Beaches in Bradenton

Old Jan 1st, 2004, 06:44 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 2
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Beaches in Bradenton

My family will be visiting Bradenton in August. Can anyone offer advice on the best beaches and best places for snorkling?
Any good restaraunts to try would also be appreciated.We will be coming from Europe.
Thanks.
steve60 is offline  
Old Jan 1st, 2004, 10:29 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3,336
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The city of Bradenton is adjacent to Anna Maria Island, which has the three cities of Bradenton Beach, Holmes Beach, and Anna Maria. Bradenton Beach and Anna Maria have wonderful beaches -- unfortunately, Holmes Beach can barely be found beneath the long shadows of tall condominiums.

Anna Maria's beaches are not as accessible as Bradenton Beach, but both are similar. Lots of beach along the Gulf, Australian pines fringing the beaches offering shade for picnicing. In Anna Maria, you'll beach behind homes along the beach. In Bradenton Beach, a road separates the community from the beach and offers a wider beach, thus more beach goers.

Snorkling along the Gulf shores is not spectacular -- there are no shallow reefs as there are in Pennekamp near Miami, or in the Keys. But you can see small fishes along the shore with a mask. You can also snorkle in mangroves and sea grasses in the bays, and see a ton of marine life along the shore, anything from sea horses to sea biscuits. This activity, enjoyed by many Florida school children at summer marine camps, is relegated to protected areas known mostly to educators. Unfortunately, most of these activities are not operating in August. For a marine experience, visit the marine research center on Long Boat Key just south of Anna Maria Island (its name escapes me now but others will know).

August in Florida is very hot. About mid-day, you'll be needing a siesta to get away from the heat that drains the fluids from your body. Consider a trip to the many water parks that are in the area. I know that Tampa's Adventure Island offers summer passes that are very reasonable. You can take coolers with drinks and food. My husband and I hop into a raft and cruise the lazy river (albeit a man-made one), while my son and his friends tackle the many belly-whopping and slip-sliding raft and slide rides.

As for restaurants, check out the chowhound.com website. There are many in this area. A few restaurants actually will close in August in Florida, but most will be open.

Tandoori_Girl is offline  
Old Jan 1st, 2004, 02:13 PM
  #3  
LN
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,288
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
There's a great public beach on bradenton Beach just before the Longboat Key bridge and it's called Coquina Beach. It's probably one of the nicest beaches on the gulf coast. There's many great restaurants in that area from Mar-Vista and Moore's on Longboat Key to Leverocks and Sandbar on Anna Maria. I left out the Beach Bistro on Anna Maria cause it is high dollar. But if you're driving in on Cortez or Manatee you'll find many reasonable places to eat. The four restaurants I listed are mid-priced and all are pretty good.
LN is offline  
Old Jan 3rd, 2004, 11:12 AM
  #4  
adeewebstr
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Coquina Beach is really nice, but it can get crowded. We like to head north to Anna Maria (town), take a left on one of the short roads that dead-end at the beach, park on the side of the road, and use the public access. There are lots of rentals and small motels/condos in this area - where are you going to stay? Two of our favorite places to eat are Mr. Bones (barbecue, both the usual tomato based sauce and vaguely Oreintal twists, plus Indian inspired dishes) and the Star Fish Company just across the Cortez bridge in the old fishing village of Cortez. It's part of a whoelsale/retail fish company - just picnic tables on a dock - but really good and very scenic and "old" Florida. I'm 3rd generation Bradenton, and we always take guests there. One thing you might want to do is take a sightseeing boat out to Egmont Key. There's an old fort falling into the Gulf, and good swimming - the only way you can get there is by boat. Captain Kim docks at the Star Fish Company, but I'm sure there are other people who do trips.
 
