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10 Best Things to do Holmes Beach, FL (2023) | Direction


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If you’re looking for a vacation destination that will give you sun, sand, and sea all rolled into one, then Holmes Beach on Anna Maria Island in Manatee County, Florida is the perfect place for you. With its stunning beaches, amazing restaurants, and activities to do in the area, it’s no wonder why this region is such a popular tourist destination.

In this blog post, we’ll explore 10 of the best things to do in Holmes Beach on Anna Maria Island in Manatee County Florida during your stay in 2023. So, get ready to explore breathtaking sights and create memories that will last a lifetime!

About Holmes Beach & Its Location

Holmes Beach is a city located on Anna Maria Island in Manatee County, Florida. The city is situated on the Gulf of Mexico and is known for its beautiful beaches, fishing, boating, and other outdoor activities. Holmes Beach is located about 50 miles south of Tampa, and it is easily accessible by car or by taking a short flight to the nearby Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport.

Holmes Beach is surrounded by the Gulf of Mexico on one side and the Intercoastal Waterway on the other, providing plenty of opportunities for water sports and activities. The city has a population of about 4,966 people and it is a popular tourist destination, known for its laid-back atmosphere, beautiful beaches, and a variety of shops, restaurants, and cafes.

Holmes Beach is also a great place to explore the natural beauty of Florida. Visitors can take a walk or bike ride through the city’s parks, including Robinson Preserve, and bird watch, hike, or enjoy a picnic on the beach. The city also has a rich history, and visitors can learn more about it by visiting the Anna Maria Island Historical Society Museum.

How to Reach Holmes Beach

There are several ways to reach Holmes Beach, Florida:

By Air: The nearest airport is the Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport (SRQ), which is located about 20 miles from Holmes Beach. From there, you can rent a car or take a taxi or shuttle service to reach Holmes Beach.

By Car: Holmes Beach is easily accessible by car. It is located about 50 miles south of Tampa and about 50 miles northwest of Sarasota. If you’re coming from Tampa, take I-75 S and then take exit 220 for FL-64 W/Manatee Ave W toward Bradenton. Take a left turn onto FL-64 W/Manatee Ave W and follow the signs to Holmes Beach.

By Bus: Manatee County Area Transit (MCAT) has a bus route that connects Holmes Beach to other parts of the island and nearby cities such as Bradenton and Sarasota.

By Ferry: There is a free trolley service that runs the length of Anna Maria Island, and runs from 6 am to 10:30 pm. It’s a great way to get around the island, and it runs frequently, so you don’t have to wait long.

Once you reach Holmes Beach, you can rent a bike or a golf cart to get around or you can walk or drive to explore the area.

What is Holmes Beach Known for?


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Holmes Beach is known for its beautiful white sandy beaches, crystal clear waters, and great weather, making it a perfect spot for swimming, sunbathing, and water sports such as fishing, boating, kayaking, and paddleboarding.

The city has several parks and nature preserves, including Robinson Preserve, which is a great place for hiking, birdwatching, and picnics.

Some Beautiful pictures of Holmes Beach

10 things to do in Holmes Beach

Do Fishing & Swiming

Fishing and swimming are two of the most popular activities to do in Holmes Beach on Anna Maria Island. There are many different ways to go about fishing, whether you’re looking to fish from the shore, a pier, or a boat.

There are also many different ways to swim, including in the ocean, a pool, or a lake. Whether you’re looking to catch some fish for dinner or just want to enjoy a swim in the Florida sun, there are plenty of options for you in Holmes Beach.

Take a Boat Tour

If you want to see Holmes Beach and the rest of Anna Maria Island from the water, there is no better way than to take a boat tour. Many different companies offer tours, so you can choose the one that best suits your needs.

Some companies offer narrated tours that will give you information about the history and ecology of the area. Others focus on fishing, dolphin watching, or simply providing a relaxing ride around the island. Some tours even let you get out and swim or snorkel in the warm waters.

Play Golf

There are many things to do in Holmes Beach on Anna Maria Island, but one of the best is to play golf. The island has several golf courses, and each offers something unique. For example, the Key Royale Club has an 18-hole course that winds its way through the island’s residential neighborhoods.

The course is challenging but also scenic, with views of the Gulf of Mexico and Tampa Bay. Other courses on the island include the Island Golf Club, which has nine holes, and the River Strand Golf and Country Club, which has 27 holes.

Visit the Anna Maria Island Historical Society Museum

The Anna Maria Island Historical Society Museum is one of the best things to see in Holmes Beach. The museum chronicles the history of Anna Maria Island from its earliest days as a native fishing village to its modern incarnation as a popular tourist destination.

The museum is housed in a beautiful, historic building that was once the home of one of the island’s early settlers.

The museum is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 am to 4 pm. Admission is free for members of the historical society and $5 for non-members.

Enjoy the beaches, Holmes Beach and Manatee Public Beach

If you’re looking for beautiful beaches to relax on during your trip to Holmes Beach on Anna Maria Island, you won’t be disappointed. There are plenty of great beaches to choose from, including Holmes Beach and Manatee Public Beach.

Both beaches offer stunning views of the Gulf of Mexico and are perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and simply taking in the natural beauty of the area.

