How You Can Stay Safe at the Bradenton Beaches

How You Can Stay Safe at the Bradenton Beaches

How You Can Stay Safe at the Bradenton Beaches Riviera Dunes Marina Blog

How You Can Stay Safe at the Bradenton Beaches

With our state’s endless sunshine and beautiful beaches, it’s rare that you can have anything but a great day while vacationing here in Bradenton. Among collecting shark teeth to shelling and of course enjoying time in the water or on a boat, staying safe at Bradenton beaches is our top priority. Resource yourself and your loved ones with these tips for staying safe while on your vacation.

Protect yourself from the sun.

When you’re out enjoying the Bradenton beaches, this of course means you’re spending a lot of time in the sun. Make sure to regularly apply sunscreen every two hours. And if you’re taking a dip in the water, make sure to reapply it right away in order to protect your skin. If you’re going to be spending an extended time on the beach, particularly at midday when the sun is strongest, bring an umbrella, hat and sunglasses so that you can take a break from direct sun exposure.

Stay hydrated.

Staying hydrated with plenty of water is key to staying safe during your beach day. While you are surely well aware of this safety tip, it never hurts to be reminded because it is so vital when spending a full day in the sun. In addition, make sure to avoid alcoholic beverages.

Pay attention to the flags.

When you arrive at one of our Bradenton beaches, you’ll notice there will be raised flags to signal the current beach conditions. Flags can be a sign of a number of water conditions including harmful marine life (such as jellyfish) to high hazard and strong current conditions. Assess the flags before you make way to your spot to ensure the water’s safe for you and your little ones.

Be wary of rip currents.

Speaking of strong currents, rip currents are channels of water that can quickly pull you away from the shore. Even though a red flag should be raised to signal for rip currents, you can identify them when you see a change in the water color, rough channel conditions or breaks occurring in the waves. If you do find yourself in a rip current, make sure that you remain calm and swim with the current’s direction parallel to the shore, not against the current as this will just pull you out further.

Pay attention to poor weather.

Before you venture to the Bradenton beaches, check the weather report so that you can be aware of any storms or other severe weather. If you’re expecting stormy weather, it might be best to reschedule your beach day. If you find yourself already at the beach, and you hear thunder, immediately exit the water and vacate the beach while you wait out the storm by retreating indoors.

Next: Get to Know the Islands ands Beaches of Sarasota

Tips for Staying on Budget During Your Bradenton Vacation

Tips for Staying on Budget During Your Bradenton Vacation

Tips for Staying on Budget During Your Bradenton Vacation Riviera Dunes Marina Blog

Tips for Staying on Budget During Your Bradenton Vacation

Will you be visiting the Bradenton area for your summer vacation? Like any vacation, it can often be difficult to stay on budget when there are so many fun things to do when you’re visiting beautiful Bradenton. Here are some helpful tips for staying on budget during your Bradenton vacation.

Stay in a rental instead of a hotel.

From Airbnbs to countless vacation rental homes, there are many places you can stay at during your Bradenton vacation that are also beneficial for your budget. Rentals typically include many amenities that hotels are not equipped with. For instance, a full kitchen keeps you from not having to dine out for every meal. When it comes to doing your laundry, an in-house washer and dryer doesn’t require you to have an abundance of quarters, and you don’t need to haul your laundry to another floor. You’re also no longer reserved to the two beds and a pull out bed in a hotel room to accommodate your family of 5. With a rental, you’ll have more rooms and couches for your loved ones to sleep comfortably. Plus, you have much more privacy and maybe even a better view!

Go during the off-season.

If you can postpone your vacation to the off-season months, this is an even more opportune time to visit when it comes to staying on budget! Off-season vacations present more opportunities to enjoy Bradenton and the surrounding areas while avoiding the crowds and the inflated prices. Plus, you never have to worry about poor weather when you vacation to Bradenton because it will still be in the 70s in the middle of winter!

Take advantage of the rental’s kitchen.

