Bradenton is a big enough city to have its own airport, with the Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport serving the greater metropolitan area. On the ground, many people get around via the Manatee County Area Transit, which is known throughout the city as the MCAT. The MCAT serves multiple neighborhoods inside of the Bradenton area, including Palmetto, Ellenton, Anna Maria, Holmes Beach, Bradenton Beach, Tallevast, Longboat Key, and Samoset. Buses also take residents to larger cities in the area such as Tampa.
<p>Bradenton is home to multiple cultural icons in the area. One of these such icons is the Village of the Arts, which is a renovated neighborhood in the downtown area. The homes in the Village of the Arts are colorful and exuberant, and many of them are also converted art studios and galleries, as well as restaurants and small shops or businesses. Theatres in the area include the Manatee Performing Arts Center, where the Manatee Players theatre company holds regional competitions every year. In the past year, the Manatee Players won a first place title in the American Association of Community Theatre competition, and the city regularly comes out to support their acts.</p>
<p>Because the city of Bradenton is located on FloridaÕs west coast, near numerous ports and the Gulf of Mexico, the city is surrounded by waterways which some people use as a way to get around. Waterways aren't a common form of transportation, but they make the area unique and are sometimes of interest to tourists. The waterways are comprised of both salt and fresh water, and many of them flow into the Gulf of Mexico or into Tampa Bay. The major water way in the area, the Intracoastal Waterway, is big enough to allow for the use of minor freight vessels to ship goods along certain areas of the coast.</p>
<p>Bradenton has a long history, dating back to when the city was known as Bradentown in the early 1900s. Prior to that, it was explored by the Spanish who left many fort buildings and other structures with Spanish architectural influence. Here is the list of historic properties that the city preserves: Bradenton Bank and Trust Company Building, the Iron Block Building, the Manatee County Courthouse, and the Peninsular Telephone Company Building. The Braden Castle Park Historic District is a federal historic district and is protected by the federal government. It houses buildings 194 additional historic buildings and structures built by the Spanish.</p>