Though Bradenton was not settled until 1842, the Florida city played an important role in American history as far back as 1539. That year, explorer Hernando De Soto began searching at Shaw’s Point for the legendary city of El Dorado. Over the next several hundred years, Bradenton grew and was officially established in 1903 and named after a local doctor who provided a refuge for settlers when the Seminole Indians attacked. Today, Bradenton is the county seat of Manatee County and one of the largest cities in the Sarasota metropolitan area.
Bradenton’s population has remained fairly steady over the past few decades. As of a 2012 population estimate, approximately 50,672 people live in Bradenton. Roughly 23 percent of all Bradenton households are made up of families who have children under the age of 18 years old at home.
Whether you’re interested in cultural entertainment, exploring nature or local nightlife, there are plenty of things to do in Bradenton. On the first Friday of each month, the Village of the Arts holds exhibits by local artists and craftspeople. You can also visit Bradenton Beach on nearby Anna Maria Island for a day of fishing and relaxation or explore one of Bradenton’s numerous locally-owned restaurants and shops.
To celebrate its rich, storied past, Bradenton has several museums, historic sites, and monuments. The South Florida museum includes a museum, aquarium, and planetarium and is the single largest cultural and natural history museum along the Gulf Coast of Florida. Visitors can also learn about Hernando De Soto at the De Soto National Memorial or take in contemporary art by Curtis Weatherall at the Weatherall Fine Art Gallery.
Students in Bradenton have access to public schools in the Manatee County Public School System such as Daughtrey Elementary School, Nolan Middle School, and Manatee High School. The city is also home to a number of private elementary, middle and high schools such as Edison Academic Center, The Moore School, and Gulf Coast Marine Institute.
With a coastal location in southern Florida, Bradenton experiences warm weather and high precipitation, especially in the summer. High temperatures typically reach to about 91 degrees in July and stay warm at 71.4 degrees in January. Low temperatures rarely drop below 70 degrees in the summer and 50 degrees in the winter. Each year, Bradenton receives about 53.4 inches of precipitation. More than half of that rainfall usually occurs between June and September.
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