Area Guide Old

Beaches

Bradenton Beach, Anna Maria Island: If flat, wide, soft sand beaches are your desire, then this is your place. This is public beach and it fills up quickly in the winter months. Parking is alongside the beach. Go early on the weekends to get a spot.

Beer Can Island Beach, Longboat Key: Located at the northern tip of Longboat Key, this is a secluded stretch of shallow beach, perfect for shelling. You can walk the island at low tide.

Manatee Beach, Located at the west end of Manatee Ave in Holmes Beach, Manatee Beach has public access and is one of the busiest beaches on the island. There are public bathrooms, picnic tables, grills and a large covered pavilion that serves breakfast and lunch. In addition to food, there is a limited bar that serves alcoholic beverages. During the winter months, you can enjoy live music on the weekends. Breakfast early in the morning is a must at least once while you are on the island. There is nothing better than sitting by the sea, with a cool breeze and a cup of coffee. There is public parking at this beach, however, it does fill up fast. If you are staying on Anna Maria Island, take the trolley. It stops there throughout the day. Manatee Beach also has a small gift shop that sells ice cream and small water floats.

Coquina Beach Gulf Side, Located at the south edge of Anna Maria Island. There is a large open lot for parking. The trolley does stop at this beach too. Public restrooms, changing facilities, picnic tables and large pavilions available to rent for getting together. Coquina Beach also has a snack bar, grills and gift shop. This is one of the largest beach available to the public. You can access Coquina Beach from Longboat Key as well.


Breweries

 

  • 3 Keys Brewing and eatery
  • The Good Liquid Brewing
  • Darwin Brewing Company
  • Motorworks Brewing
  • JDub’s Brewing company
  • Big Top brewing company

Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria Island has so many things to offer from its sparkling water and fine sand beaches to great dining and entertainment. There is a public trolley that goes up and down the island with plenty of stops in between that allows you to hop off and catch a bit of fun. So, leave your car behind and run on island time.


Sweet Treats

 

  • Dairy Queen
  • Tyler ice cream
  • Small town creamery
  • Anna Maria island creamery and bakery
  • Dips
  • Joes eats and sweets
  • Cold Stone
  • Yogurt mountain
  • Menchies

Parks and Walking Trails

Mixon Fruit Farms, 2525 27th Street East, Bradenton: You can not only get great citrus products but also a tour of the orange grove, which includes a wildlife refuge. Injured birds, reptiles and various animals are brought here on a rescue basis with the intent of returning them back to their natural habitat. When you are there, make sure to visit their gift shop and Groveside Cafe where you can enjoy their orange swirl ice cream and other homemade citrus products.

Palma Sola Botanical Park, 75th and 17th Ave., Bradenton: Admission is free. Leashed dogs are welcome. This 10-acre site is home to exotic fruit and nut trees. The garden is exquisitely decorated with flowers and well maintained with shell walking paths and shaded areas for just enjoying the tranquil atmosphere.

Robinson Nature Reserve, 1709 99th St NW, Bradenton: This preserve is 487 acres and offers hiking and biking trails, a kayak launch and an observation tower. You can kayak through to Tampa Bay. Leashed dogs are welcome. When you are there, go up in the observation tower. You can get a great view of Tampa Bay. Fishing is allowed on the bridges.

Native Rentals is located along 9800 Manatee Ave West, close to Robinson Preserve. You can rent kayaks, paddleboards or take the eco-friendly paddle tours through Robinson Preserve and Anna Maria Sound. Just look for the surf bus on Manatee Ave. They are there usually 7 days a week.


Attractions

 

  • TreeUmph Adventure course
  • Dolphin watch tour
  • Marina Jack dinner cruise
  • South Florida Museum
  • Manatee village Historical Park
  • Ringling Museum of art
  • Mote Marine
  • Tampa Aquarium
  • Jungle Garden
  • Big cat habitat
  • Bounce down under
  • Escape room
  • Sky Zone Trampoline Park
  • Mini Golfing Smuggler Cove

Dog Parks

GT Bray Park, 5502 33 Ave Dr. West, Bradenton: Happy Trails Canine Park, located in the northeast corner of the park of GT Bray. There are 3 acres for Fido to run around and there is also an exclusive fenced area for older dogs, small dogs or maybe if your dog is like mine, dogs that are scared of other dogs! Doggie drinking fountains and free waste bags are available.

De Soto National Memorial Beach, 8300 DeSoto Memorial Hwy, Bradenton: Dog-friendly beach, as long as they are on a leash. I am not sure who likes this place more, my dog or myself. You will find beautiful views of Tampa Bay, shaded trails and several wonderful, quiet spots to sit and read a book. My dog loves it there too.