Old Jan 3rd, 2004, 11:26 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 520
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I'm curious, since we've visited the Sarasota area this year and last, is Coquina beach nicer than Siesta Key's Crescent Beach? We thought Crescent was one of the most beautiful beaches outside of the Caribbean. How does Coquina compare? Thanks!
hugglynn is offline  
Old Jan 3rd, 2004, 12:20 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3,336
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts

I think that the beaches in Florida are all very nice and most are very different. You will not find the Australian pines on Siesta Key that bring such nice shade to Coquina Key -- and you won't find the overgrown landscaping (sea grapes maybe) that creates such a lovely tropical feel on Siesta Key. On the west coast, you have some wonderful surf -- on the east, you have a more tranquil situation.

The poster is visiting Bradenton. The nearest beaches are on Anna Maria. Siesta Key is nice, and steve60 might want to make the drive there as well. Or to Captiva and Sanibel South a little further.

lucky for steve, heaven is just around the corner in its various Florida forms.
Tandoori_Girl is offline  
Old Jan 3rd, 2004, 02:03 PM
  #7  
LN
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,288
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
You've heard of comparing apples and oranges - well that's what you do when you compare Siesta, Longboat Key, and Anna Maria Island. They are some of the most beautiful beaches to be found and those of us who call it home LOVE it!!

I've taken our young ones to Mr Bones and they loved it (but then so did I) and the Star Fish Company is great too and so is the Bradenton Brew and Ale (and reasonable too). You can spend any amount you'd like from Beach Bistro to Euphemia Haye to Bradenton Brew.

As far as the beaches - I really doubt if you can find any better - and I've tried many in Florida.
LN is offline  
Old Jan 4th, 2004, 04:32 AM
  #8  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 2
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Many thanks to all those that have taken the trouble to offer advice.
It is much appreciated. Any other suggestions/help regarding our vacation in Bradenton will be gratefully received.
steve60 is offline  
Old Jan 4th, 2004, 07:26 AM
  #9  
adeewebstr
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
More thoughts... I assume you are flying into Tampa. If so, be sure to take 275 south through St. Petersburg to get to Bradenton/Anna Maria. The drive over the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, which connects St. Pete and Manatee County (Bradenton/Anna Maria/etc) is beautiful, and - if it's near meal time - stop at the Crab Trap (just south of the bridge on the right). They have lots of good seafood - crabcakes are a specialty, plus alligator (small chuncks as an appetizer) and conch fritters. If you like smoked fish, try the smoked mullet at the Star Fish Company - it's a local special. Another good local special is fried grouper sandwiches - we like to go to the fishing pier at the north of the Anna Maria Island for those - eat the sandwiches, drink beer, and watch the fishermen and pelicans. The Beach Bistro is an incredible, but pricey, restaurant - I think it's worth the splurge. If you want to try Cuban food, head to the Columbia on St. Armand's Circle in Sarasota - yummy! The Cuban black beans and rice and the Cuban sandwiches are my favorites. Since snorkeling isn't great around here, you might want to go to Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota (on the way to St. Armand's for lunch?). It started out as a research marine lab in the '50s, now they have wonderful exhibits including moray eels (my kids' favorite - yuck!), a shark tank, manatees, touch tanks (feel the sting rays!), and lots of colorful reef fish. John Ringling's (of circus fame) house, circus museum, and art museum are between Bradenton and Sarasota. If you like gardening/plants, the Selby Gardens in Sarasota is wonderful. Emerson Point, north of Bradenton in Palmetto, is a natural park on Tampa Bay/the Manatee River that is very nice. Non-native plants are being removed, they have some short trails and a viewing tower - it's what the coast used to look like. Although we don't eat there (when they first opened they didn't serve local seafood and the food was so-so, but I've heard from several people that the food is really good now), we love to watch the sunset from the deck at the Sandbar Restaurant on Anna Maria. on the Gulf (due to erosion!) and they usually have music. Another local specialty (try Moore's on north Longboat) is stone crab claws.
 
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
jhd288
United States
27
May 19th, 2008 09:10 PM
annsford
United States
5
May 23rd, 2007 07:08 AM
dek991
United States
8
May 14th, 2006 07:00 PM
JBJ
United States
10
Mar 4th, 2005 05:56 PM
ugadog99
United States
42
Jan 13th, 2004 06:46 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 07:51 AM.