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It’s a good morning to be in Bradenton

At ABC Action News, we know that it’s the combination of all communities that makes Tampa Bay great. That’s why we’ve launched a new series of stories highlighting the good things happening around town, uncovering cool gems you might not know about, and discovering big news events impacting on these areas.

Friday, the Hello Tampa Bay team focused on Bradenton.

Full Coverage: GMTB Local Spotlight

History Surrounds Bradenton Pier 22 Restaurant

In the 1930s, this area was known as Memorial Pier and was dedicated to the 21 men from Manatee County who died in World War I.

Later it was used as a warehouse for freight steamers and was the original home of the South Florida Museum (now the Bishop Museum of Science and Nature).

Today, Pier 22 is known for its great food, winning the Open Table 2022 Diners Choice Award and many more.

History Surrounds Bradenton Pier 22 Restaurant

Walking Club: Exploring the Bradenton Riverwalk

Stroll the Bradenton Riverwalk this weekend! You won’t run out of things to do or see. In addition, exciting projects for the Riverwalk are in the works!

Walking Club: Exploring the Bradenton Riverwalk

Palma Sola Botanical Park is one of Manatee County’s hidden gems

Palma Sola Botanical Park is nestled near the Robinson Reserve in Bradenton. This little piece of heaven is mostly taken care of by volunteers and a few staff members.

It was once the site of Manatee County’s nursery, but when the county decided to sell the land, a large group came together to turn it into a park for all to enjoy.

Today it is home to the Manatee Rare Fruit Council. A walk through the park and you’re sure to find some unique fruit. They’re just worth watching, though!

Palma Sola Botanical Park is one of Manatee County’s hidden gems

The Bishop Museum of Science and Nature in Bradenton has been educating the community for 75 years

The Bishop Museum of Science and Nature, formerly the South Florida Museum, has been educating people of all ages here in Manatee County for 75 years.

“So my favorite thing is seeing kids and their adults get really energized,” said Ashley Waite, director of museum experience at the Bishop Museum of Science and Nature.

In a nutshell, it’s Florida history. It’s fascinating and unique, but the Bishop Museum has found a way to make it interesting for everyone.

The Bishop Museum of Science and Nature in Bradenton has been educating the community for 75 years

Nearly a dozen development projects in Bradenton; the city is trying to maintain “controlled growth”

Like many places in Tampa Bay, Bradenton continues to grow as people flock to the friendly town.

“Just being that family-focused bond, and also growing up, to continue to celebrate the future,” Bradenton Mayor Gene Brown said.

Ask Brown and he’ll tell you everything he likes about the city. The list is long.

“We have an idea of ​​anything that can actually give something back to someone in tourism,” Brown said. “And that’s what we’re going to do as a city as we go through what’s going to happen on our city hall property, which is right on the river, which really gives an opportunity for future developments,” Brown said.

Nearly a dozen development projects in Bradenton; the city is trying to maintain “controlled growth”

Family-run Bradenton winery adds a unique touch to the region

For John and Kristin Hokanson, the Fiorelli winery is a passion project.

“We produce wine here on the property. We have six different types of muscat grapes on the property,” Kristin said. “And we make and produce all of our own wine. We currently have 12 different wines that we offer to our customers.”

The Hokansons bought the property about 18 months ago and dove into it.

Family-run Bradenton winery adds a unique touch to the region

ArtCenter Manatee is working on expansion plans

ArtCenter Manatee is home to hundreds of artists honing and beginning their craft.

The 10,000 square foot center is located just off 9th Street and 3rd Avenue, close to downtown Bradenton.

The nonprofit organization has had a presence in Manatee County for 85 years. There are all kinds of classes offered here, including jewelry making, pottery, painting, drawing, and everything in between.

ArtCenter Manatee is working on expansion plans

New businesses set up along historic old Main Street in downtown Bradenton

Downtown Bradenton’s historic Old Main Street is filled with local businesses and restaurants.

The Stoked Flamingo is one of the newest ventures on the Strip, a uniquely styled men’s clothing store.

It is located on the ground floor of a newer car park with four other shops.

New businesses set up along historic old Main Street in downtown Bradenton

Birdrock Taco Shack in City of the Arts

Chef Dave opened Birdrock Taco Shack in the arts town of Bradenton 20 years ago, and it’s become a huge success.

