20 Things To Do in 2020
A New Year brings new adventures, exhilarating encounters, and lifelong memories. With countless ways to enjoy an authentic Florida getaway in the Bradenton Area, we’ve compiled a list of 20 outstanding things experience in 2020 to get you started.
1. Fly Nonstop to Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport (SRQ).
No lengthy lines here! Flying to SRQ means convenience: you’re minutes from walking off the plane, picking up your bags, and on your way to the beautiful beaches of the Bradenton Area.
2. Take a Turtle Tour
The water surrounding the barrier islands of Anna Maria Island and Longboat Key are home to many native sea turtles, like leatherback, loggerhead, and even green turtles!
3. Get a Massage on the Beach
Experience one of the most relaxing moments of your trip with a massage on the beach. The balmy breeze and relaxing sound of waves lapping at the shore provide the perfect backdrop to this serene, beachside cabana. Contact the friendly staff at Sea-Renity Beach Spa & Eco Boutique to schedule your beachside appointment.
4. Paint a Sand Dollar
The Shiny Fish Emporium is one of the most colorful shops on Pine Avenue on Anna Maria Island. You’ll find beach-glam gifts next to unique souvenirs and toys for kids of all ages. You can purchase a hand-painted sand dollar to take home—but we encourage you to paint your own!
5. Watch an Anna Maria Island Sunset
Grab your camera (or smartphone!) and head for one of the many beaches to witness a famous Bradenton Area sunset. The clouds explode with vibrant, pastel colors as the sun dips into the Gulf of Mexico. Every sunset is unique, so be sure to compare your photos after uploading them. Don’t forget the #BradentonArea hashtag!
6. Cheer for the Pirates
LECOM Park is the Spring Training home of the Pittsburgh Pirates, and the permanent home of the Bradenton Marauders. Put on your black and gold and root for the home team as you enjoy America’s favorite pastime in one of the oldest baseball parks in Major League Baseball. The ‘Seventh Inning Stretch’ is the perfect time to stroll around the entire ballpark along the outfield boardwalk.
7. Get The Farm Experience
The Bradenton Area has a rich history of agriculture, dating back to the late 1800s. With fertile soil and ample sunshine, you’ll find many local farms on the mainland that are open to the public. Experience the simple joy of picking your own veggies, milking a cow, or learning to ride a horse. Visit The Farm Experience in Palmetto to learn about life on the farm—and trust us when we say it’s fun!
8. Enjoy a Bradenton-brewed Beer
The Bradenton Area is home to award-winning breweries, distilleries, and wineries, each with their own unique atmosphere. From the largest Beer Garden in Florida to a family-friendly brewhouse, you’re sure to have a delightful time sampling some spectacular (and delicious!) local brews.
9. Enjoy a Performance
The Manatee Performing Arts Center is home to the Manatee Players, a troupe that has entertained locals since 1947. The professional lighting, beautiful sets, and skilled cast and crew bring many Broadway-style performances and shows to the area.
10. Spot Some Sea Life
The Bradenton Area is unique to Florida because it borders the Gulf of Mexico, Tampa Bay, and the Manatee River. From estuaries to the open water, there are endless habitats that are home to native sea life, including the playful bottlenose dolphin. Take a 90-minute voyage with Paradise Boat Tours to witness these extraordinary creatures first hand.
11. Take to the Trees
Have you ever wondered what it’s like to soar through the treetops like a bird? Check out TreeUmph Adventure Park, a place where you can have fun defying gravity by safely spending time in the canopy. Kids of all ages will enjoy the unique games and aerial perspective this one-of-a-kind attraction provides.
12. Speed Around a Racetrack
Put the pedal to the metal and experience the thrill of speeding around Andersen RacePark. This 13-turn, one-mile go-kart track is also a state-of-the-art training facility where aspiring drivers of all ages can hone their skills and chase their dreams of competing in professional open-wheel racing.
13. Bask in the Bradenton Blues Fest
This annual, award-winning event celebrates America’s original form of music, the Blues. Blues fans travel from across the country—and world—to attend the Bradenton Blues Festival on the Bradenton Riverwalk. Trust us when we say purchase your tickets early, this event is known for selling out months in advance!
14. Reel-in The Big One
Our local waters teem with remarkable gamefish, which are perfect for sustainable catch-and-release fishing. Local charter captains will provide all of the necessary gear to safely and responsibly fish the local hot spots: reefs, grass flats, deep sea, and more.
15. Be Amazed at the Bishop
The Bishop Museum of Science and Nature is the largest natural and cultural history museum on Florida’s Gulf Coast. In addition to the vast collection of local artifacts, you’ll find a manatee rehabilitation aquarium, an all-digital planetarium with mind-blowing shows, and The Backyard Universe, a place to get hands-on with nature.
16. Spend a Day in the Sand
No visit to the Bradenton Area is complete without spending a day building an enchanting sandcastle or relaxing in your chair on the powder-soft sand of our beaches. The tranquil, turquoise-colored water of the Gulf of Mexico is the perfect place for solo-travelers, couples, and families looking for an authentic Florida retreat.
17. Dine on Delicious Seafood
It doesn’t get any better than the deliciously-fresh seafood found in our local restaurants. From dockside eateries to fine-dining establishments, your dining options are seemingly endless—and so are your fresh seafood options!
18. Shop for Local Produce
With a lengthy growing season, you’ll soon learn why local produce is readily available at our farmers markets. Stop by and chat with farmers as you shop for vegetables at the Bradenton Farmers Market on Old Main Street.
19. Stroll the Bradenton Riverwalk
Take a stroll along the Bradenton Riverwalk and explore the vast collection of public art and experience the sights and sounds of what makes Bradenton a unique, riverside city. Bring the kids and let them play in the splashpad, grab a book and relax in one of the outdoor living rooms, and watch the stunning sights from the pier!