Conveniently tucked between the airports of Tampa and Sarasota, Bradenton is mere minutes from anything the west side of the peninsula has to offer.
Check out the nearby Anna Maria Island
Over the holidays, the Telephoto Florida crew was fortunate to be in the Bradenton area and to get to taste of Florida's Sun Coast.
Refusing to allow the weather to dampen spirits, we toured the area mostly by car. The beaches were empty, moody, and cold, but beaches they were none the less. And they were ours, and ours alone.
Despite the dreary day, the birding, was respectable for the time of year and conditions. Osprey, grackles, starlings and a few gulls made up the majority of our sightings. While on the prowl for roseate spoonbills, we stumbled upon a flock of fifty or so wintering white pelican.
Surrounded by waterways, the area acts as a gateway to some of Florida's best birding, boating and beaches. To the west and south west, Anna Maria Island, Holmes Beach, Bradenton Beach and Longboat Key. Across the Sunshine Skyway Bridge to the north, Fort De Soto and St Pete's are within easy reach. To the south, Sarasota's museums and galleries sit seductively close by.
Consider Bradenton as your trail head city if you like excellent, easy distance day trips with plenty of variety to choose from.