As mentioned before, having a kitchen in your rental is not only convenient for storing any leftovers from our fabulous local restaurants, but the kitchen also provides more opportunities for you to cook instead of buying every meal. Even if you only cook one meal each day at your rental, this will not only save you plenty of funds over your vacation, but it helps you stay on your budget.

Seek out affordable—or even free—fun!

Though they’re definitely worth a visit, you might need a break from the sky-high expenses that come along with amusement parks. In and around Bradenton, there are many ways to have fun while staying on budget. Visit the local nature parks or comb our beaches for an assortment of shells or shark teeth! Stroll along the Bradenton Riverwalk or visit the unique museums! The list goes on for budget-friendly fun when you vacation to Bradenton.

Next: 3 Affordable Travel Destinations near Bradenton

Get to Know the Islands and Beaches of Sarasota

Get to Know the Islands and Beaches of Sarasota

Get to Know the Islands and Beaches of Sarasota Riviera Dunes Marina

Get to Know the Islands and Beaches of Sarasota

With six islands and a multitude of beaches within each, it’s safe to say that there will always be a spot for you on the beautiful islands and beaches of Sarasota. When you want to island hop or settle down onto a secluded beach and get into a good book, here’s what you can expect when you visit the islands and beaches of Sarasota.

Casey Key

Casey Key, which is home to Nokomis Beach, is located on the southern end of Sarasota County. As the oldest public beach in the county, Nokomis has a wealth of activities that’s perfect for all—from the fishermen to the families. The kids will love finding shark teeth washed ashore. And don’t forget your maracas! Everyone will love to join in on the Nokomis Beach Drum Circle every Wednesday and Saturday evening around sunset. In addition there are also lifeguards year-round, picnic tables and a concession stand with everything from smoked brisket to sangria. 

Lido Key

Serene and uncrowded, Lido Beach on Lido Key is a popular destination for those looking to unwind without disturbance. Stroll along the 1-mile beachfront for a sunset walk or take a dip into the Lido Beach Community Swimming Pool to do some laps. South Lido Park Beach is another relaxing destination on Lido Key. The 100-acre park is lush with trails and waterways perfect for you to take your canoe or dip in for a swim. There are also picnic areas and a playground for the little ones.

Longboat Key

Longboat Key is another spot for some of the more private beaches of Sarasota county. Though they can be a little more difficult to reach, they offer uninterrupted afternoons of sun and sand. If you are visiting Longboat Key beaches during the summer months, you just might get to see turtles laying their eggs on the beach!

Manasota Key

On Manasota Key, you’ll find a beach for all outdoor lovers! Along Manasota Beach, a smaller beach, there are lovely dunes, mangroves and many opportunities to go wildlife or bird watching in this nature haven. Though a quieter beach, Blind Pass Beach offers uninterrupted views of the sunset and an abundance of shark teeth and shells to take home as souvenirs! Englewood Beach, also known as Middle Beach, has more beachgoers, but there are also more amenities including showers, grilling and picnic areas as well as basketball courts and a playground for the kids. Lastly, Stump Pass Beach is rich in nature in addition to their secluded beach. Take out your kayak where you might see tortoises and manatees or cast a line while you wait for your next big catch!

Siesta Key

Siesta Key is home to Siesta Beach, which is acclaimed for its No. 1 rating on Dr. Beach’s list of best beaches in America. Beachgoers love the white quartz sand, the shimmering Gulf of Mexico waters in the distance and of course the friendly dolphin, manatee and birds that can be seen during their visit. Other Siesta Key hotspots are Crescent Beach and Turtle Beach, which you’ll find are much more secluded compared to Siesta Beach. 

Venice

Soak up some sun, swim out to the coral reef or watch as the dolphins swim in the ocean at Venice Beach. After sunbathing, you can also walk along a boardwalk, spend some time in a picnic area or play a round of sand volleyball. Also located in Venice, Caspersen Beach always ensures you’ll leave with some treasure, whether it’s shark teeth or shells! Then if your furry family members are with you, head to Brohard Paw Park near Caspersen.

