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

Your Hurricane Matthew Checklist

Your Hurricane Matthew Checklist

your-hurricane-matthew-checklist-riviera-dunes-marina-blog

Your Hurricane Matthew Checklist

Hurricane Matthew is well on its way, and you don’t want to waste another moment before heading to the store or locating essential items in your home.

Many of the local grocery stores have restocked their shelves with extra food, water and other supplies that you’ll need once the storm hits Palmetto.

Here’s a helpful checklist to assist you when preparing for Hurricane Matthew.

Food Items

Bottled Water: It’s recommended that you have about 20 gallons for a family of four.

Food: You’ll of course want to get lots of nonperishable canned and dry food items. Consider around 20 cans of chicken, tuna, chili and soup. Peanut butter, bread, cookies, crackers and pet food are other important food items to pick up from the store.

Important Items to Locate

  • first aid kit
  • can opener
  • medications for your family members and pets
  • flashlights or battery-operated lanterns
  • toiletries
  • batteries (make sure you have a variety of sizes for your flashlights)
  • plastic cutlery and paper bowls and plates
  • trash bags
  • gallon-sized freezer bags to keep items dry
  • important documents (insurance, Social Security cards, driver’s licenses, etc.)

Other Important To-Dos

  • Fuel your cars.
  • Obtain extra fuel for generators.
  • Withdraw cash.
  • Refill medications.
  • Locate the evacuation route and local storm shelters, and go over the escape route with your family members.
  • Depending on its size, store your boat at a marina or in a boatyard.
  • Clear as many items as you can from your yard or patio.

While there are certainly other items you may need to add to this Hurricane Matthew preparation checklist, we hope this will get you off to a good start. Stay safe!

Next: Fall Events Near Bradenton

Top 5 Nature Areas Near Palmetto

Top 5 Nature Areas Near Palmetto

top-5-nature-areas-near-palmetto-riviera-dunes-marina-blog

Top 5 Nature Areas Near Palmetto

The cooler weather welcomes more opportunities to get outside and explore all of the wonderful nature areas near Palmetto. So, take your bike out or throw on your hiking shoes, and let’s venture through the top five nature areas near Palmetto.

1. Emerson Point Reserve

 5801 17th St W, Palmetto, FL 34221

If you’re yearning for panoramic views of Anna Maria Island and Sunshine Skyway Bridge, then Emerson Point Reserve is for you. Serene with family-friendly walking trails and off-road biking trails, this nature area also offers areas to launch your kayak, canoe or paddle board. Stay for the sunset or bring a picnic lunch to complete one unforgettable visit.

2. Felts Audubon Preserve

4600 24th Ave E, Palmetto, FL 34221

Avid bird watchers will be in heaven at the 27 acres of Felts Audobon Preserve. Both educational and a mesmerizing sight, the preserve’s bird viewing room is perfect for the whole family. Take a couple hours to truly enjoy all that’s offered at this relaxing preserve complete with a variety of habitats along the walking trails. Depending on the day, you may spot cardinals, buntings or doves.

3. Riverwalk

Waterfront Dr, Bradenton, FL 34205

For optimal water views, stroll Riverwalk along the Manatee River as you watch the boats traverse through. Whether you’re interested in an active afternoon of biking or a more tranquil visit of nature watching, there’s an endless day of fun waiting at this downtown park. The younger ones will enjoy the playground and skateboard area as well. 

4. Robinson Nature Preserve

1704 99th St NW, Bradenton, FL 34209

There’s much to do and see at Robinson Nature Preserve! Climb the lookout tower to get a stunning view of Anna Maria Island, paddle the waterways, or hike the preserve’s trails. Many of the trails are paved, so bikers and hikers can travel through with ease. Bring your favorite book of the moment, your furry friend and an appetite for utter relaxation.

