6 Things to Know About Bradenton Beach

Traveling to the southern portion of Anna Maria Island brings you into the quiet bustling city of Bradenton Beach. This area of the island offers miles of public beaches with parking, Historic Bridge Street for sightseeing and shopping, and great dining opportunities with both family fun and a nightlife. Read on to learn six things you might not know about Bradenton Beach.

6 Things to know about Bradenton Beach

While all of Anna Maria Island has a special charm, Bradenton Beach has a unique culture and history all of it’s own.

1. History

Originally called Cortez Beach for its proximity to the fishing village of Cortez, the area became Bradenton Beach during the 1920’s land boom. It’s believed that inland developers gave it the name Bradenton Beach, so potential buyers would think the Beach and the city of Bradenton were next to each other rather than seperated by Cortez Fishing Village and Palma Sola. The city was incorporated in 1953.

Bradenton Beach’s Historic Bridge Street Pier is the site of the original, and first bridge connecting the island to the mainland. The first Bridge was wooden, and built in 1922. By the 1940’s the Bridge became rickety with wind and waves making the structure sway. It’s said that when cars went over the old bridge the wooden boards would bounce making a banging noise like a shot gun (Norwood 181). A new bridge was built in 1957 making access to the island much safer and easier.

The Historic Bridge Street Pier, now a days, offers excellent fishing, sightseeing over Sarasota Bay, a delicious restaurant with a view, shops and public day docks.

Historic Bridge
The First Bridge to Anna Maria Island built in 1922.

2. Sightseeing and Activities

There are also many beautiful places to sight see on Bradenton Beach including the Bradenton Beach City Pier, quaint Bridge Street, Coquina Beach bike path and Leffis Key. Rent a segway from Bridge Street rental company Segs by the Sea, and cruise around the city with ease.

When looking for activities on Bradenton Beach enjoy miniature golf on Bridge Street, or head over to the Tingley Memorial Library. This unique library is independent of the Manatee County Library system, and offers annual memberships for $4.

When visiting the island, especially during high season, you may want to consider using the free trolley to get around. Parking is limited in busy areas of the island, and battling traffic does not lend to a relaxing paradise getaway. The free trolley runs usually every 20 minutes taking you along almost the entire island.

Sarasota Bay sightseeing
There are great sightseeing opportunities in Bradenton Beach like this view of Sarasota Bay and the Cortez Bridge seen from Leffis Key.

3. Beaches

Bradenton Beach offers approximately a three mile strip of public beach with parking along the Gulf of Mexico. Public parking makes it a popular place for enjoying the shore on Anna Maria Island. To the far south is Coquina Beach with restrooms, concessions, showers, parking, picnic tables, walking path, playground, and life guards. Heading north through Bradenton Beach along the gulf brings you to Cortez Beach. Cortez Beach does not offer the same amenities, but does have plenty of parking, and an old Florida beach feel. There are three erosion groins located in an area locals call “Three Piers” this area separates Coquina and Cortez Beach, and is said to be a great surfing spot.

Coquina Beach
Coquina Beach is the southern most gulf beach on Anna Maria Island. In the background of this image you can see the 2015/2016 construction of the new erosion groins to keep south end beaches intact.

4. Events and Markets

Bradenton Beach offers one seasonal market perfect for finding local made items, art, gifts and produce. Happening on Sunday, The Coquina Beach Market is a great way to enjoy the island on a Sunday Funday Morning.

Bradenton Beach Markets
Coquina Beach Market

5. Shopping

In addition to the fabulous Seasonal Markets there are great little shops in Bradenton beach offering swim wear, beach gear, home items, art, jewelry, gifts and more. Find out about Shopping on Anna Maria Island here.

Back Alley
There are great shops on Bridge Street like Back Alley where you can find local made and hand made art, jewelry, gifts and refreshments. Photo Credit: Back Alley Facebook Page.

6. Dining

On the south end of Anna Maria Island you’ll find some really fabulous Restaurants. While visiting you’ll have many types of dining experiences for all meals of the day. From casual to fine dining, and restaurants with a beach or bay view. You’ll even find a few places open late on Bridge Street if you are looking for night life. Click on the links below for suggestions.

Bradenton Beach Bridge Tender Inn
The Bridge Tender restaurant offers great food with a beautiful view of Sarasota Bay and the Bradenton Beach City Pier.

