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“Wonderful Place for a History Lesson”

Manatee Village Historical Park
Ranked #5 of 35 things to do in Bradenton
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Manatee Village Historical Park's mission is to preserve and share the heritage of Manatee County’s founding period (1840-1918). We do this through our museum and collection of historical and replica buildings. We typically display 2-3 exhibits on a variety of topics related to our mission. Our permanent exhibit is “One Century Plus of Ranching in Manatee County.” Our buildings are furnished to display what life was like in early Florida. In addition to our exhibits, we also host special events like lectures, book signings, festivals, workshops, and demonstrations. Manatee Village operates thanks to a unique public-private partnership through the support of the Manatee County Clerk of Circuit Court & Comptroller and the Manatee County Historical Commission, Inc.
Reviewed 27 March 2018 via mobile

This unique park is a great way to visualize and experience life in early Florida firsthand. You can easily find this free historical park by looking for Old Cabbagehead (locomotive) by Manatee Avenue. Start at the general store for your orientation. There are some unique items to check out in the general store. The rest of the time is for you to stroll through the park at your leisure exploring the courthouse, farmhouse, church, school and other buildings from early Florida history. The buildings and exhibits are very well done and exceeded my expectations. Give yourself a couple hours to thoroughly check everything out. Good place to go on a cloudy but rainless day as all is outside.

Thank TFopinion
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a ReviewReviews (145)
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"general store"
in 25 reviews
"one room school house"
in 7 reviews
"train engine"
in 5 reviews
"suggested donation"
in 4 reviews
"blacksmith shop"
in 4 reviews
"experience life"
in 3 reviews
"cracker house"
in 3 reviews
"authentic buildings"
in 3 reviews
"small site"
in 2 reviews
"steam locomotive"
in 2 reviews
"united methodist church"
in 2 reviews
"boat builder"
in 2 reviews
"pioneer days"
in 2 reviews
"fascinating insight"
in 2 reviews
"local history"
in 6 reviews
"nice collection"
in 2 reviews
"manatee county"
in 7 reviews

6 - 10 of 145 reviews

Reviewed 23 March 2018 via mobile

As a frequent winter visitor to the area have wanted to visit the park for some time. A chilly but sunny morning provided the perfect opportunity for walking the grounds and building interiors. Found locating the entrance and parking area a little convoluted.

The admission free park ($5 suggested donation) officially lists 16 points of interest but the main attractions are the general store (the only building original to the site), the boat works, a "cracker gothic" home, the church, a one room schoolhouse, and the courthouse which date from 1860 to the early 1900s. Each of the buildings are open for viewing, have local historic origins, and are generally furnished to reflect their original functions. Be sure to pickup the free guidebook in the Wiggins General Store near the entrance which provides a layout of the park and some general background information on each of the points of interest. Note the general store also contains a gift shop and some interesting displays on the second floor.

While I enjoyed and found my nearly two hours exploring the park informative I thought the grounds seemed in need of some attention. Some of the restoration and artifact placements struck me as lacking historical accuracy. The assistance and direction of trained historians and curators coupled with adequate funding could make the park a real community asset and visitor destination.

Thank Tom B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 March 2018

Carolyn and Elizabeth, at the front desk were super informative and were very friendly too. They unlocked one of the gates so that I could get a great photo of one of the iron gates. I enjoyed seeing the schoolhouse the most. The courtroom was fun to see also. You really get a flavor for life in pioneer Florida. Nice gift shop. I loved all the exhibits. Fun for everyone. Convenient stop.

Thank Tim G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 March 2018 via mobile

Free! (Bonus) Self guided tours. (You choose pace) get a sampling of life in that time. I enjoyed the House. The brick paths & trees are pretty, too.

1  Thank shelley b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 19 March 2018

A nice selection of buildings at the sight brought there from other places. Easy to access and a nice walk

Thank Dianne S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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