Top 11 Bradenton Activities – Visit the Mainland from Anna Maria Island

There are tons of great Bradenton Activities to explore while visiting Anna Maria Island. Just a short drive over the Manatee Bridge, Bradenton is on the mainland of Manatee County. This area has a quaint downtown with both family friendly things to do along with a great night life.

Top 11 Bradenton Activities

When you visit Anna Maria Island it’s totally worth driving inland for Bradenton activities!

Downtown Bradenton Old Main Street

If you want to shop, dine, and unwind then Old Main Street is the perfect spot. This is truly the heart of Bradenton. Here you’ll find boutiques, tons of bars and  restaurants too. Old Main Street offers quaint old architecture reminiscent of a small southern town, and fewer modern structures. It’s really a pleasant place to relax while taking in the scenes and window shopping.

Wander down the street to the Riverfront and you’ll find the Pier and Twin Dolphin Marina. The pier not only offers great views of the Manatee River, but also has a very nice restaurant called Pier 22.

If you are looking for a night spot this is the best place for a bar crawl. You’ll find many different bars, pubs and lounges all along Old Main Street. Each bar is unique and draws a different crowd. Just be sure to drink responsibly!

Riverwalk – Free outdoors entertainment.

The Bradenton Riverwalk is a great place to stroll along the Manatee River and enjoy Florida’s year round perfect weather. This strip of public space offers a splash park, playground, day docks, picnic areas, skate park and butterfly garden. Enjoy sights of the river while relaxing too.

Mixon Fruit Farms

Mixon Fruit Farm is a short drive east of downtown. Here you’ll find many fun family attractions including farm tours, wildlife refuge, and a large gift shop too. Be sure to try a free sample of fresh squeezed orange juice and grab a piece of fudge from the gift shop.

Bradenton, Florida things to do
Mixon Fruit Farms offers many family fun things to do in Bradenton


Mckechnie Field

While visiting Anna Maria Island in the Spring, you can catch the Pittsburg Pirates Spring training games at Mckechnie Field. Check out their schedule to see all the different activities happening at this amazing facility.

Village of the Arts

The Village of the Arts is a commercial-residential community on the southern side of the downtown area. Here you’ll find art galleries, specialty shops and restaurants. The first Friday of each month the Village holds an artwalk, however, some of the shops are open Tuesday-Saturday weekly.

Bradenton Activities
Village of the Arts is a fun and vibrant neighborhood filled with art and local culture too.

Manatee Performing Arts Center

The Manatee Performing Arts Center has a long history of producing plays and entertaining Bradentonians since the late 1940’s. First started by the Bradenton Junior Women’s Club, the troupe became known as the Manatee Players. Now with a new large facility and location the thespian tradition continues. Check their calendar to see what is happening!

Red Barn Flea Market

The Red Barn Flea Market is a Bradenton tradition. Here you’ll find the areas best Flea Market with produce, restaurants, and a unique assortment of vendors. Open Tuesday through Sunday.

South Florida Museum

The South Florida Museum offers a great look at prehistoric Florida. From Dinosaurs to early native inhabitants, this museum is an impressive facility. You’ll find Paleontology and Archaeology featured in addition to local history too. See Manatees in their aquarium and also learn about outer space in their planetarium.

Bradenton Activities near Anna Maria Island, Florida
Visit South Florida Museum

Ghost Tours

The Bradenton Ghost Tours are a newer feature to the downtown area. Learn about encounters and documented stories from locals. While taking you through areas with unusual encounters you’ll also learn about Bradenton History. Not only are the tours offered in Bradenton, but you can catch a tour on Anna Maria Island’s Bradenton Beach too.

Manatee Village Historic Park

Learn about Bradenton’s past when you visit Manatee Village Historic Park. Here you’ll find relics from the past including Fogarty Boat Works, The Baldwin Steam Locomotive and the old school house.


