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Bradenton, FL Event Planning

Key Highlights

Hotels 16
Total Sleeping Rooms 1,292
Committable Sleeping Rooms* 161
Committable Meeting Rooms* 5
Convention Center Space 60,000 Sq. Ft.
Largest Exhibit Space 32,400 Sq. Ft.
Largest Ballroom 4,085 Sq. Ft.
Average Hotel Room Rate USD $86
Average Daily Meal Cost USD $56
Average Weekly Car Rental USD $404
*Maximum for a single hotel

Bradenton, FL Meeting Planning Overview

Home to a vibrant downtown with old-Florida ambience, Bradenton is never short on charm. Located on Florida's southwest coast, between the Gulf of Mexico and Tampa Bay, Bradenton features freshwater lakes, towering palms, galleries, boutique shops, and restaurants. Bradenton meeting venues are to be found on the mainland and on Anna Maria Island, a pristine, unpretentious barrier island with funky little beach bars and a wooden pier; as well as Longboat Key, an upscale resort area a few minutes north of Sarasota.

Thanks to its convenient southwest Florida location, Bradenton is within a short distance of both the Sarasota Bradenton International Airport (SRQ) and Tampa International Airport (TPA). Located just 45 miles outside of Bradenton, the Tampa International Airport provides nonstop service to more than 70 domestic and international locations. Tampa International serves an average of 22,000 daily passengers. Smaller, yet with more than one million passengers each year, SRQ is located six miles north of downtown Sarasota and only 10 miles south of downtown Bradenton. The airport features regular nonstop service to Toronto, Washington, DC, New York, Chicago, Boston, Atlanta, Baltimore, Charlotte, Cincinnati, Detroit, Indianapolis, and Milwaukee, as well as seasonal international and domestic charter service.

Once on the ground, attendees can access the Manatee County Area Transit buses, which provide direct service from SRQ to downtown Bradenton Area Convention Center. Perched along the scenic Manatee River, the Bradenton Area Convention Center is a flexible-space, full-service center located just two miles from Bradenton and 15 miles from Sarasota Bradenton International Airport. The Bradenton Area Convention Center (formerly Manatee Convention Center) features the 32,400-square-foot Gulf Islands Center Hall, which can seat up to 4,000 delegates.

There are also a number of unique venues in Bradenton that are perfectly suited for a range of group events and meetings. As the largest natural and cultural history museum on the Florida Gulf Coast, Bradenton's South Florida Museum is not only home to a number of exhibits on the region's rich heritage, but also to Bradenton's official mascot, a manatee named Snooty. Groups can get a great view of Snooty and other resident manatees when meeting in such museum spaces as the VIP Boardroom and Spanish Plaza: each features underwater views of the manatee habitat.

Other Bradenton unique venues include the celebrated Bunker Hill Vineyard and Winery, which focuses on green operations in the making of its handcrafted wines. Manatee Village Historical Park, a collection of restored, historic buildings from the region's pioneer past, welcomes private events in its 1887 church and courtyard gazebo, set under a canopy of native oak trees.

About Bradenton, FL / Additional Info

A mainland Florida city surrounded by the Gulf of Mexico, Sarasota Bay, and Manatee River, among others, Bradenton is known for its friendly atmosphere and gamut of family- and group-friendly activities. Bradenton serves as the county seat for Manatee County, which also encompasses Anna Maria Island, Longboat Key, and Lakewood Ranch. The county is located between Tampa and Sarasota and, 16 miles of area beaches.

Bradenton boasts a unique mix of urban flair and old-Florida charm. Downtown Bradenton is bursting with restaurants, art galleries, and boutiques, while the outskirts of Bradenton are home to such areas as the Village of the Arts, a working artists' community; and the beautiful, historic Cortez Fishing Village. Cortez Fishing Village is a 3.6-square-mile step back in time, with clapboard bungalows and narrow roads that are graced with oak and palm trees. First settled in 1890, the waterfront village is home to seafood restaurants, a boathouse museum, shops, and busy docks, pulling in fresh grouper, snapper shrimp, stone crabs, and pan fish. Bradenton visitors often take part in self-guided tours of the village, enjoying fresh seafood along the way.

Other popular Bradenton area attractions celebrate the region's agricultural strength, which extends beyond the city's headquarters location for citrus giant Tropicana. Mixon Fruit Farms is a working citrus grove and family-friendly attraction that welcomes guests to tour the groves aboard the Orange Blossom Express tram. Dakin Dairy Farms, a multi-generational family farm, welcomes guests to tour its operations and learn about the farms' environmentally sustainable practices and state-of-the-art methods.

Many Bradenton restaurants proudly utilize local and seasonal ingredients. One such restaurant is Pier 22, a unique waterfront restaurant specializing in international cuisine and award-winning sushi. Longboat Key's celebrated Euphemia Haye eatery stirs fresh, local ingredients in its creative American and global fare served in a historic, wooden cottage in a tropical garden setting. The upscale Beach Bistro and casual BeacHhouse, both located on Anna Maria Island, are waterfront dining at its best, while Cortez Fishing Village's Star Fish Company showcases fresh Florida seafood prepared in the simplest of ways and served on picnic tables overlooking the working waterfront.

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