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
Creek/Oaks Course at Heron Creek Golf and Country Club
Tee Times
North Port $28
Championship Course at Lakewood National Golf Club
Tee Times
Lakewood Ranch $25
1/2 at University Park Country Club
Tee Times
University Park $25
The Highlands Golf Course
Tee Times
Sarasota $13
3/1 at University Park Country Club
Tee Times
University Park $25
Waterlefe Golf & River Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $15
Red/White at Myakka Pines Golf Club Englewood $18.69 - $45.00
Tatum Ridge Golf Links
Tee Times
Sarasota $20
White/Blue at Myakka Pines Golf Club Englewood $18.69 - $45.00
Oaks/Marsh Course at Heron Creek Golf and Country Club
Tee Times
North Port $28
The River Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $12
Marsh/Creek Course at Heron Creek Golf and Country Club
Tee Times
North Port $28
2/3 at University Park Country Club
Tee Times
University Park $25
Blue/ Red at Myakka Pines Golf Club Englewood $18.69 - $45.00
River Wilderness Golf & Country Club Parrish $60
Suncoast Golf Center
Tee Times
Sarasota $12
Second/Third at Lake Venice Golf Club Venice $10 - $30
Esplanade Golf & Country Club at Lakewood Ranch
Tee Times
Lakewood Ranch $16
Venetian Golf & River Club North Venice $90
The Meadows Country Club Sarasota $35
Terra Ceia Bay Golf & Tennis Club
Tee Times
Palmetto $12
Serenoa Golf Club
Tee Times
Sarasota $25
Moccasin Wallow Golf Club
Tee Times
Palmetto $21
First/Second at Lake Venice Golf Club Venice $10 - $30
The Palms Golf Club At Forest Lakes
Tee Times
Sarasota $12
Bent Tree Country Club
Tee Times
Sarasota $12
Rolling Green Golf Club
Tee Times
Sarasota $12
Village Green Golf Club of Sarasota
Tee Times
Sarasota $12
Tributary Course at River Strand Golf and Country Club Bradenton $40
Stoneybrook Golf Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $12
Riverwood Golf Club
Tee Times
Port Charlotte $13
Sanctuary Course at River Strand Golf and Country Club Bradenton $40
The Groves Golf Course
Tee Times
Sarasota $9
Jacaranda West Country Club
Tee Times
Venice $12
Third/First at Lake Venice Golf Club Venice $10 - $30
Rosedale Golf & Country Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $12
Misty Creek Country Club
Tee Times
Sarasota $12
Estuary Course at River Strand Golf and Country Club Bradenton $40
Peridia Golf & Country Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $12
Boca Royale Golf & Country Club
Tee Times
Englewood $12
Preserve Golf Club at Tara
Tee Times
Bradenton $9
Legacy Golf Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $14
Buffalo Creek Golf Course
Tee Times
Palmetto $12
Manatee County Golf Course
Tee Times
Bradenton $12
River Run Golf Links
Tee Times
Bradenton $12
Links at Greenfield Plantation Bradenton $14.95 - $34.95
Sarasota National Golf Club
Tee Times
Venice $27
Charlotte Harbor National Golf Club
Tee Times
North Port $13
Harborside White/Blue at Longboat Key Club & Resort Longboat Key $53 - $173
Venice East Golf Club Venice $12 - $20
Orange Nine at Palmetto Pines Golf Course Parrish $22
Tara Golf & Country Club Bradenton $60
Heritage Oaks Golf & Country Club Sarasota $32.50 - $75.00
Heron Course at The Oaks Club Osprey $105
Gleneagles/Turnberry at Waterford Golf Club Venice $30 - $58
King's Dunes Course at Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club Bradenton $40 - $75
Mission Valley Golf & Country Club Nokomis $30 - $45
Venice Golf & Country Club Venice $75
Pinemoor West Golf Club Rotonda West $14.02 - $49.99
Calusa Lakes Golf Club Nokomis $30 - $70
River Isles Golf Club Bradenton $13
Meadows/Preserve at Pelican Pointe Golf & Country Club Venice $31 - $72
Players Course at TPC Prestancia Sarasota $159 - $205
Bobcat Course at Plantation Golf & Country Club Venice $66 - $76
British Course at Bobby Jones Golf Complex Sarasota $13 - $33
Pinebrook/Ironwood Golf Club Bradenton $13.85 - $16.00
Gasparilla Inn & Club Boca Grande $115 - $140
Eagle Course at The Oaks Club Osprey $105
Preserve/Hatchett at Pelican Pointe Golf & Country Club Venice $31 - $72
Sawgrass/Gleneagles at Waterford Golf Club Venice $30 - $58
Coral Creek Club Placida $125
Red Nine at Palmetto Pines Golf Course Parrish $22
Gillespie Executive Course at Bobby Jones Golf Club Sarasota $9 - $20
Stoneybrook Golf & Country Club Sarasota $36 - $88
Lakes Course at Palm-Aire Country Club Sarasota $80
Timber Creek Golf Course Bradenton $10 - $23
Champions Course at Palm-Aire Country Club Sarasota $80
Lemon Bay Golf Club Englewood $70 - $80
Pine Valley Nine at Long Marsh Golf Club at Rotonda West Rotonda West $18.00 - $49.99
Sawgrass/Turnberry at Waterford Golf Club Venice $30 - $58
Panther Course at Plantation Golf & Country Club Venice $66 - $76
West Course at Laurel Oak Country Club Sarasota $100
The Long Meadow Nine at Long Marsh Golf Club at Rotonda West Rotonda West $18.00 - $49.99
Cypress Links Course at Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club Bradenton $40 - $75
East Course at Laurel Oak Country Club Sarasota $100
Concession Golf Club Bradenton N/A
Bradenton Country Club Bradenton $70 - $75
Harbourside Blue/Red at Longboat Key Club & Resort Longboat Key $53 - $173
Royal Lakes Course at Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club Bradenton $40 - $75
Greens of Manatee Golf Course Bradenton $16 - $32
Sara Bay Country Club Sarasota $60
Capri Isles Golf Club Venice $30 - $58
Gator Creek Golf Club Sarasota $100 - $124
Founders Golf Club Sarasota $95
Bird Bay Golf Course Venice $26
Sorrento Par-3 Golf Course Nokomis $6
White Marsh Nine at Long Marsh Golf Club at Rotonda West Rotonda West $18.00 - $49.99
Duffy's Golf Center Port Charlotte $28
Ritz - Carlton Members Club Bradenton $125
Links Course at Rotonda Golf & Country Club Rotonda West $12.99 - $22.99
Harborside Red/White at Longboat Key Club & Resort Longboat Key $53 - $173
American Course at Bobby Jones Golf Club Sarasota $13 - $33
Oyster Creek Golf Club Englewood $19 - $25
The Resort at Longboat Key Club - Links on Longboat Longboat Key $53 - $173
Palms Course at Rotonda Golf & Country Club Rotonda West $19.99 - $39.99
Stadium Course at TPC Prestancia Sarasota $197 - $205
Hatchett/Meadows at Pelican Pointe Golf & Country Club Venice $31 - $72
IMG Academies Golf & Country Club Bradenton $25 - $68
Hills Course at Rotonda Golf & Country Club Rotonda West $18.99 - $33.99
Key Royale Club Holmes Beach $14
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