Holiday Shopping and Events on Historic Bridge Street
Historic Bridge Street in Bradenton Beach is one of Anna Maria Island’s favorite areas for shopping, dining, and poking around town. It’s a place where people gather to eat, shop, and play, and for seasonal and community events, like Christmas on Anna Maria Island.
Once upon a time, the Bridge Street pier was more than just a source of entertainment; it was once part of the original – and only – bridge onto Anna Maria Island, prior to the tourist boom of the last several decades..
Bridge Street is a walkable community that offers you incredible water views from both the pier and other areas along the shore, as well as ample opportunity to shop and dine. End a day of shopping with a scrumptious meal or a surprising cocktail.
Hop On the Free Trolley to Bridge Street
Staying at one of the Anna Maria cottages on the north end of the island? No problem. The free trolley runs the seven-mile-long length of the island from 6 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Get picked up at the Anna Maria City Pier, and in about 20 minutes you’ll be at the south end of the island, energized by the hustle and bustle of this popular shopping area. You may arrive by way of the free trolley as a guest, but you will leave as a friend of Bridge Street.
Shops & Boutiques
The shops along Brdge Street offer both variety and creativity. Shops range from local fine art galleries, to handmade jewelry, to surf apparel, to stores full of beachy souvenirs. As cliché as it may seem, shopping is really one of the most popular things to do during the holiday season on Anna Maria Island.
The best part about shopping on the Bridge Street is the array of truly unique, original and local handmade and artisan items, among other convenient choices. Check out the Bridge Street Bazaar (117 Bridge St.), which sells everything related to the beach, including brand name surf merch, all at a fair price.
Bridge Street Interiors (114 Bridge St.) is another fun find, as it has a curated collection of island-inspire home décor items. Back Alley Treasures (108 Bridge St.) is another must-visit while on Anna Maria Island – it might just be the best shop on the island for really unique souvenirs.
The Lot (110 Bridge St.) is another gallery-and-shop-in-one that specializes in art photography, gifts, and beachwear – everything you might need in order to buy Christmas gifts for family and friends.
Annual November Christmas Events on Historic Bridge Street
As the fall season cools off even more and Thanksgiving ends, locals and returning visitors to Bradenton Beach have one thing on their minds: Christmas on Anna Maria Island. And the historic district is full of things to do during the holiday season on Anna Maria Island.
Bridge Street offers a few Christmas activities starting toward the end of November to kick off the holiday season.
Every year on the Saturday during the last week of November, the Christmas Tree Lighting & Movie night takes place. Take a family photo in front of the island’s tallest live Christmas tree after the lighting – but don’t leave just yet. There is always a showing of a classic Christmas film.
Bring your own chairs, blankets, and pillows. Gates will be open in the early evening, and popcorn and refreshments will be available on site. The annual tree lighting typical begins before 7 p.m., with the movie to follow.
Book one of our Anna Maria cottages and bring the whole family to eat at one the neighborhood’s amazing restaurants beforehand. If you have time to spare, feel free to do some holiday shopping before the festivities really kick off.
Annual December Christmas Events on Historic Bridge Street
In December on the weekend before Christmas, Bridge Street will light up with Christmas lights, boughs of holly, and maybe even a sprig of mistletoe for the Annual Christmas on Bridge Street, a local fair that offers the perfect chance to buy any last-minute Christmas gifts.
Entertainment includes professional Dickens’ Carolers singing and storytelling in full costume, along with local musicians, and a set from the acclaimed Rowlett Children’s Choir. Make sure you check out the Kids’ Craft & Cookie Bazaar where young entrepreneurs sell their own handcrafted items and baked goods. Have your picture taken with Santa and his sleigh after creating your own perfect hot chocolate drink.
No matter when you plan on visiting Anna Maria Island during the holiday season, there’s always something to do on Bridge Street, from incredible local dining and seafood, to fascinating local boutiques to explore, and beautiful views of the Sarasota Bay. Book one of our Anna Maria cottages online and enjoy the pleasantries of the season and Bridge Street attractions in the utmost comfort!