“The Friendly City”
Located directly north of Sarasota, FL and 45 miles south of Tampa, Bradenton is a warm and welcoming city with so much to offer. Bradenton, as the largest principal city in the region and home to more than 50,000 full time residents, has garnered a respected reputation for both its family-friendly nature and noteworthy recreational opportunities. Comprised of picturesque Spanish architecture, a prime location along the scenic Intracoastal waterway, and attractive residential districts, Bradenton is one of the Gulf Coast’s most fun and livable cities.
Photo by Joey Phoenix
Hernando de Soto first made landfall in the region now known as Bradenton in the early 16th century. The de Soto expedition was the first to establish trade routes with local indigenous tribes, making it possible for eventual peaceful settlement of the area. His efforts laid the foundation for the future of the region, but it would take a few centuries for peace to take a more permanent hold.
At the end of the Second Seminole War in 1842, it seemed that many of the challengers early pioneers had faced were soon to be over. Josiah Gates, a renowned pioneer, successfully built the first permanent settlement along the Manatee River, which would eventually become Manatee Village. Dr. Joseph Braden would follow up Gates’ endeavor with the construction of a fortified encampment soon after, and by the early 20th century, as populations began to rise, it seemed Bradenton was here to stay. The city of Bradenton became official in 1944 when the Manatee Government linked the two regions established by Gates and Braden.
Photo by Joey Phoenix
Bradenton Attractions and Activities
A trip to Bradenton just wouldn’t be complete without a stroll through this 1.5 mile picturesque park. Overlooking the winding Manatee River, the Bradenton Riverwalk is home to a bustling marina, botanical gardens, children’s playground, event venue, and various dining options.
Fishing and Boating
With sun-kissed summers and mild winters, the Florida Gulf Coast is prime real estate for fisherman, boaters, and recreation-seekers. The region’s lengthy coastline, coupled with countless inlets, bays, and tidal creeks make a day on the water an appealing idea. Regardless of experience, visitors and residents can enjoy time on the open water fishing – game fish like spotted sea trout, snook, and tarpon are in abundance – snorkeling, diving, parasailing, and much more.
One of Florida’s most sought-after national exports are its oranges, and Mixon Farms is the premiere citrus destination in that part of the world. Visitors to the farms can stroll through the fragrant orange groves, sample handmade fudge from the store, nibble on freshly picked kumquats, tour the factory on site, and much more.