Vacation Guide to Bradenton Beach - Anna Maria Island Florida

BRADENTON BEACH


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Things to do in Bradenton Beach Florida

Bradenton Beach Florida

Located on the southernmost part of Anna Maria Island, Bradenton Beach gives visitors the vibe of Old Florida and the experience of a premier vacation destination. Its picturesque shoreline, rich culture, hospitable locals, and awesome food will make your stay at this beach getaway a memorable one. Bradenton Beach shouldn’t be confused with Bradenton, which is a city in mainland Florida. The former is a quiet vacation town with only over a thousand people living in it. So, it’s the perfect place to escape the noise and crowds of the city.

Bradenton Beach is a beach community that offers a quiet vacation with convenient beach access and scenic views of the Gulf of Mexico from Anna Maria Island. Anna Maria Island has three distinct cities: The towns of Anna Maria, Holmes Beach and Bradenton Beach. The town of Anna Maria is on the northern tip, Holmes Beach in the middle and Bradenton Beach on the southern side.

Among the three towns, Bradenton Beach is the most congested and the busiest. The first two towns especially Anna Maria, consist mostly of residential properties. Despite being the busiest, Bradenton Beach is still a laid-back city where you can have the “Old Florida” feel. But that doesn’t mean you cannot enjoy your stay in Bradenton Beach. There are a lot of activities you can do in this beach town. There are many opportunities for water activities, such as boating, kayaking, paddle boarding, parasailing, and fishing in Bradenton Beach.

This travel guide will help you plan an itinerary for your Bradenton Beach vacation.. Let’s see what are the things to do, where to eat, and where to stay in Bradenton Beach, Florida. Here is a list for you to check out.

 


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Things To Do in Bradenton Beach

Enjoy the Waters and the Market of Coquina Beach

Coquina Beach is in the southern part of the Bradenton Beach. It has a large parking area, concession stands, a lifeguard tower, public washrooms, picnic areas and pavillion too. There are a lot of things to do in Coquina Beach. Aside from swimming and sunbathing, there are a lot of water sports activities you can do. You can do jet skiing, kayaking, scuba diving, parasailing, paddle boarding and many more. 

Moreover, don’t forget to shop at Coquina Beach Market. Find some island treasures in this famous market. This is where the local artists and vendors display their art and local produce. This market is open twice a week, Sunday and Wednesday from December to March. From April to July, it is open Wednesday and Friday. In November, it is only open on Sundays. 

The scenic shoreline that looks out to the Gulf of Mexico is irresistibly inviting you to relax and forget whatever is weighing down your mind. That's why you must visit the most beautiful and longest stretch of beach in the city which is Coquina Beach. It’s like a scene straight out of a painting with white-sand dunes, swaying grasses, resting birds, and creeping sea turtles. Coquina Beach also has amenities like showers, picnic tables, a playground, and free parking. There are also towers manned by lifeguards, providing ease and safety to beach-goers. Kayak and boat rentals are also available in the area. Plus, there’s an eco-tour to see the rich wildlife and a parasailing tour to explore the beautiful spots on the island. 

Aside from hitting the beach, you can also go shopping in Bradenton Beach. Historic Bridge Street is the go-to shopping area with its eclectic boutiques and shops where you can buy souvenirs. You can also visit art galleries and community centers on Historic Bridge Street and learn about the rich culture of Bradenton Beach. For additional trip ideas see our Anna Maria Island Travel Guide.

 

Explore The Historic Bridge Street District

The Bridge Street District gets its name from the Historic Bridge Street Pier, the famous and historic landmark in Anna Maria Island. This is a must-see area in Bradenton Beach, Florida. This spot is popular for fishing, walking, sightseeing or simply enjoying the “Old Florida” vibe. 

Historic Bridge District does not only house this historic landmark. There are a lot of great places to discover and explore here. You will see a number of beautiful old buildings and tons of places to dine in or shop. They also have The Island Bookstore where you can find books about the history of the place.

 

Dining Options at Bradenton Beach Florida

Your Bradenton Beach tour will not be complete without discovering great places to dine in. Delicious food and drinks fuel your vacation activities and add to the best memories of your trip. In Bradenton Beach, you can find different dining options that will fill your hungry stomach. Whether you want a casual, affordable, or upscale dining place, the city has it for you. 

Enjoy seaside seats at Anna Maria Oyster Bar located in the Historic Bridge Street Pier. This restaurant serves fresh oysters and other seafood delicacies. The Bridge Street Bistro is another seafood restaurant with an upper deck overlooking the Gulf Coast. Go for a romantic dinner here while watching the sunset on the horizon. 

It’s also a great option to visit the sustainable and eco-friendly dining place called the Beach House Waterfront Restaurant. It offers premium seafood delicacies, such as middle neck clams, oyster soup, and peeled shrimps. You must also try their short rib tacos, grilled veggie burger, and grouper sandwich. 

