Bradenton (brāˈdəntən) [key], city (1990 pop. 43,779), seat of Manatee co., SW Fla., on Tampa Bay at the mouths of the Braden and Manatee rivers; inc. 1903. A popular winter resort and retirement center with excellent fishing in the rivers and bay, as well as in the Gulf of Mexico, it also ships area citrus fruit and truck crops. Hernando De Soto is believed to have landed nearby in 1539; the De Soto National Memorial is to the west (see National Parks and Monuments, table). The area was settled (1850s) by Joseph Braden, whose castlelike home is a local landmark. South Florida Museum and Bishop Planetarium are here. The De Soto landing is reenacted each March.
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