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
Marsh/Creek Course at Heron Creek Golf and Country Club
Tee Times
North Port $22
IMG Academies Golf & Country Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $15
The River Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $10
Legacy Golf Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $19
Sanctuary Course at River Strand Golf and Country Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $25
Oaks/Marsh Course at Heron Creek Golf and Country Club
Tee Times
North Port $25
Rosedale Golf & Country Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $10
Waterlefe Golf & River Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $13
Creek/Oaks Course at Heron Creek Golf and Country Club
Tee Times
North Port $22
Estuary Course at River Strand Golf and Country Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $25
Tatum Ridge Golf Links
Tee Times
Sarasota $10
River Run Golf Links
Tee Times
Bradenton $10
The Highlands Golf Course
Tee Times
Sarasota $19.16
Tributary Course at River Strand Golf and Country Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $25
Boca Royale Golf & Country Club
Tee Times
Englewood $14
Sabal Trace Golf & Country Club
Tee Times
North Port $15 - $27
Suncoast Golf Center
Tee Times
Sarasota $10
Jacaranda West Country Club
Tee Times
Venice $10
Peridia Golf & Country Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $10
Duffy's Golf Center
Tee Times
Port Charlotte $8
Oyster Creek Golf Club
Tee Times
Englewood $19 - $25
Pinebrook/Ironwood Golf Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $13.85 - $16.00
Venetian Golf & River Club
Tee Times
North Venice $12
Stoneybrook Golf Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $12
The Groves Golf Course
Tee Times
Sarasota $11.68
Third/First at Lake Venice Golf Club
Tee Times
Venice $19 - $30
Village Green Golf Club of Sarasota
Tee Times
Sarasota $11 - $24
Sarasota National Golf Club
Tee Times
Venice $35 - $79
Imperial Lakeswoods Golf Club
Tee Times
Palmetto $10
Terra Ceia Bay Golf & Tennis Club
Tee Times
Palmetto $10
Manatee County Golf Course
Tee Times
Bradenton $19
Buffalo Creek Golf Course
Tee Times
Palmetto $12
Riverwood Golf Club
Tee Times
Port Charlotte $10
1/2 at University Park Country Club
Tee Times
University Park $25
Misty Creek Country Club
Tee Times
Sarasota $12
Esplanade Golf & Country Club at Lakewood Ranch
Tee Times
Lakewood Ranch $10
2/3 at University Park Country Club
Tee Times
University Park $25
First/Second at Lake Venice Golf Club
Tee Times
Venice $19 - $30
Links at Greenfield Plantation
Tee Times
Bradenton $10
Bobcat Trail Golf Club
Tee Times
North Port $10
3/1 at University Park Country Club
Tee Times
University Park $25
Second/Third at Lake Venice Golf Club
Tee Times
Venice $19 - $30
Bent Tree Country Club
Tee Times
Sarasota $25 - $39
Preserve Golf Club at Tara
Tee Times
Bradenton $10
Red/White at Myakka Pines Golf Club Englewood $15 - $36
West Course at Laurel Oak Country Club Sarasota $100
Live Oaks/Myrtle at Oak Ford Golf Club Sarasota N/A
Stadium Course at TPC Prestancia Sarasota $205
Harborside White/Blue at Longboat Key Club & Resort Longboat Key $50 - $106
Royal Lakes Course at Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club Bradenton $40 - $75
Red Nine at Palmetto Pines Golf Course Parrish $25
Hatchett/Meadows at Pelican Pointe Golf & Country Club Venice $31 - $72
Stoneybrook Golf & Country Club Sarasota $30 - $85