5. Saw Palmetto Natural Area

4950 N.W. 71st Place, Coconut Creek, FL 33073

Did you know that 59 species of wildlife have been documented at Saw Palmetto Natural Area? In addition, there have also been 33 species of birds spotted in Saw Palmetto. During your visit, enjoy a serene walk along the paved nature trail through the woods, which leads to a neat observation area. Additional amenities include bike racks, benches and picnic tables, so don’t forget to pack your lunch for this visit!

Next: Top Things to Do in Bradenton, FL

New Florida Law Allows Transportation of Bahamas’ Fish

New Florida Law Allows Transportation of Bahamas’ Fish

New Law Allows Transporting of Bahamas Fish Riviera Dunes MarinaNew Florida Law Allows Transportation of Bahamas’ Fish

Will you be fishing in the Bahamas soon? A new Florida law now allows fisherman to bring their fresh catches back from the Bahamas via boat while in Florida waters.

The fishing exception went into effect on Sept. 13, 2016. Anglers can now retrieve dolphin, reef fish and wahoo caught in Bahama waters. The new regulation only applies to fish transported via water, not those by air. 

Here are some important things to keep in mind when retrieving fish from Bahama via water:

  • Do not remove skin from the filet. This way, law enforcement will be able to identify the fish.
  • Anglers must continue to adhere to Atlantic federal bag and vessel limits.
  • When considering bag limits, two filets are the equivalent of one fish. 
  • Anglers must have valid Bahamian cruising and sport-fishing permits.
  • Each passenger aboard the vessel must have a valid government passport with the latest Bahamian stamps and travel dates. 
  • Vessel travel must be continual when voyaging through state waters and equipment must be properly stowed. Terminal tackle (hooks, sinkers, leaders, etc.) must be disconnected and stored separately from the rod and reel. 
  • Anglers are not permitted to sell those landed under these exceptions. 

Of course, keep in mind that Bahama fishing regulations may differ from those in U.S. state and federal waters. View the regulations for retrieving fish from Bahama here. Bahama’s sports fishing regulations can be found here

Next: 5 Seafood Gems to Harvest From Your Palmetto Boat

Fall Events Near Bradenton

Fall Events Near Bradenton

http://www.realizebradenton.com/riverwalk

Summer may be coming to a close, but that doesn’t mean the fun stops in Bradenton! It’s no secret that we’re lucky to have beautiful beaches and exquisite dining year-round. But did you know you’re right in the middle of some of the most exciting and unique fall events in the country? 

The fall season welcomes a wealth of events that you do not want to miss—and it’s all happening here in Bradenton.

Nov. 11–20: ArtsHOP

Now in its 10th year, join in for two weekends filled with art, music by the Island Players, local culture and more! Make sure to experience one of the three artwalks where you can peruse unique pieces of art made right here in Florida. Here are the locations of the three artwalks:

  • Friday, Nov. 11—Holmes Beach
  • Sunday, Nov. 13—Bradenton Beach
  • Friday, Nov. 18—Anna Maria

Learn more here

Nov. 12: Symphony on the Sand

Dig your toes into the Coquina Beach sand, and feast your ears on the lovely arrangements of the Anna Maria Island Concert Chorus & Orchestra. The award-winning, 45-piece orchestra will be the perfect accompaniment to all the delicious cuisine you’ll enjoy from top local restaurants. Local restaurants include Anna Maria Oyster Bar, Beach House Restaurant and Coquina Café.

Learn more here.

Nov. 19: Sandblast

Marvel at white sand masterpieces crafted by teams of all ages at this annual sand-sculpting competition. If you’d like to fine-tune your own sand-sculpting skills, join the famed master sculptors, Team Sandtastic, for free clinics held Nov. 17 and 18.

Learn more here

Dec. 2–4: Bradenton Blues Festival

Named the “2015 Festival of the Year” by Blues411.com, the annual blues festival kicks off this December at the Riverwalk Pavilion in downtown Bradenton. Hear from blues artists from around the county as you enjoy a view of the historic Manatee River. To accompany the tunes, sample local craft beer and offerings from specialty food vendors, then don’t miss the finale—the Blues Brunch on Sunday. Musicians include Ronnie Baker Brooks, The Golden State/Long Star Revue, Victor Wainwright & The Wildroots, Larry McCray and many more fine blues musicians.

