A wooden footbridge leading to the beach

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Longboat Key vs. Anna Maria Island and What You Need to Know

Longboat Key vs. Anna Maria Island and What You Need to Know

Deciding where to vacation in the Sunshine State is a tough task, especially with the vast array of beaches, activities, and entertainment available! There’s nothing quite like wading into the cool, clear blue waters of the Gulf after laying out on a stunning white sand beach. We compare Longboat Key vs. Anna Maria Island, so you can find the perfect place to spend your next summer trip. Don’t forget to request our free Sarasota Destination Guide to help you plan your getaway!

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What You Need to Know About Longboat Key vs. Anna Maria Island

Beaches

Longboat Key

Simply put, the beaches on Longboat Key are stunning. The long stretch of sugar-white sand spanning the entire Gulf Coast of the island has very few public access points, which gives it a private feel. The beach here is incredibly quiet and peaceful, so if you’re looking for a getaway centered around time spent relaxing under the sun, Longboat Key is the place for you! Make sure you catch a breathtaking sunset here during your trip!

Anna Maria Island

There are significant differences in the beach atmosphere when comparing Longboat Key vs. Anna Maria Island. Public areas like Coquina Beach / Bradenton Beach and Manatee Beach/ Holmes Beach bring in large groups and numbers of people. If you like a lot of action on the beach, Anna Maria Island is the place to go.  If you like it on the quiet side, Longboat is for you.

Outdoor Activities

Longboat Key

When comparing activities on Longboat Key vs. Anna Maria Island, they are similar. LBK offers biking, boating, kayaking, and paddleboarding opportunities at several places on the island. The golf courses here are all private, but the Longboat Key Tennis Center is a great spot for sports enthusiasts. The top activity on Longboat Key is lounging on a quiet beach and spending time in the crystal clear blue water.

Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria Island offers a similar assortment of activities. The beach scene is livelier than LBK, making Anna Maria popular with families and kids. You can play beach volleyball on Manatee Beach or grab a bite to eat at the snack bar on Coquina Beach.

Shopping

Longboat Key

When you compare the shopping on Longboat Key vs. Anna Maria Island, you’ll find a few small shopping centers up and down Gulf of Mexico Drive on Longboat and Gulf Drive on Anna Maria. The Centre Shops of Longboat Key and the Shops at Bay Isles are the primary shopping locations on Longboat, featuring everything from small, local stores and boutiques to a full-service grocery store.  The best shopping around is on St. Armands Circle just minutes from Longboat Key.

Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria Island has a larger collection of shops than Longboat Key. Pine Avenue and Bridge Street are the two main shopping centers on the island and serve as excellent hubs for a casual night out with the family.  

Dining

Longboat Key

If you look at the dining scene on Longboat Key vs. Anna Maria Island, the main difference is the exemplary spots for fine dining on LBK. Harry’s Continental Kitchen, Mar Vista, Euphemia Haye Restaurant are incredible places to enjoy a romantic date night with your special someone. You can also find casual dining options like the Lazy Lobster and the Dry Dock Restaurant!

Anna Maria Island

A casual, laid back atmosphere highlights the Anna Maria Island dining scene. You’ll find delicious yet straightforward eats at the Blue Marlin and the Sandbar Restaurant. If you have a sweet tooth, you’ll love Dips Ice Cream and Hometown Desserts!

Book Your Gulf Coast Getawaythe exterior of the Blue Heron property on Longboat Key

Here at Florida Vacation Connection, we offer a wide variety of condo and home rentals on the beautiful islands of Longboat Key and Lido Key. Each one offers a different escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life! Longboat Key provides a relaxing retreat on the long stretch of pristine beaches while Lido Key is perfect if you want to go from a shopping and dining hub to the beach in minutes! Downtown Sarasota is less about a 20-minute drive from both islands, and offers unparalleled entertainment, nightlife, dining, and much more!

One of the top reasons to book one of our Longboat Key vacation rentals is its proximity to Anna Maria Island. You can stay on the beautiful beaches of LBK during the morning and drive 10 minutes to Anna Maria Island for lunch!

Browse our collection of properties and start planning your Sarasota vacation today! We look forward to welcoming you to the Florida Vacation Connection family!