 

Blue Marlin
Wicked Cantina
The Island Spice
Bridge Tender Inn
Beach House Restaurant
Anna Maria Oyster Bar
French Table
Island Time
Joe’s Eats and Sweets
Sharky’s

Bradenton Beach Pier
Bradenton Beach City Pier 2016.

Now that you know these six tips, enjoy Bradenton Beach like a local!

 

Bradenton Beach Properties

Looking for the perfect Anna Maria Island home on south end? Island Real Estate Agents can help you find your next paradise beach house!

Bradenton Beach Vacation Rental

 

Works Cited:

Norwood, Carolyne. Anna Maria Island 1940-1970 Tales of Three Cities from Bean Point to Bridge Street. Anna Maria Island: Anna Maria Island Historical Society. 2010.

 

Beach’N Food Truck Music Festival

The Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce invites you to join the fun at the inaugural Beach’N Food Truck Music Festival. The event is on April 2nd, 2016 at Coquina Beach.

Beach’N Food Truck Music Festival

A family friendly event with a little something to entertain everyone, the Beach’N Food Truck and Music Festival runs from 10am until 10pm. The event will be located in the city of Bradenton Beach just south of the Trolley stops and concession area at Coquina Beach access. There will be some parking available south of the event area. Suggested parking is available at Manatee Public Beach access with the free trolley running approximately every 20 minutes to shuttle patrons to the event. The free Trolley will run until 10:30pm.

The Beach’N Food Truck and Music Festival is a celebration of food, music and arts and crafts. In addition to tasty treats from the food trucks and fun local music, this event will be featuring a kid zone, car show and great vendors. Adult beverages will be available! The car show will showcase exotic, vintage and muscle cars from 10am-3pm. Find a unique shopping opportunity at the vendors booths offering jewelry, collectibles and art works.

The music line up includes many talented local acts as seen below:
Emcee Mike Sales – 10am-10pm
The JPs – 11am – 12:30pm
The Billy Rice Band – 1 – 2:30pm
Whiskey Blind – 3 – 5pm
SoulRcoaster – 5:30 – 7:30pm
The Karen & Jimmy Band – 8 – 10pm

A portion of the funds raised by this event will go toward the Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce scholarship fund for Manatee County Seniors.

Join in on the fun at the Beach’N Food Truck and Music Festival this April on Anna Maria Island!

For additional information contact the Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce at info@amichamber.org, or visit them on facebook here.

food truck festival
Beach’N Food Truck and Music Festival happening April 2, 2016 from 10am-10pm.

 

Top 10 Anna Maria Island Beaches – Things to Know!

It’s no secret that some of the most beautiful Gulf of Mexico coastline can be found on Anna Maria Island beaches. Powder white quartz sand, clear blue waters, exotic wildlife and endless sunshine make for the perfect place to relax all day and let your cares wash away.

Anna Maria Island Beaches

There are several things to keep in mind when visiting Island beaches. So, Island Real Estate has come up with our top ten list of things to know about Anna Maria Island beaches. From deciding which beach to visit to where to find parking, Here’s everything you need to know for fun in the sun.

Anna Maria Island beaches
Anna Maria Island has some of the Gulf of Mexico’s most beautiful powder sand beaches.

1. Sunblock

If you are a Floridian you have a complete understanding and respect for the necessity of sunblock. It only takes one really bad sunburn to learn your lesson, and no one should suffer from this mistake on vacation. Even on an overcast day it’s possible to get sunburned! It is extremely important to slather on the sunblock at least 20 minutes prior to heading to the beach to allow your skin to properly absorb sunblock. Be sure to reapply sunblock every few hours, especially on the kids. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you are safe from the sun in the water; you still need to use every precaution to avoid a bad burn. In addition to sunblock consider a hat, sunglasses, lots of water for keeping hydrated and a loose fitting shirt to cover bare skin.

 

2. Places to Beach

Sunset on Anna Maria Island
Be sure to catch one of Anna Maria Island’s beautiful sunsets!

 

Anna Maria Island has over seven miles of beaches to explore, but finding the perfect beach for you is important for having the ultimate island experience. One great thing about Anna Maria Island is the abundance of public beach accesses all along the gulf and bay sides of the island; however, not all public accesses have available parking. With each beach offering a little something different, here are four options to better curate your beach excursion.

