Want to know what to do in downtown Bradenton? There’s an app for that.
“Actually it’s better than an app,” said Jodi Carroll, Realize Bradenton special projects manager. “A lot of people don’t like to download too many apps, so this is an interactive website you can pull up and enhance your downtown experience.”
Realize Bradenton will officially release the interactive website WalkBradenton.com on Friday, but it is active now. The user-friendly site takes you on a digital view of downtown Bradenton that you can then physically follow up on as the user discovers there is a lot more to Bradenton than even longtime residents may realize.
The site highlights the city’s unique offerings, from where to grab a bite to eat or drink, its historical buildings, where to stay the night or where to view 58 pieces of public art. There are 145 local businesses and restaurants highlighted on the website within a few blocks of one another, as well as the public art pieces.
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Want to know which restaurants are offering specials, or more about the artists? Simply touch what’s highlighted and all of the information pops up.
“Bradenton really is fortunate to have so much history,” Carroll said. “I’ve been to a lot of communities where they hardly have any, and it’s really an asset to the downtown area that makes Bradenton a distinctive destination.”
The website can be accessed from any smart phone, tablet or computer. As part of Realize Bradenton’s place-making strategy, this business development initiative has taken more than a year to develop. The project was coordinated by Realize Bradenton, the Bradenton Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, Bradenton Downtown Development Authority, Mosaic, the Florida Department of Health, Manatee County and Manatee County Historical records, according to Realize Bradenton Executive Director Johnette Isham.
“You are getting an authentic downtown experience through WalkBradenton.com, something you won’t find using search engines or online maps,” Isham said. “The website supports the local economy by connecting people to businesses, restaurants and cultural attractions that are otherwise missed by single-destination patrons who park and then leave.”
While everything is designed to be walk-friendly and within 15 minutes on foot, finding a business or piece of public art the user may not be familiar with is easy with directional capability and personal locator technology. Also, wellness tips can be interacted with online.
“We’re encouraging everyone to visit WalkBradenton.com to experience downtown Bradenton from a new perspective,” Isham said. “This is phase one of the website and we will have additional content added over the summer, including videos of artists discussing the creation of public art, additional historic images and residents talking about Bradenton’s past.”