Bradenton & Sarasota

Bradenton

Bradenton, FL 34282

Tel: 941-729-9177 (Bradenton Area Convention and Visitors Bureau)

Fax: 941-729-1820

Located just south of Tampa Bay on the southern shores of the Manatee River, the greater Bradenton area includes the municipalities of Palmetto and Ellenton as well as the islands of Anna Maria and the northern half of Longboat Key. Both islands are accessed by the Manatee avenue Bridge via SR 64 or SR 684 over the Cortez Bridge; then again at Longboat Pass to Longboat Key. The Anna Maria Island Beaches and Longboat Key Beaches are a favorite destination of many visitors to the area.

Bradenton has four distinctive seasons. By mid-October, the humidity of summer has passed and the cold fronts of the north drop temperatures into the 70's at night with highs in the 80's. Toward the end of December, the days are mostly warm and sunny with temperatures remaining in the 70's. Sweaters and light jackets may be required in the evenings. By spring, dry cloudless days begin a steady rise of temperatures into the 80's, punctuated by wonderful sea breezes and magnificent sunsets. The trade winds typically influence the climate by mid-May into the summer months with daytime temperatures in the 80's & 90's. Steady breezes and tropical afternoon showers lend to refreshing comfortable evenings.

To sample historical, cultural and ecological points of interest, visit the South Florida Museum, Bishop Planetarium and the Parker Manatee Aquarium. All are housed in the same facility where Snooty, the Manatee, resides. Don't forget the oldest ante-bellum plantation house in Southwest Florida, The Gamble Plantation, the Manatee Historical Village and the Gulf Coast Railroad Museum. Then, just south of Longboat Key on City Island is The Pelican Man's Bird Sanctuary. Visitors are invited to stroll along a boardwalk on two waterfront acres filled with lush vegetation. Pens and pools feature a variety of injured and soon to be released native and migratory birds. Admission: $4.00 donation (Children are Free). Directly across the parking lot is the Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium. Guided tours of indoor and outdoor aquariums filled with native marine life can be viewed and also handled.

For sports enthusiasts, Bradenton is home to the world's largest tennis and training facility, the Nick Bollettieri's Sports Academy. This is where Monica Seles, Andre Agassi, Mary Pierce and others have trained. David Leddbetter's Golf Training Center has combined with Bollettieri as part of an "All Sport Facility" that includes soccer, ice skating, baseball, and fitness conditioning, for athletes of all levels...including YOU! If training is not part of your vacation plan, there are numerous Golf Courses and tennis facilities nearby.

The Pittsburgh Pirates train in Bradenton prior to every season. So, if it should fit into your vacation schedule, catch a game or possibly a pop fly to take home for a souvenir.

Anglers will be challenged by the abundance of freshwater lakes teaming with bass, backwater fishing along rivers and estuaries as well as Deep Sea Fishing for tarpon, shark or dolphin. Boat Rentals are available as well as local guides.

Shopping is a must, featuring flea markets, antique shops, art galleries, malls and a huge factory outlet center nearby.

Bradenton offers a vast array of arts and cultural attractions. The Asolo Theatre is home to one of the area's leading regional theatrical companies. Performances are scheduled from November through June on a turn-of-the-century stage. Professionals from around the United States gather to present a unique repertory ranging from classics to new works. They provide audio described performances for the visually impaired, wireless headsets for those with hearing loss, and wheelchair access and positioning on the ground level.

Sharing the stage with the Asolo is the acclaimed Sarasota Ballet of Florida, offering a repertoire of classical and modern dance performed throughout the year. If you recall the sophisticated apparel worn by Joan Collins featured on the weekly series "Dynasty", then you will be dazzled by the striking costumes worn by these dancers.

Legendary fine dining and family restaurants with exceptional food can be found most anywhere, so be sure to refer to Restaurant Listings while planning your stay.

Annual Average Temperature 74.8 degrees Fahrenheit

Annual Average Rainfall 55.67 inches

The following link provides more information about the area:

Sarasota

Sarasota, FL 34278

Tel: 800-522-9799 (Sarasota Convention & Visitors Bureau)

Fax: 941-957-1877

Water sports enthusiasts leave the sea to inspect the John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art, the Ringling Residence, and the Circus Galleries. Exquisite 18th-century Asolo Theater was moved here from Italy; the new Asolo Center for the Performing Arts presents opera, plays, and concerts. Nearby is Sarasota Jungle Gardens, a subtropical paradise with free-roaming flamingos, swans, peacocks, and macaws, wild jungle trails, and formal gardens. Also see Bellm's Cars and Music of Yesterday; Selby Gardens, specializing in rare orchids; and Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium, featuring sharks and other marine life.

What Others Have Said

"Sarasota - same place next year"

We stayed here for a magical 4 weeks last September/October which proved to be a great time to go as the weather wasn't too hot and humid. Great beaches, shops and restaurants.

We swam off Siesta Key which has the whitest, finest sand anywhere in the world. Eat at Red Lobster for good food and not too expensive. They have a happy hour from 6~7, for 2 drinks for the price of one. Also the Olive Garden for great pizza and pasta.

Visit all the Keys,stare at the mansions on Casey Key, where even the little shacks sell for over a million dollars. Great fun. St. Armands Circle for clothes shopping and more great restaurants. Sarasota square mall for all the chain stores, go at sale time for unbelievable bargains and shop till you drop. We did!!! We're going back next year for more of the same!

Star rating: 5 stars

"Siesta Keys - a hidden treasure"

This little key off of Sarasota has to be one of Florida's best kept secrets - everything for the family, beautiful beaches, excellent Restaurants and shopping.

Star rating: 5 stars

"Sarasota - swim with dolphins"

If you are visiting Florida on a fly/drive do not forget to visit Sarasota.The best beaches, restaurants,shopping,and the most friendly people in Florida.Go to CASEY KEY to swim with dolphins and manatees. I promise you will not be disappointed.

Star rating: 5 stars