Florida : Safety by City
- Amelia Island
- Boca Raton
- Boynton Beach
- Cape Coral
- Cocoa Beach
- Coral Springs
- Daytona Beach
- Deerfield Beach
- Delray Beach
- Everglades City
- Fort Lauderdale
- Fort Myers
- Fort Pierce
- Fort Walton Beach
- Key Largo
- Key West
- Lake Buena Vista
- Lake City
- Lake Worth Beach
- Marco Island
- Miami Beach
- Miami Gardens
- Mount Dora
- New Smyrna Beach
- North Port
- Ormond Beach
- Palm Beach Gardens
- Palm Harbor
- Panama City Beach
- Pembroke Pines
- Pompano Beach
- Port St. Lucie
- Punta Gorda
- St. Augustine
- St. Petersburg
- Vero Beach
- West Palm Beach
- Winter Park
Bradenton, Florida, is part of the greater Sarasota metropolitan area, allowing it to ride the coattails of being one of the best places to live in the country.
This community is a little more casual and laid back compared to its sister city of Sarasota, which is more sophisticated and upper class.
The city of Bradenton itself doesn’t have any beaches but has plenty of waterfront activities along the Manatee River.
Nearby Anna Maria Island and Bradenton Beach are separate cities, but they are grouped into the wonderful activities offered in Manatee County.
Downtown Bradenton is a livelier part of the area, with restaurants and shops lining the streets.
The nearby riverwalk in Bradenton is a great place to stroll along the river.
This is a great place if you like fishing, too.
Bradenton offers a slice of life on the Suncoast in a relaxed atmosphere and good value for your money compared to pricey Sarasota.
Warnings & Dangers in Bradenton
OVERALL RISK : LOW
There's an overall low risk in Bradenton, despite what you might find online. This was once said to be the more dangerous part of the Suncoast area, but there's been a community-wide effort to clean it up and draw in tourists. Crime is down for the second year in a row, according to Bradenton Police. FBI crime numbers show almost flat crime rates in 2019 compared to Sarasota.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : LOW
There's a low risk here as all transportation is governed by city or state regulations, but you are probably going to need a car. Once you get out of the downtown area of Bradenton, you have to go over bridges and waterways to get to other sites. A good chunk of the city of Bradenton is residential.
PICKPOCKETS RISK : LOW
There's a low risk in Bradenton, but we're going to bump it up to medium risk when in the downtown area or along the riverwalk, as that's where most theft crimes are prone to happen. You have a 1 in 50 chance of being a victim of theft here.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : LOW
Most of the year there's a low risk, but during hurricane season and the stormy summer months, it's a medium risk since most of the activities you do in Bradenton require being outdoors.
MUGGING RISK : LOW
There were only 57 robberies in Bradenton according to FBI data in 2019. This is a low risk—about one in a thousand chance of being a victim.
TERRORISM RISK : LOW
There are no known terrorism risks in Bradenton, so we're giving it a low risk. This is mainly a residential area with fishing communities and casual shopping and dining, nothing that would get unwanted attention from terrorists.
SCAMS RISK : LOW
The scams that happen here are mostly via phone to residents, so there's a low risk of a tourist being scammed. Just be sure if you are renting a boat that you see a business license and all the proper safety gear. Never pay for something you can't visually inspect.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : LOW
Women travelers have a low risk here but don't go walking the boardwalk at night alone solo. There are homeless people nearby and it's a growing area, so you never know who's going to be lurking there. Take that as more of a caution than a warning.
TAP WATER RISK : LOW
The tap water meets or exceeds all state and national requirements, so there's a low risk here. Do beware of potential water contaminants that can happen during a storm or after a sewage spill, but these issues will be noted by water authorities and shared with all local hotels and vendors.
Safest Places to Visit in Bradenton
Bradenton is mostly an adventure outdoors.
You can shop and dine in the downtown areas, but other than that, your activities will mostly be focused on the water.
A must-see in Bradenton is the Bishop Museum of Science and Nature, where you can interact with manatees.
The animals are known as “Sea Cows” and “Gentle Giants.”
There are also plenty of sea turtles to see here.
Visting the old-time Florida fishing village of Cortez.
You can also rent a boat or paddleboard to explore the Manatee River.
There are boat tours you can take along the river and into the Gulf.
You’ll most likely find yourself heading to nearby Anna Maria Island or Bradenton Beach, where there are a plethora of exciting beach activities and even more dining beachside.
At Lecom Park, the Spring Training home of the Pittsburgh Pirates, always draws a crowd when it’s baseball season.
Places to Avoid in Bradenton
After dark, you’ll want to use common sense when it comes to safety.
The downtown area is lit well, but it’s easy to venture off the beaten path and end up in a dark neighborhood.
