Anna Maria Island is a dream destination. What was once a sleepy beach town has become a hot spot for traveling families.
And while families with kids make up the bulk of vacationers here, there are countless engaged and married couples who have also discovered the magic of AMI.
But what should you do if you don’t have any kids in tow, and are looking for exciting, fun ways to spend time together as a couple? Here are some of the most romantic things to do in Anna Maria Island for couples who don’t just want to sit by the pool every day.
Visit Bean Point
Bean Point is the northern tip of AMI. It’s a big stretch of beach with lots of space between the houses and the water. And it’s public.
There are three public entrances to Bean Point Beach, yet no large parking lots. This means that most people have to park on a side street and walk to the beach. This also means very few people actually do this.
So if you want a quiet beach without all the crowds, head to Bean Point. It’s beautiful, and natural, and is the perfect place for a morning swim or an afternoon sunbathing session. Just note there are no bathrooms or amenities, so bring everything you’re going to need.
Watch the Sunset
You’ve probably already discovered how amazing the sunsets are on AMI. But take an evening as a couple and really watch the sunset. Pick a beach to go sit on, bring a blanket and some snacks, snuggle up close and enjoy the view.
You likely won’t get sunsets like these once you go back home.
Plan a Photoshoot
Want to make the most of your trip to AMI and remember these days forever? Then book a romantic photoshoot during the sunset.
Whether you’re engaged and need engagement photos done, or just need some nice photos of the two of you, I can help you plan the perfect, easy, quick photo shoot on the beach so you can hold onto these memories for the rest of your life.
Walk the Trail at Leffis Key Preserve
At the other end of the island, across the street from Coquina Beach, is Leffis Key Preserve. This small but beautiful nature preserve is the perfect place for an early morning walk with your coffee.
The preserve protects mangrove trees all along the bay and offers a few docks with gorgeous views of the water. Bring a camera and take your time as you enjoy the sights and sounds of the real Anna Maria Island.
Rent a Tandem Bike
Anna Maria Island is only seven miles long. On a bike, it’s pretty easy to ride across the entire island. You can rent a tandem bike to make it as romantic as possible. Then, explore the island at your own pace, taking side roads, enjoying the architecture, and searching for your future dream home.
Or, explore the main beach access points that don’t offer car parking, to get away from the crowds on a quiet stretch of sand.
Ride Horses Along the Bay
Looking for a fun way to spend some time during the day? Why not ride horses in the water? Horses aren’t allowed on most beaches in Florida, so when there’s a stretch of sand where you can ride them, it’s a big deal.
Horseback riding takes place a few minutes from AMI, on the Palma Sola Causeway. You’ve probably seen horses in the water as you drove to Anna Maria Island.
Not only can you ride a horse on the sand or in the shallows, but you can also choose a tour where you venture into deeper water and your horse is actually swimming. It’s a pretty darn cool experience.
Numerous tour providers are available, and most of the horses they have are rescues.
Take a Dolphin Cruise
Everyone wants to see wildlife during their trip to Florida. And one of the most popular species is of course the dolphin.
You might get lucky and see some from the beach one day. But you can increase your chances by taking a dolphin cruise. Captains know where dolphins spend their time, so they can likely get you up close and personal with a pod.
Search for Wildlife on a Kayak or Paddleboard
There are numerous tour guides and kayak/paddleboard rental providers on and near AMI. If you’re confident, you can just rent the boards and go exploring, just the two of you for the most romantic experience.
Otherwise, if you want to ensure you see the best scenery, take a guided tour. They’ll take you through beautiful mangrove tunnels and get you up close and personal with Florida’s wildlife. If you’re there at the right time, you might get to paddle next to manatees.
Set Sail for the Sunset
Numerous boat captains offer sailing excursions around AMI. One of the most romantic things you can do on Anna Maria Island is to set sail and watch the sunset from the water.
You can make it super romantic and book a private sail for just the two of you, or save some money and join a public sailing cruise. Shorter cruises last 2-3 hours most of the time, with half-day options available as well.
Visit Egmont Key or Passage Key
Looking for another reason to charter a boat? Passage Key is a tiny island near AMI that is fun to explore, search for shells on, or snorkel around. Egmont Key is a bit larger but close by as well.
Egmont Key is a National Wildlife Refuge, making it a stunning spot for bird watching, snorkeling, or searching for dolphins as you cruise over.
You could also just enjoy your own private beach for a few hours, away from the crowds of AMI.
Board the Anna Maria Island Princess
The Anna Maria Island Princess is a paddle-wheel cruise ship that sets sail most evenings during the sunset. Some nights offer live music during the duration of the cruise, while other nights offer stand-up comedy.
There’s a full bar onboard, and the upper deck is entirely open air to soak up the views and fresh air. Cruises last about 90 minutes, so it’s a fun way to spend some time before going out to dinner.
Rent a Segway
Cheesy? Yes. But tons of fun? Also yes.
You can rent Segways on AMI and explore anywhere and everywhere. You can also participate in a number of different Segway tours on and near the island. Perfect for those who want to get out of the car and explore at their own pace, but not necessarily paddle a bicycle for miles and miles.
See the Island From Above
Looking to share some adrenaline? The adventurous couple can take to the skies by taking a paragliding trip. And yes, it’s actually very safe, even though you might reach heights up to 400 ft.
I’m not saying I would do it. But if you like a good thrill, why not give it a try? Parasail Florida offers this on AMI. Sharing a kiss in the sky might be one of the most romantic things you can do on Anna Maria Island.
Enjoy a Seaside Dinner
You’re going to do this anyway, but I’ll include it here just in case. One of the easiest ways to enjoy a romantic night out on Anna Maria Island is to enjoy a top-notch dinner at one of the many beachfront restaurants on the island.
- The Sandbar
- The Waterfront Restaurant
- Beach Bistro
- Gulf Drive Cafe
- Rod and Reel Pier (Enjoy dinner over the water)
There are plenty of others to consider as well, and many more restaurants that aren’t on the water but are every bit as delicious.
Romance is Easy on Anna Maria Island
It’s not hard to find romantic things to do on Anna Maria Island. As a small island on the Gulf of Mexico, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that almost all of these ideas are outdoor activities.
You didn’t visit coastal Florida just to find ways to stay inside, did you? Well, if you’re looking for more traditional activities, such as shows, museums, and nightlife, you can definitely take a day trip to either Sarasota or St Pete.
And if you’re ready to plan a photoshoot while you’re here on the island, to preserve these moments forever, make sure to connect with me! I’d love to hear from you and plan the perfect photoshoot.