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