Next: Don’t Forget These Top 7 Beach Essentials

Top 3 Reasons to Love Boating if You Don’t Fish

Top 3 Reasons to Love Boating if You Don’t Fish

Top 3 Reasons to Love Boating if You Don’t Fish Riviera Dunes Marina

Top 3 Reasons to Love Boating if You Don’t Fish

Don’t think that you have to be an expert angler to love boating! There are many other reasons to love a day out on the boat, from spending time with your loved ones in a new way to simply enjoying time on the water. Here are some of the top reasons to love boating even if you don’t fish:

1. More access to waterways

One of the No. 1 reasons you will love boating is that you’ll have much more access to our hidden waterways. There are severals areas near Riviera Dunes Marina that are only accessible by boat, which means there is much territory you have yet to discover.

2. It’s a unique, affordable activity 

When you want to break up your beach routine, a day on the boat is a great way to mix it up here in Palmetto. If you don’t own a boat, you can always rent a boat for a set amount of time at an affordable rate. While we love owning boats here at Riviera Dunes Marina, renting can be a great option if you’re visiting or are only a casual boater and don’t want to worry about its upkeep.

3. New way to spend time with loved ones

Are you vacationing here? You’ll love boating because it’s a fun experience for the whole family and a new way to explore our area! From going on a sunset boat cruise to attaching a water float at the end for the kids—and even adults—to enjoy, there are several ways to enjoy the boat for the afternoon. Make sure to pack your picnic lunch if you plan to spend the whole day on the boat, then you can even bring your furry friends to join in on the fun. Plus, you can take the boat to stretch your legs in new places! Go hiking, lower the anchor for a swim or simply explore our local nature areas and its wildlife.

Next: Top 5 Nature Areas Near Palmetto

Dog-Friendly Beaches and Parks near Sarasota

Dog-Friendly Beaches and Parks near Sarasota

Dog-Friendly Beaches and Parks near Sarasota Riviera Dunes Marina

Dog-Friendly Beaches and Parks near Sarasota

Wondering if you can bring your pups to the beach? Here’s a list of the dog-friendly beaches and parks near Sarasota so that your furry family members can join you for some fun in the sun.

Brohard Paw Park and Beach

Your pups will love cooling off at the Brohard Paw Park and Beach! With plenty of space for your dogs to roam freely, the Paw Park and Beach is the perfect spot for the whole family! Clean, welcoming and fenced-in, your pup will get plenty of exercise and have tons of fun stretching their legs in the park area. Then, head to the dog-friendly beach for more fun! The park is also equipped with picnic tables, on-site parking, restroom facilities, drinking fountains and water bowls for the pups. After your fun at the beach, there are complimentary hoses for you to rinse off yourself and your pups so they don’t track sand into your vehicle.

17th Street Paw Park

For a spot that’s solely for your pups, check out 17th Street Paw Park in Sarasota. There are two areas for your dogs: an area for larger dogs and an area for dogs that are 20 pounds or less. At this dog-friendly area, pups have it all. There’s plenty of nice grass, shaded areas and access to water. Plus, there are benches and picnic tables so that you and your loved ones can enjoy your lunch while your pup is having fun!

Bird Key Park

For another scenic spot in Sarasota, head to Bird Key Park, which also has a dog-friendly beach area! While your pup has to remain on a leash, they’ll still get to enjoy the scenery walking along the water where you can not only enjoy the sunset, but you also see the moonrise! When you’re ready to take a pause from your visit, take a seat on one of the many benches while you enjoy the spectacular water views.

Sarasota’s BayFront Park

Situated along Sarasota Bay is Sarasota’s Bayfront Park. Boasting a lovely panoramic view of the bay and soaring palm trees, the bayfront park has a green space where you can take your dogs as long as they are on a leash. There is also a nice walking path and easy access to the bay for you and your pup. When you want a bite to eat, just a few steps away is Oleary’s Tiki Bar & Grill, a dog-friendly restaurant. Bring a frisbee for your pup and an appetite for an enjoyable afternoon out for the whole family.

