Last Updated on March 31, 2024

Are you planning a trip from Orlando to Anna Maria Island and are wondering about the best way to get between them?

Orlando is known around the world for its high concentration of theme parks, while Anna Maria Island is known for its glistening white sand beaches and turquoise waters.

There are several options for visiting these two great cities in Florida, from flying to driving.

Whether you’re looking for the fastest way or the cheapest, there are options for you.

If you choose to drive, there are many stops to be made along the way to make your trip even more fun.

In this post, I’ll go over everything that you need to know to make your travels between these destinations fun, safe, and run smoothly.



You'll want to fly out of the Orlando International Airport and then into the Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport.





If you don't mind spending slightly longer on the road to avoid most of the traffic, then start by taking Florida's Turnpike northwest of Orlando.



There really is no great way to avoid tolls along this route since you'll always have to pay to cross the Sunshine Skyway Bridge.



Photo credit – Unsplash by Aditya Vyas

Universal Studios

One of the very first stops to make along the way between these two cities is Universal Studios, which is technically located right on the outskirts of Orlando.

Universal is one of Orlando’s many theme parks and is the perfect place for a family-friendly day spent in Florida.

It’s made up of two parks, Universal Orlando Resort and Island of Adventures. In them, you’ll find places like The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Jurassic Park, and Marvel Super Hero Island.

Enjoy the towering roller coasters, character meet and greets, and even Univeral’s very own waterpark.

Photo credit – Unsplash by Dominik Pearce

Of course, what would a trip to Florida be without a visit to Walt Disney World? And since you'll go right past it on your way to Anna Maria Island, it's a must-do!
There are also many tours and rentals available for things like sunset cruises, jet skiing, and dolphin watching in Tampa Bay.


This major city is located on the western coast of Florida just a short 1 hour away from Anna Maria Island.

There are all sorts of things to do in the Tampa Bay area for every type of traveler.

If you’re a sports lover, then you may be interested in attending one of the professional sports games, like a Tampa Bay Rays baseball game or a Tampa Bay Buccaneers football match.

Thrill seekers will love riding the coasters at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, and Adventure Island is the perfect outdoor waterpark for all ages.

There are also many tours and rentals available for things like sunset cruises, jet skiing, kayaking and dolphin watching in Tampa Bay.

Want to explore Tampa? Check out these Top 7 Kayaking Tours In Tampa!👈

Head right over to Clearwater Beach to enjoy the amazingly soft sand, splash in the waves, and keep an eye out for dolphins.


Although slightly out of the way, Clearwater is a great stop between Orlando and Anna Maria Island.

It’s just to the west of Tampa and is home to some of the best beaches in Florida.

Head right over to Clearwater Beach to enjoy the amazingly soft sand, splash in the waves, and keep an eye out for dolphins.

Beachside restaurants with fresh seafood are abundant here, so you can enjoy a nice drink as you admire the views.

Clearwater also has many more fun activities like visiting the Clearwater Aquarium or wandering out to the beautiful Honeymoon Island State Park.

From Clearwater, you can also reach St. Petes Beach which is a popular destination for spring breakers and tourists.

Take a look at Clearwater’s Best Sunset Cruises & Boat Tours!👈

Eureka Springs Park

Just outside of Tampa on the way between Anna Maria Island to Orlando is the oasis that is Eureka Springs Park. Enjoy escaping into nature without having to go far from the city.

This over 30-acre park is home to the largest collection of publicly owned ferns in Florida, boardwalks that wind through beautiful forests of greenery, and a rose garden.

Some of the areas in the park make it feel like you’re in a rainforest. A quick stop will allow you to stretch your legs before you arrive on Anna Maria Island.







Aerial view of Anna Maria Island



If you're planning to travel from Orlando to Anna Maria Island or the other way around, whether it be by plane or car, there are definitely a few things to know before making your plans.



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Booking a last-minute trip to Orlando or Anna Maria Island?  

If so, we have you covered.  Here are some top recommended tours and hotels!

Top Tours in Orlando

Everglades Airboat and Wild Florida Tour (Florida Wildlife Tour With Optional Lunch)

Glass Bottom Guided Kayak Eco Tour (2-Hour Tour Perfect for Nature Lovers!)

Kennedy Space Center Adventure with Transport (Enjoy NASA’s Kennedy Space Center)

Top Tours In Anna Maria Island

Boat Excursion To Capri Island – (Small Group Boat Tour From Sorrento)

Parasailing Adventure – (Above Bradenton Beach & Anna Maria Island)

Private Fishing Trip With Sight Seeing – (Half Day Tour Around Anna Maria Island)

Top Hotels In Orlando

Marriott’s Cypress Harbour Villas (Perfect For Couples)

Ette Luxury Hotel & Spa – (High-Rated Luxury Hotel)

Top Hotels & Accommodations In Anna Maria Island

Bungalow Beach Resort – (Beachfront Property In Bradenton Beach)

Captain’s Quarters At Anna Maria Island – (High Rated Villa With Private Pool)

Looking To Get Around In Anna Maria Island

Check out rental car rates here! 🚗



Travel Resources


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To Book Activities- For activities, I suggest booking with Viator, they have thousands of 5-star activities to choose from!

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