Whether you’re nursing a sunburn inside, want to avoid some beach traffic, or just want to experience a different part of the Anna Maria Island area— there’s always something to do on the Gulf Coast. Just a few miles inland from AMI is the city of Bradenton that has so much to offer. One of our personal favorite spots? The Village of the Arts, a colorful, fun, and eclectic neighborhood not far from Downtown Bradenton and Lecom Park.
This historic neighborhood is where artists and creatives alike come together to make our city a bit brighter and celebrate all of the beauty its residents have to offer. These colorful streets include over 275 individual properties and stretch from 9th Avenue West to 17th Avenue West between 9th Street West and 14th Street West.
The unique cottages and bungalows themselves are cute enough to make a drive to see but the offerings inside many of them are just as exciting. In the Village of the Arts (VOTA) you can find everything from award-winning restaurants to specialty shops, studios, healing arts, bakeries and some of Bradenton’s best art galleries.
The Artists Guild of Manatee was formed in 1999 as a non-profit with a mission to build a community where artists live and work while enhancing quality of life and creating a harmonious environment. It really is something special, especially on their renowned “artwalk” days. You can join the VOTA community during their artwalks the first Friday night and Saturday afternoon of every month, where you’ll be greeted with live music, incredible food and unique indie art spanning every genre. At a VOTA artwalk you can get an excellent overview of the merchants in the area.
If you want to scope out your gameplan beforehand or can’t make an artwalk day, no worries! They have handy maps online you can check out here or just go on a leisure stroll and see for yourself. Even if you don’t have a particular destination in mind, we guarantee you’ll discover some surprisingly delightful art and incredibly friendly people. In the Village, there is beauty everywhere you look!
As always, you can chat with our experienced team of locals for their favorites at Village of the Arts! You really can’t go wrong with supporting our local eateries, artists, and creatives in the Bradenton area.
Photos courtesy of Village of the Arts