What to Love:
Manatee River District
Last summer’s Wall Street Journal headline, “East Coasters are Snapping Up Vacation Homes Amid Coronavirus,” hit home in this established neighborhood along oak-lined Riverview Boulevard. Agents tell us large older homes on oversized lots, too big for empty nesters, that had languished on the market are being snapped up by youngish couples from Washington, D.C., New York and Connecticut with the ability to work remotely and who want good schools and outdoor space for their children to run around.
Dining, Shopping & Entertainment
- Oak & Stone 1201 First Ave. W., Bradenton; 941-357-4306; oakandstone.com
The most exciting addition to the downtown Bradenton dining scene in recent memory, Oak & Stone features a first floor restaurant and bar at the SpringHill Suites as well as the The Deck at Oak & Stone. Opened in 2019, the eighth-floor rooftop bar overlooks the Manatee River, including the Green Bridge area where the races will take place. Oak & Stone specializes in artisan pizzas and gourmet pub fare with self-serve beer walls filled with a first-rate selection of national and local craft brews. There are plenty of craft cocktails available, too.
- Pier 22 1200 First Ave. W.; 941-748-8087; pier22dining.com
A downtown Bradenton landmark that places patrons right on the south bank of the Manatee River and serves as the unofficial western start of the Riverwalk, and don’t forget about why us locals really love Pier 22: Happy hour runs restaurant-wide daily from 3 to 7 p.m. featuring great deals on cocktails, wine and beer as well as small plates like the poutine or Margherita flatbread on cauliflower crust.
- Central Cafe 906 Manatee Avenue East. (941) 757-0050 centralcafe941.com
Well, Central Cafe tends to captivate locals, travelers, and everyone in between… and that’s just the way we like it.
Stop by if you need to push pause on all of the things… slow down with a fresh, seasonal meal or a hand-crafted cocktail. Whether dining or decompressing, our talented team will take great care of you and your guests.
Things to Do:
- Robinson Preserve 1704 99th Street Northwest Bradenton
Located in northwest Bradenton, with entrances at the West end of 9th Ave NW and 17th Ave NW. Including the recently acquired "Expansion" and Winston tract properties, the preserve now consists of 682 acres that is a mix of preserved mangrove, tidal marsh, and former agricultural lands which have undergone an incredible transformation to coastal wetland habitat. Kayak launches and trails, restrooms, picnic areas, and the NEST and Canopy Zone, our brand-new and already iconic educational/event space.
- Village of the Arts villageofthearts.com
The Village of the Arts is an eclectic live-work community made up of colorful historic cottages that house everything from award-winning restaurants to specialty shops, studios, healing arts, bakeries and Bradenton’s best art galleries. A stroll through our color-filled streets offers a little something for everyone, whether you’re a foodie, a vinyl enthusiast or a quilt lover, with services that range from knife sharpening to yoga.
- Old Main Street Old Main Street. Bradenton (941) 621-6471
A tree-lined retail district of cafes and restaurants running three blocks north from Manatee Avenue to the Manatee River, where it meets the Bradenton Riverwalk. Parking is free on weekends, and dogs on leashes are welcome. “Home of the Downtown Bradenton Farmers’ Market - a place where the community meets to enjoy fresh produce, local art, upbeat music, demonstrations by local chefs, and free family activities.
- Bishop Museum Of Science And Nature 201 10th St W.
As the largest natural and cultural history museum on Florida's Gulf Coast, the South Florida Museum offers engaging exhibits as well as educational programs that interpret the scientific and cultural knowledge of Florida, the world and our universe. In addition to permanent exhibits, the Museum features a constantly changing lineup of temporary exhibitions -- offering something new to discover with each visit. The Museum includes the all-digital Bishop Planetarium Theater and the Parker Manatee Aquarium.