Coquina Beach, on the southern end of Anna Maria Island Florida, is an old style Florida beach on the Gulf of Mexico. With tall pine trees lining the beach, it is one of the more picturesque of our beaches. I enjoy it. I think you will too.
The “feel” of this beach and greater Anna Maria Island, Florida, in general, is “old Florida.”
So squint your eyes and imagine that you’re back in the 1950s or 60s. This is the kind of place to do that. If you’re younger, squint your eyes and pretend you’re back in the 80s and 90s!
Nonetheless, I think you’ll understand the feeling I’m trying to convey to you so you, yourself, don’t miss the feel of the “good old days” of ole Florida!
The sand is soft and with the shoreline of Coquina Beach bordered by the tall Pine Trees, even the hottest of Florida summer days can be quite pleasant under the shade in the picnic area, between the parking lot and shoreline.
There are even grills here so you can fill up your cooler with hot dogs, burgers, potato salad and cold drinks and kick back under the shade at a nearby picnic table and grill. I love this beach and its "feel" of old Florida.
Kudos: In March, 2015, Conde Nast Traveler named Coquina Beach as one of the "top 5 beaches in the entire world for perfect sand." That makes it the only beach in Florida and the continental U.S. to receive the recognition. Conde Nast Traveler wrote in the article about Coquina Beach that it is "the opposite of South Beach: It's laid back, bordered by towering pines, and boasts perfect, unspoiled sand as fine as powder. It's also the longest stretch of sand on Anna Maria - uninterrupted but for remnants of old piers jutting out into the water."
There’s much to enjoy here: from the south end of the beach a wide strand along the shoreline narrows into a thinner swath of sand as you head north along the beach.
There you’ll find a more private, peaceful area of the beach where you can just lay back and relax and read your book or thumb through your magazine or just gaze out at the beautiful water of the Gulf of Mexico.
You can walk down a sand path from the shady area of the park to your own little secluded area of the beach. Bring your beach umbrella, your towel, your folding chair and a cold drink!
The view here is spectacular.
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The more public part of the beach, toward the south, is filled with people soaking up rays and playing in the sun, water and warm, salty air.
The main public area of Coquina Beach has numerous amenities including lifeguards, restrooms and a concession stand where you can pick up some treats and there’s a rental booth where you can get some lounge chairs, cabanas and umbrellas.
There are also a couple volleyball courts and a playground area
for the kids plus a huge parking lot. Parking at this beach should not
be a problem.
This is the place to bring a full cooler to enjoy a beach side picnic under the shady pine trees. You may even reserve a picnic pavilion by calling (941) 742-5923.
From the southern tip of Anna Maria Island, south of Coquina Beach, you can gaze across the turquoise Longboat Pass onto the northern most point of Longboat Key.
The view alone is stunning, to me...simply gorgeous. You’ll enjoy watching boaters, jet skiers and kayaks making their way through the channel and out to the Gulf of Mexico.
Coquina is close enough to other Sarasota Beaches to take a scenic drive north along the Longboat Key coast and on to Anna Maria Island to spend some time at this old Florida beach.
Travel time from downtown Sarasota depends on whether it's "in season" or "off season," but I would plan on about an average of 45 minutes to an hour, maybe less.
This is a great beach to come to and explore or relax.
Hours: Open daily from sunrise to sunset.
Directions from Sarasota: Go over the Ringling Bridge off of downtown Sarasota onto St. Armand’s Key and follow Rt. 789 around St. Armand’s Circle to the north and on to Longboat Key. Stay on Gulf of Mexico drive north on Longboat Key until you cross the bridge to Anna Maria Island. Coquina Beach will be on the left.
From Coquina Beach to Sarasota Beaches Main Page.
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