All over the country, Memorial Day is hailed as the unofficial start of the summer, bringing excited travelers to seaside destinations, each searching for their own slice of summer paradise—and Anna Maria Island is no exception. Easily one of the most celebratory weekends of the season, guests to the island will enjoy a festive atmosphere—think beach bars with live music, bustling shop-lined streets, and lively local eateries with cocktails and tacos. When you’re not living it up for the holiday weekend, you’ll find you have your choice of stunning tropical white-sand beaches all up and down the island, as well as a gorgeous stretch of bayfront land where you can frolic in the calm waters of Tampa Bay. Besides the abundance of recreational beach activities, you can spend your days exploring different parts of the island, each with its own distinct character and highlights, from Anna Maria in the north to Bradenton Beach in the south. It’s everything you need for a sublime Memorial Day weekend at the beach!
Explore North End Beaches and Parks
On the gorgeous northern end of the island, you’ll find a collection of beaches and parks perfect for a little Memorial Day R & R. Bean Point is a beach situated at the very tip of the island, where the Gulf flows into Tampa Bay, and has an unhurried and relaxed feel. One of the excellent things about staying on the north end is that you’ll also have access to the bay side of the island. Take a morning swim in clear gulf waters, and in the afternoon have a Memorial Day BBQ with the picnic and grill amenities at Bayfront Park. A convenient network of island canals also gives the chance for recreation such as kayaking and fishing in Bimini Bay.
Stay in the Action in Holmes Beach
Down in Holmes Beach, there’s a lively atmosphere that perfectly lends itself to Memorial Day celebrations. Head to Manatee Beach to find all the amenities you need for some Memorial Day fun, such as bathrooms, picnic tables, and volleyball courts. Manatee Beach is also home to the Anna Maria Island Beach Café, where you can dine right in the sand and order everything from burgers to tropical cocktails.
Discover Bradenton Beach
At the southern end of the island, you’ll find Bradenton Beach, which offers an upbeat atmosphere with lots to keep you entertained. Coquina Beach is a popular spot to catch a bit of sun, with a lengthy swimming area, picnic amenities, and play areas. Check out the open-air Coquina Beach Market on Wednesday or Friday from 10 AM to 2 PM. You can grab a bite to eat and browse clothes, jewelry, home décor, and other goods from different booths. Bradenton Beach isn’t just home to amazing beaches though—there’s also the Historic Bridge Street District, with shops, dining, and a pier with a restaurant, the Anna Maria Oyster Bar.
Treat Yourself to Local Cuisine
We think one of the best parts about the holiday vacation is the cuisine, and here on Anna Maria Island, you won’t be disappointed with your choices! Offering an impressive array of restaurants that span from cool and casual to upscale and refined, there’s something for everyone, whether you’re chasing the best fish tacos or on a hunt for the best appetizers with a seaside view—try The Waterfront Restaurant for the latter! The Wicked Cantina in Bradenton Beach offers casual Mexican fare in a waterfront setting with happy hour and margaritas. The Sand Bar has long been a popular seaside spot, serving up a mixture of traditional dishes with a Florida twist. These are just a sampling of the options you’ll have for your Memorial Day getaway!
emorial Day Festivities
The Chamber of Commerce puts on an annual Memorial Day event, and everyone is invited! At City Pier Park the Memorial Day Symphony Salute takes place, where you’ll be treated to a symphony performance from the Anna Maria Island Concert Chorus and Orchestra, as well as a posting of colors from our local Marine Corps. There will be plenty of seating for all! If you’d like to get into a bit of evening Memorial Day festivities, you’ll find restaurants and bars such as D Coy Ducks Bar & Grille and Island Time Bar and Grill have live music and pub fare. If you like to do a bit of holiday shopping, the shops on Pine Ave have always been popular among visitors, and the free island trolley will easily take you there, as well as up and down the island!
Reserve Your Memorial Day Vacation Rental on Anna Maria Island Today!
A holiday getaway to the beach is always a special occasion, especially on Memorial Day weekend! Take a look at our Anna Maria Island vacation rentals and call us to speak with us about reserving your Memorial Day vacation home, contact us today!