Learn more here

Next: Top Things to Do in Bradenton, FL

5 Seafood Gems to Harvest From Your Palmetto Boat

5 Seafood Gems to Harvest From Your Palmetto Boat

riviera dunes marina blog seafood to harvest from your boat5 Seafood Gems to Harvest From Your Palmetto Boat

Both a thrill to catch and a delicacy at our tables, fresh seafood is one of life’s greatest pleasures. There are several seafood gems you can harvest very easily. All you need is your Palmetto boat and access to a coast, and you have that right here in beautiful Palmetto!

Here are 5 seafood gems to harvest from your boat:

  1. Lobsters

While lobsters love to hide, you can spot them if you know what to look for—just keep your eyes peeled for their long antennae!

Keep in mind that each lobster must have a minimum 3-inch-long carapace, which verifies they’ve reproduced for at least one season. Make sure to check the lobster’s underbelly for a bright orange sac; this means the lobster is pregnant and off limits.

Once you catch a legal lobster, preserve it on ice or in a livewell. Fresh water will drown them.

Harvest Time: A mini season on the final consecutive Wednesday and Thursday of each July or from Aug. 6–March 31

Limit: Six lobsters per diver

  1. Scallops

Grab your snorkeling gear and a mesh bag, and you’re ready to harvest scallops! These are best harvested in water that’s 4–8 feet deep, where natural springs meet open bays.

Scalloping is perfect for the novice hunter. Once you spot its fan-shaped shell and blue eyes, dive down, cup it with your hand and transfer it to your mesh bag. Place them on ice between snorkeling sessions. Then, you can remove the succulent white meat or wait to return to a dock to be cleaned.

Harvest Time: June 25–Sept. 24

Limit: 2 gallons of scallops in the shell or 10 gallons per vessel, per day

  1. Stone Crabs

Choose to catch crabs by either dropping a crab cage from your boat deck or jump in the water to hunt them. Of course, jumping down in the water with them calls for more brave crabbers ready for some combat with the clawed creatures.

First, drop your stone crab traps in the water with a buoy attached, so you can know where to return when you check them every couple of days. When you go to check them, wear heavy gloves. Stone crabs must not be bearing eggs, and their claws must be 2¾ inches long. Remove the claw by twisting the “wrist,” then toss it back for it to regenerate. While both claws can be removed, it’s recommended by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to remove only one so that the other claw can quickly regenerate.

Once the claws are removed, store them in a livewell or empty cooler. Ice is not recommended since this will cause the meat to stick to the shell later

Harvest Time: Oct. 15­–May 15

Limit: Five pre-baited traps per person; 1 gallon of harvested claws per person, per day or 2 gallons per vessel

  1. Shrimp

A simple recreational activity for any age, shrimping is easily accomplished with a submersible light (or headlamp), dip net and a bucket to store the captured shrimp.

Loads of shrimp are best caught at night, but they’re also found during full moons, outgoing tides and near bridges.

When you spot the glowing shrimp eyes with your light, just scoop ‘em up with your net!

Harvest Time: Shrimps can be harvested mostly year-round, with the exception of Nassau, Duval, St. Johns, Putnam, Flagler and Clay counties closed during April and May.

Limit: No size limit; 5 gallons of heads-on shrimp, per harvester per day ( the limit is also 5 gallons per vessel, per day regardless of the amount of crewmembers aboard your boat)

  1. Oysters

Harvest these gems at low tide. Since they’re mainly stationary creatures, harvesting them hardly requires any skill. It’s the shucking process that really requires precision! Wade in the water or sit aboard your boat; all you need is a tool to chip the oysters off of its surface and a heavy pair of gloves to grab ahold of their sharp shells. Transfer them to a bucket, shuck ‘em with a short-bladed knife, and dinner is served!

