Bradenton Relocation Guide

Moving to Bradenton provides the opportunity to embrace a coastal lifestyle in a vibrant and cultural tight-knit community, with top schools, urban amenities and a range of housing options to suit all budgets.

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Introduction to BRADENTON, Florida

Looking for southern charm, excellent infrastructure, pristine beaches, and year-round summer vacation kinda weather? Bradenton, Florida may be the relocation destination of your dreams. Whether you’re looking for the best retirement place in Florida or are interested in an excellent location in the Tampa Area to raise a family, Bradenton has everything you need. The laid-back vibe of the city suits anyone who wants to live in a peaceful, tight-knit community.

As one of the smaller Gulf Coast cities, Bradenton, Florida’s population is around 56,000. The town is located on US 41 between Tampa and Sarasota. As it lies just 45 miles from Tampa, the city is highly popular not just for its location but also because it is home to some beautiful neighborhoods, amazing schools, and a thriving local economy. 

This small-town community is attractive not just for retirees who are looking for the best place in Florida to spend their golden years but also for families looking for a peaceful lifestyle. Bradenton offers lots of things to do and see, together with an excellent quality of life.

where is bradenton florida map with location pinned south of tampa and north of sarasota
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Josh Wilson

REALTOR®

License # SL3486473

eXp Realty

Let's Find Your Piece of Paradise

Ready to Live That Florida Life?

If you have any questions about real estate or homes for sale in Sarasota, feel free to reach out. As a licensed real estate agent with eXp Realty, I’m more than happy to do whatever I can to find you the perfect home in paradise.

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Relocation Guide for Moving to BRADENTON

Jump to Any Topic in This Guide

Quality of Life

Find out why Bradenton tops so many lists of the best place to live

About Bradenton

Learn more about Bradenton's history and culture

City Data

Population, housing prices, demographics and more

Cost of Living

Compare the cost of living in Bradenton to Florida and the US

Climate & Weather

What's the weather like in Bradenton and general climate date

Things to Do

Discover all the fun things to do in Bradenton for those who live here

Transportation

Major highways, interstates and airports in the area

Hospitals

Major hospitals and healthcare services in the Bradenton area

Schools

Learn more about your education options within the Bradenton City school district

Neighborhoods

Explore some of the most popular neighborhoods in Bradenton and check out what properties are for sale

Quality of Life in BRADENTON

bradenton florida riverwalk with boats and manatee status

The Bradenton, Florida, population may be under 60,000, but this city surprises many of its visitors with a high quality of life. If you’re looking for a place where you can enjoy a relaxed lifestyle, the small but vibrant city of Bradenton would be the perfect choice for you.

Bradenton is a place where you won’t get bored, because there are lots of things to see and do, ranging from beautiful beaches to multiple yearly festivals that enhance the sense of community and make everyone feel welcome.

Life in Bradenton is ideal for people of all ages who want to live in a tight-knit community that doesn’t feel too small. The city has lots of restaurants and entertainment venues, while also being home to some highly-rated public and private schools. By choosing to live here, you will also enjoy a lot of sunny weather for the majority of the year.

A Brief History of Bradenton, Florida

log cabin settlers in early bradenton florida

The Early Years

Bradenton’s history can be traced back to the 1840s when Joseph and Hector Braden built a log cabin just south of the river in order to establish a new plantation. Hector Braden drowned in 1846, but the tragedy didn’t stop his brother, and he soon built a sugar plantation and mill at the confluence of the Braden and Manatee Rivers. The plantation became known as the “Braden Castle,” and its ruins are still visible today.

Original Name

The area started to see more growth in the 1870s as it attracted more business owners and investors. It was also during this time the area was established as Fort Braden. The city was named Bradenton in honor of its founder, Joseph Braden, but it was initially misspelled as “Braidentown.” In the early 1900s, the name was changed to the correct spelling.

old main street sign sign in bradenton florida
bradenton florida riverwalk with people strolling alongside boats in marina

Bradenton Today

The new town started to flourish during the 1920s when it became a tourist destination. A new nickname was adopted, and the city became known as “A Friendly City.” Today, most of the government and office buildings that were built in the 1920s are still located downtown, in an area filled with museums, shops, and restaurants. 

