Explore the Village of Arts in Bradenton, FL

Though one could easily spend their entire day at the beach, there is much more to do on and around Anna Maria Island.

After booking one of our Anna Maria Island rentals, you will have the perfect base to explore the surrounding area. There are many exciting things to do in nearby Bradenton, including visiting the Village of Arts. 

About the Village of Arts

This eclectic mix of early 20th– century residential bungalows, Florida Cracker homes, and later additions were transformed by artists into a work-live community that boasts everything from award-winning restaurants to art studios, healing centers, bakeries, and art galleries. Once a neglected neighborhood, the Village has been given a new lease on life and is now one of the most diverse and visually exciting places in Manatee County. 

Because the neighborhood features a legal commercial overlay, this area can host a unique blend of work, day-to-day life, and play. It is an eclectic mix of just about everything! These colorful streets include over 275 individual properties and stretch from 9th Avenue West to 17th Avenue West between 9th Street West and 14th Street West. Whether you are an avid yoga practitioner, a foodie, or an arts-and-crafts enthusiast, there is something here for you!

People viewing art in a gallery
Photo from Shutterstock

Gallery & Studios

The Village of Arts’ transformation is primarily due to the efforts of the Artists Guild of Manatee. This group of dedicated artists has invested tremendous effort into the growth of the village. By pooling their resources and talents, they continue to invest in the maintenance and upkeep of the community. 

Many members of the guild have their own studios or galleries located in the village. Any avid art fans – and even those who just prefer a casual look – should make a point of stopping by to any of these galleries!

For a stunning mix of Plein air, still life, and abstract paintings, the Joan Peters Gallery should be your first stop. It is located at the center of the Village of Arts and is open Fridays and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., in addition to special events throughout the year. The Karen Klosky Galleries are another place to find stunning nature-inspired paintings. You may find that one of these paintings makes the perfect souvenir!

If you’re looking for a souvenir that is both aesthetically pleasing and practical, Trzy Studios specializes in home décor and offers a delightful assortment of knickknacks and other items to spruce up your living space. 

For casual shoppers who don’t have anything specific in mind, the Village also has many eclectic shops that sell a little bit of everything. The Dancing Crane is one such store, and they have artistic gifts for any occasion. Gift ideas under $50 include dancing birds, jewelry, prints, soy candles, stained glass pyramids, crystals, and more. The Dude and Mary’s Life of Art and Music is another store with just a little bit of everything. Here, you’ll find unique purses, paintings, jewelry, and many surprising knickknacks that would make a great addition to any home. 

At Witchgrass Studio, you’ll find a limitless supply of gorgeous stained-glass pieces. Pick up a necklace embedded with Caribbean sand or perhaps a tiny piece to display on your mantle at home. Pieces are inspired by the tropical waters of Florida and its wildlife, so this is one way of taking a tiny part of the beach back home with you!

With children, it can be a bit harder to visit galleries, but ReWorked Creations is a great place to introduce the youngest members of the family to the joys of art. This interactive gallery specializes in offering art that has been created from reclaimed and repurposed materials, including paper, buttons, broken jewelry, pallet wood, Mardi Gras beads, eggshells, and much more. With the whole family, you can interactively explore what it means to create sustainably. 

This and much more can be found in the Village of Arts. Even if you don’t have a particular destination in mind, we guarantee you’ll discover some surprisingly delightful art. In the Village, there is beauty everywhere you look!

Plan Your Trip

Our Anna Maria Island rentals with a pool come fully furnished and are conveniently located, so you will be able to visit any of the local attractions with ease. Contact us today to start planning your dream vacation!

Food & Drink

Perhaps you are more interested in sampling culinary delights than visual ones. Fortunately, the Village boasts a wide variety of restaurants and eateries that are sure to please even the pickiest tastebuds. 

Ortygia features authentic Sicilian, French, and Mediterranean fusion-style cuisine that is sure to delight. The menu changes daily to keep things fresh but can include tasty dishes like panelle, tender veal cutlets, timballo, and a regularly altering pasta of the day. This is the perfect place to bring the whole family, including picky eaters. Drop by from Wednesday through Saturday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. 

Plated pasta dish with mussels
Photo from Shutterstock

For a taste of Italy, including sandwiches, salads, pasta, and pizza, look no further than Arte Caffe Italian Bakery. Sample from a menu that includes focaccia sandwiches like caprese con prosciutto and salame con fontina. Traditional pastas like rigatoni, penne tiziana, fettuccini al pesto, and more. For some classic pizzas, try the margarita, carbonara, or calabrese. After a meal at the Arte Caffe Italian Bakery, you’ll be surprised when you step back into the Village and realize you’re not in Italy! 

Those with dietary restrictions are not excluded from finding delicious food offered in the Village. The Good Fortune Juicery & Vegan Kitchen sells many dishes free from all animal products. Pick up a delicious smoothie or smoothie bowl, and for a larger meal, try main courses like Peanut Noodles, French Dip, or Tempeh Bahn Mi. 

Craving Mexican food? The Birdrock Taco Shack offers delicious and hearty tacos that are sure to satisfy your appetite! And for some classic Southern dishes, the Cottonmouth Southern Soul Kitchen will leave you with a happy soul and stomach. 

Are you looking for something else? This list of restaurants just scratches the surface of all the flavors you can experience at the Village! Simply start exploring, and you’re sure to stumble across another culinary gem.

Directions

To get to the Village from I-75, exit SR 64 to Bradenton. Then, turn left at the light on 9th St. West, take a right onto 11th, 12th, or 13th Avenues West before arriving.

If you’re traveling from Manatee Avenue and the beaches, turn east to 12th Street West before taking a right to the end. From there, take a quick left, which will bring you right to the Village.

When coming from Longboat Key, follow Cortez Road east. Take a left at the bus sign onto 41 North Palmetto. Then, head north to Bradenton and turn right at either 11th, 12th, or 13th Avenues into the Village. 

There is a paid parking garage at the corner of 12th St. West and 8th Ave. West and limited free on-street parking are available throughout the Village. 

To make the most of your stay, consider booking one of our Bradenton vacation rentals. We have a great selection of rentals that come with a pool or even a hot tub!

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