Anna Maria Island is a fascinating barrier island to explore on bicycle. With the right preparations, you can navigate the entire island, at 2 miles wide and 7 miles in length.
Below is an introductory guide for visitors curious about the practical steps and the safety of traversing Anna Maria Island on a bicycle.
Biking on the Roads
Whether you choose to bike near beaches or on the designated trails, you are unlikely to avoid the major roads of the island. Thankfully, most of the roads here are bicycle friendly, with minimal traffic during early morning hours.
Your main road in and out of the northern side of the island is Gulf Drive, which has bicycle lanes in both directions. It eventually turns into E Bay Drive/N Gulf as you enter Holmes Beach. You are safe along this major artery, with lights, and clear sections for bike riding and pedestrians.
The bike ride from the City of Anna Maria to Manatee Public Beach along Gulf Drive is a fun trip that takes about 10-15 minutes one way. Manatee Public Beach is fitted with many bike racks for your convenience.
Technically, Manatee Public Beach is open from sunrise to 10 p.m., but you will find visitors on the beach quite a bit after dark. Use caution after sundown. Fortunately, the area is moderately lit and popular, with many nearby Anna Maria Island restaurants open late.
City of Anna Maria Bike Trails
Several designated City of Anna Maria bike trails weave throughout the northern portion of the island. The city center is brimming with places to see all from your trusted bicycle.
If you are heading north from Holmes Beach on Gulf Drive, you can make a left at Willow Avenue to reach Gulf Front Park, or make a right on Willow Avenue and a quick left on North Shore Drive to head further north.
This trail continues by making a right on Cypress Avenue and a quick left onto Jacaranda Road which takes you to the northern tip of the island. You can then choose to make a right on Gladiolus Street to head back south.
Or continue onto Jacaranda Road to the northeastern edge of the island and make a right on North Shore Drive to ride south to the Rod and Reel Pier or Bayfront Park.
Although Holmes Beach does not have official bike paths yet, Gulf Drive offers a safe cycling route through the area, and several sharrow roads and planned paths are in development.
The Anna Maria Island trolley is a wonderful resource for those who would rather not drive. Thankfully for riders, the trolley will take bikes. It’s a fantastic way to get some extra distance or take a break whenever you need to. The trolley runs throughout the day up and down the island from 6am to 10:30 pm.
You can rent a bike from Fun and More Rentals (5347 Gulf Dr, Holmes Beach, FL 34217) or Beach Bums (427 Pine Ave, Anna Maria, FL 34216). Both are reputable and long-time Anna Maria Island renters. Your rental provider will likely request basic details, such as identification and expected time of drop-off.
See our 10% off incentives to rent from Adventure Away for land and water tours.
Quick Safety Tips
Your rental provider will also help you get the ABC check. This includes air in the tires (A), functional brakes (B), and a clean and precise chain and crank (C). Always check the bike before taking off.
Also, utilize traffic pattern laws for added safety. This includes hand signals for alerting passersby of your intended turn direction. This is vital for riding on paved roads. Always ride with traffic and not against it.
Lastly, pedestrians have the ultimate right-of-way in turning and crossing. Yield to them in your moves. Remember that though you may be able to cross and you did use a hand signal, vehicles are far heavier than you. Always be aware of your surroundings and scan for vehicles moving towards you, precarious driving, and more.
All of the bike paths, roads, and trails on our island offer a safe and accessible entry-point for cyclists as long as you follow some practical safety tips. The island’s laid-back living contributes to a supportive culture of biking, hiking, and exploring without needing a car.
Our beachside Anna Maria Island vacation rentals draw you into a world of fascinating ocean exploration on two wheels. Contact us for prices, amenities, and other details at 941-462-4016.