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best route from Orlando to Anna Maria Island

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hampshire
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144 posts
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best route from Orlando to Anna Maria Island

travelling with my wife and 3 teenage children. Want a nice route with lots to see. Will be leaving early morning and don't need to arrive until late afternoon so want to make the most of the drive. Any ideas? Whats good to see on the way? Places to stoip to eat/

thanks

Wednesbury, United...
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1. Re: best route from Orlando to Anna Maria Island

when we do this drive we like to go to Clearwater Pier or St Petersburg Pier for a few hours first and have some nice food on route. Also love to travel over the skyway bridge from St Petes to Bradenton (rather than inland route) and pull of and chat to the fisherman on the slip roads by the bridge and spot dolphins.

On the route from Clearwater south there is an amazing restaurant called Salt Rock Grill in Indian Shores (we had our wedding reception here) great lunch deals and really great food. lots of local caught seafood but also lots for the teenagers.

On Gulf Blvd about 10 mins after Salt Rock Grill there is a great little place called St Johns Pass. It is just a collection of shops and restaurants on the Water with boat trips etc. Really nice little place to wander for an hour or 2 plus there is a shop called the florida winery that has loads of locally produced wines, jams, sauces etc all with tasters and $1 beer on draught ;) and a great ice cream shop next door

just my little input

hampshire
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2. Re: best route from Orlando to Anna Maria Island

Thanks happy monkey. Appreciated

Rochester, MN
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3. Re: best route from Orlando to Anna Maria Island

We are doing the same drive and love the above tips....but unfortunately our drive will be later in the day hence the need to do the freeway/direct route. 2 1/2 hours I was told, from MCO.

UK
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for Florida
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4. Re: best route from Orlando to Anna Maria Island

I am sure you have two threads about this as I answered it yesterday but don't see it here?

I4 to I75 to Rt 64 is fastest (abt 2 hours or so) but going over to the beaches/bridge can be more scenic.

Aberdeen, United...
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5. Re: best route from Orlando to Anna Maria Island

We tend to stop off at Ellenton Outlets on our way between Orlando and Anna Maria Island. Not very scenic but it passes some time if you are waiting to get in to a villa. The coastal route is fine if you haven't seen the area before and are in no hurry but the traffic is much slower than the alternative so will take you a lot longer.

As suggested Johns Pass (No ST in the name) is a good stopping point after Clearwater Beach.

http://www.johnspass.com.

I do find the Sunshine Skyway bridge quite a stunning structure and I know we are nearing our destination (AMI) when we see it.

Birmingham, United...
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for Rhodes
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6. Re: best route from Orlando to Anna Maria Island

Why not consider visiting Busch Gardens on your way, and then when you have enjoyed Busch Gardens late afternoon, continue your journey down to Anna Maria Island.

Wednesbury, United...
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7. Re: best route from Orlando to Anna Maria Island

No problem shrekfeet It's a lovely journey if you are not in a rush

Not sure why I put the st. at the front of johns pass, must have been thinking st Petes!

At Clearwater there is not a huge amount to do on pier 60 except a little shop and you can hire a rod and fish The staff are great and help you with everything if it's just for fun

as youre going to to a beach area for the 2nd part of your holiday maybe st Petersburg pier will be better for you as they have a lovely selection of shops, aquarium, bar and restaurants, easy to park and just a nice place to spend a few hours.

I'll be there in 6 days wohooo!

8. Re: best route from Orlando to Anna Maria Island

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