Passionate About the Community
and the Moms Who Live Here

West Bradenton: A Mom’s Guide to the Best Sarasota Neighborhoods

West Bradenton is the perfect mix of a coastal city and a small town. Beaches, parks, and sidewalks allow you to enjoy the beautiful weather year round. The people are friendly, the schools are great, and there are plenty of family-friendly activities nearby.

What local attractions are nearby?

Robinson Preserve

Robinson Preserve is a 487 acre preserve filled with family activities. Follow the hiking paths through the Florida scenery and climb the observation tower, or take to the water on a kayak or paddle board. Kids will love spotting the wildlife or playing on the playground.

View from the observation tower in Robinson Preserve


The Riverwalk is 1.5 miles of park overlooking the Manatee River. Here you can find benches, art displays, spans of grass, a skate park, a playground and a splash pad.

Riverwalk splash pad

G.T. Bray Park

The recreational hub of Manatee County, G.T. Bray Park has something for everyone. The county’s soccer, baseball, basketball, and football leagues are based out of the park, along with tennis, racquetball and pickleball. There are running trails, a dog park, several playgrounds, pavilions for rent, and an Olympic-size swimming pool with a high dive, water slide, and kiddie splash area.


West Bradenton is only 5 short miles from Anna Maria Island and all the beautiful beaches it has to offer. The Manatee Public Beach is the closest. With a playground, restrooms, shower, and restaurant, it is a great option for families.

Manatee Public Beach

Where do your kids go to school?

There are many great neighborhood public schools in West Bradenton. Rowlett Academy is a public charter school that focuses on leadership and performing arts. Rowlett has both an elementary and a middle school, and is so popular that it has a waiting list to get in every year.

Rowlett Academy

If private schools are your preference, both Bradenton Christian School and St. Stephen’s Episcopal School are well-respected in the community.

What are some of your favorite local businesses or shops?

Latte Luna

Latte Luna is a delightful coffee shop located on Manatee Avenue with a changing menu of coffee, tea, breakfast, lunch and dessert. It offers the perfect atmosphere for coffee with friends, a business meeting, or a date night. You can reserve the back room for larger gatherings, enjoy live music on Tuesdays and Saturdays, and try your hand at some old school Nintendo or Sega.

Maker’s Market

The Maker’s Market combines a retail shop full of home décor and gifts, with a DIY workshop in the back. Gather your girlfriends for a GNO or bring your spouse for a date night, and leave with your own unique piece. Everything you need for your project is provided, along with a fun and social atmosphere.

The Fresh Market

If you’re looking for fresh, high quality food that supports the local community, The Fresh Market is the place for you. Shop on Tuesdays for deals on chicken and ground chuck.


We have yet to find someone who does not love Publix! Fresh meat, produce, and a deli and bakery provide everything you need when grocery shopping for your family. The store’s slogan, “Where shopping is a pleasure,” really does ring true.

What are some of your favorite restaurants?

Sweet Berries

Sweet Berries Frozen Custard and Eatery offers fresh sandwiches, soups and salads for lunch and dinner. They also have an extensive frozen custard selection. Try a concrete – custard mixed with toppings; it’s so thick that they serve it to you upside down!

Sweet Berries

Sage Biscuit Cafe

Located on Cortez Road near 75th Street, Sage Biscuit is a breakfast and lunch café with a casual and family-friendly atmosphere. The menu offers a wide range of vegetarian and vegan options, along with traditional fare.


This Irish pub meets martini bar is located on Main Street in downtown Bradenton. O’Bricks is known for its delicious made-to-order food, daily happy hour, and varying drink specials. If you have something to celebrate, do it at O’Bricks. Friends and family welcome.

What neighborhoods would you recommend?

Northwest Bradenton has many neighborhoods filled with families. Hawthorne Park, The Loop, Mango Park, Azalea Park, Riverview Landings, Woods of Palma Sola, and Palma Sola Park all have sidewalks, larger lots, and proximity to highly rated schools. There are also many safe and quiet streets in Northwest Bradenton that are not part of a subdivision, but offer the same benefits.

Why is West Bradenton one of the best neighborhoods in SRQ?

Bradenton is nicknamed “The Friendly City” for a reason. It seems that everyone knows each other, and there is rarely a trip to the grocery store without a friendly conversation. It’s large enough to have a variety of shopping and restaurants available, and close enough to the beach that you could end every day with a sunset over the Gulf. 

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