Manatee Beach

Manatee Public Beach Access is perhaps the island’s most popular, and therefore, busiest of beach spots. With just about all the amenities you could want for the beach, Manatee Public Beach is an island hot spot. Located at the very end of west Manatee Avenue, this public beach offers tons of free parking, lifeguards, bathrooms, showers, gift shops, concessions, changing rooms, free trolley and public bus stop, volley ball nets, tourist information, picnic tables under shady Australian Pines and a fabulously sandy playground for the kids. This Beach Access is truly the heart of the island beach scene.

Coquina Beach

Coquina Beach Access is located along the south end of Anna Maria Island running up the gulf side. This popular beach has tons of parking, grill and picnic areas, playground, lifeguard, bathrooms, trolley stop, concessions, and an absolutely gorgeous walking/bike path running along the sea oat sand dunes.

Bay Front Park

Bay Front Park Beach Access is located on the northern end of Anna Maria Island south of Bean Point running along Tampa Bay. This park has an updated playground, picnic grills and shelters, bathrooms, some parking, and nearby Trolley stop at the Anna Maria City Pier. The beaches are narrow along the bay side, but there are views of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, Tampa bay and gorgeous sunrises.

Bean Point

Bean Point Beach Access is one of the most secluded and sought after beach destinations on Anna Maria Island. Parking is extremely limited making this beach more accessible by foot or via bicycle.  Bean Point beaches are mostly deep and expansive with powder sand, sea oats, dunes and wildlife. Enjoy great views of Egmont key, Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico.

3. Beach Safety

Beach Safety is an important thing to keep in mind when swimming and enjoying a day at the beach on Anna Maria Island. Be sure to observe all signs regarding swimming conditions including rip tide warnings. Look for one of the five colored flags posted to understand current swimming precautions.

4. Shells

Anna Maria Island seashell
Shelling and Beach Combing on Anna Maria Island is fun for all ages!

Beach Combing and shelling are a fun beach activity for the entire family when visiting Anna Maria Island. With so many different species of shells and wildlife you never know what you’ll come across when strolling the powder white sand beaches of the Gulf of Mexico and Tampa Bay. There are plenty of places to find shells on the island with some of the best finds washing up after stormy weather.

5. Beach toys

No matter how young or old beach toys are a must for the beach. Making sand castles with bucket and shovel, throwing around a Frisbee or clinging to a noodle; beach toys are always a fun addition to your beach trip.

6. Temperatures

Regardless of when you visit Anna Maria Island the weather and water temperature are almost always gorgeous. In the summer expect seasonal afternoon showers, and bath like water temperatures. Some visitors even swim in the winter, but we’ll leave that up to your judgement.

7. Turtle Season, Birds, Dolphins, and Wildlife.

Black Skimmer and baby
Black Skimmer feeding baby during nesting season on Anna Maria Island.

Anna Maria Island is fortunate to be the year round, and seasonal home of many different species of wildlife. Each year between May 1st and October 31st we find several species of Sea Turtles coming ashore to lay eggs. In the spring and winter months Anna Maria Island is home to many birds nesting on the beaches including the stoic Black Skimmers and Least Terns. Sea mammals like dolphin and manatee can be spotted around Anna Maria Island at various times throughout the year. With so much wildlife it is important to respect these beautiful inhabitants.

8. Respect the beach – Clean up

The beach is a beautiful public place that must be cherished and protected. There are wrong and right ways to utilize this resource. When visiting the beach follow all posted rules, avoid feeding the seagulls and be sure to clean up all your trash and debris when you leave. It only takes two minutes to keep trash and litter off our pristine beaches!

9. Surfing

Anna Maria Island may not be the first place that surfers flock to for huge waves, but the locals still enjoy our laid back surf culture and climate none the less. White Avenue in the city of Anna Maria is one popular surfing spot. If you aren’t into surfing try out wake boarding during your stay!

10. Day Trip to Egmont and Fishing

Egmont Key Florida
Egmont Key Light house

If you are looking for a great place to bring your boat and go for a swim Egmont Key is always fun and beautiful. Located just off the northern tip of Anna Maria Island, Egmont is a great short day trip into bay waters.

Stay up to date with everything about fishing on Anna Maria Island on the Island Real Estate local scene blog page Fishing Report. From the Intracoastal waterway to the Gulf of Mexico and Tampa Bay there are plenty of great fishing opportunities.

