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Luxury Travel

Sustainable Bradenton & Anna Maria Island
Florida
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Bradenton Anna Maria Island Longboat Key Logo

Bradenton, Anna Maria Island and Longboat Key Area is a small and intimate section of Florida that offers a friendly, chilled-out alternative to some of the state’s more well-known locations which are conveniently located within a few hours’ drive, making Bradenton a great base for those looking for a restful place to stay whilst still sampling some of Florida’s other attractions.  

Situated in the centre of the West Coast of Florida, nestled in the Gulf of Mexico. Tampa is a 45-minute drive, Orlando can be reached in under 2 hours and Miami and Fort Lauderdale are only 3.5 hours’ drive.

Experience authentic, old-world Florida in Bradenton, Anna Maria Island and Longboat Key, with a laid-back, flip-flop lifestyle, beautiful sugar-white sand beaches, and turquoise waters. A holiday here is like a journey back in time and offers a chance to relax and enjoy an authentic seaside charm that people don’t tend to associate with Florida.

Forget freeways, high rises and mega malls, here you’ll find sandy lanes leading to the sea, cute clapboard cottages and artisan shops and farmers’ markets. It’s the perfect destination for a family holiday or a romantic getaway thanks to endless summer days, dramatic sunsets and sun-drenched Instagram-worthy beaches.

Loved for being low-key, unpretentious and non-commercialised, there are no chain restaurants here. You’ll mostly find local, independent, and family-run businesses and on Anna Maria Island, a commitment to ensuring the area doesn’t become over-developed mean that nothing is built over three storeys tall so refreshingly, here, unlike many other areas in Florida, the palm trees are often taller than the buildings.

In keeping with its unique charm, Anna Maria Island is home to lots of small independent businesses and boutique stores, a lot of which you’ll find on Pine Avenue ‘the greenest little main street in America’.

The area is very focused on sustainability and making big efforts to reduce its carbon footprint and no one loves it more than the people who call it home. To love Anna Maria Island like a local, you can make your way around via the free trolley bus which runs the length of the 7-mile-long island or, for a more fun mode of transport hire a Segway, golf buggy or a bike.

Here you’ll find exceptionally high-quality seafood, the freshest you’ll find in all of Florida and throughout the area, there is an emphasis on delicious organic and farm-to-fork cuisine to be enjoyed in independent family-run, beachside restaurants for toes in the sand-dining and incredible sunset shows. 

Discover the historic fishing village of Cortez, one of the last of its kind in Florida and truly an off-the-beaten-path outpost. Grab a table and a drink and enjoy its unique culture, centred around some of the freshest dock-to-table seafood.

There’s plenty to do in the Bradenton Area but no pressure to do anything at all! On land or sea you can walk, cycle, kayak, paddleboard or parasail to spot the abundant wildlife that lives here.
The sunsets are incredible from the beach and you’ll often spot the local pod of dolphins frolicking in the waves. Head out on a kayak and if you’re lucky you might spot the gentle giant manatee in the local waters. If that’s too much, just laze away the days on white sandy beaches with crystal-clear waters lapping the shore and then head back to your villa for a BBQ by your private pool.

Suggested itineraries

4-night Sustainable Bradenton Itinerary

Price includes; 4 nights hotel stay, return flights, EV/ hybrid car hire, ATOL protection, and a free 5% donation to charity! 

Arrive at Tampa Airport and check into your hotel.

For dinner – we recommend local legend, Sandbar for delicious and locally-sourced seafood while you dig your toes in the sand.

Ditch the car and take a bike ride to get your bearings. While exploring, grab an ice cream at Two Scoops or an interesting doughnut at Donut Experiment.

In the afternoon, wind down from your bike ride and chill out on the beach.

Head to Motorworks Brewery for a bite to eat and a stylish beer garden to relax in.

Try your hand (and foot) at Stand-up Paddleboarding out on Bradenton Beach, followed by a pamper session at Sea-renity Beach Spa & Eco Boutique for a beach-side massage in a tiki hut!

