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Snorkeling Anna Maria Island Florida: The 11 Best Spots

snorkeling anna maria island florida

Anna Maria Island in Florida is a great destination for those wanting to soak up some sun, explore wildlife, and experience the wonders of snorkeling. With crystal-clear waters and diverse marine life, Anna Maria Island offers a wealth of snorkeling spots to explore and enjoy.

Snorkeling Anna Maria Island Florida

Anna Maria Island in Florida is a great snorkeling destination, offering crystal-clear waters with diverse marine life. The island features many spots to explore including Bean Point, Sea Wall, and Egmont Key all offering an exciting adventure for both novice and experienced snorkelers alike. With its stunning coral reefs, majestic sea turtles, and other fascinating creatures, snorkeling Anna Maria Island Florida is the perfect place for an unforgettable experience.

Snorkeling Anna Maria Island Florida: The 11 Best Spots

snorkeling anna maria island florida

Here are the 11 top spots for snorkeling in Anna Maria Island. With such gorgeous waters and wildlife surrounding Anna Maria Island, you can’t go wrong with any of these picks!

1. Cortez Beach

Cortez Beach is located on the northern end of Anna Maria Island and includes a scenic white-sand beach. While both snorkelers and divers can take advantage of this great spot, its relatively shallow depth makes it ideal for snorkelers. Here you’ll find magnificent corals, tropical fish, and other fascinating sea creatures just below the surface. Don’t forget to check out the sunken ships which are scattered around the area!

2. Bean Point

Bean Point offers the best snorkeling experience on Anna Maria Island. This spot features shallow sand bars surrounded by beautiful sea grass, which attracts large numbers of interesting aquatic life. You can snorkel amongst small tropical fish, sea turtles, and stingrays as if you were in an underwater aquarium. The visibility is often crystal clear, so make sure to snap plenty of pictures!

3. Coquina Beach

school of fish in body of water

Coquina Beach is another popular Anna Maria snorkeling spot. It is located south of Anna Maria Island, and it offers an incredible view of the Gulf of Mexico. The shallow waters make it the perfect place to start exploring the undersea world around Anna Maria Island, where you will find schools of tropical fish amidst vibrant coral reefs. You’ll also be able to find interesting sea creatures like eels and stingrays here if you keep your eyes alert!

4. Leffis Key Park & Preserve

Leffis Key Park & Preserve, located at the southern tip of the island, remains relatively undiscovered compared to the other spots, making it an ideal place to explore and spot wildlife. Home to a stunning variety of sea life, you’ll find some of the best snorkeling views around Anna Maria Island here. With a reef stretching out all around, you’re sure to see lots of colorful schools of fish gliding peacefully among the coral.

5. Regina Sugar Barge

The Regina Sugar Barge is a great spot for finding the more elusive sea creatures, such as angelfish and parrotfish. Located near Anna Maria Island, this artificial reef was once an abandoned sugar barge but has now become home to an amazing array of marine life. It features various coral formations from shallow depths to deeper waters, so you’re sure to find something exciting at the Regina Sugar Barge.

6. Egmont Key State Park and Wildlife Preserve.

black shark on body of water

Located at the north end of Anna Maria Island, Egmont Key is a great snorkeling spot with plenty to explore. The Preserve features clear waters, seagrass beds, and an abundance of fish, including sandbar and nurse sharks! Whether you’re a beginner or a pro snorkeler, you’ll enjoy the jaw-dropping views offered here. If you’re feeling adventurous enough to take the plunge, don’t forget your fins as there are plenty of cracks and crevices for various types of sea life. Be sure to bring a waterproof camera—you won’t want to miss out on the memories this adventure will create!

7. Passage Key

The waters of Passage Key are a gorgeous snorkeling spot for those looking for a little adventure. Located on the Gulf of Mexico side of Anna Maria Island, it’s one of the best places to explore marine life and observe coral as you explore its clear waters. You’ll be able to swim among all sorts of sea critters like crabs, shrimp, eels, and sea stars, and you’ll also get the chance to spot dolphins from time to time.

Something very important to know about Passage Key is that it’s also known as “Naked Key’ due to its reputation as a clothing-optional beach. So, if you’re planning on snorkeling here, it’s best that you know the rules of the area and respect the wishes of fellow beachgoers.

