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