ANNA MARIA ISLAND – JOHN AND MABLE RINGLING MUSEUM OF ART – A Great Day Trip
Whether you go for the fresh seafood, fishing, or white-sand beaches, a road trip to Anna Maria Island is a must. Twenty minutes from Bradenton, Anna Maria possesses a laid-back atmosphere where visitors can go to relax and unwind. Go shelling, fish from three piers, rent a bike to explore the island on two wheels, and grab a meal at one of Anna Maria Island’s many waterfront restaurants. Get a feel for the island’s history by visiting the Anna Maria Historical Society Museum, the Anna Maria Historic Green Village, and the Historic Bridge Street Pier. An easy trip of just about an hour south on Interstate 75 from Tampa, Clearwater or St. Petersburg. Ft. Myers is about an hour away and Naples visitor are about an hour and a half from a great day!
You will marvel at the ability of Anna Maria Island residents to keep their island from the cranes, bulldozers and developers of high rises. Colorful cottages and shops are scattered throughout the island. Walking and bike riding seem to be the mode of transportation for the locals.
Anna Maria Island is just a few miles north of fine art, nature, and coastal beauty displayed at the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota, where visitors are as wowed by 16th-20th-century masterworks as they are by the grand waterfront mansion and sprawling gardens. Once the home of Mabel and John Ringling, of Ringling Bros. Circus fame, the property is now the official art museum of the state of Florida and governed by Florida State University. Explore on your own or take guided tours of the museum and gardens.
For lunch, just out side downtown Sarasota on the bay is Marina Jacks. The view is awesome and the food is always good.
Anna Maria Island is an hour day trip from Clearwater and an hour day trip from Tampa, Florida