1. Historic Bridge Street
Bridge Street, Bradenton Beach
Start your day with a stroll down Historic Bridge Street. If you haven’t ventured there in a while, you might not recognize the now-thriving business community. In 2007, Bridge Street underwent a major restoration. Check out the restaurant’s shops, galleries and restaurants, and consider a game of miniature golf at Fish Hole Miniature Golf. Be sure to walk out to the fishing pier to enjoy the view.
2. Manatee Public Beach
40th Street and Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach
You can’t go wrong with any of Anna Maria Island’s beaches, but the amenities at the Manatee Public Beach make it a popular destination. The beach offers free parking, picnic tables, volleyball nets and a lifeguard on duty. If you get hungry, enjoy a meal right on the beach at Café on the Beach. Beach hours are from sunrise to 10 p.m.
3. Pine Avenue
Pine Avenue, Anna Maria
Pine Avenue calls itself “the Greenest Little Main Street in America” because of its green-building scheme, along with the fact that it’s easily accessible to pedestrians, bicyclists and scooter riders. Pine Avenue is another favorite shopping destination on Anna Maria Island, with many unique, out-of-the-box businesses. In addition to shopping, check out the Anna Maria Historical Society complex on Pine Avenue, which features a museum and the historic Belle Haven Cracker Cottage, which was originally built as a fish-packing plant, and surrounding Mangrove Walk. Don’t forget to pose for a photo-op at the old Anna Maria City Jail.
4. Anna Maria City Pier
100 S. Bay Blvd., Anna Maria
End your day trip with another scenic walk, this time along the historic Anna Maria City Pier, built in 1911 and restored two years ago in celebration of its 100th anniversary. Enjoy the sunset and the view of the Skyway Bridge. Consider dinner at the pier’s restaurant — or bring your fishing pole and try to catch your dinner. Hours are from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday; and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday.
• Coquina Bay Walk at Leffis Key
2350 Gulf Drive S., Bradenton Beach
Get an up-close view of nature by exploring the Coquina Beach Nature Preserve. You’ll find footpaths and boardwalks that run through the mangrove forest with water platforms that give an open view of the water. Admire the native plantings and observe the local bird and marine life.
• Holmes Beach Skate Park
5801 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach
Bring the kids, grandkids and their rollerblades and skateboards to this popular Holmes Beach park. Helmets and a waiver are required.
1/8 a tank
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