- Located In: Manatee County
- Population: 54,090 (Source: City of Bradenton)
- Community Type: Business/residential
- Size: 14.44 square miles
- Government: Mayor and city council form of government
- Zip Codes: 34201-34212, 34280-34282
History of Bradenton:
Timucan Indians are thought to have resided in the area 1,000 years ago. Known as fierce warriors, they defended their farming and fishing society, capably preventing Ponce De Leon’s attempts to colonize Florida’s west coast in 1521.
Hernando De Soto landed at Shaw’s Point in 1539, embarking on a 4,000-mile search for El Dorado.
Josiah Gates became Manatee County's first permanent white settler in 1842. The city of Bradenton was named after sugar planter Joseph Braden, who settled here in the 1850s. Bradenton was incorporated in 1903.
Things To Do In Bradenton:
The De Soto National Memorial recounts the story of Spanish Conquistador Hernando De Soto who, in 1539, landed in what is now Bradenton and set out in search of a fabled lost city of gold. Costumed guides demonstrate period weapons and describe De Soto’s explorations. There is a visitor center and nature trail.
The South Florida Museum offers visitors a chance to learn about the region’s history. Here, in the Parker Aquarium, Snooty, the oldest living manatee in the world born in captivity, may be found. The museum also is home to Bishop Planetarium with its state-of-the-art projector.
Dining In Bradenton:
What Makes Bradenton Special:
The city of Bradenton celebrates its history, embraces its flourishing artistic community and promotes itself as a destination for golfers and baseball fans.
Each spring, Bradenton commemorates Hernando DeSoto’s landing at Shaw’s Point with a month-long celebration known as The Florida Heritage Festival.
Residents and visitors can step back in time at the Manatee Village Historical Park, 1404 Manatee Ave. E. The village features a restored train engine, affectionately named Old Cabbage head, which dates back to 1913. Other highlights include a general store from 1903, a blacksmith shop, turpentine still, smokehouse and Manatee County’s first courthouse.
Those looking to enjoy the outdoors will find a number of city parks as well as Lake Manatee State Park, 20007 Highway 64 E. Extending along three miles of the south shore of Lake Manatee, this park offers opportunities for fishing, canoeing and kayaking, hiking, camping and observing wildlife.
Major League Baseball’s Pittsburgh Pirates relocate to Bradenton each year for spring training. Spring training games are played at McKechnie Field. The team and the city have maintained their relationship since 1969.
There are more than a dozen private and public golf courses in Bradenton, including the city-maintained River Run Golf Links, 1801 27th St. E.
Tropicana Products Inc., the renowned juice maker; Champs Sports; and Beall’s Department Stores are some of the business headquartered in Bradenton.