For Phase-3 of the Coquina Beach Parking and Drainage Project, the parking lot south of the bus loop is closed. When Phase 3 is done, Phase 4 of building the parking lot north of the bus loop will begin.

When the project is done, storm water will drain more quickly, which will help with flooding and water that stays in one place.

People who want to go to Coquina Beach should take the popular Island Trolley from Manatee County Area Transit. On Sundays and holidays, people who take MCAT’s Beach Express route can connect to the free trolley.

Most of the money for the project comes from taxes on tourism, which were approved by the Tourism Development Council and the Board of County Commissioners.

Coquina Beach


Coquina Beach is the Gulf of Mexico beach that goes the farthest south on Anna Maria Island.

Coquina is a great place to spend the day with family and friends because it has a calm atmosphere, a lot of space to spread out, and a relaxing atmosphere.

The flat beach is surrounded by sand dunes where grasses and sea oats wave in the wind, adding to the beach’s natural beauty.

Sea turtles like to come to this area to lay their eggs. The white sand beach is a great place to lay out in the sun, swim in a safe area, or play Frisbee. You might get lucky and find a sand dollar or some pretty shells on the beach. If you keep your eyes open, you might even see dolphins jumping and swimming in the Gulf.

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Coquina Beach has soft white sand and clear water most of the time.

There are a lot of free parking spots, picnic tables, grills, bathrooms, showers, and a playground for kids.

There are several volleyball courts and a paved path that goes along the beach.

Coquina Beach is a safe place to swim, snorkel, and look for seashells and sand dollars because lifeguards are on duty.

The southernmost part of the park is right next to New Pass Inlet, which connects the Gulf of Mexico to the Intracoastal Waterway and is a great place to fish from the shore. If it gets too hot, you can cool off in the shade of the Australian Pine Trees.

Boat Launch

On the Intracoastal Waterway side, just across the street from Coquina Beach, there is a place to launch boats.

From the ramp, you can walk or walk on boards around the mangrove-lined lagoons. It’s a nice place to walk under the shade of pine trees along Florida’s natural coastline. It’s also a great place to fish or watch birds.


  • Beach benches
  • bike racks
  • changing huts
  • games tables at the Coquina Beach Cafe
  • Grills Gift Shop
  • Multi-Purpose Trail (paved)
  • Pavilions (5) Picnic Tables
  • Playgrounds
  • Containers should be recycled
  • Restrooms (closed nightly at 9 p.m. to accommodate custodial cleaning – does not include 6-pack restrooms) (closed
  • nightly at 9 p.m. to accommodate custodial cleaning – does not include 6-pack restrooms)
  • Shower (outside) (outside)
  • Places to put trash
  • Volleyball at the Trolley Stop (sand)
  • Fountains of water
  • Wheelchairs on the beach are first-come, first-served.


  • Alcohol, littering, and carrying glass bottles are all against the law.
  • There are no pets allowed.
  • Drones and other toys or vehicles that can be controlled from a distance are not allowed.
  • No campfires. You can only grill on the grills that are there.
  • Fireworks are against the law.
  • It is against the law to walk on dunes in a way that disturbs wildlife or destroys their habitat.
  • Golf carts, ATVs, and other vehicles are not allowed on footpaths or the beach.
  • Wildlife is protected by the law, so it can’t be hunted, bothered, hurt, caught, chased, moved, or otherwise bothered.
  • Please enjoy looking at and taking pictures of wildlife from afar.
  • May 1 to October 31 is sea turtle season.
  • After dark, there are no lights on the beach.
  • Don’t go near turtles or their nests.
  • At night, take the beach furniture away.
  • Don’t mess with nests or signs.

Coquina bay Walk 

The Coquina Baywalk has a number of trails and boardwalks that lead through mangrove tunnels to Leffis Key. Leffis Key is a small, unspoiled island between Bradenton Beach and Longboat Key. It is between the Gulf of Mexico and Sarasota Bay. Even though all of the trails are less than a mile long, they are fun to explore. Observation decks hidden in the mangroves give great views of the bay.

It feels like you’re peeking out of tunnels. Climb to the top of the spoil piles to see the bay and ocean in all their glory. Leffis Key is on East Bay Drive, about 3.2 miles south of the Anna Maria Causeway and south of Bradenton Beach. On the left, across from the beach, is the entrance to the park.

After you walk across the wide boardwalk at the entrance, you can go in any direction you want. Turn left to see the boardwalks that go through mangrove tunnels and lead to a view of the bay. Turn right to walk out to a clear cove where signs explain the sea squirts and sponges you can see.

In the middle of the island, a tall pile of trash gives a wide view of the sea, the bay, and Longboat Key’s northern edge.

Some Things To Do In Coquina Beach

Aside from why I like Coquina Beach, here’s everything else you need to know about it.

Check out Coquina Beach itself

People come to this area, of course, mostly to check out the beach. The truth is that Coquina Beach is a long beach with a lot of places to stay.

I’ve included a map that shows where I always went when I went there over and over again. This is where I see the fewest people most of the time (I am often the only one in this area for most of the AM hours).

And to be honest, unless it’s a weekend or a popular holiday, you won’t find a lot of people on Coquina Beach, which is one of the reasons I love this place so much.

The area I stay at though, aside from being peaceful is very comfortable with a parking lot only about 70 feet away and trees for shade are also close by.

