The city of Bradenton, also known as The Friendly City, is a popular summer destination. In fact, many visitors come to Bradenton to experience Florida’s beautiful Gulf Coast. Located just east of Anna Maria Island, this quaint city has a population of just over 55,000. Bradenton is also just south of the expansive Terra Ceia Aquatic Reserve and the Tampa/St.Petersberug/Clearwater metro area. Florida has a wealth of things to do… here are top ten things to do in Bradenton.
Things to do in Bradenton:
Robinson Nature Preserve
Located just northwest of Bradenton, the Robinson Preserve has miles of gorgeous walking trails. These trails wind through the natural Floridian landscape. You can also visit the NEST. The NEST is an elegant elevated wooden structure located in a newer area of the park. It can be reserved for private events but also has weekly yoga and tai chi classes. Whether you want to kayak, walk, run, or just enjoy a nice afternoon in the shade, Robinson Nature Preserve has something for every nature lover out there.
The Bishop Museum of Science and Nature
Secondly, the Bishop Museum of Science and Nature is the largest natural history museum on Florida’s Gulf Coast. It has a plethora of attractions for you to enjoy. For instance, it has the main museum’s educational natural history exhibits about the rich biological record of Florida’s coast. Plus, the manatee rehabilitation habitat. There’s something for everyone to enjoy. And while you’re there make sure to visit the Bishop Planetarium. It hosts six shows a day to inform visitors about the beauty and majesty of the cosmos.
Village of the Arts
The third on the list for the top ten things to do in bradenton is the Village of the Arts. This eclectic neighborhood services as a live-work community for a variety of local artists. With vibrantly colored homes, public art displays, and a variety of open studios, this commune of artisans explores every avenue of art, from cuisine to painting, music, to knife sharpening. Join them every month on the first Friday night at the Village lasts til the next afternoon to experience their art walks that feature live music, great food, and unique art from every genre.
To the south of the city center lies the sprawling sports complexes of IMG Academy, the largest and most advanced multi-sport training institution in the world. You can tour their incredible facilities, and features a fabulous golf course that is open to the public. Visitors can also attend high school games, where they can watch future top-level athletes strut their stuff.
Anna Maria Island
This barrier island is only twenty minutes away from downtown Bradenton, ten minutes from Palma Sola Bay Club and is home to some of Florida’s best beaches. Whether you want to soak up some rays, go fishing from the City Pier, or stroll through the Bridge Street Market, Anna Maria has everything you could ask for from the renowned beaches of Florida.
Palma Sola Botanical Park
With 10 acres of gorgeous natural landscape, lush tropical plants, rare fruit trees, and tons of butterflies, the Palma Sola Botanical Park is a beautiful oasis located just north of Bradenton. Here you can get away from the stress of your day and explore the large tracts of exotic flora on the walking trails. You can even simply sit by one of the three lakes and enjoy the sun. They even have a nursery where you can purchase flowers. Bring a little bit of paradise into your garden at home!
Enjoy Local Breweries
For the beer lovers, Bradenton has several local breweries including The Good Liquid Brewing Company, Naughty Monk Brewery, and Darwin Brewing Company. These fun spots all serve their own brews and have large menus to choose from. So, if you’re in the mood for a good meal or unique drink, there’s plenty of options for you in Bradenton.
The expansive Bradenton Riverwalk runs along the shore of the Manatee River in downtown Bradenton and has a variety of attractions to choose from. With a skatepark, a splash pad, and a well-maintained playground, the Riverwalk is fun for the whole family. There are plenty of shaded areas to lounge and relax. In addition, there is also a pier by the Green Bridge where you can fish from. So, take a load off and go out for a pleasant day in the sun to enjoy the Riverwalk.
LECOM Park is the perfect destination for the baseball lover in Bradenton. Here the Pittsburgh Pirates host their spring training camp every year, and it is the oldest spring training stadium in the US. During the season, the Bradenton Marauders call LECOM Park their home and the field hosts a wealth of minor league games, as well as High-A club games in the Florida State League.
De Soto National Memorial
The last of the many top ten things to do in Bradenton is a national park. This monument and surrounding park commemorate the landing of Hernando de Soto and his men as the first Europeans to explore the southern United States in 1539. Located at the mouth of the Manatee River as it flows into Tampa Bay, De Soto National Memorial is rich in history featuring a reconstruction of the original Camp Ucita that served as the base for de Soto’s expedition. Here you can enjoy a variety of living history demonstrations, trying on armor that would have once been worn by conquistadors and a nature trail that replicates what these men would have walked through when they first landed on the shores of the New World.
While they are many other activities, these are just the top ten things to do in Bradenton. Get up off your feet and enjoy all of what your neighborhood has to offer.