In 2017, about 3.1 million people visited Bradenton, Florida.

If you are one of those people planning a Bradenton vacation, you may be wondering what to do in Bradenton, Florida.

Thankfully, we have some of the best attractions here.

Keep reading to plan your vacation to Bradenton, FL

Emerson Point Reserve

Emerson Point Reserve is located in western Palmetto at the tip of Snead Island. It’s on the mouth of the Manatee River, and it’s over a 365-acre preserve.

If you want a real example of what Florida wildlife is like, you should visit here! You’ll also be able to see all the historic and prehistoric sites.

You’ll find the Native American Portavant Temple Mound. You can climb the observation tower to see views of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge and the Terra Ceia Bay.

Make sure you stop at the ranger station when you walk in so that you can get information before you journey down any of the hiking, biking, or boardwalk paths.

If you want to enjoy more authentic Florida nature, you can find Florida RV parks, so check out more here.

Mixon Fruit Farms

Mixon Fruit Farms

Mixon Fruit Farm is a great place to taste some real Florida oranges and take a tour of the orange grove.

However, there’s also a wildlife refuge here, where you can visit injured reptiles, birds, and other animals. Eventually, these animals will be rehabilitated and returned back to the wild.

There’s also a gift shop and a cafe where you can get some orange swirl ice cream.

Robinson Nature Preserve

Robinson Nature Preserve is on the northwest side of Bradenton. There are miles of walking trails that will take you through some authentic Florida wildlife.

While you’re there, make sure that you check out the NEST. This is a large wooden structure that you can climb up to see an overview of the entire preserve.

You can go kayaking, walking, or running here. Many people also rent out some areas of the park for yoga or tai chi classes.

Florida Maritime Museum

The Florida Maritime Museum tells you the story of maritime history in Florida. It’s in the historic village of Cortez, which used to be a fishing village.

The museum is actually in a 1912 schoolhouse building. You’ll see exhibits that display historical artifacts, instruments, boat models, shells, and photographs.

There’s also a research library in this museum that has periodicals, plans, ship logs, records, letters, diaries, and books.

Arts A Blaze

Arts a Blaze hosts birthday parties and children’s events, but you can also decorate wine glasses with your favorite bottle of wine.

This is located in Lakewood Ranch, and you should check out their website for another schedule of events.


People love beaches and the waterfront

You can’t go to Florida without visiting some of the most famous beaches in the country.

There are a few popular beaches that you can visit, and one of them is on Beer Can Island. The beach here is on the northern tip of Longboat Key.

It’s a very shallow and narrow beach, so you can walk it at low tide and look for shells that you can bring back as a souvenir.

Manatee Beach is open to the public, but it’s also one of the busiest beaches, so you’ll see a lot of tourists there.

However, you’ll find grills, picnic tables, and public bathrooms. There’s also a bar there that sells some alcoholic beverages. If you go during the offseason, there are also bands that play live music here.

You can find public parking at that beach, but make sure that you get there early in the morning in order to get a good spot.

If you want to avoid all of the tourists, head to Bradenton Beach. This beach is wide and also has soft sands. There is also parking available right alongside the beach to allow easy access.

Palma Sola Botanical Park

Palma Sola Botanical Park

There are ten acres of tropical plants, fruit trees, and butterflies at the Palma Sola Botanical Park. It’s north of Bradenton.

There are plenty of walking trails so that you can see all of the exotic flora. There are three lakes in this park that are perfect for a lunch picnic.

De Soto National Memorial

The De Soto National Memorial is located in a national park, and it commemorates Hernando de Soto landing in Florida.

He and his men were the first Europeans who were able to explore the United States in 1539. You can find it at the mouth of the Manatee River, which feeds the famous Tampa Bay.

At this memorial, you’ll see a reconstruction of Camp Utica. This was de Soto’s home base during all of these Florida expeditions. You’ll also be able to see all kinds of history demonstrations.

You can even try on some of the armor that conquistadors wore while they were exploring.

After you see all of the history here, there’s also a nature trail that will take you through the same path that these men walked when they first landed in the New World.

Learn More About What to do in Bradenton, Florida

If you were wondering what to do in Bradenton, Florida, these are only a few of the most popular things, but there are many more that you can add to your itinerary.

We know that planning a vacation can be stressful and overwhelming, but we’re here to help you out.

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