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Top Things To Do In Bradenton

Located on the banks of the Manatee River, Bradenton is full of colorful attractions and outdoor activities. Visitors and locals alike can enjoy the city’s vibrant art community, local food scene, and historic landmarks. Keep reading for recommendations on some of Bradenton’s most popular attractions and things to do.

Surrounded by water, Bradenton is no stranger to boating, sailing, and other aquatic activities. However, this 20-mile stretch between Tampa and Sarasota is also home to a variety of other attractions.

Discover the city for yourself with some of the best things to do near Bradenton:

  • Fish, canoe, and swim at Lake Manatee State Park
  • Hike, bike, or jog through the beautiful Emerson Point Preserve
  • Learn about Florida’s maritime history at The Florida Maritime Museum
  • Take in the sights, sounds, and smells of the city on the Manatee Riverwalk
  • Explore the sandy beaches and hot dining spots on Anna Maria Island

With beautiful beaches and a vibrant local art scene, Bradenton is a hotspot for both natural and cultural activities. These are some of the best tourist attractions in the city (your Instagram will thank you later).

Popular attractions near Bradenton include:

  • Kayaking or paddle boarding around the city’s scenic waterways
  • Searching for shells on the beaches of Beer Can Island
  • Taking a dolphin, manatee, or sunset tour with Captain Patsy Charters
  • Eating a meal at The Waterfront Restaurant, a local favorite with a great view
  • Getting a good seat for the Bradenton Area River Regatta

This seaside town offers plenty of activities for tourists and residents. Consider adding a few of these recommendations to your daily or weekly routine.

Fun things to do in Bradenton today include:

  • Manatee Beach, one of the most popular beaches on in town
  • The Red Barn Flea Market, a local favorite for more than 30 years
  • Darwin Brewing Company & Taproom, one of the best breweries in the city
  • The Sea Hag, an quirky store that hosts book signings, fishing festivals, and pirate-themed shows
  • Pine Avenue Shops, a small village with art galleries, puppy spas, and a truly unique donut shop

At nighttime, Bradenton comes alive. With a healthy selection of breweries, restaurants, and live music venues, there’s a little something for everyone.

Some of the best evening activities near Bradenton include:

  • The Lost Kangaroo Pub, a dog-friendly bar and eatery
  • Motorworks Brewing, a microbrewery with taproom tours and a neon-lit beer garden
  • The Swordfish Grill, a homey waterfront restaurant with fresh seafood and live music
  • 3 Keys Brewing & Eatery, a brewery with live music and home-brewed amber nectar
  • The Freckled Fin Restaurant, a beach-themes eatery with pizza, live music, and outdoor seating

Bradenton is home to a ton of free and inexpensive activities for the whole family. With options ranging from museums to oranges groves, you’re sure to find an activity that can entertain the pickiest children.

Some of the best things to do in Bradenton with kids include:

  • Touring the orange groves at Mixon Fruit Farms
  • Taking a ecotour of the bay with the help of Captain Kathe’s Boat Cruises
  • Playing a round of minigolf with the whole family at Smugglers Cove Adventure Golf
  • Attending Family Night at the South Florida Museum on the first Saturday of the month
  • Playing conductor and learning about the history of the state’s railroad system at the Florida Railroad Museum

Bradenton is known for its beaches, but it still offers several relaxing things to do indoors. With everything from spa treatments to art classes, there are plenty of ways to explore the great indoors.

Some of the most popular indoor activities in Bradenton include:

  • Treating yourself to a relaxing massage from Spa Northwest
  • Taking a pottery workshop at the Art Center Manatee
  • Learning about our solar system at the Bishop Planetarium
  • Exploring your artistic side with a glass of wine at Pinot Picasso
  • Sipping ceylon during an afternoon tea party at The Londoner Bed & Breakfast

Unleash your adventurous side while horseback riding on the beach or hiking through the Florida wetlands. You can also try your hand at fishing from one the city’s many piers—you never know what you’ll catch.

Bradenton’s best outdoor activities include:

  • Hiking through the wetlands in the Robinson Nature Preserve
  • Horseback riding and swimming with the help of Beach Horses
  • Fishing at one of the best spots in town, Sunshine Skyway Piers
  • Testing your balance during paddleboard yoga with Happy Paddler
  • Renting a jet ski from Wavesplash Watersports