Rural Florida within the city
Address: 400 Cypress Creek Blvd or 400 Kay Rd , Bradenton, FL. 34208
The brand new (and still being developed on the fringes) Tom Bennett Park is a 175-acre public access area that includes a fishing pier, canoe and kayak launch, play area, sand volleyball court, soccer field, nature and walking trails, picnic tables & BBQ grills and even a pavilion to rent.
There is plenty of parking at the various locations within the park which also features athletic fields, picnic pavilions, playgrounds, real restrooms.
Park hours are Sunrise to Sunset
Please use the Recycle Containers if you can
- Family Travel
- Hiking and Walking
Robinson Preserve....back to nature in city limits
Robinson Preserve in northwestern Bradenton, Florida, near Palma Sola and adjacent to the Tampa Bay is a hidden gem among parks and preserve still within city limits. It is also across the street from the Palma Sola Botanical Gardens.
It is a 487-acre preserve is full of native plants and takes advantage of the tidal flow within the coastal habitat.
Robinson Preserve low-impact & eco-friendly environmental activities include hiking and biking trails and a canoe/kayak launch along with an observation tower and platforms, picnic areas, and a visitors center. This saltern habitat has miles of trails to explore and lush mangrove forests. Most of the trails are packed shell through the preserve.
A variety of birds and wildlife can be seen throughout the preserve in the restored native ecosystems.
- Travel with Pets
- Family Travel
Manatee County Courthouse & Courthouse Squar
Manatee County Courthouse was built in 1913. Today the building is home to the Manatee County Clerk of the Circuit Court. On June 11, 1998, it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Courthouse square, located in front of the Manatee County Courthouse is home to numerous local monuments including the county's law enforcement memorial, the Vietnam War memorial, a marker for Hernando De Soto's march across Florida, and "Ye Olde Wishing Well," for cancer research donations. Free live outdoor concerts take place every Wednesday in May at the Courthouse
Located at 1115 Manatee Avenue West, in Bradenton, Florida.
A plaque in the square reads:
In 1892, John Crews Pelot deeded this 200 x 400 square foot parcel of land to Manatee County for the sum of $200.00. The land was cleared at a cost of $62.50, and a new courthouse, the first in "Braidentown" and the county's third county seat was built. The first county seat was the village of Manatee and the first courthouse which was constructed in 1860 may be seen in the Manatee Village Historical Park. Pine Level, now in DeSoto County, became the second county seat in 1866. That courthouse, a small log structure, was once classified as "Florida's worst" and has since been destroyed.
After "Braidentown" became the county seat, court was temporarily held in the E.M. Graham house (later known as Gaar House) on Bradenton's Old Main Street and in Judge Cornwell's old school house. Later, the first permanent courthouse, a wooden structure, was built. While this courthouse was in use, a small brick building was built on the property's west side to house the clerk's office and the jail. This was the site of the first county hanging in 1905.
The present courthouse building was begun in early 1913. The single courthouse and jail facility cost $97,443, and was built of reinforced concrete and brick by Falls City Construction Company. The building originally had a cupola on the roof which was removed in 1920 when general repairs were undertaken.
Two large steel cells were added to the jail in 1918, and in 1925 the first major addition was made to the building. The need for more space was again recognized in 1954 when a significant addition was made by extending the building to the south. In 1975, the Board of County Commissioners voted to hire an architect to design a new annex and jail. This multi-storied structure, located on property purchased east of the courthouse square, was completed in 1984. It was dedicated as the Hensley Public Safety Complex in honor of Judge Robert E. Hessley of the Twelfth Circuit Court.
For many years, there was a fountain and a pool at the north entrance to the courthouse which contained live alligators. It was replaced by a wishing well. Th north side of the square has been set aside for monuments honoring Confederate Veterans, Vietnam War dead, Hernando De Soto, and the footprints of Manatee County's distinguished citizens who are selected annually.
J.A. Lamb House - Palmetto's Waterfront
1112 Riverside Drive, is Julius A. Lamb's first home, which was built in 1899. The interior has been expanded and renovated, but the exterior is much the same as it was when it was first built.
