Introduction to Bradenton, Florida
Bradenton, Florida, in Manatee county, is 11 miles N of Sarasota, Florida (center to center) and 31 miles S of Tampa, Florida. It's located on the beautiful Gulf Coast. The city includes Palmetto, along with the barrier islands of Longboat Key and Anna Maria Island. The region is surrounded by waterways and offers year-round sunshine. The area is well known for its excellent beaches.
Tropicana, a major orange juice producer has juice production facilities located in Bradenton. The city is home to the headquarters of the prominent sports clothing chain, Champs Sports and the corporate offices of Beall's Department Stores. Tourism and agriculture are important parts of the economy.
Hernando De Soto arrived in 1539. He explored the area for gold and other riches. The city was named in tribute to Dr. Joseph Braden who provided refuge in his fort-style home to residents during Indian uprisings. The current version of the city was established in 1943 by merging the municipalities of Manatee and Bradentown.
- South Florida Museum features exhibits of the cultural and natural history of the region.
- Parker Manatee Aquarium.
- Bishop Planetarium.
- Art Center Manatee.
- Village of the Arts includes houses, studios and galleries for the local artists.
- Cortez Fishing Village.
- Fort De Soto National Park consists of five islands.
- Gamble Mansion.
- Pittsburgh Pirates participate in spring training at McKechnie Field.
- The Palma Sola Botanical Park features a variety of rare trees, three lakes and a butterfly garden.
- Great Florida Birding Trail.
- Plantation Historic State Park includes an antebellum mansion.
- Florida Heritage Festival.
- Historic Old Main Street.
- Rossi Waterfront Park offers scenic views of the Manatee River.
- The eastern portion of Bradenton is known for antique shops.
- Manatee Village Historical Park.
Residents and tourists enjoy the excellent beaches. The region offers numerous quality golf courses including the River Run Golf Links. Myakka River State Park features an abundance of wildlife and rare birds. It includes hiking trails and offers boat tours. At the nearby Ana Maria Island, visitors have opportunities to see egrets, manatees, dolphins and other types of wildlife.
Sola Bay is popular for fishing. Sightseeing charters in Sola Bay and along the coast gives visitors the chance to see the region's wildlife. Opportunities for swimming, jet skiing and windsurfing are available at Anna Maria Island and the Longboat Key Beaches. Bradenton Beach, situated on Anna Maria Island is a popular tourist destination.
Bradenton Higher Education
The residents have opportunities for higher education at the nearby Manatee Technical Institute, New College of Florida and Manatee Community College.
The closest major airport is the Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport. The Manatee County Area Transit provides bus services. A bridge known as the Sunshine Skyway provides a connection to St. Petersburg and Clearwater.