Redfish, Snook, Spanish Mackerel, Pompano, Sharks, and more.


If you’re not into fishing, you can still enjoy the stunning views, especially during SUNSET with views of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge..


Apart from the breathtaking views and fishing opportunities, the pier is also home to the Anna Maria City Pier Grille. This small snack bar-style place at the end of the pier offers tasty food and drinks.


Lastly, the City Pier Grill often hosts live music events. The vibes are always lovely then!

Anna Maria Public Beach

Go Kayaking or Paddleboarding

Kayaking or paddleboarding at Anna Maria Island is a fantastic way to explore the natural beauty of Southwest Florida.




Ever wanted to go kayaking at night with an LED under your kayak with a glass bottom? You can CLEARLY SEE THE OCEAN beneath you.


Marine life is more active at night, giving you the chance to see manatees, dolphins, and many more small fish!


Bottom Clear Kayak Tours organizes this activity in Anna Maria Island Beach.


You can also do this activity by day!


Bike renting at Island anna maria

Rent a Bike

Renting a bike on Anna Maria Island is a FANTASTIC way to explore the beautiful surroundings at your own pace.


Various local businesses offer bike rentals, and many of them even provide delivery and pick-up services for your convenience.


Fun and More Rentals has been voted the #1 place for bike rentals in the area. They offer bike rentals for just $5 per day with a week-long rental or longer.


AMI Beach Fun Rentals is another great option. They not only rent bikes but also provide eBikes and Scooters for those who want a bit more speed.


As for sightseeing, a self-guided bike tour is a fun and flexible way to explore the island.




Parasailing at anna maria beach

Try Parasailing

Parasailing in Anna Maria Island provides a THRILLING and UNIQUE perspective of the island’s natural beauty.


Several local businesses offer parasailing adventures, and each promises an unforgettable experience. Prices vary between 70-120 dollars for the experience.


FlyAmi is one such company that offers scenic parasailing trips. They’re known for providing fun for the whole family.


Yolo Parasailing and Island Adventures is another popular choice. Known for their gentle takeoffs, amazing views, and water dips, they promise an experience full of smiles.


Bradenton Beach Parasailing is also a provider worth checking out. They have a boat specially made for parasailing, ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience.


During your parasailing adventure, you’ll likely experience AMAZING panoramic views of the Gulf and Intracoastal waterways. There’s also a chance you might see dolphins, turtles, or stingrays from above.


Remember to follow all safety instructions provided by your parasailing operator. This activity is weather-dependent, so it’s always best to check with the company beforehand if there are any concerns about the day’s conditions.

Sign at Manatee Public Beach

Final Tips and Tricks

Plan Your Transportation: Traffic can sometimes be heavy, but parking should not be a huge problem at Anna Maria Public Beach. Consider using the free transportation available to get to the beach.


Be Aware of Regulations: Respect the rules and regulations of Manatee Public Beach. These include not having lights on the beach after sunset, not approaching turtles or their nests, removing beach furniture at dusk, and leaving nests and signs untouched.


Enjoy the Local Amenities: Manatee Public Beach is known for its restaurant and live music. Make sure to enjoy these local features during your visit.


Pack Accordingly: Remember to bring all the essentials you need for a perfect beach day, like sun protection, towels, and snacks.


Explore the Surrounding Area: Don’t limit yourself to the beach. Anna Maria Island offers beautiful nature, delicious seafood, rich history and more. Make sure to explore all it has to offer.

Lifeguard station Anna Maria island beach


We hope you’ve found our recommendations for visiting Anna Maria Island Beach helpful.


We would love to hear about your experience on the island, so leave us a comment!


Keep Planning Your Trip To The US



Is Manatee Public Beach open?

Yes, Manatee Public Beach is currently open. The beach is accessible from sunrise to 10 p.m., offering visitors ample time to enjoy its beauty. Please note that hours can change due to weather and other conditions. It’s always a good idea to check the latest updates before planning your visit.


Does Anna Maria have a public beach?

Absolutely, Anna Maria Island is home to several public beaches, one of which is the popular Manatee Public Beach. This beach is well-known for its white sand, clear, warm water, and beautiful views.


Is Bradenton Beach public?

Yes, Bradenton Beach is a public beach located on Anna Maria Island. Like Manatee Public Beach, it’s open to the public and offers stunning views and a relaxing atmosphere.


What are the rules for Manatee beach?

Manatee Public Beach has certain rules in place to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for all visitors. For example, no lights are allowed on the beach after sunset and visitors should not approach turtles or their nests. For a full list of rules, you should refer to the official website or signage at the beach.


Can you swim with manatees in Florida for free?

Swimming with manatees usually requires booking a tour with a licensed operator, which typically involves a fee. It’s not recommended to approach or disturb manatees in the wild without guidance.


Is it safe to swim with manatees?

Yes, it can be safe to swim with manatees when done responsibly under the guidance of a licensed operator who follows regulations designed to protect these animals.


Can I touch a manatee in Florida?

It’s generally not recommended to touch or disturb manatees. If you’re swimming with manatees as part of a guided tour, your guide will explain the appropriate behavior.


What month is best to swim with manatees?

The best time to swim with manatees in Florida is generally during the cooler months from November through March when manatees gather in warmer waters.


Can you legally swim with manatees in Florida?

Yes, you can legally swim with manatees in certain areas of Florida under specific conditions and guidelines. It’s important to do so responsibly and with respect for these animals.

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Laura & Alexander

Laura & Alexander

We're two full-time Belgian travellers sharing our experience through our blog. Our aim is to inspire your next travel adventure with our best tips and tricks from every country we visit.

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