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 that’s also the unofficial beginning of summer. Enjoy a vacation full of sand, water, sun, and fun with loved ones. The Sarasota and Bradenton area are mainland destinations that provide the ultimate experience in Florida beach vacations. 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 Bradenton and Sarasota retreat.

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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, but especially during the warming weather and waters you’ll find around 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 in the warming water.

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 – on land and on water. While exploring on land is easy, you’ll want to get familiar with the waters of the area too. There are several companies that offer tours of the waters surrounding Bradenton and Sarasota. Guides are full of information about the area, so you’ll learn a little about the area’s history and ecology while enjoying time at sea. Keep your camera ready and your eyes peeled for 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 is the usual experience, you can also take the experience along the water. There are several companies in the area that provide horseback rides that stroll along the water on the beach. There are even some tours where 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 the bay from the crashing waves of the Gulf of Mexico. Head to Anna Maria Island, Bradenton Beach, Holmes Beach, Longboat Key, or Siesta Key this Memorial Day for an unforgettable day trip. Each island has its own unique flair as well as plenty of Florida fun like parasailing, boat tours, and more without the traffic of the mainland.

The Ringling

Art, history, circus memorabilia, gardens, a historic theater, and more wait for you to explore. 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 and 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, and admission to the Museum of Art is free on Mondays, but hours may vary during the holiday.

Breweries, Distilleries & Wineries

Take some “adults only” time and visit the area’s wineries and distilleries. There are several distilleries that call Bradenton and the surrounding area home, including Naughty Monk Brewery, Darwin Brewing Company, Loaded Cannon Distillery, and others. If you’re a wine lover, add a stop at Fiorelli Winery & Vineyard, where the wines are made from grapes grown at the on-site vineyard. Enjoy a tasting or tour or book a special event. Once you’ve tasted the offerings, choose your favorite wines or spirits to take back to your rental to pair with your favorite home-cooked meals.

Celebrate Memorial Day in Bradenton and Sarasota

Enhance your Memorial Day in Bradenton and Sarasota with a private vacation rental provided by Anchor Down Vacation Rentals. We offer units as small as 1-bedroom all the way up to 8-bedrooms for a Memorial Day gathering that includes all her loved ones. After a long day, make a home-cooked meal in your unit’s fully equipped kitchen, and enjoy it in the spacious living/dining areas, or in a private outdoor space. Relax in a private bedroom or gather the group and watch your favorite movie or TV show. Choose a premium unit for perks like a fireplace, double ovens, flat screen TVs, private pool and more. Include the whole family by inquiring about select rentals that allow your fur babies to stay.

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Valentine’s is that time of the year for you to show affection to your partner. While cards, flowers, and chocolates are the irreducible minimums for some, sometimes doing a little extra makes the day worth the accolades. A trip to Bradenton and Sarasota makes the experience even better. With its pristine beaches, diverse culture, and a whole bunch of fun-filled activities, Sarasota is indeed a good choice to celebrate this year’s Valentine’s. Here are the highlights of a memorable Bradenton and Sarasota Valentine’s Day experience.

Embrace the Movie Nights

Dating is a crucial aspect of a romantic relationship regardless of the stage. A new relationship comes with great date ideas, and the vibe and charisma are always there. However, a long-term relationship sees a reduction in these dates, something that can greatly hamper your romance. A Valentine’s experience in Sarasota gives you chance to reignite your romantic life. A movie date is a great way to keep your relationship fresh. Also, it leaves you with something to discuss after the movie ends. The environment around movie theaters is conducive for you to cuddle and embrace one another.

Explore the Beach

Sarasota is an expanse of white sand popular for its beach bars and pristine waters. If you have dreamed of a suitable place for a coastal camping experience, you have already found one in Sarasota. The beach area is huge enough for a day’s hiking activities. Strolling around the beach with the heated sand massaging your feet is a natural therapy session you will appreciate. Apart from the beach, you can as well dash into the water for a deserved dip. This salty water comes with multiple avenues for you to get creative and have fun while at it. If you are a beginner, swimming around the shore is enough for you. For the adrenaline junkies, go deeper into the sea and explore other activities such as kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding.


While movie nights and dinner dates have been used as the hallmarks of a romantic day out, there is still a bunch of simple activities you can explore and make the best out of the day. Biking is fast becoming a fan-favorite activity among couples in most regions with Sarasota and Bradenton not being exceptional. Biking is a reliable way to explore the area without breaking the bank for it. Bike rentals come cheap and in most cases are included in the accommodation packages you book. If you are a fitness enthusiast, then you have found the right activity to remain loyal to your goals while still being romantic.

Spend a Day in a Botanical Garden

Valentine’s is the day when lovers buy the best roses for each other. But what about taking it a notch higher by visiting a botanical garden as a couple? Sarasota is home to multiple gardens growing a wide range of plants and flowers. Instead of relying on red roses, your partner has a chance to choose a flower shade of their liking. Also, the wonderful view emanating from the differently colored flowers is a satisfying encounter for your Valentine’s experience. It is also the perfect place to be immersed in nature while celebrating love.

Best for Luxury Shopping

Shopping is a Valentine’s Day tradition that has held for a long time now, and you can’t ignore it. Even after that romantic movie night and a tour of the botanical gardens, your partner will need a gift to cap off an exciting Valentine’s experience. The area around Sarasota and Bradenton is lined up with multiple shopping avenues. Whether it is that designer clothing, perfume, or jewelry, make the day count by buying your partner something they admire.

