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
Tatum Ridge Golf Links
Tee Times
Sarasota $20
3/1 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
The River Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $10
Oaks/Marsh Course at Heron Creek Golf and Country Club
Tee Times
North Port $27
Waterlefe Golf & River Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $21
Blue/ Red at Myakka Pines Golf Club Englewood $18.69 - $45.00
Commander Course at Lakewood National Golf Club
Tee Times
Lakewood Ranch $25
Creek/Oaks Course at Heron Creek Golf and Country Club
Tee Times
North Port $27
The Highlands Golf Course
Tee Times
Sarasota $8
1/2 at University Park Country Club
Tee Times
University Park $25
Red/White at Myakka Pines Golf Club Englewood $18.69 - $45.00
White/Blue at Myakka Pines Golf Club Englewood $18.69 - $45.00
2/3 at University Park Country Club
Tee Times
University Park $25
Estuary Course at River Strand Golf and Country Club Bradenton $32 - $89
Riverside Club
Tee Times
Ruskin $12
Riverwood Golf Club
Tee Times
Port Charlotte $17
Charlotte Harbor National Golf Club
Tee Times
North Port $19
Legacy Golf Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $14
Third/First at Lake Venice Golf Club Venice $15 - $35
Panther Course at Plantation Golf & Country Club Venice $66 - $76
Rosedale Golf & Country Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $14
Heritage Harbour Golf Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $12
The Meadows Country Club
Tee Times
Sarasota $35
Venetian Golf & River Club North Venice $90
The Groves Golf Course
Tee Times
Sarasota $9
Duffy's Golf Center
Tee Times
Port Charlotte $28
Peridia Golf & Country Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $10
Terra Ceia Bay Golf & Tennis Club
Tee Times
Palmetto $10
Second/Third at Lake Venice Golf Club Venice $15 - $35
Manatee County Golf Course
Tee Times
Bradenton $10
Rolling Green Golf Club
Tee Times
Sarasota $12
Village Green Golf Club of Sarasota
Tee Times
Sarasota $10
Sanctuary Course at River Strand Golf and Country Club Bradenton $32 - $89
Sarasota National Golf Club
Tee Times
Venice $39
IMG Academies Golf & Country Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $30 - $69
Misty Creek Country Club
Tee Times
Sarasota $13
Tributary Course at River Strand Golf and Country Club Bradenton $32 - $89
Serenoa Golf Club
Tee Times
Sarasota $17
Bobcat Course at Plantation Golf & Country Club Venice $66 - $76
Links at Greenfield Plantation Bradenton $17.99 - $29.99
The Club at River Wilderness
Tee Times
Parrish $60
Lakewood National Golf Club - Piper Course
Tee Times
Lakewood Ranch $89 - $129
Preserve Golf Club at Tara
Tee Times
Bradenton $10
Esplanade Golf & Country Club at Lakewood Ranch
Tee Times
Lakewood Ranch $31
Moccasin Wallow Golf Club
Tee Times
Palmetto $18.69
First/Second at Lake Venice Golf Club Venice $15 - $35
Boca Royale Golf & Country Club
Tee Times
Englewood $12
Suncoast Golf Center
Tee Times
Sarasota $12
The Palms Golf Club At Forest Lakes
Tee Times
Sarasota $12
Bent Tree Country Club
Tee Times
Sarasota $10
River Run Golf Links
Tee Times
Bradenton $12
Jacaranda West Country Club
Tee Times
Venice $12
Buffalo Creek Golf Course
Tee Times
Palmetto $13
Coral Creek Club Placida $125
American Course at Bobby Jones Golf Club Sarasota $13 - $33
Timber Creek Golf Course Bradenton $10 - $23
Sara Bay Country Club Sarasota $60
Champions Course at Palm-Aire Country Club Sarasota $80
Harborside Red/White at Longboat Key Club & Resort Longboat Key $58 - $164
Gator Creek Golf Club Sarasota $100 - $124
Pinemoor West Golf Club Rotonda West $10.28 - $26.99
Heron Course at The Oaks Club Osprey $105
Gasparilla Inn & Club Boca Grande $125
Palms Course at Rotonda Golf & Country Club Rotonda West $19.99 - $39.99
Greens of Manatee Golf Course Bradenton $16 - $32
Venice East Golf Club Venice $12 - $20
West Course at Laurel Oak Country Club Sarasota $100
Royal Lakes Course at Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club Bradenton $40 - $75
Orange Nine at Palmetto Pines Golf Course Parrish $22
Gleneagles/Turnberry at Waterford Golf Club Venice $30 - $58
Capri Isles Golf Club Venice $30 - $58
Harborside White/Blue at Longboat Key Club & Resort Longboat Key $58 - $164
Hills Course at Rotonda Golf & Country Club Rotonda West $18.99 - $33.99
Tara Golf & Country Club Bradenton $60
Bradenton Country Club Bradenton $70 - $75
Sorrento Par-3 Golf Course Nokomis $6
Gillespie Executive Course at Bobby Jones Golf Club Sarasota $9 - $20
Preserve/Hatchett at Pelican Pointe Golf & Country Club Venice $31 - $72
Hatchett/Meadows at Pelican Pointe Golf & Country Club Venice $31 - $72
River Isles Golf Club Bradenton $13
Lakes Course at Palm-Aire Country Club Sarasota $80
Stadium Course at TPC Prestancia Sarasota $197 - $205
Cypress Links Course at Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club Bradenton $40 - $75
Sawgrass/Gleneagles at Waterford Golf Club Venice $30 - $58
The Long Meadow Nine at Long Marsh Golf Club at Rotonda West Rotonda West $15.00 - $43.99
Venice Golf & Country Club Venice $75
Key Royale Club Holmes Beach $14
Lemon Bay Golf Club Englewood $70 - $80
Pinebrook/Ironwood Golf Club Bradenton $13.85 - $16.00
Gimme Course at The Concession Golf Club Bradenton N/A
Ritz - Carlton Members Club Bradenton $125 - $155
Links Course at Rotonda Golf & Country Club Rotonda West $12.99 - $22.99
Founders Golf Club Sarasota $95
Bird Bay Golf Course Venice $26
Pine Valley Nine at Long Marsh Golf Club at Rotonda West Rotonda West $15.00 - $43.99
Concession Golf Club Bradenton N/A
Heritage Oaks Golf & Country Club Sarasota $32.50 - $75.00
Harbourside Blue/Red at Longboat Key Club & Resort Longboat Key $58 - $164
Stoneybrook Golf & Country Club Sarasota $36 - $88
Sawgrass/Turnberry at Waterford Golf Club Venice $30 - $58
Mission Valley Golf & Country Club Nokomis $30 - $45
The Resort at Longboat Key Club - Links on Longboat Longboat Key $58 - $164
Meadows/Preserve at Pelican Pointe Golf & Country Club Venice $31 - $72
Calusa Lakes Golf Club Nokomis $30 - $70
East Course at Laurel Oak Country Club Sarasota $100
Red Nine at Palmetto Pines Golf Course Parrish $22
Oyster Creek Golf Club Englewood $19 - $25
King's Dunes Course at Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club Bradenton $40 - $75
Eagle Course at The Oaks Club Osprey $105
White Marsh Nine at Long Marsh Golf Club at Rotonda West Rotonda West $15.00 - $43.99
British Course at Bobby Jones Golf Complex Sarasota $13 - $33
Players Course at TPC Prestancia Sarasota $159 - $205
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