Next: 8 Tips for Boating with Your Pups

5 Safety Tips for Your Spring Fishing Trips

5 Safety Tips for Your Spring Fishing Trips

5 Safety Tips for Your Spring Fishing Trips Riviera Dunes Marina

5 Safety Tips for Your Spring Fishing Trips

Do you have a fishing trip on the horizon? Whether it’s a solo fishing trip or you’re taking the whole family, it’s always wise to refresh your safety knowledge for your upcoming spring fishing trips. In addition to always wearing your Coast Guard-approved life jackets, here are our safety tips to ensure you and your loved ones have an enjoyable and safe time on the water!

1. Make sure your first aid kids are stocked with the essentials.

The last thing you want during your spring fishing trips is to have an accident. However, the best thing you can do in advance is to have your first aid kits chock-full of gauze and bandages in a variety of sizes, safety pins for the bandages and antiseptic wipes. Also, make sure to have a pair of sturdy scissors in the event that you need to cut and remove a hook from your skin.

2. Obey the “No Fishing” signage.

There is a reason that there are designated non-fishing areas. The “No Fishing” signage has been put in place in order to protect wildlife habitats, marine life and even your boat from getting stuck in more shallow areas.

3. Wear proper clothing.

Make sure to dress for the occasion and weather during your spring fishing trips. Once your dressed for the weather, protect your skin by applying sunscreen on any areas that your skin will be exposed. Wearing a hat is another good idea not only to protect your face, but it provides a cool shade on particularly sunny days. To protect your eyes, the best sunglasses to wear are polarized sunglasses since these also allow you to peer below the water’s surface. Then make sure to wear sturdy shoes, preferably those with rubber bottoms, that will be able to grip the wet boat and also protect you from stray hooks or other items that you might encounter.

4. Handle your tackle, hooks and rods with care.

There are a few key things to keep in mind when handling your tackle, hooks and rods during your spring fishing trips this season:

  • Always look behind you before casting. You don’t want to accidentally hook a loved one, a tree, your boat, etc.
  • Always make sure to clean up after yourself after handling your tackle and baiting your hooks by storing these items in your tackle box in order to prevent them from being stepped on.
  • Never place your hand inside a fish’s mouth if the hook is deeply latched. Instead, use pliers or scissors to remove or cut back the line so that you can remove it safely.

5. Bring a stocked bag and cooler.

Even if your fishing trip will be just an hour, make sure that you stock a cooler with the essentials including plenty of water and food. Then, in a large tote, make sure to pack it with flashlights, bug spray, rain jackets, towels and your cell phone.

We hope you enjoy your spring fishing tips near Riviera Dunes Marina! Happy fishing!

Next: Top 5 Live Fishing Bait for Bradenton’s Freshwaters

Take a Day Trip: Warm Mineral Springs near Bradenton

Take a Day Trip: Warm Mineral Springs near Bradenton

Take a Day Trip: Warm Mineral Springs near Bradenton Riviera Dunes Marina Blog

Take a Day Trip: Warm Mineral Springs near Bradenton

Did you know that our Sunshine State is home to the largest mineral spring in the entire world? After you let that soak in, did you know that Warm Mineral Springs is the only one of its kind in the whole state? It’s also just a short drive from Riviera Dunes Marina. After just 51 minutes via I-75 S, you’ll be able to swim in the only warm mineral springs in the entire state, making this a one-of-a-kind experience during your visit.  

For those cooler, spring days, why not take a day trip to North Port’s Warm Mineral Springs for a nice, warming soak in this naturally warm spring! Remaining at a constant temperature of 87 F, the spring is also surrounded by a resort and day spa. Admission to the spring is $20 for adults and $10 for those ages 10 and under.

