5 Labor Day 2017 Events Near Bradenton

5 Labor Day 2017 Events Near Bradenton

5 Labor Day 2017 Events Near Bradenton Riviera Dunes Marina Blog

5 Labor Day 2017 Events Near Bradenton

Labor Day 2017 is right around the corner, and you do not want to miss all that will be happening near Bradenton. The holiday weekend will be chock-full of events from the annual Labor Day Regatta to an event dedicated to bacon and so much more!

Check out our round-up of Labor Day 2017 events near Bradenton:

71st Annual Labor Day Regatta

When: Sept. 2, 9 a.m. to Sept. 3 at 4 p.m.

Where: City Island, 1717 Ken Thompson Pkwy., Sarasota.

Admission: Free.

Make way for the Sarasota Sailing Squadron’s grand event! Every year, competitive sailors from around the country and Canada gather in Sarasota for the annual Labor Day Regatta! Hundreds of sailors spanning ages 8–80 are expected at this year’s event. In addition to the five race courses, there will be live entertainment, food, beverages and an awards ceremony to commemorate the winning sailors.

When Pigs Fly Bacon Fest

When: Sept. 2, 5–10 p.m.

Where: JDub’s Brewing Company & Tap Room, 1215 Mango Ave., Sarasota.

Admission: Free. 

Who doesn’t love bacon? What better way to celebrate International Bacon Day than at the When Pigs Fly Bacon Fest during Labor Day weekend? Sarasota’s own JDub’s Brewing Company will be hosting a bacon festival featuring food trucks serving dishes for the bacon lovers. Food trucks include Solid Slab BBQ, Mobstah Lobstah, Mouthole BBQ, The Schnitzel Trailer and Create bakery & gifts. If you’re still craving more bacon, you’ll even find it in some of their brews.

Florida Studio Theatre’s Family Day

When: Sept. 2, 10 a.m.–1 p.m.

Where: Florida Studio Theatre, 1241 N Palm Ave., Sarasota.

Admission: Free.

Join in for the theatre’s first ever Family Day event! Florida Studio Theatre will be partnering with Selby Gardens and Sarasota Opera to present an action-packed day for children and adults to explore the arts through hands-on activities. You and your family will get to discover your opera voice, take the stage with the theatre company and even go on a safari.

9th Annual Downtown Venice Craft Festival

When: Sept. 2–3, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily.

Where: 220 Miami Ave. W, Venice.

Admission: Free.

It’s that time of the year again! Enjoy this two-day craft festival as vendors display their intricate masterpieces. From ceramics to stained glass and jewelry to metalworks and more, there will be many unique treasures for you to discover and purchase. In addition, there will be a Green Market with a variety of flora as well as food items including spices, sauces and kettle corn.

61st Annual Englewood Pioneer Days Parade & Festival


  • Sept. 3, Noon–8 p.m.
  • Sept. 4, 8 a.m.–3 p.m.
  • Parade—Sept. 4, 9 a.m.

Where: Festival at Pioneer Park on Dearborn St.; Parade begins at St. Raphael’s Church.

Admission: Free.

Englewood’s Pioneer Days concludes its two-week celebration with the annual parade and festival! The fun kicks off on Sunday for the Parade Days Festival. Join in on delicious food, music, beard contests, car shows and so much more! Then on Labor Day—in addition to the festival—the parade will start at St. Raphael’s Church, continue down Olde Englewood Road and west Dearborn Street before turning on North McCall Road. Don’t miss this exciting annual extravaganza!

Next: August 2017: Fun Things to Do in Sarasota

August 2017: Fun Things to Do in Sarasota

August 2017: Fun Things to Do in Sarasota

August 2017: Fun Things to Do in Sarasota Riviera Dunes Marina

August 2017: Fun Things to Do in Sarasota

Looking for fun things to do this month? While summer is nearly over, there are still plenty of things to do in the Sarasota area! Here’s your guide for weekend fun in the Sarasota area for August 2017.

This weekend, Aug. 11–13, head to Historic Spanish Point in Osprey for a docent-guided walking tour! During this enriching tour, you’ll get to experience the history, architecture and nature of Old Florida.

