Rhinos, Orangutans, Panthers, and More! – Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa!

What makes for a better family outing than a trip to the zoo? Especially if its the amazing Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa. It is a home to over 1,300 animals, including Manatees, Orangutans, Giraffes, and more! Here, they rescue, rehabilitate, and then care for these animals.

This non-profit zoo is 63 acres, and draws over 1 million visitors each year! Which makes sense, because this place is AMAZING!!

The lush, tropical setting truly makes you feel like you have entered a new, wild world. Experience up-close animal encounters, do a behind the scenes tour, and take part in their seasonal events!


Address:
1101 W Sligh Ave
Tampa, FL 33604

Enjoy a Family Fun Day at Mixon Fruit Farms in East Bradenton

Looking for a fun family day outing? Tired of going to the beach? Well then head over to Mixon Fruit Farms in East Bradenton (about a 30 minute drive).

Explore their groves, check out their gift shop and market, enjoy some of their delicious ice cream, or grab a bit to eat at the deli.
I suggest doing all of the above when you go.

Mixon’s also shares a portion of the groves with Wildlife Inc. Here, they provide care and shelter for injured animals like birds, reptiles, and more. Which means they also have an awesome wildlife refuge tour, where you can meet the animals and see them close up!

There is also a beautiful pavilion here that can be rented out for events and weddings. So if you or someone you know if planning the big day, you might want to have them check this place out!

Address:
2525 27th St E
Bradenton, FL 34208

Back Alley Treasures – Coffee, Wine, Craft Beer, and Funky Treasures

Get yourself a cup of coffee or an ice cold beer while you shop for local art and unique gifts to bring back home. Back Alley Treasures is a really cool bar and store located on Bridge Street (across the street from the Fish Hole)

Really, this place is super funky and fun. Find art by local artists, jewelry, clothing, stained glass, etc. Everything in this place is colorful and fun. Even if you don’t buy anything, It’s a great place to get a drink and hangout.

Speaking of drinks, they have tons to choose from. There are coffee drinks, smoothies, frozen lemonade, beer, and wine. Plus, you can make any of their smoothies or lemonades boozy, or ask for your coffee drink to be spiked. On one of our hot summer days, a frozen lemonade with a little (or a lot) of alcohol sounds pretty nice if you ask me.

Back Alley Treasures is open Monday – Saturday from 9AM – 8PM, and open Sunday from 9AM – 5PM.

Address:
108 Historic, Bridge St
Bradenton Beach, 34217

Acupuncture, Massages, Yoga and More at Aluna Wellness Center & Spa

If you’re staying in Bradenton Beach and are in need of some serious pampering and relaxation, head over to Aluna Wellness Center & Spa. They offer massages, acupuncture, facials, yoga, and meditation!

Founder and Owner, Dr. Tricia Graziano, opened this holistic wellness spa back in 2012.


There are simply too many services to list here, so make sure you checkout their website for more details. A few examples of services done here include; Cupping Therapy, Cold Laser Therapy, Deep Tissue Massages, Healing Hot Stone Therapy, and Organic Facials.

Address:
2219 Gulf Dr N
Bradenton Beach, FL 34217

Check out our blog, YOGA ON ANNA MARIA ISLAND, for even more options!

Salty Buddha – Paddleboard Lessons and SUP Yoga

For your yoga & paddleboard needs, check out the Salty Buddha! Started by Islander Raechel Croll, this company offers paddleboard lessons/rentals, SUP yoga, and more!

As far as the yoga part of the company goes, Salty Buddha has an amazing yoga studio that features a beautiful Himalayan salt wall for ultimate relaxation. Along with their studio classes, they also do Beach Yoga and SUP yoga.

Now on to the paddleboard info. Salty Buddha offers paddleboard rentals & lessons, paddleboard excursions, and even paddleboard fishing adventures (fishing license required)!


Address:
2219 Gulf Dr N,
Bradenton Beach, FL 34217

Check out our blog, Yoga on Anna Maria Island, for even more options!

Island Yoga Space


Beach yoga, SUP yoga, meditation classes, and more! Island Yoga Space in Anna Maria offers all of these classes taught by only the best instructors. Their upstairs studio is a great tranquil place to let your inner yogi out.

