Happy dog on the Bradenton Beach

The Bradenton and Anna Maria Island area is a tropical haven tucked along the Gulf Coast of Florida, beckoning to visitors with gorgeous beaches and a laid-back atmosphere. If your dog typically travels with you, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to learn that Braedenton is a very dog-friendly area. In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know if you’re planning a Bradenton visit that includes your furry friend. 

Dog-Friendly Bradenton Outdoor Activities

Man throwing ball to dogs on the beach

When it comes to dog-friendly beaches, Bradenton has you covered. One of the favorites among locals and visitors alike is the Palma Sola Causeway Beach. This picturesque spot located on Manatee Avenue Causeway between Bradenton and Anna Maria Island offers a designated dog beach area, allowing your pup to frolic in the sand and surf alongside you. 

If you’re looking for more adventure, then Robinson Preserve is a must-visit. This expansive nature preserve features dog-friendly trails winding through mangroves and tidal marshes, with stunning scenery and diverse wildlife. Make a stop at the observation tower to see coastal birds and marine animals, or rent a kayak for you and your furry companion to explore the paddling trails throughout the preserve.

Take your dog on a walk through history at De Soto National Memorial. This free national monument includes dog-friendly walking trails with educational signage detailing the history of the conflict between conquistadors and the original native inhabitants of the Tampa Bay area. There is a small beach where well-behaved and leashed dogs can play in the water, and a modern restroom facility with water stations available.

If you want to have a relaxing beach day with your dog, head a bit further north to Fort De Soto Dog Park. This is the only white sand beach park in the Bradenton area where dogs are allowed off-leash. There are fenced-in areas along the shore with space for large and small dogs to play in the water, as well as a cleaning station and shaded benches for taking a break. Although this beach can get crowded in the late afternoon or on the weekends, there is a good amount of space to stretch your legs with your water-loving pup.

Dog-Friendly Bradenton Restaurants

There are a variety of dog-friendly restaurants throughout Bradenton and Anna Maria Island: Dog at the Bridge Tender Inn

In Bradenton, your dog can join you on the expansive patio at Caddy’s, where American fare is served in a tiki-themed outdoor space overlooking the Manatee River. For a delicious brunch experience, head to Sage Biscuit Cafe, where dogs are welcome in the outdoor seating. Or head to Anna Maria Oyster Bar, where a large outdoor patio is the perfect place to enjoy their amazing seafood selection.

Bring your furry friend to The Bridge Tender Inn in Bradenton Beach, a casual sandwich spot where dogs are allowed on the patio and given special attention by staff. Or head to The Kokonut Hut, where you can dine on the large beachfront patio with your dog. Further north in Anna Maria, check out the large dog-friendly patio at The Ugly Grouper and enjoy fresh, local seafood.

Bradenton Dog Care Services

If you find yourself in need of extra dog food or supplies, there are several stores in Bradenton to choose from. Local store Perks4Pets carries a variety of natural foods, and bigger chains like Petco or Pet Supermarket will have a large variety of supplies as well. If you need something while visiting Anna Maria Island, check out AMI Beach & Dog Supplies for any last-minute supplies or dog-themed souvenirs.

If your dog has health needs while you are on vacation, there are many qualified veterinary clinics in Bradenton which can help. The highly-rated DeSoto Animal Clinic offers routine and emergency services, and Manatee Vet Clinic accepts same-day appointments. For any urgent care needs, Bradenton ER Vet Clinic offers expert care at any hour.

If you are heading out for an excursion where dogs are not allowed, why not send your furry friend for a spa day or a play day? In Bradenton, Woof on Cortez and BarksBnB offer daycare services with plenty of space to run around with other dogs. The full-service Yuppy Puppy Salon offers grooming services alongside daycare and boarding, and Pup In a Tub provides full-day grooming services where your companion can get a fresh cut and plenty of attention throughout the day. 

Pack Your Bags!

