Looking for fun things to do Bradenton? If you are already here, you know about the beautiful waterways around the city between Tampa and Sarasota.
As well as the vast boating activities you can enjoy with over a 20-mile waterway stretch between Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico.
Aside from Bradenton’s fabulous beaches what else is there to do in Bradenton? Hopefully, I have found a few things you didn’t know you could do in Bradenton and Lakewood Ranch.
Did you know that Bradenton has a winery?
🍷At Rosa Fiorelli Winery & Vineyard, 4250 County Road 675, Bradenton, FL 34211. This winery is the only grape winery and vineyard on the gulf coast of Southwestern Florida. They offer a variety of tours throughout the year, group and private tours are also available. The winery also hosts special events, like Wine & Dine in the Vines. Something is always going on, so check out their website for details.
🍻Brew Pubs & Distilleries in Bradenton
The Bradenton area has been overflowing with new brewpubs. Not every place has food options, however, many have food truck night and other offerings.
Darwin Brewing Company, 803 17th Ave West, Bradenton. These Brewmasters studied in Germany and are world-renowned for their beers. On the first Mondays of every month, Darwin offers a 3-course dinner paired with their beers. New stuff is a brewing…from festivals to Tapas and Taps. Locally owned.
Motorworks Brewing, 1014 9th Street West, Bradenton. Motorworks has the largest Florida outdoor beer garden, complete with a large shaded deck and 22 ft projection screen. The taproom has over 30 craft brews on tap, as well as a full-service bar. Motorworks doesn’t have a restaurant but they do partner with food trucks and local restaurants. Although they do not cook there, it still has the restaurant experience because servers take orders and deliver the food to your table. Motorworks has live music and other events including tours of the brewery.
Good Liquid Brewing, 4824 14th St West, Bradenton. This is just a few short miles away from Anna Maria Island. I was here recently and have to tell you that not only is the beer great, but come hungry! They have a good menu and my personal favorite is the fried cauliflower.
Naughty Monk Brewery, 2507 Lakewood Ranch Blvd, Lakewood Ranch (next to the Ace Hardware). Although Naughty Monk does not have a full-service restaurant, they do offer food truck events and serve light bites. They also offer menus to local restaurants that will deliver. Anyway, the beer is the highlight here. This is a casual, fun local hangout that has live music on the weekend. If it is available, try the “I Don’t Care” beer. It is one of my favorites.
Loaded Cannon Distillery, 3115 Lakewood Ranch Blvd, Lakewood Ranch (nearby the Naughty Monk). I am beginning to think you could do a booze cruise and never leave Lakewood Ranch! The Loaded Cannon Distillery offers tours, mixology classes, and has a nice tasting room! Vodka, Gin or Rum, whatever your preference they have it. Loaded Cannon also tries to source locally so not only are you enjoying a unique experience, you are giving back to the community as well!
💃🏻Let’s Go Dance
Did you know that there is a dance studio here in Lakewood Ranch that is home to world championship dancers? Yes! Right here in Lakewood Ranch.
No pressure though! These champion dance coaches can take even someone like me, who has never danced before, and teach them basic skills in one visit.
The environment and their teaching methods make it not only easy but fun to learn.
Fred Astaire Dance Studio at Lakewood Ranch is located just off of St. Rd 70 and Lorraine Rd in Lakewood Ranch.
The Fred Astaire Dance studio in Lakewood Ranch is such an energetic place, and there is always something going on. Whether you are here for a week or maybe a few months, if you are looking for something fun, different and healthy to do, check them out.
The studio is very welcoming, the dance coaches are fun to work with and you can choose what type of dance(s) you would like to learn. They also have free evening events so that you can bring your family and friends too.
I personally decided on Salsa and a few other “get your heart moving” dances.
All ages are welcome!
Try Sky Zone Trampoline Park, 6180 Edgelake Drive, Sarasota: This is considered to be the world’s first indoor trampoline park. Looking for a workout as well as fun? Check out the fitness activities such as Skyfit and Wingman Wednesdays. There is something here for the young and the young at heart!
