Bradenton Things to Do: Fun Activities Everyone Will Love
Located South of Tampa along the Manatee River, Bradenton offers a slice of ‘Old Florida’ paradise. While the area has plenty of places to relax, there are also fun activities for different interests and ages groups. Favorites range from baseball to shopping and everything in between. For some ideas, check out the top Bradenton things to do and start planning a vacation.
Bradenton Things to Do: Where Families Play and Unwind Together
Visit the Beach
Soft sand and warm waters beckon beach-goers. Bradenton area beaches offers ample space and scenic beauty perfect for play and relaxation. A few to visit include Cortez Beach, Manatee County Beach and Coquina Beach. In addition, visitors can head west to Anna Maria Island. This island offers quiet beaches without large crowds and commercial development.
Explore the Great Outdoors
Bradenton also has outdoor attractions suited for hiking, wildlife viewing, canoeing and kayaking. Emerson Point Preserve features native plants as well as historical Native American sites. De Soto National Memorial, the landing site of Hernando de Soto in 1539, offers 26 acres of natural beauty. Palma Sola Botanical Park and Bradenton Riverwalk both welcome guests to admire nature and slow down.
However, these are just a few examples. Lake Manatee State Park and Passage Key National Wildlife Refuge provide tranquil places for visitors to connect with nature and break from busy crowds.
Book a Water Adventure
When not exploring on land, head into the water. Bradenton’s location is in proximity to Manatee River, Tampa Bay, Sarasota Bay and the Gulf of Mexico.
Area companies host fishing trips, beach horseback rides, dolphin and manatee tours, parasailing, and boating adventures. Canoeing, kayaking and sunset sailing trips are also popular. For some top fishing charters, try Bradenton Fishing Charters and Tailing Tales.
Play Golf in the Bradenton Area
Golfers feel right at home in Bradenton. The area has more than 15 golf courses ranging in size, ability and location. In addition, many offer affordable tee times paired with unforgettable Florida views. Players can choose from championship and links-style courses, as well as private clubs.
Top options include Timber Creek Golf Course, River Run Golf Links, Bradenton Country Club, Pinebrook Ironwood Golf Club and IMG Academy Golf Club.
Browse Village of the Arts
Those with an eye for art will love Village of the Arts. As a community for artists, Village of the Arts consists of colorful historic cottages that house art studios, art galleries, specialty shops, restaurants and more local businesses.
Monthly art walks offer the chance to meet artists and buy local pieces. More than 24 studios and galleries showcase art in different mediums. Or watch artists, attend a fun event and shop for gifts. Those searching for ‘healing art’ have access to yoga studios and acupuncture. Visitors can spend a few hours or days browsing Village of the Arts.
Catch a Game
Bradenton serves as home to IMG Academy, the world’s largest multi-sport and training facility. The academy spans some 600 acres and trains athletes in football, basketball, baseball, tennis and golf. Many athletes live on campus and attend sports camps. In addition, the academy hosts competitions that welcome sports fans to the complex. Events include baseball games, soccer matches and gymnastics.
Those visiting in spring can’t miss Major League Baseball spring training at LECOM Park. This venue welcomes the Pittsburgh Pirates and minor league’s Bradenton Marauders.
Step Back in Time
Bradenton pays homage to important historical events and culture. Florida Maritime Museum encompasses 4 acres and showcases exhibits, instruments, photographs, shells and other relevant pieces. Gamble Plantation Historic Park features an Antebellum mansion, veterans memorial and preserved buildings.
Those interested in agriculture will find Manatee County Agricultural Museum a great place to learn about the county’s role in local culture. Manatee Village Historical Park highlights pioneers and their lifestyle through historical buildings and artifacts. Families will also enjoy Florida Railroad Museum, an attraction dedicated to preserving railroad history.
Indulge in Bradenton’s Food Scene
While vacationing here, sampling the local food scene ranks among the top Bradenton things to do. The area specializes in fresh seafood as well as international and regional cuisine prepared by professional chefs. In fact, some chefs move to Bradenton to become part of the growing food culture. Visit the best Bradenton seafood restaurants.
Additionally, the city is earning a reputation for local brews. Many offer tastings and allow guests to learn about the process. To start, head to Darwin Brewing Company, Motorworks and 3 Keys Brewery and Eatery.
To take the next step, book a Bradenton vacation rental, and plan a memorable trip. It’s time to getaway and relax!