Things to Do in Bradenton

The city of Bradenton, Florida is a close trip from Siesta Key, making it a great day trip location. This southern Florida city is a beautiful extension of the Florida easy living lifestyle. The bustling nightlife, numerous family attractions, and great restaurants offer visitors a variety of things to do while in Bradenton. The city is found south of Tampa and benefits from the region’s beautiful climate. The vibrant city life is decorated in heritage and must be experienced!

Siesta Key Bradenton Activities

Bradenton is a breathtaking destination for anyone in Siesta Key that is looking for a magnificent time. Only a short drive from Siesta Key, an absolutely sublime experience is to be expected when visiting Bradenton. There is no need to fantasize of the perfect beach vacation when it is all available to you from Siesta Key! Bradenton offers numerous family friendly attractions, nightlife activities, restaurants, attractions, and things to do.

Family Friendly Activities

When traveling with children, it is important to choose a location that everyone will be able to enjoy. The amount of family friendly activities open to the public in Bradenton make it a great place for families to vacation. Families traveling from Siesta Key can expect to experience breathtaking tours, exciting adventure, and a plethora of landmarks.

If you are in search of an adventurous activity the whole family can enjoy, check out TreeUmpgh! Adventure Course. The adventure course is a fantastic workout guided by an informative, yet friendly, staff. The experience provides visitors with a great sense of accomplishment as visitors use strength and determination to complete certain steps in order to reach the next level. This is not the sort of course you can find outside of the wilderness! The zip lines are a fun way to quickly explore the entire course area. This challenging adventure course is a great way to bond with your family, while getting a fantastic workout at the same time.

The Bradenton city pier is a wonderful place to take in views and experience great fishing. The pier is open to the public and features a restaurant, public restrooms, retail shop, and a floating day dock. It is a great place to watch a southern Florida sunset and includes an authentic pier environment to match. The floating day dock is open to boaters on a first come first serve basis. If you are boating from Siesta Key, be sure to time your trip accordingly as there is limited space on the day dock. With a large anchorage area at the southern side of the pier, larger boats can also be expected to frequent the area. This combination of crowds makes for a very busy pier and a great place to be.

If you are interested in getting a real view of Florida, the Robinson Nature preserve should be a no-brainer and added to your trip itinerary. Hundreds of species of fish call this preserve home and it spans over 600 acres. Visitors can enjoy kayaking, or hiking and they can also look out into the preserve from the viewing stands. Visitors may also want to try paddle boarding, which is a sport growing in popularity and is a challenging, yet rewarding, method for navigating the water. The preserve features many entrances, so directions to the location will differ depending upon your location in Siesta Key.


If you are looking to change up the nightlife experience of your stay in Siesta Key, a quick trip to Bradenton is a great way to experience Southern Florida after dark. The majority of night time activities involve a local pub full of spirit and heritage. Local theatres are also a great source of quality evening entertainment. Local venues play host to a variety of musicians and performers that will suit a variety of tastes.

The nightlife of Bradenton differs from that of Siesta Key, primarily through being more lively and energized than the establishments you will find at Siesta Key.

If you are in search of an upscale bar, The Fish offers a more upscale crowd the opportunity to experience high quality sushi in its enjoyable bar setting. Its seafood menu specializes in delicious sushi rolls and thinly sliced sashimi. The contemporary dining area includes a dark décor with a full tank of bright fish to view. The environment is a change of pace from most bars; however, don’t set your expectations too low, the newly remodeled restaurant is after absolute perfection and their reviews are indicative of such a commitment. This sushi bar twist has a personality unlike any other bar and is a must-see for adventurous adults.

A more casual option for the Bradenton nightlife is Truman’s Tap & Grill, which offers a laid back place to watch sports, relax, and enjoy great food. The menu at Truman’s Tap & Grill is a nice selection of hefty entree portions such as chicken picatta, shrimp pasta with basil pesto, jambalaya, ribs and more. The restaurant also features a number of steaks, including a hand-cut house ribeye and Filet Mignon Medallions. This local favorite is a great place to enjoy a drink and quality food.

With one of the more interesting names on this list, the Lost Kangaroo Pub is a local favorite and a great environment for trying brews of all sorts. The pub was founded in 1989 and has grown to show an interests in both canines and craft beer lovers. The pub hosts a dog-friendly happy hour on Thursday’s, which allows owners to bring in their pets. This interesting event is something you probably will not see anywhere else. The craft beer selection is constantly changing and includes dozens of offerings in a variety of sizes. If there is one piece of the Bradenton nightlife you cannot miss, it is the Lost Kangaroo Pub.


The restaurant scene in Bradenton is hot, which means you can expect a fantastic meal at any of the suggested locations. The city’s restaurants make use of the area’s great sights to create a wonderful combination that is pleasing to both your visual and taste senses. The types of restaurants in the area have surged, with new international cuisines being more frequently represented as time progresses. For the small size of the city, its offering of international cuisine is impressive and can satisfy most cravings. In order to fully experience Bradenton, it is critical that you enjoy its delicious meals and skilled chefs.

Located on the Manatee River, Pier 22 is an American Seafood restaurant that offers a water view with an outdoor patio in downtown Bradenton. This convenient location lends itself to an array of beautiful sunsets and is known by the locals as a sunset paradise. Pier 22 boasts a truly unique experience that dates back to 1878 when the pier was built. The building was built in 1928 and has been under private ownership since 1974 when the Miller family bought it from the city. The waterfront terrace offers al fresco dining and a full sushi bar. Be sure to call ahead for larger parties as this busy restaurant will be booked early.

