Some of the best and most scenic beaches in Florida are naturally the most crowded (like Siesta Key). But near every crowded beach is a slightly out of the way, harder to reach, and much more beautiful beach.
While most beaches on Anna Maria Island have large parking lots and LOTS of beachgoers, Bean Point provides a breath of fresh air. This is a public stretch of beach, but without official parking, and limited street parking, resulting in a large, scenic beach that is much quieter and more serene.
Wondering how to get here and why you should put in the extra effort to reach it? Here’s everything you need to know about Bean Point Beach on Anna Maria Island, FL.
What Is Bean Point Anna Maria Island?
Bean Point is the northernmost tip of Anna Maria Island. It’s the entire point of the island, wrapping around from West to East.
You can look to the west for unobstructed views of the Gulf of Mexico. Look north to see the tiny island of Passage Key and the larger island of Egmont Key. Look Northeast and you’ll see the Skyway Bridge, leading to St Petersburg.
The views from every point on the beach are phenomenal.
And the sand (as with anywhere on Anna Maria Island) is soft, white, and powdery, making it the most comfortable sand you’ll ever sit, walk, or play in.
Where Is Bean Point?
Bean Point Anna Maria makes up the northern tip of Anna Maria Island. Once you get on AMI, take a right and go all the way up. Technically, there are houses all along Bean Point’s beach. However, 3 access points allow the public to walk to the beach.
What’s great about this area is that there is a BIG gap between the homes here and the water, so there’s plenty of space to spread out. You don’t feel like you’re in somebody’s backyard.
Without a major parking lot, fewer people come to this beach, so it’s a more secluded spot for beachgoers who like peace and quiet, as opposed to the loud crowds that congregate at Manatee Beach, Cortez Beach, and Coquina Beach.
Because it’s not a developed public beach, the Bean Point beachfront doesn’t have restrooms, changing rooms, or other amenities. No chair rentals either, so you need to carry everything you need. It’s just a wide open area of powdery white sand and crystal clear ocean, no commercialization or creature comforts here.
What to Do at Bean Point Beach
Bean Point is a spacious, quiet beach with gorgeous views. So what’s there to do around here?
Plan a Bean Point Beach Sunset Photoshoot
Yes, I might be a little bit biased as a photographer, but planning a family photoshoot at Bean Point is a MUST. This place is arguably the most beautiful spot on the island.
It’s a bit wilder, it’s serene, and it’s incredibly scenic with a much smaller crowd of people. Getting stunning portrait shots of you as a family will be the perfect way to capture and preserve your vacation.
I always recommend a sunset photoshoot. So get dressed up to go out for dinner and spend a quick 30 mins running, playing, and loving each other on the sand, in the dune grass, and under the tree-covered pathways for some beautiful photos, you’ll cherish forever.
Enjoy a Beach Day
Obviously, this is what most people are looking to do. Bean Point is the ideal spot for a day at the beach if you want something quieter with more space to run, play, or nap in solitude.
It takes a bit more work to bring all your gear here. But if you have a wagon to wheel your stuff around, it shouldn’t be a big deal. The effort is worth it with these marvelous views.
Make sure to bring a cooler packed with drinks and snacks, since you’ll likely be out there for a while and can’t purchase anything nearby.
When the water is calm and clear (most of the time), it’s the perfect spot to snorkel. While there isn’t any coral reef or a ton of structure to explore, you can often find fish, crabs, or sand dollars. The clear blue-green water is always a joy to explore.
Surf fishing (fishing from the beach) is popular all over Anna Maria Island. Depending on the season, time of day, and wave activity, there could be any number of species within casting distances of the shore.
And a short walk (or drive) away from Bean Point will lead you to Rod and Reel Pier, one of the most popular and productive fishing spots on the island. The pier is actually a restaurant (which you should eat at), but you can fish there for a fee as well.
Off the pier, you’re likely to catch Sheepshead, since they like to feed on the barnacles and oysters that build up on the structure of the pier. Out on the beaches, if there are waves crashing, you could catch the Florida Pompano, one of the tastiest fish around.
Go for a Sunrise Walk
If you’re staying at a rental near Bean Point, this spot is fantastic for a morning walk or beach run. The sunrise usually paints the skies in bright orange and pink, and there are few people out and about.
Get out for the sunrise at least once during your stay.
Search for Shells
Everyone loves searching for seashells when they walk the beaches of AMI. But if you’re at Bean Point during the low tide, you can access an offshore sandbar that is often loaded with pristine shells.