Of course, do make sure they are 3 inches in length—the legal harvesting size.

Harvest Time: Depending on your county, June–September is off-season

Limit: Two 60-pound buckets per person or per vessel

 

Next: 6 Tips for Lobster Hunting Season

Florida Hotel Named on Forbes’ 7 Dreamy Seaside Inns

Florida Hotel Named on Forbes’ 7 Dreamy Seaside Inns

Florida Hotel Named on Forbes’ 7 Dreamy Seaside Inns

florida seaside inn

Looking to end your summer with a bang? Just a daytrip away from Palmetto is a Florida hotel named on Forbes’ list of 7 Dreamy Seaside Inns. Royal Blues Hotel, located in Deerfield Beach, opened just two years ago, and the artsy, seaside retreat is already making a name for itself. Small-scale, yet luxurious, the Mediterranean-inspired hotel features 12 rooms with private terraces and ocean views. Peruse their art collection throughout the hotel and an aquarium located in the ceiling of their own restaurant. Of course, there’s something to be said about the glistening sandy beaches stretching for miles making for one glorious retreat to end your summer.

The other six seaside inns featured on Forbes’ list are Post Ranch Inn and Shutters on the Beach in California, Hotel Esencia in Mexico, Nimmo Bay Wilderness Resort in British Columbia, Castle Hill Inn in Rhode Island and Tides Beach Club in Maine.

When you’re ready to continue the luxurious finale to your summer, head to Riviera Dunes Marina in Palmetto. As the premier luxury marina on Florida’s Gulf Coast, we’re equipped with 219 wet slips ranging from 35–110 feet. Join us at the marina where you’ll explore and enjoy the beautiful west coast of Florida—so much so, that you may want to extend your trip here. Call 941-981-5330 to connect with one of our talented marina staff members today to see how Riviera Dunes Marina can help make your last few weeks of summer one for the books!

Of course if you are looking to stay in the Palmetto area though, then just lounging around our luxury marina may not be a terrible idea. With access to the Manatee River we are the premier marina in the Central, FL area. Be sure to stop by Riviera Dunes Marina the next time you are in town and enjoy a little rest and relaxation the way it was meant to be spent.

Read the Top Things to Do in Bradenton, FL.

Is Your Palmetto Boat At Risk Under a New Florida Law?

Is Your Palmetto Boat At Risk Under a New Florida Law?

Palmetto Boat

A new Florida law took effect in July in order to assist county and local officials as well as the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission with maintaining Florida waterways. If Palmetto boat owners’ vessels meet certain unsatisfactory conditions, authorities are now able to issue non-criminal citations to those who allow their boats to become “at risk” of becoming in a state of disrepair.

Your vessel is deemed “at risk” if it’s observed in these conditions:

  • Your vessel is taking on or has taken on water without a means to drain
  • Your vessel has spaces that are designed to be enclosed, but instead they are not being sealed off and remaining exposed for an extended period of time
  • Your vessel has broken loose or appears to be on the verge of breaking loose from its anchor
  • Your vessel has been left unattended or stored aground and is being prevented from getting underway, is tilted from water intrusion or is sunk or partially sunk

Should an officer see your vessel meeting at least one of the above criteria, you’ll be issued a non-criminal citation, which states you must correct the issue within 30 days. Failure to correct the problem will result in escalated penalties. For instance, vessel owners will be issued additional fines every 30 days until the problem has been corrected.

The new Florida law also reminds vessel owners to adhere to the proper laws when selling their vessels.

Both the seller and the buyer must take certain measures during the sale of a vessel and before new ownership of the vessel is finalized. Sellers must notify the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles within 30 days of the transaction, and buyers must make sure the vessel is titled in their name. Both parties must carry out these procedures, or failure to do so may result in a legal issue for the former owner if the vessel becomes derelict while in possession of the new owner.

