Across the Manatee River from Bradenton sits Palmetto, a town of nearly 14,000 people and home to snowbirds, permanent residents, and vacationers alike. Palmetto offers a diverse real estate stock, from beautiful new villas in the low seven figures, to still-spacious single-family homes for under $500,000, to condos and townhomes suitable for vacation rentals. No matter your budget or your lifestyle, Palmetto has a place for you. Even better, Palmetto is only minutes away from Bradenton and the beaches and offers some outstanding outdoor recreation of its own. Here’s a look at just a little of what Palmetto has to offer.
Like much of the rest of the Manatee communities, Palmetto has plenty of good restaurants offering the freshest seafood money can buy. But that’s not all that’s on offer in Palmetto, and you won’t have to look far to find a restaurant worth grabbing a bite to eat. Here are a few of the area’s best.
Riverhouse Waterfront Restaurant. Located in the shadow of the 8th Avenue Bridge, connecting Palmetto1 to Bradenton, Riverhouse offers some of the best food and best views in town. The Riverhouse Waterfront Restaurant offers panoramic views of the Manatee river in all three of the restaurant’s dining rooms. Enjoy fresh seafood, salads, pasta, sandwiches, and steaks, all of which are reasonably priced, given the quality of the food and the location of the restaurant.
The Clam House. The Clam House has been owned and operated for the last 38 years by the same family of local fishermen and chefs. Every day, one of the owners goes on the water looking for today’s catch to serve at the restaurant, and every night, the diners benefit from the owner’s hard work. In addition to the obvious choice of clams (prepared in every way thinkable), the Clam House also has shrimp, fresh local catch, and even sushi.
Seagrape Seafood. Seagrape Seafood might not be a fancy place, but it serves seafood just as good as at the finest white tablecloth restaurant, in a decidedly more casual space. Take some of their fresh fish home to prepare yourself, or have them cook it for you. Either way, you’re having a delicious fish dinner.
Rodney’s Jamaican Grill. For a taste of a different island, try Rodney’s. Jerk chicken, fried plantains, and saltfish are just a few of the Jamaican specialties served with a side of Reggae music. Wash it all down with a glass of authentic Jamaican rum punch or a Red Stripe, and you’ll be feeling the hospitality of the islands.
Palmetto celebrates its history with the Palmetto Historic District. This district was added to the National Register of Historic Places on November 6, 1986, and contains 208 historic buildings and homes. Within the district, you can find landmark bungalows, Craftsman homes, and homes built in the 19th Century Revival style. Also within the historic district can be found Palmetto Historical Park, which includes Palmetto1’s first post office (built 1880), a historic one-room schoolhouse, a small military museum, and a cottage museum. The park offers a look at what Palmetto real estate looked like over 100 years ago when the newly-built railroad reached Palmetto.
Part of life near the water is life on the water. Like the rest of the area, many of Palmettos residents own boats. Even if you do not live on the water, you can still enjoy the boating life with a membership at Palmetto’s fine yacht clubs. The Bradenton Yacht Club has been around since 1946, and, with one of the youngest and most vibrant memberships of any yacht club in the area, the future looks bright. The BYC has about 1200 members, who enjoy the Club’s 52-slip dock for members’ boats, clubhouse with a casual restaurant and bar, fueling and pump-out services, bicycles to explore the area, and two lighted tennis/pickleball courts. The BYC is surprisingly affordable for the amenities that it provides, so it is little surprise that member turnover is low. But if you enjoy life on the water and want to be part of a community that also does, the BYC is the place to go to Palmetto.
Also near downtown Palmetto is Riviera Dunes Marina, offering a 219-slip dock to fit boats of every size. Riviera Dunes is also highly affordable, with slips available for only hundreds of dollars per month for even large boats.
Palmetto offers plenty of places to enjoy the outdoors, none better than Palmetto Estuary Park. This 20-acre park is located on the other side of the 8th Avenue Bridge from Riverhouse Waterfront Restaurant and has a fishing pier, picnic areas, hiking and nature observation trails, and restrooms. The park features a large mangrove swamp, where many wading birds like the Roseate spoonbill, limpkin, little blue heron, snowy egret, and white ibis can be seen.
Finally, Palmetto is home to the Manatee County Fairgrounds. Each January, the Manatee County Fair provides the carnival rides, livestock and horticulture contests, and pageants that county fairs have featured for decades. For a taste of nostalgia (and funnel cake), try the fair.
Discover Palmetto Today
Whatever your lifestyle requires, Palmetto has something for you. Palmetto is easily accessible from both Tampa Bay and Sarasota’s airports, less than an hour away from either, even with typical traffic—closer than any of the islands. On the other hand, Palmetto is only a short drive away from the shopping of Sarasota or Longboat Key, or the fishing and boating charters in Cortez or Anna Maria Island, or the area’s plentiful public white-sand beaches. Whether you’re looking for a permanent home or vacation rentals, Palmetto has something for you. To schedule a private tour of local homes, call Chelsea Oelker, a realtor with Michael Saunders & Company, Anna Maria Island. She can find the perfect property for you to call home in Palmetto or anywhere else in the Sarasota-Bradenton area.