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 $25 - $68
Tatum Ridge Golf Links
Tee Times
Sarasota $26 - $38
The Highlands Golf Course
Tee Times
Sarasota $19.16 - $40.19
Oaks/Marsh Course at Heron Creek Golf and Country Club
Tee Times
North Port $29 - $39
Waterlefe Golf & River Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $90
The River Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $28 - $68
Marsh/Creek Course at Heron Creek Golf and Country Club
Tee Times
North Port $29 - $39
Creek/Oaks Course at Heron Creek Golf and Country Club
Tee Times
North Port $29 - $39
Rosedale Golf & Country Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $25 - $70
Suncoast Golf Center
Tee Times
Sarasota $12
Sabal Trace Golf & Country Club
Tee Times
North Port $15 - $27
Buffalo Creek Golf Course
Tee Times
Palmetto $17 - $54
Manatee County Golf Course
Tee Times
Bradenton $17 - $54
River Run Golf Links
Tee Times
Bradenton $9 - $30
Jacaranda West Country Club
Tee Times
Venice $35 - $60
Peridia Golf & Country Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $12 - $21
Imperial Lakeswoods Golf Club
Tee Times
Palmetto $25 - $60
Preserve Golf Club at Tara
Tee Times
Bradenton $25 - $69
Sanctuary Course at River Strand Golf and Country Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $40
Boca Royale Golf & Country Club
Tee Times
Englewood $20 - $25
Links at Greenfield Plantation
Tee Times
Bradenton $14.95 - $34.95
Village Green Golf Club of Sarasota
Tee Times
Sarasota $11 - $24
Bobcat Trail Golf Club
Tee Times
North Port $27 - $45
Terra Ceia Bay Golf & Tennis Club
Tee Times
Palmetto $11 - $36
Estuary Course at River Strand Golf and Country Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $40
The Palms Golf Club At Forest Lakes
Tee Times
Sarasota N/A
Riverwood Golf Club
Tee Times
Port Charlotte $20
Stoneybrook Golf Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $21.99 - $26.99
Bent Tree Country Club
Tee Times
Sarasota $39 - $75
1/2 at University Park Country Club
Tee Times
University Park $50 - $70
Rolling Green Golf Club
Tee Times
Sarasota $20 - $29
2/3 at University Park Country Club
Tee Times
University Park $50 - $70
Second/Third at Lake Venice Golf Club
Tee Times
Venice $19 - $30
Legacy Golf Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $29 - $79
Tributary Course at River Strand Golf and Country Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $40
Sarasota National Golf Club
Tee Times
Venice $35 - $79
The Groves Golf Course
Tee Times
Sarasota $11.68 - $23.36
Misty Creek Country Club
Tee Times
Sarasota $29 - $69
The Meadows Country Club
Tee Times
Sarasota $35
Esplanade Golf & Country Club at Lakewood Ranch
Tee Times
Lakewood Ranch $30 - $89
First/Second at Lake Venice Golf Club
Tee Times
Venice $19 - $30
3/1 at University Park Country Club
Tee Times
University Park $50 - $70
Third/First at Lake Venice Golf Club
Tee Times
Venice $19 - $30
Venetian Golf & River Club
Tee Times
North Venice $90
Blue Course at Gulf Gate Golf Club Sarasota $20
Blue Nine at Palmetto Pines Golf Course Parrish $22
Sara Bay Country Club Sarasota $60
Red/White at Myakka Pines Golf Club Englewood $15 - $36
Panther Course at Plantation Golf & Country Club Venice $66
The Long Meadow Nine at Long Marsh Golf Club at Rotonda West Rotonda West $23.99 - $43.99
Venice East Golf Club Venice $12 - $20
Palm View Hills Golf Course Palmetto $9 - $24
Venice Golf & Country Club Venice $75
Timber Creek Golf Course Bradenton $10 - $23
Harborside White/Blue at Longboat Key Club & Resort Longboat Key $50 - $106
