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Take one of our guided walking tours.
Historic Postcard Public Art
Manatee County was once one of the largest cattle producing areas in the US. In the late 1800's and early 1900's local ranchers shipped live cattle to Cuban markets from docks on the Manatee River.
Farming was a way of life for early settlers in Manatee. The Manatee River was the only connection local growers had to markets across the country. Later the Railroad Bridge, still in use today, expanded the connections nationwide.
In the 1800's, Cuban fishermen made their homes along the river's shore. Fishing kept early residents alive, sustained people during the Great Depression and provides food and recreation today.
Before reaching the Manatee River, water filters over and through the land of a 360 square mile watershed. This system has supported the animal and plant life in Florida for millions of years and we still rely on it today.
Imagine a world where roads were rivers. Docks along the river were the commercial ports of their day and everything moved in and out on boats, from small fishing boats to steamships. Boats have been critical to the county's growth.
Tourism began when the first settlers told the country about the wonders of the Manatee River. In 1924, the City of Bradenton coined the phrase 'The Friendly City' which still characterizes Bradenton and Manatee County today!
Life on the river meant hard work in the Florida climate. Some African-Americans came to Manatee County as slaves. and following the emancipation, many of those who remained lived on homesteads along the river.
People have lived along the Manatee River for over 2,000 years. Spanish explorers met the descendants of the earliest inhabitants called Tocobaga, in the 1500's. The South Florida Museum features their pottery, tools, and artifacts.
The Historic Manatee County Courthouse has always been more than a municipal center; it continues as a community gathering place and site of key events in Manatee County history. Sponsor: Grimes Goebel Grimes Hawkins Gladfelter & Galvano.
From the original 1947 nomadic troupe of traveling community artists, The Manatee Players, Inc., and its venue, Manatee Performing Arts Center, are dedicated to inspiring artists, patrons, and performers through the arts.
Astronomy, aquarium, artifacts and more come together at the South Florida Museum in mind blowing proportions—where space encounters sea, past meets future, and everything in between. Sponsor: Blalock Walters.
Baseball has been a Bradenton tradition since 1923 at the site now called LECOM Park. Many major and minor league teams have called Bradenton home. Since 1969 the Pittsburgh Pirates have used LECOM Park for spring training.
If you want to get to know the character of Bradenton’s bustling downtown district, park yourself at a table outside The B’Towne Coffee Co., perfectly situated on Old Main Street.
Equal parts Manhattan-style martini bar and Irish pub then mix in fabulous, creative cuisine in downtown Bradenton. Join us for a cocktail or enjoy lunch or dinner outdoors or in the dining room.
Great food, outstanding service and a charming environment. The menu features breakfast all day long, homemade quiche, soups, sandwiches and salads.
Everything made fresh daily. Especialidades de la Casa – house specialities – include Carne Asada, Pollo Loco and Carnitas Dinner.
Light Bites, Just Right! Enjoy small plates created with locally sourced ingredients resulting in unique flavor combinations. Jennings features family-owned Lola wines and locally sourced brews.
This Americana-themed non-smoking café boasts a friendly atmosphere with delicious cocktails, a full bar, a menu featuring the classics.