The Fourth of July has been a mainstay on the American calendar since 1777 as a commemoration of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence. Most folks celebrate the Fourth by lighting fireworks, hosting barbecues, attending holiday parades, or catching a ball game. You and your family can trade the traditional Independence Day celebrations for a thrilling getaway to the lovely Sunshine State. The charming island of Anna Maria is a pristine holiday destination drawing tens of millions of visitors yearly thanks to an expansive variety of attractions. Here’s why you should make this Floridian gem your Independence Day getaway.
Epic Theme Parks
Anna Maria Island offers access to some of the state’s best theme parks for a wholesome Fourth of July experience. Since Independence Day falls at the onset of summer, one of the best ways to cool off is by taking to the water. Adventure Island features several water slides, including Aruba Tuba, Rapids Racer, Vanish Point, Riptide, and Water Moccasin. The park also offers four pool attractions for people of all ages, including Endless Surf, Shaka-Laka Shores, Paradise Lagoon, and Rambling Bayou. For the ultimate rollercoaster experience, Busch Gardens features several major roller coaster rides, including Montu, Cobra’s Curse, Scorpion, Kumba, Air Grover, Cheetah Hunt, and Iron Gwazi. Tree Umph is the ultimate go-to for an outdoor adventure offering over ten football fields of thrilling terrain and numerous adventure games. Some of their courses include Scramble, Climb On, Lead, Ascend, Triumph Zipline, and Summit. There’s also a unique Ape Up course for kids with features such as bridges, suspended wooden tunnels, swinging logs, and seesaws in the trees.
Anna Maria Island sits within the Gulf of Mexico, giving vacationers ample access to its warm turquoise waters and gorgeous coastline. If you’re looking for the best spot to go surfing and bodyboarding, Holmes Beach offers crystal-clear waters on a quiet stretch of land along the Anna Maria shore. The beach also hosts numerous beachfront shops and restaurants where you can grab souvenirs and get some much-needed sustenance after a day in the Florida sun. Coquina Beach lies at the southern tip of Bradenton Beach and offers plenty of amenities, including restrooms, parking, and picnic tables. The Australian pine trees provide ample shade to keep the sidewalks cool, and your little ones can explore the warm aqua waters for tiny shells. Cortez Beach has a reputation as the best spot to watch a sunset and features less foot traffic than other beaches on the island. The three piers stretching into the ocean create excellent waves, making this spot a surfing paradise. Fishing enthusiasts love Cortez Beach thanks to a rich collection of fish species, including trout, snook, and snapper. Bean Point lies at the island’s northern end, offering epic views of the Gulf and several wildlife species such as stingrays, dolphins, and birds. Manatee offers one of the best swimming experiences on the island, while Bayfront Park Beach is an ideal spot for a laidback picnic.
Thrilling Aquarium Excursions
Anna Maria Island lies close to the famous Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium. The institute offers spectacular marine exhibits, including an open-water Shark Zone exhibit with sea turtles, stingrays, manatees, and other reef animals. Other exhibitions include Florida Watershed, where you’ll find picturesque pink birds, fun-loving otters, majestic alligators, and a gopher tortoise. One of the institute’s stand-out attractions is the Virtual Reality Experience exhibit. Here, you and your loved ones can dive into a new world where you can enjoy one of five thrilling virtual reality excursions with 360-degree movement, views, and sounds. The VR experiences include a mythic undersea trip in Shark Dive, exploration of the Bahamas by Swimming with the Humpbacks, diving into a beautiful sub-sea world in Legend of Lusca, and a hearth-throbbing virtual coaster ride in The Tower. The aquarium opens from 9:30 AM to 5 PM daily, seven days a week, except for Thanksgiving.
Sumptuous Culinary Scene
An Independence Day vacation wouldn’t be complete without sampling the local cuisine. Anna Maria Island offers several classy restaurants where you and yours can grab a tasty bite. Duffy’s Tavern has been a staple name on the island since 1958 and features a menu with favorites such as cheeseburgers, caramelized onions, sliders, wings, nachos, egg rolls, and tacos. If you’re looking for a meal in a relaxed outdoor setting, Gulf Drive Café sits on Anna Maria Island, and you can enjoy your food on their patio underneath the tiki roof. Ginny’s & Jane E’s is renowned for delightful pastries and a sumptuous breakfast and lunch menu, including their famous sticky buns and cinnamon rolls.
Book Your Independence Day Rental Today
Anna Maria Island has been a popular holiday destination for years thanks to a unique blend of attractions. As you plan your 4th of July on Anna Maria Island, Anna Maria Life Vacation Rentals offers quality accommodation for you and your family. Our homes feature pet-friendly options, houses with private pools, and water-view rentals. Contact us today to book your preferred vacation rental and choose from our expansive list of duplexes, villas, condos, and townhomes.