Bradenton Gulf Islands in Florida, is home to some of the best beach destinations including Anna Maria Island, Longboat Key, Bradenton Beach and Lakewood Ranch. This is a mid-size county with 150 miles of coastline, 741 square miles of land and 311,000 residents. Our islands are home to 16,000 people. Florida’s Gulf Islands welcomes more than two million visitors to this community every year.
Unpretentious and relaxed, 7.5-mile-long Anna Maria Island is a nostalgic look back to a time when people and things moved slower. As a matter of fact, the maximum speed limit is just 35 mph. Anna Maria Island is the perfect place for eating grouper sandwiches at funky little beach bars, kayaking with dolphins near Leffis Key or fishing from an old wooden pier. Cross the bridge onto Longboat Key, and you’re transported into a secluded barrier island with an upscale shopping center anchoring its south end.
With its hip personality, downtown Bradenton combines antique shops, restaurants and a waterfront district, plus the Village of the Arts, a unique collection of bungalows transformed into art galleries. Home to its own international airport, Bradenton combines culturally advanced attractions like the South Florida Museum with down-home friends, including Snooty™, the world’s oldest manatee and the area’s official mascot. Located to the west of I-75, exits 217 and 220.
To the southeast of Bradenton, the 7,000-acre master-planned community of Lakewood Ranch offers world-class recreational facilities, from the Sarasota Polo Club to the Sarasota International Cricket Club, and its very own Main Street entertainment district. A cultural community, Lakewood Ranch stretches north of University Parkway (I-75 exits 213-220 east). Farmer's markets, festivals and concerts are held here regularly.
Located on the north shore of the Manatee River, this quaint city is home to Palmetto Historical Park, the Manatee County Agricultural Museum and the Madira Bickel Mound State Archeological Site, an ancient Native American site.
Just a short drive east from Palmetto (I-75 exit 224), Ellenton is home to Ellenton Premium Outlets, with more than 130 factory direct stores, and historic Gamble Plantation, the only antebellum plantation house surviving in peninsular Florida.
Sitting between Anna Maria Island and Sarasota, Longboat Key offers you sugar-white beaches that are the most beautiful in the world. Its beaches and resorts are your respite from a day of shopping and dining at St. Armands Circle. Manicured lawns, dazzling sunsets and crystal waters are the visions of understated elegance. Named one of North America’s top islands by Condé Nast Traveler’s readers, Longboat Key lures visitors who want to dine on globally inspired cuisine, shop in small boutiques and gaze at the impossibly blue-green Gulf waters.
Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce
Longboat Key Chamber of Commerce
Manatee Chamber of Commerce
Manatee Economic Development Council