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.