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
Oaks/Marsh Course at Heron Creek Golf and Country Club
Tee Times
North Port $36
Tatum Ridge Golf Links
Tee Times
Sarasota $20
IMG Academies Golf & Country Club Bradenton $25 - $68
Rosedale Golf & Country Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $17
Waterlefe Golf & River Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $29
The River Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $14
The Highlands Golf Course
Tee Times
Sarasota $16
Creek/Oaks Course at Heron Creek Golf and Country Club
Tee Times
North Port $36
Marsh/Creek Course at Heron Creek Golf and Country Club
Tee Times
North Port $36
Suncoast Golf Center
Tee Times
Sarasota $10
Manatee County Golf Course
Tee Times
Bradenton $15
Imperial Lakeswoods Golf Club
Tee Times
Palmetto $13
Buffalo Creek Golf Course
Tee Times
Palmetto $16.65
Peridia Golf & Country Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $16.54
Sabal Trace Golf & Country Club
Tee Times
North Port $23
River Run Golf Links
Tee Times
Bradenton $13
Jacaranda West Country Club
Tee Times
Venice $14
Tributary Course at River Strand Golf and Country Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $49
The Meadows Country Club Sarasota $35
Second/Third at Lake Venice Golf Club Venice $19 - $30
Legacy Golf Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $22
Rolling Green Golf Club
Tee Times
Sarasota $15
Riverwood Golf Club
Tee Times
Port Charlotte $23
Sanctuary Course at River Strand Golf and Country Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $49
Bent Tree Country Club
Tee Times
Sarasota $19
Preserve Golf Club at Tara
Tee Times
Bradenton $15
Terra Ceia Bay Golf & Tennis Club
Tee Times
Palmetto $10
Estuary Course at River Strand Golf and Country Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $49
Stoneybrook Golf Club
Tee Times
Bradenton $26.99
Sarasota National Golf Club
Tee Times
Venice $32
Village Green Golf Club of Sarasota
Tee Times
Sarasota $10
The Groves Golf Course
Tee Times
Sarasota $15
First/Second at Lake Venice Golf Club Venice $19 - $30
Venetian Golf & River Club North Venice $90
1/2 at University Park Country Club
Tee Times
University Park $47
Boca Royale Golf & Country Club
Tee Times
Englewood $28
Esplanade Golf & Country Club at Lakewood Ranch
Tee Times
Lakewood Ranch $35
Bobcat Trail Golf Club
Tee Times
North Port $25
Third/First at Lake Venice Golf Club Venice $19 - $30
Links at Greenfield Plantation
Tee Times
Bradenton $10
Misty Creek Country Club
Tee Times
Sarasota $20
The Palms Golf Club At Forest Lakes
Tee Times
Sarasota $11.99
3/1 at University Park Country Club
Tee Times
University Park $47
2/3 at University Park Country Club
Tee Times
University Park $47
Bobcat Course at Plantation Golf & Country Club Venice $66 - $76
Club Course at TPC Prestancia Sarasota $151
Red Course at Gulf Gate Golf Club Sarasota $30
Greens of Manatee Golf Course Bradenton $30
East Course at Laurel Oak Country Club Sarasota $100
River Wilderness Golf & Country Club Parrish $60
Hatchett/Meadows at Pelican Pointe Golf & Country Club Venice $31 - $72
Oyster Creek Golf Club Englewood $19 - $25
Harborside White/Blue at Longboat Key Club & Resort Longboat Key $53 - $173
Sara Bay Country Club Sarasota $60
Palms Course at Rotonda Golf & Country Club Rotonda West $19.99 - $39.99
Tara Golf & Country Club Bradenton $60
Blue Course at Gulf Gate Golf Club Sarasota $20
Royal Lakes Course at Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club Bradenton $40 - $75
Harbourside Blue/Red at Longboat Key Club & Resort Longboat Key $53 - $173
King's Dunes Course at Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club Bradenton $40 - $75
The Resort at Longboat Key Club - Links on Longboat Longboat Key $53 - $173
Panther Course at Plantation Golf & Country Club Venice $66 - $76
Preserve/Hatchett at Pelican Pointe Golf & Country Club Venice $31 - $72
Bird Bay Golf Course Venice $26
Pinemoor West Golf Club Rotonda West $28.99 - $49.99
Meadows/Preserve at Pelican Pointe Golf & Country Club Venice $31 - $72
White Nine at Palmetto Pines Golf Course Parrish $22
Pine Valley Nine at Long Marsh Golf Club at Rotonda West Rotonda $23.99 - $43.99
Sawgrass/Turnberry at Waterford Golf Club Venice $30 - $58
Serenoa Golf Club Sarasota $20 - $38
American Course at Bobby Jones Golf Club Sarasota $13 - $33
Venice Golf & Country Club Venice $75
Cypress Links Course at Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club Bradenton $40 - $75
The Long Meadow Nine at Long Marsh Golf Club at Rotonda West Rotonda West $23.99 - $43.99
Mission Valley Golf & Country Club Nokomis $30 - $45
Palm View Hills Golf Course Palmetto $9 - $24
Concession Golf Club Bradenton N/A
West Course at Laurel Oak Country Club Sarasota $100
Sawgrass/Gleneagles at Waterford Golf Club Venice $30 - $58
Lakes Course at Palm-Aire Country Club Sarasota $80
Blue/ Red at Myakka Pines Golf Club Englewood $15 - $36
Pinebrook/Ironwood Golf Club Bradenton $13.85 - $16.00
Harborside Red/White at Longboat Key Club & Resort Longboat Key $53 - $173
Gillespie Executive Course at Bobby Jones Golf Club Sarasota $9 - $20
Stadium Course at TPC Prestancia Sarasota $205
Red Nine at Palmetto Pines Golf Course Parrish $22
Red/White at Myakka Pines Golf Club Englewood $15 - $36
Eagle Course at The Oaks Club Osprey $105
Stoneybrook Golf & Country Club Sarasota $36 - $88
Timber Creek Golf Course Bradenton $10 - $23
Gleneagles/Turnberry at Waterford Golf Club Venice $30 - $58
Capri Isles Golf Club Venice $30 - $58
Key Royale Club Holmes Beach $14
Duffy's Golf Center Port Charlotte $28
Links Course at Rotonda Golf & Country Club Rotonda West $12.99 - $22.99
Orange Nine at Palmetto Pines Golf Course Parrish $22
Champions Course at Palm-Aire Country Club Sarasota $80
Calusa Lakes Golf Club Nokomis $10 - $58
Heritage Oaks Golf & Country Club Sarasota $32.50 - $75.00
Ritz - Carlton Members Club Bradenton $125
Bradenton Country Club Bradenton $70 - $75
Venice East Golf Club Venice $12 - $20
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 $23.99 - $43.99
Coral Creek Club Placida $125
Blue Nine at Palmetto Pines Golf Course Parrish $22
Sorrento Par-3 Golf Course Nokomis $7
River Isles Golf Club Bradenton $13
British Course at Bobby Jones Golf Complex Sarasota $13 - $33
Gator Creek Golf Club Sarasota $100 - $124
Heron Course at The Oaks Club Osprey $105
Gasparilla Inn & Club Boca Grande $115 - $140
Founders Golf Club Sarasota $95
Lemon Bay Golf Club Englewood $70 - $80
White/Blue at Myakka Pines Golf Club Englewood $15 - $36
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