Things to Do on the Water Near Palmetto, FL

Things to Do on the Water Near Palmetto, FL

Things to Do on the Water Near Palmetto, FL Riviera Dunes Marina

Things to Do on the Water Near Palmetto, FL

There’s always an adventure awaiting you on the water near Palmetto, FL. Whether you’re parasailing with the breeze at your back or on an exciting tour in search of dolphins, the things to do on the water near Palmetto, FL are practically endless.

From tranquil to thrilling, here are some of the best water activities you should try when you’re visiting Palmetto, FL.

Stand-up Paddleboarding

Are you looking for a full-body workout? Then try paddleboarding. Step onto a board, then use your balance and strength as you begin paddling at your own pace. Depending on the rental company, you can take your paddling up a notch and go on eco tours! 

Kayaking

Since the Palmetto area has a wealth of beautiful parks, there are optimal opportunities for you and your family to enjoy an afternoon of kayaking. Choose to go on a solo trip, or go with a group, as you explore the winding Manatee River.

Parasailing

Float above the Gulf waters as you enjoy the thrill of parasailing! Grab a friend—or two—and get ready for a unique day of fun on the water near Palmetto, FL! Who knows, you might even see turtles, dolphins and various types of fish while parasailing. You can also choose to stay dry and land on the boat deck or get dipped in the water when you need to cool off. The best part is that no prior skills are necessary!

Dolphin Tours

Now that we’re on the subject of dolphin spotting, there are plenty of opportunities to see these lovely creatures when you’re near Palmetto, FL. On a tour, the captain will take you to where the dolphins are likely to dwell. In addition, some tours will even narrate throughout the tour so that you can learn more about the area’s waterways. Often times, there are also sunset tours, which make for an even more unique, one-of-a-kind experience!

Boating

Of course we can’t talk about having fun on the water and leave out the beloved activity of boating! If you don’t have your own boat, you can rent a boat, which will vary in shapes and sizes to accommodate you and your family. Bring your fishing poles, a picnic lunch, and you’ll be set for an exciting afternoon aboard your boat!

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

5 Places to Shop near Bradenton, FL

5 Places to Shop near Bradenton, FL

5 Places to Shop near Bradenton FL Riviera Dunes Marina

5 Places to Shop near Bradenton, FL

When it’s time to take a break from the marvelous boating lifestyle here, there are plenty of shopping opportunities that are perfect for the whole family.

No matter what you’re looking for, Bradenton and the nearby areas have it all! Discover one-of-a-kind boutiques, outlet malls when you’re hunting for a bargain and of course the outdoor shopping centers when you need some fresh air while shopping.

So, when you’re looking for places to shop near Bradenton, these shopping destinations are all located near Riviera Dunes Marina as well. Let the shopping begin!

The Mall at University Town Center

Did someone say Saks Fifth Avenue and Macy’s? You heard right! These luxury department stores are just a couple among more than 125 stores at The Mall at University Town Center. Shop ‘til you drop, bring your kids to unwind in the play area, then sit down at a delicious restaurant after your day of shopping!

Ellenton Premium Outlets

Beloved brands including Coach, J. Crew Factory, Kate Spade and many others can be found at Ellenton Premium Outlets. For a unique shopping experience, the outlets are in an outdoor mall with serene water fountains and covered walkways, when you need a break from the sun. The best part? The outlet stores are easier on your wallet compared to mainstream shopping destinations!

Main Street at Lakewood Ranch

Boutiques, restaurants and mini golf—what’s not to love about the shops at Lakewood Ranch’s Main Street? (Click here to see the full directory of their unique shops.) And when you’re looking for fun activities in addition to shopping, there’s also a cinema and a free concert series on the first Friday of every month—all at Main Street!

International Plaza and Bay Street

For more than 200 specialty shops, head to the International Plaza and Bay Street. This indoor place to shop near Bradenton also has 16 restaurants with fine dining options available at Bay Street at the Plaza. Looking for contemporary housewares? Head to Crate & Barrel. For high-end designer wear, there’s Burberry, Gucci, Louis Vuitton and so much more.

St. Armand’s Circle

In nearby Sarasota, St. Armand’s Circle is your one-stop destination for all of your leisurely shopping needs! Pamper yourself at one of the beauty salons or spas. Then you can peruse the galleries or jewelry stores as you look for your next one-of-a-kind gem. Looking to upgrade your footwear? There are several shops that can assist you!

