When staying on Anna Maria Island there really isn’t ever a shortage of things to do and see. And food? Anna Maria Island has the finest dining options to fit any budget or style. The Island also offers plenty of opportunity to shop until you drop.
BUT there is so much to do and see just across the bridge in Bradenton too! Bradenton has been growing in population and sophistication the last several years – it really is up and coming – and is also home to some awe inspiring nature.
TOP 10 THINGS TO DO IN BRADENTON
If you like to be physically challenged and crave that adrenaline rush then Tree Umph! is for you. Featuring 5 progressive courses of wobbly bridges, rope nets, zip lines and more. There is something for every level and age to enjoy.
Where: 21805 E State Road 70, Bradenton, FL
When: Opens at 8:30 AM, Last Walk t 11:30 Weekdays & 1:30 Weekends, Closed some Wednesdays
Contact: (941) 322-2130 Toll-Free: 855-322-2130
The Village of the Arts is an eclectic live-work community made up of colorful historic cottages that house everything from award-winning restaurants to speciality shops, studios, healing arts, bakeries and Bradenton’s best art galleries. Located in Downtown Bradenton. Click Here for a list of merchants. Insider tip: Go visit and stroll on your own or participate in a Monthly Artwalk.
Where: Village boundaries stretch from 9th Ave West to 17th Ave West between 9th St West and 14th St West
Contact: Phone: (941) 747-8056 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Learn about dinosaurs, history and nature at The South Florida Museum. Did you know The Bishop Planetarium is part of the museum? Learn about astronomy through talks and shows in the Bishop Theatre with it’s new Digistar system. Most famously the museum is home to The Parker Manatee Aquarium – the address of the oldest living manatee in captivity – Snooty (he’s 68!). You can watch Snooty on the SnootyCam
Where: 201 10th St. W | Bradenton
When: Tuesday – Saturday 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Sundays 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM. The Museum is CLOSED on Mondays and CLOSED the 1st Saturday in November, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day.
Contact: (941) 746-4131
Running October through May, Bradenton’s Farmer’s Market features fresh local produce, local art, music, demonstrations by local chefs and family activities- bring the whole family including the dog!
Where: Old Main St. in Downtown Bradenton -Old Main Street is a tree-lined retail district of cafes and restaurants running three blocks north from Manatee Avenue to the Manatee River, where it meets the Bradenton Riverwalk.
When: Saturdays October- May 9:00 AM-2:00 PM
Downtown Bradenton’s showpiece, Riverwalk is our outdoor gathering place. Overlooking the Manatee River, the Riverwalk is a 1.5-mile, ADA-accessible park spanning downtown with many features: Great Lawn, Day Dock, Tower Plaza, Botanical Walk, Mosaic Amphitheatre, Family Fun Zone, Pavilion Event Area, Fishing Pier, The Tidal Discovery Zone and Outdoor Living Rooms. There really is something for everybody.
When: Open 24 hours a day
Robinson’s Preserve is a 600+-acre coastal preserve located in northwestern Bradenton. The interior of the preserve features hiking paths, kayak and canoe waterways, bridges, picnic spots, mangrove forests and a 53-foot-tall tower with a wide-open view of the Tampa Bay area. Things to do at Robinson’s Preserve:Kayaking, Biking, Trail Walking (leashed Dogs allowed), Bird watching, Fishing, Skateboarding, Children’s playground & Covered Pavillion
To kayak or stand up paddle board through the preserve you can rent equipment from surfer bus found on the Palma Sola Causeway at 9800 Manatee Ave.
Where: There are multiple entrances for your convience:
One aquatic entrance: 9800 Manatee Ave W, Bradenton
The main entrance: 1704 99th st, Bradenton Fl 34209
Perico Island hike in entrance: 10600 block of Manatee Ave W. under the hump back bridge.
