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(2022 - Fall/Winter Issue)


Along Florida’s southwest coast on the south side of the Sunshine Skyway, sits Bradenton Gulf Islands. For those eager to experience an authentic and preserved corner of paradise, the Bradenton area with its islands of Anna Maria and Longboat Key all do the trick. There, visitors can experience quaint villages, beachfront cottages and charming boutiques. Spanning from coastline to mainland, the countryside offers wineries, farms and citrus groves that can be visited and explored.  Although white sand beaches and silky turquoise water beckon, appreciating and savouring the region’s unforgettable culinary and agricultural experiences are a must!

Dine Like a Floridian

Here, accolades abound, including 10 Best Little Beach Towns in Florida, and Top 30 Islands in the World. But beyond the expected, the Bradenton area is a foodie haven, proudly home to locally-owned and -operated restaurants that keep the authentic Floridian vibe and culinary traditions going strong. Pier 22, Mar Vista and Anna Maria Oyster Bar on the Pier are three of many restaurants that offer “Dock and Dine,” and “Hook and Cook” experiences. The former allows visitors to dock their boats steps from the restaurant of their choice, and dine on some of the freshest, seasonal seafood available, while the latter cooks your catch and prepares it to your liking.

Florida’s Agritourism Flavours

Farm-to-table is a big deal here, with dozens of regional farms proudly active in the sustainable food movement. Many offer both agriculture and aquaculture tours and experiences that raise awareness, and celebrate the land and sea. Mixon Farms focuses on citrus and veggies, while raw milk producer Dakin Farms uses food production methods that don’t harm the environment, and are humane to animals. Meanwhile, several farmers’ markets, including the Downtown Bradenton Public Market on Old Main Street, which runs each Saturday from October to May, feature everything from fresh produce to cooking demonstrations by local chefs.

Classic Flavours With a Touch of Floribbean

Floribbean cuisine is a unique fusion of fresh ingredients from the Caribbean Islands and Florida, unique to the Bradenton area, and available in several restaurants, including The Sandbar and Rod & Reel Pier on Anna Maria Island. Listed as a National Historic Site, Cortez Village is a charming enclave of old fish houses that harbour local fisher folklore dating back to the 1890s. A working waterfront, catches of the day from restaurants including Star Fish Company and Tide Tables go from boat to table, prepared in the simplest of ways, with unbeatable freshness, and undeniable quality.

Travel Planner

Air Canada offers seasonal non-stop flights from Toronto to the Sarasota Bradenton International Airport. Visit flysrq.com

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