Mission Valley Golf & Country Club Nokomis $30 - $45
Coral Creek Club Placida $125
Pinemoor West Golf Club Rotonda West $15.99 - $26.99
Hills Course at Rotonda Golf & Country Club Rotonda West $18.99 - $33.99
Blue Heron Course at The Oaks Osprey $105
Lakes Course at Palm-Aire Country Club Sarasota $80
The Resort at Longboat Key Club - Links on Longboat Longboat Key $50 - $106
Blue Nine at Palmetto Pines Golf Course Parrish $25
Myrtle/Palms at Oak Ford Golf Club Sarasota N/A
Links Course at Rotonda Golf & Country Club Rotonda West $12.99 - $22.99
White Marsh Nine at Long Marsh Golf Club at Rotonda West Rotonda West $23.99 - $43.99
Eagle Course at The Oaks Osprey $105
Pinemoor East Golf Club Rotonda West $20.00
Ritz - Carlton Members Club Bradenton $125
Concession Golf Club Bradenton N/A
Executive Course at Bobby Jones Golf Complex Sarasota $5.50 - $12.75
Orange Nine at Palmetto Pines Golf Course Parrish $25
Key Royale Club Holmes Beach $14
British Course at Bobby Jones Golf Complex Sarasota $11 - $37
Sawgrass/Gleneagles at Waterford Golf Club Venice $30 - $58
Panther Course at Plantation Golf & Country Club Venice $66
East Course at Laurel Oak Country Club Sarasota $100
Blue Course at Gulf Gate Golf Club Sarasota $20
Serenoa Golf Club Sarasota $20 - $38
Bird Bay Golf Course Venice $26
Greens of Manatee Golf Course Bradenton $30
Long Marsh Nine at Long Marsh Golf Club at Rotonda West Rotonda West $23.99 - $43.99
Rolling Green Golf Club Sarasota $20 - $29
King Dunes Course at Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club Bradenton $40 - $75
Founders Golf Club Sarasota $95
Cypress Links Course at Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club Bradenton $40 - $75
Sara Bay Country Club Sarasota $60
Red Course at Gulf Gate Golf Club Sarasota $30
Gator Creek Golf Club Sarasota $105
Palm View Hills Golf Course Palmetto $9 - $24
American Course at Bobby Jones Golf Complex Sarasota $11 - $37
Preserve/Hatchett at Pelican Pointe Golf & Country Club Venice $31 - $72
Champions Course at Palm-Aire Country Club Sarasota $80
Sorrento Par-3 Golf Course Nokomis $7
Blue/ Red at Myakka Pines Golf Club Englewood $15 - $36
River Wilderness Golf & Country Club Parrish $60
Harborside Red/White at Longboat Key Club & Resort Longboat Key $50 - $106
Tara Golf & Country Club Bradenton $60
Calusa Lakes Golf Club Nokomis $10 - $58
Gasparilla Inn & Club Boca Grande $85
Gleneagles/Turnberry at Waterford Golf Club Venice $30 - $58
Bradenton Country Club Bradenton $70
Pine Valley Nine at Long Marsh Golf Club at Rotonda West Rotonda $23.99 - $43.99
Palms Course at Rotonda Golf & Country Club Rotonda West $19.99 - $39.99
Harbourside Blue/Red at Longboat Key Club & Resort Longboat Key $50 - $106
White Nine at Palmetto Pines Golf Course Parrish $25
Timber Creek Golf Course Bradenton $10 - $23
Palms/Live Oaks at Oak Ford Golf Club Sarasota N/A
The Meadows Country Club Sarasota $35
Capri Isles Golf Club Venice $30 - $58
Sawgrass/Turnberry at Waterford Golf Club Venice $30 - $58
Meadows/Preserve at Pelican Pointe Golf & Country Club Venice $31 - $72
Heritage Oaks Golf & Country Club Sarasota $55
White/Blue at Myakka Pines Golf Club Englewood $15 - $36
Lemon Bay Golf Club Englewood $70 - $80
Club Course at TPC Prestancia Sarasota $151
Venice Golf & Country Club Venice $75
Bobcat Course at Plantation Golf & Country Club Venice $66
Venice East Golf Club Venice $12 - $20
River Isles Golf Club Bradenton $13
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