Make sure to double check and triple check your vessel before you embark on the beautiful waters of the Manatee River in your Palmetto boat!

Read our Top 5 Palmetto Boating Safety Tips.

Attention Lobster Lovers: 6 Tips for Hunting Season

Attention Lobster Lovers: 6 Tips for Hunting Season

Grab your nets and tickle sticks Palmetto boaters! August 6 kicked off lobster season, which runs through March 31. Whether you’re new to the sport or an avid lobster hunter, here are some tips for navigating lobster season:

1. Know the regulations. Six lobsters can be captured per person, per day during the season. However, depending on the location, there may be designated harvesting times. Make sure to view the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission regulations for spiny lobsters before beginning your hunt.

2. Get equipped. From the novice to the seasoned hunters, all you need is a mask, snorkel, tickle stick, gloves, a net and a cooler.

3. Scout out the location. Lobsters can be found among ledges, patch reefs, holes, coral heads and even shallow water just 3 feet deep. Just look for their antennae, and you’ll find them in no time.

4. Master your method. Once you spot lobsters’ antennae, be careful not to touch them; they’ll scurry away once their antennae detect danger. Slowly approach the lobster, grab your tickle stick to guide it out of its hiding place, walk it into your net, and quickly close it before it dashes.

5. Measure the lobster to make sure it meets FWC regulations. Place the gauge between the horns and the other end of the carapace. A lobster’s carapace has to be longer than 3 inches in order to take it home. If smaller, the lobster must be released. After measuring, place the qualifying lobsters on ice in the cooler.

6. Clean and enjoy! After separating the lobsters’ carapaces from its tails, rinse them off and fire up the grill!

Nothing is better than a relaxing day out on the water, but now that lobster season is here how many of you will be out even more frequently? Be sure to stop by Riviera Dunes Marina and enjoy one of the most luxurious marinas in all of Central Florida. Did you know that Florida is No. 1 for fishing and boating spots? Read more here.

Top Things to Do in Bradenton, FL

Top Things to Do in Bradenton, FL

Florida’s Bradenton area is popular amongst older travelers, but the city has much to offer young adults, especially golfers. Next time you’re planning a golf getaway with your friends, consider a trip to the Gulf Coast. Here are some of our top things to do in Bradenton when you are visit Riviera Dunes Marina.

Where to stay

Instead of splitting a hotel, rent a beach house. The cost is affordable when you divide it among multiple friends, and there are usually several amenities. Anna Maria Island has gorgeous white-sand beaches and clear, blue water. Holmes Beach and Bradenton Beach are great options, too.

AirBnB has a large presence in the area, so that’s a fantastic place to start your search. Rental services, like Island Real Estate, can also help you find lodging.

Where to play

Bradenton has many golf courses to choose from, but IMG Academy Golf Club is a unique option. IMG is a world-renowned boarding school and athletic training facility; Serena Williams and Cam Newton were trained there. The 18-hole championship course measures 6,855 yards, and the course has some incredible views.

For a different kind of golfing experience, visit Pinebrook Ironwood Golf Course. It’s short, which makes it great for walking, but it has several water challenges hidden within.

What else to do

Bradenton has plenty of other outdoor activities to offer. McKechnie Field, located in Downtown Bradenton, is the spring training home of the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Bradenton Marauders play there in the summer, and though the stadium can get humid, it’s a neat place to watch baseball.

There are a few charters that will take you offshore fishing from Anna Maria, which is a fun way to spend an afternoon. You just might catch your own dinner!

Where to drink

A visit to the local breweries is a great ending to your day. Darwins Brewing Company is a great little place to check out. Nearby, Motorworks Brewing also has some awesome drafts.

 

The next time you need an escape from reality, be sure to stop by Riviera Dunes Marina. As the premier luxury marina of Central Florida, you can find yourself immersed in a day of relaxation. When you are in need of a few top things to do in Bradenton, FL, be sure to include Riviera Dunes Marina on the list.