Next door is a bed and breakfast that was constructed by J.A. Lamb in 1913 as the family's second home. This was actually a "Sears & Robuck House," with plans ordered from the Sears catalog and constructed with locally purchased materials. The website of the Palmetto Riverside Bed and Breakfast is http://palmettoriverside.com/.
The historic marker in front of the 1899 Lamb house near the water reads:
J. A. LAMB HOUSE
J.A. Lamb house contributes greatly to the historical and
architectural significance of this scenic drive. This well-proportioned
and detailed Queen Anne Victorian residence was built in 1899 and
received extensive restoration in 1998.
Constructed for Julius A. Lamb, eldest of sixteen children of
Samuel Sparks Lamb. It remained the Lamb household until 1919
S. S. Lamb is recognized as the founder of Palmetto. Julius Lamb
operated a livery stable, sold feed and traded in horses. The
house was acquired by J. Pope Harley, Sr., also the mayor of
Palmetto from 1926 to 1929. The Harlees, prominent Manatee
county pioneers, remained in the house until 1991.
The house consists of three floors with heart pine for
major construction timber. The most notable features are
the octagonal turret tower and handsome column porch.
Leaded, beveled glass windows are placed throughout the
residence. The interior is arranged on a classic central hall
plan with twenty major rooms and four fireplaces. The
woodwork is highly detailed with deep stepped baseboards
and casing. Tidewater red cypress was used for the solid
doors and heart pine for the flooring which is typical for the era.
The building northwest of the house is newly constructed. It
has design characteristics to match the house as well as that
of a late 19th Century carriage barn. The renovation has
resulted in attention to the historic details with changes
to insure the preservation of this important landmark residence.
the gamble plantation was established in 1843 by major robert gamble just after the second seminole war. pictured is the beautiful antebellum mansion gamble built in 1849. the plantation covered 160 acres on the manatee river and the main crop was sugar cane. in 1856 gamble sold the plantation to captain archibald mc neil. in 1865 after the fall of the confederacy judah p. benjamin, the secretary of state of the confederacy, took refuge at the gamble plantation. the plantation was sold again in 1872 to major george patten. by the turn of the 20th century the plantation was is in a state of disrepair and in 1925 it was bought by the united daughters of the confederacy and was donated to the state of florida. the gamble plantation is listed on the national register of historic places. a interesting place to visit for those interested in civil war history. admission to the grounds is free.
the plantation is located on US 301 1 mile west of I-75 near the town of ellenton.
- Historical Travel
- National/State Park
madira bickel archeological mounds
the madira bickel archeological mounds are located in the tiny town of terra ceia on US 19. at the site are a 20 foot high ceremonial mound and a small burial mound. this area was inhabited by native americans over 2,000 years ago. admission is free.
to get to the mounds take US 19 north past the town of palmetto. about two miles north of palmetto turn left on bayside drive and go 1 1/2 miles to the site.
- Historical Travel
- Road Trip
pictured is the visitor center at the gamble plantation. here you can learn about the history of the plantation and take a tour of the mansion for a small fee. see the attached web site for times and admission.
the gamble plantation is located on US 301 1 mile west of I-75 near the town of ellenton.
- Historical Travel
- Museum Visits
see where hernando desoto first landed
the location is where hernando desoto first landed on his expedition through florida and the Mississippi River area. It was bought by the National Park Service in the 1940's from a private owner.
located at the end of 75th st w (last light before causeway)
- National/State Park
- Historical Travel
desoto national memorial which...
desoto national memorial which is right off Manatee Ave (look for signs),very paceful , exhibits , demonstrations (during winter months only) , and over 3 miles of hiking trails, also a good spot for cast netting for mullet.
Braden Castle. There's a...
Braden Castle. There's a smallish, crumbling mansion which was built by the Braden family, for whom 'Braden Town' - now Bradenton - was named. It is located in a small neighborhood on the Manatee river just a few miles east of downtown Bradenton. There are lots of large, old oak trees draped with Spanish Moss right along the river and around this site. It is nothing spectacular, but gives a nice bit of depth to the history of this town and is a nice diversion from the busier locations.
I recommend getting directions from a local or finding a good map. It really is off the beaten path.
People might miss the beach if...
People might miss the beach if they have never been to the beach before. The beaches are only satisfactory. In west Bradenton, you can drive out to Anna Maria island where the coast is entirely beaches.
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