On the north side of Manatee River sits Parrish, an unincorporated Manatee County community of around 20,000 people. It is located in the northern part of the county, just east of Highway 75, along 301. Locals knows the Ellenton Outlet Mall just off the highway, but if you venture in a little further, you’ll find a small but growing community that thrives on supporting each other. From local stores to family owned restaurants and a network of small businesses, they all do their part to help out the citizens of Parrish.
What are the local attractions in or near Parrish?
Buffalo Creek Park is a great spot for a picnic, to catch a little league game or let the kids run around. It’s made up of baseball and soccer fields, a playground, and a dog park. There is also the YMCA which has something for the whole family: workout facility, childcare, kids programs, and an outdoor pool.
And lastly, the Florida Railroad Museum. I was pleasantly surprised with what it has to offer. There are events offered throughout the year that allow you to ride the train for an “experience,” including A Civil War Reenactment, Thomas the Train ride, Polar Express or just rent the caboose out for a party!
What schools do kids go to?
Parrish children attend Manatee County Schools that also serve the Ellenton and Palmetto areas. There are plans for a new high school that will help with the expanding area. Most of the schools are highly rated and parents rave about the teachers. I’m currently preparing to send my oldest to Kindergarten in August and we’ve had nothing but a great experience so far.
What are some of your favorite shops?
Bulk Food Superstore – Just Opened
Barrels and barrels of fun! All the nuts and snacks and candy you can think of, all just a scoop away.
What are some of your favorite restaurants?
Simple Mexican Grill
With Chipotle being a good 30 minutes away, this place is a great alternative! Some locals would even say it’s better. Swap out your rice for the quinoa for a healthier option. And get the queso — you can thank me in the comments!
Burgers and shakes, what more could you want? Great burgers, great shakes, and check out their onion rings. Lots more options as well.
Another hidden gem, Chumlee’s prides themselves on having the best wings around. There are 21 different sauces to choose from; my favorites include House, Garlic Parmesan, and Jamaican Me Crazy. And be sure to grab a $0.93 beer on tap while you wait for your food.
This hidden gem is inside the Rocky Bluff Library and while I’ve never been there for lunch, the owner, Michelle, is the best cake maker/decorator around. She has made beautiful cakes for many of our family events at an affordable price.
What are specific neighborhoods you would recommend?
Harrison Ranch is a great family friendly neighborhood. There are walking trails, a shaded playground, an outdoor heated pool, and a clubhouse with a workout center and full event staff. Events include outdoor movies, kids cooking classes, kids music classes, exercise sessions, and lots of other parties and events.
Copperstone is another family friendly neighborhood that is gated. It offers a clubhouse with events as well as two pools and a workout facility.
Why would you recommend Parrish as one of the best Sarasota neighborhoods?
When we looked around at cities to live in, Parrish checked off many of our requirement boxes. It has good schools, a variety of housing options with big lots, and the vicinity to St. Petersburg made my husband’s commute manageable. But the biggest contributor to our family deciding to live here was the small town feel and the sense of community. Being from a small town myself, it just felt right.
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