19 Things to Do in 2019
There’s never a lack of exciting things to do in the Bradenton Area. But in 2019, you can look forward to one of the most exciting years yet! From thrilling adventures through the treetops to relaxing massages on the beach, here are 19 can’t miss things to do on your next Bradenton Area vacation.
1. Enjoy a Florida-brewed craft beer
Get a refreshing taste of the Bradenton Area with a locally brewed craft beer from one of the many breweries. Brewers like Motorworks Brewing, Darwin Brewing Company, and 3 Keys Brewing use locally sourced flavors to pack a punch in their tasty beers. Cheers to that!
2. Take a turtle tour
Join Anna Maria Turtle Watch on one of their turtle talks or, during nesting season, a turtle walk to learn all about the importance of preserving sea turtle nests and how you can help support them!
3. Dock and dine
After spending a long day out boating you’ll surely be searching for somewhere to chow down. Fortunately, dining on the water in the Bradenton Area is always easy. Just stick your boat in a slip at Anna Maria Oyster Bar or one of the many other dock & dine restaurants that are sure to “wet” your appetite.
4. Get a massage on the beach
What’s better than a massage while you’re on vacation? How about a massage on the beach while you’re on vacation! Head to Sea-Renity Beach Spa & Bou-Tiki to schedule the perfect hour of absolute relaxation.
5. Paint a sand dollar
Everyone will want a piece of the Bradenton Area to take home for lasting memories. But for a truly unique souvenir that is all your own, try painting a sand dollar at Shiny Fish Emporium on Anna Maria Island. And don’t forget the glitter!
6. Enjoy some puppy love
In the Bradenton Area there’s a very special place where you can surround yourself with puppies and do good at the same time! At Southeastern Guide Dogs you can take part in “Puppy Kindergarten” – the sweetest experience that helps to-be guide dogs get used to being around people.
7. Go crab racing!
For a fun (and competitive) experience, head to Swordfish Grill in Cortez Fishing village and take part in “NASCRAB”. Just pick your hermit crab, make a bid, and watch them take off. Hopefully your shell-covered pick will win it all!
8. Fly Non-Stop
Your vacation should be spent vacationing, not in an airport. Luckily, Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport is just a hop, skip, and a jump away from the Bradenton Area’s sugar white sand beaches. And with more non-stop flights into SRQ than ever before, you’re guaranteed to get the most out of your precious time in paradise.
9. Watch the sunset
On Florida’s west coast, you’ll see sunsets that are truly out of this world. The colors can range from hues of orange and yellow to purple and sky blue, often over the course of just a few minutes. And no matter where you choose to watch the sun drop, the AMI sunset is sure to leave a lasting impression.
10. Pet a Kangaroo!
At Hunsader Farms you’re sure to have a blast that the whole family will always remember. The farm has fresh U-Pick fruits and veggies, a fresh market, train rides, and – an all time favorite – a petting zoo! This petting zoo has goats, bunnies, pigs, and – best of all – a kangaroo!
11. Swing in for fun
Get your feet off the ground and into the trees at TreeUmph! Adventure Course. This treetop rope course is a day-long blast for the whole family and completes with one of the longest ziplines in Florida. At TreeUmph! the ground is overrated!
12. Catch the blues
The Bradenton Area is never lacking for live music, but one of the absolute can’t-miss events in the annual Bradenton Blues Festival. A 3-day long event, the Blues Fest is always a foot-tapping good time!
13. Head down to the farm
We’re known for our beaches. But further inland, our farms are popular destinations for families too. At Dakin Dairy Farms, learn about modern dairy farming on a tour of their state-of-the-art facilities. After the tour, enjoy a picnic lunch in the shade of the main pavilion. Then take a hayride around the farm, which includes a hay maze, fossil dig, petting zoo and Sand Mountain—a favorite challenge for kids of all ages.
14. Get folksy
Take a class at the Florida Maritime Museum’s Folk School! These classes teach near-lost heritage skills that have been passed down through the generations. Highlights include soap making, ancestry, wine making, knot tying and storytelling.
15. Paddle around
The ecology of Florida is incredibly unique – in fact, the only areas that you’ll find a higher level of diversity of wildlife is in the tropical rainforest and coral reefs – and there’s no better way to explore it than with a kayak. Tour services like Beach Bums and Happy Paddler lead you through the Bradenton Area’s clear blue waters and into its intricate mangrove system.
16. Go top speed
The Bradenton Area can be paradise for thrill seekers too! At Andersen RacePark, you can speed around in karts and leave your friends in the dust.
17. Stay comfortably
The Bradenton Area has a wide variety of accommodations, but if you’re looking for an extra comfortable space considering splurging on a vacation home rental. From sprawling 6-bedroom modern homes to cozy beach cottages, you’ll find it hard to part from your home-away-from-home.
18. Take in a show
You don’t have to hit Broadway to catch an awesome stage play. The Bradenton Area is home to the Manatee Performing Arts Center, a state-of-the-art theater with professional-grade plays that will make your emotions soar.
19. Book your return
Once you’ve experienced the treasures of the Bradenton Area, you’ll understand why it has a 94% return rate. Occupancy fills up fast so be sure to start planning your return vacation as soon as you get home!