7 Perfect Days in Florida’s West Coast Paradise

A few weeks back, our good friends at Visit Bradenton Gulf Islands brought us some visitors to the Bradenton Area – Florida travel blogger/wedding magazine editor/attorney/wonder-girl Kara Franker and her family.

We were so happy to host these lovely guests and were pleased to learn how much they enjoyed their experience.

Check out the full article with seven-day trip itinerary here.  We’ve pasted excerpts below for you as well.  And be sure to watch the video to see whether you recognize any smiling faces at Anna Maria Oyster Bar on the Pier!

7 perfect days in florida’s west coast paradise

Escape to the beach in Florida. Follow Kara Franker and her family as she takes you on the ultimate weeklong vacation to Anna Maria Island, Longboat Key, and Bradenton.

Nestled on the Sunshine State’s idyllic west coast, three picturesque waterfront towns have it all.

In Bradenton, Anna Maria Island, and Longboat Key, you’ll find sugary white sand beaches, funky artistic villages, warm Gulf of Mexico waters, the freshest Florida seafood you’ve ever tasted, and of course, ample opportunities to splash, stay, shop, and play.

Whether it’s kicking back on a serene island beach, watching dolphins romp in the surf, biking through a nature preserve, or dining on a local fisherman’s catch of the day, it’s easy to craft a vacation experience that is uniquely your own in the Bradenton Area. And we have the ultimate itinerary for you.

Note from AMOB: We’ve pasted the itinerary for Historic Bridge Street below…… how many of our awesome Bridge Street neighbors have you visited lately?

Day 2: Spot Dolphins at the Bridge Street Pier
At the Bridge Street Pier, hop on a boat with Captain Sherman Baldwin and his crew from Paradise Boat Tours (200 Bridge St., Bradenton Beach, FL 34217). No two tours are the same and, according to the captain, you should see dolphins at least 95 percent of the time—we spotted at least half a dozen dolphins dancing in the surf. You’re likely to see other wildlife, too, like manatees, sting rays, and plenty of pelicans and other birds of the sea. And the crew has a wealth of information about the local folklore.

Once you’re back on land, stroll over to Anna Maria Oyster Bar on the Pier (200 Bridge St, Bradenton Beach, FL 34217), an “A-Bridged Street” version of the Anna Maria Oyster Bar family of restaurants. Overlooking the Intracoastal Waterway and located on the historic Bridge Street Pier, you can walk right up to the counter, place your order, help yourself to condiments, and their friendly staff will deliver you a heaping plate of goodness. [Note: after this article was published, we began to offer table-side service].  Try the fresh gulf grouper and get it fried, grilled or blackened. And, of course, you can’t beat the fried oyster dinner.

When you’re ready for a little Zen, walk along Bridge Street to Sea-renity Beach Spa & Eco Boutique (112 Bridge St., Bradenton Beach, FL 34217). Browse watercolors and original coastal wood art by Kelly Daszynski of sky30 designs. You’ll also find locally sourced jewelry and eco-friendly clothing. Book a spa treatment and soothe your senses with a beachfront massage.

Also on Bridge Street, hang out at Back Alley Treasures & Bar (108 Bridge St., Bradenton Beach, FL 34217) where you can take a seat at the bar, do a little wine tasting, sample fine cheese, or sip an espresso. Browse the shop and you’ll discover a delightful blend of handmade artistic treasures crafted by locals.

Located just south of Bridge Street, head to Coquina Beach (2650 Gulf Dr., Bradenton Beach, FL 34217) where you can ride bikes along the waterfront path, pick up a game of sand volleyball, or park your chair in the sand and soak up a little sunshine.

thanks for stopping by!

Thanks to Kara & her family, Conde Nast Traveler, and the amazing people over at Visit Bradenton Gulf Islands for including Anna Maria Oyster Bar in your perfect Bradenton Area adventure!

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