Bradenton, Florida

Bradenton, Florida is a city that is located in the Culture Coast of Florida. It has a population of 53,471. The Bradenton-Sarasota-Venice Metropolitan area has a population of 682,833. Bradenton has a total land area of 14.44 square miles. Eighty-four percent of the city is made up of land, and 16 percent is made up of water. Bradenton is located just 10 miles southeast of Bradenton Beach.

There are 21,379 households and 12,720 families in Bradenton. The median age of resident in Bradenton is 42 years old, and 21.6 percent of the population is under 18. The average household size is 2.25, and the median family size is 2.85. There are 100 females for every 85.9 males.

A view of the Manatee River, Bradenton, FloridaThe Bradenton area was first explored in 1539 by Hernando De Soto. Before Bradenton became a city, it was known as the town of Bradentown. The town was officially incorporated into Florida in 1903. In 1943, Bradentown was renamed Bradenton.

The weather is one of the many things that visitors and residents love about this city. Bradenton has a humid subtropical climate. The average temperature in the summer is 92 degrees Fahrenheit, and the average temperature in the winter is around 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Bradenton gets about 55 inches of rain each year, which is much more than the national average. Snowfall is a rare occurrence in this city.

One of the most well-known attractions in Bradenton is the Village of Arts. The Village of Arts is the largest art colony in Florida. The village contains over 200 homes. Each home has its own art gallery or studio.

Bradenton is also home to the South Florida Museum. This museum has exhibits that display the cultural and natural history of Florida’s gulf coast. The South Florida Museum also includes the Parker Manatee Aquarium, which is home to Snooty the Manatee. Snooty is the one of the oldest manatees in the world.

Tropicana Products is located in Bradenton. This produce company was founded by Anthony T. Rossi. Tropicana Products is one of the largest produce companies in the world. The company has over 8000 employees.


Florida’s Cultural Coast

The Florida Coastal Region along the western coast of Florida stretching from Sarasota south to Bradenton, is often referred to as the Florida Cultural Coast. The rich arts and cultural resources of the area prompted the title although these are not the only attractions for visitors to the area. A wide variety of attractions, festivals and events offer something to fit the taste of every traveler.

One of the most impressive collections of classic American and European masters is displayed in the galleries of the Ringling Estate. More than 20 galleries include thousands of works as well as the Ringling School of Art and Design. Both the school and museum are associated with Florida State University.

Sunset Along Florida's Culture Coast, Sarasota FloridaThe performances arts flourish in a number of venues on the Florida Cultural Coast. For those who like their dramas old school the Asolo Theatre fits the bill. The theater was moved piece-by-piece from Italy. Originally constructed in the 1700s, the theater features a stage surrounded by the audience for a true up close and personal experience. The facility also offers seminars and classes in acting. It is located on the grounds of the Ringling Estate. While the Ringling Estate offers the greatest concentration of arts and culture opportunities, a number of other galleries, studios and schools can be found in the various neighborhoods of Sarasota.

The Sarasota area likes to show off its cultural assets with big events. The Sarasota Music Festival is three weeks in June of great performances including music of many genres. Other festivals include the film festival in the spring and the blues festival each fall. Dates and attractions vary each year so check the Internet for details. In most cases, visitors can combine a visit to the festival with tours of some of the other attractions in the area.


Catching some rays on a great beach may not be a cultural activity but it sure feels great. Sarasota offers several beaches with great sand and sun. Siesta key is one of the great walking beaches while Lido Key includes trails through the surrounding woods and picnic areas. Ana Marie Island overlooks the Gulf of Mexico offering great ocean views particularly at sunset.



Florida’s Sun Coast

Florida’s Sun Coast lies on the Gulf of Mexico where there are countless things to see and do. Do you like to visit historical places? Are you looking for entertainment or a good beach? You can find all of this and more on the Sun Coast.

For a fun time visit Busch Gardens in Tampa Bay. The biggest inverted roller coaster in the world calls that amusement park home. The Florida and Clearwater Marine Aquariums will give you fascinating insights into the eco-systems in the area. The Lowry Park Zoo features eight different habitats with animals from around the world. With advance notice, they will accommodate folks with special needs.
Clearwater Beach, Sun Coast Florida
People who live on the Sun Coast claim that the sun shines 361 days a year there. If you do hit one of those rainy days, the Tampa Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) has something for everyone. Numerous exhibits allow for hands on exploration. In nearby St. Petersburg you can visit the Florida International Museum that hosts treasures from around the world. If you have time, you might like to visit the Salvador Dali Museum and browse the large collection of Dali’s paintings.

The Sarasota beaches are exceptional but once you’ve had your daily dose of vitamin D there are many other things to keep you entertained. The Sarasota Classic Car Museum is home to over 100 vintage and classic automobiles. If you are a gamer, Livingston’s Amusement Center has a variety of ways for you to indulge yourself. The video and arcade games are kept updated, and they have pool tables and go-karts. Circus enthusiasts may enjoy an afternoon at the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus located near Sarasota. Do you need some quiet time alone? Consider a visit to the St. Boniface Labyrinth where you can walk and meditate.


If you are heading further north along the coast, plan to spend some quality time at Tarpon Springs. This village was settled by Greek sponge divers. Visit the free sponge diving museum, and take a ride one of the boats. Stroll around this charming town and then head for a restaurant where you can sample Greek food and sweets. Twenty-five miles further north you can see the famed mermaids at Weeki Wachee, and play at the Buccaneer Bay Water Park.

Florida’s Sun Coast has something for everyone. Come and see. Accommodations of all kinds are available.



Siesta Key, Florida

If white sand beaches and crystal clear water are in your vacation plans, look no further than Siesta Key, Florida. This small island off the coast of Sarasota on Florida's west coast is a prime location for vacationers who want some fun in the sun while they soak up the sights and get up close and personal with abundant natural wildlife.

The biggest reason many tourists flock to Siesta Key is the lovely white sand beaches. At Siesta Key the beaches are comprised almost entirely of pure quartz stone, which is appealing to those looking to lie in the sun or walk on the beach because it does not absorb heat like regular sand. Old wives' tales also report that the quartz sand on the beaches hold healing powers and actually help those who spend time there. Public beaches abound on Siesta Key, and many of the hotels that are available on the island also have private beach access.

Lido Beach is Siesta Key, FloridaIn addition to the beaches, visitors may take tours to gaze at the area's plentiful wildlife. The eight mile-long island is home to brightly colored parrots, pelicans, cranes, storms, terns and other birds that live along the shore. Many of these birds enjoy being fed and quickly flock to visitors for a bite to eat. Those who enjoy flora more than fauna will love to view the beautiful flowers, plants and trees that call Siesta Key home.

Once you get your fill of the scenery, there is still plenty to do in Siesta Key. Each May the island hosts a major sand sculpture contest that draws artists and visitors from all around the world. Anyone looking for more activity will likely enjoy taking part in the many watersports available on the island, such as skiing, body surfing, boating, fishing and parasailing. Another popular activity that lets tourists see the sights under the sea is snorkeling, and there are also several companies that will take those with experience out on diving expeditions as well.

When you are done with your fun in the sun, enjoy a meal in one of the many top restaurants stationed around the island or visit one of the hottest night spots for a drink and some time to relax and enjoy musical entertainment or dancing. There is something for everyone at Siesta Key, no matter where your interests lie.