Manatee’s Staff Favorites

Manatee County is a beautiful and unique place with many diverse areas to visit. Our staff picked their top favorites from historic Bradenton to the up and coming Lakewood Ranch in hopes to show you new experiences that we all love as locals. Enjoy!

Favorite Dinner Restaurant

enRich Bistro
Owned by a local family that focuses on using local ingredients. At enRich, you get the fine dining experience without the expensive prices.

Favorite Business Lunch

With a widely varied menu, everyone is able to find something they’ll enjoy. The main dining area is cleverly separated from the noise of the patio and bar, and is a great place to go if you want a bit of quiet in a luxurious setting.

Favorite Waterfront Dining

The Waterfront Restaurant & Craft Bar
The name says it all – views of Egmont Key, Tampa Bay and the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, mixed with craft cocktails like the lime-ginger-infused smoked margarita. Great date night idea, and enjoy the shops along Pine avenue afterward.

Favorite Coffee Shop

Easiest quick go-to in downtown Bradenton – you just walk right up. Tellers also uses local roasters Cosmos Coffee Company.

Favorite Happy Hour

A popular happy hour that includes great food. On a beautiful day, sitting on the patio by fires al fresco is the way to go.

Favorite Animal Hospital

Animal Hospital at Lakewood Ranch
Top-notch medical staff, and willing to get you in quickly for emergencies. They even have boarding available when you’re traveling or need the extra care.

Favorite Dog Park

Happy Tails Dog Park
Everything you could possibly need is provided at this park. The shade, pavilion, and benches are a nice bonus, and there are separate areas for large and smaller dogs.

Favorite Beach

Coquina Beach
Also known as the local’s beach. You can’t beat the quiet, and an array of interesting shells. Expect to see a new playground for the kids, coming soon.

Favorite Park & Recreation

G.T. Bray Park
You won’t run out of things to do at this park, and there is something for everyone. Plenty of playground spaces for children, a BMX track, skate park, pool, baseball fields and more.

Favorite Children’s Attraction

The Bishop Museum of Science and Nature
Not surprisingly, the manatee tank and the planetarium are the most popular attraction at the museum. Lots of local Florida exhibits for the children to interact with and learn.

Favorite Playground

Pride Park
Very clean and well-maintained structures for the kids to play on. There is also a little splash park and restrooms, too!

Favorite Golf Course

Waterlefe Golf & River Club
This is one of the nicest courses in Manatee County. It offers an outstanding layout with many interesting holes, and the staff is very friendly and accommodating.

Favorite Live Music Spot

The Habitat House Concerts
This place is very well run by the two gracious hosts and owners. It’s an intimate space and the perfect place to listen to and really appreciate live music.

Favorite Spa

Sirius Day Spa
An amazing concept with so many services in one location. Wonderful atmosphere with professional service, leaving you feeling luxurious. The real treat is the Serenity Lounge with massage chairs and guided meditation.

Favorite Fitness Studio or Class

Orangetheory Fitness
The most motivating, energetic and full body workout that you could ask for. Be ready to feel it the next day, too.

Favorite Women’s Boutique

Bows & Arrows
Stylish clothes and brands at all price points for any occasion, it’s hard not to love this boutique.

Favorite Men’s Clothing Store

Gentlemen’s Choice
Great place for men’s clothing. You get a personal service experience and quality clothes at affordable prices.

Favorite Hotel

Zota Beach resort
Zota Beach Resort features modern architectural touches along with stylish accommodations and distinctive dining experiences that reflect the relaxed ambiance of Florida’s West Coast.