Grab some quesadillas, enchiladas, tacos, and cold craft cocktails at the Wicked Cantina Bradenton Beach. Or, enjoy some live music while eating delectable American pub food and drinking ice-cold beer at the Bridge Tender Inn & Dockside Bar when the night comes. Last but not the least, visit Daiquiri Deck Anna Maria Island for some frozen cocktails and refreshing daiquiris. 

 

Here is a list of dining places to explore. 

Anna Maria Oyster Bar - Located at the Bradenton Beach pier, this place of famous for its tastiest oyster in Anna Maria and was voted as the Best Seafood Restaurant for 9 years in a row
Wicked Cantina - This restaurant is known for serving delicious Mexican food.
Beach House Waterfront Restaurant - Located on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico, Beach House Waterfront does not only serve good food but also offers good sunset viewing. Enjoy the food and enjoy the unobstructed view of the beach.
Smoqehouse -  Craving for BBQ? This place is the go-to for you.
Island Creperie - If you’re craving French food and bread, this place is a go-to. They are famous for their mouth-watering crepes.

There are still a lot of dining options to explore in Bradenton Beach. Feel free to explore the city to satisfy your cravings. You will always be hungry in Bradenton Beach!

 

Thrilling Water Adventures Awaits at Bradenton Beach Marina

Located just below the Cortez Bridge, Bradenton Beach Marina is a go-to for any water sports rentals. They have boat and jetski rentals, live music sunset cruises, sunset comedy cruises, dolphin tours and many more. You can also rent pontoons, kayaks and paddle boats here.

 

Kayaking in Bradenton Beach

Where is the best place to do kayaking? If you want to explore Bradenton Beach via kayaks you should explore these places:

Coquina Bayside -  Coquina Beach has a giant bay area next to it where there are many open water and kayaking trails.

Leffis Key Preserve - Leffis Key Preserve can be explored by foot but if you want to explore it via kayaks you get to see the outer areas. From there, you can have a different view of the park.

 

Have Some Sunbathing at Cortez Beach

Cortez Beach is in the northern section of the city with a number of point access available. Compared to Coquina Beach, this beach is laid back and is a more relaxing place to enjoy the sun. So if you’re looking for a more quiet place to enjoy the beach, Cortez Beach is perfect for you.

 

Show Off Your Golf Skills at The Fish Hole Miniature Golf

Located at 115 Bridge St, Bradenton Beach, The Fish Hole Miniature Golf is a popular destination for locals and tourist who wants to enjoy their pastime playing golf. Whether you want to show off your golf skills to your kids or want to enjoy your time with friends and family, golfing can be a good choice. 

So what are you waiting for? Have a blast of golfing in The Fish Hole Miniature Golf.

 

Catch the Segway Trend

Be part of the Segway trend! Explore Bradenton Beach via segway. Take a tour around Bradenton Beach, Cortez and Longboat Key on this two-wheeled, self-balancing scooter. You can rent segways from the famous Segs by the Sea located at 102 Bridge Street, Bradenton Beach, FL. 

Exploring Bradenton Beach via segway gives you an opportunity to see sites you cannot see on a roadside view. Glide along with this personal transportation device and enjoy the unobstructed view of the turquoise waters of the Gulf Coast.

 

Book a Fishing Charter

Are you a fishing enthusiast? Look no more! Head to Bradenton Beach and book a fishing charter. Bradenton Beach is considered a fishing mecca where you can find different fish to catch. From tarpon, snook, redfish, and spotted sea trout to mangrove snapper, you’ll always have a great time and a great catch in the waters of Bradenton Beach. 

Here is a list of fishing charters in Bradenton Beach for you to choose from:

Island Boat Tours & Adventures (Coquina North Boat Ramp, Bradenton Beach, FL)
Fish AMI Fishing Charters (200 Bridge Street, Bradenton Beach, FL)
So Salty Fishing Charters (135 Bridge Street, Bradenton Beach, FL)
A Cast Above Fishing Charters Llc (1507 Gulf Drive South, Bradenton Beach, FL)
Maxxed Out Charters (Gulf Drive South 1367, Bradenton Beach, FL)

 

Ride on a Free Trolley

There is no more excuse for you not to explore Bradenton Beach. Hop on this free trolley that runs on major attractions of Bradenton Beach. It runs every 20 minutes from 6:00 AM to 10:00 PM. 

Do you want to hit the beach? Do you want to go shopping? Or looking for a place to dine? This trolley will take you to your destination for free!

 

For Your Accommodation Pleasure

Make sure you and your companions have a place to stay in Bradenton Beach. You can choose from among many vacation rental managers that operate on and around Anna Maria Island. These accommodations provide a private space for you to rest while not being far away from the various attractions on the island. 

Just within walking distance from the beach is Coquina Breeze, an excellent vacation rental with outdoor and indoor amenities. It’s a good option for a small group of friends or family, and it has a nice kitchen and covered balconies. For a larger group of vacationers, one of the best places where you can stay is Beachside Oasis. Its space can accommodate up to 15 people. It has a private pool, open-air decks, and a kitchen with appliances. Another option is Island Daze, a single-family vacation rental with one king-sized bed, two queen beds, and one twin bunk bed. It's just near Historic Bridge Street and the beach. 


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