Is Anna Maria Island SAFE? (2023 Travel Safety Guide)

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Dreaming of white sandy beaches and turquoise blue water for your next vacation?🏖 Well, look no further. Anna Maria Island on the Gulf Coast of Florida has 7 miles of beautiful soft sand and amazing clear ocean water, when the weather is good.

But maybe you’re wondering if Anna Maria Island is safe to visit? Rest assured, We’ve got you covered with all of the answers to your safety questions about Anna Maria Island, both on land and at sea!

Is Anna Maria Island Safe to Visit? Everything you need to know!🏖

What is the Crime Rate of Anna Maria Island?

Let’s start with the land. Anna Maria Island is located South of Tampa and is approximately 7 miles long. The Island itself consists of 3 main sections; Bradenton Beach, Holmes Beach and the City of Anna Maria.

The overall crime rate of Anna Maria Island is 52.87 per 1,000 residents, making it the in 14th percentile of safety when compared to other places. When you consider there are only 1,075 residents on the island, the crime rate is relatively low, depending on the area.

The east side of the city of Anna Maria has the highest crime rates at approximately 14 crimes per year, whereas the northeast side of the city only has an average of 1 crime reported per year.

As you head south on the island, crime rates improve in Holmes Beach and Bradenton Beach, with West Bradenton Beach reporting the lowest crime rates.

Don’t let these statistics scare you! The majority of crimes on Anna Maria Island are theft related and the chances of violent crime is very low. As long as you lock your vehicle and accommodations, and are vigilant of your surroundings, you will be just fine!

Is it Safe to Swim on Anna Maria Island?🏊🏻

Anna Maria island beaches
Image by Bfpage on Wikimedia Commons

Anna Maria Island boasts a plethora of water related activities including swimming, snorkeling and kayaking. In general swimming is safe on most beaches of Anna Maria Island with two exceptions. Bean Point at the very north end of the island can have very strong currents and near the very south point of the island near the bridge to Longboat Key.

The rest of the island is generally safe for swimming as long as you follow the beach warning flags posted on lifeguard stations.

Green means calm conditions, Yellow means use caution with possible strong currents and Red indicates danger. Additionally, double Red means no swimming allowed and Purple indicates possible marine predators such as stingrays and jellyfish are present.

🏖 Suggested read: Is Clearwater Beach Safe to Swim? Everything You Need to Know!

Are there Alligators on Anna Maria Island?🐊

Speaking of predators, there are no alligators reported on Anna Maria Island. Fortunately, Florida gators prefer the brackish water on Sanibel Island. One less thing to worry about on your vacation to Anna Maria Island!

Are there Sharks on Anna Maria Island?

Yes, Anna Maria Island is known for its amazing shark fishing. But before you start having nightmares about Jaws, there are a few things you need to understand about the sharks around Anna Maria Island. The majority of sharks are under 3 feet in length and luckily you are not on their menu.

There have been recent shark attacks on Anna Maria Island, but these were from people engaging in high risk activities such as swimming and trying to fish with bloody chum bait. As long as you are wise and avoid swimming alone at sunrise or sunset,which are shark feeding times, you have nothing to worry about!

And if you are super fortunate, you may be able to spot an elusive whale shark from a boat off the coast of Anna Maria Island.

Is there a Rip Tide Problem on Anna Maria Island?

Rip tide caution

Rip Tides are no joke and definitely something to be aware of when visiting most beach towns. Fortunately, on Anna Maria Island rip tides are usually less than 50 feet wide. A rip tide can come unexpectedly with the wind and drag a swimmer out to sea in moments. 

If you happen to get caught in a rip tide, the best advice is to relax and try to swim parallel to the shoreline as best as you can until you are safely out of the current. Although 80% of the life guard rescues on Anna Maria Island are due to rip tides, with some awareness and common sense, they shouldn’t be a major concern. 

Is it Safe to Visit Anna Maria Island with an Infant?

Well if you’ve ever traveled with an infant, there are definitely some unique challenges. Anna Maria Island is no different but there are a few factors you should be aware of. 

Anna Maria Island is known to have Red Tide occasionally which is a bacteria in the water which can cause respiratory issues. If your infant is immune compromised or has any breathing issues, it might be best to keep them out of the water.

In addition, the tide can change rapidly so if you do decide to let your infant or toddler swim in the water at Anna Maria Island, it’s best to keep a close eye on them at all times. Or better yet, bring a sitter with you to watch your infant at your accommodation while you get to enjoy the beautiful beaches without worry!

Is Anna Maria Island Safe for Families with Kids?

The short answer is yes! Anna Maria Island is a dream destination for a family vacation with kids. There are several beach areas with sandbars that create shallow pools for kids to play in. There are several family friendly establishments around the island such as candy and ice cream shops to explore.

The piers offer both educational fish and bird watching for the whole family. Many resorts have kid camps to keep the kiddos occupied while mom and dad have some much needed adult time. Overall, Anna Maria Island has a quaint and charming vibe, perfect for everyone in the family to enjoy.

🏖 You may also like: Is Waikiki Beach Safe in 2023? Everything You Need to Know!

General Safety tips to follow on Anna Maria Island

1) Keep a close eye on beach warning flags to know the current condition of the beach on any given day. Follow the beach warning flags posted at lifeguard stations to prevent potential dangers such as strong currents or the presence of dangerous marine creatures in the water. 

2) If possible, prefer to swim at public beaches such as Coquina Beach and Manatee County Public Beach, where lifeguards are usually present.

3) The sun is hot in Florida throughout the year. So, remember to bring sunscreen to protect yourself from the sun.

4) Keep doors of vehicles and accommodations locked. It’s highly unlikely you’ll be robbed if things are locked.

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About the author
James Williams
James has been travel lover since childhood. Reading and traveling have been spiritual experiences for him. Learning about new places, cultures, and ways of life and sharing his own experiences and learnings has always been his passion.

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