When visiting Anna Maria Island be sure to stay safe, have fun, put on your sunscreen and enjoy lounging on beautiful Florida beaches!

Anna Maria Island Vacation Rental Homes and Accommodations

If you are looking for the perfect vacation rental home visit IslandReal.com today! Enjoy the largest selection of vacation rental accommodations to choose from on the island along with great customer service!

Anna Maria Island Club vacation rental and accommodations
Anna Maria Island Club is a picturesque direct beach front condominium complex located in Bradenton Beach. Anna Maria Island Club 44 offers accommodations for up to 6 guests with balcony views of the gulf from both the living room and master bedroom. Click on the image above to reserve your stay at Anna Maria Island Club 44 today!

 

Manatee Miles Sea Turtle Stroll

Bradenton beach – Don’t miss the Manatee Miles Sea Turtle Stroll on Saturday May 9th at 9am.

A family fun run/walk coming in two flavors, a one-mile course and a 5k course, is an event whose proceeds go to the United Way of Manatee County. Registration is $35 for one adult and up to four kids, $50 for two adults and up to four kids, $25 for an adult up to April 30th and $30 after that, $15 for teens between 14 and 17 and $5 for each additional kid ages 3-13. Adults who sign up before April 30th will get a complimentary event t-shirt. The first 200 to register will also get a free stuffed koozie.

Registrations start at 8am with the walk/run starting at 9am and is located on Coquina Beach at 2650 Gulf Drive South in Bradenton beach.
United Way addresses our community’s most challenging issues by focusing on the building blocks of a good life; Education, Financial Stability and Health. By participating in the Manatee Miles Sea Turtle Stroll, participants help give Manatee County children the opportunity graduate from high school on time, help residents have access to opportunities to create financial stability for themselves and their families, and help community members make healthy choices, be safe from violence, and have access to healthcare and healthcare supports.

Online registration and additional information available is available HERE.  Contact Katie Becker at kbecker@uwmc.net or  for more information.

For more information on Manatee County Government, visit online at www.mymanatee.org or call (941) 748-4501. You can also follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/manatee.county.fl and on Twitter, @ManateeGov.

Anna Maria Island beach clean-ups

Photos from the Heart the Sea Beach Clean UpAnna Maria Island – The city of Anna Maria and independent organizations in Bradenton Beach and Holmes Beach will be holding Anna Maria Island beach clean-ups during the last weeks of March.

Coquina Beach Clean Up

The Tampa Bay Watch Coastal Cleanup of Coquina Beach is asking you to come and help clean the beach on March 21st from 9am until noon. Bring your own gloves, hats and sunscreen as the Tampa Bay Watch will provide trash bags and trash grabbers. The meeting location is 2650 Gulf Drive, Bradenton, FL 34217. Email Michelle Leahy at michelle.leahy@mymanatee.org or call at 941-748-4501 ext. 6035 with questions about the clean up. Help keep the beach clean and the wildlife safe!

Anna Maria Beach Clean Up

Taking place on March 28th  starting at the south end of Bayfront Park in the city of Anna Maria at 8am. Bring your own bag or trash can, gloves and anything else you may need. Large items can be placed on the roadside for pickup. For more information call the public works department at 941-708-6130 ext. 26.

Manatee Beach Clean Up

Heart the Sea will be holding a beach clean up at the Manatee Public Beach on March 28th from 4-6pm. Heart the Sea will provide blue plastic gloves, so bring your own bags and grabbers. After the clean up is done head over to Swordfish Grill just over the Cortez Bridge for a free drink when you bring in your blue glove. Manatee Public Beach is located at 4000 Gulf Drive in Holmes Beach. Swordfish Grill is located at 4628 119th St W in Cortez. Find out more by emailing HeartTheSea@Gmailc.om or on the Heart the Sea Facebook page.

Over the River and Through the Woods! Anna Maria Island Players Benefit Dec 3 @ 8pm

On Tuesday, December 3rd at 8pm, the Island Players will perform “Over the River and Through the Woods” at the Island Players Theatre on Anna Maria Island.  Doors will open at 7:15 and seating opening at 7:30pm. This warm-hearted comedy presents an Italian-American family trying to prevent their son from moving to Seattle and starting a new life. Tickets to this enjoyable production are available for a mere $20 donation to the AMICCO, the Anna Maria Island Concert Chorus & Orchestra. This benefit will help the Island Players continue to provide our island community with the live classical concerts we love.

