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Bradenton Riverwalk

Coordinates: 27°29′58″N 82°34′02″W / 27.49944°N 82.56722°W / 27.49944; -82.56722
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Bradenton Riverwalk
Refer to caption
Tower plaza with Manatee River in the background
LocationBradenton, Florida
Coordinates27°29′58″N 82°34′02″W / 27.49944°N 82.56722°W / 27.49944; -82.56722
Area5.0 acres (0.020 km2)[1]
OpenedOctober 18, 2012 (2012-10-18)[2][3]
Operated byCity of Bradenton
OpenYear round
Public transit accessManatee County Area Transit (MCAT)

Bradenton Riverwalk (known locally as the Riverwalk) is a 1.5-mile-long (2.4 km) public green space located along the Manatee River in Bradenton, Florida, between Business US 41 and South Tamiami Trail (US 301 / US 41 concurrently). The five-acre (2.0 ha) park opened to the public on October 18, 2012 and features a skatepark, 400-seat amphitheater, playgrounds, and a splash pad. The area is maintained by the city of Bradenton and the nonprofit organization Realize Bradenton.


Downtown Bradenton area in December 1970

In the 1960s Bradenton dredged the Manatee River for silt, to add 50 acres (0.20 km2) of land adjacent to its downtown area.[4] The area was dubbed "The Sand Pile" due to the river dredging projects.[2][4] The park, Anthony T. Rossi Waterfront Park (or known simply as Waterfront Park or Rossi Park), was originally developed in the 1980s with the help of a federal grant.[1] The boundaries of Rossi Park were from the Green Bridge (Business US 41 / 9th Street West) to the Hernando de Soto Bridge (US 301 / US 41 / 1st Street). The Bradenton Downtown Development Authority (BDDA) hired Kimley-Horn in June 2010 to design a substantial improvement to Rossi Park and the surrounding waterfront area.[5] The construction of the Riverwalk broke ground in September 2011 and opened to the public on October 18, 2012.[2]


The Bradenton Riverwalk spans from slightly west of the Green Bridge, near Bishop Museum of Science and Nature, to 2nd Street East, adjacent to Manatee Memorial Hospital. The Riverwalk includes playgrounds, splash pad, a lawn for picnics, a day dock for boaters, a skatepark, a botanical walk, sand volleyball courts, and a 400-seat Mosaic Amphitheater.[3][6]

Public art is displayed throughout the Riverwalk area. One of the permanent art collections displayed is Postcards from the Friendly City. The collection consists of various large-scale art panel "postcards" depicting the history of the Manatee River and the Bradenton area.[7]

Several weekly, monthly, and annual events are held at the Riverwalk. These events range from a weekly farmers' market, a seasonal "Music in the Park" family-friendly live music series, to annual events such as Bradenton Blues Festival and ArtSlam. The events attract approximately 110,000 people annually to the downtown Bradenton area.[8][9]

Eastern extension[edit]

In April 2017, the city of Bradenton contracted Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc. again to create a master plan for an eastern extension of the Bradenton Riverwalk.[3][10] The eastern extension will extend the Riverwalk east to Manatee Mineral Springs Park and Manatee Village Historical Park.

The city also bought 1.5 acres (0.61 ha) of land north of Manatee Mineral Springs Park for $700,000 to expand the existing park and to ensure interconnectivity with the eastern expansion of the Riverwalk.[11] The first phase of the extension opened in September 2022.[12]



  1. ^ a b "Rossi Park – City of Bradenton". City of Bradenton. Retrieved April 13, 2018.
  2. ^ a b c Becnel, Thomas (October 12, 2012). "Bradenton Riverwalk a paradise for walkers". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. Retrieved April 13, 2018.
  3. ^ a b c "Bradenton Riverwalk Planning / Landscape Architecture". Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc. Retrieved April 13, 2018.
  4. ^ a b Nyren, Ron (June 13, 2016). "ULX: Waterfront Open Spaces". Urban Land Institute. Retrieved April 15, 2018.
  5. ^ "Riverwalk Project". Bradenton Downtown Development Authority. Retrieved April 13, 2018.
  6. ^ "Riverwalk Features". Realize Bradenton. Retrieved April 13, 2018.
  7. ^ "Public Art". Realize Bradenton. Retrieved April 13, 2018.
  8. ^ "Impact". Realize Bradenton. Retrieved August 24, 2020.
  9. ^ "Events Calendar". Realize Bradenton. Retrieved August 24, 2020.
  10. ^ "Riverwalk Features – Realize Bradenton". Realize Bradenton. Retrieved April 13, 2018.
  11. ^ Young, Mark (April 12, 2017). "City park is about to double in size with land buy". The Bradenton Herald. Retrieved May 8, 2018.
  12. ^ "Riverwalk East Park Grand Opening". Discover Bradenton. Retrieved June 8, 2023.

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