Make a SplashThere’s no better way to make your Bradenton Area trip unforgettable than being out on the water. And there are plenty of ways to make a splash in 2016. Try horse surfing (yes, surfing on a horse) for one of the most extraordinary beach experiences imaginable. Not a horse person? Not a problem. Fly boarding, kayaking, fishing and other water adventures await. Click here to check out all of the water activities in the Bradenton Area. Sip on Local FlavorStay refreshed all year long with the Bradenton Area’s best local flavor. Whether it’s drinking freshly squeezed orange juice at Mixon Fruit Farm or raising a glass of homegrown wine at Bunker Hill Winery, rest assured there’s plenty to sip on this year. Enjoy the RiverwalkThe Riverwalk has been hosting more and more events since its opening in 2012. And it’s only going to get more exciting in 2016. Be there for the second annual River Regatta in February to see powerboat races, fireworks by Zambelli Fireworks and a free concert to cap it all off. Watch Fireworks on the BeachMost holidays have a different style here in the Bradenton Area. And the Fourth of July is no different. Be here to see the epic fireworks displays as they reflect off of the calm Gulf waters. On Anna Maria Island, the buildings aren’t allowed to reach over three stories. That means practically 360° views and an unforgettable Fourth of July night. Catch the BluesLive music is always in the air in the Bradenton Area. But sometimes it takes center stage. See one of the best live music events of 2016 – the Bradenton Blues Fest. Some of the best blues artists come from around the world to perform right here in Bradenton. Can’t be here for the Blues Fest? Hit up one of the live music events and venues throughout the year, like Symphony on the Sand and Main Street Live for local tunes. Catch a GameBaseball truly is one of Bradenton’s favorite pastimes. You can see the Pittsburgh Pirates right here at McKechnie Field for spring training starting in March. And you can see Pittsburgh’s minor league affiliate and our hometown team, the Bradenton Marauders, all season long. Shop Till You DropShopping in the Bradenton Area is a little different from most places. As always, you’ll have plenty of options at Ellenton Outlets. But the new mega shopping attraction, The Mall at University Town Center, has only made shopping even better in the Bradenton Area. Check out all of the newest shops in 2016. Take a Turtle TourSea turtles are one of the area’s favorite creatures. They’re a special part of beach life every year. Make them a special part of your 2016 by going on a turtle tour. You might even find a nest or see hatchlings firsthand. Celebrate with SnootySnooty is everyone’s favorite Bradenton Area manatee – and for good reason. See him all year long at the South Florida Museum. Be sure to join the oldest living manatee for his record-setting 68th birthday bash in July. Don’t worry about bringing him a gift. Your presence is the only present he needs. Stroll Down the Greenest Little Main Street in AmericaPine Avenue. It’s just a small corner of the Bradenton Area but it’s a part of something much bigger. Take a walk down the street to take in all of the unique art, cottages and businesses that are making major strides in the world of sustainability. You might even learn something new to take home that’ll make an impact long after 2016. Chow DownAny good trip is full of good food. And there are a lot of good things cooking for 2016. Get a plate of wild boar while overlooking the water at BeachHouse Restaurant. Try a freshly caught grouper sandwich at the Star Fish Company. Whatever you do, make sure you save room to indulge in bottarga (a local fish delicacy that is shipped to countries all over the world) sometime this year. Picnic Like a LocalWhen you’re on vacation, nothing beats a picnic on the beach. But don’t just have any picnic – have one just like a local. Stop by one of the beachside shops like Olive Oil Outpost to get stocked up on some good healthy snacks, including homemade bread, olive oil dips, artisanal cheeses and wine. Have an Adventure at TreeUmph!Enjoy some elevated adventure next year in the Bradenton Area. TreeUmph! is a one-of-a-kind place that lets you walk along treetops, zipline 650 feet through the air and climb some of the tallest trees in the area. Feeling extra adventurous? Take on the Summit Course to see if you have what it takes to truly conquer TreeUmph! Hug a PuppySoutheastern Guide Dogs is a place in the Bradenton Area that grooms pups to one day be a companion and guide dog for someone in need. But it takes a lot of work to build up the confidence to be a guide dog. That’s why Southeastern Guide Dogs invites you to help socialize the dogs. Hug them, take them on walks and play fetch. It helps them become something extremely important for someone in need, and it’ll be a little bit of fun for you in the meantime. Make HistoryHave the time of your life while exploring times past. Learning about the Bradenton Area’s rich, beachy history is one of the best ways to ring in 2016. Stay at the early-1900s Palmetto Riverside Bed and Breakfast after a day at one of three historical parks and villages: Gamble Plantation, Cortez Fishing Village and Manatee Village Historical Park. Watch the SunsetThere’s no better way to end a day in the Bradenton Area than by watching the sunset. After a day full of enjoying some of the best things to do in 2016, end it on a sunset cruise with someone special, watching the sun set over the water.