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
Red/White at Myakka Pines Golf Club Englewood $18.69 - $45.00
The River Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $10
Championship Course at Lakewood National Golf Club
Tee Times
Lakewood Ranch $25
Tatum Ridge Golf Links
Tee Times
Sarasota $20
Creek/Oaks Course at Heron Creek Golf and Country Club
Tee Times
North Port $27
Waterlefe Golf & River Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $21
1/2 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
3/1 at University Park Country Club
Tee Times
University Park $25
The Highlands Golf Course
Tee Times
Sarasota $8
Marsh/Creek Course at Heron Creek Golf and Country Club
Tee Times
North Port $27
White/Blue at Myakka Pines Golf Club Englewood $18.69 - $45.00
Blue/ Red at Myakka Pines Golf Club Englewood $18.69 - $45.00
2/3 at University Park Country Club
Tee Times
University Park $25
Stoneybrook Golf Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $12
Tributary Course at River Strand Golf and Country Club Bradenton $40
Esplanade Golf & Country Club at Lakewood Ranch
Tee Times
Lakewood Ranch $31
Boca Royale Golf & Country Club
Tee Times
Englewood $12
Manatee County Golf Course
Tee Times
Bradenton $10
River Wilderness Golf & Country Club Parrish $60
River Run Golf Links
Tee Times
Bradenton $12
Estuary Course at River Strand Golf and Country Club Bradenton $40
Jacaranda West Country Club
Tee Times
Venice $12
Third/First at Lake Venice Golf Club Venice $10 - $30
Terra Ceia Bay Golf & Tennis Club
Tee Times
Palmetto $10
Legacy Golf Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $14
Links at Greenfield Plantation Bradenton $14.95 - $34.95
Rosedale Golf & Country Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $14
Riverside Club
Tee Times
Ruskin $12
The Meadows Country Club Sarasota $35
Buffalo Creek Golf Course
Tee Times
Palmetto $13
First/Second at Lake Venice Golf Club Venice $10 - $30
Peridia Golf & Country Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $10
Venetian Golf & River Club North Venice $90
Suncoast Golf Center
Tee Times
Sarasota $12
Misty Creek Country Club
Tee Times
Sarasota $13
Sarasota National Golf Club
Tee Times
Venice $39
Rolling Green Golf Club
Tee Times
Sarasota $12
The Palms Golf Club At Forest Lakes
Tee Times
Sarasota $12
Serenoa Golf Club
Tee Times
Sarasota $17
Second/Third at Lake Venice Golf Club Venice $10 - $30
Moccasin Wallow Golf Club
Tee Times
Palmetto $18.69
Village Green Golf Club of Sarasota
Tee Times
Sarasota $10
Riverwood Golf Club
Tee Times
Port Charlotte $17
Preserve Golf Club at Tara
Tee Times
Bradenton $10
Charlotte Harbor National Golf Club
Tee Times
North Port $19
Sanctuary Course at River Strand Golf and Country Club Bradenton $40
Bent Tree Country Club
Tee Times
Sarasota $10
The Groves Golf Course
Tee Times
Sarasota $9
Gillespie Executive Course at Bobby Jones Golf Club Sarasota $9 - $20
Capri Isles Golf Club Venice $30 - $58
Timber Creek Golf Course Bradenton $10 - $23
Duffy's Golf Center Port Charlotte $28
East Course at Laurel Oak Country Club Sarasota $100
Greens of Manatee Golf Course Bradenton $16 - $32
Stadium Course at TPC Prestancia Sarasota $197 - $205
Lemon Bay Golf Club Englewood $70 - $80
Links Course at Rotonda Golf & Country Club Rotonda West $12.99 - $22.99
River Isles Golf Club Bradenton $13
Cypress Links Course at Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club Bradenton $40 - $75
Oyster Creek Golf Club Englewood $19 - $25
Sawgrass/Gleneagles at Waterford Golf Club Venice $30 - $58
Tara Golf & Country Club Bradenton $60
White Marsh Nine at Long Marsh Golf Club at Rotonda West Rotonda West $18.00 - $49.99
Sorrento Par-3 Golf Course Nokomis $6
Heritage Oaks Golf & Country Club Sarasota $32.50 - $75.00
Founders Golf Club Sarasota $95
Champions Course at Palm-Aire Country Club Sarasota $80
King's Dunes Course at Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club Bradenton $40 - $75
Preserve/Hatchett at Pelican Pointe Golf & Country Club Venice $31 - $72
Venice East Golf Club Venice $12 - $20
Harborside White/Blue at Longboat Key Club & Resort Longboat Key $55 - $185
American Course at Bobby Jones Golf Club Sarasota $13 - $33
Lakes Course at Palm-Aire Country Club Sarasota $80
Venice Golf & Country Club Venice $75
Gleneagles/Turnberry at Waterford Golf Club Venice $30 - $58
Stoneybrook Golf & Country Club Sarasota $36 - $88
Royal Lakes Course at Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club Bradenton $40 - $75
British Course at Bobby Jones Golf Complex Sarasota $13 - $33
The Resort at Longboat Key Club - Links on Longboat Longboat Key $55 - $185
Gator Creek Golf Club Sarasota $100 - $124
Harbourside Blue/Red at Longboat Key Club & Resort Longboat Key $55 - $185
Sara Bay Country Club Sarasota $60
Concession Golf Club Bradenton N/A
Pinemoor West Golf Club Rotonda West $14.02 - $49.99
Palms Course at Rotonda Golf & Country Club Rotonda West $19.99 - $39.99
IMG Academies Golf & Country Club Bradenton $30 - $69
Hills Course at Rotonda Golf & Country Club Rotonda West $18.99 - $33.99
Bradenton Country Club Bradenton $70 - $75
West Course at Laurel Oak Country Club Sarasota $100
Calusa Lakes Golf Club Nokomis $30 - $70
Hatchett/Meadows at Pelican Pointe Golf & Country Club Venice $31 - $72
Harborside Red/White at Longboat Key Club & Resort Longboat Key $55 - $185
Heron Course at The Oaks Club Osprey $105
Eagle Course at The Oaks Club Osprey $105
Meadows/Preserve at Pelican Pointe Golf & Country Club Venice $31 - $72
Key Royale Club Holmes Beach $14
Pinebrook/Ironwood Golf Club Bradenton $13.85 - $16.00
Pine Valley Nine at Long Marsh Golf Club at Rotonda West Rotonda West $18.00 - $49.99
Bird Bay Golf Course Venice $26
Red Nine at Palmetto Pines Golf Course Parrish $22
Sawgrass/Turnberry at Waterford Golf Club Venice $30 - $58
Panther Course at Plantation Golf & Country Club Venice $66 - $76
Gasparilla Inn & Club Boca Grande $115 - $140
Ritz - Carlton Members Club Bradenton $125
Orange Nine at Palmetto Pines Golf Course Parrish $22
Mission Valley Golf & Country Club Nokomis $30 - $45
The Long Meadow Nine at Long Marsh Golf Club at Rotonda West Rotonda West $18.00 - $49.99
Bobcat Course at Plantation Golf & Country Club Venice $66 - $76
Coral Creek Club Placida $125
Players Course at TPC Prestancia Sarasota $159 - $205
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