The main beaches, all with free parking are:

Manatee Public Beach, 4000 State Road 64 and Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach, which has on-site food and beverages at the Cafe on the Beach, picnic tables and beach gear for rent.

Coquina Beach, located at the southern end of Gulf Drive in Bradenton Beach. On Sundays, a craft market spreads out under the trees. There are picnic tables, grills, a walking trail and concessions.

Bayfront Park, 310 N. Bay Boulevard. It has lots of parking but it does fill up on weekends. There’s a playground and some shade, but this is a beach on the bay side of the island, not the Gulf. It is a good place to park to walk around Bean Point, the beach at the northern tip of the island with sand so powdery it will squeak when you walk on it. From here you get a nice view of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, over Tampa Bay and Egmont Key.