The year-round sun and warmth of Florida makes it the ideal destination any time of year you need a break. The Memorial Day holiday is a great opportunity to take a break and enjoy a long weekend and the unofficial beginning of summer. Enjoy a vacation full of sand, water, sun, and fun with loved ones when you head to the Sarasota and Bradenton area. It’s a Florida mainland destination that provides the ultimate experience in Florida beach vacations with plenty of Memorial Day fun. Not only do they have their own beaches, but they’re also close to several barrier islands that offer a different beach vibe for your Memorial Day in Florida.

SRQ Vets 5K Memorial Hike

The annual 5K hike honors our fallen heroes. The hike starts at JD Hamel Park in Sarasota. Join military vets and civilians alike. Past events have included honoring veterans, live entertainment, food, music, and more. Plans for this year’s ninth annual celebration are still in the works, but it is scheduled for May 25, 2024.


An escape to a beach location like Bradenton and Sarasota means spending plenty of time on the beach, no matter what time of year you come. That’s especially true during the warming weather and waters of the Memorial Day holiday. You and your loved ones can spend a little extra time out in the sun and in the water. Sunbathe, change up your exercise routine with a walk or run on the beach, or brave the waters for a swim, snorkeling, or SCUBA adventure.

Breweries, Distilleries & Wineries

Take some “adults only” time this Memorial Day and visit the area’s wineries and distilleries. There are several distilleries that call Bradenton and the surrounding area home. Stop by locales like Naughty Monk Brewery, Darwin Brewing Company, Loaded Cannon Distillery, and others. For wine lovers, stop at Fiorelli Winery & Vineyard. Wines are made from grapes grown at the on-site vineyard. Go on a tasting or tour or book a special event. Once you’ve tried everything, choose your favorite wines or spirits to take back to your rental to pair with a Memorial Day cookout.

Boat Tours

A great way to get to know the area you’ve decided to call home for the Memorial Day holiday is to get out and explore. While exploring on land is easy, get familiar with the waters of the area, too. There is an array of companies that offer tours of the waters surrounding Bradenton and Sarasota. Guides are full of information on area history, ecology, trivia, and more to add to your experience. Keep your camera ready and your eyes peeled for glimpses of sea life, including dolphins, manatees, rays, and more! Book a private tour for you and your loved ones and pack a picnic, including your favorite alcoholic beverages.

Beach Horseback Rides

Saddle up and head out on a different kind of adventure this Memorial Day. While a trail ride along area trails frequented by hikers and bikers may be the usual experience, saddle up for a stroll near the water’s edge instead. There are several companies in the area that provide horseback rides that stroll along the water on the beach. Some tours allow the horses venture out into the water for an extra splash. Whichever company you choose, advanced reservations are required, and they’ll need details like rider height, weight, and age so they can pair each person with the horse that fits their needs.

The Keys

Off the coast of Sarasota, Bradenton, and the surrounding area is a group of barrier islands that protect Sarasota Bay from the harsh waves of the Gulf of Mexico. Head to Anna Maria Island, Bradenton Beach, Holmes Beach, Longboat Key, or Siesta Key. Each island has its own unique flair as well as plenty of Florida fun like parasailing, boat tours, and more for a fun and memorable day trip. You’ll also experience Florida fun without the traffic of the mainland.

The Ringling

Art, history, circus memorabilia, gardens, a historic theater, and more await. You’ll be able to explore all that and more when you visit. The property preserves the legacy of John Ringling, one of the five brothers who formed the Ringling Brothers Circus, and his wife Mable. Wander the property to visit the State Art Museum of Florida, two circus museums, an education center, the historic Ca’ d’Zan Mansion, Bayfront Gardens, and the historic Asolo Theater. The grounds and gardens are always free to visit. Admission to the Museum of Art is free on Mondays, but hours may vary during the holiday.

Remember Fallen Heroes in Bradenton & Sarasota

Enhance your vacation this Memorial Day in Florida and book a private vacation rental provided by Anchor Down Vacation Rentals. We offer units as small as one bedroom all the way up to eight bedrooms for any size Memorial Day retreat. Make a home-cooked meal in your unit’s fully equipped kitchen and enjoy it in the spacious living/dining areas, or relax in a private bedroom, or gather the group and watch your favorite movie or TV show. Enjoy beautiful Florida Memorial Day weather and spend some time on a private patio, deck, or balcony.

Contact us today!