Sunset Dinner Cruise

Although dinner dates are the standard practice for Valentine’s Day, Sarasota raises the bar a little higher. Instead of relying on the beachfront hotels, this time around it is done on a cruise. Sunset dinner cruise offers more than just food. Everything in here is pure luxury. From the soft music playing in the background to the comfort of the ride, dinner is served with a difference. Also, it doubles up as a sightseeing tour where you witness Florida’s fascinating sunset first-hand. You might also be lucky to spot dolphins along the way. However, if you are working with a tight budget, organized dinner dates for two are a valuable way of getting the best out of your Sarasota Valentine’s day experience.

Where to Stay for Bradenton and Sarasota Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day offers lovers a rare chance to rekindle their romance story. Sarasota and Bradenton have a serene environment to relax and show love to your partner. Our team at Anchor Down Vacation Rentals works day and night to ensure all your accommodation needs are met. Our products are personalized allowing you the rare chance to customize what you like. From pet-friendly rentals to those with private pools, we have a broad portfolio for you to choose from. Call us today to book.

Welcome to Bradenton, Florida. 

What are you going to do while you’re here?

Bradenton calls itself The Friendly City, and that’s pretty appropriate. You’ll make new friends, even if you’re only here for a day or two. We hope you stay longer, though, because there’s so much to do. 

You’ll find Bradenton in Florida, on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. The city is south of Tampa and St. Petersburg and just north of Sarasota. The city center is on the banks of the Manatee River, creating an ideal Riverwalk space that’s full of views, outdoor entertainment, and a perfect setting for outdoor events.

In Bradenton, you’ll find lots of art, gorgeous parks and green spaces, highly rated restaurants, and diverse opportunities for entertainment and recreation. You can go to the beach or do some shopping or explore a museum. 

If you’re still putting together your own list of things to do when you visit Bradenton, we have some ideas we’d love to share with you. Check out some of the top activities in Bradenton available here. (more…)

America is a land of rituals, and it is these rituals that keep us together. Think of it this way, when was the last time you took time to interact with your neighbors and bond with your immediate family? Halloween is part of the rituals that bind American society and its significance can never be ignored. While Halloween can be observed from anywhere, the East Coast experience hits differently.

Planning a Halloween in Bradenton and Sarasota, Florida experience? Here are kid-friendly Halloween activities to consider when you get there.

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Pumpkin Carving

Pumpkin carving is among the Halloween classics that have stood the test of time. While this activity can be enjoyed from the comfort of your home, now is not the time to be basic. Taking kids to enjoy these activities out there in a field event is a great way to make memories. The best thing about outdoor pumpkin carving is that kids get to learn from a different teacher.

Besides the interaction that comes with this kind of activity, it is also a good way to boost the coordination abilities of your kid. The carving in the outdoor setup is designed to be a competition between kids that helps them develop much-needed competitive skills. Take the competitiveness a notch higher by extending the contest to your condos. Buy an extra pumpkin and let the party continue late into the night.

Pumpkin Sweep

If you thought you are done with the pumpkin thing? Not yet. If anything, it’s only getting started. The pumpkin forms a big part of a kid-friendly Halloween celebration. However, there is no carving involved this time around. As the name suggests, it all entails sweeping pumpkins across a line using brooms.

Pumpkin sweep is among the key activities that parents can engage in to bond with their kids. Whoever sweeps their pumpkin beyond the line first wins. It is also a great way of encouraging the spirit of competition and teamwork among kids.

Haunted Hayrides

Hayrides are an East Coast tradition to celebrate after a bumper harvest. In recent times, this practice has been packaged differently to depict some sort of sport. Today, it is among the leading tourist attractions, especially during fall. In the Halloween setting, it is known as haunted hayrides, which is almost the same as the traditional celebration except for a few twists.

Depending on the ages of the children involved, different actors can be added to the hay to bring out the ‘haunted’ aspect. The actors depict ghosts among other spooky creatures. These creatures have a scary degree that is fair enough for kids to face. Accompany kids through the ride and assure them all is all right. In cases where kids cannot put up with the characters, you can as well eliminate them and have the kids enjoy their ride. After all, it is meant to be family fun.

Halloween Cake Walk

The Bradenton region of Florida has never run short of kid-friendly Halloween activities. The Halloween Cake Walk is a crucial part of the activities that cannot miss on the list. The goal here is to have activities that bring everyone on board regardless of their age. The cakewalk is past this threshold by far. Have you played musical chairs at some point in your life? Well, that is substituted by cakewalk to fit the situation at hand. However, the concept is similar.

Participants, who in this case are a mixture of kids and adults walk around a circle with numbers. On each step, there is a number on the ground and the movement is guided by background music. Each member is expected to stand still on one number once the music stops. Whoever steps on the number that matches the one drawn by the host wins that round. It is simple, yet fun-filled.

Halloween Face Painting

Tough as you may be as a parent, there is no way you’re coming anywhere near a kid and their face art. If anything, it is not an everyday thing. It is only a single-day exercise that needs to be utilized to the maximum. Give your kids a chance to get their paintings done. The products used are certified and safe for the skin.

Halloween is ideally the only time when kids have the freedom to engage and display their animalistic side. Whether it is a cat, a dinosaur, a dog, or a cow, let them be. It is these small things that make the day count. Help them wash off the paint before retiring to bed.

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Reach Out to Us for Halloween in Bradenton

Halloween should no longer be just the traditional celebration it has been for the longest time. Count on us to show you the other side of Halloween you’ve been missing over the years. Accommodation plays a crucial part in the whole experience. Contact us today for all your accommodation needs in Bradenton and Sarasota. It is what we do best.