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