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Location & Transportation

Nestled along the southwest coast, in what is widely recognized as Florida’s Gulf Coast, Manatee County sits within the vibrant Tampa Bay Metropolitan Area. This mid-size Florida county stretches over 741 square miles of land and miles upon miles of coastline and beaches. Access to major arterial highway networks, public transportation and international airports makes travel in and out of Manatee County easy and efficient.

Three international airports can be found within 50 miles of Manatee County. Sarasota Bradenton International Airport (SRQ) is a mere 10 minutes from downtown Bradenton and provides commercial flights and general aviation services to more than 1.5 million passengers annually. Non-stop, year-round daily flights to Atlanta, Baltimore, Charlotte, Chicago, Cincinnati, New York and Washington, D.C. are available, while seasonal flights are accessible to Boston, Detroit, Indianapolis, Memphis and Toronto. SRQ is strategically located on the Manatee/Sarasota county line, at the intersection of U.S. 41 and University Parkway.

Further domestic and international air transportation options can be accessed through Tampa International Airport (TPA) within 47 miles and St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport (PIE) within 36 miles of Bradenton.

Commuters take advantage of a large web of interstate and intrastate highway systems that wind throughout the area. Included in the network are nearby Interstates 4, 75 and 275; U.S. Highways 41, 19 and 301; and State Routes 62, 64, 70, 675, 684 and 789. These arterial roadways make it easy for those traveling to and from work or nearby communities.

Through Manatee County Government, the Manatee County Area Transit (MCAT) provides bus, trolley and paratransit services to residents and visitors. Ten fixed bus routes, which run hourly from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday, traverse Bradenton, Ellenton, Palmetto and the county’s Gulf Beach communities. Fare is just $1.25, with transfers $.25 each.

These fixed routes connect riders with the free Manatee Trolley on Anna Maria Island, running every 20 minutes from Anna Maria City Pier to Coquina Beach every day from 6:00 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. MCAT, in partnership with Sarasota County Area Transit, operates the Longboat Key Trolley from Coquina Beach on Anna Maria Island to downtown Sarasota via Longboat Key and St. Armands Circle. Daily service from 6:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. is available every 30 minutes for only $.75.

Additionally, MCAT operates the Handy Bus, a door-to-door (paratransit) service available by appointment for those who qualify.

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