The 5.5-mile long Sunshine Skyway Bridge carries I-275 and US-19 over the mouth of Tampa Bay connecting St. Petersburg and Sarasota. The bridge was constructed from 1982 to 1987 to replace the original Sunshine Skyway Bridge that was badly damaged in a boat collision in 1980. The first bridge here had one span built in 1954 and the second span in 1969. The bridge suffered tremendous damage in 1980 when the freighter MV Summit Venture crashed into a pier during a storm, casing a quarter mile of the bridge to collapse, and killing 35 people.
You can plan on about USD $25-40 per person for the 45 mile drive from Tampa International Airport (TPA) to the Bradenton area or the Bradenton-Sarasota Airport (SRQ)
Depending on mode of travel and current traffic conditions, you should allow approximately 1 - 2 hours to get to Bradenton and Sarasota from Tampa International Airport.
http://www.stexps.com/fare.html Shuttle bus @ $40 per adult (best bet)
Airline (you can fly into SRQ)
Continental Express - (800) 525-0280 - provides daily, non-stop service from Tampa International Airport (TPA) and Sarasota/Bradenton International Airport. (SRQ).
There are several on and off-airport rental car services to choose from.
Greyhound provides bus service from Downtown Tampa to Bradenton and Sarasota.
Pre-reserved transportation is provided by a variety of companies. information.
United or Yellow Cab service. No reservations are required.
Bradenton shares Sarasota Bradenton International Airport ,with Sarasota. Taxi charges about $15 dollars to downtown, $25 to Bradenton Beach and $35 to Anna Maria Island. Another option is Tampa International Airport, 5 miles northwest of downtown Tampa.
I would recommend to rent a car here or take the Limo which operates van services in the area and will cost you 50% less than taxi.
You have several choices when it comes to travelling to and from Bradenton. The closest option is the Bradenton-Sarasota Airport (SRQ). But the Tampa airport is only 45 minutes away, St. Petersburg airport about the same and Orlando is about 3 hours. Interstate 75 runs through the eastern part of Bradenton/Manattee county, so travel by car is simple as well.
The majority of the roads are laid out in a North-South, East-West grid. Avenues run E-W, while roads run N-S. Several major highways traverse the area, so all-in-all it's easy to get around. The only exception is during the 'Snow Bird' season - about late November through late March. During that time Canadians, New Yorkers, Michiganers and all sorts of northerners clog the roads and make getting into a restaurant nearly impossible.
You can drive if want. Bradenton shares an airport with Sarasota so you can fly there too. It's rather small but doesn't get crowded.
You can drive if you're not afraid of hitting some old lady. And there are a lot of punk kids driving around, but I guess you can find that almost anywhere. I don't suggest riding a bike because everyone thinks they're the king of the roads.