Anna Maria Island // Longboat Key // Blue Wave Certificate Beaches // Horse Surfing // 2.9 million visitors...
Bradenton is located on the west coast of Florida in between Tampa to the north and St. Petersburg and Sarasota and is surrounded by both fresh and salt waterways and includes the barrier islands of Anna Maria Island and Longboat Key.
The city dates back as far as 1539 but was only established in 1842 and incorporated in 1903. The city’s name is derived from Dr. Joseph Braden whose fort was used as refuge against Indian attacks by early settlers. The current city was formed as recently as 1943.
In 2013, the area attracted some 2.9 million visitors, many of them coming in search of winter sun and some of the most beautiful sandy beaches. Six of the beaches have been awarded the prestigious “Blue Water Certification” from the Clean Beaches Coalition and Anna Maria Island is often ranked as one of the top ten islands in the United States as well as being a very popular family destination.
Bradenton is often quoted as being the World Capital of Horse Surfing and home to the only horseback riding stable in Florida that offers horseback riding on the sand and swimming with horses.
Climate As in most parts of Florida, the summers are hot and the winters mild. Average highs from June to September are around 90°F (32°C) whilst December, January and February you can expect the temperature to be around the low 70s F (low 20s C). This is what makes Florida such a popular winter destination for so many Americans and international tourists.
Transportation Sarasota-Bradenton Airport in Sarasota is the closest airport, whilst Tampa is around an hour’s drive and Orlando closer to two hours. Whilst Manatee County Area Transit (MCAT) buses operate in Bradenton, Palmetto, Ellenton, Anna Maria, Bradenton Beach, Longboat Key and other surrounding areas, renting a car is the best way to get around if you are visiting. There is also a free trolley service that runs from north to south on Anna Maria Island as well as other areas on the mainland.
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