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
Oaks/Marsh Course at Heron Creek Golf and Country Club
Tee Times
North Port $29
Sanctuary Course at River Strand Golf and Country Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $40
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
Waterlefe Golf & River Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $39
Rosedale Golf & Country Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $39
Creek/Oaks Course at Heron Creek Golf and Country Club
Tee Times
North Port $29
The River Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $34
River Run Golf Links
Tee Times
Bradenton $22.07
IMG Academies Golf & Country Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $29
Marsh/Creek Course at Heron Creek Golf and Country Club
Tee Times
North Port $29
Legacy Golf Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $50
The Highlands Golf Course
Tee Times
Sarasota $32.71
Tatum Ridge Golf Links
Tee Times
Sarasota $45
Sabal Trace Golf & Country Club
Tee Times
North Port $16
Suncoast Golf Center
Tee Times
Sarasota $10
Jacaranda West Country Club
Tee Times
Venice $30
Pinebrook/Ironwood Golf Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $13
Boca Royale Golf & Country Club
Tee Times
Englewood $25
Oyster Creek Golf Club
Tee Times
Englewood $23
Peridia Golf & Country Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $28
Village Green Golf Club of Sarasota
Tee Times
Sarasota $11 - $24
1/2 at University Park Country Club
Tee Times
University Park $35
2/3 at University Park Country Club
Tee Times
University Park $35
Terra Ceia Bay Golf & Tennis Club
Tee Times
Palmetto $16
Manatee County Golf Course
Tee Times
Bradenton $20
Preserve Golf Club at Tara
Tee Times
Bradenton $26
Imperial Lakeswoods Golf Club
Tee Times
Palmetto $25
First/Second at Lake Venice Golf Club
Tee Times
Venice $19 - $30
Riverwood Golf Club
Tee Times
Port Charlotte $25
3/1 at University Park Country Club
Tee Times
University Park $35
The Groves Golf Course
Tee Times
Sarasota $19.63
Third/First at Lake Venice Golf Club
Tee Times
Venice $19 - $30
Esplanade Golf & Country Club at Lakewood Ranch
Tee Times
Lakewood Ranch $39
Venetian Golf & River Club
Tee Times
North Venice $81
Buffalo Creek Golf Course
Tee Times
Palmetto $20
Second/Third at Lake Venice Golf Club
Tee Times
Venice $19 - $30
Duffy's Golf Center
Tee Times
Port Charlotte $25
Sarasota National Golf Club
Tee Times
Venice $40
Misty Creek Country Club
Tee Times
Sarasota $35
Bobcat Trail Golf Club
Tee Times
North Port $25
Bent Tree Country Club
Tee Times
Sarasota $55
Links at Greenfield Plantation
Tee Times
Bradenton $17.99
Stoneybrook Golf Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $34.99
Capri Isles Golf Club Venice $30 - $58
Hatchett/Meadows at Pelican Pointe Golf & Country Club Venice $31 - $72
Calusa Lakes Golf Club Nokomis $10 - $58
Timber Creek Golf Course Bradenton $10 - $23
Palms Course at Rotonda Golf & Country Club Rotonda West $19.99 - $39.99
Red Course at Gulf Gate Golf Club Sarasota $30
Ritz - Carlton Members Club Bradenton $125
Royal Lakes Course at Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club Bradenton $40 - $75
Red Nine at Palmetto Pines Golf Course Parrish $25
Orange Nine at Palmetto Pines Golf Course Parrish $25
Blue Nine at Palmetto Pines Golf Course Parrish $25
Champions Course at Palm-Aire Country Club Sarasota $80
River Isles Golf Club Bradenton $13
Mission Valley Golf & Country Club Nokomis $30 - $45
Long Marsh Nine at Long Marsh Golf Club at Rotonda West Rotonda West $23.99 - $43.99
Venice East Golf Club Venice $12 - $20
King Dunes Course at Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club Bradenton $40 - $75
The Meadows Country Club Sarasota $35
Tara Golf & Country Club Bradenton $60
Venice Golf & Country Club Venice $75
Stadium Course at TPC Prestancia Sarasota $205
Stoneybrook Golf & Country Club Sarasota $30 - $85
Club Course at TPC Prestancia Sarasota $151
Sara Bay Country Club Sarasota $60
Pinemoor East Golf Club Rotonda West $20.00
Pinemoor West Golf Club Rotonda West $15.99 - $26.99
Palm View Hills Golf Course Palmetto $9 - $24
White Nine at Palmetto Pines Golf Course Parrish $25
Bobcat Course at Plantation Golf & Country Club Venice $66
Sawgrass/Turnberry at Waterford Golf Club Venice $30 - $58
Rolling Green Golf Club Sarasota $20 - $29
Panther Course at Plantation Golf & Country Club Venice $66
Pine Valley Nine at Long Marsh Golf Club at Rotonda West Rotonda $23.99 - $43.99
American Course at Bobby Jones Golf Complex Sarasota $11 - $37
Preserve/Hatchett at Pelican Pointe Golf & Country Club Venice $31 - $72
Executive Course at Bobby Jones Golf Complex Sarasota $5.50 - $12.75
Sawgrass/Gleneagles at Waterford Golf Club Venice $30 - $58
Concession Golf Club Bradenton N/A
Cypress Links Course at Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club Bradenton $40 - $75
East Course at Laurel Oak Country Club Sarasota $100
Red/White at Myakka Pines Golf Club Englewood $15 - $36
River Wilderness Golf & Country Club Parrish $60
Sorrento Par-3 Golf Course Nokomis $7
Harborside White/Blue at Longboat Key Club & Resort Longboat Key $149
White Marsh Nine at Long Marsh Golf Club at Rotonda West Rotonda West $23.99 - $43.99
White/Blue at Myakka Pines Golf Club Englewood $15 - $36
Founders Golf Club Sarasota $95
Meadows/Preserve at Pelican Pointe Golf & Country Club Venice $31 - $72
Blue Heron Course at The Oaks Osprey $105
West Course at Laurel Oak Country Club Sarasota $100
Greens of Manatee Golf Course Bradenton $30
Harbourside Blue/Red at Longboat Key Club & Resort Longboat Key $149
Island Side at Longboat Key Club & Resort Longboat Key $149
Blue/ Red at Myakka Pines Golf Club Englewood $15 - $36
British Course at Bobby Jones Golf Complex Sarasota $11 - $37
Eagle Course at The Oaks Osprey $105
Gator Creek Golf Club Sarasota $105
Links Course at Rotonda Golf & Country Club Rotonda West $12.99 - $22.99
Serenoa Golf Club Sarasota $20 - $38
Bird Bay Golf Course Venice $26
Harborside Red/White at Longboat Key Club & Resort Longboat Key $149
Hills Course at Rotonda Golf & Country Club Rotonda West $18.99 - $33.99
Key Royale Club Holmes Beach $14
Palms/Live Oaks at Oak Ford Golf Club Sarasota N/A
Heritage Oaks Golf & Country Club Sarasota $55
Bradenton Country Club Bradenton $70
Gasparilla Inn & Club Boca Grande $85
Myrtle/Palms at Oak Ford Golf Club Sarasota N/A
Live Oaks/Myrtle at Oak Ford Golf Club Sarasota N/A
Lakes Course at Palm-Aire Country Club Sarasota $80
Coral Creek Club Placida $125
Gleneagles/Turnberry at Waterford Golf Club Venice $30 - $58
Lemon Bay Golf Club Englewood $70 - $80
Blue Course at Gulf Gate Golf Club Sarasota $20
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