If you are in search of a quality Italian restaurant, check out Fire & Stone located in the historical village of Cortex. The restaurant is family owned and is known for their endless artisan pizza bar. The bar functions as sort of a pizza-centric bar and offers customers a great value for their dining experience. Artisans skillfully prepare all of the pizzas to be sold on premises and use dough made from scratch. The brick lined oven creates a wonderful combination of flavors between the fresh tomatoes, crust, and cheeses that are grated and blended daily.

For a more exotic dining experience, Ortygia offers an Italian and Mediterranean menu that exemplifies true Italian cooking. Head chef Gaetano “Guy” Cannata calls upon his extensive knowledge of Sicilian cuisine to develop Mediterranean dishes that are sure to please. The ingredients for the menu are gathered from local and organic sources whenever possible. Using fresh ingredients with demonstrated methods creates an authentic Italian dining experience every single time.

One of the customer favorites you may be interested to try is the Pasta Siciliana, a penne pasta with eggplant, basil, garlic, imported San Marzano tomatoes and ricotta cheese. If that description is not mouthwatering enough as is, the smells of the restaurant will be sure to heighten your appetite. Eating at Ortygia leaves you satisfied with a considerably great value. This quality of restaurant would be much more expensive if it was in a larger city, so take advantage of this little Italian find on your next trip to Bradenton.


Keeping busy is an easy task in beautiful Bradenton, Florida. The attractions are a great draw for visiting the area even if you have plans to return to Siesta Key at the end of the day. One of the main reasons for Bradenton’s popularity is the consistent expansion of attractions. The most popular attractions are located on the beautiful coastline to make use of the incredible sights. Enjoying your time in Bradenton should be done with a camera by your side! The beautiful sights are an unforgettable experience you will want to capture.

The best way to enjoy the gulf coast west of Bradenton is to view it by boat.

Things to Do in Bradenton
Five O’clock Charlie Boat Tours offer a fun environment for both fishing and touring trips. The personal boat tour allows you to view the picturesque scenery as guided by the professional captains. The benefit of using a guided tour with experienced locals is that they will be able to direct you to the most camera-worthy locations and can navigate the trip in a way that makes the most of your time on the water.

For golf players looking to play a tough round near Siesta Key, the Waterlefe Golf & River Club offers a great playing experience. The local views are highlighted on the Golf Club course’s back nine and it is well maintained for an excellent round every time. The course’s distinct layout includes a large amount of water and is often host to exotic wildlife. The five sets of tees range in length from 4700 to 6908 yards. The difficulty of the course depends heavily upon your shot as the smallest of errors will likely result in the loss of a ball, so bring your ‘A’ game! PGA professionals are available at the course to conduct club fitting, club repair, and even lessons to improve your game. This top tier course is designed to promote an enjoyable atmosphere for players.

The magic of sailing is open to all at Bimini Bay Sailing. Scheduling sailing into any trip is a great way to make things exciting for all. The Gulf of Mexico’s clear water and beautiful climate make for some of the best sailing in the world. If you are new to sailing or would like to learn how to sail, private lessons are available to you for all skill levels. The location allows for sailors of all skill levels to set sail, with more tranquil waves found in the protected Bimini Bay. The selection of sailboats includes fun, easy to operate boats and is a great option for an exciting activity on the water.

Things to Do

As with so many destinations, Bradenton has a lot of offer and is not a city than can be fully experienced in just a day. A trip from Siesta Key is a short drive and it can be added to the list of destinations you may visit that are nearby. The beautiful water and sprawling water-based activities should be on your to do list for a trip north to Bradenton. The year round warm temperatures draw in crowds from all across the United States. The crowds are never wrong and that is why the number of people visiting Bradenton for its attractions has grown consistently over the last few years and will continue to grow for many more to come.

There are many more things to do than what has been listed in this article; however, your final plans should include things you enjoy. Be sure to research the city prior to your trip to pick destinations to make the most of your time to the great city of Bradenton. Individuals, couples, and families of all ages will find the city to be welcoming to their needs. The nearby Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport keeps the city busy with travelers from the world over. Diverse attractions mean there is always something for everyone to do in the city. Although everyone is different, the growing city of Bradenton has learned to adapt quickly to changing consumer demands and does its part in making your trip as enjoyable as possible.

In the End

As a popular and growing city, Bradenton is a fantastic destination for travelers to visit from Siesta Key. The city is a very short trip away and can be made into a perfect day trip. The developed downtown area is sure to please visitors and surprise even the most traveled of individuals. The historic buildings from Manatee County’s pioneer past highlight the somewhat hidden historical roots of Bradenton and the community that built it. As exciting as the region’s watersports scene, the city’s nightlife can be the change of pace you need for the night. The 14.44 square mile city may be small; however, it offers a booming cultural selection for all to enjoy.

To make the most out of a trip to the city of Bradenton visitors ought to sample a bit of everything it has to offer. When time is of the essence, the city makes the most out of a short time period. Perhaps the most stimulating considerations to make is the value of visiting Bradenton with so much to offer in one location. An entire day’s worth of activities can be found in centralized areas and will have you coming back to Bradenton often!


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