Along the Manatee River in Bradenton, the city has built a beautiful park that could easily be overlooked by a traveler just passing by. The Bradenton Riverwalk was a project promoted by the non-profit Realize Bradenton. It was constructed to reflect what the community wanted. The park stretches one-and-a half miles from Rt. 41 to an area beyond Manatee Memorial Hospital, and has something for virtually everyone.
This October marked the one-year anniversary of the grand opening of the Bradenton Riverwalk, yet the park is as pristine and well-maintained as if it just opened. Sidewalks and paved areas are free of debris, and not a single scrap can be seen on the sandy and grassy spots. Most areas are wheelchair accessible. Even the lawns are easily crossed if the average wheelchair is pushed.
In the Family Fun Area parents may relax in the shade while the kids cool off in the near-by splash fountain and play on colorful, unique-looking playground equipment. Some of this equipment was purchased from Epcot. Even leashed family pooches are welcome here.
The Amphitheater, Tower Plaza, Outdoor Living Rooms, and Great Lawn are perfect for kite-flying, concerts, picnics, organized group activities, or just relaxing. Regatta Plaza provides a view of boat races and other water activities.
The Botanical Walk and Tidal Discovery Zone are set aside for enjoying local flora and educational activities about eco-systems and plant life..
Public artwork scattered throughout the park. Five artists created nineteen unique pieces for the Riverwalk. The collection includes interactive sculptures, murals, and glass work.
A day dock allows boaters to come ashore and enjoy the Riverwalk or wander into the downtown attractions and restaurants. The fishing pier provides one of the best local places to catch a wide variety of fresh-water fish.
For the more active park-goers there is a beach volleyball area with sparkling sand, and a skate park that was designed and built by award-winning Team Pain Skate Parks. It is boasted to be one of the best skate facilities around.