Next: 7 Things We Love About Sarasota, FL

7 Things We Love About Sarasota, FL

7 Things We Love About Sarasota, FL

7 Things We Love About Sarasota FL Riviera Dunes Marina

7 Things We Love About Sarasota, FL

From secret shops to manatees, what’s not to love about Sarasota, FL? Whether it’s your first visit to Sarasota or your fiftieth, there are many things to discover about this beloved county.

Here are our top seven things we love about Sarasota:

1. Foodie paradise

Catering to everyone from the vegans to the meat lovers, Sarasota has it all. If you’re looking for the freshest vegetables in season, there are also plenty of local farmers markets where you can find delicious, artisanal goods. Our local Sarasota Farmers Market is open every Saturday from 7 a.m.–1 p.m. at Main Street and Lemon Avenue.

2. Scenic adventures at the river

The Manatee River is the perfect place to embrace nature and get up-close with wildlife for the afternoon. Go on nature tours, swim with manatees and have a picnic, among many more exciting opportunities to get some fresh, Florida air while at the river.

3. The boat life

One of our top things to love about Sarasota, FL is the boater’s lifestyle. Feast at waterfront restaurants beneath the night sky, hop aboard your boat to reel in your dinner, or take a sunrise cruise. These are just a few things to love about the boat life in Sarasota, FL. 

4. The state park

The Myakka River State Park offers another fantastic opportunity to explore wildlife and the great outdoors. Traverse the trails, go fishing and kayaking, then end the day in one of the park’s log cabins!

5. The arts

At The Ringling museum, live music events, exhibits and a step back into history await you. Don’t miss the lovely gardens and of course the circus museum! It’s truly a marvelous place that all ages will be able to enjoy.

6. Secret shops

The Sarasota area boasts a wealth of pop-up shops and dining spots that you will not find anywhere else. The pop-up shops here are certainly one of the many aspects that set our area apart from others.

7. Local events

From Sarasota to nearby Bradenton and Palmetto, there’s always a fun local event to attend. Taste exotic wines at wine festivals, head to an outdoor concert or attend a sporting event. The local events here celebrate every interest you could imagine! 

Next: Where to Eat, Shop & Play in Sarasota, FL

Top 5 Boating Destinations Near Palmetto, FL

Top 5 Boating Destinations Near Palmetto FL Riviera Dunes Marina Blog

Top 5 Boating Destinations Near Palmetto, FL

Hey boaters! There’s always a new, beautiful place to discover when boating in our Florida waters. From the lovely Shell Key in Tampa Bay to the rich culture found at our own Bradenton Beach, venture to one of these boating destinations near Palmetto, FL, and you will be in for an exciting afternoon!

Bradenton Beach

Spend some time in the sun on the gorgeous beaches of Bradenton on Anna Maria Island. First, set up your chairs for an afternoon of sunbathing and a peaceful beachside picnic. Once you’ve had your time in the sun, there is much to see and do in town. Visit specialty shops and galleries or embrace nature on a kayak paddleboard!

Tampa Bay

If you’re looking for fine dining experiences, Tampa Bay is one of the boating destinations near Palmetto, FL that you will not want to miss. In addition to the exquisite dining experiences, there are hidden gems that are only accessible by boat. One of those places is Shell Key—a prime beach for swimming, camping and fishing.

Egmont Key

For a unique experience, Egmont Key is home to a wildlife refuge as well as lovely beaches filled with shells for you to collect and bring home as souvenirs. While you can also swim, picnic and fish here, you have the opportunity to tour an 1858 lighthouse and visit other fascinating historical sites and trails as you step back in time. This park is also quite remote, so make sure to bring plenty of water and food for your visit.

Longboat Key

Along the 12 miles of pristine beaches of Longboat Key, there is much to enjoy. Gather to see the spectacle of sea turtle hatchlings march to the water. Play a round of golf with a view of the water. When you’re ready to take a break from the scenic route, there is fine dining, luxury resorts for you to relax and excellent shopping opportunities.

Manatee River

Spanning 36 miles, Manatee River has a wealth of activities for you and your boat crew to enjoy. From fishing to traversing the lovely parks, there are also many great lunch and shopping destinations nearby if you decide to go inshore during your visit to one of the top boating destinations near Palmetto, FL!

Next: 6 Tips for New Boat Owners in Bradenton

Where to Fish in Bradenton, FL

Where to Fish in Bradenton, FL

Where to Fish in Bradenton FL Riviera Dunes Marina

Where to Fish in Bradenton, FL

With the milder Florida winter we’ve had, we’re still welcoming the spring season with open arms … especially for fishing! Wondering where to fish in Bradenton, FL?

