While Anna Maria Island is known to be one of the most relaxing beachside vacation spots in Florida, sometimes you might be looking for a little taste of adventure! Especially if your family is planning a longer stay here on AMI and wants to make a quick day trip to somewhere exciting, there are so many options for everyone in the family. From theme parks to museums to sporting events, the quick day trip from AMI is certainly worth penciling into your island vacation plans. We’ve compiled a variety of popular recommendations below, all within a reasonable driving distance from our little slice of paradise on the Gulf of Mexico.
Of course, we had to start big here! While we may think Anna Maria is the happiest place on Earth, it doesn’t hurt to make a trip to the other Happiest Place on Earth. Did you know that Disney World is only about a 2-hour drive from AMI? If you’re planning a family trip to AMI it’s definitely worth the trek to Orlando for a Disney day! Then, you can come back and unwind on our calming beaches.
Also in Orlando, this a great option for some of your bigger kids or thrill-seekers. Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure, and the recently-updated Harry Potter World are all just about 2 hours from AMI and are great choices if you want to get your adrenaline pumping on some roller-coasters or visit Hogwarts, and then retreat back on the Anna Maria beaches afterwards.
With so much to offer, you can pack a plethora of activities into a day trip to Downtown Tampa. From catching a sporting event like a Tampa Bay Lightning Game or a big concert at Amalie Arena, to exploring the wonder of the Florida Aquarium, to trying many different cuisines and taking in the sunset at Armature Works. Downtown Tampa is safe, walkable, and picturesque!
Rollercoaster lovers and adrenaline seekers: Busch Gardens is a must-do. Only a little less than an hour drive from AMI and offers the best of both worlds— fast-paced rides, and lots of zoo life. It’s home to over 200 different species of animals AND Florida’s tallest roller coaster. Our closest and most beloved local theme park.
Right across the street from Busch Gardens is Adventure Island! This expansive water park is a particularly popular destination in the warmer Florida months. Wave pools, lazy rivers, and LOTS of wild slides. Adventure awaits at Adventure Island.
Also in that area near Busch Gardens and Adventure Island in Tampa, is MOSI. The Museum of Science & Industry is a must for inquiring minds and imaginative spirits. It’s fun for kids of all ages and adults alike, with a variety of interesting activities and consistently exciting visiting exhibits.
Get wild at Lowry Park. ZooTampa at Lowry Park is a 63-acre nonprofit zoo located in Tampa, Florida. It was previously voted the #1 Family Friendly Zoo in the US by Parents Magazine, and is recognized by the State of Florida as the center for Florida wildlife conservation and biodiversity.
You can really have the best of both worlds with an Anna Maria Island vacation. Come relax on the beach and take a day trip to some of our easily accessible adventures! Give us a call and we’ll help find you the perfect place to relax and unwind amidst all the fun ahead: 941-778-4800
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On Anna Maria Island
5201 Gulf Drive
Holmes Beach, Florida 34217
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Located in Ellenton Plaza
945 25th Drive East
Ellenton, Florida 34222
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