If you’ve never been to a mineral spring before, here are a few tips to keep in mind when visiting:

  • To avoid the crowds, visit the Warm Mineral Springs either during the week or earlier in the day if you visit on the weekend.
  • From fish to turtles, you never know what kind of wildlife you may encounter when swimming in the springs. Keep a watchful eye out for wildlife. After all, you’re a guest in their home.
  • In addition to wildlife, be wary of the vegetation on the bottom of the spring. Though Warm Mineral Springs gets up to 250 feet deep at its center, be careful not to stir up sediment or disturb the ecosystem when in the more shallow areas.
  • While this might be a no-brainer, make sure you don’t forget your essentials. Take a advantage of the clear waters by bringing your snorkel and mask to view the wildlife beneath you. Then in your waterproof bag, make sure to pack multiple towels, snacks and water and even water shoes if you prefer.
  • Lastly, please do not leave any trash behind. Dispose of your trash to not only clean up after yourself but also to protect the wildlife and their home.

Next: 3 Ideas for a Budget-Friendly Vacation Near Our Marina

Don’t Forget These Top 7 Beach Essentials

Don’t Forget These Top 7 Beach Essentials

Don't Forget These Top 7 Beach Essentials Riviera Dunes Marina

Don’t Forget These Top 7 Beach Essentials

You’ve booked your trip to sunny Bradenton, Florida . . . now what? From your swimsuit to your sunglasses and everything in between, it can sometimes be overwhelming as you begin to pack for your beach vacation. Have no fear! We’ve rounded up the top seven beach essentials that you don’t want to leave home without!

1. Large beach tote

First things first, you’ll need a large beach tote to haul everything to and from the beach each day. You’ll want a beach tote that’s large enough to hold a few towels, sunscreen, snacks and other beach essentials. It’s a plus if the bag is waterproof and has lots of small pockets. 

2. Waterproof case

Whether your waterproof case is as fancy as a zipper pouch or as affordable as a Ziplock bag, you’ll want to bring one or both during your vacation here. With all of the fun in the sun also comes the water and sand, which is not so fun when it gets on your phone, e-readers and other small electronics or valuables. 

3. Portable charger

Portable chargers are lifesavers when you’re spending a full day at the beach. No need to worry about missing that snapshot of the lovely sunset or the friendly manatees. You’ll thank yourself when you bring your portable charger! 

4. SPF everything

SPF doesn’t end with your sunscreen! Make sure you’re protecting your skin with sunscreen, but don’t forget your lip balm with SPF as well as moisturizer with SPF. 

5. Sun protection

From a pair of sunglasses to a beach umbrella or large-brimmed hat, bring whichever form of sun protection suits you best . . . just remember that something is better than nothing. Here’s a pro-tip for beachgoers: Bring a back-up pair of sunglasses. You never know when a wave might unexpectedly take your sunglasses away. 

6. Reading material

One of the best times to catch up on some reading is at the beach. Books, or any other reading material for that matter, are one of the top beach essentials for optimal relaxation at the beach. 

7. Refreshments

Don’t leave home without snacks and your water bottle! While you’ll probably be able to scoot away from the beach for lunch, it’s always important to make sure you have some extra snacks and a water bottle in your beach bag in case your beach day goes from a couple hours to a full day. And we wouldn’t blame you for spending more time on our beautiful beaches!

Next: Why You Should Vacation to Sarasota, FL

Why You Should Vacation to Sarasota, FL

Why You Should Vacation to Sarasota, FL

Why You Should Vacation to Sarasota, FL Riviera Dunes Marina Blog

Why You Should Vacation to Sarasota, FL

If you’re on the fence about where your next vacation should be, look no further! When you vacation to Sarasota, you’ll have nonstop fun from the moment you arrive to the second you return home. With stunning nature parks, local events, theme parks and miles of glistening beaches, there is so much to love about a vacation to Sarasota.