Here are a few of our favorite spots:

Lake Manatee

In this beautiful, freshwater lake, you can choose to fish either from the dock or your personal boat. There you will find a boat ramp available for use, but your boat, kayak or other vessel must be less than 20 horsepower.

What you’ll catch: sunshine bass, catfish, speckled perch and bluefill

Piers on Anna Maria Island

The 7 miles of Anna Maria Island are a perfect place for an afternoon of fishing. Several piers and bridges are dotted along the island as well as the bait shops stocked with all of the essentials to keep you busy all afternoon!

What you’ll catch: grouper, bluefish and flounder

Fort Hamer Park

The freshwater area of the Manatee River begins once arrive at the peaceful Fort Hamer Park. There are a couple ways to fish when in the park: from the pier or your boat. Keep in mind that rowing teams often practice in this area, so be kind in sharing the river. In addition, Fort Hamer is equipped with fabulous amenities including a large boathouse, a deck and floating docks.

What you’ll catch: snook and bass

Do you have any favorite fishing holes in Bradenton? Let us know where you like to fish in Bradenton!

Next: The Best Freshwater Fishing in Bradenton

5 Kid-Friendly Things to Do Near Palmetto, FL

5 Kid-Friendly Things to Do Near Palmetto, FL

5 Kid-Friendly Things to Do Near Palmetto, FL Riviera Dunes Marina

5 Kid-Friendly Things to Do Near Palmetto, FL

With Spring Break here, there’s no shortage of kid-friendly things to do near Palmetto, FL.

From museums to miniature golf, families will never run out of fun things to do!

Here are five kid-friendly things to do near Palmetto that are enjoyable for the whole family.

South Florida Museum and Bishop Planetarium

‪201 10th St W, Bradenton

At the South Florida Museum and Bishop Planetarium, kids will enjoy exciting exhibits and presentations by the museum’s knowledgeable and lively staff members. There’s even a show recorded by Tom Hanks! You’ll want to make sure you leave plenty of time to visit the planetarium and view the various shows offered. Kids will also enjoy feeding the manatees and stopping by the gift shop to bring home a souvenir.

Smugglers Cove Adventure Golf

‪2000 Cortez Rd W, Bradenton

Play a round of mini golf at Smugglers Cove Adventure Golf! Experience a fun, though challenging, game at their scenic course complete with 18 holes and 25 live alligators on-site! You can even feed them for an extra fee. The tropical course also features lovely waterfalls and caves for a serene afternoon for all ages.

The Ringling

‪5401 Bay Shore Rd, Sarasota

The Ringling carries on the circus legacy of brothers John and Mable Ringling, known for the “Greatest Show on Earth.” From the Bayfront gardens to the Museum of Art, a Circus Museum, an education center, exhibits and much more, there is much to explore while visiting. Don’t miss the forest of “Pathless Woods,” an exhibit made entirely from ribbons by American artist Anne Patterson. The exhibit will be on display through April 26.

Marietta Museum-Art & Whimsy

2121 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota 

Gorgeous grounds await you at the Marietta Museum! The whimsical art museum is chockfull of paintings, ceramic pieces, pottery and more exciting colorful displays. Weave through the gardens as you admire the sculptures and creative artwork. Inside, view the famed Lee Family Arch embellished with beads, crystals, shells and other raw materials in honor of the museum’s founders.

Sarasota Children’s Garden

‪1670 10th Way, Sarasota

Be prepared to spend the better part of an afternoon exploring all that awaits you at Sarasota Children’s Garden! Depending on the day, the garden offers free art programs with admission where kids can learn about gardening, have storytime and explore other fun topics. In addition, there are areas where the kids can play dress-up, play with wagons and let them live out their imaginations for the day! Feel free to bring a picnic for lunch and enjoy this hidden Sarasota gem.

Next: Free Fun in Sarasota and Bradenton

6 Tips for New Boat Owners in Bradenton

6 Tips for New Boat Owners in Bradenton

6 Tips for New Boat Owners in Bradenton Riviera Dunes Marina.jpg

6 Tips for New Boat Owners in Bradenton

Did you just become a new boat owner in Bradenton? Welcome to the club! New boat owners often have a lot of questions when they make their first boat purchase.

Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind as you enjoy your new boat!

1. Put together a boat bag.

“What’s a boat bag,” you ask? Basically, a boat bag is what holds all of your boating essentials. Some items you might consider putting in your boat bag are bottles of water, sunglasses, bug spray, a flashlight, sunscreen and towels. Of course, there are other items that may be more or less important to you, and you can tweak this list as you see fit.