With an array of pet services, outdoor dining and dog-friendly trails and beaches, Bradenton and Anna Maria Island ensure an unforgettable experience for all members of your family. Elevate your stay by booking a pet-friendly vacation rental through Island Dreams Realty, where your furry companion will have space to make themselves comfortable. Book your pet-friendly vacation rental and get ready to unleash the fun in Florida!


Vacation rental on Anna Maria Island Florida

Anna Maria Island, Florida boasts pristine beaches, crystal clear water and a laid-back atmosphere, making it a special destination for visitors year-round. However, the best time to visit Anna Maria Island depends on your family’s schedule, your preferences and what you are looking for in a vacation. Here are the details of each season to help you plan your trip.

Spring (March to May)

Spring is one of the best times to visit Anna Maria Island. The weather is warm and sunny, with average temperatures ranging from the mid-70s to the mid-80s. The water is also warm enough for swimming and water sports, rarely dipping below 73°(F). The island tends to be less crowded during this time, which means you can enjoy the beaches and other attractions without the crowds. 

Popular activities in this season include kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding and biking. Since there are fewer crowds, it can be easier for visitors to secure equipment rentals, and getting around the island on two wheels is a great way to enjoy the area. There are many lively events during spring, with the annual SpringFest arts festival in March and lots of bars offering live music and events in the spring through Memorial Day weekend.

Summer (June to August)

Summer is the busiest season on Anna Maria Island, with kids out of school and many couples and families seeking a Florida beach vacation. The weather is hot and humid, with temperatures ranging from 85°(F) to 95°(F), although the ocean breeze blows away some of the humidity. Water temperatures are warm and comfortable during this time of year, typically staying above 83°(F). While the water is perfect for swimming, it’s also the rainy season, so you can experience quick rainstorms, especially in the afternoon.

With the warm temps, the summer is the perfect time of year for water sports and enjoying the beaches. Kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, surfing, fishing – you name it! There are also lots of family-friendly activities in summer. Visitors should expect to encounter more traffic on the road and at the beach, especially on the weekends, so plan ahead when going somewhere. Availability in accommodations can also be limited, so booking your Anna Maria Island vacation rental early is recommended.

The island is also bustling with activity during summer. Local shops and restaurants host events every day of the week, with frequent live music and art fairs. The 4th of July is celebrated in a big way on Anna Maria Island, with a parade, community picnic and fireworks display for the holiday. There are lots of things to do throughout the summer, but keep in mind that the crowds might make it challenging to find parking and reservations for popular restaurants. But if you plan ahead, summer can be a great time to visit this wonderful part of Florida!

Fall (September to November)

Outside of large events, the island is less crowded during the fall. The weather remains pleasantly warm, with temperatures averaging 78°(F). Fall is considered a shoulder season on Anna Maria Island, so visitors can expect fewer crowds and lower vacation rental prices than summer. This season does include a risk of hurricanes, so visitors should monitor the forecast and plan their trip accordingly.

Since the water temperatures remain relatively warm in the mid-70s, this is great time of year to enjoy the beaches and water activities like snorkeling tours. Fall also includes seasonal celebrations, with several Halloween events for kids and adults taking place in October. The annual Bayfest also takes place on the third Saturday in October, with the whole island coming together to enjoy live music, local artists, an antique car show and kid-friendly activities. 

Winter (December to February)

Winter is a busy season on Anna Maria Island, as snowbirds flock to the area to escape harsh weather further north. With temperatures ranging from 70°(F) to 80°(F) and relatively warm water temperatures around 67°(F), this season is a great time to get a break from snow and soak up some sun. While winter does bring increased crowds, especially during the holiday season, this season is generally quieter and great for those looking for a relaxed vacation.

Popular events during winter are focused around the holiday season, and the island tends to quiet down in January. The annual Winterfest arts and crafts festival takes place in early December and fun celebrations for Christmas and New Year’s Eve happen around the island every year. Vacation rental availability and prices can reflect the increased crowds in this season, so visitors should book accommodations and activities early when possible.