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Or, if you feel like high flying…visit TreeUmph! 21805 S.R. 70 East, Bradenton: This is not just zip line courses, but hanging nets, wobbly bridges, and Tarzan Ropes. Set in an expansive park over 10 football fields in size, TreeUmph! Adventure Course is your destination for high-flying, obstacle-defying fun!
Golf among the alligators at Smuggler Cove Mini Golf, 2000 Cortez Rd W, Bradenton: Voted best mini golf in Florida for the past five years. This is an 18 hole adventure course that will lead you to waterfalls, caves, pirate ships, and even live alligators.
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🐾Dog Parks in Bradenton Area
Bradenton has some great dog parks. GT Bray Park, 5502 33 Ave Dr. West, Bradenton: Happy Trails Canine Park, located in the northeast corner of the park of GT Bray. There are 3 acres for Fido to run around and there is also an exclusive fenced area for older dogs, small dogs or maybe if your dog is like mine, dogs that are scared of other dogs! Doggie drinking fountains and free waste bags are available.
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De Soto National Memorial Beach, 8300 DeSoto Memorial Hwy, Bradenton: Dog-friendly beach, as long as they are on a leash. I am not sure who likes this place more, my dog or myself. You will find beautiful views of Tampa Bay, shaded trails and several wonderful, quiet spots to sit and read a book. My dog loves it there too.
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🏞Parks and Walking Trails
Mixon Fruit Farms, 2525 27th Street East, Bradenton: You can not only get great citrus products but also a tour of the orange grove, which includes a wildlife refuge. Injured birds, reptiles and various animals are brought here on a rescue basis with the intent of returning them back to their natural habitat. When you are there, make sure to visit their gift shop and Groveside Cafe where you can enjoy their orange swirl ice cream and other homemade citrus products.
Palma Sola Botanical Park, 75th and 17th Ave., Bradenton: Admission is free. Leashed dogs are welcome. This 10-acre site is home to exotic fruit and nut trees. The garden is exquisitely decorated with flowers and well maintained with shell walking paths and shaded areas for just enjoying the tranquil atmosphere.
Robinson Nature Reserve, 1709 99th St NW, Bradenton: This preserve is 487 acres and offers hiking and biking trails, a kayak launch and an observation tower. You can kayak through to Tampa Bay. Leashed dogs are welcome. When you are there, go up in the observation tower. You can get a great view of Tampa Bay. Fishing is allowed on the bridges.
Native Rentals is located along 9800 Manatee Ave West, close to Robinson Preserve. You can rent kayaks, paddleboards or take the eco-friendly paddle tours through Robinson Preserve and Anna Maria Sound. Just look for the surf bus on Manatee Ave. They are there usually 7 days a week.
👨🏼🎨Art & Art Walks
The Village of the Arts, 1113 12th St West, Bradenton: From specialty shops, healing arts and bakeries, this is your place for all things unique. Be sure to attend the monthly art walks held the first Friday and Saturday of every month.
Art Center Manatee, 209 9th Street West, Bradenton: Voted People’s Choice in 2015 is a premiere center for art education. Local artists sell their creations in the gift shop which is filled with photographs, glass sculptures, jewelry, and pottery. If you are looking for a unique gift, go here first. The art center offers various workshops and classes for all ages.
Pinot Picasso, 1304 6th Ave West, Bradenton: For that budding artist in all of us. What goes better with learning how to paint than wine? This interactive art studio is perfect for a girls night out and learn a thing or two about how to create art by the experts themselves. You can have delicious appetizers or snacks while enjoying the painting work with a group of friends or family. Their calendar changes and some classes are kid-friendly.
Arts A Blaze, 8111 Lakewood Ranch Main Street, 941-306-5840. This just happens to be owned by a friend of mine, who likes wine…so bring a bottle and a few friends and have a great time!
Arts A Blaze also does children’s events and birthday parties. I personally like the event of decorating a wine glass, but hey there is something here for everyone. Great location, in the heart of downtown Lakewood Ranch. Something fun is always going on here at Arts A Blaze. Check out their website for more info.