2. Get a towing membership. 

While you can hope that you won’t need a towing membership, the reality is that you’ll need a Plan B if you find yourself in a rut. New boat owners often make the honest mistake of not getting a towing membership. Towing memberships will cost around $150 annually, while a single tow without a membership can cost near $700. Save yourself the funds and get a membership.

3. Have a cleaning and maintenance routine.

Purchasing your boat isn’t the only investment you’ll make as a new boat owner. It’s crucial to invest time into cleaning and maintaining your boat after each use to ensure a long lifespan. In addition, do some research as to what kind of engine maintenance is required for your boat.

Here are a few things we recommend after each use:

  • Wipe down your seats with a conditioner.
  • Rinse the boat with a hose. 
  • Use fresh water when flushing your motor.
  • Dry out your boat to prevent mold growth. You can do this by opening the hatches or compartments. 

4. Equip your boat with safety equipment.

Florida Law requires that you have the necessary safety equipment on your boat at all times depending on its size and horsepower. A full list of safety equipment can be found here. The minimum requirements are a life jacket for each person, a throwable device, a visual distress signal, a fire extinguisher and a sound device such as a horn, bell or whistle. 

5. Learn the rules.

Those born on or after Jan. 1, 1988 are required to take a boating course. Though, even if you were born before 1988, it is a course that will benefit all new boat owners. The course can be taken with the Coast Guard, U.S. Power Squadron or online at BoatUs.org/Florida.

6. Know where to dock your boat. 

Our very own Riviera Dunes Marina is a great place for you to dock your boat. From electrical services to a gas and diesel fuel dock, we have much to offer! For a full list of the amenities we offer on-site, click here.

Next: 6 Easy Tips to Better Outboard Performance

Siesta Beach Ranked No. 1 in the U.S.

Siesta Beach Ranked No. 1 in the U.S.

Siesta Beach Ranked No. 1 in the U.S. Riviera Dunes Marina

Siesta Beach Ranked No. 1 in the U.S.

TripAdvisor just released their 2017 Travelers’ Choice Awards and ranked our local beach No. 1 in the U.S.! Our own Siesta Beach, located just 20 minutes from Sarasota is ranked as the No. 1 beach in the country. It’s no surprise to us as Siesta Beach is a lovely destination year-round! 

Runners up in the top five spots include Ka’anapali Beach in Hawaii and Florida’s Saint Pete Beach, Clearwater Beach and the beach at Panama City.

In addition to ranking No. 1 in the U.S., Siesta Beach also ranks No. 5 best beach in the whole world!

With its white sand and nature areas nearby, Siesta Beach is a fantastic place to visit. Perfect for large families or as an intimate getaway for couples, this acclaimed beach does not disappoint. 

If you haven’t visited Siesta Beach yet, here are some perks you’ll get to enjoy:

Cool beaches: Because the sand is comprised of 99 percent pure quartz, you don’t have to worry about burning your feet (this is especially important to note for the little ones) even on the hottest summer days.

Volleyball: The beach is equipped with its own volleyball court. Just bring a ball, and let the games begin!

Safety: Lifeguards are always on duty, so you can rest assured that you and your loved ones will be safe when treading the waters. 

Pavilion: Perfect for toting your own picnic, settle under the pavilion where you can take a break from the sun and fuel up for the remainder of your afternoon at the beach. 

Beach-friendly wheelchairs: Offered year-round, travel from the parking lot to the shore with ease via their complimentary beach-friendly wheelchairs. You can find these at the concession area.

ADA beach access mats: The ADA beach access mats make it a breeze for those in wheelchairs or pedestrians with strollers or beach carts to travel the shore more easily. 

Looking for more beautiful beaches near us? Read about 6 secret islands to visit near Palmetto, FL!

Family-Friendly Winter Festivals in Central Florida

Family-Friendly Winter Festivals in Central Florida

Family-Friendly Winter Festivals in Central Florida Riviera Dunes Marina

Family-Friendly Winter Festivals in Central Florida

Don’t miss all of the wonderful family-friendly winter festivals right here in Central Florida! See a circus performance, embrace Italian culture and food, and join thousands at our local fishing village for their annual extravaganza!

Circus Sarasota Winter Performance

When: Through Sunday, March 5

  • Weeknights: 7 p.m.
  • Wednesdays & Saturdays: 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.
  • Sundays: 1 p.m. and 5 p.m.

