Located in Manatee County on the gorgeous Gulf Coast of Florida between Sarasota and Tampa, Bradenton is surrounded by waterways and renowned for its exquisite beaches. In addition to breathtaking surroundings, the city offers a wide variety of attractions for visitors. From wildlife and outdoor recreational activities to shopping and the arts, Bradenton has something for everyone. Some of the activities visitors can enjoy include water sports, fishing, golf, theater, antiques, and of course, manatees! The Old Historic District is a central area that is buzzing with weekly action and includes live music shows, outdoor movies, markets and festivals.
Here are just a handful of the many sights you will want to see while in Bradenton:
- Legacy Golf Club: The course, designed by golf legend Arnold Palmer, has received a four-star rating from Golf Digest Magazine.
- South Florida Museum, Bishop Planetarium & Parker Manatee Aquarium: These three amazing attractions are all housed under one roof. The South Florida Museum is the largest cultural and natural history museum of its kind on the Gulf Coast. The Bishop Planetarium showcases an advanced all-digital projection system and offers programs for all ages. And, the Parker Manatee Aquarium is the residence of the oldest-known living manatee.
- The Village of the Arts: This community of artists lives and works together, hosting Art Walks every first Friday and Saturday of every month for the public to enjoy all kinds of artwork.
- Mixon Fruit Farms: Known as Florida's Sweetest Attraction, this farm area features fresh fruits, a wildlife refuge, caf‚, festivals and more.
- Manatee Players at the Riverfront Theatre: This national award-winning community theater group presents a number of excellent performances each year covering different theatrical genres.
- De Soto National Memorial: A beautiful park and an important history lesson about Florida's origins can both be found at this national treasure.
After a long day of sightseeing, you can find comfort in paradise with a condo downtown or a home by the beach. During every season of the year, the vacation rentals here come complete with sunshine! If you want to plan your visit to coincide with some of the exciting annual events that take place, come during Springfest Festival of Fine Arts & Fine Crafts in March or the DeSoto Heritage Seafood Festival in April. If you have some extra time to explore the surrounding area, you may also want to take a few day trips to neighboring Saint Petersburg or Palmetto.
As featured in USA TODAY and recommended by Travel + Leisure in its annual Villa Guide:
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