Bradenton is a laid-back, local Florida town, experience Florida like a local with its farmers markets, arts village, riverwalk, science and nature museum and an award-winning local brewery. Less than 10 miles beyond Bradenton lies the 7½mile stretch of Anna Maria Island, where the pristine beaches and laid-back lifestyle are the perfect tonic. Here, you’ll find cosy family homes and apartments, beautifully decorated, on or near the beach, catering to all budgets. There are splendid oceanfront restaurants serving delicious fare throughout the day, with plenty of independent and authentic eateries to choose from including al-fresco options to catch those stunning sunsets. As with most people, you’ll find it difficult to visit Anna Maria Island and not fall in love with the unspoiled vibe of the area.
The Bishop Museum
The Bishop is a museum of science and nature and the largest natural and cultural history museum on Florida’s Gulf Coast. Home to fascinating exhibits, as well as a digital state of the art planetarium and the manatee rehabilitation centre, where you can get up close to the manatee which are rescued and brought back to health before being released back in to the wild. The Bishop has also recently opened an interactive section of the museum where kids can dig for fossils and look through the microscopes in the science shed.
“The Greenest Little Mainstreet in America”
Florida’s first LEED Platinum and Net Zero Energy Retail Park
On the quaint island of Anna Maria, history is being made with the first platinum LEED and Zero Net Energy Commercial Park. On Pine Avenue, a collection of Historic 1920’s bungalows have been retrofitted into boutique shops and cafes with a green twist. The historical relics are completely powered by solar energy and geothermics.
Village of the Arts
If you’re an art lover, the Bradenton Area is the place to visit! A national arts magazine has listed Bradenton as one of the nation’s top 10 small cities for art. A stroll through our colourful streets has something for everyone, whether you’re a foodie, a vinyl enthusiast or a quilt lover, you will discover a range of services that range from knife sharpening to yoga.Bradenton Riverwalk
As Downtown Bradenton’s showpiece, the Riverwalk serves as an outdoor gathering place and host for many diverse events and activities. The stretch is a mile and a half and is one of the longest public riverwalks in Florida. Running alongside the Manatee River, the Riverwalk includes a Family Fun Zone with a splash fountain and playgrounds, a great lawn for picnics, kayak launch, a day dock for boaters, a botanical walk, public artwork and the 400-seat Mosaic Amphitheater.
Eco Tourism and Agritourism
When our visitor’s need a break from the sun and sand, there are several agri-tourism treasures for them to explore, offering entertainment and education for curious minds of all ages. All they need to do is head inland. Here are just a few of the many great places to start:
- The Bradenton Area boasts not one, but two world-class wineries:
- Bunker Hill Winery – is a “GREEN” Environmentally Responsible Winery and offers complimentary tours and tastings of their handcrafted wines.
- Rosa Fiorelli Winery – has a 10-acre Muscadine vineyard and their wines have won more than 100 awards. Tours include your choice of an authentic Italian lunch and wine in a complimentary souvenir glass to take home.
- Dakin Dairy Farms – A visit to Dakin Dairy Farm is not only fun; it’s good for you! The farm is one of only three dairy farms left in the Bradenton Area.
- Mixon Fruit Farms – has always been famous for its plump, juicy citrus, its gift shop and Groveside Café. But now, visitors can take a ride on the Orange Blossom Express through the groves past the Children’s Magical Maze and Wildlife Rescue, where the family will delight in an interactive show with rescued Florida animals, reptiles and birds. Our favorite thing about Mixons … their homemade orange swirl ice cream!
- Robinson Nature Preserve – Robinson Nature Preserve in Bradenton is an exquisite nature preserve that is a popular destination for wildlife photography and bird watching, Tucked into the corner of northwest Bradenton, it includes 487 acres of coastal saltern, marsh, and mangrove habitat.
- Turtle Watch Tours – In the Bradenton Area, the beaches are shared with Florida’s abundant wildlife and families visiting from May through November can experience “turtle nesting season”.