Traveling With Your Furry Friends
You love your pet and you love to vacation, so why not bring your furry friend on your next trip to the Bradenton Area? There are plenty of pet-friendly lodging options and endless activities for you and your companion. Stay steps away from the gorgeous Gulf of Mexico, enjoy a leisurely walk in the park, dinner under the setting sun, and more! Trust us, once you bring your pets on an authentic Bradenton Area vacation, they will want to return—and so will you!
There’s an abundance of pet-friendly activities in the Bradenton Area – from sprawling preserves to the downtown core. No visit to the area is complete without a visit to Robinson Preserve, a 487 acre coastal saltern, marsh, and mangrove habitat with a watch tower. Perfect for hiking with your pup, the preserve is nestled into Northwest Bradenton with stunning views of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge and Tampa Bay.
While the beaches of Anna Maria Island are not dog-friendly, there are two great options if you want to let your pet splash around in the water. Palma Sola Causeway cuts through the bay leading to AMI and has animal-friendly beaches on either side of the drive. There’s also a pet-friendly beach at DeSoto National Memorial in Bradenton that can be accessed by a flat hiking trail that your dog is sure to enjoy.
Downtown Bradenton is especially dog-friendly with its weekly Farmer’s Markets and the Bradenton Riverwalk. The 1.5 mile long Riverwalk is equipped with plenty of dog-height water fountains and waste stations, making it the perfect way to spend the afternoon with your pooch.
Hunsader Farms is a 250-acre farm that offers a farmers market, a 100 site KOA campground, an area where you can pick your own fruits and vegetables, and some pet-friendly flower fields that make a great backdrop for photos. Hunsader farms also host a pet-friendly annual pumpkin festival every fall season.
Photo credit: @aussiedreambythesea
Where to Stay
Anna Maria Island is chock-full of private rental homes, like the ones from AMI Locals, many of which allow pets to stay as well. Private homes are a great way to make your furry family member feel comfortable and able to move around freely. Many even have their own yards perfect for playing fetch and, of course, bathroom breaks. Not all rental homes are alike so be sure to check with your vacation rental company to make sure your house is the perfect fit for your family and Rover!
If you’re looking for a more traditional hotel or resort, there are plenty of pet-friendly options as well. Check out Zota Beach Resort or Waterline Marina Resort for a more luxurious option or the Springhill Suites in Downtown Bradenton for all of the familiar comforts of an all-suite hotel with modern amenities. Compass by Margaritaville, Anna Maria Sound understands that your pet is part of the family, which is why they offer plenty of tail-wagging amenities like treats and toys for their furry guest.
Dining and Dogs
Just south of Downtown Bradenton is Motorworks Brewing which hosts one of the largest beer gardens in Florida. Their outdoor space is the perfect spot to nurse a craft beer and hang out with your furry friend. Motorworks is known for hosting “Yappy Hour” once a month to help find homes for adoptable shelter dogs, and one of their efforts even led to a viral story about a long-lost pooch finding her way home!
If you’re ready to get your grub on there are plenty of outdoor pet-friendly restaurants that you’re sure to love. Bridge Tender Inn on historic Bridge Street has the perfect laid-back tropical vibe that everyone is looking for in their Florida vacation – and they even had a “dog burger” on their menu! Also on Bridge Street is Anna Maria Oyster Bar on the Pier, which has a covered outdoor area that’s the perfect place to cool off and enjoy a margarita. They’ll even bring water and bowls out for the pups! At the North Shore Café all dogs are welcome at the outdoor tables. Your furry friend will feel like a king/queen with all the water and treats they will receive at the North Shore Café.
For the perfect dinner experience, head to Gulf Drive Café and Kokonut Hut. This restaurant is located directly on the sand on Anna Maria Island so you’ll have an incredible view with the soft sand between your toes. The waitstaff is always excited to see furry friends, and will even bring a water bowl out to them. Be sure to arrive in plenty of time to find the perfect seat, enjoy the local seafood, and watch an incredibly special Anna Maria Island sunset.