Bean Point Beach Access Points
Wondering how to get to Bean Point Beach? There are 3 public access points to Bean Point Beach that are completely legal to use. Just look for a tree-covered pathway with small white sign out front.
These are found on North Shore Drive. You’ll see the access points where North Shore Drive intersects with:
- North Bay Boulevard (primary entrance)
- Gladiolus Street
- Fern Street
These are the 3 roads that “point” toward Bean Point, which you’ll understand if you look at it on Google Maps.
Bean Point Beach Parking
Let’s be real, Bean Point parking is kind of a nightmare. Parking spots are extremely limited, which is both a blessing and a curse.
Since parking is limited, fewer people make their way to Bean Point to spend a day at the beach. Fewer people mean fewer crowds and a quieter, more serene time at the beach.
But it also means you’re going to have to work a bit harder to access this beach. As you approach Bean Point Beach, start looking for some roadside spots. Roadside spots on the nearby residential streets will be your best chance to park.
As with anywhere on Anna Maria Island, please don’t park where you aren’t supposed to. Private parking is reserved and strictly protected, so don’t take the risk (or you will get a ticket).
If you’re coming to watch the sunset (or to meet me for a sunset photoshoot), you can often find people leaving the beach at this time and opening up a parking spot.
You can avoid parking by taking the free island trolley to the nearest drop-off point, but you’ll need to walk a mile to Bean Point Beach from there (15-20 minute walk). Alternatively, you can ride your bikes to the point, and do your part to limit road traffic on the island. Bike rentals are available all over AMI.
Anna Maria Island Bean Point; How to Be Prepared
The two most important things to be prepared for are having to search for a parking spot, likely on some side streets a few blocks away, and having to walk a bit to get to a beach access point.
But you should also be aware of red tide. This is actually a concern all along the Gulf Coast, not just Bean Point. But it does hit this area from time to time.
Red tide is an algal bloom that moves around on a daily basis. When you’re at a beach with red tide, you might notice a bad smell (from dead fish). Those with a sensitive respiratory system may experience irritation or get itchy eyes. It’s especially bad when there are waves crashing, causing the toxins to become airborne.
It happens most often in summer or fall, but can technically happen anytime. If Bean Point currently has red tide, you can drive to a beach further away and likely be fine. You can check this map ahead of time to see which spots are affected and which are fine.
Is Bean Point Beach Crowded?
Without a parking lot or amenities like restrooms, Bean Point Beach Anna Maria Island is never crowded. It can’t be. Still, you can go on a weekday or in the morning if you’d like a little more solitude.
Things To Do Nearby
If you’re making the trek all the way to Bean Point (which isn’t that difficult), you’ll want to maximize your time spent on the northern part of the island. Here are a few other things to do nearby.
Rod and Reel Pier
I mentioned this earlier, but Rod and Reel Pier is the closest pier to Bean Point and has a restaurant on it. Awesome beer and seafood are served on 2 floors. It’s worth the short wait to have lunch here.
Bayfront Park offers beach access facing the Northeast. It has a bit of green space and a bathroom and playground. But the beach itself is very narrow and shaded in the afternoon, so it’s not perfect for sunbathing. It’s great if you want your kids to play on the beach but still be in the shade.
There are a decent amount of parking spots, but this beach is never too crowded.
AMI City Pier
The other pier in the area is AMI City Pier, right by Bayfront Park. The original pier was built over a hundred years ago but was rebuilt in 2020 after sustaining damage from Hurricane Irma.
The new pier is spacious and fun to fish from. On the pier are a restaurant and bait shop. They also rent rods if you don’t have your own gear. You can frequently see manatees and dolphins from the pier.
Pine Avenue butts up to the City Pier. It’s the northernmost street with shops and restaurants on AMI. There are bakeries, coffee shops, donuts, and eateries, with plenty of small shops as well. You can rent golf carts, bikes, scooters, and other toys on this street as well.
There are a ton more restaurants on Gulf Dr, just south of Pine Ave.
Enjoy Bean Point Anna Maria Island
If you’re staying on Anna Maria Island, or elsewhere in the area, visiting Bean Point Beach is a must for those who love incredible views and quiet, serene beaches. Being a heavily touristed area, Anna Maria has a lot of crowded beaches, but this isn’t one of them.
And if you want to have some beautiful photos of your family taken while you’re in the area, I would love to hear from you. Bean Point is the perfect spot and I can’t wait to meet you there and let you see for yourself. Click below to learn more about my photography services on AMI and to plan your photoshoot.