Sunny and warm Bradenton is located in Manatee County, Florida. It is part of the Bradenton-Sarasota-Venice metro area, and is located just over the Sunshine Skyway Bridge and Tampa Bay south of St. Petersburg. As of 2016, Bradenton had a population of approximately 54,000. This population gives the region a charming small-town feel. Yet, at the same time, Bradenton’s central location means that residents have convenient access to some of the very best destinations in Florida.
Bradenton is home to a festive downtown area that includes a unique artist community called Village of the Arts. There is also the scenic River Walk, which is a 1.5-mile park that includes performance areas, docks, and a skateboard park. Old Main Street certainly doesn’t feel “old,” as it is lined with an abundance of modern retail options, cafes, restaurants, and more.
The natural beauty of the area is no doubt a key reason that so many people love Bradenton and choose to make the city their home. Featuring an amazing 150 miles of shoreline, Bradenton is a short drive to the splendid, world famous beaches of the Gulf Shores. The truth is that Bradenton has wonderful views at every turn.
While real estate in Bradenton was hit by the 2008 housing market, there has been a substantial recovery since 2012. Housing prices and inventory have stabilized. Currently, Bradenton is experiencing a boom in new construction, particularly in Lakewood Ranch, which is now the 3rd best-selling Master Planned Community in the U.S. Homes are selling quickly, and as more and more people learn about this “hidden gem” of a community, new home starts and sales are at record levels.
Part of what makes real estate in Bradenton so exciting is the number of homes that are not only beautiful and spacious, but also have spectacular water views. Bradenton Beach, Anna Maria Island, Longboat Key, and Holmes Beach all feature many great homes right on the water. Lakewood Ranch has over 200 lakes, many of which have homes on them with beautiful lake-front views. Homebuyers who love waterfront properties and relaxing scenic views will find that Bradenton, with its 150 miles of shoreline and lakes have much to offer.
Bradenton is known for being a great place for families, as the area sports a seemingly endless supply of activities. The South Florida Museum, Bishop Planetarium Theater, and Parker Manatee Aquarium provide excellent educational opportunities, and there is an abundance of nearby nature including De Soto National Memorial Park and Manatee Village Historical Park. The Farmer’s Market is held every Saturday and features music, local art, and of course, lots of delicious produce from local farmers.
Bradenton was originally explored in 1539 by the Spanish during an expedition led by Hernando De Soto. The city derives its name from Dr. Joseph Braden. This doctor’s fort-like home served as a refuge for early settlers during Seminole Indian attacks. At the Manatee Village Historical Park, visitors can see many historic pioneer buildings, including a one-room school, farmhouses, an old-fashioned general store with plenty of charm and character, and a courthouse. There is even a steam engine that will certainly excite history buffs.
Once an area that fell into disrepair, the Village of the Arts is now an exciting and vibrant hub. The Village of the Arts has the distinction of being the largest arts district on the Gulf Coast. Visitors will find home studio galleries, along with businesses, restaurants, and more. It is undoubtedly a very special place that will enthrall those who love and appreciate all kinds of art.
The Manatee Players provide some excellent live theater options, having won competitions at the Florida Theatre Conference as well as the Southeastern Theatre Conference. The Sarasota Players have changed their name to The Players Center for the Performing Arts, and are building a new $25M center in the spectacular Waterside at Lakewood Ranch. annual Bradenton Blues Festival continues to be a wildly popular event, as does the ArtSlam, a public arts festival that celebrates Bradenton’s creative youth. There is always something new and interesting happening in Bradenton as exemplified by the city’s robust and active arts scene.
Beautiful natural locations literally surround Bradenton. The stunning Terra Ceia Preserve State Park is a massive 2,000-acre state park that has a mangrove forest, saltwater and freshwater wetlands, and lots of exceptional kayaking opportunities. Only about 25 miles from Bradenton is the 614-acre Wingate Creek State Park. The area has a rich history, as Native Americans were living in the area for thousands of years. Wingate Creek State Park is a great spot to enjoy everything from hiking and biking to exploring, bird watching and simply appreciating nature. Those who love to hike will also find that South Fork State Park, with more than 1,000 acres to explore is a great place not only for hiking, but also for capturing some great wildlife photographs.
Florida’s great weather is a key reason that Major League Baseball has located much of its spring training to the state. The Major League Baseball team, the Pittsburgh Pirates, play their spring training home games in Bradenton’s downtown LECOM Park. LECOM Park is used by the Class A minor league Bradenton Marauders, who play in the Florida State League. Baseball fans can enjoy nearly year-round baseball right in Bradenton.
Bradenton offers easy access to major travel hubs, such as Tampa International Airport and the nearby Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport. The weather is amazing, with January high temperatures averaging 71 degrees, February high temperatures averaging 74 degrees, and March high temperatures averaging 77 degrees. This makes for pleasant winters filled with lots of warm sunshine.
There is truly something for everyone in Bradenton. Sports fans will love the fact that Bradenton is a home for baseball. Both spring training and Class A baseball are played throughout most of the year. Bradenton is also rich in nature with several wonderful large parks in the area. Hiking and kayaking opportunities abound, and Bradenton’s parks and wildlife areas are a photographer’s dream. It is no accident that so many artists call beautiful Bradenton home.
Bradenton stands as one of the best spots in the country for vacations and for living, too. Waterfront homes are plentiful in the area, and residents enjoy excellent views year-round.
Don’t hesitate to contact us at any time for help finding your perfect place in the sun in Bradenton. We look forward to hearing from you.