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 Highlands Golf Course
Tee Times
Sarasota $8
Tatum Ridge Golf Links
Tee Times
Sarasota $20
Commander Course at Lakewood National Golf Club
Tee Times
Lakewood Ranch $25
Red/White at Myakka Pines Golf Club Englewood $18.69 - $45.00
3/1 at University Park Country Club
Tee Times
University Park $25
2/3 at University Park Country Club
Tee Times
University Park $25
Waterlefe Golf & River Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $21
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
Creek/Oaks Course at Heron Creek Golf and Country Club
Tee Times
North Port $27
White/Blue at Myakka Pines Golf Club Englewood $18.69 - $45.00
Blue/ Red 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
The River Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $10
Rolling Green Golf Club
Tee Times
Sarasota $12
Venetian Golf & River Club North Venice $90
Second/Third at Lake Venice Golf Club Venice $15 - $35
Third/First at Lake Venice Golf Club Venice $15 - $35
Lakewood National Golf Club - Piper Course
Tee Times
Lakewood Ranch $89 - $129
Terra Ceia Bay Golf & Tennis Club
Tee Times
Palmetto $10
Jacaranda West Country Club
Tee Times
Venice $12
River Wilderness Golf & Country Club
Tee Times
Parrish $60
Bent Tree Country Club
Tee Times
Sarasota $10
Misty Creek Country Club
Tee Times
Sarasota $13
Boca Royale Golf & Country Club
Tee Times
Englewood $12
Heritage Harbour Golf Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $12
Manatee County Golf Course
Tee Times
Bradenton $10
Rosedale Golf & Country Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $14
Esplanade Golf & Country Club at Lakewood Ranch
Tee Times
Lakewood Ranch $31
Preserve Golf Club at Tara
Tee Times
Bradenton $10
Duffy's Golf Center
Tee Times
Port Charlotte $28
Peridia Golf & Country Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $10
Links at Greenfield Plantation Bradenton $17.99 - $29.99
IMG Academies Golf & Country Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $30 - $69
Riverwood Golf Club
Tee Times
Port Charlotte $17
Panther Course at Plantation Golf & Country Club Venice $66 - $76
Legacy Golf Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $14
Suncoast Golf Center
Tee Times
Sarasota $12
Moccasin Wallow Golf Club
Tee Times
Palmetto $18.69
Tributary Course at River Strand Golf and Country Club Bradenton $32 - $89
First/Second at Lake Venice Golf Club Venice $15 - $35
Riverside Club
Tee Times
Ruskin $12
Sanctuary Course at River Strand Golf and Country Club Bradenton $32 - $89
The Meadows Country Club
Tee Times
Sarasota $35
Estuary Course at River Strand Golf and Country Club Bradenton $32 - $89
The Palms Golf Club At Forest Lakes
Tee Times
Sarasota $12
Serenoa Golf Club
Tee Times
Sarasota $17
Bobcat Course at Plantation Golf & Country Club Venice $66 - $76
Charlotte Harbor National Golf Club
Tee Times
North Port $19
Buffalo Creek Golf Course
Tee Times
Palmetto $13
The Groves Golf Course
Tee Times
Sarasota $9
River Run Golf Links
Tee Times
Bradenton $12
Sarasota National Golf Club
Tee Times
Venice $39
Village Green Golf Club of Sarasota
Tee Times
Sarasota $10
Coral Creek Club Placida $125
Concession Golf Club Bradenton N/A
Harborside White/Blue at Longboat Key Club & Resort Longboat Key $55 - $162
Pine Valley Nine at Long Marsh Golf Club at Rotonda West Rotonda West $15.00 - $43.99
Heron Course at The Oaks Club Osprey $105
Sawgrass/Gleneagles at Waterford Golf Club Venice $30 - $58
Stadium Course at TPC Prestancia Sarasota $197 - $205
Gimme Course at The Concession Golf Club Bradenton N/A
Capri Isles Golf Club Venice $30 - $58
Hatchett/Meadows at Pelican Pointe Golf & Country Club Venice $31 - $72
The Resort at Longboat Key Club - Links on Longboat Longboat Key $55 - $162
The Long Meadow Nine at Long Marsh Golf Club at Rotonda West Rotonda West $15.00 - $43.99
East Course at Laurel Oak Country Club Sarasota $100
British Course at Bobby Jones Golf Complex Sarasota $13 - $33
Pinemoor West Golf Club Rotonda West $10.28 - $26.99
Orange Nine at Palmetto Pines Golf Course Parrish $22
Stoneybrook Golf & Country Club Sarasota $36 - $88
Calusa Lakes Golf Club Nokomis $30 - $70
West Course at Laurel Oak Country Club Sarasota $100
Greens of Manatee Golf Course Bradenton $16 - $32
Harbourside Blue/Red at Longboat Key Club & Resort Longboat Key $55 - $162
Pinebrook/Ironwood Golf Club Bradenton $13.85 - $16.00
Eagle Course at The Oaks Club Osprey $105
King's Dunes Course at Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club Bradenton $40 - $75
Gasparilla Inn & Club Boca Grande $125
Preserve/Hatchett at Pelican Pointe Golf & Country Club Venice $31 - $72
Champions Course at Palm-Aire Country Club Sarasota $80
Sawgrass/Turnberry at Waterford Golf Club Venice $30 - $58
Lemon Bay Golf Club Englewood $70 - $80
Gator Creek Golf Club Sarasota $100 - $124
Gillespie Executive Course at Bobby Jones Golf Club Sarasota $9 - $20
Founders Golf Club Sarasota $95
Sara Bay Country Club Sarasota $60
Heritage Oaks Golf & Country Club Sarasota $32.50 - $75.00
Meadows/Preserve at Pelican Pointe Golf & Country Club Venice $31 - $72
Hills Course at Rotonda Golf & Country Club Rotonda West $18.99 - $33.99
Harborside Red/White at Longboat Key Club & Resort Longboat Key $55 - $162
River Isles Golf Club Bradenton $13
Timber Creek Golf Course Bradenton $10 - $23
Bird Bay Golf Course Venice $26
Venice East Golf Club Venice $12 - $20
Gleneagles/Turnberry at Waterford Golf Club Venice $30 - $58
Tara Golf & Country Club Bradenton $60
Mission Valley Golf & Country Club Nokomis $30 - $45
Palms Course at Rotonda Golf & Country Club Rotonda West $19.99 - $39.99
American Course at Bobby Jones Golf Club Sarasota $13 - $33
Sorrento Par-3 Golf Course Nokomis $6
Lakes Course at Palm-Aire Country Club Sarasota $80
Venice Golf & Country Club Venice $75
Oyster Creek Golf Club Englewood $19 - $25
Bradenton Country Club Bradenton $70 - $75
Players Course at TPC Prestancia Sarasota $159 - $205
Cypress Links Course at Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club Bradenton $40 - $75
Key Royale Club Holmes Beach $14
Royal Lakes Course at Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club Bradenton $40 - $75
Links Course at Rotonda Golf & Country Club Rotonda West $12.99 - $22.99
Red Nine at Palmetto Pines Golf Course Parrish $22
White Marsh Nine at Long Marsh Golf Club at Rotonda West Rotonda West $15.00 - $43.99
Ritz - Carlton Members Club Bradenton $125 - $155
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