Bradenton, Florida Travel Guide

Take a vacation to Bradenton and soak up the magical Florida sun! People from all over the US and all over the world flock to Florida, and Bradenton is one of the most beloved tourist destinations in the state. With such wonderful warm weather and some truly remarkable Bradenton tennis and golfing options, Bradenton has something for everyone. Come to Bradenton and see why celebrities and lovers of relaxation alike choose this city to call their home.

What to Do on a Bradenton Vacation

bradenton vacationBradenton vacations put you conveniently near Longboat Key and Anna Maria Islands, wonderful places to sun or swim. If you're a little more adventurous, the waters here are great for jet skiing, windsurfing and canoing – then finish your day with a sunset stroll on the beach before settling in for the night in the comfort of a Bradenton beachfront vacation home! Fishermen will love Bradenton shore fishing, too. Athletes may want to check out the Bradenton tennis academy and the Bradenton golf academy.

If you're looking for more organized Bradenton entertainment, you'll have plenty of other options to choose from, too:

  • The Manatee Players – This community theater in downtown Bradenton puts on some pretty impressive big-name shows. Check out your favorite Broadway-style classics brought to life! Students get a discounted rate.
  • South Florida Museum – So much more than just a museum! Here you'll find a museum, a planetarium and an aquarium all waiting for your family to have a grand time. The museum itself focuses on Florida, including both prehistoric fossils from around here and artifacts from the first human civilizations who lived in Florida. At the aquarium, you'll find the ever-popular Snooty the Manatee along with other manatees you can watch and learn about.

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What to See in Bradenton

Don't miss the Myakka State Park, a huge park covering prairies, wetlands and woodlands for you to explore! Whether you like hiking, camping or just viewing wildlife in its natural habitat, you'll have a blast viewing the marvels of Florida's beautiful wilderness.

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Shopping and Dining in Bradenton

Bradenton shopping reflects its quirky, laid-back culture. Although there are a few ordinary Bradenton shopping malls, we think you'll have a better time scoping out the wares at the more unusual Bradenton shopping destinations you just won't find anywhere else!

  • Red Barn Flea Market – More than just a flea market, this top shopping destination combines the thrill of bargain hunting in flea market booths with the great selection offered by traditional retail stores. With 600 shops in all, Red Barn is sure to keep flea market enthusiasts more than happy.
  • Village of the Arts – Art lovers, shop your hearts out here at the Village of the Arts, a guild of skilled artists with art for show and for sale. You'll find more than just shopping here, though – regular events and holiday celebrations make the Village a great place for the whole family to have fun, too.
  • Farmers Market – Get up early on Saturday morning and check out the Farmer's Market downtown, where you can buy fresh produce, enjoy live entertainment and even shop for antiques! Pick up some delicious organic Florida fruits and veggies, then bring them home to your Bradenton vacation rental's kitchen and cook up an amazing lunch.If you'd like more than just what you can find at the Farmer's Market, Bradenton dining offers plenty of  other possibilities too. Most restaurants in Bradenton celebrate the local seafood, whether you're dining on fresh fish with brunch or treating yourself to an upscale surf and turf meal.
  • Rod & Reel Pier – This casual waterfront restaurant specializes in fresh catches, including the daily catch specials you won't want to miss. Bring the whole family – kids are more than welcome! – and enjoy reasonable prices. For the grownups, there are daytime drink specials, too.
  • Mar Vista – Take a little drive to Longboat Key to catch a meal at this historic upscale restaurant. One of the oldest buildings on the key, Mar Vista dates back to 1912 – but that doesn't mean the food is anything but delicious! Dine indoors or on the waterfront deck. Either way, you can treat yourself to the best from land or the shore – everything from chicken to steaks to lobster.

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When to Visit Bradenton: the Perfect Time for Bradenton Vacations

Bradenton vacations mean balancing the most comfortable time to visit with when you'll find the least crowds. Like the rest of Florida, Bradenton has very, very hot summers you'll probably want to avoid, but brave the summertime heat and you'll have your pick of discounted Bradenton vacation condos and villas.

Join the snowbirds who flock to Bradenton in winter and you can avoid cold weather back at home, but you'll also have to deal with crowds and with people competing over Bradenton vacation rentals and hotels. Late spring and early summer give you the warm weather you crave for swimming, if you're willing to share the beach with a lot of other people.

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What to Bring on a Bradenton Vacation

Don't come to Bradenton without ample sun protection! Bradenton vacations become a lot less fun when you're sunburned, so keep a steady supply of sunscreen and don't forget your hat. Make sure you check the weather before you come so that you pack warm weather clothing in winter and prepare for the heat toward summer. And Florida gets a lot of rainstorms, so you might want to invest in a poncho and maybe grab an umbrella. If you rent a Bradenton vacation home, you'll probably find some of what you need already in your home waiting for you, like toys and rain gear, so ask ahead of time so you know what you don't need to bring.

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Local Services in Bradenton

Take a Bradenton vacation knowing that you'll be able to find almost anything you need, from babysitting to cleaning services to canoe and kayak rentals. Bradenton is a popular Florida vacation destination near major cities, so don't worry if you've forgotten something. You can even get caterers or florists to make any special event perfect. And Bradenton offers thorough mass-transit systems to help you get around if you don't want to rent a car!

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Getting There – Transportation to and around Bradenton

You can fly directly into the Sarasota/Bradenton International Airport if you want to arrive as close to the city as possible, but flights to that airport are often a little more expensive and harder to find. Your best bet might be to fly into Tampa International Airport, saving a little money, and then either rent a car or catch a shuttle to Bradenton itself. Fortunately, the area has Manatee County Area Transit, a local bus system that can get you around town and to shopping and entertainment and almost anywhere else you'd like to go. As long as you can get to your Bradenton rental condo from the airport, you'll have easy access to everywhere else you'll want to go.

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Why Choose Bradenton Vacation Rentals?

Bradenton is a relaxed, laid-back destination, and if you take a vacation there, you'll want to soak up as much of that relaxation as you can. So avoid the loud neighbors and uncomfortable rooms you'll find in hotel rooms and opt for Bradenton vacation rentals instead. Affordable Bradenton rentals are every bit as spacious as your own home, and they're a lot less expensive than hotel rooms, especially because you can fit your entire family in a single Bradenton rental villa instead of cramming them into many hotel rooms.

Split the cost with friends and you'll save even more. Plus, if you stay in Bradenton vacation homes, you'll be renting from an individual who can answer your questions and make sure your stay is as pleasant and comfortable as possible. No matter how you look at it – cost, comfort or convenience – Bradenton vacation rentals are the best choice for a fabulous Bradenton vacation. Book a Bradenton rental home and you'll be glad you did.

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