This is a city that comes to life during the day and gets much quieter at night.
The riverwalk can be foreboding at night alone, and homeless people group here, so enjoy that feature during the day as well.
Crime maps show the farther east you go in Bradenton, the higher the crime rates become.
North of Bradenton is Palmetto, where the crime rates are higher.
You might want to avoid this area.
Safety Tips for Traveling to Bradenton
- Wear good shoes. The downtown area is very walkable with 60 art displays, 25 historical sites, and nearly 150 places to shop and eat. It’s tempting to slide on flip-flops when visiting Florida, but good walking shoes are a must in this community.
- Getting to the beaches during rush hours can be rough. The traffic backs up for miles, so be patient. Better yet, plan your trip to get to the beach before the big crowds. Anytime before 9 am is good.
- If you are fishing here, you’ll need a valid Florida fishing license. An out-of-state or out-of-country license won’t suffice. There’s a separate permit for saltwater or freshwater fishing. You can get this online or in-person or at a tax collector’s office in Bradenton.
- You might see alligators while you are here. Especially in the spring when they bask on the side of ponds and lakes, these animals live here as much as the residents do. You should never go swimming in freshwater, as that’s where they live. You’ll see signs telling you not to feed the alligators throughout the area.
- You are going to see amazing varieties of birds here. It’s a birdwatching paradise. However, you should only watch them and never feed them. Not only is it illegal, it’s dangerous as they can get sick from human food and also might return to that location looking for food.
- Whether you hit the water by boat, kayak, or paddleboard, there are state laws about having a personal flotation device. Florida has the most boating fatalities in the nation and even avid swimmers can get into trouble in the water. Before you head out, review the rules for each device so you don’t get stopped by the boat police.
- Anna Maria Island has a trolley to get around and it’s free. You are encouraged to donate. This trolley goes from Coquina Beach on the Southside to the Anna Maria Island City Pier and has 7 stops in between. This is a great way to stay out of the sun and save your feet from walking for miles.
- If you visit in April, May, August, or September, you might see love bugs. This is their mating season. There is not much to love about these bugs. They get their name from their mating habits. When they mate, they are stuck together and fly around that way. They can arrive in swarms. They are attracted to white and heat. They swarm around various areas and while they are not dangerous, they sure are a nuisance. Be sure to wash your car if you drive through a lovebug swarm as they can damage the paint.
- This region was named one of the most dangerous places for pedestrians in 2019. A combination of wayward tourists and drivers in a rush makes a dangerous and deadly combination. Even if you are at a crosswalk and have the right of way, look both ways before crossing. In 2018 alone, more than 300 crashes involved pedestrians in the Sarasota/Manatee County area.
- It’s pronounced “Bray-den-ton” not “BRAD-en-ton” as some GPS systems like to say. Manatee is pronounced “Man-uh-tee”, not “Mahn-at-ee.”
So... How Safe Is Bradenton Really?
It is a safe city by looking at crime statistics from the FBI and Bradenton Police Department.
The crime that does exist saw an 11% decrease in 2020.
The city is working to remove the reputation that Bradenton is the more dangerous part of the Suncoast community.
The city lies on 14 miles of coastline, so most of the activities here are water-related.
You’ll need to use boating and water safety guidelines whenever you are in the water.
The downtown area recently went through a renaissance with new restaurants and art installations.
Much of Bradenton is going to be on the water or downtown, the larger part of the city is mostly residential.
Even when you venture to Anna Maria Island or Bradenton Beach, you are still going into safe cities.
How Does Bradenton Compare?
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- Visas - You'll take care of all the Visa requirements at the port of entry or airport. You will need to have a legal ID for activities like boating and drinking, and again, if you want to fish, you'll need a Florida fishing license.
- Currency - Only U.S. Dollar currency is accepted here. Credit cards are widely accepted but it's good to have some cash for some of the smaller fees you might come across.
- Weather - Summers get very hot, with highs in the 90s and humidity in the 70s. Bring plenty of water on any outdoor adventure to stay hydrated. Summer also brings storms that can pop up quickly, bringing high winds, torrential rain, thunder, and lightning. These usually don't last more than an hour. Winters are mild with average highs in the 70s. Bring a jacket just in case a cold snap comes through.
- Airports - The Sarasota Bradenton Aiport is at the county lines of Sarasota and Manatee counties, about 20 minutes away from Bradenton. It's a small but very convenient airport. If you head north on the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, you can access Tampa International Aiport and St. Pete-Clearwater Airport with each being about 45 minutes away.
- Travel Insurance - Summer storms and hurricanes from June - November can shut down the region's airports, so it's wise to get travel insurance.
Bradenton Weather Averages (Temperatures)
Average High/Low Temperature
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