Spotlight on the Balmy Bradenton Area!
By Joanne Hunt
The Bradenton Area, otherwise known as hidden Florida, is located on the West Coast of Florida, 45 minutes from Tampa and just one and a half hours drive from Orlando. This tropical paradise has beautiful white sand beaches, wildlife and a string of unspoilt islands to explore.
Take a peek at this handy check-list of must-do activities whilst on your holidays in The Bradenton Area!
Take a walk with the turtles
Bradenton is home to five species of sea turtles including the endangered Loggerhead turtle and green sea turtle. From May every year they hit the beach and lay over 100 eggs each! You can become a volunteer for the day and take part in FREE nesting beach tour with Anna Maria Islands Turtle Watch during the early morning hours of June, July and August. Families will not want to miss out on the fascinating sight of the baby turtle's first dip into the crystal clear waters off The Bradenton Area shoreline.
Visit Snooty the oldest living manatee in captivity
Local celebrity Snooty is celebrating his birthday on Saturday July 21, making him the oldest living manatee in captivity. Snooty lives in comfort on his favourite foods lettuce, cabbage, carrots and fruit at Bradenton’s South Florida Museum, the largest natural and cultural history museum on Florida’s Gulf Coast. Every year Snooty celebrates his birthday at the museum with a FREE event in conjunction with the annual Wildlife Awareness Festival.
Be an AGRIcultural tourist at Mixon Fruit Farm
Take an exciting tram tour of the famous citrus grove before stopping at the Wildlife education area where you can experience an up-close look at wild animals that include deer, raccoons, hawks, owls, iguanas and pythons. When you’ve worked up an appetite you can head to the deli and enjoy a delicious array of snacks before tasting the famous Floridian Orange Swirl Ice Cream.
Surf with Horses
Bradenton is the world capital for horse surfing. Visitors are invited to not just horse ride on the beach but swim in the surf, try standing up on the horse and for the more adventurous horse lovers even ski behind it! Great World Nature Tours is one of the only companies in the world that offer this exciting experience to horseback ride along Palma Sola Bay during the sunset and then glide into the waves for a swim
Paddle in Paradise
Paddle-boarding is becoming Britain’s fastest growing water sport and the Bradenton Area is one of the best places to hit the surf and have a go! This new global sport is a combination of surfing and kayaking and a great way to keep fit and simultaneously explore Bradenton’s stunning coastline. Go on an incredible journey through the crystal clear waters of Anna Maria Island Sound, the stretch of ocean on the east of the island, to Giligan’s Island for a sunset bonfire on the beach. You can also spot some of Florida’s incredible sea life including manatees, bottlenose dolphins and turtles!