But, don’t go to Island Players for a ticket to this entertaining evening! You can get yours, first-come, first-serve through any of the following:

  • Visit Creations by L at 5500 Marina Drive (hours Mon-Sat 10am-5pm)
  • Visit the Beach Market at Coquina Beach on Sundays from 10am to 4pm
  • Call Nancy Ambrose at 941-799-2181, 941-518-4431 or amicco@islandsandbeaches.com
  • Visit www.amicoo.org

Get your tickets now, and we will see you there!

amicco island players curtain poster

2013 Christmas Parade hosted by the Anna Maria Island Privateers

ANNUAL CHRISTMAS PARADE & SANTA OPEN HOUSE ire float

WHEN:  10am on Saturday, December 7, 2013

WHAT:  Prepare your floats! Ready your lawn chairs! Candy and beads everywhere! Merry Christmas to Anna Maria Island, it’s the annual Christmas Parade!

Watch out for that ship…. follow the Anna Maria Island Privateers to SANTA!

On Saturday, December 7, 2013, the parade begins at 10am on the east end of Pine Avenue traveling from the staging area at Bayfront Park, through the city of Anna Maria. From there, the parade continues south through Holmes Beach, Bradenton Beach, concluding at Coquina Beach. Upon arrival at Coquina Beach, Santa’s Open House welcomes the children of the island, both visitors and islanders alike. The Jolly Old Man himself will be there to hand out gifts to the children. Kids may also enjoy refreshments of hot dogs and sodas during their visit with Santa Claus.

Whether watching from the side of the road or riding in a float, the Anna Maria Island Christmas Parade is a favorite island tradition. This island event is interactive, so kids remember to bring a bag and gather your loot!

xmas-parade-privateers santaparade

 

Anna Maria Island – Beach Re-Nourishment Project

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Manatee County is awaiting approval on an exciting beach re-nourishment project that they have submitted to the federal government. Decisions will be made at the end of August and the state of FL is determining grants based on county submitted information which includes resort taxes and its ability to generate funds locally. Currently there is 16 million in funds appropriated to re-nourish beaches that were severely diminished by Tropical Storm Debbie. If awarded the project will commence in November at 78th street in Holmes Beach and will take about 6 months, ending in coquina sands. This will include dredge pipes to pump and redistribute sand that the storm built up and Cortez Beach groins that need to be replaced. Once this project is accomplished Manatee County Natural Resources director Charlie Hunsicker hopes to continue with a state and county project for the long boat pass.

For questions all available information can be obtained by calling the Jacksonville Resource Committee at (904) 232-3455

 

Privateers Pirate Invasion

Privateers Pirate Invasion Ad copyShiver me timbers! Tami here to tell you to get ready for the pirate invasion! November 1-3 is the Anna Maria Island Privateers Pirate Invasion. The Privateers are a non-profit group organized to support local youth, and they are partnering up with the Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce, Keep Manatee Beautiful, and Sandblast 2013 to host this event on Coquina Beach. There will be a parade, Pirates’ Ball, an island wide treasure hunt, arts and crafts, vendors, food, drink and live entertainment for landlubbers of all ages! This fundraiser will benefit local businesses as well as compile donations for the kids’ organizations and scholarship funds. Be sure to check it out, or walk the plank!

Anna Maria Island Privateers Pirate Invasion

Nov 1 (12 pm-5 pm) Nov 2 (10 am-8 pm) Nov 3 (10 am-5 pm)

Coquina Beach, Anna Maria Island

Contact: Anna Maria Island Privateers PO Box 1238 Holmes Beach, Florida 34217

Visiting during Independence Day or during Christmas?  Don’t miss the Privateers parade they host all along Anna Maria Island!

Bradenton Beach – Florida FitFest and 5k Treasure Run

Florida FitFest

We are sorry, it appears this event is no longer active and not an opportunity for Anna Maria Island visitors to participate in.

Bradenton Beach will be holding the Florida FitFest & 5k Treasure Run on June 1st at Coquina Beach. The event is free of admission and will have many national and local vendors providing health and fitness information.

Continue reading Bradenton Beach – Florida FitFest and 5k Treasure Run