Start on the Beach
Relaxing on the beach is what locals do best. And it’s the best way to kick off any trip to the Bradenton Area. Take our Beach Finder Quiz to discover the perfect beach for you! But if you’re looking for a true resident favorite with fewer residents, hit up Whitney Beach on Anna Maria Island. This natural paradise is photogenic and relaxing with its dried-out trees and fallen branches scattered across the shores.
Then try a yoga session right on the beach to truly become one with the locals. A group meets up on the last Wednesday of every month at Manatee Public Beach. It’s totally free to the public and totally fun.
Next stop: Bean Point. You can find this hidden beach gem at the northern tip of Anna Maria Island and it’s only accessible by bike or on foot. It’s one of the most secluded beach spots in the area and the absolute best place to watch the sun sink past the water.
Go Beyond the Beach
Add some adrenaline to your adventure with some go-karting. If time flies when you're having fun, then you may just break the sound barrier at Andersen RacePark. Learn how to race from racing professionals and challenge your friends for bragging rights. The go-karts are fast, the track is fun, and the experience is unforgettable.
Fuel up afterwards with an afternoon trip to Bunker Hill Winery. Known as the greenest winery in America, they keep the locals happy with delicious wines while keeping the environment happy by recycling bottles and reusing resources. They use homegrown flavors like coconut, strawberries, oranges and more to capture the taste of the Bradenton Area in every bottle.
More of a beer lover than a wine aficionado? No problem. See what’s brewing in the Bradenton Area at Darwin Brewing Company’s production facility, taproom and beer garden. Their unique craft beer is influenced by flavors and spices from the Andean and Amazon Regions in South America and pairs perfectly with our 75° weather. Try what’s on tap and take some cans to go!
Taste the Local Flavor
Take your taste buds to the Sage Biscuit Café for brunch and you’ll be wishing it was open all day! The café is named after their delicious biscuits baked with sage, but the rest of the menu is equally unique and practically endless. In addition to traditional breakfast and lunch dishes, they offer a variety of vegan, gluten-free, and vegetarian options so there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
If you’re in the mood for seafood, it’s hard to beat Tide Tables. Appropriately named, it has a casual, beachy vibe with picnic tables right by the water. Their fish is fresh from the sea, but the desserts are out of this world. They have homemade key lime pie and delicious daily specials such as pumpkin cheesecake to add some indulgence to your casual getaway.
Craving something cheap and tasty? Grab a burger with a side of homemade potato salad or coleslaw at Duffy’s Tavern and you’ll see why locals call it hamburger heaven. This place is cash-only, but that shouldn’t be a problem with burgers starting at $5 and draft beers starting at $1.
When you want a sweet treat and some all-American dining, there’s no better place than Shake Pit*. Locals have been coming to this spot for generations to cool down thick milk shakes, dipped cones and a variety of ice cream floats. Luckily, it’s always warm enough in the Bradenton Area to enjoy a coconut shake or a pineapple float!
Now that you know how the locals spend their time, you’re ready to make the most of yours in the Bradenton Area. Enjoy some beach relaxation, high-speed fun and plenty of homegrown flavor. You’ll fit in with the locals just fine.
*Shake Pit will be closed from November 11 to December 7.