Birdrock Taco Shack in Bradenton

Tully’s Tails: Lost Pet Services

One of the most successful nonprofits in all of Manatee and Sarasota counties is Lost Pet Services, and it’s staffed by just five people who work 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

Patty is now retired, but you would never know because nine years ago something happened that changed her life forever.

“Well, my husband left the door unlocked one day and my two dogs escaped,” Patty said. “I was crazy and found there was nothing but Craigslist to reunite lost pets.”

“It was my fault, yeah, that’s how it all started,” her husband Jim said.

Tully Tails in Bradenton

Owner of Bradenton’s Tide and Moon Jewelry teaches craftsmanship

Giving back to the community through art is the mission of a local business owner in Bradenton.

Laura Shely owns Tide and Moon Jewelry.

She said she started making jewelry by doodling as a teenager, and it has been her passion ever since.

Owner of Bradenton’s Tide and Moon Jewelry teaches craftsmanship

Walking Club: Explore Robinson’s Reserve

Robinson Preserve is one of the most popular spots for nature lovers in Manatee County, and it’s easy to see why. Explore the trails and boardwalks that lead to beautiful water views. Plus, returning visitors will find a new place to discover, an adventure for the whole family!

Walking Club: Explore Robinson’s Reserve

Walking Club: Explore Perico Preserve and Neal Preserve in Manatee County

Outdoor enthusiasts in Manatee County may be familiar with popular spots like Robinson Reserve and Emerson Point Reservebut less known Perico Preserve and Neal Preserve deliver similar experiences with significantly less foot traffic!

Walking Club: Explore Perico Preserve and Neal Preserve in Manatee County

Florida’s Largest Beer Garden Calls Bradenton Brewery Home

One of Bradenton’s first craft breweries is tucked away off 9th Street in a former car dealership. Enginesan apt name, is 27,000 square feet.

It’s also home to Florida’s largest beer garden, right below a beautiful old oak tree.

But beyond the aesthetics, Motorworks Brewing is truly known for its beer.

Florida’s Largest Beer Garden Calls Bradenton Brewery Home

For all tastes at the Village des Arts

explored. It is a place where dozens of artists live and work in harmony. They call it the Arts Village.

“Artist by artist, house by house, creating galleries and studios and repairing abandoned housing over the past 22 years,” said artist Mary Fragapane.

When Fragapane walks around her neighborhood, she can’t help but feel inspired.

For all tastes at the Village des Arts

Talent shines at the Manatee Performing Arts Center

The Manatee Performing Arts Center in Bradenton is home to all kinds of exceptional talent, and it’s not just on stage either.

They will celebrate 10 years at their Bradenton home next year, but 75 in Manatee County.

Our ABC Action News team took a full behind-the-scenes tour, from their entrance with tons of artwork (including the chandelier from Gone with the Wind) to the prop room with just about everything you can imagine.

Talent shines at the Manatee Performing Arts Center

Ghost Street Food

People come to Ghost Street Kitchen for pizza, burgers and more. One menu item is even called the Gut Buster.

Ghost street food in Bradenton

Castle 13

Château 13 is a perfect spot for date nights, offering charcuterie boards and more.

Chateau 13 in Bradenton perfect for date nights

Realize that Bradenton is finding success with the downtown Saturday morning market

If you pass by downtown Bradenton and ask the locals what’s fun to do, you’re sure to hear all about the Saturday morning market.

It is organized by a non-profit organization called Realize Bradenton. They focus on community events and bringing businesses closer to the community.

“We’re the friendly city. We deliver,” said Andrea Knies, director of community engagement at Realize Bradenton.

Realize that Bradenton is finding success with the downtown Saturday morning market

Serena William’s legendary career inspires students at the IMG Academy where she trained

Inside the IMG Academy in Bradenton, the walls are decorated with legends like Serena Williams, who along with her sister Venus trained at the academy for nearly a decade with Nick Bollettieri, who founded IMG in 1978.

“It’s a dream come true to walk on a court that Serena played on, it’s really special to me,” said Aiko Jackson, a 13-year-old tennis student.

Margie Zesinger heads the women’s tennis program and said Williams was a huge inspiration to hundreds of her students.

Serena William’s legendary career inspires students at the IMG Academy where she trained

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