When: Sunrise to Sunset
Contact: (941) 745-3723 Manatee County Natural Resources
Perico Preserve offers a unique experience to get close to wildlife while doing so in a way that does not startle or impact the native creatures’ behavior. The County’s first site to offer a bird blind, the entire preserve has been planned to allow visitors with the opportunity to view, photograph, and move alongside birds and other animals while preserving their natural habitat. Because the preserve is a bird sanctuary, unlike most other Manatee County parks, no dogs (service dogs excepted) are allowed. Things to Do: Hiking, Biking, Bird Watching
Where: 11700 Manatee Ave W, Bradenton
When: Sunrise to Sunset
You may have noticed that craft breweries have become very popular in the last few years. That fact is very true in Florida, and craft breweries are really burgeoning in Bradenton.
Motorworks Brewery, named after the fact that it is located in a 1923 building that originally housed a car dealership.It boasts the largest beer garden in Florida, complete with a spacious deck built around a magnificent 150+ year-old oak tree, a 3-hole putting green, 2 bocce ball courts, over a dozen cornhole sets, life-sized jenga, a live music stage, 22 ft. projection screen and more. It hosts many events, you can see their calendar Here.
Where: 1014 9th Street West, Bradenton
When: Sunday – Thursday 11am – Midnight, Friday & Saturday 11am – 2am
Contact: (941) 567-6218
Darwin Brewing Company brews artisan ales and lagers influenced by the flavors and spices of South America’s Andean and Amazonian Regions. Its roots trace back to January 2012 to a modest brewing system within the brewpub Darwin’s on 4th, which offered authentic Andean cuisine to the communities of Bradenton and Sarasota. As Darwin’s on 4th became known throughout the culinary world, Brewmaster Jorge Rosabal began crafting artisan brews to pair with the brewpub’s cuisine.
Where: 803 17th Avenue West, Bradenton
When: Wednesday & Thursday: 4-10pm, Friday: 4-11pm, Saturday: 12-11pm, Sunday: 12-5pm, Closed Monday & Tuesday unless event
Contact: 941-747-1970, email@example.com
3 Keys Brewing Company is the newest craft brewery in Bradenton, and it’s a family affair. Jeff and Cathy Douglas and their oldest son Scott were inspired by a love of craft beer and a nationwide road trip/brewery tour to open their own family friendly brewery/eatery. They are also kid-friendly up until 9:00 pm – toys, books and video games provided – as well as dog-friendly on their patio/grassy area.
Where:2505 Manatee Ave E, Bradenton
When: Monday-Thursday: 11am-10pm, Friday-Saturday: 11am-12pm
Contact: (941) 218-0396
Historic downtown Bradenton has been exploding with new businesses developing very quickly in the last couple years.
There is a multitude of restaurants to suit any desire or craving. Pizza? Mexican? Sandwiches? Steak? Ice Cream? Baked Goods? Whatever you’re thinking you’ll find it! Special mention: Sage Biscuit has opened a second location in Downtown Bradenton and everyone is super happy about that! You can see a comprehensive restaurant list here.
Want a night out on the town with friends or family? There is a mix of establishments including the the craft breweries mentioned above. Find the list here. Insider’s tip: O’Bricks Irish Pub and Martini Bar is smoke free.
If you like to shop in unique boutique style stores Bradenton can make your dreams come true. Everything from fashion to jewellery to art to gifts and souvenirs can be found. For the scoop on shops click here.
A Downtown Bradenton list would be incomplete without mentioning McKechnie Field! It’s a beloved landmark that has been around since 1923.
McKechnie Field is the site of the Pittsburgh Pirates spring training. Fans start coming to watch their team get ready for the season starting in April every year. Here is the 2017 schedule so you can start planning now! Interesting fact: the field was named after Pittsburgh native, former Bradenton resident and Hall of Fame manager Bill McKechnie.
If you can’t get enough of The Boys of Summer you can attend a Bradenton Marauders – the pride of Bradenton -game throughout the summer. Come out and root for the hometown team! Plan your visit here
Would you like to visit Anna Maria Island?
Contact us at annamariaislandhouserental.com and discover Blue Turtle Cottage – the best kept secret on Anna Maria Island!
A beautifully renovated 3 bedroom home with a private, heated pool just steps from the 7 miles of sugar sand beaches of Anna Maria Island
Contact Us Here!
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