Just south of Tampa and St. Petersburg and slightly north of Sarasota, Bradenton sits on the Gulf Coast of Florida in Manatee county. With a population of about 60,000 souls, it’s a nicely-sized city that ‘s not too big and not too small. The city is part of the Bradenton-Sarasota-Venice metro area and, as it stands today, was officially formed in 1943. There are many wonderful reasons to live in Bradenton, no doubt, but like any modern city, there are a few pitfalls as well. Let’s take a look at some of the Pros and Cons of living in The Friendly City.
Pro- Village of the Arts
One of the brightest spots in the entire city, Village of the Arts stretches from 9th Street to 16th Street West in what, 20 years ago, was one of the worst parts of town. Back then, at the turn of the 21st century, crime and crack houses were sadly the norms. Today, however, it’s a section of the city brimming with artists, art galleries and chic restaurants. There are several quaint Bed & Breakfast locations as well, making this one of the main attractions for both locals and visitors. In fact, the Village of the Arts is the largest arts district on the entire Gulf Coast, mainly due to special zoning laws that allow residents there to live and work from their homes.
Pro- The Weather
Living along the Gulf coast in Florida means a lot of sunny, hot weather for the majority of the year, and Bradenton is no exception. From late February until May and then again from October until December, the weather here is practically perfect. Temperatures in the mid-80s, not a lot of rain and cool breezes daily coming off of the Gulf of Mexico. If “snow” is a four-letter word for you and you’d rather have the opportunity to spend many of your days outside, Bradenton will be a dream come true.
Con- The Weather
Even though it never snows in Bradenton the summer here does get quite hot and humid, with a good bit of rain and clouds as well. It’s not the worst weather you’ve ever seen, far from it, but it might not be everyone’s cup of tea. For those folks who don’t like hot and humid, Bradenton would still make a fantastic vacation home. It might also work as a rental home for snowbirds from up north, but we’d recommend you put your nicest things into self-storage to make sure they don’t get damaged by renters. A small self-storage unit at HideAway Storage would be perfect!
Pro- Boating and Water Sports
If you are a big fan of boating, fishing, or any type of water sport, Bradenton is a great place to live. It’s literally surrounded by waterways both fresh and saltwater and offers a plethora of boating and fishing opportunities. Bradenton is also located on mainland Florida and is protected from storms by the outer barrier islands of Anna Maria Island and Longboat Key. From fishing and swimming to water skiing, jet skiing and so much more, if life on the water is your pleasure, living in Bradenton will be very pleasurable for you indeed.
Con- The Downtown Area
Downtown Bradenton is mostly devoted to government buildings and can be a little bland, especially compared to nearby St. Petersburg or Sarasota, where their downtown is lively, thriving, and exciting. It lacks open spaces where you can relax, walk your dog or go for a bike ride, although it is safe and clean compared to many cities of this size.
Pro- Everything is Close
One of the best reasons to live in Bradenton Is that it’s close to so many things that are interesting, exciting, fun, and intellectually stimulating. There is the already mentioned opportunity to get out on the water to your heart’s content. Also, some of the biggest attractions on the planet are within a short drive, including Walt Disney World which is 90 minutes away.
There are 20 miles of beaches within a stone’s throw of the city and, if NFL football is your thing, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers play right down the road. Speaking of which, Tampa offers a wide variety of attractions including the Florida Aquarium, Zoo Tampa at Lowry Park, and Busch Gardens Tampa Bay.
Con- No Basements
While possibly not the biggest problem for some folks, being at sea-level means that none of the homes in Bradenton have basements. That takes away valuable storage space, leaving most garages, attics, spare rooms, and sheds in Bradenton full to the brim with stuff. Considering the weather here, having to park outside because your garage if full means getting into a car that is oftentimes quite hot. It also means that many homeowners are desperately in need of self-storage.
Pro- 20 Miles of Beautiful Beaches
Sure, Bradenton has plenty of boating opportunities but, if you don’t have a boat and still want to enjoy the Gulf of Mexico, there are 20 miles of beautiful beaches where you can do just that. Bradenton Beach, for example, has long fishing piers, wonderful sugar-sand that feels so good between your toes, and a lot of small shops and family-owned restaurants. It’s the perfect beach town! Manatee Public Beach and Coquina Beach are the same, and the sugar-sand stretches north or south as far as the eye can see.
Con- The Cost of Living
While not exorbitantly higher, the cost of living in Bradenton is about 3% higher than the national average. That includes things like gasoline, food, entertainment, dining out, and so forth. It’s not a major difference, however, and shouldn’t keep you from moving to this lovely city.
Pro- The Cost of Housing,
The cost of housing in Bradenton, surprisingly, is about 18% lower than the national average. Also, there are no state income taxes in Florida, which goes for everyone living in Bradenton, and the sales tax is 6%, which is lower than many cities around the US.
As you can see, there are plenty of excellent reasons to live in lovely Bradenton, Florida, and only a few drawbacks. If you’re just moving to the area and need self-storage, HideAway Storage has a wide variety of storage units available at very affordable prices. Safe and secure, you can chat with one of our managers right now and, when you’re ready, reserve your storage unit online! (We’re also a great option for long-term Bradenton residents who desperately need some extra space!)