Theme parks

 

  • Bush Gardens
  • Adventure Islands
  • Disney Magic Kingdom
  • Hollywood Studios
  • Epcot
  • Animal Kingdom
  • Dinosaur world
  • Discovery Cover
  • Disney Typhoon Lagoon
  • Universal Orlando
  • Sea world
  • Aquatica
  • Lego Land
  • Discovery Cover
  • Fun spot American Kissimmee

Art & Art Walks

The Village of the Arts, 1113 12th St West, Bradenton: From specialty shops, healing arts and bakeries, this is your place for all things unique. Be sure to attend the monthly art walks held the first Friday and Saturday of every month.

Art Center Manatee, 209 9th Street West, Bradenton: Voted People’s Choice in 2015 is a premiere center for art education. Local artists sell their creations in the gift shop which is filled with photographs, glass sculptures, jewelry, and pottery. If you are looking for a unique gift, go here first. The art center offers various workshops and classes for all ages.

Pinot Picasso, 1304 6th Ave West, Bradenton: For that budding artist in all of us. What goes better with learning how to paint than wine? This interactive art studio is perfect for a girls night out and learn a thing or two about how to create art by the experts themselves. You can have delicious appetizers or snacks while enjoying the painting work with a group of friends or family. Their calendar changes and some classes are kid-friendly.


Snorkeling, Diving and Boat Tours

Coastline Dolphin & Snorkeling Excursions, 12160 Cortez Rd W, Bradenton Boat Club, Bradenton: 2 and 3 hours excursions available with dolphin and manatee sightings. Snorkeling equipment included. They also offer custom full and half day tours.

Captain Patsy Charters, 12306 46th Ave West, Cortez: Beautiful sunset tours cannot be missed. Captain Patsy offers sunset cruises, dolphin outings as wells as snorkeling and fishing excursions.

Island Tours & Adventures, 941-779-5228, Whether you want to snorkel, or enjoy a nice boat ride, Island Tours has something for you. For active people or kids that are bored (right?) check out Sea Monkey Adventure. Sea Monkey Adventure is a 2-hour excursion that includes water slides, rope swings, and a dolphin tour.

Blue Water Explorers: 941-798-DIVE: For scuba divers and snorkelers. Daily trips to offshore reefs, ledges, and wrecks in the Gulf of Mexico. Most dive trips are 10-18 miles off the coast and 40-65 Ft deep.


Boat, Jet Ski Rentals and Paddle Sports

Want to rent a jet ski or a boat? Try Wave Splash Water Sports, 102 Bridge Street, Bradenton Beach: Rent jet skis, go parasailing or just rent a boat. Wave Water Splash offers several packages. Open 7 days a week.

Yolo Adventures, 941-792-6000, Yolo also offers sunset cruises, eco-tours and dolphin watching. They also have parasailing, kayaking, and paddleboarding.

Bradenton Beach Marina, 941-778-2288, This marina is a full-service marina and also has a boat club as well as daily rentals. Choose from a wide selection of rental boats for a half or full-day. You can also rent jet skis, parasail or take a dolphin or sunset cruise.


Shopping

Anna Maria Island is sprinkled with boutique shops that offer a variety of treasures to take home. There are several little villages that make up most of the shopping, but you will also find shops along Gulf Drive as well.

Pine Ave Shops: This little village offers something for everyone, including an art gallery, doggie spa, and donut shop. Your trip isn’t complete without a specialty donut. The donuts are made fresh while you wait, all you have to do is select your decadent toppings and enjoy. The donut shop is only open in the morning so come early, there is always a line during the season. Pine Avenue also features great restaurants. After lunch or dinner, take a short walk to the beach or the City Pier and get a look of the Tampa Bay Bridge.

Bridge Street: Located in the center of the island in Bradenton Beach, Bridge Street is the heart of the island. At any time, you can catch live music, enjoy a fine dinner and shop. Bridge Street’s motto is Dine-Shop-Play. Go and you won’t be disappointed. On Sundays, check out the outdoor open market, starting at 10:00 AM.

Holmes Beach: Holmes Beach is the hub of major commercial shopping including a Publix grocery store, Walgreens and CVS pharmacies. You will also find a small Ace Hardware and other necessity shops along East Bay Drive (corner of East Bay Dr & Manatee). If you follow East Bay Drive north, the road then becomes Marina Drive. You will find another plaza known as Tidemark Shoppes. Tidemark Shoppes has a variety of gift shops and great restaurants too.


Restaurants

 

  • Anna Maria Island Beach Café
  • Isola Bella Italian eatery
  • Island Grill
  • Gios
  • Joey D’s
  • Danny Pizza
  • Island Creperie
  • Anna Maria Oyster Bar
  • Bridge Tender
  • Columbia
  • Waterfront
  • Pier 22
  • Season 52
  • The Feast restaurant
  • The Ugly Grouper
  • Sandbar
  • Beach House
  • The Freckled Fin
  • Skinnys
  • Beach Bistro
  • Samurai Japanese Steakhouse
  • Maria Jacks
  • Café L’Europe
  • Blu Kouzina
  • Tommy Bahamas
  • Chart House
  • The old salty dog
  • Riverhouse Waterfront
  • O’Bricks Irish pub
  • Peaches
  • KeKe’s Breakfast Café