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