Located on the west coast of Florida, Bradenton is located just south of Tampa. This city is a place rich in history, with gorgeous beaches and sunsets. See below our list of favorite Bradenton free activities and other spots here, and don’t forget to check out the map at the bottom of the page so you know where to find everything!
1. Cortez Historic Fishing Village – FREE
Visit the Cortez historic fishing village to see one of the few places in Florida where history has been preserved. Walk down the streets to get a real feel of a fishing village, where you will see crab traps, shrimpers, and people working on their fishing boats.
This area has is own nature preserve and history museum, the Florida Maritime Museum. The museum has free admission and is located inside of an old 1912 school house in the center of the nature preserve. In addition, while you are in the area, drive out to Anna Maria Beach to watch the sunset, or spend some time in the sand with your family and friends. The parking at the beach is also free.
2. Desoto National Memorial – FREE
This memorial is managed by the National Parks Service. Come here to see a piece of living history. The memorial is in honor of a Spanish conqueror, Conquistador Hernando de Soto, who arrived in Florida in the 1500’s. The park is on the water, and has beautiful trails to explore. The trails are mostly shaded, which is a great feature in sunny Florida. Along the trails, you will find plaques to guide you as you step back in time. In addition, the park has a living history camp, with replica buildings from the 16th century. From December to April, this park becomes a living history exhibit, with weapons and craft demonstrations.
3. Robinson Nature Preserve – FREE
Down the street from the Desoto memorial, you will find a cool network of trails and waterways to explore. This huge 400+ acre area is one you will not want to skip if you are an avid kayak-er or paddle-boarder. Paddle through the coastal wetlands habitat for hours. If you prefer to stay on land, the preserve has tons of trails to explore, and bonus you can bring your dog (on a 6ft leash) as well!
3. Manatee Village Historical Park – FREE
The Manatee Historic Village is a collection of historical buildings that can be viewed for free by the public. The building represent the early settlers and pioneers of the area. The buildings include an old general store, courthouse, schoolhouse, blacksmith shop – all from the period of 1840-1918. The village also hosts various holiday events throughout the year. Please visit their website for updates about their hours!
4. Village of the Arts – FREE
Just southwest of Manatee Village, you will find the village of the arts, the place to go for artists and art admirers. In this district, you will find Florida bungalow style homes with people living and creating art, all in one central area, and makes for a colorful and inspirational place to walk around and visit some art galleries.
The Village of the arts is also only a 5-10 minute walk from the Bradenton Riverwalk. Take a nice stroll or bike ride along this 1.5 mile paved path along the river and grab a cup of coffee at the Oscura Cafe or B Town Coffee.
5. Mixon Fruit Farms – $5-$10 a person for the tour
This one may be a bit of a budget splurge, but I would hate to not include it because of its uniqueness. Of course, you can visit the grove for a free cup of juice and peruse their gift shop. However, if you want to see the grove, you should take a tour! It an opportunity to visit a working and operating citrus grove. The tram tours are open to the public for $10 adults and $5 for kids (2 and under are free). It takes you through the grove and into their wildlife area where you can view a show with some of their exotic birds and reptiles. The tour is both educational and fun!
After the tour, be sure to locate the Koi fish pond to feed the fish. They also have a play area, where for $3 a person they can can use the ball pit slide, tether ball, putting Green, water duck race, giant chess set and more. There are activities for every age!
6. Bradentucky Bombers Home Games – $12, free for Under 6
The Bradentucky Bombers Roller Derby team are a local roller derby league located in Bradenton, Florida. They are a member of WFTDA, the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association, and ranked #129 in the world. They are comprised of three teams, a competitive charter team, the Bombshells; a rec team, the Nuclear Bomb Squad; and an open gender team, the Fusion Bombs.
Their games are family-friendly, fast-paced, and accessible to new fans. The season runs from March to October and home games are played at Ellenton Ice & Sports Complex. Tickets are $12 at the door and kids under 6 are free. They also offer group ticket rates for 8 or more people and every month they feature a different Buy One, Get One deal! The Bradentucky Bombers have been a Bradenton staple for 14 years and are getting bigger and better every season.
7. Hunsader Farms – $10 or under
This is a really unique spot for Florida. It is a U-pick, but instead of just having one type of crop (let’s say, strawberries), they are open multiple months of the year for all kinds of different fruits and veggies! All their items are reasonably priced as well. Check their website for what is in season, prices, and their operating hours.
In the spring, they open a sunflower maze for $2 a person, $1 to pick and cut the flowers to take home! They also have a petting zoo on site for $5 a person. All the proceeds from the petting zoo go directly to feeding and care for their animals.
And that’s a wrap for Bradenton free activities! Looking for some new ideas? Check out our page on St. Pete!