For home goods lovers, you’ll enjoy perusing the vintage and antique goods at Vintiquity Lane’s European-style, monthly market on Aug. 19–20. It’s also important to note that this market opens every third weekend of the month in Sarasota’s Design District, which is located at 1540 N. Lime Ave. At the market, you will discover repurposed, kitschy home treasures, clothing and other unique artifacts from yesteryear. Here are the upcoming market hours:

  • Saturday—8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Sunday—10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

If you haven’t heard by now, Venice, FL is known as the “Shark Tooth Capital of the World.” In addition to the vintage market, you’ll also have a better chance to find shark teeth in Venice since the kids will be back in school. Shark teeth are often found near the beach accesses that are south of the jetty. All you need is your shovel and strainer, and you’ll be equipped to find these local treasures. Happy searching!

End the month of August 2017 at Friday Fest on Aug. 25! Friday Fest is a family-friendly, outdoor music series held at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall. This month, groove to the R&B and funky tunes from local band Jah Movement Reggae Band as you enjoy a view of the Sarasota Bay. The show begins at 5 p.m. and ends at 9 p.m. Food and beverage vendors will also be on site, and the event will take place rain or shine! So, bring your beach towels or chairs and join in for this fun evening on the bayfront!

Next: Free Things to Do Near Bradenton in Summer 2017

Local Beaches Among Top Family Beaches in U.S.

Local Beaches Among Top Family Beaches in U.S.

Local Beaches Named Top Family Beaches Riviera Dunes Marina

Local Beaches Among Top Family Beaches in U.S.

Three beaches near Palmetto, Florida were named among Reader’s Digest‘s top family beaches to visit in the U.S. and Carribean! You’re in luck when visiting our area because these top family beaches are just a short drive away. Below, you’ll get the scoop on each beach as well as the amount of travel time it takes to reach your destination from Palmetto.

Clearwater Beach

Travel Time: 57 minutes

With it’s pearly-white sand against the lucid ocean waters, what’s not to love about Clearwater Beach? Take the kids to a pirate ship cruise where they can hear pirate stories, play games, go on treasure hunts and much more. You may even spot a dolphin! Speaking of dolphins, the Clearwater Marine Aquarium also boasts a one-of-a-kind experience as you’ll get to meet the movie star dolphin Winter, who starred in Dolphin Tale

Sanibel Island

Travel Time: 2 hours, 3 minutes

When you visit Sanibel Island, there’s one pastime that might take over your entire day: shelling. That’s right—Sanibel is known for its spectacular shelling opportunities! You’ll be surprised to discover a variety of shapes, sizes and colors making this the perfect souvenir to remember your trip to Sanibel. When you’re taking a break from shelling, the Gulf is the perfect area for kids to swim since there’s no shore break. Kids will also enjoy the national wildlife refuge where they can see blue herons, pelicans, alligators and more!

Fort Lauderdale

Travel Time: 3 hours, 16 minutes

When in Fort Lauderdale, you and your family will have plenty of beaches to explore! In fact, there are six beaches; each has its own unique amenities. Deerfield Beach has a family playground and a fishing pier. Then, Hollywood Beach has a boardwalk spanning miles, where you can walk or bike! After the beach, don’t miss Butterfly World downtown where you will see nearly 2,000 caterpillars and butterflies in a screened-in aviary. Then, when you’re looking for a more scenic route to explore the area, hop in a water taxi and enjoy the ride!

Next: Free Things to Do Near Bradenton in Summer 2017

3 Affordable Travel Destinations Near Bradenton

3 Affordable Travel Destinations Near Bradenton

3 Affordable Travel Destinations Near Bradenton Riviera Dunes Marina

3 Affordable Travel Destinations Near Bradenton

Are you on a budget this summer? While there is much to see and do in the Bradenton area, there are many affordable travel destinations nearby!

In fact, three cities in Florida were named among the Top 10 Most Affordable Travel Destinations in the country by AOL! Orlando ranked at No. 1 for the second consecutive year, Fort Lauderdale came in at No. 3, and Jacksonville ranked at No. 9.

For a family of four, the total vacation costs for three days and nights are $2,284 in Orlando, $2,560 in Fort Lauderdale and $2,852 in Jacksonville.

To find the most affordable travel destinations, AOL considered the average cost for a family of four and individuals using these four key factors: roundtrip airfare, hotel rates, car rental rates and dining.

If you’re on a budget and looking for an affordable getaway for you and your family, learn more about these cities near Bradenton: 

When in Orlando, located just a couple hours from Bradenton, you’ll certainly find extraordinary theme parks. But, that’s not all there is to do while visiting. Families will love seeing dinosaur fossils at the Orlando Science Center or stars at the Crosby Observatory. Golfers will also have their fair share of stunning courses when they’re looking to play a round.

