Manatee County is situated on the gorgeous Gulf Coast, spanning 741 square miles. With a year-round population of around 411,000 people that swells during the winter months, Manatee County is a diverse area that is home to breathtaking views, deep history, expansive activities and many unique neighborhoods. Flanked by Sarasota to its south, St. Petersburg and Tampa Bay to its north and the counties of DeSoto and Hardee to its east, Manatee County comprises six distinct municipalities, including Bradenton and Longboat Key.
Longboat Key is a barrier island that Manatee County shares with Sarasota County. Known for its dense mangroves and white sand beach, this town features canals that beckon people to enjoy their favorite water activities, as well as bridges that connect it to the nearby islands of St. Armands Key and Lido Key.
The Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport is less than seven miles away from Longboat Key. Manatee County is traversed by Interstate 75 which runs north to south, providing easy access to point near and far.
Bradenton is the largest town in Manatee County and home to the oldest working fishing village in the state. The Cortez Historic Village is the center of the county’s burgeoning fishing industry. Bradenton is also where McKechnie Field, the Pittsburgh Pirates’ spring training complex. Sports enthusiasts can also head to IMG Academies where they can join other students from across the globe and learn basketball, soccer, golf, tennis and baseball.
Beaches and sports aren’t the only amenities that make Manatee County an attractive place to live. There are a number of recreational parks and conservation areas that provide diverse activities. GT Bray Park, which offers walking trails, swimming, tennis, sports leagues, skateboarding and more, is the county’s largest. Scenic preserves that invite visitors to take in and enjoy the area’s unique natural offerings include Robinson Preserve and Emerson Point.