Explore the Robinson Preserve

If you’re looking for a place to explore nature, the Robinson Preserve is a great option. This preserve offers miles of trails to hike or bike, along with kayak and paddleboard rentals. There’s also a boardwalk that takes you through mangrove forests and marshes.

Take a Sunset Cruise

Holmes Beach on Anna Maria Island is the perfect spot for a sunset cruise. There are plenty of companies that offer cruises, so you can find one that fits your budget and preferences. But no matter which company you choose, you’re sure to enjoy an evening of relaxation as you watch the sun dip below the horizon.

Take a Dolphin-Watching Tour

If you want to get up close and personal with some of the most majestic creatures in the sea, then you need to take a dolphin-watching tour while you’re in Holmes Beach. You’ll be able to see these amazing animals frolicking in the water and maybe even get a chance to swim with them. 

There are few things more exhilarating than swimming with dolphins, so be sure to add this activity to your list.

Shop and dine at the Holmes Beach shopping district

The Holmes Beach shopping district is one of the best places to shop and dine on Anna Maria Island. There are a variety of shops and restaurants to choose from, so you’re sure to find something to your taste.

If you’re looking for a souvenir to take home, there are plenty of shops that sell beach-themed merchandise. You’ll also find clothing stores, jewelry stores, and art galleries.

When you need a break from shopping, there are several great restaurants in the area. You can get anything from seafood to Italian food. There are also several cafes and ice cream shops if you want something sweet.

Visit the Island Gallery West

The Island Gallery West is an art gallery located in Holmes Beach, Florida. It features the works of local and regional artists, including paintings, sculptures, pottery, jewelry, and more. 

The gallery regularly hosts artist receptions and special events, allowing visitors to meet the artists and learn more about their work. The gallery is open daily and is a great destination for art lovers visiting the area. 


Holmes Beach, Florida offers a variety of accommodation options for visitors, including:

Hotels and resorts: There are several hotels and resorts in Holmes Beach that offer comfortable rooms, amenities, and services. Some popular options include the Beach House Restaurant, the Tortuga Inn Beach Resort, and the Island’s End.

Vacation rentals: There are many vacation rental options available in Holmes Beach, including apartments, condos, cottages, and homes. These rentals can be a great option for families or groups of friends traveling together.

Campsites: For those who prefer a more rustic experience, there are several campsites available on Anna Maria Island, including at the Robinson Preserve and the Manatee Public Beach.

Bed and breakfast: There are also several bed and breakfast options in Holmes Beach, providing a more intimate and personalized experience.

Facilities that are available in Holmes Beach are

Beach Access: Holmes Beach has several public beaches, including Holmes Beach and Manatee Public Beach, both have plenty of amenities like restrooms, showers, and picnic areas.

Parks and Nature Preserve: The city has several parks and nature preserves, including Robinson Preserve, which is a great place for hiking, birdwatching, and picnics.

Shopping and Dining: Holmes Beach has a variety of shops, restaurants, and cafes offering a wide range of products and cuisines.

Marina and Boat Rentals: There are several marinas in the area where you can rent boats, kayaks, and other water sports equipment.

Golf Course: Holmes Beach has the Key Royale Club, an 18-hole golf course.

Fishing and Boating: There are plenty of opportunities for fishing and boating in the area, with several charter companies offering fishing trips, dolphin-watching tours, and sunset sails.

Overall, Holmes Beach offers a wide range of facilities to cater to different types of visitors.

Things to Avoid

When visiting Holmes Beach, Florida, there are a few things that visitors should avoid to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip:

Avoid swimming in unguarded areas: The Gulf of Mexico can be unpredictable, so it is important to only swim in areas that are supervised by lifeguards.

Avoid littering: The beaches and parks in Holmes Beach are beautiful and it is important to keep them that way by not littering.

Avoid over-fishing: Fishing is a popular activity in the area, but it is important to be mindful of regulations and to practice catch-and-release to ensure the sustainability of the local fish population.

Avoid disturbing wildlife: Holmes Beach is home to a variety of wildlife, including birds and sea turtles. It is important to respect their habitats and not to disturb them.

Avoid breaking parking rules: parking is limited in some areas of Holmes Beach and it is important to follow parking regulations, as they can be heavily enforced.

Avoid being unprepared for the weather: Holmes beach, Florida can be hot and humid, especially in the summer, so it is important to stay hydrated and wear sunscreen. Also, it is important to check the weather forecast before your trip and pack accordingly.


Holmes Beach is a popular destination for tourists, especially those looking for a relaxing vacation. This small beach town is ideal for couples or families, who want to enjoy the beautiful beaches of Florida. If you are planning a trip to Holmes Beach, you will want to read this article to find out the 10 best things to do in Holmes Beach, FL.

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Holmes Beach Map Direction

Holmes Beach FAQ

Beaches are open 24/7, but lifeguards are on duty only during specific hours, usually between 9 am and 5 pm. The Anna Maria Island City Pier is open 24/7, however, the bait shop and the restaurant inside the pier have specific opening hours.

If you can’t get a spot at the beach, there are a few places on the island where you can park along the streets. These spots include Willow Avenue, Bay Boulevard, and Magnolia Avenue


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