Visit Bradenton Breweries for a nice local cold one. Motorworks and Darwin’s Brewers are both on the south side of Downtown on 9th Street West. While the local handcrafted beer movement takes off, Bradenton has hopped on the trend.

Things to do near Anna Maria Island
There is always something fun happening at Motorworks Brewery.

During your next visit to Anna Maria Island be sure to head into the Mainland and try these Bradenton Activities!

Bradenton Real Estate

Island Real Estate can help you find your next home on Anna Maria Island or in Bradenton! Give us a call at 877-778-6066 or visit to see our listings.


Bradenton vacation rentals
Aerial View of the Perico Bay Club Vacation Rentals in Bradenton

Manatee Performing Arts Center (lovingly known as Manatee Players)

Bradenton – Three musicals about Jesus and a show about a whorehouse are coming to Bradenton. Those shows, and nine others, are part of the Manatee Players 2014-15 season.  It’s the company’s second full season at the Manatee Performing Arts Center that was recently renovated.

The season includes seven shows in the larger Stone Hall and six in the Bradenton Kiwanis Studio Theater. The company’s first season of presenting shows in two theaters proved to be a big success, and audiences have responded to the more varied offering made possible by the intimate Bradenton Kiwanis Studio Theater.

The Stone Hall shows (all musicals) are:

  1.  “Disney’s Tarzan” (Aug. 7-24),
  2. “Dames at Sea” (Sept. 11-28), “
  3. “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas” (Oct. 23-Nov. 9),
  4. “Meet Me in St. Louis” (Dec. 4-21),
  5. “Brigadoon” (Jan. 8-25),
  6. “Into the Woods” (Feb. 12-March 1, 2015)
  7.  “Jesus Christ Superstar” (March 19-April 5, 2015).

The Kiwanis Studio Theater shows mix plays and musicals:

  1. “Morning’s at Seven” (Sept. 11-28),
  2. “Godspell” (Oct. 31-Nov. 17),
  3. “Amahl and the Night Visitors” (Dec. 4-21),
  4. “The Foursome” (Jan. 15-Feb. 1, 2015),
  5. “Agnes of God” (Feb. 19-March 8, 2015)
  6. “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change” (April 9-26, 2015).

Most shows are classics, or at least well-known to theatergoers, but a few aren’t so familiar. “Tarzan” is of course based on the 1999 animated film, which features music by Phil Collins. It ran for a little more than a year on Broadway in 2006-07. The same company that created the flying effects for this season’s production of “Peter Pan” for Manatee Players will be back for this show.  “Morning’s at Seven” is 1939 drama about four aging sisters. Its three Broadway runs have not been hugely successful, but it’s popular with regional theaters.  “The Foursome” is a Norm Foster comedy about four buddies who play golf.

They picked “Godspell,” the 1970s Stephen Schwartz musical, to balance out “Best Little Whorehouse in Texas”.  They don’t expect any community objection to “Whorehouse,” which despite its title, is a light and splashy musical, but by staging “Godspell,” which is based on the Gospel of St. Matthew, at the same time, they are offering something for families.

“Amahl and the Night Visitors,” gives Manatee Players a chance to explore opera.   “Amahl” will be the first opera Manatee Players has done in decades.  Historically, about 60 years ago, operettas were a regular part of their schedule.

The Manatee Performing Arts Center is at 502 Third Ave. W. in Bradenton. For information about the season or any of the shows, call 941-749-1111 or go to

Manatee Performing Arts Center 2013-2014 Season

541377_189862984471444_1339358763_n The national award winning theatre group the Manatee Players has moved into a gorgeous new facility now called the Manatee Performing Arts Center, located at 502 3rd Avenue West, just 20 minutes away from Anna Maria Island’s public beach.  They are kicking off their first season in the new main stage with a bang! Visit their website for a full listing of second stage performances. Sarasota Players also has a variety of musicals this season, but if you are looking for something closer to home, be sure to check out the Island Players.

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