🏇🏻Horseback Riding on the Beach
Great World Adventures, Beach Horses, Horseback Riding on the Beach, West Manatee Ave past 75th St. You can also choose to have nature and wildlife tours. Experience horseback surfing and swimming with horses. Picture yourself riding along the beach in the morning. Reservations required.
☀️Anna Maria Island
Anna Maria Island has so many things to offer from its sparkling water and fine sand beaches to great dining and entertainment. There is a public trolley that goes up and down the island with plenty of stops in between that allows you to hop off and catch a bit of fun. So, leave your car behind and run on island time.
Bradenton Beach, Anna Maria Island: If flat, wide, soft sand beaches are your desire, then this is your place. This is a public beach and it fills up quickly in the winter months. Parking is alongside the beach. Go early on the weekends to get a spot.
Beer Can Island Beach, Longboat Key: Located at the northern tip of Longboat Key, this is a secluded stretch of shallow beach, perfect for shelling. You can walk the island at low tide.
Manatee Beach, Located at the west end of Manatee Ave in Holmes Beach, Manatee Beach has public access and is one of the busiest beaches on the island. There are public bathrooms, picnic tables, grills and a large covered pavilion that serves breakfast and lunch. In addition to food, there is a limited bar that serves alcoholic beverages. During the winter months, you can enjoy live music on the weekends. Breakfast early in the morning is a must at least once while you are on the island. There is nothing better than sitting by the sea, with a cool breeze and a cup of coffee. There is public parking at this beach, however, it does fill up fast. If you are staying on Anna Maria Island, take the trolley. It stops there throughout the day. Manatee Beach also has a small gift shop that sells ice cream and small water floats.
Coquina Beach Gulf Side, Located at the south edge of Anna Maria Island. There is a large open lot for parking. The trolley does stop at this beach too. Public restrooms, changing facilities, picnic tables and large pavilions available to rent for getting together. Coquina Beach also has a snack bar, grills and gift shop. This is one of the largest beaches available to the public. You can access Coquina Beach from Longboat Key as well.
Snorkeling, Diving and Boat Tours
Coastline Dolphin & Snorkeling Excursions, 12160 Cortez Rd W, Bradenton Boat Club, Bradenton: 2 and 3 hours excursions available with dolphin and manatee sightings. Snorkeling equipment included. They also offer custom full and half-day tours.
Island Tours & Adventures, 941-779-5228, Whether you want to snorkel, or enjoy a nice boat ride, Island Tours has something for you. For active people or kids that are bored (right?) check out Sea Monkey Adventure. Sea Monkey Adventure is a 2-hour excursion that includes water slides, rope swings, and a dolphin tour.
Blue Water Explorers: 941-798-DIVE: For scuba divers and snorkelers. Daily trips to offshore reefs, ledges, and wrecks in the Gulf of Mexico. Most dive trips are 10-18 miles off the coast and 40-65 Ft deep.
🛶Boat, Jet Ski Rentals and Paddle Sports
Want to rent a jet ski or a boat? Try Wave Splash Water Sports, 102 Bridge Street, Bradenton Beach: Rent jet skis, go parasailing, or just rent a boat. Wave Water Splash offers several packages. Open 7 days a week.
Yolo Adventures, 941-792-6000, Yolo also offers sunset cruises, eco-tours and dolphin watching. They also have parasailing, kayaking, and paddleboarding.
Bradenton Beach Marina, 941-778-2288, This marina is a full-service marina and also has a boat club as well as daily rentals. Choose from a wide selection of rental boats for a half or full-day. You can also rent jet skis, parasail, or take a dolphin or sunset cruise.
Anna Maria Island is sprinkled with boutique shops that offer a variety of treasures to take home. There are several little villages that make up most of the shopping, but you will also find shops along Gulf Drive as well.
Pine Ave Shops: This little village offers something for everyone, including an art gallery, doggie spa, and donut shop. Your trip isn’t complete without a specialty donut. The donuts are made fresh while you wait, all you have to do is select your decadent toppings and enjoy. The donut shop is only open in the morning so come early, there is always a line during the season. Pine Avenue also features great restaurants. After lunch or dinner, take a short walk to the beach or the City Pier and get a look of the Tampa Bay Bridge.