8. Holmes Beach

Take a brief drive south or take an invigorating stroll and you’ll find yourself in the Holmes Beach area of Anna Maria Island with breathtaking miles of untouched coastlines. Egmont Key is merely minutes away from this tropical paradise, so don’t miss out on your chance to explore it!

Get ready to explore the remarkable underwater world here at this beach! Its shallow, calm waves and crystal-clear waters make it perfect for snorkeling. The sandbar is extremely visible, making it a unique spot that will surely delight any water enthusiast.

Exploring the azure waters of this beach, you are sure to spot vibrant schools of tropical fish along with inquisitive crustaceans and dazzling starfish. It is not an unprecedented occurrence to observe a curious octopus meandering among the rocky seafloor either!

9. Manatee Beach Park

Mother manatee and calf swimming

This is probably our favorite choice because who doesn’t love manatees? Manatee Beach Park is a great spot for snorkelers of all ages and skill levels. The shallow water makes it the perfect place to explore the abundance of sea life that make this area their home.

You’ll find plenty of schools of colorful fish, quite probably a manatee or two, and you might be lucky enough to find a sea turtle or two! You’ll also find lots of interesting plants and coral in the shallow waters, so if you have time, don’t forget to look out for them too. Be sure to bring your camera because you won’t want to miss any of this amazing underwater scenery!

10. Bradenton Beach

Heading further south, you’ll find yourself on the shores of Bradenton Beach. This area is known for its white sandy beaches and gorgeous turquoise waters, perfect for a day of snorkeling fun!

The shallow depths here give it a unique edge that makes it ideal for both beginner and experienced snorkelers. A few steps away from the coastline, you’ll find yourself in a world of vibrant marine life. With its mix of sandy bottom and rocky coral reefs, you can expect to see remarkable schools of fish hovering in the water. If you look closely enough, you may even spot a sea turtle or two!

The best part about snorkeling in Bradenton Beach is that the area remains relatively undiscovered and far away from the hustle and bustle of typical Anna Maria Island snorkeling beach spots, so you can enjoy the beauty of nature around you without much interruption.

11. Longboat Key

Longboat Key offers some of the best snorkeling in Anna Maria Island! With its clear waters and abundance of sea life, you are sure to find something that will captivate your senses. A unique feature here is the artificial reef comprised of submerged artificial ships and boats. These structures provide shelter for a wide variety of marine life, from fish to octopi and even moray eels!

You can also explore the remaining wreckage of a German submarine, which was sunk during World War II. Bring your camera and capture the beauty of this historic site!

If you’re looking for some exhilarating adventure, don’t forget to explore the nearby island of Jewfish Key. This area is known for its shallow depths, crystal-clear waters and abundant schools of fish. If you’re lucky, you may even spot a dolphin or two while snorkeling on anna maria island!

Final Thoughts: Snorkeling Anna Maria Island Florida

No matter where you decide to go for Anna Maria Island snorkeling, you’re sure to have an unforgettable experience! With its gorgeous beaches and inviting waters, this destination is the perfect place for both novice and experienced snorkelers and there are tons of places to snorkel near Anna Maria Island. So grab your gear, and get ready to explore the beauty beneath the sea for the best snorkeling anna maria island offers!


Are there reefs in Anna Maria Island?

Yes, there are numerous reefs in Anna Maria Island. These can be found in all of the snorkeling spots listed above.

Is Anna Maria Island good for snorkeling?

Yes, Anna Maria Island is an excellent spot for snorkeling due to its clear, shallow waters and abundance of sea life.

Is Anna Maria Island snorkeling Safe at Night?

No, it is not recommended to go snorkeling at night as it can be dangerous due to the lack of visibility. It is best to stick to snorkeling during the day for safety reasons.

Are there alligators on Anna Maria Island?

You likely won’t see alligators on Anna Maria Island. Alligators like fresh water, so they would not be found in salty ocean waters.

Are there Sharks on Anna Maria Island?

Yes, there are sharks in the waters around Anna Maria Island, but it is very rare to spot one. It is important to be aware of your surroundings and follow all beach safety regulations when snorkeling to ensure a safe experience.

Do I need a guide to go snorkeling?

No, you do not need a guide to go snorkeling in Anna Maria Island. However, if you are an inexperienced snorkeler, it is recommended to book a guided tour for safety reasons.

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