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
IMG Academies Golf & Country Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $29
Creek/Oaks Course at Heron Creek Golf and Country Club
Tee Times
North Port $29
The River Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $25
Legacy Golf Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $50
Marsh/Creek Course at Heron Creek Golf and Country Club
Tee Times
North Port $34
Tatum Ridge Golf Links
Tee Times
Sarasota $38
Sanctuary Course at River Strand Golf and Country Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $40
Estuary Course at River Strand Golf and Country Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $40
The Highlands Golf Course
Tee Times
Sarasota $13
Waterlefe Golf & River Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $42
Oaks/Marsh Course at Heron Creek Golf and Country Club
Tee Times
North Port $29
Tributary Course at River Strand Golf and Country Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $40
River Run Golf Links
Tee Times
Bradenton $22.07
Rosedale Golf & Country Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $39
Jacaranda West Country Club
Tee Times
Venice $30
Oyster Creek Golf Club
Tee Times
Englewood $18
Sabal Trace Golf & Country Club
Tee Times
North Port $20
Pinebrook/Ironwood Golf Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $12
Peridia Golf & Country Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $22
Suncoast Golf Center
Tee Times
Sarasota $10
Boca Royale Golf & Country Club
Tee Times
Englewood $27
Esplanade Golf & Country Club at Lakewood Ranch
Tee Times
Lakewood Ranch $39
Buffalo Creek Golf Course
Tee Times
Palmetto $20
Third/First at Lake Venice Golf Club
Tee Times
Venice $19 - $30
Terra Ceia Bay Golf & Tennis Club
Tee Times
Palmetto $12
Links at Greenfield Plantation
Tee Times
Bradenton $17.99
Riverwood Golf Club
Tee Times
Port Charlotte $25
Duffy's Golf Center
Tee Times
Port Charlotte $14
Second/Third at Lake Venice Golf Club
Tee Times
Venice $19 - $30
Stoneybrook Golf Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $29.99
Manatee County Golf Course
Tee Times
Bradenton $20
Misty Creek Country Club
Tee Times
Sarasota $39
Bent Tree Country Club
Tee Times
Sarasota $25
Imperial Lakeswoods Golf Club
Tee Times
Palmetto $24
Sarasota National Golf Club
Tee Times
Venice $35 - $79
Bobcat Trail Golf Club
Tee Times
North Port $25
Village Green Golf Club of Sarasota
Tee Times
Sarasota $11 - $24
3/1 at University Park Country Club
Tee Times
University Park $35
The Groves Golf Course
Tee Times
Sarasota $10
Venetian Golf & River Club
Tee Times
North Venice $81
Preserve Golf Club at Tara
Tee Times
Bradenton $19
1/2 at University Park Country Club
Tee Times
University Park $35
2/3 at University Park Country Club
Tee Times
University Park $35
First/Second at Lake Venice Golf Club
Tee Times
Venice $19 - $30
Executive Course at Bobby Jones Golf Complex Sarasota $5.50 - $12.75
Greens of Manatee Golf Course Bradenton $30
Cypress Links Course at Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club Bradenton $40 - $75
Pinemoor East Golf Club Rotonda West $20.00
Blue/ Red at Myakka Pines Golf Club Englewood $15 - $36
Orange Nine at Palmetto Pines Golf Course Parrish $25
White/Blue at Myakka Pines Golf Club Englewood $15 - $36
Palms Course at Rotonda Golf & Country Club Rotonda West $19.99 - $39.99
Myrtle/Palms at Oak Ford Golf Club Sarasota N/A
White Marsh Nine at Long Marsh Golf Club at Rotonda West Rotonda West $23.99 - $43.99
Gator Creek Golf Club Sarasota $105
Blue Course at Gulf Gate Golf Club Sarasota $20
Red/White at Myakka Pines Golf Club Englewood $15 - $36
Bobcat Course at Plantation Golf & Country Club Venice $66
Timber Creek Golf Course Bradenton $10 - $23
American Course at Bobby Jones Golf Complex Sarasota $11 - $37
Stoneybrook Golf & Country Club Sarasota $30 - $85
Harborside Red/White at Longboat Key Club & Resort Longboat Key $149
Hatchett/Meadows at Pelican Pointe Golf & Country Club Venice $31 - $72
Coral Creek Club Placida $125
White Nine at Palmetto Pines Golf Course Parrish $25
Venice Golf & Country Club Venice $75
British Course at Bobby Jones Golf Complex Sarasota $11 - $37
Panther Course at Plantation Golf & Country Club Venice $66
Eagle Course at The Oaks Osprey $105
Rolling Green Golf Club Sarasota $20 - $29
Sawgrass/Turnberry at Waterford Golf Club Venice $30 - $58
Founders Golf Club Sarasota $95
Bradenton Country Club Bradenton $70
Red Nine at Palmetto Pines Golf Course Parrish $25
Club Course at TPC Prestancia Sarasota $151
East Course at Laurel Oak Country Club Sarasota $100
Sawgrass/Gleneagles at Waterford Golf Club Venice $30 - $58
King Dunes Course at Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club Bradenton $40 - $75
Calusa Lakes Golf Club Nokomis $10 - $58
Stadium Course at TPC Prestancia Sarasota $205
Ritz - Carlton Members Club Bradenton $125
Concession Golf Club Bradenton N/A
Meadows/Preserve at Pelican Pointe Golf & Country Club Venice $31 - $72
Preserve/Hatchett at Pelican Pointe Golf & Country Club Venice $31 - $72
Heritage Oaks Golf & Country Club Sarasota $55
Tara Golf & Country Club Bradenton $60
Sorrento Par-3 Golf Course Nokomis $7
River Isles Golf Club Bradenton $13
Palms/Live Oaks at Oak Ford Golf Club Sarasota N/A
West Course at Laurel Oak Country Club Sarasota $100
Venice East Golf Club Venice $12 - $20
Island Side at Longboat Key Club & Resort Longboat Key $149
The Meadows Country Club Sarasota $35
Palm View Hills Golf Course Palmetto $9 - $24
Mission Valley Golf & Country Club Nokomis $30 - $45
Capri Isles Golf Club Venice $30 - $58
Royal Lakes Course at Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club Bradenton $40 - $75
Pine Valley Nine at Long Marsh Golf Club at Rotonda West Rotonda $23.99 - $43.99
Live Oaks/Myrtle at Oak Ford Golf Club Sarasota N/A
Blue Heron Course at The Oaks Osprey $105
Hills Course at Rotonda Golf & Country Club Rotonda West $18.99 - $33.99
Key Royale Club Holmes Beach $14
Blue Nine at Palmetto Pines Golf Course Parrish $25
Links Course at Rotonda Golf & Country Club Rotonda West $12.99 - $22.99
Harbourside Blue/Red at Longboat Key Club & Resort Longboat Key $149
Bird Bay Golf Course Venice $26
Sara Bay Country Club Sarasota $60
Champions Course at Palm-Aire Country Club Sarasota $80
Harborside White/Blue at Longboat Key Club & Resort Longboat Key $149
Serenoa Golf Club Sarasota $20 - $38
River Wilderness Golf & Country Club Parrish $60
Pinemoor West Golf Club Rotonda West $15.99 - $26.99
Gasparilla Inn & Club Boca Grande $85
Long Marsh Nine at Long Marsh Golf Club at Rotonda West Rotonda West $23.99 - $43.99
Lakes Course at Palm-Aire Country Club Sarasota $80
Red Course at Gulf Gate Golf Club Sarasota $30
Lemon Bay Golf Club Englewood $70 - $80
Gleneagles/Turnberry at Waterford Golf Club Venice $30 - $58
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