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With beautiful beaches on the Gulf of Mexico and a vibrant downtown district just south of Tampa Bay, Bradenton is one of the unheralded treasures of Florida’s Gulf Coast. Archaeological sites along this coast are thousands of years old and include some of the more complex temple mounds in Florida. Explorer Hernando De Soto arrived along these shores in 1539 in search of gold, but settlement didn’t occur until the 1840s, when Major Robert Gamble started a sugar plantation along the Manatee River. His mansion remains as the southernmost plantation home in the United States. By the early 1900s, the Bradenton area made a name for itself in the ...

With beautiful beaches on the Gulf of Mexico and a vibrant downtown district just south of Tampa Bay, Bradenton is one of the unheralded treasures of Florida’s Gulf Coast. Archaeological sites along this coast are thousands of years old and include some of the more complex temple mounds in Florida. Explorer Hernando De Soto arrived along these shores in 1539 in search of gold, but settlement didn’t occur until the 1840s, when Major Robert Gamble started a sugar plantation along the Manatee River. His mansion remains as the southernmost plantation home in the United States. By the early 1900s, the Bradenton area made a name for itself in the vegetable industry, and its growers and ranchers still provide a cornucopia of fresh food for Florida’s tables. Spring Training for the Pittsburgh Pirates opened up interest in this area for a lot of fans, but the beautiful beaches and village hamlets of Anna Maria Island, Holmes Beach, and Bradenton Beach remain a mecca for Floridians who know a good value – and an unsullied landscape – when they see one.

Sandra Friend
About the Expert

Sandra Friend has written 12 books about Florida, including the Explorer's Guide (Countryman Press) series to Florida.

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Located on Anna Maria Island on Florida's Gulf Coast, USA.
  • Research: Wikipedia
  • Weather: Rainfall | Daylight
  • Current Time:

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Year-round