Only an hour south of Tampa, and two hours from Orlando, the Bradenton Area is an unspoiled slice of Florida people don’t often realise exists. This area is not only perfectly laid-back, but it is also the home of the homes, with hundreds of villas and apartments to choose from. When it comes to activities, you can enjoy kayaking, boat trips, fishing, farmers markets, breweries, museums, beachside bars, and the biggest outlet mall in Florida right on your doorstep. If that’s too much, just laze away the days on white sandy beaches, with the crystal clear waters lapping the shore, and then head back to your villa for a BBQ and a cocktail by your private pool.
Just 20 minutes from downtown Bradenton is the jewel in the crown: Anna Maria Island – oh so charming and as authentic as it gets. Nothing over 3 storeys is allowed to be built on the island, which means the palm trees are often taller than the buildings, giving a real sense of peace. Chain hotels and restaurants are discouraged and you’ll find mostly local, independent and family run businesses. A free bus service travels up and down the 7 mile island, as well as golf carts being a popular way of getting around. Given it’s the west coast of Florida, the sunsets are truly incredible and you’ll often spot a pod of dolphin jumping the waves. Head out on a kayak and if you’re lucky, you might spot the gentle giant manatee who call the local waters home.
If you’re looking for somewhere unspoiled for a peaceful getaway on beautiful beaches, this hidden gem of Florida could be exactly what you need.
Bradenton Area Convention and Visitor Bureau would like to support Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch. When you book a holiday to this incredible destination you can donate 5% of your holiday price to Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch to support their fantastic work in conservation along the manatee county shoreline.