Grab a bite to eat at Poppos for fresh Mexican-inspired food, fast, casual, and hard to beat. 

Spend the afternoon exploring the small business and handmade craft stores buying responsible souvenirs to bring home. Head to Pine Avenue, known as “The Greenest little Main Street in America”.

For dinner, try Beach Bistro for beachfront dining with some stunning sunset views.

Start the day with breakfast at Ginny & Jane E’s, for fresh items from the iconic bakery and café surrounded by local art and unique finds.

Head up to Bean Point at the tip of Anna Maria Island for a beach day. Stop off at Anna Maria Oyster Bar for lunch. With more than just oysters on the menu, enjoy award-winning seafood with spectacular views. 

Round off your stay in the Bradenton Area with a sunset sailing, and dinner at Chateau 13.

Make your way back to the airport for your onward journey home.

7-night Sustainable Bradenton Itinerary

Price includes; 7 nights hotel stay, return flights, EV/ hybrid car hire, ATOL protection, and a free 5% donation to charity!

Arrive in the Bradenton Area and check into your hotel. We recommend the Sandbar for dinner, a beach-side restaurant where you can tuck your toes in the sand while you tuck in to the freshest seafood.

  • Visit the Manatee Viewing Center to see these gentle giants up close.
  • Have lunch at the Grateful Bread Cafe, which uses locally sourced ingredients.
  • Take a walk or bike ride on the Manatee Riverwalk.

Ditch the car and take a bike ride to get your bearings. While exploring, grab an ice cream at Two Scoops or an interesting doughnut at Donut Experiment.

In the afternoon, wind down from your bike ride and chill out on the beach.

Head to Motorworks Brewery for a bite to eat and a stylish beer garden to relax in

  • Visit the Bradenton Farmers Market, where you can buy fresh produce, flowers, and other locally made goods.
  • Take a day trip to Anna Maria Island, a beautiful barrier island with white-sand beaches and clear blue water.
  • Have dinner at the Sandbar Restaurant, which has a casual atmosphere and a great view of the Gulf of Mexico.

Try your hand (and foot) at Stand-up Paddleboarding out on Bradenton Beach, followed by a pamper session at Sea-renity Beach Spa & Eco Boutique for a beach-side massage in a tiki hut!

Grab a bite to eat at Poppos for fresh Mexican-inspired food, fast, casual, and hard to beat. 

Spend the afternoon exploring the small business and handmade craft stores buying responsible souvenirs to bring home. Head to Pine Avenue, known as “The Greenest little Main Street in America”.

For dinner, try Beach Bistro for beachfront dining with some stunning sunset views.

Today visit De Soto National Memorial. Today visit De Soto National Memorial. Created in 1948, the park’s mission is to commemorate the 1539 expedition of the Spanish Conquistador Hernando de Soto and his impact on the American Indian societies of the Southeast. The highlight of the park’s activities includes living history programs and demonstrations at Camp Uzita, a recreation of a 16th Century native village.

Start the day with breakfast at Ginny & Jane E’s, for fresh items from the iconic bakery and café surrounded by local art and unique finds.

Head up to Bean Point at the tip of Anna Maria Island for a beach day. Stop off at Anna Maria Oyster Bar for lunch. With more than just oysters on the menu, enjoy award-winning seafood with spectacular views. 

Round off your stay in the Bradenton Area with a sunset sailing, and dinner at Chateau 13.

Make your way back to the airport for your onward journey home.

Find out more about Bradenton & Anna Maria Island here, or listen to our Bradenton & Anna Maria Island episode of the Travel Insider Podcast, where we speak to Kelly Clark, Chief Marketing Officer at Bradenton Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, and Ed Chiles, a restaurateur, keen fisherman and sustainability expert from Bradenton. Listen here.

Get in touch with our expert travel agents to plan your perfect break in Bradenton & Anna Maria Island today!