5 Things to Do in Bradenton and Sarasota This Month
Jonathan Marsh, Owner
The Bradenton and Sarasota area is hopping this time of year, with snowbirds in town and tourists enjoying the area’s milder climate. There’s no shortage of things to do in our beautiful area this time of year, but sometimes you may need a little reminding of our area’s treasures. Here are 5 suggestions for ways to enjoy Bradenton and Sarasota as we near the end of February.
- Take a walk on Riverwalk or the Ringling Bridge. Riverwalk is a 1.5-mile flat trail in downtown Bradenton. It’s got great sunrise views along the Manatee River. Walking along the Ringling Bridge is a little more ambitious as it goes uphill, but you’ll get some spectacular views and people watching. Start your walk at nearby Marina Jack for bonus views.
- Load up on local, in-season produce. One great thing about living in Florida this time of year is while the rest of the U.S. (or most of it) lives under a permanent frost, we’ve got pleasant weather. That means the bounty from Florida farmers is stronger in the winter. In fact, Plant City, Florida, is considered the Winter Strawberry Capital. From strawberries to tomatoes to citrus, Florida’s agriculture glory can be found this time of year at area farmers’ markets and grocery stores like Detwiler’s. For more details on our area farmers’ markets, read this story from the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.
- Revisit the Ringling Museum. The Ringling Museum is a star among Sarasota-area attractions, and with good reason. Its art museum, circus museum, rose garden, and Ca d’Zan can all rival cultural attractions found in bigger cities. Still, you may have visited The Ringling when you first came to the area but haven’t returned. Make a point to visit The Ringling again and see how it’s grown, and have a meal at the popular onsite Muse Restaurant.
- Check out our newer hotels. Wait a minute—if you already live here in Bradenton or Sarasota, why would you go stay at a local hotel? Well, you don’t need to stay the night to enjoy the amenities at some of are newer hotels (although you could do that for a bonus local vacation). At Waterline Resort, part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection, this Anna Maria-based hotel focuses on a coastal and environmentally friendly lifestyle. Visit Eliza Ann’s Coastal Kitchen or walk along the marina. At Zota Beach Resort on Longboat Key, enjoy Viento Kitchen + Bar, with Florida, Caribbean, and Mediterranean inspired dishes.
- Stroll in the Village of the Arts. Near downtown Bradenton, the funky Village of the Arts continues to grow and expand as a thriving community for artisans and restaurants. Find one-of-a-kind gift ideas, view eclectic and historical houses, and take a food break at places like Bird Rock Taco Shack. To maximize your Village of the Arts experience, visit during its monthly First Friday Artwalks.
For more ideas on fun things to do in Florida, check out the blog Florida Culture, written by health, food and travel freelance writer Vanessa Caceres. Her blog has more than 60 articles on fun things to do around the Sunshine State, and she shares her experience day tripping around Florida. Her travel and food stories have appeared on sites and in publications such as Visit Florida, US News and World Report, Today.com, Visit Sarasota, Edible Sarasota, USA Today's GoEscape, and more. (Vanessa also contributes to the Home Helpers blog). From shark tooth hunting in Venice to adventures at Orlando's Gatorland, the blog will give you plenty of activity ideas you may not have considered.
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