A Guide to Bradenton Beach

Anna Maria Island is the ultimate destination for your next family getaway. This little slice of “Old Florida” is much more laid-back than other destinations in the Sunshine State, allowing you to escape your worries, disconnect from the rest of the world, and truly relax with the ones you love most. Anna Maria Island is known as a relaxing vacation destination.

welcome Bradenton beach Historic Pier Sign

Bradenton Beach

Anna Maria Island’s Bradenton Beach is a fantastic area in southern Florida that has so much to offer people looking for a wonderful getaway. It has about 1,500 permanent residents and offers a five-mile stretch of shoreline. Bradenton Beach is located right at the end of Anna Maria Island. It is famous not only for its fantastic beaches but its history and things to do in the area as well. If you are looking for unique Anna Maria Island vacation rentals, you are in the right place!

History of Bradenton Beach

Anna Maria Island was first discovered by Spanish explorers who were making their way along the west coast of Florida. Before this time, the area had been inhabited by Native Americans that enjoyed the hunting areas and established settlements nearby. There are artifacts found in the area date back 2,000 years. This includes tools that Native Americans would have used for their hunting and fishing needs.

Although the Spanish “discovered” the area, they wouldn’t form any settlements here. The first permanent settlement wouldn’t come until George Emerson Bean made his home here in the late 19th century, in the area that is today known as Bean Point Beach

In the early 20th century, the majority of those who lived on AMI settled in Bradenton Beach. Bradenton Beach was called Cortez Beach thanks to the 1921 construction of the island’s wooden bridge, connecting this area to the mainland village of Cortez.

Bradenton Beach was given its name in the late 1920s. The city was incorporated in 1952. By the ’60s, the city had experienced tremendous growth, and today, it’s still one of the most popular spots on the island.

parasailing boat and parasailers passengers

Things to Do in Bradenton Beach

There are so many fun things to do in Bradenton Beach. Whether you are looking for a weekend away by yourself, with a loved one, with a large family, or host a large party, then you are in the right place. The entire island has nothing but activity after activity for everyone!

The Bridge Street area offers many fun spots that allow you to take photos, have stunning views of the water, and be near incredible beaches. There are no high-rise buildings around, so you’re provided with uninterrupted views of the water. There are fun small boutiques, Bradenton Beach rentals, and restaurants all along Bridge Street, too.

If you are looking for more adventure, you can find them here! Tons of parasailing tours will allow you to fly over the Island and see all the fantastic views. You can rent jet skis, rent a boat, or enjoy going a little slower in a kayak and take in the local water views. There are also a few eco-tours that allow you to see and learn more about the island. A company like AMI Adventure Rentals is a great option.

One of the best things to do around Bradenton Beach is simply to relax at Coquina Beach. Although this family-friendly beach does not allow dogs or alcohol, you are sure to relax like you never have before. The beach has picnic tables in the shade if you want to cool off. Build amazing sandcastles, take a walk down the beach’s white sands, or go for a dip in the water and cool off. It gets pretty busy on weekends, but you’re always sure to find a spot. 

If you enjoy learning about the area’s history, the Manatee Village Historical Park is the place to be. Many of the buildings were there when Bradenton Beach was initially founded. You can also go to the north right to Anna Maria and visit the Anna Maria Historical Society. The museum includes exhibits and structures that date back decades. The staff is also accommodating within the museum, so if you have a question, simply ask!

To experience all of this, take a trip on the Anna Maria Island trolley. The trolley allows you not only to save some money, but you also don’t need to bring a car, rent a car, or worry about parking. The free shuttle has a schedule posted online at each stop, so you know exactly when to expect it. Although the entire area can be explored by foot, it’s easier to hop on and off of the trolley when you can.

seafood platter

Bradenton Beach Restaurants

There are places to eat all around Anna Maria Island. In particular, Bradenton Beach restaurants are perfect for every type of food you are looking for. Whether you are looking for something more kid-friendly, enjoy some local seafood that was recently caught, have some delicious street food, or eat great ice cream. There is something for even the pickiest of eaters out there!

If you’re looking for a casual and family-friendly experience, head over to the Anna Maria Oyster Bar. You’ll be welcomed with open arms and treated to mouthwatering fresh seafood caught just off the shoreline. You can also enjoy a fantastic view of the water for a one-of-a-kind experience with the ones you love most. Get a great meal for the kids from the kids’ menu and grab a cocktail for the adults in your group!

Plan Your Vacation

If you are looking for an Anna Maria rental or Bradenton Beach rentals, A Paradise Rentals can help! We will be happy to bring you exactly what you are looking for within your budget. Our staff is always by your side to answer any questions you might have and generally ensure that your vacation is a trip you’ll never forget! Just contact us today to learn more about our wide range of Bradenton Beach rentals.

Another popular spot is the Bridge Tender Inn. They’re dedicated to providing the best casual dining and the most fun entertainment. Settle in for a delicious meal and enjoy it while you listen to incredible live music or catch the big game on one of their 18 TVs! This restaurant is actually pet-friendly, which is perfect for those who are traveling with their furry friends.

If you’re seeking out a bit of an upscale experience, check out the Beach House Waterfront Restaurant. This establishment offers dishes that are carefully prepared with only the freshest and most sustainable local ingredients. It’s common for dishes on the menu to change seasonally, so you can experience something new every time you come!

Book Your Anna Maria Island Rental

There are so many fantastic places to stay in Bradenton Beach, so you never have to be more than a few minutes away from all of the activities and establishments we’ve mentioned here! Many of these amazing Anna Maria Island rentals are easily accessible to the free island trolley. They are walkable to restaurants, boutiques, farmers’ markets, Bridge Street, and everything else you could possibly want in the area.