In case you’re not convinced yet, here are some of the top reasons why you should vacation here:

We’re family-friendly!

Sarasota is a popular destination for all, but families will especially enjoy our area. From its sandy beaches and amusement parks to its landmarks and abundant outdoor activities, time for fun in the sun never ends when in Sarasota.

You’ll never tire of the white sandy beaches.

Spend your day among the miles and miles of white sandy beaches during your vacation to Sarasota. Did you know that Siesta Key Beach has been rated the No. 1 beach in the country multiple times? That’s right. The beaches in Sarasota are brimming with uninterrupted views of the sea, plenty of sunshine and several opportunities for beachcombing for unique shells. Just bring a picnic lunch and a towel, and you can spend your whole day—or three—on the beaches of Sarasota.

The nature areas are stunning.

From the Myakka River State Park to the 600-acre Nathan Benderson Park, there are several nature areas in Sarasota that offer a full day of fun for all ages! Bike or hike among the trails. Take your furry family member along for the day. Kayak or rowboat along our waters for a picturesque tour of Sarasota. Or you can join in on the the many recreational activities, championship events and more that our local parks offer year-round. Just visit the parks’ websites to find the latest community events.

We’re a short drive to the most fabulous theme parks.

You might already know a thing or two about the theme parks in Florida, but when you vacation to Sarasota, you’ll be in close proximity to not just one, but three! Head to Busch Gardens, Universal Studios and Disney for an action-packed afternoon of attractions, entertainment, tours and so much more one-of-a-kind fun.  

Next: Unique Ways to Tour Bradenton and Sarasota

Top 5 Live Fishing Bait For Bradenton’s Freshwaters

Top 5 Live Fishing Bait For Bradenton’s Freshwaters

Top 5 Live Fishing Bait For Bradenton’s Freshwaters Riviera Dunes Marina Blog

Top 5 Live Fishing Bait For Bradenton’s Freshwaters

Will you be freshwater fishing near Bradenton or Sarasota soon? Whether you’re a veteran freshwater fisherman looking for new bait to use or a novice ready to learn the ropes, here are the top live fishing bait you should bring with you when you’re freshwater fishing.

Golden shiner

Did you know that the spring months of March and April are the peak time of the year for catching largemouth bass in Florida? To take home this trophy game fish, golden shiners will be your best bet. Using a large hook, secure the golden shiner through either the lips or dorsal fin, then use a medium-heavy rod, which is helpful if you’re in a heavily vegetated area.

Clams and Mussels

Clam and mussels make for reliable live fishing bait, too! Like all live bait, you want to make sure that they are as fresh as possible in order to have the most success when freshwater fishing. Clams and mussels, in particular, can be easily gathered from local shallow waters when you’re en route to your fishing hole.

Minnows

Minnows are excellent live fishing bait for our local freshwaters. You’ll often have luck with minnows drifting in deeper water until you can find a school with an appetite. Freshwater anglers are known to have success catching bass and black crappie. Using a No. 4 hook, secure the minnow upside down being careful to not harm its spinal cord. By doing this, the minnow will be secure on your hook, yet still be able to move to attract a school.

Shrimp

Shrimp are another one of the top live fishing bait you should use when fishing in freshwater. There are advantages and disadvantages to baiting them live or frozen. Live shrimp will certainly be more expensive, and it’s difficult to keep them alive unless you are regulating their temperature and keeping them in aerated buckets. However, in comparison to frozen shrimp, they cannot be easily stolen by bait thieves, and they easily attract fish due to their movements. Ultimately, you get to decide which is best suited for your fishing trip.

Worms

Oftentimes the tried-and-true worm will do the trick when freshwater fishing in the Bradenton waterways. Use worms when fishing along the bottom or when lowered beneath a float. If you’re not having luck, adjusting the depth of your worm will often do the trick. Worms are known to be great bait for catching bluegill, redbreast sunfish and trout.

Next: No Boat, No Problem! 4 Local Fishing Holes