Thanksgiving Feasts

Turkey, mashed potatoes, yams – they’re great, but why should your harvest celebration be landlocked? Pull a boat right up to one of the Bradenton Area’s waterfront restaurants and feast on some fresh seafood on Thanksgiving. Restaurants like Pier 22 in Bradenton, Lazy Lobster in Longboat Key and Polo Grill & Bar in Lakewood Ranch serve up Florida-style Thanksgiving feasts. Just be sure to call ahead and reserve your table. Dive into a meal that consists of grouper sandwiches, fish tacos and our favorite delicacy, bottarga. There’s a lot to be thankful for in the Bradenton Area and it starts with the local flavor.

Fall Harvest

The fall can be a time for apple picking, hay rides and pumpkin-spice everything. In the Bradenton Area you can enjoy all of that with an added Floridian twist. Visit one of the local farms, like O’Brien Family Farms, and spend the day picking ripe strawberries and blueberries. Then treat yourself to their famous strawberry shortcake and bring home some local honey straight from their beehive. Your Bradenton Area fall harvest is sure to be bountiful this year.

Sand Angels

Even in the middle of January, you’ll never find snow in the Bradenton Area. The closest thing you’ll find to snow is a cool breeze on a 70° day. That doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some faux-snow activities. Bring the kids to the beaches of Anna Maria Island to make a sandy snowman, no mittens required. Then plop down on the beach and make a few sand angels. It’s just as fun as making snow angels but it’s a whole lot warmer.

Shelling over Shoveling

While the rest of the country stoops over their driveway shoveling snow, we prefer to discover treasures on the beaches by spending afternoons shelling. You can find some of the best shells in the Bradenton Area on Coquina Beach, one of Conde Nast Traveler’s Top 10 Island Beaches for Perfect Sand in the World.

Holiday Lights

When the sun goes down, the holiday lights shine bright. You’ll find palm trees, piers and beach shacks covered with Christmas lights all around the Bradenton Area. Not only that, but boats get the holiday treatment as well. See boats of all shapes and sizes illuminated on the water as they float down the Manatee River for the annual Holiday Boat Parade.

Whether you want to warm up or simply slow down and relax, the Bradenton Area is the ideal spot for you to do everything on your sand bucket list this holiday season. So break out your warm-weather clothes, grab your shovel and bucket, and get ready to experience the holidays on the beaches, farms and restaurants of the Bradenton Area!