Destination Guide

Destination: Bradenton/Sarasota

The Bradenton-Sarasota region of Florida fits the definition of overlooked and underrated by both tourists and golfers alike.

That's a mistake on both accounts. This Gulf Coast destination, sandwiched by Tampa Bay/St. Petersburg to the north and ritzy Naples to the south, still offers the mild winter weather of the Sunshine State and attractions good enough to entice beach bums and golfers to visit year-round, but with a sleepier, small-town vibe.

Sarasota's best rounds come courtesy of the Arnold-Palmer-designed Legacy Golf Club at Lakewood Ranch and the Troon Golf-managed Sarasota National in Venice. There are a couple dozen more courses to consider, just be sure to save some energy for post-golf adventures.

Sailing and chartered catamaran and fishing trips are great day excursions on the Gulf of Mexico available in either city. Boaters can explore Beer Can Island.

The miles-long Siesta Key Public Beach ranked no. 1 in the world in 2011 by Dr. Beach for its soft, sugary-white sand, but the Venice Beach, Longboat Key Beach, Anna Maria Island, Bradenton Beach and Lido Key Beach are also revered shoreline spots for families and sunbathers.

Spoiled guests love the luxury of the Ritz-Carlton Sarasota and, across the Sarasota Bay on a thin finger of land, the Longboat Key Club & Resort, home to 45 holes of golf in Longboat Key.

Sarasota boasts a vibrant arts community. The paintings at the world-famous Ringling Museum of Art highlight the museum scene. John Ringling's Ca D'Zan Mansion, made of Venetian Gothic architecture, and the Ringling Circus Museum are intriguing, too. A nationally recognized opera house, ballet company, symphony orchestra and multiple theaters reside just a mile down the road from the Ringling complex.

Sarasota's quaint Towles Court art district comes to life with brightly painted wooden homes filled with galleries, shops and restaurants. Main Street is for strolling, whether you're on the prowl to eat, drink or shop. St. Armand's Circle across the Ringling Causeway is another hotspot.

Away from the hustle and bustle, the gigantic Myakka River State Park offers miles of hiking trails, campgrounds, cabin rentals, and airboat tours.

The Sarasota Jungle Gardens animal park showcases the Florida wildlife. For a different kind of migratory bird, check out Ed Smith Stadium, the spring training headquarters of the Baltimore Orioles. The stadium is fresh off a $31-million renovation completed in 2011. Up the coast, the McKechnie Field, home of the minor-league Bradenton Marauders, hosts the Pittsburgh Pirates spring training camp. Nick Bollettieri's Tennis Academy, where Andre Agassi honed his game, calls Bradenton home as well.

