Navigate Anna Maria Island with the Free Island Trolley (2024)

While it’s relatively simple to navigate around Anna Maria Island by a personal vehicle, there’s an even more convenient transportation option to make your way around this popular Florida vacation spot! Allow yourself to completely relax while riding in style on the Anna Maria Island trolley. Take in all the stunning sights of AMI by hopping on and off the trolley as many times as you’d like!

Taking advantage of the Anna Maria Island trolley allows you to take in the gorgeous AMI sights and attractions without dealing with traffic, being overwhelmed by the GPS, or having to keep your eyes fixated on the road. You won’t miss out on any of the beauty Anna Maria Island has to offer!

The trolley is a primary means of transportation for local residents and vacationers alike, and it couldn’t be easier to take advantage of! Not only is the trolley completely free, but it also has many convenient stops. There are 35 northbound stops and 35 southbound stops, so you can catch a handy ride from beach areas, shopping areas, and even our Anna Maria Island accommodations.

Let’s learn more about the incredible Anna Maria Island trolley and explore the equally convenient places to stay on Anna Maria Island!

Navigate Anna Maria Island with the Free Island Trolley (1)

About the Anna Maria Island Trolley

Since its inception in 2002, the Anna Maria Island trolley has remained free to passengers. It began as both a tourist attraction and a means of transportation for island residents.

The trolley is operated by the Manatee County Area Transit (MCAT) and offers comfortable, air-conditioned rides that cover the entire island! Some of the AMI trolleys feature open-air seating, which is great for appreciating Anna Maria Island’s weather, and all of the trolleys are wheelchair-accessible. The trolley route starts at the Anna Maria City Pier and travels all the way to Coquina Beach at the island’s southernmost tip!

Need to travel past Coquina Beach? No problem! Simply switch to the Long Boat Key Trolley, which charges .75 cents for a comfortable ride to beautiful Sarasota.

The trolley makes stops every 20 minutes on a continuous loop. Among its stops is the Island Shopping Center (available southbound only); popular Bridge Street, where you can take in historic structures and take a walk on the pier; Manatee County Public Beach, just steps from Mello; Coquina Beach, which takes you along a tree-lined Boardwalk path; and various locations on the island’s main street, Gulf Drive, including 27th Street, Pine Avenue (where you’ll find plenty of shopping and restaurants) and 78th Street.

If you’ve rented bikes, worry not: you can still ride the trolley! The trolley features a bike rack where you can store your bikes as a passenger. Racks accommodate two-wheeled bikes with single seats up to 16 inches or larger. However, note that electronic bikes or scooters are not allowed on the trolley.

Some rules for riding on the trolley on Anna Maria Island include: shirt and shoes must be worn; no food or open drink containers; no alcoholic beverages; no weapons of any kind; no smoking; and no blocking of aisles with any personal belongings. Loud talking and profanity are also prohibited. Not adhering to these rules could lead to you being unable to board the trolley or being asked to disembark at the next stop.

Plan Your AMI Adventure Today

Start planning the Vacation of your dreams with us at Mello on the Beach. Perfect for a romantic getaway or a trip with your friends, we have rentals to fit any need. Book with us today!

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Anna Maria Island Trolley Schedule

The trolley on Anna Maria Island begins operating at 6 a.m. every day and ends at 10:30 p.m. It stops every 20 minutes up until 9 p.m.; during the final 90 minutes, it stops every half hour. Trolley stops are found about every two to four blocks.

Service is available to Sarasota from 6 a.m. – 11 a.m., picking up every 30 minutes.

The Anna Maria Island trolley system currently consists of a five-trolley fleet. The newest addition, the Beach ConneXion Shuttle, was added in December 2019. It runs from December through April each year during a busy tourist season as visitors come and go off the island. Drivers can use this shuttle to avoid heavy traffic situations on Manatee Avenue. It picks up at the MCAT bus stop on the corner of Manatee Ave. and 75th Street West. The shuttle runs weekends and holidays, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., and is at no cost to passengers.

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How to Catch the Anna Maria Island Trolley

As with everything about the Anna Maria Island trolley, it’s easy to catch a ride. There are nine pick-up locations:

· Coquina Beach in Bradenton Beach

· Gulf Dr/Bridge St, in Bradenton Beach

· Gulf Dr/27th St, in Bradenton Beach

· Manatee County Beach in Holmes Beach

· Gulf Dr/Wachovia in Holmes Beach – Northbound Only

· Gulf Dr/Pine Avenue Anna Maria

· Anna Maria City Pier in Anna Maria

· Gulf Drive/78th St in Holmes Beach – Southbound Only

· Island Shopping Center in Holmes Beach – Southbound Only

The trolley runs seven days a week. Fixed route service is unavailable on the following major holidays: New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day.

The operating schedule is the same Monday – Friday and weekends.

It is recommended to arrive at the pickup location ten minutes prior to the pickup time and to be visible at the stop, so the driver sees you.

The MCAT app allows you to access the trolley schedule. Have a QR code reader on your phone? Just scan the QR code at any trolley stop, and you can find out the arrival time for that particular stop.

Hopping on the Trolley from Mello on the Beach

As a guest at Mello on the Beach, a Holmes Beach resort operating in the area for decades prior to our revamp, you can find quick access to the trolley.

When you stay at Mello on the Beach, you’re not only close to the Anna Maria Island trolley stop, but you’re also close to the stunning Manatee Public Beach! To take advantage of the trolley from your Anna Maria Island rental, you can walk to the Manatee Public Beach stop, which is just a few blocks away from Manatee Avenue.

The Manatee Public Beach stop is almost exactly between the start of the trolley route at City Pier and Coquina Beach to the south. It is one of the three main stops the trolley makes, which include Anna Maria City Pier and Coquina Beach.

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Your Anna Maria Island Rental

With 10+ accommodation options to choose from, Mello on the Beach is sure to have the perfect property for you. Whether you’re traveling with a small crew and are interested in a one-bedroom vacation rental on Anna Maria Island, or you’re traveling with the whole family, and you need a three-bedroom rental on AMI, Mello on the Beach has the perfect Anna Maria accommodation for you.

Our beautiful Anna Maria Island rental units feature full and colorful kitchenettes, decks, and patios, provided linens and towels, and access to countless on-site amenities, all just moments from some of the most beautiful beaches around. Outside, there’s a shared pool, BBQ grills, fire pit, outdoor showers, pool house, private beach access, and bike rentals right at the hotel.

You’ll also enjoy being just a few steps from the white sand beach, where you can go shelling, swimming, and sunbathing. You can also find many beach items for rent, such as kayaks and surfboards. You’re also near the AMI Beach Café, a picnic area, a playground, and more.

As you can tell, the opportunities for fun and relaxation are endless whenever you stay at Mello on the Beach, so book your Anna Maria Island rental today and prepare to have your best vacation yet!

Navigate Anna Maria Island with the Free Island Trolley (4)
Navigate Anna Maria Island with the Free Island Trolley (5)
Navigate Anna Maria Island with the Free Island Trolley (2024)


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