Pull up a chair and let us tell you our story during your visit. Our area has a rich history. You can see it in a number of our museums, in our historic places like the fishing village and at our state (and national) parks. And you should. Because it’s something we’re pretty proud of. The Bradenton area was first settled by the Timucuan Indians, who, according to legend, named the Manatee River for the gentle sea cows that slowly swim through its inlets. In the early 1600s, the Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto and his crew discovered this seemingly uninhabited area while seeking gold. Instead of gold, they found fertile riverbanks, lush landscapes and breathtaking beauty. We’re glad they did.
With much of the country’s history deeply rooted in the South and in Florida, specifically, there are many opportunities in the Bradenton Area for visitors to immerse themselves in the past. But few compare to the South Florida Museum – the largest natural and cultural history museum on Florida’s Gulf Coast, perfect for those seeking the opportunity to take a step out of the sun and back in time!
Come explore all the great Arts & Culture Bradenton has to offer!
Local galleries, theaters and museums makes for a relaxing getaway for any art lover. Here are three days to get you immersed in the local art scene.
Even paradise has a history
Just north of the Manatee River lies Bradenton’s sister city: Palmetto, Florida.
In Palmetto Historical Park, the Heritage Chapel honors the town’s first three churches and pays homage to Old Florida.
Cortez Historic Fishing Village takes you back to a bygone--but not gone--era.
Get a Guide
Check out our visitors guide for a complete list of great places to eat, shop, play and stay. Inside you'll find information about the area and all the must-see attractions the area has to offer.
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Whether you’re planning your trip to the Bradenton Area or you’re already here, download the official Bradenton Area app to find all of the best places to eat, sights to see and things to do.