Bradenton City data

Below are some of the basic city data for Bradenton, Florida as of mid 2023.  Bradenton is a popular option for a variety of potential residents, ranging from retirees looking for that perfect place in the Florida sun to young families  in search of an ideal small city to raise happy healthy kids with plenty of opportunities for them.

bradenton florida riverwalk area
  • Population – 56,961
  • Average Age – 42.9
  • Average Home Price – $469,900 (Realtor.com)
  • Homeowner rate – 59%
  • Average Household Income – $50,084
  • Unemployment rate – 4.7%
  • Poverty Rate of 14.7%
  • Median House value is $368,200 (Realtor.com)
  • Crime Rate – 244 (Citydata.com)
  • Area & Density – 3,882 people per square mile

Major Employers

Like much of Florida, healthcare is a prevalent industry here. You’ll also find plenty of job opportunities in the retail industry, as well as manufacturing and food services.  

Demographics & Education

Educational attainment in Bradenton is pretty reasonable with 85% of residents having graduated high school.  Around a fifth of the population of Bradenton have attained a Bachelor’s degree, but only 1% have gone on to complete a Masters degree. 

For additional demographic data about Bradenton, check out the US Census Bureau for the following:

  • Population
  • Demographics (age, etc.)
  • Housing
  • Family & living arrangements
  • Computer and internet use
  • Education
  • Transportation
  • Income & poverty
  • Economy
  • Business
family, sunset, beach

Cost of Living in BRADENTON

The cost of living in Bradenton is overall lower than the Florida and US average. While the grocery costs are higher in Bradenton than the national average, health and utilities are lower. The median home cost is just a bit higher than the Florida average, while the cost of transportation is lower.

100 = USA Average Cost of Living

103.1 = Florida Cost of Living

98.3 = Bradenton Cost of Living

 BradentonFloridaUSA
  Overall98.3103.1100
  Grocery103.8102.8100
  Health99.6102.3100
  Housing97.2101.1100
 Median Home Cost

$368,200

$362,400$338,100
  Utilities94.5101.3100
  Transportation100112.6100
  Miscellaneous104.687.6100

SOURCE: https://www.bestplaces.net/cost_of_living/city/florida/bradenton

Climate & Weather - Bradenton Florida

the top of a row of skinny palm trees on a sunny day in florida with bright blue sky and clouds behind them

Summers can be extremely hot in Bradenton, but the cool breeze of the ocean makes the high temperatures more manageable. You can expect highs in the summer to range between the upper-80s and mid 90s, while winters are slightly colder, but still with an average of around 70 degrees Fahrenheit in the daytime and dropping to 50 degrees through the night. Even in the coldest months of the year, temperatures rarely get below 40 degrees. 

Late February to early May, and late October to late December will deliver some of the best and most comfortable weather Bradenton, Florida, encounters.

  • Rainfall – Average of 54 inches per year vs. 38 rest of USA
  • Sunny Days – Average of 249 vs. 205 for the US
  • Hottest Month – August 
  • Coldest Month – January
  • Most Comfortable Months: November, March, April
  • Most Uncomfortable Months: July and August
  • Check out the current 10-day Bradenton Weather Forecast Here

Hurricane Season

Bradenton is in an area of Florida that is exposed to the Atlantic Hurricane Season. This runs from June through to November and peaks in September. To learn more about hurricanes in Florida, check out our comprehensive post here

Things To Do in bRADENTON

Activities & the Arts 

There’s so much choice when deciding on what to do in Bradenton, Florida. 

Infact, there’s so much to do that we wrote this post detailing over 50 amazing things to do in Bradenton

Everything is within easy walking distance. If you head downtown, you will find Bradenton’s Village of the Arts and neighborhood district, where about 50 rundown houses have been converted into restaurants, galleries, studios, and other small businesses. In fact, Art Calendar Magazine recognized Bradenton as one of the top 10 cities in the country for working artists.

beach, sand, ocean
St. Armands Circle looking up at a restaurant balcony with a perfect blue sky and palm trees
manatee 1079929 640
maria bayo, orchesta, singer

Recreation & the Outdoors in Bradenton

Nature and Wildlife in Bradenton

If the great outdoors is more your thing and you’re still wondering what to do in Bradenton, Florida’s “Friendly City” has got you covered. There’s a wealth of hiking, biking, trails, fishing, adventure parks and more. Some of its most popular, and fabulous, outdoor activities, nature appreciation, and recreation spots include: 

  • Robinson Preserve
  • Historic Bridge Street Pier (Bradenton Beach)
  • LECOM Park
  • Lake Manatee State Park
  • Palma Solo Botanical Park
  • Riverwalk
  • Passage Key National Wildlife Refuge
  • Tree-Umph Adventure Course
  • Bradenton Farmers Market
  • Neal Preserve
  • Perico Preserve

 

up close image of golf driver hitting a golf ball on a tee

Bradenton, Florida Golf Courses!

