Where to Play

Beaches in the Bradenton Area are second to none and undoubtedly provide the main attraction.

Perfect Beach Day on Anna Maria Island by Kara Franker

Popular beaches stretch south from Anna Maria down to Manatee Beach, Coquina Beach, Cortez Beach, and Whitney Beach.

Palm Tree Paradise on Anna Mara Island by Kara Franker

With so many beaches to choose from, you’re sure to find a deserted patch of white sand all to yourself.

Beach Anna Maria Island

Or explore a remote island and set sail to beautiful Egmont Key, only accessible by boat.

Sunset Catamaran Sail Anna Maria Island by Kara Franker

Book a catamaran excursion with Kathleen D Sailing Catamarans-you can snorkel among schools of brightly colored fish, watch for dolphins playing in the surf, and enjoy a picnic with the whole family.

Jeremy Franker on a Catamaran at Sunset

Both day trips and nightly sunset cruises leave from Mainsail Marina on Anna Maria Island.

Kara Franker on a Catamaran at Sunset on Anna Maria Island

For more fun on the water go kayaking. Or take a SUP yoga class with Island Yoga Space. Paddle through mangroves on a guided tour to practice your downward-facing-dog pose-all while balancing above the calm waters of the bay. Then cool off your flow with a swim.

Kayakers on Anna Maria Island by Kara Franker

And if a little R&R is what you’re after, book the island’s only beachfront massage in a private tiki hut. The spa therapists at Sea-renity Beach Spa & Eco Boutique will soothe your senses with a stress-relieving treatment set to the sounds of lapping waves and gulf breezes.

Kara Franker on a Jetty in Anna Maria Island

Speaking of art and shopping, no trip to Anna Maria Island is complete without a visit to the whimsical Shiny Fish Emporium on hip Pine Avenue. You’ll find unique island-inspired specialty items curated by owners Rebecca and Dan.

Shiny Fish Emporium 1

Think coastal home décor, funky ukuleles, artisan popsicles, tropical beachwear, and the chance to make your own sand dollar art. Pick up a paintbrush and choose from dozens of bright colors to craft your own design.

Shiny Fish Emporium 2

Then Rebecca and Dan will blast it with glitter and thread the sand dollar with a vibrant ribbon to hang in your home. Talk about a perfect keepsake!

Shiny Fish Emporium 3

Did you know that Bradenton is home to the oldest living manatee in the world, according to the Guinness World Records? The Parker Aquarium at the South Florida Museum is not only home to Snooty, but it’s also a second stage rehabilitation center for injured manatees.

Manatees in Bradenton, Florida

The museum is the largest natural and cultural history institution on Florida’s Gulf Coast.