See also


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Courses

Course City Rates from
Course City Rates from
Oaks/Marsh Course at Heron Creek Golf and Country Club
Tee Times
North Port $25
Waterlefe Golf & River Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $16
Tributary Course at River Strand Golf and Country Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $29
Tatum Ridge Golf Links
Tee Times
Sarasota $10
Legacy Golf Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $20
River Run Golf Links
Tee Times
Bradenton $10
Marsh/Creek Course at Heron Creek Golf and Country Club
Tee Times
North Port $20
Rosedale Golf & Country Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $16
Sanctuary Course at River Strand Golf and Country Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $29
The Highlands Golf Course
Tee Times
Sarasota $12
Creek/Oaks Course at Heron Creek Golf and Country Club
Tee Times
North Port $20
The River Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $12
IMG Academies Golf & Country Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $18
Estuary Course at River Strand Golf and Country Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $29
Sabal Trace Golf & Country Club
Tee Times
North Port $15 - $27
Boca Royale Golf & Country Club
Tee Times
Englewood $10
Jacaranda West Country Club
Tee Times
Venice $21
Duffy's Golf Center
Tee Times
Port Charlotte $8
Pinebrook/Ironwood Golf Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $10
Oyster Creek Golf Club
Tee Times
Englewood $13
Peridia Golf & Country Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $10
Suncoast Golf Center
Tee Times
Sarasota $10
Second/Third at Lake Venice Golf Club
Tee Times
Venice $19 - $30
Bobcat Trail Golf Club
Tee Times
North Port $20
Esplanade Golf & Country Club at Lakewood Ranch
Tee Times
Lakewood Ranch $26
Links at Greenfield Plantation
Tee Times
Bradenton $10
Stoneybrook Golf Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $17
First/Second at Lake Venice Golf Club
Tee Times
Venice $19 - $30
Terra Ceia Bay Golf & Tennis Club
Tee Times
Palmetto $10
Village Green Golf Club of Sarasota
Tee Times
Sarasota $11 - $24
Buffalo Creek Golf Course
Tee Times
Palmetto $20
Venetian Golf & River Club
Tee Times
North Venice $19
2/3 at University Park Country Club
Tee Times
University Park $29
Riverwood Golf Club
Tee Times
Port Charlotte $20
Imperial Lakeswoods Golf Club
Tee Times
Palmetto $16
3/1 at University Park Country Club
Tee Times
University Park $29
1/2 at University Park Country Club
Tee Times
University Park $29
Third/First at Lake Venice Golf Club
Tee Times
Venice $19 - $30
Preserve Golf Club at Tara
Tee Times
Bradenton $12
The Groves Golf Course
Tee Times
Sarasota $9
Sarasota National Golf Club
Tee Times
Venice $35 - $79
Bent Tree Country Club
Tee Times
Sarasota $25 - $39
Manatee County Golf Course
Tee Times
Bradenton $15
Misty Creek Country Club
Tee Times
Sarasota $16
Pinemoor West Golf Club Rotonda West $15.99 - $26.99
Panther Course at Plantation Golf & Country Club Venice $66
Capri Isles Golf Club Venice $30 - $58
Eagle Course at The Oaks Osprey $105
Ritz - Carlton Members Club Bradenton $125
Rolling Green Golf Club Sarasota $20 - $29
Calusa Lakes Golf Club Nokomis $10 - $58
Bobcat Course at Plantation Golf & Country Club Venice $66
Champions Course at Palm-Aire Country Club Sarasota $80
River Wilderness Golf & Country Club Parrish $60
British Course at Bobby Jones Golf Complex Sarasota $11 - $37
Red Nine at Palmetto Pines Golf Course Parrish $25
Venice East Golf Club Venice $12 - $20
Greens of Manatee Golf Course Bradenton $30
Blue Nine at Palmetto Pines Golf Course Parrish $25
Mission Valley Golf & Country Club Nokomis $30 - $45
Palm View Hills Golf Course Palmetto $9 - $24
Founders Golf Club Sarasota $95
Orange Nine at Palmetto Pines Golf Course Parrish $25
Stadium Course at TPC Prestancia Sarasota $205
Concession Golf Club Bradenton N/A
Meadows/Preserve at Pelican Pointe Golf & Country Club Venice $31 - $72
White/Blue at Myakka Pines Golf Club Englewood $15 - $36
Sorrento Par-3 Golf Course Nokomis $7
West Course at Laurel Oak Country Club Sarasota $100
Bradenton Country Club Bradenton $70
The Resort at Longboat Key Club - Links on Longboat Longboat Key $50 - $106
Sawgrass/Turnberry at Waterford Golf Club Venice $30 - $58
Lemon Bay Golf Club Englewood $70 - $80
Palms Course at Rotonda Golf & Country Club Rotonda West $19.99 - $39.99
Cypress Links Course at Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club Bradenton $40 - $75
Harborside Red/White at Longboat Key Club & Resort Longboat Key $50 - $106
Lakes Course at Palm-Aire Country Club Sarasota $80
Hills Course at Rotonda Golf & Country Club Rotonda West $18.99 - $33.99
Gator Creek Golf Club Sarasota $105
Long Marsh Nine at Long Marsh Golf Club at Rotonda West Rotonda West $23.99 - $43.99
Sawgrass/Gleneagles at Waterford Golf Club Venice $30 - $58
Club Course at TPC Prestancia Sarasota $151
East Course at Laurel Oak Country Club Sarasota $100
Blue Course at Gulf Gate Golf Club Sarasota $20
American Course at Bobby Jones Golf Complex Sarasota $11 - $37
Venice Golf & Country Club Venice $75
Blue/ Red at Myakka Pines Golf Club Englewood $15 - $36
Gasparilla Inn & Club Boca Grande $85
White Nine at Palmetto Pines Golf Course Parrish $25
The Meadows Country Club Sarasota $35
Sara Bay Country Club Sarasota $60
Myrtle/Palms at Oak Ford Golf Club Sarasota N/A
Palms/Live Oaks at Oak Ford Golf Club Sarasota N/A
Serenoa Golf Club Sarasota $20 - $38
Coral Creek Club Placida $125
Pine Valley Nine at Long Marsh Golf Club at Rotonda West Rotonda $23.99 - $43.99
Harbourside Blue/Red at Longboat Key Club & Resort Longboat Key $50 - $106
Gleneagles/Turnberry at Waterford Golf Club Venice $30 - $58
Red Course at Gulf Gate Golf Club Sarasota $30
Tara Golf & Country Club Bradenton $60
Preserve/Hatchett at Pelican Pointe Golf & Country Club Venice $31 - $72
Harborside White/Blue at Longboat Key Club & Resort Longboat Key $50 - $106
Executive Course at Bobby Jones Golf Complex Sarasota $5.50 - $12.75
Links Course at Rotonda Golf & Country Club Rotonda West $12.99 - $22.99
Blue Heron Course at The Oaks Osprey $105
River Isles Golf Club Bradenton $13
Key Royale Club Holmes Beach $14
Pinemoor East Golf Club Rotonda West $20.00
Royal Lakes Course at Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club Bradenton $40 - $75
White Marsh Nine at Long Marsh Golf Club at Rotonda West Rotonda West $23.99 - $43.99
Heritage Oaks Golf & Country Club Sarasota $55
King Dunes Course at Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club Bradenton $40 - $75
Hatchett/Meadows at Pelican Pointe Golf & Country Club Venice $31 - $72
Timber Creek Golf Course Bradenton $10 - $23
Live Oaks/Myrtle at Oak Ford Golf Club Sarasota N/A
Red/White at Myakka Pines Golf Club Englewood $15 - $36
Stoneybrook Golf & Country Club Sarasota $30 - $85
Bird Bay Golf Course Venice $26
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