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
Red/White at Myakka Pines Golf Club Englewood $18.69 - $45.00
Championship Course at Lakewood National Golf Club
Tee Times
Lakewood Ranch $25
The River Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $12
Marsh/Creek Course at Heron Creek Golf and Country Club
Tee Times
North Port $28
Waterlefe Golf & River Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $15
The Highlands Golf Course
Tee Times
Sarasota $13
1/2 at University Park Country Club
Tee Times
University Park $25
White/Blue at Myakka Pines Golf Club Englewood $18.69 - $45.00
Tatum Ridge Golf Links
Tee Times
Sarasota $20
Oaks/Marsh Course at Heron Creek Golf and Country Club
Tee Times
North Port $28
3/1 at University Park Country Club
Tee Times
University Park $25
Creek/Oaks Course at Heron Creek Golf and Country Club
Tee Times
North Port $28
Blue/ Red at Myakka Pines Golf Club Englewood $18.69 - $45.00
2/3 at University Park Country Club
Tee Times
University Park $25
Charlotte Harbor National Golf Club
Tee Times
North Port $13
Buffalo Creek Golf Course
Tee Times
Palmetto $12
Village Green Golf Club of Sarasota
Tee Times
Sarasota $12
Peridia Golf & Country Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $12
Misty Creek Country Club
Tee Times
Sarasota $12
The Groves Golf Course
Tee Times
Sarasota $9
Jacaranda West Country Club
Tee Times
Venice $12
Serenoa Golf Club
Tee Times
Sarasota $25
Sarasota National Golf Club
Tee Times
Venice $27
The Palms Golf Club At Forest Lakes
Tee Times
Sarasota $12
Links at Greenfield Plantation Bradenton $14.95 - $34.95
Esplanade Golf & Country Club at Lakewood Ranch
Tee Times
Lakewood Ranch $16
Venetian Golf & River Club North Venice $90
River Run Golf Links
Tee Times
Bradenton $12
Riverwood Golf Club
Tee Times
Port Charlotte $13
Third/First at Lake Venice Golf Club Venice $19 - $30
Rolling Green Golf Club
Tee Times
Sarasota $12
Moccasin Wallow Golf Club
Tee Times
Palmetto $21
Terra Ceia Bay Golf & Tennis Club
Tee Times
Palmetto $12
Bent Tree Country Club
Tee Times
Sarasota $12
Estuary Course at River Strand Golf and Country Club Bradenton $40
Sanctuary Course at River Strand Golf and Country Club Bradenton $40
Preserve Golf Club at Tara
Tee Times
Bradenton $9
Second/Third at Lake Venice Golf Club Venice $19 - $30
Manatee County Golf Course
Tee Times
Bradenton $12
Boca Royale Golf & Country Club
Tee Times
Englewood $12
First/Second at Lake Venice Golf Club Venice $19 - $30
The Meadows Country Club Sarasota $35
Stoneybrook Golf Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $12
Tributary Course at River Strand Golf and Country Club Bradenton $40
Rosedale Golf & Country Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $12
Legacy Golf Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $14
Suncoast Golf Center
Tee Times
Sarasota $12
White Nine at Palmetto Pines Golf Course Parrish $22
Mission Valley Golf & Country Club Nokomis $30 - $45
Stoneybrook Golf & Country Club Sarasota $36 - $88
Tara Golf & Country Club Bradenton $60
Timber Creek Golf Course Bradenton $10 - $23
Bird Bay Golf Course Venice $26
Orange Nine at Palmetto Pines Golf Course Parrish $22
Champions Course at Palm-Aire Country Club Sarasota $80
Blue Nine at Palmetto Pines Golf Course Parrish $22
Gator Creek Golf Club Sarasota $100 - $124
Hatchett/Meadows at Pelican Pointe Golf & Country Club Venice $31 - $72
Heron Course at The Oaks Club Osprey $105
Gasparilla Inn & Club Boca Grande $115 - $140
Heritage Oaks Golf & Country Club Sarasota $32.50 - $75.00
British Course at Bobby Jones Golf Complex Sarasota $13 - $33
River Wilderness Golf & Country Club Parrish $60
Hills Course at Rotonda Golf & Country Club Rotonda West $18.99 - $33.99
Lakes Course at Palm-Aire Country Club Sarasota $80
Coral Creek Club Placida $125
Cypress Links Course at Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club Bradenton $40 - $75
Harborside Red/White at Longboat Key Club & Resort Longboat Key $53 - $173
East Course at Laurel Oak Country Club Sarasota $100
Capri Isles Golf Club Venice $30 - $58
Gleneagles/Turnberry at Waterford Golf Club Venice $30 - $58
Lemon Bay Golf Club Englewood $70 - $80
Harbourside Blue/Red at Longboat Key Club & Resort Longboat Key $53 - $173
Duffy's Golf Center Port Charlotte $28
West Course at Laurel Oak Country Club Sarasota $100
Venice East Golf Club Venice $12 - $20
Sorrento Par-3 Golf Course Nokomis $6
The Resort at Longboat Key Club - Links on Longboat Longboat Key $53 - $173
Oyster Creek Golf Club Englewood $19 - $25
American Course at Bobby Jones Golf Club Sarasota $13 - $33
Sawgrass/Turnberry at Waterford Golf Club Venice $30 - $58
Pinebrook/Ironwood Golf Club Bradenton $13.85 - $16.00
River Isles Golf Club Bradenton $13
King's Dunes Course at Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club Bradenton $40 - $75
Eagle Course at The Oaks Club Osprey $105
Palm View Hills Golf Course Palmetto $9 - $24
IMG Academies Golf & Country Club Bradenton $25 - $68
Ritz - Carlton Members Club Bradenton $125
Greens of Manatee Golf Course Bradenton $16 - $32
Bobcat Course at Plantation Golf & Country Club Venice $66 - $76
White Marsh Nine at Long Marsh Golf Club at Rotonda West Rotonda West $23.99 - $43.99
Gillespie Executive Course at Bobby Jones Golf Club Sarasota $9 - $20
Bradenton Country Club Bradenton $70 - $75
Founders Golf Club Sarasota $95
Sawgrass/Gleneagles at Waterford Golf Club Venice $30 - $58
Venice Golf & Country Club Venice $75
Preserve/Hatchett at Pelican Pointe Golf & Country Club Venice $31 - $72
The Long Meadow Nine at Long Marsh Golf Club at Rotonda West Rotonda West $23.99 - $43.99
Royal Lakes Course at Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club Bradenton $40 - $75
Harborside White/Blue at Longboat Key Club & Resort Longboat Key $53 - $173
Palms Course at Rotonda Golf & Country Club Rotonda West $19.99 - $39.99
Links Course at Rotonda Golf & Country Club Rotonda West $12.99 - $22.99
Concession Golf Club Bradenton N/A
Meadows/Preserve at Pelican Pointe Golf & Country Club Venice $31 - $72
Sara Bay Country Club Sarasota $60
Stadium Course at TPC Prestancia Sarasota $205
Key Royale Club Holmes Beach $14
Panther Course at Plantation Golf & Country Club Venice $66 - $76
Red Nine at Palmetto Pines Golf Course Parrish $22
Club Course at TPC Prestancia Sarasota $151
Calusa Lakes Golf Club Nokomis $30 - $70
Pine Valley Nine at Long Marsh Golf Club at Rotonda West Rotonda $23.99 - $43.99
Pinemoor West Golf Club Rotonda West $15.99 - $26.99
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