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.

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Courses

Course City Rates from
Course City Rates from
The Highlands Golf Course
Tee Times
Sarasota $8
Championship Course at Lakewood National Golf Club
Tee Times
Lakewood Ranch $25
White/Blue at Myakka Pines Golf Club Englewood $18.69 - $45.00
Red/White at Myakka Pines Golf Club Englewood $18.69 - $45.00
Waterlefe Golf & River Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $21
Marsh/Creek Course at Heron Creek Golf and Country Club
Tee Times
North Port $27
The River Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $10
Tatum Ridge Golf Links
Tee Times
Sarasota $20
1/2 at University Park Country Club
Tee Times
University Park $25
3/1 at University Park Country Club
Tee Times
University Park $25
Blue/ Red at Myakka Pines Golf Club Englewood $18.69 - $45.00
2/3 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
Oaks/Marsh Course at Heron Creek Golf and Country Club
Tee Times
North Port $27
Buffalo Creek Golf Course
Tee Times
Palmetto $13
Heritage Harbour Golf Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $12
The Groves Golf Course
Tee Times
Sarasota $9
The Palms Golf Club At Forest Lakes
Tee Times
Sarasota $12
Boca Royale Golf & Country Club
Tee Times
Englewood $12
First/Second at Lake Venice Golf Club Venice $10 - $30
The Meadows Country Club Sarasota $35
Riverside Club
Tee Times
Ruskin $12
Tributary Course at River Strand Golf and Country Club Bradenton $46 - $66
Sarasota National Golf Club
Tee Times
Venice $39
Peridia Golf & Country Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $10
Manatee County Golf Course
Tee Times
Bradenton $10
Links at Greenfield Plantation Bradenton $14.95 - $34.95
Serenoa Golf Club
Tee Times
Sarasota $17
Terra Ceia Bay Golf & Tennis Club
Tee Times
Palmetto $10
River Wilderness Golf & Country Club Parrish $60
Bent Tree Country Club
Tee Times
Sarasota $10
Charlotte Harbor National Golf Club
Tee Times
North Port $19
Misty Creek Country Club
Tee Times
Sarasota $13
Suncoast Golf Center
Tee Times
Sarasota $12
Preserve Golf Club at Tara
Tee Times
Bradenton $10
Third/First at Lake Venice Golf Club Venice $10 - $30
Village Green Golf Club of Sarasota
Tee Times
Sarasota $10
Jacaranda West Country Club
Tee Times
Venice $12
Riverwood Golf Club
Tee Times
Port Charlotte $17
Esplanade Golf & Country Club at Lakewood Ranch
Tee Times
Lakewood Ranch $31
Estuary Course at River Strand Golf and Country Club Bradenton $46 - $66
River Run Golf Links
Tee Times
Bradenton $12
Moccasin Wallow Golf Club
Tee Times
Palmetto $18.69
Second/Third at Lake Venice Golf Club Venice $10 - $30
Legacy Golf Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $14
Venetian Golf & River Club North Venice $90
Rolling Green Golf Club
Tee Times
Sarasota $12
Sanctuary Course at River Strand Golf and Country Club Bradenton $46 - $66
Rosedale Golf & Country Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $14
Concession Golf Club Bradenton N/A
British Course at Bobby Jones Golf Complex Sarasota $13 - $33
Panther Course at Plantation Golf & Country Club Venice $66 - $76
Bird Bay Golf Course Venice $26
Calusa Lakes Golf Club Nokomis $30 - $70
Harborside Red/White at Longboat Key Club & Resort Longboat Key $55 - $162
Gasparilla Inn & Club Boca Grande $125
East Course at Laurel Oak Country Club Sarasota $100
Ritz - Carlton Members Club Bradenton $125 - $155
Sorrento Par-3 Golf Course Nokomis $6
Sawgrass/Turnberry at Waterford Golf Club Venice $30 - $58
White Marsh Nine at Long Marsh Golf Club at Rotonda West Rotonda West $18.00 - $49.99
Champions Course at Palm-Aire Country Club Sarasota $80
Cypress Links Course at Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club Bradenton $40 - $75
Gator Creek Golf Club Sarasota $100 - $124
Timber Creek Golf Course Bradenton $10 - $23
Sawgrass/Gleneagles at Waterford Golf Club Venice $30 - $58
Heritage Oaks Golf & Country Club Sarasota $32.50 - $75.00
Bobcat Course at Plantation Golf & Country Club Venice $66 - $76
Lakes Course at Palm-Aire Country Club Sarasota $80
Links Course at Rotonda Golf & Country Club Rotonda West $12.99 - $22.99
Hatchett/Meadows at Pelican Pointe Golf & Country Club Venice $31 - $72
Founders Golf Club Sarasota $95
King's Dunes Course at Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club Bradenton $40 - $75
Palms Course at Rotonda Golf & Country Club Rotonda West $19.99 - $39.99
Heron Course at The Oaks Club Osprey $105
Capri Isles Golf Club Venice $30 - $58
Red Nine at Palmetto Pines Golf Course Parrish $22
IMG Academies Golf & Country Club Bradenton $30 - $69
Players Course at TPC Prestancia Sarasota $159 - $205
The Resort at Longboat Key Club - Links on Longboat Longboat Key $55 - $162
Harborside White/Blue at Longboat Key Club & Resort Longboat Key $55 - $162
Harbourside Blue/Red at Longboat Key Club & Resort Longboat Key $55 - $162
Tara Golf & Country Club Bradenton $60
Oyster Creek Golf Club Englewood $19 - $25
Venice Golf & Country Club Venice $75
Coral Creek Club Placida $125
Stadium Course at TPC Prestancia Sarasota $197 - $205
Venice East Golf Club Venice $12 - $20
Royal Lakes Course at Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club Bradenton $40 - $75
Duffy's Golf Center Port Charlotte $28
Pine Valley Nine at Long Marsh Golf Club at Rotonda West Rotonda West $18.00 - $49.99
Gleneagles/Turnberry at Waterford Golf Club Venice $30 - $58
The Long Meadow Nine at Long Marsh Golf Club at Rotonda West Rotonda West $18.00 - $49.99
Key Royale Club Holmes Beach $14
American Course at Bobby Jones Golf Club Sarasota $13 - $33
Eagle Course at The Oaks Club Osprey $105
Greens of Manatee Golf Course Bradenton $16 - $32
Stoneybrook Golf & Country Club Sarasota $36 - $88
Meadows/Preserve at Pelican Pointe Golf & Country Club Venice $31 - $72
West Course at Laurel Oak Country Club Sarasota $100
River Isles Golf Club Bradenton $13
Mission Valley Golf & Country Club Nokomis $30 - $45
Pinebrook/Ironwood Golf Club Bradenton $13.85 - $16.00
Hills Course at Rotonda Golf & Country Club Rotonda West $18.99 - $33.99
Gillespie Executive Course at Bobby Jones Golf Club Sarasota $9 - $20
Pinemoor West Golf Club Rotonda West $14.02 - $49.99
Bradenton Country Club Bradenton $70 - $75
Sara Bay Country Club Sarasota $60
Orange Nine at Palmetto Pines Golf Course Parrish $22
Lemon Bay Golf Club Englewood $70 - $80
Preserve/Hatchett at Pelican Pointe Golf & Country Club Venice $31 - $72
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