While our quaint 7-mile paradise on the Gulf Coast, Anna Maria Island, is known for its quiet simplicity and relaxing vibes… We also know how to cut a rug and have a good time! There are so many fantastic options to sip a drink, do some dancing, befriend some locals, or catch live music. In fact, you can find all of that and more at these nightlife spots we’re highlighting on Anna Maria or very close by! We also tried to mostly list places that are open past dinner hours. Alright, let’s get this island party started!
Casual and Classic
Our first suggestion has to go to our dear neighbors at Hurricane Hanks. In fact, if you’ve rented with us we’ve probably sent you to Hanks before— we love their team and their offerings! Some other casual and classic bars on Anna Maria we love are Slim’s Place, Duffy’s Tavern, and Freckled Fin Irish Pub. They all serve some of the very best pub food, too! Freckled Fin often has some great live music and the others are a go-to place to catch some sports on TV.
Arguably the busiest area for nightlife on Anna Maria Island is along Bridge Street in Bradenton Beach. It has something for everyone! Everything from local dives (we’ll get to those below!) to frozen tiki drinks to family-friendly places to dance to live music. You can easily walk down Bridge Street and see what fits your night’s plans. Head to Daiquiri Deck for a sweet daiquiri, or stop in to Blue Marlin or Island Time for some delicious dinner and family-friendly dancing to live entertainment. Another mention, The Kokonut Hut is a bit further up in Bradenton Beach but is truly right on the beach!
Crafty and Comfortable
This place is all about good vibes and great products. Slicker’s Eatery in Cortez is the place to try a fun craft cocktail (we recommend the Smoked Old Fashioned), sip some local beers, and try something from their fresh and eclectic menu. Slicker’s is quickly becoming known as a favorite place to have an exciting drink and some great laughs. They even make all of their syrups in-house with natural ingredients!
Want to start your night with some upscale ambiance and exciting cocktails? Check out The Doctor’s Office or The Waterfront Restaurant. They have some fun drink menus that really show off the skillset of their inventive bar staff. These are particularly great nightlife spots for a nice date night on AMI.
To us, a “dive” is a term of endearment especially when talking about these local watering holes. When referencing the local-renowned DCoy Duck’s in Holmes Beach it has been said: “Wherever you start, this is probably where you’ll end up.” The same could be said for some other local favorite bars like Sports Lounge, Anchor Inn Pub, Tommy Knockers Saloon, Bortell’s Lounge. They each offer something different and are beloved and frequented by the locals for many years so definitely belly up to the bar and keep in mind you’re visiting a local stomping (and often) dancing ground!
Important things to keep in mind:
- There is never an excuse to drink and drive, especially with how easy safe transportation is to find on the island. There is a free trolley that runs from 6am-11pm every day, but if you’re out past that there is always the Monkey Bus or Uber/Lyft rides are available as well! Check out our transportation tips here!
- Almost ALL of the above suggestions have live music at some point so we recommend heading to their individual Facebook profiles or giving them a call for the most up-to-date entertainment offerings!
Photos from Unsplash.com