In Fort Lauderdale, boat lovers—yacht lovers, especially—will relish in the Florida sunshine. The city is also home to major annual boat shows, museums and lovely beaches. However, Fort Lauderdale is nearly 4 hours away from Bradenton, so you may want to take this factor in consideration before traveling.

Lastly, Jacksonville is also a mere 4 hours away, but it is certainly worth the trip, especially when considering affordability. Take a day to kayak throughout the city, where you will experience the area’s breathtaking nature and gardens. On another day, you might rent some snokelling gear and explore Blackmar’s Reef.

Next: Free Things to Do Near Bradenton in Summer 2017

Free Things to Do Near Bradenton in Summer 2017

Free Things to Do Near Bradenton in Summer 2017

Free Things to do Near Bradenton in Summer 2017 Riviera Dunes Marina

Free Things to Do Near Bradenton in Summer 2017

From gazing at unique artwork to admiring national memorials and parks, there are several free things to do near Bradenton this summer! Whether you’re on a budget or are just searching for some fun things to do to give your wallet a break, the fun never stops near Bradenton!

Visit the Cortez Historic Fishing Village.

Immerse yourself in history as you enter the charming fishing village of Cortez. Traverse through Cortez’s Florida Maritime Museum offering free admission every day! Hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Don’t miss the latest exhibit, Florida Through the Lens, which displays the work of nature photographer Richard Estabrook. This exhibit continues through July 28. In addition to the museum, you can take a stroll through charming, old fish houses!

Admire the Riverwalk’s public art collection.

Stroll Bradenton’s Riverwalk to view 19 pieces of public art. From acoustic sculptures to the drum yard, the public art is enjoyable for all ages! Kids will especially love cooling down at the Riverwalk’s Splash Pad making this one of the best free things to do near Bradenton when the heat keeps climbing this summer.

Take a nature hike at the De Soto National Memorial.

Get up close and personal with the beautiful nature that our area has to offer. The park at the De Soto National Memorial offers a nature trail, picnic tables and opportunities for bird watching and fishing. The best of all is that the entire experience is free!

Experience island history.  

You can truly spend an entire day when at the Anna Maria Island Historical Society Museum. From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., see the museum’s many exhibits and even a historical cottage that uniquely shows you what it was like living on the island. Originally an icehouse, the museum’s exhibits take you through fishing and baseball history with their collection of newspaper archives. Then, stroll through Mangrove Walk to learn about plants that are native to our area.

Go to the beach.

At the end of the day, one of the greatest free activities to take advantage of while near Bradenton is relaxing at the beach! Comb the local beaches for shells, take a tranquil walk, or simply enjoy the relaxing environment of a day spent at the beach.

Next: Top Fun and Free Things to Do in Sarasota

4 Tips for Staying Safe at the Beach

4 Tips for Staying Safe at the Beach

4 Tips for Staying Safe at the Beach Riviera Dunes Marina

4 Tips for Staying Safe at the Beach

Whether you’re a seasoned beachgoer in Bradenton or traveling here for your annual vacation, staying safe at the beach should always be your top priority.

Here are four simple tips to make sure you’re safe at the beach this summer!

1. Don’t overestimate your swimming abilities.

Since you know how skilled you are in swimming, it’s best to keep within your abilities in order to stay safe at the beach this summer. For instance, if you’re a novice swimmer, it’s certainly not wise to be swimming in the deeper areas where you can’t touch the bottom. Don’t find yourself in trouble by overestimating your swimming abilities this summer. 

In addition, there are often stronger currents or rip tides in the water that are much more difficult to escape. So be sure to not attempt to swim during these conditions if you are not equipped to handle them.

2. Be aware of drop-off points in the water.

Make sure to identify where the deeper areas are in the water, and avoid drop-off points, small holes or where sandbars end in the water. This is especially important to pinpoint for your small children whom might be swimming on their own.

3. Keep a careful watch on your kids.

While parents do their best to supervise their children when at the beach, lifeguards emphasize that this is often the No. 1 thing you can do to ensure your kids’ safety. A lack of parental supervision is often the top reason for children’s near-drownings.