If golf is your sport of choice then you definitely want to head to Bradenton. Florida golf courses are sure to hit your sweet spot as you enjoy the stunning coastal views and pleasant weather. There are 26 golf courses in Bradenton, Fl, 2 of which are municipal courses. If you like to try out clubs in other areas you’ll find another 57 courses within 20 miles of Bradenton. 

Some of the most popular golf clubs in Bradenton include: 

  • Waterlefe Golf and River Club
  • River Strand Golf and Country Club
  • RiverRun Golf Links
  • Timbercreek Golf Course
  • The Preserve
bridge street pier at bradenton beach florida great for fishing and boating

Beaches near Bradenton

Typical of the Gulf Coast region, there are plenty of beaches near Bradenton. Florida residents and tourists alike make their way here to enjoy some pristine coastlines. Bradenton is blessed with miles of gorgeous sandy beaches with an array of facilities and impressive accessibility. 

Bradenton Beach is a quiet and more private beach space, perfect for spotting dolphins, manatees, and turtles! 

Manatee County Public Beach is popular and great for paddleboarding. It offers playgrounds, showers, bareques, picnic areas, and restrooms. 

Cortez beach doesn’t have any facilities or lifeguards on duty, but the free parking and stunning surroundings more than makes up for it. However, it is prone to congestion due to its popularity.

Coquina Beach is perfect if you’re looking for plenty of services without the crowds. There’s a sizable shallow area for kids and non-swimmers, and there’s even a little market and coffee shop right on the beach! 

Some other, equally impressive, beaches near Bradenton that are worth making the less than 20 mile trip from Bradenton City include:

  • Anna Maria Beach
  • Beer Can Island Beach
  • Bean Point Beach
  • Lido Key Beach
  • Longboat Key Beach
  • Siesta Key Beach
bradenton beach florida white sands and blue water on a sunny day with few crowds

Transportation in Bradenton

Bradenton is a commuter town, which means that most families have their own vehicle to get to and from work. Many areas in the city are pedestrian-friendly, and traveling by bike is practical and easy. The temperate weather makes bicycles an excellent mode of transportation year-round.

Public transport is also available for those who want to use the bus to get around the city. The Manatee County Area Transit system provides 10 routes through Bradenton and most of the surrounding communities, including Ellenton and Palmetto. Buses typically run from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day except Sundays and posted holidays.

airplane flying into sunset sky

Airports in / Near Bradenton

In Bradenton, Florida, airport options are plentiful. The nearest airport is the Sarasota/Bradenton Airport, located just 7.8 miles away. 

Some of the other airports in the area that you can use for domestic and international flights include St. Petersburg, located 29.4 miles away, and Tampa, which is just 33.3 miles from Bradenton.

Fort Myers airport is located 84.4 miles away from Bradenton, and you can also reach Orlando airport in about two hours by car.

Hospitals in BRADENTON

Residents can choose from multiple full-service hospitals in Bradenton.  Florida  Blake Hospital is the primary trauma center serving Manatee and De Soto Counties.

hospital, equipment, medicine

HCA Florida Blake Hospital

HCA Florida Blake Hospital (previously known as Blake Medical Center) offers a comprehensive range of healthcare services, including emergency care, advanced surgical procedures, specialized cardiac care, orthopedics, women's health, and cancer treatment.The hospital is equipped with state-of-the-art facilities and advanced medical technologies to serve it’s 383 beds, and is the only Level II Trauma Center and Burn Center in Manatee County.

elderly, corridor, doctor

Manatee Memorial Hospital

The Manatee Memorial Hospital is an acute care facility that provides a wide range of medical treatments to Manatee and Sarasota County residents. The hospital has 390 beds and over 550 physicians and health professionals. Some of the services include emergency care for all ages, cardiac care and cardiovascular medicine, and surgery services, including robotic-assisted surgery.

Schools in bradenton

Bradenton has an impressive number of schools for a city of its size. There are 45 schools in the city area. The State College of Florida Collegiate Schools is the highest rated school in the city, and it offers an accelerated course of study, which is great for students who want to be enrolled in high school and college classes at the same time. Schools in Bradenton spend an average of  $9,322 per student (The US average is $12,383), and there are approximately 17 pupils per teacher, which allows for small class sizes.

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Josh Wilson,

REALTOR®

License #  SL3486473

eXp Realty

Let's Make Your Real Estate Dreams Come True in Sarasota!

Or you can reach out with the form below.