Because it is is only seven miles long, one of the best ways to explore Anna Maria Island is by bicycle. We offer the free use of bikes at Lemon Cottage. Unfortunately we don’t have the space to store bikes at Lime Cottage but there are a number of places on the Island that rent bikes and that will deliver them to the Cottages.
Three rental places nearby are Just 4 Fun, AMI Beach Fun Rentals and Fun And More Rentals. In addition to bicycles, these places also rent kayaks, paddleboards and beach supplies, and for travelers with small children Fun and More Rentals also rents out baby supplies such as cribs, highchairs and strollers.
If trails are more to your taste than beaches, there are a number of local Preserves within a short bike ride or drive.
The Neal Preserve is located just over the Manatee Avenue bridge on Perico Island. This short trail consists of shell and boardwalk sections and includes an observation tower. Reconstructed burial mounds recreate the history of the Native Americans who inhabited the area from 3000 BC to 1400 AD.
Leffis Key Preserve, located within Coquina Beach Baywalk is a restored wetland preserve with trails and boardwalks through mangrove forest and up a hill that offers a panoramic view of Sarasota Bay and the Gulf.
Perico Preserve is a bit further along Manatee Avenue on Perico Island. This area has just recently been reclaimed and exists as a haven for shore and wading birds such as pelicans, egrets, herons ospreys and roseate spoonbills. The rookery has been designed as a island with elevated platforms providing nesting sites that are safe from egg-snatching predators.
Robinson Preserve is a 600+acre preserve on the north side of Manatee Avenue and includes hiking trails, observation towers, picnic areas and a visitor’s center at Valentine House. That said the best way to see Robinson Preserve is by kayak or paddle board. These can be rented through the business already listed or reserved from the SurferBus that usually parks on the west end of Palma Sola causeway.
Please note that dogs are not permitted at Leffis Key, Neal Preserve or Perico Preserve. Dog walking is permitted at the Robinson Preserve.