4. Stay within view of the lifeguards.

Lifeguards are on the beaches to protect and keep you safe, but they cannot do so if you’re out of sight. Often times there are designated areas that are monitored by lifeguards. However, beachgoers will sit further away out of those areas and eventually swim out in an unguarded area. Stay close to lifeguards, especially if swimming is not your greatest strength.

Now that you know to stay safe at the beach this summer, enjoy your time in the sun!

Next: What to Bring to the Beach for Summer 2017

2017 July 4th Weekend in the Bradenton Area

2017 July 4th Weekend in the Bradenton Area

July 4th Weekend in the Bradenton Area Riviera Dunes Marina

2017 July 4th Weekend in the Bradenton Area

Fourth of July weekend is here, and you don’t want to miss all that our area has to offer. Amongst the barbecues, yard games and—of course—fireworks, join in at these exciting events! Here’s the scoop on what to do July 4th weekend in Bradenton and surrounding areas.

Tomorrow, you can begin the all-American weekend watching The Marauders play Florida at LECOM Park in Bradenton! Tickets are $6–$10, and the first 1,500 fans will receive a complimentary t-shirt! Once the game ends, make sure to stick around for a post-game fireworks show! Game begins at 6:30 p.m.

Also tomorrow, head to Nathan Benderson Park in Sarasota for a free Fireworks Festival complete with games, music, refreshments and fireworks, of course! The event kicks off at 5 p.m. Don’t forget your lawn chairs or blankets for this exciting event. While the event is free, parking is $5 on Regatta Island.

On July 4, head to the Sarasota Bayfront for Fireworks Spectacular over Sarasota Bay. Bring your lawn chairs, blankets and maybe an umbrella in case of rain to catch the show! The fireworks show begins at dusk.

Siesta Key will join in on the celebration as well as thousands gather for the Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce’s annual fireworks show on the public beach! Park at 949 Beach Road, and the show will kick off at 9:15 p.m.

If you’re in the Venice Beach area this July 4th weekend, their firework show will be sure to wow you as well! With fireworks launching from the Venice jetty, this is always another popular site on the holiday, so make sure to arrive early to get a good seat! Show begins shortly after 9 p.m.

Anna Maria Island will also be hosting their 4th annual 4th of July Parade spanning 7 miles! Join in on the fun by participating on your bike, in your golf cart or car, or sit back and enjoy the show! Parade begins at 10 a.m. at Coquina Beach and ends at 1 p.m. at the City Pier.

Next: What to Bring to the Beach for Summer 2017

What to Bring to the Beach for Summer 2017

What to Bring to the Beach for Summer 2017

What to Bring to the Beach for Summer 2017 Riviera Dunes Marina

What to Bring to the Beach for Summer 2017

Summer 2017 is officially here, school’s out, and there’s more time than ever to enjoy the sun and sand. Whether you’re a local or a visitor to our beautiful beaches, it never hurts to brush up on what to bring to the beach! We hope you use this list to ensure that you don’t leave the summer essentials behind for your beach day.

  • Spare swimsuit
  • Beach cover-up, sarong, dress, etc.
  • Appropriate footwear: sandals, crocs
  • Large waterproof bag to carry the essentials
  • Beach caddy to carry larger items, toys, etc.
  • Toys and floaties for the kids
  • Sunglasses (it’s great to bring extra in case you lose them in a rough wave!)
  • Sunscreen
  • Towels or large blankets
  • Chairs
  • Cooler packed with snacks and water bottles
  • Reading material

Now that you know what to bring to the beach for summer 2017, here are some exciting events to look forward to during the next month: 

Through July 16—Garden Music Series: Don’t miss this music series hosted by Marie Selby Botanical Gardens every third Sunday. Hear music from talented artists, then traverse the beautiful gardens for one unique event.

July 11–16—Disney’s The Little Mermaid: National Tour: Head to the Straz Center to see the beloved film come to life in this exciting Broadway hit! 

July 16—National Ice Cream Day: Indulge in this delicious day by having a sweet treat at the many delicious spots in St. Armand’s Circle. View the full list of places where you can grab a sweet treat here

Next: 5 Kid-Friendly Things to Do Near Palmetto, FL

3 Best Seafood Spots in Bradenton, FL

3 Best Seafood Spots in Bradenton, FL

 5 Best Seafood Spots in Bradenton FL Riviera Dunes Marina

3 Best Seafood Spots in Bradenton, FL

When the craving for seafood begins, there’s no stopping it until you visit one of the best seafood spots in Bradenton. From fresh oysters to steamed shrimp and more, the seafood spots in Bradenton abound, so there’s something for every palate!

