Whether you are escaping the weather where you are or simply want to experience the many sights and attractions, there are as many Florida vacation options as there are reasons to come. Although Bradenton Beach is only one of many possibilities for your Florida getaway, it offers more than just a beach vacation. Located on the southern tip of Anna Maria Island, in the Gulf of Mexico off of the coast of Florida, Bradenton will thrill beach lovers and nature enthusiasts. However, what has become a draw for folks from all over is the beach community’s investment in, and exposition of the arts and a Bridge Street Art Walk is something that all admirers of art should experience.
Bridge Street Art Walk
For the past three years, The Bridge Street Merchants, a group committed to maintaining and supporting the local artists and small businesses of the area, have sponsored the artsHOP, a month-long walkable art show. A themed event, this year’s being Seahorses, it is an opportunity for visitors and locals alike engage in the local art scene.
For the event, a local lumber purveyor, Island Lumber of Holmes Beach, donates identical templates of the theme and artists use them to create one-of-a-kind pieces that they can donate for display and sale at the Art Walk and its online silent auction.
You will delight in viewing seahorses interpreted by anyone with the desire, from young children to established artists displayed throughout Bridge Street.
As you wander the quaint central road that is Bridge Street, you won’t need to look far to find the imaginative and original renderings of artists from Bradenton Beach and afar. The aptly named local artist and photographer, Gayden Shell, creates magnificent pieces of artwork and jewelry, using shells, beach finds, and “up-cycled” items.
You can meet Gayden and browse her stunning creations at her Bridge Street Shop, The Uptown Lot.
If your home decor style reflects your love of the ocean and beach, you will not want to pass by Mermaid Haven at Bridge Street Interiors. Not only an interior design boutique but a lovely place to peruse the eclectic works of local artisans, and mermaid-themed gifts, jewelry and housewares. This locally owned business has occupied this same location for more than 14 years. Having experienced the evolution of Bridge Street, the owners will happily share tales of the area over a wine spritzer.
Sea-renity, the name alone will pull you into this charming spa and boutique. While you are already planning on spending the day on Bridge Street, why not indulge in a massage, soothed by the ocean sounds in their beachside tiki hut? After your massage, you can peruse the Bou-tiki, where you will find the works of many local artists and jewelry, a unique gift or a fabulous treat for yourself.
Bridge Street Market, a Sunday special, will round out your Bridge Street visit with a little of anything and everything. Fresh produce and restaurant samplings are dispersed among the offerings of local artisans and their creative visions. Accompanied by live music, opportunities for adventure, and even massage, this is a one-stop shop for local fine and folk artistry.
There is no doubt that you are bound to work up an appetite during a Bridge Street Art Walk. Luckily, the local art scene is complemented with an equally impressive culinary scene. In addition to the fare that you will find at Bridge Street Market, you will be treated to an eclectic range of tasty options.
Bridge Street Bistro, a favorite of locals and visitors alike, presents a gorgeous blend of creative fine-dining and casual comfort. Purely original dishes like their Grassy Key Grouper and Key Lime Buerre Blanc, contrast fantastically on the menu with much-loved classics like Steak Au Poivre. Offering a little bit of everything, to satisfy a wide range of tastes, no one leaves hungry!
If you are feeling something a little more laid back, you will find Island Time Bar & Grill on the property of the well-known BridgeWalk Resort. Specializing in Caribbean and Mexican inspired fare, Island Time has what you are looking for, be it a mouth-watering burger topped with chile con carne, or a delicious bronzed grouper. This casual spot is excellent for families and has all the kid menu items that the little ones want.
A must visit on a trip down Bridge Street is The Bridge Tender Inn and Dockside Bar. For almost 30 years The Bridge Tender has been providing the best in cocktails, live entertainment, and playful food offerings. Three full-service waterfront bars allow guests to enjoy the view with a creative cocktail while the kitchen whips up everything from the unique Tuna Wasabi Ceasar to such classics as a Corned Beef Reuben.
Whether you are visiting for a day, a week, or even longer, this Anna Maria Island spot will keep you simultaneously entertained and relaxed. The laid-back atmosphere combined with the artsy vibe of Bradenton Beach make it the ideal place for your Florida getaway.