Bradenton Beach beach vacation rentals
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Your guide to Bradenton Beach
Welcome to Bradenton Beach
Perched along the narrow southern reaches of Anna Maria Island, this little seafront stretch is beloved for its Old Florida vibe and abundance of beach cottages. Until the early 20th century, the only way to arrive in the scenic fishing village was by boat, but after a rickety wooden bridge started welcoming some of the nation’s first cars in the 1920s, the vehicles never stopped coming.
Today, the bone-white, powder-fine sands and unobstructed views of the Pacific — not to mention the sunrises and sunsets — remain the top draws. But there’s plenty to do beyond the beach. You can stroll the avenues and peek in on shell shops, play a round of mini-golf, or indulge at one of the funky cocktail bars or atmospheric seafood restaurants that line the revamped Bridge Street Pier, right where that rickety bridge used to be.
When is the best time to stay in a vacation rental in Bradenton Beach?
Bradenton Beach is hot and humid for much of the year, particularly in the summer, when the area also sees some rain. Still, lots of visitors show up knowing they can cool off in the ocean, and that the warm evenings are pleasant. The weather here becomes milder and drier in the fall and the number of visitors tapers off, making this an optimal time to book one of the vacation rentals here. And although temperatures continue cooling off in winter, this tends to be the busiest season, with many travelers coming in from colder places. Spring is also a fine time to visit, with little rainfall and smaller crowds starting after Spring Break. Regardless of the season, be sure to pack flip-flops and an umbrella.
What are the top things to do in Bradenton Beach?
This long, flat beach is at the southern end of Bradenton Beach, where grasses and sea oats tremble in the breeze and unobstructed ocean views go on for miles. The soft white sand is ideal for sunbathing and also for nesting sea turtles, who come ashore to lay eggs. If you’re lucky, you might stumble on unique shells and sand dollars.
Leffis Key Preserve
A small but lovely nature preserve with footpaths and boardwalks through a mangrove forest, along with a 26-foot hill (that’s high for Florida!) offering 360-degree views of the Gulf of Mexico and Sarasota Bay. Wildlife viewing and fishing are popular in this undeveloped swath of the island, and it’s especially appealing for birdwatchers.
Bridge Street Pier
Once the only way onto the island, this bridge is now a revamped fishing pier and home to tasty restaurants, funky shops, farmers’ markets, and other community events. It’s a perfect spot to watch the boats pass as anglers cast their reels and pelicans swoop into the sea.