Regardless of the season, the variety of activities and events on Anna Maria Island make it the perfect destination for your next vacation. Book your vacation rental with Island Dreams and start planning your trip to paradise!

Coquina beach on Anna Maria Island, Florida

Anna Maria Island, a hidden gem on the Gulf Coast of Florida, is known for its pristine beaches, azure waters, and relaxed atmosphere. This charming island is the perfect vacation destination for beach lovers. Below, we’ll take you on a virtual tour of the different beaches you can visit during your stay on Anna Maria Island or Bradenton. Get ready to soak up the sun, feel the sand between your toes, and dive into the refreshing waters of the Gulf of Mexico!

Coquina Beach

Our first stop is Coquina Beach, situated on the southern end of Anna Maria Island. Coquina Beach boasts gorgeous, white sand, crystal-clear waters, and a range of amenities, including picnic areas and restrooms. Tall pine trees border the beach, offering shade on the hot days. Coquina Beach has an “old Florida” feel, which a lot of locals and tourists love. Whether you’re swimming, sunbathing, or collecting seashells, this popular beach won’t disappoint. One item to know about Coquina Beach is that it’s one of the only beaches on Anna Maria Island that provides a professional lifeguard and rescue services. Coquina Beach on Anna Maria Island

Bradenton Beach

Next, we head to the heart of Anna Maria Island, where you’ll find Bradenton Beach. This lively beach offers a vibrant atmosphere with a wide sandy shore and a historic fishing pier. Enjoy a variety of water sports activities, rent beach equipment, or explore the nearby Bridge Street, filled with shops, restaurants, and exciting nightlife options.

Manatee Public Beach

Located in Holmes Beach, Manatee Public Beach is a family-friendly destination that caters to all ages. This beach provides free parking, restrooms, picnic tables, a playground, volleyball courts, and a beachfront café. Its calm waters make it ideal for swimming and playing in the waves, ensuring a fun-filled day for everyone.

Bean Point Beach

For those seeking a more secluded and natural setting, venture to the northern tip of Anna Maria Island to discover Bean Point Beach. Accessible via a short walk through a residential area, this hidden gem offers stunning views of the Gulf of Mexico and Tampa Bay. Spend your time shelling, fishing, or simply soaking in the tranquility of this picturesque beach.

Anna Maria Beach

If you’re yearning for a quiet and peaceful beach experience, head to Anna Maria Beach. Located at the northern end of the island, this serene spot features pristine sand and clear waters. While it lacks amenities, it provides the perfect setting for relaxation, sunbathing, and embracing the island’s natural beauty.

Bayfront Park

Nestled within the city of Anna Maria, Bayfront Park presents a unique beach experience along the bay. Enjoy a sandy beach area, where you can relax and soak up breathtaking views. Take advantage of the park’s playground, picnic areas, and fishing pier, and don’t miss the opportunity to witness stunning sunsets over the water.

Cortez Beach

Our final destination is Cortez Beach, located on the south side of Bradenton Beach. This tranquil beach offers a laid-back atmosphere and a more secluded setting. Take leisurely walks, jog along the shore, or simply unwind while listening to the soothing sound of the waves. While amenities are limited, Cortez Beach is a hidden paradise worth exploring.


Anna Maria Island is a tropical paradise with an array of stunning beaches to suit every preference. Whether you’re seeking a bustling atmosphere, family-friendly amenities, or a peaceful retreat, this charming island has it all for your next Florida vacation. Coquina Beach, Bradenton Beach, Manatee Public Beach, Bean Point Beach, Anna Maria Beach, Bayfront Park, and Cortez Beach each offer a unique beach experience, ensuring an unforgettable vacation. Book your Anna Maria vacation rental, grab your sunscreen, towels, and sense of adventure, and embark on a beach-hopping journey through the mesmerizing shores of Anna Maria Island.