Bradenton Holidays 2017/2018
Just south of Tampa lies Bradenton, a city that's seen major growth in both tourism and its own population in recent years. Connected to St. Petersburg via the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, it's a fantastic place for anyone looking for somewhere quieter to stay in Florida while remaining close to some of the state's major cities.
With many beautiful outdoor spaces to explore, spending time in the sun is easy in Bradenton. The Riverwalk is a must, and there are loads of parks for visitors to relax in. The city has many brilliant restaurants too, from laid-back brunch spots to locations suited to fine dining.
Families shouldn't miss the South Florida Museum either. The site includes the Bishop Planetarium and Parker Manatee Aquarium, where many special events are held across the three locations. Both educational and enjoyable, it's an amazing place for young minds to explore. You can even see Snooty here, the oldest manatee in the world!
Discover more about Bradenton below, and don't forget to get in touch with our Florida4Less team if you require any more information about the city. We'll be delighted to help you book your next dream holiday!
Things to do in Bradenton
Not only is Bradenton a wonderful place to discover Old Florida's history, it's also a city with a vibrant culture and many areas of natural beauty. You'll never be short of choice when it comes to parks and beaches and there are fun-filled activities to suit everyone, from art lovers to outdoor adventurers.
Bradenton is best explored on foot, and for those who'd rather relax and take things slow a stroll around Bradenton Riverwalk or Robinson Nature Preserve is the perfect way to spend an afternoon. The Riverwalk spans across 1.5 miles and is a lovely spot for a picnic while Robinson Nature Preserve is perfect for bird watching, biking, fishing or kayaking.
Not to be missed on a visit to Bradenton is the Village of the Arts. You'll find a collection of colourful cottages at the site, with each housing an exciting mixture of restaurants, bakeries, art galleries and studios for a range of the resident artists. It's a creative community rather than an attraction, and the non-profit organisation has a lively atmosphere throughout the year!
Keep the kids entertained and let them blow off some steam at TreeUmph! Adventure Course. There are courses designed specifically for young children, as well as junior and adult courses with various difficulty levels. Zoom across a zip-line, swing across hanging nets, tackle climbing walls and stretch yourself to your limit - even adults will find the Summit course a challenge!
Where to eat in Bradenton
Feeling hungry? Bradenton has some amazing places to eat, from vegan-friendly cafes to oyster bars. Whatever you fancy, you'll be able to find it in this ever-growing city. Wake up and start the morning right with a trip to Sage Biscuit Café. There are plenty of gluten-free and vegan options on the menu, as well as specials like the Mediterranean Chicken Bowl. Perfect for breakfast, brunch or lunch, you'll find the Sage Biscuit Café on Cortez Road W and Manatee Ave W.
For something a little more indulgent, try Fire and Stone. Cooked in a brick oven, the pizzas here are delicious and there’s at least 15 options to choose from every single day. Made from scratch, kids will love selecting their favourite toppings from the buffet line!
If you’d rather enjoy the ocean breeze while you eat, head to Anna Maria Oyster Bar. You’ll find the restaurant on Bridge Street Pier, and its coastal-inspired menu is sure to delight those who love seafood. You’ll find plenty of oyster dishes, alongside lobster, crab and fresh fish caught straight from the Gulf. A family-friendly environment, there’s a selection of tasty meals for those who don’t love seafood too, including hearty soups and refreshing salads.
While Anna Maria Oyster Bar is great for lunch, Pier 22 offers an elegant spot for the evening. Happy hour runs from 3pm to 7pm, and you’ll be able to choose from a large menu that offers sushi, small plates like soups and salads and indulgent dishes like wasabi tuna, stuffed lobster and Thai beef. Paired with a glass of wine and ocean views, it’s the ideal place for a relaxing night in Bradenton.
Where to shop in Bradenton
If you’re looking for a unique gift or fancy doing a spot of retail therapy while in Florida, Bradenton has loads to offer keen shoppers. While you might need to head to nearby Sarasota to find more commercial stores like Macy’s, the city itself has many boutiques and markets to explore.
The unique Red Barn Flea Market Plaza is unlike anything else you’ll see in Florida and it's easy to spend an afternoon walking around here. With both an inside, air-conditioned area and an outside space spanning across 145,000 sq ft, you’ll never run out of stalls to browse. Outside you’ll be able to pick up fresh fruit, veg and produce - perfect for making lunches with during your time in Bradenton - while inside over 600 flea market booths and plaza shops offer all kinds of treasures.
For those who love to shop vintage, take a trip to Retro Rosie’s. You’ll find the store on Manatee Avenue East, close to Glazier Gates Park. Retro Rosie’s is loved by locals and tourists alike. Find a hidden gem and browse through the huge collection of vintage dresses, tops, trousers and accessories - you can guarantee nobody else will have the same item back home!
Nightlife in Bradenton
While Bradenton tends to be quieter than most when it comes to nightlife, there are still a handful of places to visit during the evening, some of which are suitable for children too.
Families and couples alike will love the Manatee Performing Arts Center. Catch an evening show and choose from an entire collection of performances including well-loved Broadway musicals like Annie and Shrek. Don't forget to book your ticket in advance online to avoid missing out!
For lovers of live music, head to Ace's Lounge. There's usually something going on every day of the week, and you can tuck in to some scrumptious bar snacks like tacos and burgers while enjoying the entertainment.
O'Bricks Irish Pub and Martini Bar is a brilliant choice too for a laid-back evening. Happy hour runs from 2pm until 7pm and 11pm until 2am, and the pub's martini list is sure to impress. There's over 10 choices on the bar menu - the banana cream pie martini is a great alternative to dessert.
If you'd love to know more about Bradenton before you book your trip to Florida, just get in touch with our experts at Florida4Less, or head over to our blog, Secret Florida, to discover more about the Sunshine State.