Explore Bradenton’s Old Florida history and visit its museums, parks and preserves. Don’t miss vibrant downtown Bradenton, the RiverWalk and the Village of the Arts – a working artist’s community. Take a break and visit the Robinson Preserve, DeSoto National Memorial Park, the Cortez fishing village or the Manatee Village Historical Park – a collection of restored, historic buildings from Manatee County’s pioneer past. The historical park includes a courthouse, one-room schoolhouse, farmhouse, general store, boat shop, steam engine and a Florida cowboy bunkhouse. It’s culture and it’s fun and it’s all in Bradenton. Plus, Bradenton is a short drive from such Gulf shores as Anna Maria Island, Holmes Beach and Bradenton Beach.” (from the VisitFlorida.com website). Wondering what to do?? Click on: Realize Bradenton
Bradenton: (courtesy of Wikipedia) The area that would become Bradenton (originally spelled “Bradentown”) was first explored in 1539 by the Spanish during the famous expedition led by Hernando De Soto. Bradenton was established in 1842. The original town of Bradentown was incorporated on May 19, 1903. The city took the name of Dr. Joseph Braden, whose nearby fort-like house was a refuge for early settlers during Seminole Indian attacks. The current city of Bradenton was formed in 1943… The U.S. Census Bureau estimated the city’s 2012 population to be 50,672.
Bradenton is located on US 41 between Tampa and Sarasota. The area is surrounded by waterways, both fresh and saltwater. Along the Gulf of Mexico and into Tampa Bay are over 20 miles (32 km) of Florida beaches – many which are shaded by Australian pines. Bordered on the north by the Manatee River, Bradenton is located on the mainland and is separated from the outer barrier islands of Anna Maria Island and Longboat Key by the Intracoastal Waterway. The eastern side of Bradenton is growing at a rapid rate. Initially starting as the popular subdivision Lakewood Ranch, has become a heavily populated part of town. There’s lots to do in the central Florida area, for example: Florida Lifestyles – State27
Bradenton is home to the Village of the Arts, a renovated neighborhood immediately south of downtown where special zoning laws allow residents to live and work in their homes. Many of these once dilapidated houses have been converted into studios, galleries, small restaurants and other small businesses. The Village of the Arts promotes its ‘First Fridays’ activities celebrating the seasons and different holidays. The Village of the Arts remains the largest arts district on the Gulf Coast. Village of the Arts
Bradenton is the spring training home of Major League Baseball’s Pittsburgh Pirates who play their home games at downtown’s McKechnie Field. During the regular baseball season, the stadium is home to the minor league Bradenton Marauders who play in the Florida State League in Class A-Advanced. Bradenton is also home to the world famous IMG Soccer and Tennis Academy – IMG Sports Academy .
Located on the Manatee River in downtown Bradenton is the South Florida Museum, the Bishop Planetarium and Parker Manatee Aquarium. This one-stop museum-planetarium-aquarium offers a glimpse of Florida history, a star and multimedia show, and ongoing lecture and film series. The Parker Manatee Aquarium is the permanent home to Manatee County’s most famous resident and official mascot, Snooty, the manatee. Born at the Miami Aquarium and Tackle Company on July 21, 1948, Snooty was one of the first recorded captive manatee births. He is the oldest manatee in captivity, and likely the oldest manatee in the world. South Florida Museum & Planetarium