For families visiting Anna Maria Island or any other parts of the area, the Bradenton Riverwalk is a must-see stop during vacation. It was designed and built in 2012 to make downtown Bradenton more a bigger draw.
In the past five to six years, downtown Bradenton has undergone virtually a complete overhaul. Much of the uniqueness and old Florida atmosphere has been kept but remodeling and redesigning have taken shape. It has become a destination point for many who visit the area.
The Bradenton Riverwalk is at the core of the downtown revitalization because it is a family-friendly, fun place to come. The 1.5 mile Riverwalk runs along the Manatee River and draws people to spend a day or more there enjoying all it offers.
The Riverwalk encompasses many activities and observation areas da Family Fun Zone with a kids’ splash fountain and playground, a grassy lawn for picnics, a 400-seat amphitheater, day dock for boaters, and botanical walk. On top of this, there are observation areas that showcase the native fish and ecosystem along the Manatee River at the Tidal Discovery Zone as well as fishing pier where anglers can spend the afternoon catching native fish. If that is not enough, there are wellness classes at the flex lawn along with a beach volleyball court and skate park.
Another way to get the most out of the Bradenton Riverwalk is to experience its Outdoor Art Gallery. Along the Riverwalk are 19 pieces of art created for this outdoor venue as an added element that makes it unique.
Some of the art is interactive to draw children to it. “Big Eyes — Big Ears” is an interactive display that swivels and gathers the sound and sights of the Manatee River like a giant periscope. “Sound Dishes” lets visitors walk between the huge dishes to hear different sound effects between them. These are fascinating for kids to experience.
Added to this artwork is a project that brings together artists and students. Art Connects gives students the opportunity to connect with artists and historians to study the community and convey what they discover through art. This program has resulted in postcards placed along the Riverwalk.
When vacationers need a day away from the beaches, there is nothing better than making a day of it in Downtown Bradenton. Tying in a visit to the Bradenton Riverwalk with eating at one of the area’s newest restaurants and maybe even a baseball game at McKechnie Field can provide everyone with a fun-filled day for the whole family.
Bradenton Riverwalk is open year-round. Visit Riverwalk Bradenton for more information or to plan an excursion.
On Anna Maria Island
5201 Gulf Drive
Holmes Beach, Florida 34217
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Located in Ellenton Plaza
945 25th Drive East
Ellenton, Florida 34222
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