There is plenty to keep you busy on Anna Maria Island, Florida…however some of us do get a hankering to drift away from the beach scene and dip our toes in the hustle and bustle of “the mainland”. Bradenton is a Florida city with a lot of charm, attractions and a myriad of not-to-be-missed experiences that are well worth the short 15 minute drive over the bridge! The Bradenton area offers visitors an amazing South Florida food scene (with a knack for perfect kitschy coffee shops), extensive shopping options (70% generally very affordable), luxurious horse back riding communities, verdant golf courses by the handful, agricultural digs to the east with tons of open farms and is a art lovers paradise with tons of local galleries and the well known Village of the Arts!
Below we picked some of our favorite reasons to head to town, comment below to tell us how your favorite in-town excursion!
Outdoor enthusiast start getting excited now, this will be your ultimate everything! A enormous course that takes you ziplining over breath taking Florida pines and oak trees while you course through their elevated trail of suspension bridges, log ladders and more all while safely secured with harness equipment. Fun for all ages and a once in a lifetime experience to champion!
One of the areas top spots for an elegant Florida wedding, this local oasis is enchanting for a number of reasons! The first is it’s free (donates welcome ofcourse), the second is the beautiful surrounding tucked away in this perfect garden. There are 3 lakes, picture perfect gazebo(s) and vintage looking bridges, pavilions for shade but ultimately the most enchanting of all will be the serene aesthetic of the nature that surrounds you in one of the areas best botanical displays. Not much for “just walking”? Put on your most flattering shade of autumn toned orange and brighten up your social media (#FloridaFall) with a killer back drop. If your bringing smaller children (they never seem to be much for “just walking”) entice them with the opportunity to Pokemon Go if they indulge, the garden is stop and they’ll be sure to keep busy catching them all while you enjoy your surroundings!
Did you know Bradenton has a hugeee horse community, actually there’s quite a few of them. Myakka City (Bradenton) is the spot to go for ultimate outdoor vibes, they have tons of trails, state parks and perfect rural riding terrain. If you BYOH make sure they’re deer friendly, you’ll see em’. Lakewood Ranch is known to be the luxury horse community with pristine arena’s and top tier trainers, if you’re not ready to throw a leg over you’re own saddle just yet check out the local polo matches!
Visit the Bishop Planetarium and check out one of there mind blowing shows with features like Pink Floyd laser light shows under the planetarium dome or every kid’s top pick-Space Park 360. They have tons of options for any age and is a fast and memorable experience that will dazzle you and sneak in some education too!
Earn an A in Agriculture!
We promise it’s more fun than it sounds. Take the iconic vintage Mixon-mobile to the left and tour an authentic Florida orange grove (let us know your vote on Tropicana or Mixon in the comments below when your done) and while your there don’t miss their wild life refuge (featuring possibly the world’s cutest bobcat) and the most charming gift shop to ever grace your camera roll! If your prefer dairy to juice then the vehicle to the right is for you! Dakin Dairy is one of the most popular local farms and if you ask the locals they’ll all agree, it’s the best milk you’ll ever buy from Publix in your life! Tour the facility to learn about healthy farming, enjoy a lunch and don’t forget to try the chocolate milk, you’ll swear it has ice cream in it!