by Chelle Koster Walton
Bridgewalk is ultra-convenient to the beach — just across the street, — and to the Bridge Street commercial district of shops, restaurants, a mini-golf course, and the Bradenton Beach Fishing Pier. It lies toward the south end of Anna Maria Island in the town of Bradenton Beach, just across the bridge from the fishing village of Cortez and close to Longboat Key to the south.
With Key West casualness, Bridgewalk makes vacationing easy for families with such amenities as beach chairs and towels provided in the guestrooms, complimentary beach umbrella use, roomy screened private balconies, kitchen facilities, Jacuzzi tubs, and adjoining rooms.
A swimming pool, two restaurants, shopping, and a spa on-property complete the picture. The resort asks guests to sign a “Family-Friendly Conduct Code” that ensures quiet at night and other wholesome behavior for a pleasant getaway with kids.
Our Editor Loves
- Short walk to the beach
- Complimentary breakfast
- Cookies at check-in
- Water Sports
- Connecting Rooms
- Family Room 5+
- Free Breakfast
- Free Wi-Fi
- Onsite Dining
Find the Best Price for Your Stay
Convenient for families, all Bridgewalk accommodations are equipped with full or mini-kitchens (microwave, mini-fridge, coffeemaker, toaster, blender, dishware, and utensils) with granite countertops. They occupy three buildings. Note that only the main building, the Royal Palm, has elevator access to its two floors of accommodations. The two-storied Queen Palm and Sabal Palm buildings have only staircase access.
The three buildings hold four classes of accommodations described below, all with spacious dimensions. All units contain televisions, beach chairs and towels, screened balconies, Jacuzzi tubs, telephones, hair dryers, and ironing equipment. Daily maid service is provided throughout.
Although the resort does not stock cribs for guest use, it does have Pack 'N Play sets available at no charge.
It contains a mini-kitchen and a king bed, plus another king bed that folds up into the wall for extra daytime roominess.
What distinguishes this from the studio suite is a more spacious living and dining area, plus a full kitchen. Some Studio Apartos adjoin to Studio Suites.
In the Sabal Palm Building, two apartments have two screened balconies with views of the Gulf of Mexico and the property's pool. They, too, have a full kitchen and living and dining area.
This 1,800-square-feet two-story, two-bedroom unit accommodates up to six guests with king beds in each bedroom and a queen-sized sleeper sofa. Each bedroom has a private bath, plus there's a half-bath on the first floor living area. The master boasts a Jacuzzi in its bathroom and its own screened balcony, in addition to a second balcony. The Royal Palm Building holds four townhomes, some with adjoining studios.
by Cindy A
This is a great place to stay. The beach is across the street and you can walk to shops and restaurants. If you can't get in here, try Silver Surf, one mile down the road. It's their sister hotel. They have their own beach with umbrellas and chairs. Either place will treat you great !!
Great location, walking distance to lots of restaurants, bars, and shops. Staff is very helpful with local info and tips. Our unit was next to the Post Office, so we were awoken before 6 AM, but then that gave us a view of the sunrise.
After a day at the beach, nothing feels better than a jump into a freshwater pool to feel cooled and cleansed of salt and sand. Shower off poolside and take the plunge. The 10,000-gallon pool at Bridgewalk is fenced in the parking lot -- not terribly scenic, but it gets the job done. The heated pool is open to guests only from 8 a.m. to dusk and ranges in depth from 3 to 5 feet. Parking lot attendants keep outside guests from the lot and pool.
Island Time Bar & Grill
Although it has a sports bar atmosphere with 10 flat-screen TVs and live bands, it feels family friendly with its sidewalk seating facing sunset and its special kids' menu. Games and coloring keep them occupied while waiting for any of 10 dishes that range from the usual grilled cheese and hamburger to coconut shrimp and pasta marinara. Dishes range from $5 to $11, available to kids under age 12. Prices include a choice of beverage and French fries with the non-pasta dishes.
On the regular menu, older kids and parents can choose from a good variety of apps, entrÃ©e salads, sandwiches, and dinners that include Southern fried chicken, vegetable risotto, steak, blackened grouper, and fried lobster. Of course, there's key lime pie for dessert, but also sundaes and berry cobbler a la mode. The same menu serves for lunch and dinner.
Bridge Street Bistro
Perched on the second floor for a better view of the beach and sunset, this on-property venue is also elevated in its atmosphere and cuisine - more of a special-occasion spot. It serves the same kids menu as downstairs, but the dinner-only menu lists more seafood and steak with elegant preparations and higher price points. A sampling of entrees: apple-crusted grouper, seafood in tomato cream sauce over pasta, and veal piccata.
The resort provides free continental breakfast in a meeting space in the Royal Palm Building from 8 to 9:30 a.m. It includes pastries, cereals, fruits, coffee, and juices.
The closest pizza delivery joint, Oma Pizza and Italian Restaurant, stays open until midnight.
With extensive kitchen facilities, you will want to stock up on food supplies. You will find a Circle K convenience store just steps from the resort and a Publix supermarket about five minutes away by car.
Planning & Tips
All About the Extras
Wi-Fi is free at the hotel.
Guests receive chocolate chip cookies upon check-in.
The Bridgewalk complex includes retail space. More shops line Bridge Street.
An early check-in time of 2 p.m. is a boon for families spending the day on the beach; check-out time is 11 a.m.
The Art of Smart Timing
Anna Maria Island experiences its busiest times from the winter holidays to Easter. That's when rates climb their highest, and visitors come to escape the cold up north. It can be chilly in January and February, but that's all relative, of course.
During the summer, rates drop, but weekends stay typically busy with the Florida drive market. Lowest rates and best weather occur once kids go back to school, meaning also a drop in occupancy.
The Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport (SRQ) is the closest airport to Bridgewalk, but has limited airline service. Tampa International Airport (TPA) is better served and lies about one hour and 15 minutes away. A rental car is your best bet to get from either airport, but taxi service is available.
The free Anna Maria Island Trolley travels from Bradenton Beach in the south to the community of Anna Maria in the north and Holmes Beach in between. It also crosses to northern Longboat Key. It runs from 6 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. daily on a 20-minute cycle (approximately -- remember this is "island time.") The trolley makes a stop on Bridge Street near Bridgewalk. If you are driving around the island, remember to heed the speed limit signs, as traffic is closely monitored.
For Mom and Dad
You need not go far to find a fun bar and restaurant for enjoying some adult time. Try Bridge Street Bistro right on property or Beachwalk a short stroll away. Or schedule a couples massage lesson at Bridgewalk's spa Sea-renity. Sea-renity Beach Spa & Eco Boutique is part of the resort complex. Its menu includes massage (available in-house or on the beach), reflexology, facials, waxing, and tinting.