I’ve found a little piece of paradise in Florida on the Gulf Coast. I’m sharing our entire experience in Bradenton Beach with you. My family and I received complimentary accommodations, meals, and activities in order to write this post about a little piece of paradise in Florida. All opinions expressed here are 100% my own.
A Little Piece of Paradise in Florida: Bradenton Beach
I’ve lived in Florida my entire life and still have so much to see. Over the weekend, my family and I got to visit a little piece of paradise on Florida’s West Coast. The Bradenton, Anna Maria Island, and Long Boat Key area is located between St. Petersburg and Sarasota. The crazy thing is thatI used to live in St. Petersburg and never managed to make the one hour drive to visit this area. It’s bordered by Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico which makes for the most beautiful scenery. Needless to say, all week my family and I were so anxious for this trip that when we finally arrived we were very excited.
Where to Stay in Bradenton Beach
Bradenton Beach has a few different hotels and resorts for travelers. We had the pleasure of staying at The Bridgewalk Resort on historic Bridge Street in Bradenton Beach the entire weekend. I have to be honest that I didn’t know what to expect when we arrived because this was our first time to the area. The resort is on the smaller side with 28 Key West style rooms but definitely isn’t lacking in services or amenities. A majority of the rooms have over 800 square feet of living space making it perfect for small families. Each room has its own jacuzzi and veranda with a view. Wifi and parking are also available at no extra cost to guests.
We got to The Bridgewalk Resort after normal check-in hours, but that wasn’t a problem. The resort had an easy process for late check-in. Our room had a great view of The Fish Hole Adventure Golf and Bridge Street. At night, we could hear music from the restaurants on the street. It was a great way to relax.
The Bridgewalk Resort had some great amenities including complimentary continental breakfast, a swimming pool, and complimentary wi-fi. They even had beach toys, umbrellas, and chairs that are available for guests to check out at no charge when they’re headed to the beach. A major plus of staying at The Bridgewalk Resort is that it is in within walking distance of tons of restaurants and attractions. There is even a small beach across the street that we took a few short walks on.
Things to Do in Paradise in Florida
The Bradenton, Anna Maria Island, and Long Boat Key area has so many things to offer from beaches to miniature golf to museums. The area also has shops and spas for travelers. Tatiana loves the beach so when she found out that we would be spending the entire weekend on the beach she was happy and of course we had to go to the beach every day we were there.
Fish Hole Adventure Golf
Another great thing to do when visiting the Bradenton, Anna Maria Island, and Long Boat Key area is miniature golf. The Fish Hole Adventure Golf was across the street from the resort. Fish Hole Adventure Golf is a staple in Bradenton Beach. A few different people recommended it to us during our stay. If you’re staying at The Bridgewalk Resort then you can walk to The Fish Hole. It’s on the resort’s property which makes it super convenient for families.
The Anna Maria Island location (located on Bridge Street in Bradenton Beach) is open daily from 9am – 10pm. Games are really affordable at just under $10/person.
I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a terrible golfer but I took one for the team here. T loves playing mini golf and her Dad loves beating me in anything. I suffered through 18 holes and lost miserably but nonetheless we had a blast.
Treat yourself at Searenity Spa
If you’re looking for a little relaxation during your trip, head over to Searenity Spa. They have a long list of services available for guests. You can book services in the spa or get a massage right on the beach. Their beach massages start at $45/person and are totally worth it.
Take an Island Boat Tour
Taking a tour of the island with Paradise Tours is a must! The tour is offered 3 times a day, 7 days a week. It will take you around the entire island. It’s about 90 minutes but it’s a lot of fun especially for the little ones. The captain gives you a tour of the island while letting you know about its’ history. He’ll even let the kiddies snap a cute photo behind the wheel. Since you’ll be on the boat for a little while, you’ll want to make sure to pack drinks and snacks.
Tours depart every two hours starting at 9am daily. Tickets are $35 for adults and $25 for children ages 3-12. Kids ages 3 and under are free.
Visit the Bradenton Beach Pier
Spend the day at the beach
There were two major beaches that we visited while we were there: Coquina and Manatee Beach. Both were great and not overcrowded which is a plus for us. Although we love the beach, we don’t like the crowds. It takes away the peacefulness when there are too many people around. Plus when there’s not too many people, you can have more room to build sandcastles and bury Dad.
Coquina Beach is located on Anna Maria Island. It’s home to Gulfside Park and Coquina Baywalk. Coquina Beach is open to the public from 6 am – 12 am and offers free parking. The white sand is perfect for sand castles and finding seashells. They have lifeguards on duty which makes it safe for swimming and snorkeling. There’s also a cafe located on the beach, Coquina Beach Cafe, where you can purchase food and drinks.
Manatee Beach is also a public beach. It’s located in the Holmes Beach area and open from sunrise to sunset. The parking is free but limited. This beach is equipped with lifeguards, volleyball courts, a playground, a beach shop and chair and umbrella rentals. Like Coquina Beach, Manatee Beach also has a cafe. Anna Maria Island Beach Cafe serves breakfast and is famous for its all-you-can-eat pancakes.
Places to Eat in Bradenton and Anna Maria
If you know my family, you know that we love good food! There was definitely no shortage of good food in this little piece of paradise in Florida. A few places were recommended to us before we left for our weekend trip, but 2 places stood out to all of us the most: The Beach House Restaurant and The Donut Experiment. Both of these places are a gem to the island! Talk about good food and making memories. The Beach House Restaurant has great waterfront seating and wonderful live music at night. The menu has a wide variety of options that everyone is sure to love.
I’m not even sure that I know how to explain The Donut Experiment. It’s unique concept allows anyone to make the donut of their dreams. It’s literally donut heaven!
All in all, we had an amazing time in Bradenton Beach. We played, we laughed, we ate amazing food, and we got to see an entire part of Florida that we’ve never seen before. Have you ever visited a little piece of Florida known as Bradenton, Anna Maria Island, and Long Boat Key area?