Harbourside Blue/Red at Longboat Key Club & Resort Longboat Key $50 - $106
Eagle Course at The Oaks Club Osprey $105
Hills Course at Rotonda Golf & Country Club Rotonda West $18.99 - $33.99
Tara Golf & Country Club Bradenton $60
Cypress Links Course at Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club Bradenton $40 - $75
Orange Nine at Palmetto Pines Golf Course Parrish $22
King's Dunes Course at Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club Bradenton $40 - $75
Gasparilla Inn & Club Boca Grande $115 - $140
Myrtle/Palms at Oak Ford Golf Club Sarasota N/A
Palms/Live Oaks at Oak Ford Golf Club Sarasota N/A
White Nine at Palmetto Pines Golf Course Parrish $22
Duffy's Golf Center Port Charlotte $28
West Course at Laurel Oak Country Club Sarasota $100
Red Nine at Palmetto Pines Golf Course Parrish $22
Sorrento Par-3 Golf Course Nokomis $7
Oyster Creek Golf Club Englewood $19 - $25
American Course at Bobby Jones Golf Club Sarasota $12
Founders Golf Club Sarasota $95
Links Course at Rotonda Golf & Country Club Rotonda West $12.99 - $22.99
Pine Valley Nine at Long Marsh Golf Club at Rotonda West Rotonda $23.99 - $43.99
Gillespie Executive Course at Bobby Jones Golf Club Sarasota $7
Champions Course at Palm-Aire Country Club Sarasota $80
Pinemoor West Golf Club Rotonda West $28.99 - $49.99
Bird Bay Golf Course Venice $26
Stoneybrook Golf & Country Club Sarasota $36 - $88
Concession Golf Club Bradenton N/A
Capri Isles Golf Club Venice $30 - $58
Heritage Oaks Golf & Country Club Sarasota $55
Sawgrass/Turnberry at Waterford Golf Club Venice $30 - $58
Lakes Course at Palm-Aire Country Club Sarasota $80
Heron Course at The Oaks Club Osprey $105
River Wilderness Golf & Country Club Parrish $60
Lemon Bay Golf Club Englewood $70 - $80
Hatchett/Meadows at Pelican Pointe Golf & Country Club Venice $31 - $72
Sawgrass/Gleneagles at Waterford Golf Club Venice $30 - $58
Mission Valley Golf & Country Club Nokomis $30 - $45
East Course at Laurel Oak Country Club Sarasota $100
Royal Lakes Course at Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club Bradenton $40 - $75
Meadows/Preserve at Pelican Pointe Golf & Country Club Venice $31 - $72
Palms Course at Rotonda Golf & Country Club Rotonda West $19.99 - $39.99
Preserve/Hatchett at Pelican Pointe Golf & Country Club Venice $31 - $72
Stadium Course at TPC Prestancia Sarasota $205
White Marsh Nine at Long Marsh Golf Club at Rotonda West Rotonda West $23.99 - $43.99
Coral Creek Club Placida $125
Harborside Red/White at Longboat Key Club & Resort Longboat Key $50 - $106
Gator Creek Golf Club Sarasota $105
Red Course at Gulf Gate Golf Club Sarasota $30
Gleneagles/Turnberry at Waterford Golf Club Venice $30 - $58
Pinebrook/Ironwood Golf Club Bradenton $13.85 - $16.00
Blue/ Red at Myakka Pines Golf Club Englewood $15 - $36
Bobcat Course at Plantation Golf & Country Club Venice $66
White/Blue at Myakka Pines Golf Club Englewood $15 - $36
Ritz - Carlton Members Club Bradenton $125
British Course at Bobby Jones Golf Complex Sarasota $12
River Isles Golf Club Bradenton $13
Key Royale Club Holmes Beach $14
Live Oaks/Myrtle at Oak Ford Golf Club Sarasota N/A
Serenoa Golf Club Sarasota $20 - $38
The Resort at Longboat Key Club - Links on Longboat Longboat Key $50 - $106
Calusa Lakes Golf Club Nokomis $10 - $58
Bradenton Country Club Bradenton $70
Club Course at TPC Prestancia Sarasota $151
Greens of Manatee Golf Course Bradenton $30
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