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
2/3 at University Park Country Club
Tee Times
University Park $25
3/1 at University Park Country Club
Tee Times
University Park $25
Oaks/Marsh Course at Heron Creek Golf and Country Club
Tee Times
North Port $27
1/2 at University Park Country Club
Tee Times
University Park $25
Waterlefe Golf & River Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $21
White/Blue at Myakka Pines Golf Club Englewood $18.69 - $45.00
Marsh/Creek 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
Creek/Oaks Course at Heron Creek Golf and Country Club
Tee Times
North Port $27
Tatum Ridge Golf Links
Tee Times
Sarasota $20
Blue/ Red at Myakka Pines Golf Club Englewood $18.69 - $45.00
Commander Course at Lakewood National Golf Club
Tee Times
Lakewood Ranch $25
The River Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $10
The Highlands Golf Course
Tee Times
Sarasota $8
Venetian Golf & River Club North Venice $90
Suncoast Golf Center
Tee Times
Sarasota $12
Terra Ceia Bay Golf & Tennis Club
Tee Times
Palmetto $10
Third/First at Lake Venice Golf Club Venice $10 - $30
Duffy's Golf Center Port Charlotte $28
Tributary Course at River Strand Golf and Country Club Bradenton $32 - $89
Preserve Golf Club at Tara
Tee Times
Bradenton $10
Riverside Club
Tee Times
Ruskin $12
Riverwood Golf Club
Tee Times
Port Charlotte $17
Charlotte Harbor National Golf Club
Tee Times
North Port $19
Esplanade Golf & Country Club at Lakewood Ranch
Tee Times
Lakewood Ranch $31
Moccasin Wallow Golf Club
Tee Times
Palmetto $18.69
Serenoa Golf Club
Tee Times
Sarasota $17
Second/Third at Lake Venice Golf Club Venice $10 - $30
Rosedale Golf & Country Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $14
The Palms Golf Club At Forest Lakes
Tee Times
Sarasota $12
IMG Academies Golf & Country Club Bradenton $30 - $69
Buffalo Creek Golf Course
Tee Times
Palmetto $13
Boca Royale Golf & Country Club
Tee Times
Englewood $12
Bent Tree Country Club
Tee Times
Sarasota $10
Links at Greenfield Plantation Bradenton $17.99 - $29.99
Rolling Green Golf Club
Tee Times
Sarasota $12
Village Green Golf Club of Sarasota
Tee Times
Sarasota $10
Jacaranda West Country Club
Tee Times
Venice $12
Legacy Golf Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $14
Lakewood National Golf Club - Piper Course Lakewood Ranch $89 - $129
Misty Creek Country Club
Tee Times
Sarasota $13
The Meadows Country Club Sarasota $35
The Groves Golf Course
Tee Times
Sarasota $9
First/Second at Lake Venice Golf Club Venice $10 - $30
Peridia Golf & Country Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $10
River Run Golf Links
Tee Times
Bradenton $12
Bobcat Course at Plantation Golf & Country Club Venice $66 - $76
Manatee County Golf Course
Tee Times
Bradenton $10
River Wilderness Golf & Country Club Parrish $60
Panther Course at Plantation Golf & Country Club Venice $66 - $76
Sarasota National Golf Club
Tee Times
Venice $39
Estuary Course at River Strand Golf and Country Club Bradenton $32 - $89
Heritage Harbour Golf Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $12
Sanctuary Course at River Strand Golf and Country Club Bradenton $32 - $89
Greens of Manatee Golf Course Bradenton $16 - $32
Gleneagles/Turnberry at Waterford Golf Club Venice $30 - $58
White Marsh Nine at Long Marsh Golf Club at Rotonda West Rotonda West $15.00 - $43.99
Pinemoor West Golf Club Rotonda West $10.28 - $26.99
Bird Bay Golf Course Venice $26
Sorrento Par-3 Golf Course Nokomis $6
Lakes Course at Palm-Aire Country Club Sarasota $80
Gillespie Executive Course at Bobby Jones Golf Club Sarasota $9 - $20
Bradenton Country Club Bradenton $70 - $75
The Resort at Longboat Key Club - Links on Longboat Longboat Key $55 - $162
Gasparilla Inn & Club Boca Grande $125
Cypress Links Course at Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club Bradenton $40 - $75
Heritage Oaks Golf & Country Club Sarasota $32.50 - $75.00
Red Nine at Palmetto Pines Golf Course Parrish $22
East Course at Laurel Oak Country Club Sarasota $100
Gator Creek Golf Club Sarasota $100 - $124
Hills Course at Rotonda Golf & Country Club Rotonda West $18.99 - $33.99
River Isles Golf Club Bradenton $13
Orange Nine at Palmetto Pines Golf Course Parrish $22
Sara Bay Country Club Sarasota $60
Lemon Bay Golf Club Englewood $70 - $80
West Course at Laurel Oak Country Club Sarasota $100
Mission Valley Golf & Country Club Nokomis $30 - $45
Harbourside Blue/Red at Longboat Key Club & Resort Longboat Key $55 - $162
Venice East Golf Club Venice $12 - $20
Timber Creek Golf Course Bradenton $10 - $23
Founders Golf Club Sarasota $95
Stoneybrook Golf & Country Club Sarasota $36 - $88
Eagle Course at The Oaks Club Osprey $105
Oyster Creek Golf Club Englewood $19 - $25
Calusa Lakes Golf Club Nokomis $30 - $70
Key Royale Club Holmes Beach $14
Harborside Red/White at Longboat Key Club & Resort Longboat Key $55 - $162
Champions Course at Palm-Aire Country Club Sarasota $80
Sawgrass/Gleneagles at Waterford Golf Club Venice $30 - $58
The Long Meadow Nine at Long Marsh Golf Club at Rotonda West Rotonda West $15.00 - $43.99
Ritz - Carlton Members Club Bradenton $125 - $155
Harborside White/Blue at Longboat Key Club & Resort Longboat Key $55 - $162
Palms Course at Rotonda Golf & Country Club Rotonda West $19.99 - $39.99
King's Dunes Course at Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club Bradenton $40 - $75
Meadows/Preserve at Pelican Pointe Golf & Country Club Venice $31 - $72
Links Course at Rotonda Golf & Country Club Rotonda West $12.99 - $22.99
Coral Creek Club Placida $125
Gimme Course at The Concession Golf Club Bradenton N/A
Royal Lakes Course at Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club Bradenton $40 - $75
Hatchett/Meadows at Pelican Pointe Golf & Country Club Venice $31 - $72
Players Course at TPC Prestancia Sarasota $159 - $205
British Course at Bobby Jones Golf Complex Sarasota $13 - $33
Sawgrass/Turnberry at Waterford Golf Club Venice $30 - $58
Heron Course at The Oaks Club Osprey $105
Stadium Course at TPC Prestancia Sarasota $197 - $205
Concession Golf Club Bradenton N/A
Capri Isles Golf Club Venice $30 - $58
Preserve/Hatchett at Pelican Pointe Golf & Country Club Venice $31 - $72
Tara Golf & Country Club Bradenton $60
Venice Golf & Country Club Venice $75
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
American Course at Bobby Jones Golf Club Sarasota $13 - $33
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