Bridge Street: Located in the center of the island in Bradenton Beach, Bridge Street is the heart of the island. At any time, you can catch live music, enjoy a fine dinner and shop. Bridge Street’s motto is Dine-Shop-Play. Go and you won’t be disappointed. On Sundays, check out the outdoor open market, starting at 10:00 AM.
Holmes Beach: Holmes Beach is the hub of major commercial shopping including a Publix grocery store, Walgreens, and CVS pharmacies. You will also find a small Ace Hardware and other necessity shops along East Bay Drive (corner of East Bay Dr & Manatee). If you follow East Bay Drive north, the road then becomes Marina Drive. You will find another plaza known as Tidemark Shoppes. Tidemark Shoppes has a variety of gift shops and great restaurants too.
Well, restaurants are not really a thing to do in Bradenton, but there sure are a few good ones worth checking out. A good meal can be an event all by itself.
Habanero’s Mexican Grill, 5120 Manatee Ave West, a few miles off of Anna Maria Island. This is a small restaurant with great food at affordable prices. One of my favorite! They have a full bar and happy hour too. They serve a killer margarita.
Food Truck Rally-Lakewood Ranch 4 PM-8 PM, January to the end of February: This is located at the Sarasota Polo Club. Food trucks and cocktails, concerts, and cornhole! I can’t think of a better way to spend a winter evening than having fun with friends and family. There will be something for every age group. So, if you are here for just the winter with visitors, come by and have some fun!
The Waterfront Restaurant, Anna Maria Island: This place has history! Located in an old home that has been renovated with a craft bar, this restaurant not only has charm but a view to die for. At the north end of Anna Maria Island, you can look out onto the bay and see the Tampa Bay Bridge on a clear night. Extensive menu and wonderful specials. Outdoor dining available on a first-come basis. Indoor seating does take reservations.
Old Hamburg Schnitzelhaus, Holmes Beach, Anna Maria Island. If you are looking for something other than seafood, then you have to come here and bring your appetite. Great, authentic German food and even better beer. Save room for dessert because their Black Forest Cake with Cherry Schnapps is to die for! *Only open for Dinner* This place is popular, you may want to call or make reservations.
Pier 22, 1200,1st Ave West, Bradenton: You couldn’t miss eating by the water if you are in Bradenton. Located along the Manatee River, this relaxed atmosphere lets you enjoy the vast menu of sushi and seafood. A great happy hour too.
Bradenton has plenty of things to do and new events happening daily. The weather is great and its always a pleasure to enjoy a slice of paradise.
View all Bradenton FL real estate today at https://sarasotasandy.com See all the properties available in the Bradenton/Sarasota MLS or call 941-564-9491 to Buy or Sell a House in Bradenton, Sarasota or Anna Maria Island.
Checkout the Manatee Riverwalk. 🚶🏼 It is a 1.5 mile park that goes along the river in downtown Bradenton. There are restaurants, places to relax, a fishing pier & more.
Bradenton is not a sleeper town! You can find plenty of things to do in the evening.
1) Live Music: Check out the Cortez Clam Factory for Live Music & Great Food. Most places along the beaches in Anna Maria Island will also have great outdoor seating & music.
2) Downtown Bradenton: Downtown comes alive at night! Grab a cocktail and watch the sunset from a rooftop bar
3) Movie Night at the Beer Garden: Motorworks Brewery. This is a kid & pet-friendly event.
I have been in real estate sales for over 20 years. I am originally from the Midwest and have been living in beautiful Florida for over a decade. My career sales are over 2,100 homes sold. There aren’t too many obstacles I haven’t encountered throughout my work history. I provide you with honest advice backed by years of experience and understand that a real estate purchase or sale is a top priority for you. Nationally recognized. Licensed FL Real Estate Instructor. Contact me at Sandy@SandyWilliams.com or call 941-564-9491