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.

 

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

 

Anna Maria Island Beaches Certified “Blue Wave”!

Anna-Maria-Island-Beaches

The National Clean Beaches Coalition has awarded it’s highest rating of “Blue Waters” to the five beaches on Anna Maria Island.  This certification is granted by the Washington D.C. based council.  A ceremony was held Wednesday November 14th at Coquina Beach where the five “Blue Water” flags were given to city officials by coalition founder Walter McLeod signaling that our beaches are healthy and clean.  These flags will fly over the certified beaches of Coquina Beach, Cortez Beach, Manatee and Holmes Beach and Anna Maria Beach.

These five local beaches were chosen based on criteria and extensive testing that include water quality, beach and intertidal conditions, safety, services, animal habitat conservation and erosion management.  This Clean Beaches Coalition is the first national environmental certification of beaches.

Locals are thrilled yet not surprised at the award – we know we have the best and cleanest beaches anywhere!

Imagine Yourself On The Beaches Of Anna Maria Island

The word on the beach is that the weather is still extremely cold and nasty in most of the county.  Imagine yourself spending your days on the beaches of Anna Maria Island soaking up the sun, swimming, enjoying water sports, or anything else that your heart desires.  At night treat yourself to dinner and drinks at one of our exquisite Anna Maria Island restaurants.

Continue reading Imagine Yourself On The Beaches Of Anna Maria Island

Coquina Bike Path ~ Anna Maria Island’s Best on The Beach

Anna Maria Island is a great place to take a family walk, bike ride, or just enjoy the breath taking views of the Gulf of Mexico. So after you have checked into your Island vacation rental take a walk with your toes in the sand or along the paved path that spans the length of Coquina and Cortez beaches.  Located in Bradenton Beach just south of Bridge Street, you will find Cortez Beach.

This beach offers free parking and lots of it!  As you move further south into Coquina Beach, you will find public restrooms, picnic tables, beach showers, and lifeguards on duty.  Coquina beach also has a café that serves burgers and hot dogs right on the beach.

One of my favorite things to do is take a nice, easy bike ride through Coquina Beach. I start at the south end of the island under the Long Boat Key Bridge and head north towards Cortez Beach along the paved path. Take the time to enjoy island wildlife as you are greeted by squirrels, native birds like the Blue Heron, and if you are lucky, you may see dolphins or manatees enjoying their Florida lifestyle.

If you can’t bring your own bicycle, there are lots of places to rent them on Anna Maria Island.  No matter what activities you like to do on your beach vacation, check in with one of our Anna Maria Island vacation rental specialists and make sure that you get the most out of your Anna Maria Island Vacation.  We have beach house rentals in Bradenton Beach and everywhere else on Anna Maria Island. Call Island Real Estate today 877-778-6066 and book your island getaway!