Anna Maria Island, Fla. has been a popular tourist destination on the Gulf Coast for decades. In addition to the best white sand beaches in Florida, the island also has plenty of great ways to have fun on the water.
Here are seven ways to get wet and wild on AMI:
1. Sailboat: There is no better way to explore the sea than via wind power. Majestically gliding over the water, raising and sinking with each swell is a timeless adventure nearly as old as humanity itself. The Gulf of Mexico and the Florida shorelines have many great areas to explore, including the Manatee River, and Tampa Bay. Sail off from the north shores of Anna Maria Island and explore Egmont Key and sail under the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, a 435 ft. tall bridge rated #3 in the Travel Channel's "Top 10 Bridges in the World." A number of companies on AMI offer sailboat charters.
2. Sunfish: For a different kind of sailing experience, sunfish sails are personal sized boats. Your connection to the water is much more intimate. Bimini Bay Sailing offers a quick tutorial on general sailing and can have you sailing your own boat within a couple of hours. Once you're ready, you have the option to take a sail to a small nearby island with your instructor to get the true sailing experience.
3. Paddle board: Paddle boarding has been a Hawaiian tradition for centuries, but has become the latest craze among Floridians who love water sports. The board looks similar to a surfboard, but is typical four to six feet longer and is capable of holding a standing boarder even in still waters. Paddles are used to propel you forward. Paddle board rentals are available from various Anna Maria Island companies. Rent by the hour, day or week.
4. Kayak: Ocean kayaking or navigating some of the many water trails in the Anna Maria Island area can be a great adventure. The best way to ensure a unique kayak adventure is to book an eco tour with one of the island's kayak rental providers. Eco tours are led by natives who know the best places to spot some of Florida's beautiful water birds and marine animals.
5. Motorboat: The Bradenton Beach Marina on the southern portion of AMI is the place to rent any kind of motorboat. While speed boats are a lot of fun, pontoon boats are a popular way to take you traveling party to sea. Beer Can Island, across from Coquina beach, is only accessible by boat and a popular place to anchor pontoon crafts.
6. Jet Ski: Jet skis are very dangerous, but also a lot of fun. Bradenton Beach Marina has a cavalcade of jet skis available. Be sure to speak to their rental agents for information on the safest locations to ride.
7. Parasailing: You can't get a better view of Anna Maria Island than while being strapped into a parachute and pulled behind a motorboat doing 35 mph. There are a number of companies on the island that offer parasailing.Get to know more about Anna Maria Island's incredible people, places and things with "Anna Maria Island: The Book" This is great way to get to know the island. Plus, it's the perfect souvenir or gift for anyone who loves Anna Maria Island, FL.
BOOK EXTERIOR: Laminate Hardcover w/ UV Coating; BOOK INTERIOR; Ultra-thick 135 lb paper w/ UV coating; ISBN: 978-0-9860427-0-6