Manatee County is a county in the U.S. state of Florida. As of the 2010 census, the population was 322,833. Its county seat and largest city is Bradenton. The county was created in 1855. It was named for the Florida manatee (commonly called a “sea cow” and distantly related to the elephant), which is endangered and Florida’s official marine mammal.
Manatee County is included in the North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, FL Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Features of Manatee County include access to the Southern part of Tampa Bay, the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, and the Manatee River. Rowing facilities are being developed in the area and the Upper Manatee River Canoe Trail has been created. There are several parks and preserves.