While there is plenty to keep you busy on the island, you might decide to venture off-island and see what the surrounding area has to offer. Downtown Bradenton area is a great place to spend a morning or afternoon on a sunny day. Within the last year, the Bradenton Riverwalk was completed and is now open to the public. It can easily be found by driving East from the island on Manatee Avenue into downtown Bradenton. Then simply follow the signs for the Riverwalk!
The Riverwalk covers approximately one mile along the Manatee River and includes a playground, waterpark, beach volleyball courts, skate park, Kayak and Canoe launch, and many lovely areas to sit and enjoy the view. The river provides beautiful scenery and a nice breeze. The playground and water park are great places for young children – the water park has multiple fountains of water that shoot out of the ground!
Everywhere along the walk there are different types of seating – park benches, swings, even cement recliners which are actually quite comfortable. The landscaping is beautifully maintained and provides plenty of shade. There are also a few restaurants along the walk for you to drop into for a snack or meal. We have visited the walk during different times of the day and enjoy seeing different activities – walkers, runners, fishers, bikers, readers, skaters, dog walkers, and little children playing. Many events and classes also take place on the riverwalk – check out the website listed below for a complete calendar of events.
When you have finished the walk, head over to Old Main Street for lunch, a coffee, or a cold beer and check out the shops. If you visit on Saturday between October and May, you can also enjoy the farmers market. Many local farms participate with organic greens, fruits, honey, herbs, flowers, and other seasonal vegetables. Additionally, there are booths with non-food items for sale – a good place to find a treasure to remember your trip by!
To find out more about the Riverwalk and Downtown Bradenton visit www.realizebradenton.com which has up-to-date information on exciting events happening in the area.