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.

 

2016 St. Patrick’s Day celebrations on Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria Island – If you’re visiting Anna Maria Island during or before St. Patrick’s Day this year you’ll have several chances to celebrate island style. From family friendly events to drinking green beer, the island has your St. Paddy’s Day needs covered. This year the holiday falls on a Thursday, so a few celebrations will be held on Sunday 13th with some still celebrating mid week on the 17th. Below is a list of places to to enjoy St. Patrick’s Day.

18th Annual Beach Bistro St. Patrick’s Day Parade 3/13

Every year the local restaurant Beach Bistro holds a fun filled small town parade in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day. This year the parade will begin at restaurant Eat Here located at 5315 Gulf Drive then travel it’s way north through Holmes Beach ending at 85th Street. The parade will begin at 4pm and includes energetic locals adorned in green, bag pipers, and a bevy of local organizations with green and Irish decor and homemade floats.

St Paddy's Day
Photo Credit: Beach Bistro St. Patrick’s Day Parade Blog April 2014.

Duffy’s Tavern 3/13

During and after the Parade fun head over to Duffy’s Tavern to continue the celebration with one of their 20 beers, and the island’s best burger.

The Ugly Grouper 3/13

New restaurant The Ugly Grouper will be celebrating on parade day with all day live music and Corned Beef and Cabbage. From 1-5pm enjoy music from Chris Warner then Rob Viola will close the night up with tunes from 6-9pm.

St. Patrick’s Day Concert at Roser Memorial Community Church 3/13

If you are looking for a tamer St. Patrick’s Day celebration head over to Roser Church for a holiday concert with musician Paul Duffy. The doors open at 3pm with the concert starting at 4pm. Enjoy Celtic instruments and bagpipes, Irish Lore and humor. For more information contact the church at 941-778-0414. Roser Church is located at 512 Pine Avenue.

Freckled Fin 3/17

The Freckled Fin on Bradenton Beaches Bridge Street will be celebrating St. Paddy’s with live music, Irish food, bag pipers, dancers and Irish libations. This family friendly establishment will open at 8am for breakfast, and the festivities will begin. Live music starts at with Lew Russ from 8-11am followed by Trevor and the Tribe from 11am-3pm. Heading into the afternoon the Bradenton Bagpipers will play 3:30-430pm and The Black Velvet Band play last from 5:30-9:30pm. The Freckled Fin will be serving up Corned Beef and Cabbage along with Sheppard’s Pie. Drink specials will include green beer, Guinness, Jameson Irish Whiskey and Bailey’s Irish Cream.

Anna Maria Oyster Bar 3/17

AMOB will be celebrating with all you can eat Corned Beef and Cabbage for $10.99 and green beers for $1.50. Enjoy the Irish holiday with a gorgeous view of Sarasota Bay while you happily eat Corned Beef, Oysters or both!

St Paddy's Day
St. Patrick’s Day is always better on Anna Maria Island!

 

 

Looking for the Perfect Holmes Beach vacation rental near the St. Paddy’s Day Parade Route? Check out our list of over 180 Holmes Beach vacation rentals!

vacation rentals
“Pelican Landing AMI” is located just one block from Marina Drive where the parade passes by. Click on the image for more information about “Pelican Landing AMI”.

Freckled Fin Restaurant Public House

Bradenton Beach – Located at 101 Bridge Street, The Freckled Fin Restaurant and Public House offers fresh American fare, gourmet pizza and fine spirits. Open 11am-11pm Sunday through Thursday and 11am-1am Friday and Saturday. 941-251-3930

The Freckled Fin
Freckled Fin Restaurant and Public House on Bradenton Beach.

Freckled Fin Restaurant

Whether you grab a seat on the outside patio, inside or at the bar, you’re sure to enjoy the Freckled Fin! Offering traditional and modern American fare find something to please any palate. The Starters menu includes shareable nibbles including Ahi Tuna, the tater tot basket, and crab cakes to name a few. On the main menu offerings include fresh salads, a grouper sandwich, burgers, wraps Clam Strips, and Coconut shrimp. The pizza menu offers all the traditional toppings with specialty pizzas like the Gyro, Hawaiian or Shrimp Pesto pizzas. If you are looking for a late night hang out Freckled Fin has a fun late menu including breakfast and lighter fare. The Freckled Fin has a full service bar, and offers a kids menu. Dine in, carry out or have Freckled Fin delivered. Find live entertainment on weekends!

Freckled Fin Restaurant
Great Libations at The Freckled Fin.

If you are looking for something to keep your entire group satisfied head over to the Freckled Fin!

Need more choices on places to eat?  Visit our Anna Maria Island restaurant information page where we have tons of restaurants listed.