Anna Maria Oyster Bar

Serving more than just a delicious selection of fresh oysters, Anna Maria Oyster Bar is also known for their award-winning seafood. When you enter the oyster bar, you’ll be welcomed into a laid-back and inviting environment that’s also perfect for families. Some of the favorite items to order are the lobster bisque, chowder and coconut shrimp. Of course the oysters are superb, too. Enjoy them raw, steamed or fried, and you can even dress them up with parmesan and garlic. The oyster bar highly recommends their Grandma Georgie’s Chipotle Oysters as well. End on the rum cake while you enjoy live music!

Riverhouse Reef & Grill

Situtated on a pier, it’s no secret that dining at Riverhouse Reef and Grill will be accompanied by picturesque views of the Manatee River. Choose to take a leisurely stroll to get to the charming restaurant or take a complimentary golf cart ride to shuttle you to the entrance. Dive into their lobster pot pie, fish and chips or butter fish. Their shrimp and mahi tacos will go perfectly with a refreshing margarita. Or, you can always come hungry for their happy hour menu offering fantastic prices on appetizers and beverages while you watch the sunset. 

Pier 22

For a creative twist on seafood, Pier 22 is one of the best seafood spots you’ll find in Bradenton. Relax on their patio where you might spot dolphins while you enjoy a delicious dozen of raw oysters or a variety of sushi items including maki rolls and tempura! And make sure you don’t miss their weekly specials! On Sundays, a dozen of oysters are only $10. Then, on Fridays and Saturdays, there’s a prime rib special beginning at 4 p.m. Of course it’s not a visit to Pier 22 without digging into their mouthwatering apple cobbler. 

Next: Where to Dine on the Water Near Palmetto

Three Underrated Theme Parks Near Bradenton FL

Three Underrated Theme Parks Near Bradenton FL

Three Underrated Theme Parks Near Bradenton FL Riviera Dunes Marina.jpg

3 Underrated Theme Parks Near Bradenton, FL

While it’s no doubt that you and your family will have a magical time at Universal Studios or Disney World, there are some wonderful underrated theme parks nearby that you do not want to miss!

The beauty of attending lesser-known theme parks near Bradenton is that there will likely be less lines and crowds for you to trek through. This of course means there will be more fun and more chances for you and your family to ride the roller coasters while on vacation! The best of all? These theme parks are located just a couple hours away from Bradenton making this a no-sweat day trip.

Here are three underrated theme parks to visit near Bradenton.

Fun Spot America

The name clearly says it all with a title like Fun Spot America. While this theme park is located quite close to Universal Studios, Fun Spot America offers a completely unique experience. At this theme park, visit Gatorland to see live alligators, crocodiles and other wildlife. But the fun doesn’t stop there! From thrill rides to roller coasters and kiddie rides, the theme park has something for everyone! Single day tickets are typically $40.95–$45.95. However, this Saturday, the theme park is celebrating their 19th anniversary and are offering tickets for just $19, which can be used the same day or another day. These special tickets go on sale online at 12:01 a.m. until 2 p.m. on June 10. You can also purchase these special tickets at the park from 10 a.m. to noon.

Old Town

Classic Florida comes alive at Old Town, a destination that offers shopping, dining and of course amusements that are perfect for the family. Though Old Town isn’t necessarily a theme park, you’ll find an assortment of classic amusement park rides here. Get an unforgettable view of of Orlando atop the ferris wheel. Play over 50 arcade games and win tickets to redeem them for prizes at the Happy Days Family Fun Center. Enter the Mortem Manor if you dare, a two-story haunted home featuring props and live actors! Then head to The Great Magic Hall to see the art of magic in action!

The Holy Land Experience

Combining religious education with good old-fashioned fun, The Holy Land Experience is yet another one of the wonderful underrated theme parks near Bradenton, Fl. Through theatre, music and more, visitors will get to traverse through a living museum that transports you to biblical times in Jerusalem. But, there’s more fun to be had here! Head to the Smile of a Child Advenuture Land for hours of endless hours of fun. From climbing the rock wall to playing rounds of mini golf and more, a visit to the Holy Land is an opportunity you do not want to miss!

Next: 5 Kid-Friendly Things to Do Near Palmetto, FL