"Bradenton Florida" Top 5 Page for this destination Bradenton by Kurtdhis
Bradenton Travel Guide: 63 reviews and 216 photos
Bradenton is one of central west Florida's oldest cities. It was named for Joseph Braden, an early settler who grew sugar cane and operated a sugar mill. The county's largest city and the county seat, Bradenton is also its center of commerce, government, health and social services, and much of the area's cultural life. Increasingly cosmopolitan in character, the city retains its small-town charm. A number of new residential sections complement older established neighborhoods in both urban and suburban settings.
In Manatee County, art, music and theater have strong community support. An active force in developing that support is the Manatee County Cultural Alliance, which promotes the area's cultural resources and publishes an up-to-date calendar of events. The County Art League is a comprehensive center for the visual arts. With three galleries, several classrooms and annual programs offering a variety of exhibition and educational opportunities, the League encourages both enjoyment and participation in the arts. Opportunities to exhibit are shared by amateur and professional artists.
The best way to discover Manatee County is a trip to Bradenton's South Florida Museum. A comprehensive facility telling Florida's history from prehistoric times to the present. Outstanding features include: life-size dioramas; 19-ft high mastodon skeleton, medical wing, maritime exhibits; changing exhibits gallery; Spanish Plaza; and Snooty, the oldest living manatee born in captivity, playfully entertains visitors from his 60,000-gallon pool.
Bradenton and nearby Palmetto's easily accessible water makes boating and fishing popular pastimes. The county's boating public is served by 30 marinas and eight boat ramps. In bays, bayous, and along the shores of the Gulf, fishermen find trout, redfish, pompano and flounder. Offshore they go for kingfish, mackerel, grouper and tarpon. Among the public fishing piers are the Anna Maria City Pier at Pine Avenue; the Bradenton Beach Fishing Pier at Bridge Street; Manatee Beach Fishing Pier on Gulf Drive in Holmes Beach; and the Rod 'n' Reel Pier on Bay Boulevard in Anna Maria.
The tiny fishing village of Cortez was recently designated a Historic District on the National Register of Historic Places. It has one of the best collections of Florida vernacular architecture anywhere, a hodge-podge of old cottages and working fish houses that give the area special character. The original residents were members of five Carolina families who moved to the area over 100 years ago and whose descendents continue the local fishing traditions. A walking tour map is available from the local historical society and includes a magnificent Key West style house used in the recent film "Great Expectations."
The Bradenton area represents natural Florida because it has not suffered many of the negative effects of Florida's booming growth. The best example of the area's unspoiled nature is the broad sweeps of white sand beaches unmarred by high rise condominiums or hotels. The beaches feature the Gulf of Mexico's emerald waters bordered by tall, shady Australian Pines. Serene natural beauty and breathtaking Gulf views give Bradenton and the Gulf Islands a kick back and relax style all their own - the perfect setting for a rejuvenating, carefree vacation.
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