Where: The Ulla Searing Big Top, Nathan Benderson Park, Sarasota

What: Join Circus Sarasota as they commemorate 20 years with their winter performance! This special show will feature circus legend Nik Wallenda as well as other international circus stars performing amazing acts that will surely dazzle you and the whole family! Make sure to purchase tickets ahead of time as they are known to sell out! More info here.

Admission: $15–$55

The 35th Annual Cortez Commercial Fishing Festival

When: Friday and Saturday, Feb. 18–19

  • 10 a.m.–6 p.m. daily.

Where: Cortez Fishing Village

Parking: G. T. Bray Park, Bradenton

What: Don’t miss the 35th Annual Cortez Commericial Fishing Festival honoring this year’s theme, “Fishing For Our Future.” What began as a small festival with 500 attendants is now a festival that attracts thousands of guests each February. This beloved local festival is perfect for the whole family! Enjoy nautical-themed arts and crafts, children’s activities, delectable seafood, beverages and so much more. Hear live music from Shanty Singers, Jason Haran, Karen and Jimmy Band, Eric Von and many other great artists. Be sure to snag a commemorative t-shirt as a souvenir! More info here.

Admission: Adults—$4. Children ages 12 and under—free.

29th Annual Venice Italian Festival and Carnival

When: Thursday Feb. 23–Sunday, Feb. 26

  • Thursday and Friday: 4 p.m.
  • Saturday and Sunday: Noon

Where: Venice Airport

What: The 29th Annual Venice Italian Festival and Carnival is a delicious and delightful four-day festival held in the Venice and Nokomis area. Nosh on authentic Italian cuisine paired with beer, wine and an assortment of other beverages. Then make sure you stick around for doo-wop, swing, classic rock and many more performances for a chance to let loose! The kids will enjoy carnival rides, games, face paintings, caricature artists and their own kid zone! More info here.

Admission: Free.

  • Parking: $5.
  • Prices vary for carnival rides.

Next: Why You Should Vacation to Palmetto, FL this Winter

Top 3 Fishing Charters Near Bradenton, FL

Top 3 Fishing Charters Near Bradenton, FL

Top 3 Fishing Charters Near Bradenton, FL Riviera Dunes Marina

Top 3 Fishing Charters Near Bradenton, FL

Whether you’re a rookie fisherman or a well-versed angler, our local fishing charters are enjoyable for all skill levels! Here are our top three fishing charters near Bradenton.

1. Tailing Tales Charters

 941-812-6640 | 5800 Riverview Blvd, Bradenton

Book a fishing trip with Captain Kris Winkel of Tailing Tales Charters and you won’t be disappointed! Tailing Tales Charters offers fishing trips inshore and nearshore at the best fishing spots in the area. Climb aboard the custom 1972 222 Aquasport to begin the journey to your fresh catch. No need to worry about ice or cleaning your catches. Capt. Kris takes care of that for you. Since their charters are focused on the inshore and nearshore fishing areas, it’s an ideal setting for anglers ranging all levels of experience. However, offshore trips are offered in the Tampa Bay, Sarasota and Bradenton areas.

Rates

  • Half-day (4 hours): Starting at $400
  • Three-fourths day (6 hours): Starting at $550
  • Full day (8 hours): Starting at $700

2. Bass N’ Bay Charters

941-722-2033 | Tampa, Palmetto, Sarasota 

Also known for their exciting sightseeing boat tours, Bass N’ Bay Charters offers excellent fishing trips as well! Fishing charters with Capt. Brady are very customizeable as you can choose to fish in saltwater or freshwater as well as choose between live bait or artificial bait. Novice anglers will enjoy learning casting and baiting skills, and the well-experienced anglers will get their fair share of a challenging catch. 

Rates

  • Inshore saltwater fishing: Starting at $400 for a half-day trip
  • Offshore fishing: Starting at $500 for a half-day trip
  • Freshwater fishing: Starting at $350 for a half-day

3. Five O’Clock Charlie Boat Tours

941-527-8008 | 2504 88th St Ct NW, Bradenton

Make lasting memories with a fishing trip aboard Captain John’s boat. Experience a unique fishing trip with Captain John as you can choose between a combination of fishing and/or snorkeling, shelling and other exciting excursions. Also, no need to worry about bringing supplies with you. Captain John will have you covered and can lend you a rod, fishing license, tackle and bait, and he will also clean any of your catches!

Rates

  • Day charter: Starting at $150 per person
  • Half-day inshore fishing charter: Starting at $375 for three people
  • Full day of fishing inshore or off shore (up to 9 miles): $600 for 3 people.

*Off-shore trips are dependent on the weather

Next: Your Guide to the 3 Best Boat and Water Tours in Palmetto, FL