You will also find some picnic and BBQ areas right by the parking lot there. There are more official and bigger parking spots at Coquina Beach, but this one is usually one of the least crowded ones I’ve seen when I go there.

Coquina Beach cafe is where most people go

Despite my recommendation to go to the spot I personally like, if you like to visit beaches where you have more accomodations like food, tables and bathrooms, then you’ll want to check out Coquina Beach Cafe.

Just a note about bathrooms: there are at least two or three places to use them on the beach, but the ones closest to the water are near the cafe.

It’s only a 2-minute drive from where I stay, but most people who go to Coquina Beach stay here, so I don’t go there unless I want to get some snacks.

Overall if you enjoy sitting at a table with a palm tree shade overlooking you and you don’t mind crowds and possibly a lot of noise, then this is a great spot to check out.

Just as well, this is also where the biggest parking lot for Coquina Beach is, and there are even more picnic tables and BBQ grills there, so if the cafe isn’t open, these are good alternatives to try.

Check out all of Anna Maria Island, including its hotels, cafes, and other places.

Coquina Beach is on the long island called Anna Maria Island.

Still, if you go further north, you can find a number of other beaches:

There are two more beaches further north, but otherwise, the more north you go on Anna Maria Island, the more hotels, restaurants, piers, and tourist spots you will find.

See the beautiful (mostly good) wildlife at Coquina Beach

People probably think of sharks when I say “wildlife,” but as far as I know, there haven’t been many shark sightings at Coquina Beach in all the years I’ve been going there.

  • I’ve seen dolphins many times.
  • I’ve seen stingrays, and once or twice I’ve even seen a giant manta ray.
  • Clearly, there are many kinds of fish.
  • Sea turtles (there used to be hatching events on this very beach).
  • I’ve met manatees a few times, and I’ve added a picture of one of them.

Coquina Beach has a flag system. If there are any dangerous animals, a purple flag will be raised. However, I have never seen a purple flag for the above three animals; most of the time, the flag is green (safe).

Coquina Beach’s sunsets are out of this world

It’s true that almost any beach in Florida will have a beautiful sunset, but with all the other things I love about this place, an unforgettable sunset only makes it better.

Before I had a camera phone, I used to take pictures with old-fashioned cameras. I still have a shoe box full of pictures I took of sunsets here many years ago.

I’ve seen great sunsets in places like Gros Morne National Park and along the Pacific Coast Highway on the west coast, but the ones at Coquina Beach are still some of my favourites.

I’ll add a few more as this post goes on because I’ve been lucky enough to see more than a few of them over the years!

It just shows how great this place is. One of the best sunsets in Florida is at Bradenton Beach. I wish I could show you the pictures I took before camera phones. They were also great, but here are some more that I took with my phone:

  • Now, you do have to “time” the sunsets in this area, because they won’t always be this beautiful.
  • I think you should come here between fall and summer (before August).
  • On cloudy or stormy days, you might not be able to see these kinds of things, but sometimes the sky is clear enough for the sun to set in a way that makes photos like the ones you see.

Coquina Beach also has a lot of water sports to offer

Here are just a few of the many popular places to swim near Coquina Beach and on Anna Maria Island in general:

  • I’ve done jet skiing many times at Coquina Beach.
  • Kayaking (tried that a few times, it was great) (tried that a few times, it was great).
  • Paddle boarding (I did that at the bay around Coquina Beach, it was awesome).
  • Scuba diving.
  • Fishing.
  • Parasailing.
  • Having a party on a big sand bar.
  • And going from island to island with boats, kayaks, etc.

And since we’re talking about kayaking, if you’re in this area, St. Petersberg is about 30 minutes away and has great kayaking trails like these.

What to do in Coquina Beach, Florida

Now, in addition to the many water sports you can do at Coquina Beach, I really think you should check out the bay on the eastern side of Anna Maria Island.

Just being able to ride jet skis, kayaks, and boats in open water with nothing to see would be boring.

Coquina Beach and the bay next to it have a lot of interesting places to visit, some of which I’ve marked on the map below:

The first spot on the map is a sandbar: The whole circle I made is a place where boats stop and people party. I came here by kayak, got out on the sandbar, and walked around a lot. It’s a lot of fun to be here.

Spots 2 and 3: These are places where you can rent boats, kayaks, jet skis, mopeds, and more. I’ve tried and liked Bradenton Beach Marina and Cortez Waterspots.

Spot 4 is Leffis Key, which is a small, beautiful park.

coquina beach sandbar area 03 4) Spot 5: Is a beautiful place you can paddle board or kayak to. It has a lot of small islands that are beautiful to look at.

Spot 6 is similar to spot 5, but manatees and other animals are more likely to be seen there.

Spot 7 is a place north of the bay with more beautiful views, including one of the Skyway Bridge in the distance.

Spot 8 is an island that you can see from the bridge in Coquina. You can get there by boat or kayak, though. You can stop there, take a walk through beautiful scenery, or even camp out and have a party.

Check out Leffis Key Park Preserve

leffis key on Coquina Beach 

At the other end of the beach, there is a park call Leffis Key. It has beautiful short walks and great views of the bay.

You can also see a lot of different animals, like crabs, birds, and sea creatures.

I’ve been to this small park a few times. There’s a boardwalk that goes around the area, and you can also walk on some trails. You can see that mangrove trees are all around the park.

See this list of exotic places in Florida if you like these kinds of places (other than beaches). It has a lot to show.

By NangeLa

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