Things to Do: Bradenton

Things to do in the City of Bradenton, Florida

When you come to stay with us on Anna Maria Island, this is a stress-free zone. You’ve got the beautiful white-sand beach, you’ve got exquisitely comfortable accommodations—you don’t need anything else.

But! If you do want to branch out, there’s no shortage of shopping, dining and activities both on the island and south on Longboat Key. But today we’re going to talk about some of the things you can find on the mainland.


Anna Maria connects to mainland Bradenton via two roads on either side of us here at Cedar Cove: Manatee Avenue to the north and Cortez Road to the south. If you ever want to take a break from the beach, throw on some flip-flops and take a quick drive to go exploring, here are some destinations to choose from.


Destinations on Manatee Avenue West


Neal Preserve and Perico Preserve

Just on the other side of the Intracoastal Waterway and Anna Maria Sound, these two Perico Island natural areas preserve the island’s precious ecosystems and history. Spend the afternoon hiking, bird-watching and learning about 4,000 years of Native American inhabitants. 


Horseback Riding on the Beach

In Palma Sola Bay, several local companies offer the incredible opportunity to hop onto the back of a horse and ride along the shoreline and even into the water. Beach Horses and CPonies bring the equine fantasy to life just four miles away from Cedar Cove.


Downtown Bradenton

Located right on the shore of the Manatee River, downtown Bradenton offers a vibrant scene with restaurants, cafes and bars, plus boutiques, thrift shops and even cigar specialists. The 1.5 mile Bradenton Riverwalk makes for a delightful stroll before dinner and cocktails at Pier 22, O’Brick’s, or any of the other culinary standouts in the area.

Destinations on Cortez Road West


Cortez Fishing Village

This historic, still-operational fishing village has amazing low-key restaurants with some of the freshest seafood around. There’s also a maritime museum and the whimsical Sea Hagg nautical antique and curiosity shop. Learn more about Cortez Fishing Village here. 


Bowlero Bradenton and Smuggler’s Cove Adventure Golf

Fun for the whole family is easy to be had at the Bowlero bowling alley and nearby Smuggler’s Cove mini-golf course. 


Regal Oakmont Movie Theatre

We get it: Even with all this glorious sunshine, sometimes you want to spend an hour or two in a comfortable chair in a cool, dark room. Catch the latest releases before you head back out for a tan.

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