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
The Club at River Wilderness
Tee Times
Parrish $60
White/Blue at Myakka Pines Golf Club Englewood $18.69 - $45.00
The Highlands Golf Course
Tee Times
Sarasota $8
Waterlefe Golf & River Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $21
3/1 at University Park Country Club
Tee Times
University Park $25
Marsh/Creek Course at Heron Creek Golf and Country Club
Tee Times
North Port $27
Blue/ Red at Myakka Pines Golf Club Englewood $18.69 - $45.00
Oaks/Marsh Course at Heron Creek Golf and Country Club
Tee Times
North Port $27
2/3 at University Park Country Club
Tee Times
University Park $25
Heritage Harbour Golf Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $12
Creek/Oaks Course at Heron Creek Golf and Country Club
Tee Times
North Port $27
Red/White at Myakka Pines Golf Club Englewood $18.69 - $45.00
1/2 at University Park Country Club
Tee Times
University Park $25
Duffy's Golf Center
Tee Times
Port Charlotte $28
Jacaranda West Country Club
Tee Times
Venice $12
Bobcat Course at Plantation Golf & Country Club Venice $66 - $76
Rosedale Golf & Country Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $14
Manatee County Golf Course
Tee Times
Bradenton $10
Terra Ceia Bay Golf & Tennis Club
Tee Times
Palmetto $10
Venetian Golf & River Club North Venice $90
Legacy Golf Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $14
Peridia Golf & Country Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $10
Sarasota National Golf Club
Tee Times
Venice $39
The Groves Golf Course
Tee Times
Sarasota $9
The Palms Golf Club At Forest Lakes
Tee Times
Sarasota $12
Riverside Club
Tee Times
Ruskin $12
Boca Royale Golf & Country Club
Tee Times
Englewood $12
The Meadows Country Club
Tee Times
Sarasota $35
Links at Greenfield Plantation Bradenton $17.99 - $29.99
Riverwood Golf Club
Tee Times
Port Charlotte $17
Panther Course at Plantation Golf & Country Club Venice $66 - $76
Serenoa Golf Club
Tee Times
Sarasota $17
Misty Creek Country Club
Tee Times
Sarasota $13
Moccasin Wallow Golf Club
Tee Times
Palmetto $18.69
Preserve Golf Club at Tara
Tee Times
Bradenton $10
Charlotte Harbor National Golf Club
Tee Times
North Port $19
Village Green Golf Club of Sarasota
Tee Times
Sarasota $10
Buffalo Creek Golf Course
Tee Times
Palmetto $13
Bent Tree Country Club
Tee Times
Sarasota $10
IMG Academies Golf & Country Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $30 - $69
River Run Golf Links
Tee Times
Bradenton $12
The River Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $10
Tatum Ridge Golf Links
Tee Times
Sarasota $20
Sawgrass/Gleneagles at Waterford Golf Club Venice $30 - $58
Bird Bay Golf Course Venice $26
Pine Valley Nine at Long Marsh Golf Club at Rotonda West Rotonda West $15.00 - $43.99
Pinebrook/Ironwood Golf Club Bradenton $13.85 - $16.00
Stadium Course at TPC Prestancia Sarasota $197 - $205
Venice East Golf Club Venice $12 - $20
Timber Creek Golf Course Bradenton $10 - $23
Ritz - Carlton Members Club Bradenton $125 - $155
Lakewood National Golf Club - Piper Course
Tee Times
Lakewood Ranch $89 - $129
Tributary Course at River Strand Golf and Country Club Bradenton $32 - $89
Sorrento Par-3 Golf Course Nokomis $6
Oyster Creek Golf Club Englewood $19 - $25
Players Course at TPC Prestancia Sarasota $159 - $205
Gillespie Executive Course at Bobby Jones Golf Club Sarasota $9 - $20
Gator Creek Golf Club Sarasota $100 - $124
The Long Meadow Nine at Long Marsh Golf Club at Rotonda West Rotonda West $15.00 - $43.99
Lakes Course at Palm-Aire Country Club Sarasota $80
East Course at Laurel Oak Country Club Sarasota $100
Heritage Oaks Golf & Country Club Sarasota $32.50 - $75.00
Sawgrass/Turnberry at Waterford Golf Club Venice $30 - $58
Venice Golf & Country Club Venice $75
Harbourside Blue/Red at Longboat Key Club & Resort Longboat Key $58 - $164
Hills Course at Rotonda Golf & Country Club Rotonda West $18.99 - $33.99
Capri Isles Golf Club Venice $30 - $58
Coral Creek Club Placida $125
Stoneybrook Golf & Country Club Sarasota $36 - $88
The Resort at Longboat Key Club - Links on Longboat Longboat Key $58 - $164
American Course at Bobby Jones Golf Club Sarasota $13 - $33
Commander Course at Lakewood National Golf Club
Tee Times
Lakewood Ranch $25
Founders Golf Club Sarasota $95
Gasparilla Inn & Club Boca Grande $125
Suncoast Golf Center
Tee Times
Sarasota $12
King's Dunes Course at Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club Bradenton $40 - $75
Orange Nine at Palmetto Pines Golf Course Parrish $22
Tara Golf & Country Club Bradenton $60
Greens of Manatee Golf Course Bradenton $16 - $32
Links Course at Rotonda Golf & Country Club Rotonda West $12.99 - $22.99
Mission Valley Golf & Country Club Nokomis $30 - $45
First/Second at Lake Venice Golf Club Venice $15 - $35
Palms Course at Rotonda Golf & Country Club Rotonda West $19.99 - $39.99
Second/Third at Lake Venice Golf Club Venice $15 - $35
Eagle Course at The Oaks Club Osprey $105
Sanctuary Course at River Strand Golf and Country Club Bradenton $32 - $89
River Isles Golf Club Bradenton $13
Cypress Links Course at Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club Bradenton $40 - $75
Royal Lakes Course at Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club Bradenton $40 - $75
Hatchett/Meadows at Pelican Pointe Golf & Country Club Venice $31 - $72
Heron Course at The Oaks Club Osprey $105
White Marsh Nine at Long Marsh Golf Club at Rotonda West Rotonda West $15.00 - $43.99
Gleneagles/Turnberry at Waterford Golf Club Venice $30 - $58
Bradenton Country Club Bradenton $70 - $75
Sara Bay Country Club Sarasota $60
Meadows/Preserve at Pelican Pointe Golf & Country Club Venice $31 - $72
British Course at Bobby Jones Golf Complex Sarasota $13 - $33
Esplanade Golf & Country Club at Lakewood Ranch
Tee Times
Lakewood Ranch $31
Harborside White/Blue at Longboat Key Club & Resort Longboat Key $58 - $164
Estuary Course at River Strand Golf and Country Club Bradenton $32 - $89
Key Royale Club Holmes Beach $14
Concession Golf Club Bradenton N/A
Red Nine at Palmetto Pines Golf Course Parrish $22
Lemon Bay Golf Club Englewood $70 - $80
Gimme Course at The Concession Golf Club Bradenton N/A
Pinemoor West Golf Club Rotonda West $10.28 - $26.99
Champions Course at Palm-Aire Country Club Sarasota $80
West Course at Laurel Oak Country Club Sarasota $100
Preserve/Hatchett at Pelican Pointe Golf & Country Club Venice $31 - $72
Harborside Red/White at Longboat Key Club & Resort Longboat Key $58 - $164
Third/First at Lake Venice Golf Club Venice $15 - $35
Calusa Lakes Golf Club Nokomis $30 - $70
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