Island Yoga Space offers some great classes, workshops, and even retreats! Check out their websites schedule and workshop page to see what would interest you most.
Their daily studio classes include Vinyasa Flow, Restorative, Gentle, Yin Yoga, and Meditation. Offsite classes include Beach Yoga, Aqua Yoga, Chair Yoga, and SUP Yoga.

If you’re visiting Anna Maria Island, make sure you bring your yoga mat with you for their Saturday morning beach yoga! It is held at the Tortuga Inn (1325 Gulf Drive, Bradenton Beach) beach pergola.

Interested in becoming a yoga teacher? Luckily for you, Island Yoga Space is currently offering a “Alignment Based Vinyasa Yoga Teacher Training” course (January – July 2020).

Address:
9805 Gulf Dr
Anna Maria, FL 34216

Check out our blog, Yoga on Anna Maria Island, for even more options!

West Coast Surf Shop _ Serving Anna Maria Island Since 1964

For the ultimate Island/beach style, head on over to West Coast Surf Shop. Located in Holmes Beach, next to the Manatee Public Beach and across from Skinny’s, this shop is one of the best on the Island. At least it is in my opinion.

West Coast Surf Shop has been open since 1964. They sell clothing, sunglasses, bathing suits, surf boards, skateboard, wet suits, and much more! Featuring brands such as Roxy, Costa, O’neil, and BillaBong

Address:
3902 Gulf Dr.
Holmes Beach, Florida



Leave the Pets and Bikes at Home to Enjoy Perico Preserve

Similar to Neal Preserve, Perico Preserve in Bradenton also does NOT ALLOW pets. But, it is for a good reason! Perico Preserve isn’t just a preserve, it’s a bird sanctuary. Without the added noise of pets and bikes, the birds and wildlife here have the best chances of being successful in the breeding and rearing of their young.

While pets are absolutely not permitted here, there are certain trails that allow bicycles. Though, there are points on the tails that asks visitors to continue on foot and leave the bikes behind.

Perico Preserve is open daily from sunrise to sunset. Please be respectful of the wildlife when visiting this preserve (and all the Manatee County preserves).

Address
11700 Manatee Ave W
Bradenton FL 34209

Neal Preserve – Located in Bradenton, just off Anna Maria Island

Unlike most of the preserves in Manatee County, Neal Preserve does NOT ALLOW pets, and does NOT ALLOW bicycles on the tails. This preserve is specifically designed to be enjoyed on foot. Which isn’t a bad thing. In fact it makes Neal Preserve quite peaceful.

Open daily from sunrise to sunset, Neal Preserve is 120 acres of beautiful coastal habitat like mangrove forests, salt terns, and oak hammock uplands. There are shell trails and boardwalks that run through the preserve, as well as a 20 Ft. tall observation tower.

Neal Preserve is also a historically significant site. This area was inhabited by Native Americans from 3000 BC to 1400 AD. You will pass reconstructed burial mounds (original mounds were excavated by the Smithsonian back in the 1930’s), though remember that collecting anything here is NOT PERMITTED. This area should be seen as a “open air museum”.

Neal Preserve is perfect for hiking and bird watching

Address
12301 Manatee Ave W
Bradenton, FL 34209

Explore Duette Preserve – The Largest Preserve in Manatee County

Located in the Northeastern part of the county is where you’ll find Duette Preserve. It is the largest preserve in all of Manatee County, and takes up 21,000 acres.

Here you will find native vegetation and wildlife, including the burrowing owl, snowy egret, white ibis, and gopher tortoise. Plus rare species like the Florida scrub jay, Florida panther, and Eastern indigo snake.

Things to do here include; Hiking and nature trails, managed hunting, fishing, wagon tours, horseback riding trails, non-motorized bicycle trails, wildlife viewing, and primitive Camping.

Duette Preserve is open daily from sunrise to sunset. HOWEVER, the preserve is closed during certain weekends for the Hunt Program.

Address:
2649 Rawls Rd,
Parrish, FL 34219