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 River Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $34
The Highlands Golf Course
Tee Times
Sarasota $17
Oaks/Marsh Course at Heron Creek Golf and Country Club
Tee Times
North Port $29
Creek/Oaks Course at Heron Creek Golf and Country Club
Tee Times
North Port $29
Waterlefe Golf & River Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $39
Legacy Golf Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $50
Tatum Ridge Golf Links
Tee Times
Sarasota $45
River Run Golf Links
Tee Times
Bradenton $22.07
IMG Academies Golf & Country Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $29
Sanctuary Course at River Strand Golf and Country Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $40
Rosedale Golf & Country Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $39
Marsh/Creek Course at Heron Creek Golf and Country Club
Tee Times
North Port $29
Estuary Course at River Strand Golf and Country Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $40
Tributary Course at River Strand Golf and Country Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $40
Peridia Golf & Country Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $28
Suncoast Golf Center
Tee Times
Sarasota $10
Boca Royale Golf & Country Club
Tee Times
Englewood $25
Jacaranda West Country Club
Tee Times
Venice $30
Pinebrook/Ironwood Golf Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $13
Sabal Trace Golf & Country Club
Tee Times
North Port $26
Oyster Creek Golf Club
Tee Times
Englewood $23
Third/First at Lake Venice Golf Club
Tee Times
Venice $19 - $30
2/3 at University Park Country Club
Tee Times
University Park $32
Bobcat Trail Golf Club
Tee Times
North Port $25
3/1 at University Park Country Club
Tee Times
University Park $32
Buffalo Creek Golf Course
Tee Times
Palmetto $20
Esplanade Golf & Country Club at Lakewood Ranch
Tee Times
Lakewood Ranch $39
Stoneybrook Golf Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $34.99
Venetian Golf & River Club
Tee Times
North Venice $81
1/2 at University Park Country Club
Tee Times
University Park $32
Bent Tree Country Club
Tee Times
Sarasota $55
Village Green Golf Club of Sarasota
Tee Times
Sarasota $11 - $24
Duffy's Golf Center
Tee Times
Port Charlotte $25
Imperial Lakeswoods Golf Club
Tee Times
Palmetto $25
Second/Third at Lake Venice Golf Club
Tee Times
Venice $19 - $30
Riverwood Golf Club
Tee Times
Port Charlotte $25
Sarasota National Golf Club
Tee Times
Venice $40
Links at Greenfield Plantation
Tee Times
Bradenton $17.99
First/Second at Lake Venice Golf Club
Tee Times
Venice $19 - $30
Misty Creek Country Club
Tee Times
Sarasota $35
Terra Ceia Bay Golf & Tennis Club
Tee Times
Palmetto $16
Preserve Golf Club at Tara
Tee Times
Bradenton $26
The Groves Golf Course
Tee Times
Sarasota $9
Manatee County Golf Course
Tee Times
Bradenton $20
Timber Creek Golf Course Bradenton $10 - $23
White/Blue at Myakka Pines Golf Club Englewood $15 - $36
King Dunes Course at Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club Bradenton $40 - $75
River Wilderness Golf & Country Club Parrish $60
Tara Golf & Country Club Bradenton $60
Ritz - Carlton Members Club Bradenton $125
Venice East Golf Club Venice $12 - $20
Stadium Course at TPC Prestancia Sarasota $205
Red/White at Myakka Pines Golf Club Englewood $15 - $36
Lakes Course at Palm-Aire Country Club Sarasota $80
Pinemoor East Golf Club Rotonda West $20.00
Concession Golf Club Bradenton N/A
Myrtle/Palms at Oak Ford Golf Club Sarasota N/A
Harborside White/Blue at Longboat Key Club & Resort Longboat Key $149
Blue/ Red at Myakka Pines Golf Club Englewood $15 - $36
Gator Creek Golf Club Sarasota $105
Hills Course at Rotonda Golf & Country Club Rotonda West $18.99 - $33.99
Long Marsh Nine at Long Marsh Golf Club at Rotonda West Rotonda West $23.99 - $43.99
Red Course at Gulf Gate Golf Club Sarasota $30
Panther Course at Plantation Golf & Country Club Venice $66
Executive Course at Bobby Jones Golf Complex Sarasota $5.50 - $12.75
Capri Isles Golf Club Venice $30 - $58
Blue Heron Course at The Oaks Osprey $105
Sawgrass/Turnberry at Waterford Golf Club Venice $30 - $58
Greens of Manatee Golf Course Bradenton $30
Blue Course at Gulf Gate Golf Club Sarasota $20
Stoneybrook Golf & Country Club Sarasota $30 - $85
Links Course at Rotonda Golf & Country Club Rotonda West $12.99 - $22.99
Sawgrass/Gleneagles at Waterford Golf Club Venice $30 - $58
Pine Valley Nine at Long Marsh Golf Club at Rotonda West Rotonda $23.99 - $43.99
Club Course at TPC Prestancia Sarasota $151
Palms/Live Oaks at Oak Ford Golf Club Sarasota N/A
Orange Nine at Palmetto Pines Golf Course Parrish $25
Pinemoor West Golf Club Rotonda West $15.99 - $26.99
Sorrento Par-3 Golf Course Nokomis $7
West Course at Laurel Oak Country Club Sarasota $100
Royal Lakes Course at Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club Bradenton $40 - $75
Blue Nine at Palmetto Pines Golf Course Parrish $25
Lemon Bay Golf Club Englewood $70 - $80
The Meadows Country Club Sarasota $35
River Isles Golf Club Bradenton $13
Calusa Lakes Golf Club Nokomis $10 - $58
Champions Course at Palm-Aire Country Club Sarasota $80
Red Nine at Palmetto Pines Golf Course Parrish $25
American Course at Bobby Jones Golf Complex Sarasota $11 - $37
British Course at Bobby Jones Golf Complex Sarasota $11 - $37
Mission Valley Golf & Country Club Nokomis $30 - $45
Island Side at Longboat Key Club & Resort Longboat Key $149
Gleneagles/Turnberry at Waterford Golf Club Venice $30 - $58
Live Oaks/Myrtle at Oak Ford Golf Club Sarasota N/A
Coral Creek Club Placida $125
Venice Golf & Country Club Venice $75
Bobcat Course at Plantation Golf & Country Club Venice $66
Palms Course at Rotonda Golf & Country Club Rotonda West $19.99 - $39.99
Palm View Hills Golf Course Palmetto $9 - $24
Meadows/Preserve at Pelican Pointe Golf & Country Club Venice $31 - $72
Bradenton Country Club Bradenton $70
Key Royale Club Holmes Beach $14
Founders Golf Club Sarasota $95
Sara Bay Country Club Sarasota $60
Heritage Oaks Golf & Country Club Sarasota $55
East Course at Laurel Oak Country Club Sarasota $100
Preserve/Hatchett at Pelican Pointe Golf & Country Club Venice $31 - $72
White Nine at Palmetto Pines Golf Course Parrish $25
Cypress Links Course at Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club Bradenton $40 - $75
Rolling Green Golf Club Sarasota $20 - $29
Bird Bay Golf Course Venice $26
Serenoa Golf Club Sarasota $20 - $38
Harborside Red/White at Longboat Key Club & Resort Longboat Key $149
Harbourside Blue/Red at Longboat Key Club & Resort Longboat Key $149
Hatchett/Meadows at Pelican Pointe Golf & Country Club Venice $31 - $72
Gasparilla Inn & Club Boca Grande $85
White Marsh Nine at Long Marsh Golf Club at Rotonda West Rotonda West $23.99 - $43.99
Eagle Course at The Oaks Osprey $105
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