in the Manatee River or Terra Ceia Bay do not offer beaches or really anyplace to dinghy
to. Egmont Key can be ok in nice weather
but I hate spending the night there, too exposed; if nasty weather
moves in there's no place to go.
I would head
north to Clearwater Bay; several nice spoil islands and protected water
. I'd chose an anchorage between the CG Station and the Sailing Center then dinghy
to the only spoil island with a tree on it.
Going farther north to 3 Rooker Bar there's good protection from anything westerly and the plus is a very nice beach to dinghy into lots of shells plus Anclote Key is just a few miles north, also nice beaches. If the weather turns snotty you can duck inside the Anclote River and even explore the Sponge Docks in Tarpon Springs.
The good news is that going north you can stay inside on the ICW
or sail up the outside. Good all weather inlets about every 5 or 10 miles get you to the inside or outside. Pass-a-Grille, John's Pass, Clearwater Pass and the water
between Anclote and 3 Rooker Bar are all passable in the worst weather. On the inside you have to contend with draw bridges and power boat
wakes but it can be interesting.
In strong easterly winds you can hug the beach on the outside and sail in fairly flat water from Pass-a-Grille north to Clearwater.
Just pay attention to the charts
on the outside and the channel markers on the inside.